UN expert raises alarm over increased degree of seriousness of human rights violations

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Ahmed Shaheed

A UN human rights official has expressed alarm over the numerous allegations and reports he has received about the current human rights situation in Iran, saying they need "to be addressed urgently."

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said "There has been an apparent increase in the degree of seriousness of human rights violations in Iran".

During presentation of his second report* to the UN Human Rights Council, Mr. Shaheed stressed his concerns about the increasingly high rate of executions for offences that do not meet the "most serious crimes" standards, as recognized by international law.

The report also catalogues discriminations against religious and ethnic minorities, denial of political and civil rights, in particular the freedom of expression and of assembly and also practices that amount to torture, cruel or degrading treatment.

However, Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed noted that Iran has made some significant advances in the area of women's rights, including in health, literacy and in enrollment rates on both the primary and secondary levels. "But he said, "reports about recent policies that prohibit women's access to a number of fields of study, further restrict women's freedom of movement, and current polices that continue to impede women's ability to hold certain decision-making positions in Government remain problematic."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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