UN Human Rights Council should appoint special rapporteur on Iran

Press release
en fa

Paris, Tuesday February 22 - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) strongly condemn the widespread use of violence by the security forces against the demonstrators in Iran on 20th February 2011.

Hamed Noor-Mohammadi, a Biology student of Shiraz University, was killed after the security agents threw him down from a bridge in Shiraz. The authorities have kept silent on the report. Throughout the protests, hundreds of people were injured and hundreds of others were arrested across Iran.

On Sunday 20th February 2011, thousands of people took to the streets in various cities of Iran to commemorate the two young people who were killed by the security forces on 14th February, to demand freedom and an end to the theocratic dictatorship in the Islamic Republic. The capital Tehran and large cities such as Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Rasht and other northern cities, Sanandaj and Tabriz were scenes of large scale sporadic demonstrations. In many Kurdish cities in western Iran, the people mostly staged extensive strikes.

While the police and security forces and plain-clothed agents have sought to suppress the demonstrators mainly by baton charges, onslaught by armed motorcyclists and use of tear gas, reliable reports indicate that some of the participants of the 14th February demonstrations, who had been subjected to tear gas attacks, have been vomiting blood, and suffering from partial paralysis and complete loss of voice, possibly as a result of additives in the tear gas.

Vice-president of FIDH and President of the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights, Karim Lahidji said: “The Islamic Republic authorities keep on brutally suppressing protestors, who are demanding their legitimate rights. The international community must now pursue the ideals of freedom and democracy for all peoples, and use all available measures to support the Iranian people, notably by :

- supporting a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council denouncing the deterioration of the human rights situation and appointing a special rapporteur on human rights in Iran,

- urging private telecommunication companies and media organisations to provide free telephone, television, wire and satellite communications within, to and from Iran, in accordance with freedom of speech;

- freezing assets of top level officials and key human rights offenders, and imposing visa bans on them,”

- Calling on all governments to avoid endorsing people’s suppression and not to follow the example of the German Foreign Minister Mr. Westerwelle who visited Tehran and met with Mr. Ahmadinejad on 20th February, precisely as the people were being beaten up and shot by the security forces on the streets for demanding their democratic rights.”

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