Iran General NewsU.N. rights experts stress Iran concerns, seek visit

U.N. rights experts stress Iran concerns, seek visit


ImageReuters: United Nations human rights experts Wednesday sought permission to visit Iran and assess conditions there following the country's election unrest.

ImageGENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights experts Wednesday sought permission to visit Iran and assess conditions there following the country's election unrest.

The six independent investigators said they were concerned that political opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were continuing to be targeted and threatened by militia.

Iranian students, clerics and others speaking out against abuses by security forces also have been reportedly injured, arrested and stifled from speaking in the weeks since the contested June 12 vote, according to the special rapporteurs.

"The legal basis for the arrests of journalists, human rights defenders, opposition supporters and scores of demonstrators remains unclear," Manuela Carmena Castrillo of Spain, Philip Alston of Australia, Frank La Rue of Guatemala, Manfred Nowak of Austria, Margaret Sekaggya of Uganda and Santiago Corcuera of Mexico said in a joint statement.

"Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly continue to be undermined and the situation of human rights defenders is increasingly precarious," they said in a text circulated by the United Nations in Geneva. "Independent investigations into the actions of the security forces have yet to be carried out."

The experts on detention, execution, torture and other issues, who report to the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, urged the Iranian government "to uphold its obligations under international law to protect human rights in the country."

"We also encourage Iran to honour its standing invitation to United Nations experts to conduct official visits to the country, by accepting the outstanding requests made by several Special Procedures mandate holders to allow international independent scrutiny of the current situation," they wrote.

(Reporting by Robert Evans and Laura MacInnis; editing by Myra MacDonald)

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