Iran Focus: London, Jul. 27 The European Union blasted on Wednesdays Iran human rights violations and urged Tehran to refrain from punishing individuals for expressing their thoughts. Iran Focus
London, Jul. 27 The European Union blasted on Wednesdays Iran human rights violations and urged Tehran to refrain from punishing individuals for expressing their thoughts.
The 25-nation block expressed serious concern about the deteriorating situation with regard to the freedom of expression and the status of human rights defenders in Iran, according to a statement issued by the EU Council in Brussels.
It called on Iran to implement fully its international human rights obligations, notably those contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which guarantees the right to form and join trade unions.
Notwithstanding these international obligations, the EU has noted with concern a number of recent cases where human rights defenders, including lawyers and labour protesters, have been detained or sentenced to lengthy prison terms as a result of the peaceful exercise of their rights, it said.
It highlighted the case of human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani who was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of deprivation of civil rights on the grounds of revealing classified information and publicising anti-regime propaganda. This sentence was taken by a penal revolutionary tribunal, behind closed doors. The EU only recognises the judiciary decisions taken after a fair and public trial conducted by an impartial and independent tribunal established by law, it added.
The EU said that Farshid Yadollahi and Omid Behrouzi, two lawyers who defended a number of Sufis in the holy city of Qom, had themselves been sentenced to one year in prison, 74 lash and fines.
The statement said that the EU had received information on the recent arrests of nine labour protesters in Tehran in the context of a peaceful demonstration for allegedly disturbing public order.
The EU calls on Iran to refrain from punishing individuals for peacefully exercising their rights as guaranteed in international human rights conventions, including the right to freedom of expression, it added.