Amnesty: Iran violations worst in 20 years

Amnesty Iran violations

By TALI MINSBERG
December 9, 2009 20:57
2 minute read.
iran protest 248.88

iran protest 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

Human rights violations in Iran are reportedly "the worst in 20 years," according to a new Amnesty International report on the aftermath of June's presidential elections. The report describes patterns of abuse before, during and after the June election and includes various testimonies and case studies. The report also urges Iranian leadership to allow two key UN human rights experts to visit Iran and help the investigation. "The Iranian leadership must ensure that the many allegations of torture, including rape, unlawful killings and other abuses are fully and independently investigated," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Program. "Members of militias and officials who have committed violations must also be promptly held to account and on no account should any one be executed," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui argued. The haunting testimonies come from individuals such as former detainee Ali Kheradnejad, who fled Iran and spoke out against the travesties occurring within the country. Kheradnejad recalled seeing the abuse of two students, Amir Javadifar, who died in detention due to beatings and ill treatment, and an unnamed student, who came to the Evin prison in a critical condition. "The top of his nose had been broken and his clothes were drenched in blood, but no one came to helped him," Kheradnejad said. The 80-page report also includes in-depth case studies, such as an interview of one unnamed former detainee who described his abuse in the Kahrizak detention center in disturbing detail. He was held for approximately 58 days in a container. "In one of the interrogation sessions they showed me footage of my son in one of the streets of Teheran," the unnamed detainee said. "I was told by the interrogator that they had my son in custody and would rape him if I didn't confess. After seeing the footage I lost control and started screaming. I begged them not to harm my son. I was then beaten by baton until I fainted and was taken back to the container," he testified. While the Iranian government has established two bodies to investigate the post election crisis, the Amnesty International report declared that, "the level of investigations that the government has held so far generally appear to have been intended more to conceal than to expose the truth." Iranian authorities have barred Amnesty International from visiting Iran to investigate human rights violations for the past 30 years. Most recently, Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, have requested entry into Iran and are currently waiting for a response from Iranian authorities. "The Supreme Leader should order the government to invite in UN Special Rapporteurs on torture and on summary and arbitrary executions to help ensure that investigations are both rigorous and independent," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui. "The onus is on the authorities to address the widespread human rights violations that occurred during the unrest in an open, transparent and accountable manner," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui concluded.


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