Iran's president has not delivered on pledges of more freedom, UN chief says

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's promises of greater freedoms for the Islamic Republic have not resulted in any major improvements regarding human rights and freedom of expression, the UN chief said in a new report on Iran.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's annual report to the General Assembly on human rights in Iran, obtained by Reuters on Friday, also expressed alarm at the reported recent increase in executions in Iran.
"President Rouhani has pledged to decrease restrictions on freedom of expression and to ensure security for the press," the report said. "Unfortunately, those promises have not yet led to significant improvements, and restrictions on freedom of expression continue to affect many areas of life."
But reporters, Ban said, continue to face restrictions and other difficulties.
"Journalists and other media personnel are frequently summoned or detained by the judiciary or face harassment and attacks by security forces," his report said.
Rouhani, who took office in August 2013, promised in April that religious and ethnic minorities "must feel justice." Also in April, the head of Iran's High Council for Human Rights said members of the Baha'i community, which has been persecuted, were entitled to the same rights as all Iranian citizens.
"However, discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities reportedly persists both in law and in practice," the report said. "Baha'is remain barred from access to higher education and government employment; they also continue to experience governmental interference in private employment."
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