Launch of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
(5 March 2008) Independent human rights activists are today launching an international campaign to address egregious human rights violations and the repression of human rights activists and social movements in Iran. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran will build global support for human rights and human rights defenders.
“The human rights situation in Iran is among the most critical in the world today. While several governments are more repressive, Iran is particularly dangerous to human rights because of the vulnerability of numerous and diverse independent activists who have been left exposed to harsh repression, with no effective internal or external protection system, and because its government seeks to mobilize the international community against the idea of human rights itself,” the group said. “That is why the international community must rise to the moral challenge of supporting human rights in Iran.”The Campaign cited as evidence of the human rights crisis in Iran: the highest number of juvenile executions and the second highest number of all kinds of executions in the world, sometimes using stoning to kill those accused of such “crimes” as adultery after unfair trials ; torture in prisons and detention facilities; rampant impunity for security and intelligence agents; a legal code that keeps women in an inferior status, while women’s rights campaigners are regularly harassed, arrested, held incommunicado and ill-treated; violations of religious freedom and minority rights; the denial of free speech, freedom of association, open and fair elections, and other basic political and civil rights; and violations of social and economic rights that are impoverishing and oppressing the people of Iran.
The Iranian government uses the climate of international hostility in which it finds itself as a pretext to justify invasive social control, a syndrome to which the West contributes by its military threats. The Campaign opposes any military initiative that would result in the loss of lives or wide scale destruction in Iran and the volatile Persian Gulf region.
“Threats won’t bring human rights and democracy to Iran. But even if security anxieties about Iran were assuaged, its brutal and intolerant practices violating international human rights law would still alienate and isolate Iran from the international community,” the Campaign said.
The Campaign’s initial documentation includes a briefing paper about upcoming parliamentary elections in March. Its close analysis of the parliamentary election process demonstrates that “the Iranian government’s manipulation of the upcoming elections appears to be even more systematic and arbitrary than in the past.”
Analysis of the election process along with profiles of prisoners of conscience and latest news on human rights developments are available at the Campaign’s website www.iranhumanrights.info.
The Campaign is committed to a nonpartisan program to assist Iranian authorities to meet their legal responsibilities to uphold international human rights laws and standards. The Campaign is founded on these principles: that human rights in Iran, and in every country, is a matter of legitimate international concern and essential to establishing international peace and security; that human rights in Iran can only be implemented with the assistance of civil society, whose role must be protected and sustained; that human rights compliance in Iran should be approached from a non-partisan perspective, and detached from political objectives; and that solidarity with any and all peoples prevented from enjoying their human rights is a moral imperative of our time.