CPJ joins call for UN members to push Iran on rights

By Sherif Mansour/CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator on November 12, 2015 3:20 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 35 other organizations in calling on member states of the U.N. General Assembly to vote in favor of a resolution for the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran. The vote is scheduled to take place during the 70th session of the General Assembly on November 19.

The resolution welcomes recent commitments by Iranian officials, while drawing attention to the broad range of ongoing human rights violations. It calls on authorities to cooperate with all U.N. Special Procedures, including the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The groups emphasized that this year's resolution follows the July landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, which "provides the international community with an opportunity to focus attention on the chronically dire human rights situation in Iran."

However, since the nuclear deal was forged, Iranian hardliners have spearheaded a crackdown on the media, with arrests of at least five journalists this month, including Issa Saharkhiz, Ehsan Mazandarani, and Saman Sarfarzaee. Journalists and other activists and minorities are put on trials that "often fall far short of international law and standards," the letter noted. In one example of a politicized trial, Iran's judiciary announced on October 12 that Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been convicted, but has yet to specify on what charges or whether the journalist has been sentenced.

Read the full letter here.

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