Monday, 26 October 2009

EU says EU Presidency: “deeply concerned” by human rights situation in Iran

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Washington, 24 October (WashingtonTV)—The European Union on Friday voiced deep concern over the human rights situation in Iran, including the continued imprisonment of political prisoners detained in the aftermath of the June presidential election.

In a statement released late on Friday, the Swedish Presidency of the EU said it was “appalled” by reports of mistreatment and torture of detainees, and called on Iranian authorities to carry out thorough investigations into allegations that have been made.
“At least 4 000 people were arrested nationwide in the aftermath of the elections. Some have been released, but many others remain in detention. These arrests were often accompanied by brutal force,” it said.
The 27-nation bloc said it was “deeply concerned” by the mass trials in Iran of nearly 150 people accused of crimes against national security, and called for the release of journalists and other individuals arrested for political offenses.
“These cases fall short of international standards regarding fair trial that Iran has subscribed to and in many cases also grossly violate Iranian constitutional and legal provisions,” read the statement.
It also expressed concern about the “substantial rise in death sentences in Iran”, in particular the death sentences handed down to at least four individuals convicted in the mass trials.
“These persons appear to have been arrested prior to the June presidential elections, but sentenced in show trials without regard to the right to fair trial in accordance with standards laid down in international human rights law,” it said.
Furthermore, the EU “deplored” the violations of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in connection with the events following the election.
“Restrictions remain at an even higher level than before the elections,” read the statement.
“The EU reiterates its commitment to human rights and democratic values, not least freedom of expression and association. These are universal human rights, and the EU recalls that Iran has committed itself to these rights,” it said.

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