Thursday, 7 January 2010

Examiner: Iran warned by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

In a statement issued today, Navi Pillay the UN Human Rights chief issued a stern warning to the Iranian government concerning the recent violence in Iran.

Pillay asked Iran to reign in what she deemed excessive use of force to contain the opposition. She said "while the exact circumstances of at least 7 people killed have yet to be determined, preliminary evidence suggests the paramilitary Basij militia and other state law enforcement agents are using excessive force to control demonstrators. The High Commissioner also expressed concern about continuing reports of arrests of political activists, journalists, human rights defenders and other civil society actors.

Iran pro-government supporters staged their own demonstration in Tehran today. It did not have the energy and zest of the oppositions demonstration but thousands did show up. The pro-government supporters are older on average than opposition members.
The UN High Commissioner went on to say "Those who have been arrested, for whatever reason, must be accorded due process that is fully in line with international human rights standards and norms, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."
Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that 'no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention', and everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.

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