[Human Rights] HRC / 22nd Session, Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteuron the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Thank you Mr. President,
Austria fully aligns herself with the statement of the European Union.
Mr. Rapporteur, we thank you for your detailed report and presentation. Austria shares your deep concern over the continuing widespread systematic violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We are deeply concerned about the situation of human rights defenders in the country, who are subjected to harassment, arrest, interrogation, and torture, and who are frequently charged with vaguely-defined national security crimes. We also deplore the continued arrests, detention and prosecution of artists and labour activists as well as journalists and bloggers. According to your latest reporting around 60 journalists are currently imprisoned in Iran.
Austria calls for their immediate release. We furthermore call on Iran to stop all harassment and attacks against human rights defenders, artists, labour activists and journalists and to create a safe and enabling environment for them to operate.
We are alarmed by the disturbing rate of public executions in Iran, especially in the absence of fair trial standards, and the application of capital punishment to offences that do not meet the “most serious crimes” standards, in accordance with international law. Despite steps taken by Iran to abolish the death penalty for juveniles, executions still continue.
Austria is urging the government to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty, in particular in the light of the consistent pattern of violations of due process standards.
We also remain deeply concerned about the situation of religious minorities in Iran. While members of recognized religious minorities face discrimination, members of unrecognized religious minorities, including in particular the Baha’i, are subjected to systematic persecution.
We echo your call for the immediate release of prisoners of conscience such as the leaders of the Baha’I community and would like to ask you to further elaborate on these cases.
Austria is a strong supporter of your mandate and will support its renewal at this session. In this respect we call on the Iranian government to provide you with full and unhindered access to the country and to fully engage with all special procedures, treaty bodies and the OHCHR, in order to overcome the serious human rights problems in the country.
I thank you.