Wien, 9. September 2010 Press release

“Iranian human rights defenders should be released immediately”

Special Envoy calls upon Iran to comply with its international obligations

Vienna, 9 September 2010 – “I am shocked that the committed journalist and human rights campaigner Shiva Nazar Ahari is threatened with capital punishment,” stated Ursula Plassnik, the Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy for International Women’s Issues and Member of Parliament, commenting on the forthcoming court verdict in relation to Shiva Nazar Ahari.

The court proceedings against the 26-year old activist, who has been particularly committed to fighting for the rights of prisoners, refugees, women and children in Iran, took place on 3rd September 2010 in Tehran. The verdict shall be handed down shortly.

A founding member of an Internet platform reporting on human rights violations in Iran, Shiva Nazar Ahari has been detained at Tehran’s Evin prison since December. Among other things, she has been accused of Mohabereh (enmity against God), which is deemed a capital offence in Iran.

“Iran is called upon to comply with its international obligations in accordance with the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This also includes the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to swift and fair justice. The Iranian regime will not silence the voices of Iranian women by using ever more force and repression. This will not stand a chance,” asserted Plassnik.

“I call upon the Iranian authorities to immediately release Shiva Nazar Ahari and the other courageous human rights activists who have been detained merely for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” concluded Plassnik.

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