Human Rights Watch has released its 2010 world report on human rights abuses. According to the group, there is a human rights crisis in Iran. Most of the abuses stem from the political demonstrations from the elections held back in June of last year. Most of us with common sense realized that an Iranian human rights crisis existed long before HRW decided to publish its report; however it is important that all groups from all political stripes recognize the abuses taking place there.
Following the elections which took place in June, very brave Iranians took to the streets to protest what they deemed unfair and rigged elections. The Islamic Republic immediately cracked down on protesters in a major and violent way. According to HRW at least 30 were killed in the protests. In their report, Human Rights Watch outlines several infractions in Iran’s human rights crisis.
Torture and Harsh treatment of prisoners is one of the major infractions by the Islamic Republic of Iran. HRW documents 26 cases in which torture was used to coerce false confessions; false confessions of what I’m not exactly sure. Several prominent figures we’re given what HRW describes as “show trials” where they publically “confessed” to crimes against the government.
Journalists were routinely imprisoned for publishing critical views of the government; aren’t you glad it hasn’t come to that here? We take for granted the freedoms we have under the 1st Amendment and the Bill of Rights as a whole. As part of the Iranian human rights crisis, graduate students are not allowed to enroll in classes if they were politically active against the government and of course like China, Iran blocks websites from within the country as well as foreign sites critical of the government crackdown.
Another aspect of the Iranian human rights crisis is the crackdown on those simply associated with political activists. Anyone who is part of or associated with a group advocating improvement in human rights has been targeted.
One of the harshest violations of human rights in Iran would have to be its use of the death penalty. HRW reports that Iran is second only to China in carrying out death sentences. Most executions occur after the accused has not been given a fair trial and has had inadequate access to legal counsel.
I’ve provided a link to the full report here, but you get the idea. The Iranian human rights crisis is something that requires more than just lip service from Washington and the International Community as a whole. Human rights victims include lawyers who advocate human rights, minorities, homosexuals, and basically anyone who doesn’t tow the government party line. It’s amazing that groups here spend so much time railing against our country being a violator of human rights when there is so much real violation going on all around us.