Iranian Human Rights Activists Charge Iran with 230,000 Violations in One Month


iranHuman rights activists in Iran published data documenting 230,000 cases of human rights violations during the past month. The charges cite a wide range of abuses, from unwarranted arrests to persecution¬†of religious minorities, to violations of workers’ rights.

“This should be a key focus of the upcoming UN Conference on Racism, known as Durban III. Victims of these abuses should be invited to speak,” said Conference of Presidents Chairman Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.

Concurrent with the released reports, Maryam Bigdelia, a female journalist and human rights promoter, was arrested in her home in Qom, Iran. Two adherents to the Baha’i faith were also arrested by Iranian police following a raid on their province. The arrests are the latest attacks in the longstanding persecution of followers of the Baha’i faith in Iran.

“To be true to its purpose, the Durban III conference scheduled for September should highlight the abuses of countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and others,” said Stone and Hoenlein.

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents also called on the organizers of September’s UN conference to refrain from the hateful anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-Western rhetoric that marked the first two such conferences.

The original conference, titled the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance,” was held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. It produced the problematic Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which singled out Israel with charges of racism but named no other state.

Durban II, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2009, featured Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who used the international platform to deny the Holocaust and call for genocide against the Jewish state. Many countries did not attend or walked out of the conference. Attempts by some countries to impose an extremist political agenda, as happened in 2001, failed.

The Durban III conference is meant to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the first Durban conference, prompting concerns that displays of anti-Semitism and racism will again undermine the stated goals of the Durban review process.

“Real human rights abuses are not addressed because the Durban process has been hijacked by the world’s worst offenders of human rights. As they fire on their own citizens for exercising freedom of speech, their leaders condemn Israel in a hypocritical attempt to divert the world’s attention away from their own misdeeds. So long as such hypocrisy defines the UN’s Durban III conference, the countless victims of racism and human rights abuses around the world will continue to have their voices silenced,” said Stone and Hoenlein.

{Noam Newscenter}