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ICC NOTE: For the full report go the Amnesty International Website

Rights group criticizes Iran regime’s record

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

NCRI – Amnesty International annual report 2006 covering world’s state of human rights in 2005 was released today. The report is critical of rights abuses in Iran .

According to AI: “Scores of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, continued to serve prison sentences imposed following unfair trials in previous years. Hundreds more were arrested in 2005, mostly in connection with civil unrest in areas with large minority populations. Internet journalists and human rights defenders were among those detained arbitrarily without access to family or legal representation, often initially in secret detention centres. Intimidation of the families of those arrested persisted. Torture remained commonplace. At least 94 people were executed, including at least eight who were under 18 at the time of their alleged offence. Many sentences of flogging were imposed. The true number of those executed or subjected to corporal punishment was believed to be considerably higher than the cases reported.”

On the repression of minorities the report stated: “Discriminatory laws and practices remained a source of social and political unrest and of human rights violations, particularly against Iran ’s ethnic and religious minorities. In July the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing visited Iran . He found discrimination in the distribution of resources, and in access to and quality of housing, water and sanitation in areas populated by minorities.”

Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments were also in focus: “Torture continued to be routine in many prisons and detention centres. At least five people died in custody. In several cases, torture or ill-treatment may have been a factor. Denial of medical treatment to put pressure on political prisoners emerged as an increasingly common practice.”

Concerned with freedom of expression and association, AI reported: “Freedom of expression and association remained severely curtailed. Journalists and webloggers were detained and imprisoned and some newspapers were closed down. Relatives of detainees or those sought by the authorities remained at risk of harassment or intimidation.”

On women’s rights abuses the annual report noted: “The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women visited Iran in January and February. She criticized the arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment of women, including women human rights defenders, and called on Iran to adopt a national action plan to promote and protect human rights that would eliminate violence against women. She also expressed particular concern at discriminatory laws and failures in the administration of justice which result in impunity for perpetrators and perpetuate discrimination and violence against women.”