GENEVA (5 June 2015) – The detention of journalists and human rights defenders weakens the protection of human rights of all in Iran, United Nations Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed has said today, expressing serious concerns at the arbitrary and unlawful arrest, detention and prosecution of journalists and rights activists in the country.
The Special Rapporteur expressed special concern at the arrest, detention and trial of Jason Rezaian, a reporter of the Washington Post, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent of the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National.
The independent expert was equally disturbed by the detentions of Atena Farghadani and Narges Mohammadi, activists known for their human rights work. Ms. Farghadani, a children’s rights activist and artist was recently sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison for ‘spreading propaganda against the system, gathering and colluding against national security and insulting members of the parliament and the Supreme Leader’.
Ms. Mohammadi, the former vice-president of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre and one of the founders of the group ‘Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty’, was arrested on 5 May 2015 in order to serve the remainder of the six-year prison sentence she had received in April 2012 on charges of ‘assembly and collusion against national security, membership in Defenders of Human Rights Centre, and propaganda against the system’.
(Human rights center – 5 June 2015)