A: The Universal Periodic Review is meant as a long-term process of engagement between the council and all UN member states to improve the situation of human rights. But the coincidence of
It is quite instructive to see
For example, they outright rejected a visit by the UN expert on torture and ending politically motivated trials and executions, which in itself is a reaffirmation that these gross violations are taking place.
Q: Your organization tracks human rights in
A: Excruciating. There are over one thousand political prisoners in
Q: Also in
A: This has been one on the most bizarre and 1984-ish moments, when the authorities are basically saying the burden of proof for anyone arrested and tortured is on them, even if they produce pictures of their wounds and documentation. This government has a thirty-one-year history of lying. This is the same government that blamed the CIA for
I'm not surprised they are denying it. The letter from Mrs. Karroubi indicates her son was beaten in a mosque, a place of worship for Muslims, which doesn't look good for a country claiming to be built on the principles of Islam.
A: Not only is this government not showing any signs of improvement on human rights, they have actually upped the ante since their embarrassment last December when anti-government protestors took over the funeral for one of the leaders of the revolution, Ayatollah [
In order to avoid any embarrassment on the 31-year anniversary of the revolution, in the two months leading up to the anniversary the government arrested thousands using "blanket detention warrants," giving authorities the power to go to any home, at any time, and arrest anybody without a charge.
Q: The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuked U.S. Secretary of State
A: Throughout the years Khamenei's rhetoric has never shifted from the suspicious anti-American position he loves to espouse. But he's in dire straits right now as an embarrassed Supreme Leader, whose own people are chanting "Death to Khamenei" on the holiest holiday of the year, Ashura. I imagine these days he welcomes any excuse to divert [attention] from his own tenuous predicament.
Q: What should the outside world do to relieve the human rights problems in
A: The outside world must continue to apply pressure on
But what has been proven is the
Q: Can you compare the current situation with previous years of the
A: The situation is worse today than it's been in the past. But make no mistake, this government has been imprisoning, torturing, and killing those who don't agree with their politics, however peacefully, since the day they took power. They had repression down to a science until technology outmaneuvered them.
Q: What do you hear from
A: The level of fear is high now. Since June, this government has been arresting, torturing, and killing people ruthlessly. Most of us live our entire lives and are never fired upon, never know anyone who's been killed or jailed, simply for attending a protest. These are scary times for Iranians. But the people of
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