March 2, 2014

Statement of Iranian human rights organizations on the fourth anniversary of 2 March 2010

The increasing oppression of human rights defenders which started in 2009 after post-election protests in Iran reached a peak in the early months of 2010. March 2nd is the fourth anniversary of the biggest systematic and wide oppression of human rights defenders by Iranian Security-Intelligence Organizations.

On this date, at least 30 human rights activists in different parts of Iran were arrested and sent to detention centers. They were accused of planned and false charges and their trials have been devoid of transparency and minimum guarantees necessary for a fair trial. These trials led to harsh sentences, such as ten years imprisonment and included suspended sentences, for human rights defenders. Four years have passed and a number of victims such as Mehdi Khodaie, Abolfazl Abedini, Nasour Naghipour, Navid Khanjani, Iqan Shahidi and Mohammad Hassan Yousef Pourseyfi remain in prison.

Human rights organizations, signatories of this statement, recall crackdowns on human rights defenders in recent years, particularly events that took place on March 2nd, which represent the suffering of these activists in Iran. The signatories of this statement believe that the Iranian government not only does not value the work of human rights defenders, but also unlike the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society, to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms trusted by the International Community, the Iranian government itself is the source of systematic oppression of human rights defenders and threatens them. As a result, Iran must be considered an unsafe zone for human rights defenders who strive for the realization of equal rights for all human beings as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Signatories urge the freedom of all detainees of March 2nd and also other human rights defenders in prison including: Abdolfatah Soltani, Mohammad Seifzadeh, Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Saeed Matin Pour, Bahareh Hedayat, Rasoul Bodaghi, Jafar Eghdami, Reza Shahabi, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and many others. These organizations express their concern about the increasing pressure on human rights defenders in Iran and seek the serious attention of the international community on this matter. In addition, signatories urge Dr Ahmad Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, and the UN Human Rights Council to give priority to the problems of human rights defenders in Iran, especially their persecution by the government and its suppressive forces, and to use all measures to persuade the government of Iran to end human rights violations and to unconditionally release human rights defenders from prisons.

These organizations also urge the Iranian government to take the necessary steps to improve the dangerous situation of human rights defenders in Iran who face constant threat. The Iranian government must uphold international conventions and treaties on human rights.
The names of Human Rights Organizations which are signatories of this statement are:

1- Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
2- Third Sphere
3- Justice For Iran
4- Ahwazi Human Rights organization
5- Society of Iran Human rights in Norway
6- Human Rights organization of Kurdistan
7- Human Rights Activists in Iran