Monday, February 20, 2006


Amnesty International:
(Brussels, 20 February 2006) The EU must address
Iran’s widespread human rights violations, says Amnesty
International, as Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher
Mottaki meets with EU high officials Javier Solana, Benita
Ferrero-Waldner and the European Parliament’s Foreign
Affairs Committee.

Amnesty International has just released a report, "New
government fails to address dire human rights
situation" (available here

describing the failure of the new President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad and his government to address the serious
ongoing human rights violations.

This report illustrates an apparent intensification of
repression over the past six months since the
President took office, which includes frequent use of the
death penalty and torture, persecution of ethnic and
religious minorities and limitations on freedom of speech.

Amnesty International regularly receives new reports
of torture and ill treatment of detainees where the
denial of medical treatment is increasingly common. The
human rights organization is extremely concerned for
the safety of journalist Elham Afroutan who has been
held incommunicado since 29 January 2006 amid unconfirmed
reports that she may be in a coma or may have died
while in custody (see also "Concern for Journalist Elham

Between July 2005 and January 2006, Amnesty
International recorded 69 executions including those of two
alleged minors. Death sentences continue to be imposed for
charges such as drinking alcohol or consensual adult
sexual relations.

"The EU must not be distracted by the current
stand-off surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme," said Dick
Oosting, director of Amnesty International’s EU Office
"Iran is one of the few countries in the world that
continues to execute child offenders. The EU must take
this opportunity to demand that Iran introduces a
moratorium on the executions of minors."

Amnesty International urges the EU high officials
meeting with Mr Manoucher Mottaki to:

Ø  demand that child offenders currently awaiting
execution have their death sentences commuted;

Ø  raise the individual cases described in Amnesty
International’s report and demand the immediate release
of all prisoners of conscience and a fair and free
trial for all political prisoners;

Ø  demand that detainees have prompt and regular
access to lawyers of their own choosing and to appropriate
medical care, if necessary.

The full report "New government fails to address dire
human rights situation", is available at:


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