Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America as delivered by Michele Roulbet
31st Session of the Human Rights Council
March 14, 2016
The United States thanks Special Rapporteur Shaheed for his strong reports on the situation in Iran and once again calls on Iran to admit him for a country visit. Despite his lack of access, the Special Rapporteur continues to document the bleak human rights situation in Iran, and we call for the renewal of the mandate this session. Widespread torture, political imprisonment, lack of fair trial guarantees, harassment of ethnic and religious minorities, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association are among the abuses committed in Iran almost daily.
Iran’s continued execution of individuals for crimes allegedly committed as juveniles and prolonged arbitrary detention of individuals for the exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms are unacceptable. Journalists, artists, ethnic minority advocates, student activists, human rights defenders, and defenders of women’s rights are among the individuals who are detained arbitrarily, in miserable conditions, and often without access to a lawyer and family visitation – in violation of Iran’s own laws.
We also highlight the continued documentation by the Special Rapporteur of severe restrictions on religious minorities in Iran. Members of the Baha’i, Sunni and Sufi Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Yarsan, and Zoroastrian religious minority communities face harassment by government officials and are disproportionately sentenced to harsher penalties by courts compared to members of the majority.
We extend our gratitude to the Special Rapporteur for his efforts. Dr. Shaheed, how can we ensure that the international community remains engaged on the human rights situation in Iran?