Friday, October 31, 2014

Persecution, torture, murder: Iran blasted on human rights ahead of UN hearing

Public executions in Iran are often witnessed by children and are meted out for offenses such as
homosexuality and drug possession. (Courtesy: Iran Human Rights)
(Fox News) On the eve of Iran's defense of its human rights record Friday before a key United Nations panel, a lawyer for the woman executed in the Islamic Republic over the weekend for allegedly killing her attempted rapist accused the regime of widespread torture and murder.

A UN-appointed human rights advocate had already prepared a voluminous account of Tehran's egregious transgressions, including persecution and imprisonment of religious minorities, alarming numbers of executions and systematic disregard of due process by Saturday, when Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 27-year-old woman who had spent the last seven years in prison, was hanged. Jabbari became an international symbol of the regime's brutality, with the UN and rights groups such as Amnesty International decrying her death sentence. Jabbari's execution served to punctuate this week's hearings, including the independent forum in Geneva on Thursday and a procedure today before a UN Human Rights Council panel.


At least three American citizens are believed to be held in Iraq, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, a Boise, Idaho, married father of two who went back to his homeland to help establish a secular orphanage and was imprisoned for proselytizing; Amir Hekmati, a U.S. Marine who went to visit an ailing grandparent and was arrested and accused of being a spy and Robert Levinson, a former FBI and DEA agent who disappeared while investigating a cigarette -smuggling ring in the Kish Islands and is now believed to be the longest-held hostage in American history. Iran denies it is holding Levinson, but the State Department says it is.