EU registers concerns about rights violations in Iran

ImageTehran, Iran, Nov. 24 – The European Union criticised on Wednesday violations of freedom of speech in Iran and called on Tehran to adhere to its international obligations and commitments to human rights.

The British Embassy in Tehran, in its role as the European Union (EU) Presidency, in a statement said that the Islamic Republic had violated “rights of freedom of expression and freedom of association”.

“Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides for the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to freedom of expression. Recent cases have cast doubt over the Iranian authorities’ commitment to these obligations”, the statement said.

The EU highlighted the cases of dissident journalist Akbar Ganji and jailed lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani. It said that their imprisonments “are in contravention of principles in international conventions that Iran has signed up to”.

It said that dissidents were facing persecution because of peaceful expression of their views.

“The European Union expressed its concern about the incidents of suppression of labour rights described in the section on Iran in the recently released International Confederation of Free Trade Unions’ annual survey”, the statement added.

“The European Union regrets that the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran are unable fully to enjoy the rights to freedom of expression and association to which they are entitled”, it said, while urging Tehran to “fulfil its international obligations and commitments to human rights”.