Iran’s human rights situation has not improved, says activist

Iranian lawyer and rights activist Shirin Ebadi. (Al Arabiya)

Saturday, 29 November 2014 -Al Arabiya News- Iran’s President Hassan Rowhani has not been able to deliver on his promises to address key human rights issues in the country, Iranian lawyer and rights activist Shirin Ebadi told Al Arabiya’s Diplomatic Avenue on Friday.

Ebadi told Al Arabiya’s New York bureau chief Talal al-Haj that the situation in Iran “has not progressed at all.”
Last month, Iran executed a 26-year-old woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, for allegedly murdering her rapist, in defiance to international pressure to spare her life. The United Nations reported that around 411 people were executed in Iran since the beginning of 2014.
Iran has not let any U.N. rapporteurs into the country for nine years, said Ebadi, citing the example of Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N.’s human rights rapporteur on Iran, who was repeatedly denied an entry visa to the country last month.
Responding to a question whether Iran will abide with the U.N. General Assembly’s Nov. 18 resolution that urged the Islamic Republic’s leaders to conform to international law, Ebadi said: “Many resolutions have passed against Iran… and have asked Iran to make good and deliver on its international promises and obligations.”
Yet “the situation has not improved,” she added.
Not accepting Iran’s “dirty money” – meaning money gained from corrupt practices – is one of the ways in which the international community could force the Iranian leadership to rethink its policies, said Ebadi.
“I am against a military attack on Iran. I am also against economic sanctions against Iran because these too harm people,” she noted. “But there are ways that the government can be weakened without the people being harmed.”
One solution would be to forbid Iranian “violators” of human rights to enter other countries, she said.
“The government Iran always claims that the issue of human rights in Iran is a domestic issue and not an international matter and it’s not up to other countries to talk about it,” she said. “Why is it that Iran interferes in Iraq, in Syria and other countries?”

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