UN rights chief calls on Iran to adhere to treaties after arrest of over 30 women activists

6 March 2007

The United Nations human rights chief today expressed strong concern over Iran’s arrest of at least 31 women activists during a peaceful gathering in the capital Tehran at the weekend, and urged the authorities to adhere to all international rights agreements that the country is party to, including the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The United Nations human rights chief today expressed strong concern over Iran’s arrest of at least 31 women activists during a peaceful gathering in the capital Tehran at the weekend, and urged the authorities to adhere to all international rights agreements that the country is party to, including the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour stressed that these women were exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, her office said in a press release. They were demonstrating against the arrests of five women activists who were charged with criminal offences against public order and security for having organized a protest in the capital last June.

Iran is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Civil and Cultural Rights, and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Iran must adhere to the legal obligations undertaken under those treaties to respect all human rights without discrimination, Ms. Arbour was quoted as saying by a spokesperson at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The High Commissioner also encourages the Iranian Government to ratify other international human rights treaties, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol.

In addition, Ms. Arbour highlighted that these arrests, which occurred on Sunday, took place just four days before the celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March that this year is dedicated to the theme of “Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls.” She also noted that on the same day last year, Iranian security forces violently broke up a peaceful gathering of hundreds of women who were demonstrating for their rights in Tehran’s Daneshjoo Park.

 

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