Australian statement on Iran
12 March 2012
Australia welcomes the first report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran to be submitted to the Human Rights Council.
Australia remains deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Iran. Australia remains universally opposed to the death penalty and we are troubled by the reported increase in the number of executions in Iran.
Australia is deeply concerned about the intimidation and arbitrary arrest of human rights and political activists, the suppression of freedom assembly, and the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, including Baha’is.
We are also concerned about the case of Mr Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been sentenced to death for apostasy. We urge the Iranian Government to review this case.
We urge Iran to stay all executions, respect the human rights of all detainees and ensure all trials are conducted fairly.
Australia is aware that there is continuing pressure on the arts community, and we are concerned about reports that many directors and actors have been arrested, detained and harassed.
We welcome the omission of stoning as a punishment in the newly ratified Islamic Penal Code, but we note the Special Rapporteur’s concerns that the Penal Code still discriminates against women and girls as well as ethnic and religious minorities.
Australia supports the Special Rapporteur’s conclusion that there is a need for greater transparency and closer engagement by Iran with the Human Rights Council and UN human rights mechanisms, and note the Special Rapporteur’s regret that the Iranian Government has not permitted visits by thematic special procedures mandate holders since 2005. We encourage Iran to engage in constructive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, and the international community at large, on human rights.