Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

statement686

Human Rights Council - 28th Regular Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Islamic Republic of Iran

Australian statement

16 March 2015

Australia welcomes the reports of the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the opportunity to participate in this dialogue with the Special Rapporteur.

Australia welcomes Iran’s engagement with the universal periodic review process and encourages Iran to accept the recommendations of its second review.

Australia remains deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Iran. Australia urges Iran to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, noting the continuing high rate of executions, including of minors.

Australia remains concerned about the ongoing intimidation and arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders, political activists, journalists and lawyers. Australia welcomes the release of some journalists in 2014, but calls on Iran to release all prisoners of conscience. We urge Iran to respect detainees’ human rights, ensure that national laws support the independence of lawyers, and ensure all trials are conducted fairly.

Australia remains concerned about the mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities, including Ahwazi Arabs, Baha’is, Balochs, Christians and Kurds. Women remain subject to entrenched discrimination in law and practice. We urge Iran to take steps to ensure equality, and uphold the freedom of belief and religion.

Australia encourages Iran to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to engage more fully with UN human rights mechanisms, including by enabling the Special Rapporteur to visit the country.

Question: How does the Special Rapporteur see Iran could progress the issue of ensuring fair trials, particularly with regard to activists, lawyers, journalists, and religious and ethnic minorities who peacefully exercise internationally recognised rights?