Ban Ki-moon

The UN Secretary General has expressed great concern over the rise in human rights violations in Iran.

Crackdowns on opponents, the arrest of bloggers and lawyers and allegations of torture and unfair trials are rife, Ban Ki-moon told the human rights council meeting in Geneva on Monday.

In an 18-page report, the UN Secretary General expressed alarm at the execution of political prisoners, juvenile offenders and drug traffickers, noting a surge in the number of executions.

Ban Ki-moon said that despite a 2002 directive from the former head of Iran’s judiciary to halt stoning sentences, these sentences are still being issued.

He called on Iran to allow UN human rights investigators to visit Iran to assess the situation. No such visit has taken place since 2005, despite several requests from the UN.

The 47-member human rights council will discuss the report on March 23, and a Swedish resolution condemning human rights violations in Iran will be voted on next week.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran announced that in view of the UN report, the Human Rights Council should now appoint a special rapporteur for Iran to assess these violations.

The 16th Human Rights Council meeting has been in session since February 28 and will continue until March 25.

Several Iranian groups have organized sit-ins in front of the human rights offices in Geneva to bring attention to the escalating human rights violations in Iran.