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SDIR Committee News Release

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Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Sous-comité des droits internationaux de la personne du Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international

For immediate release


NEWS RELEASE


IRAN ACCOUNTABIILTY WEEK 2017

Ottawa, May 15, 2017 -

The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (the Subcommittee) held its fifth annual Iran Accountability Week as part of its ongoing monitoring of the Iranian regime’s human rights record.

The Subcommittee condemns the Iranian regime’s intensification of human rights abuses and repression in 2017, including through the use of execution and torture. As Iran prepares for presidential elections, the criminalization of dissent has intensified, and the persistent oppression of the Baha’i, members of Iran’s LGBTQ community and Iranian women continues unabated.

The Subcommittee deplores the Iranian government’s increasing prosecution and persecution of human rights defenders, academics and political opposition members. Political prisoners continue to be tortured and denied medical treatment, as the regime continues to terrorize its population through public executions. The Subcommittee adds its voice to the chorus of human rights defenders calling for the release of political prisoners, and a moratorium on executions, as part of a transition towards upholding the rule of law.

The Subcommittee denounces in the strongest terms the state-sanctioned discrimination and economic marginalization of the peaceful Baha’i community in Iran. The Subcommittee calls for the unconditional release of the Baha’i Seven, noting that May 14 2017 will mark the nine year anniversary of their detention.

Members of the LGBTQ community continue to be harassed, detained and arrested by security forces, as homosexuality remains criminalized and is punishable by flogging or death. The Iranian government has censored all materials related to LGBTQ issues. Women in Iran are subject to pervasive discrimination both in law and practice. The arbitrary arrest of Montreal professor Dr. Homa Hoodfar, under national security charges, for her decades of academic work on women’s issues, is emblematic of the regime’s attitudes towards women.

The Subcommittee expresses its solidarity with the people of Iran, including political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran, and the human rights defenders who work tirelessly in Iran and abroad, and at a great personal cost, for the promotion, protection and respect for human rights in their country. The Subcommittee notes the vital importance of publicizing Iran’s human rights violations, and calls on Iran to grant the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran access to its country.

The Subcommittee pledges to continue to shine a light on persistent and egregious violations of internationally recognized human rights in Iran, and urges the Government of Canada continue to use every opportunity to apply pressure on the Iranian government to halt its human rights violations.

QUOTES

“Since 2003, Canada has been the lead sponsor of the annual United Nations Resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran. Canadians will continue to stand in support of the Iranian people and to galvanize the international community until universal human rights—particularly civil and political rights, the rights of religious and sexual minorities as well as the rights of women— are respected in Iran, in law and in practice.” Michael Levitt, M.P., Chair

“The tenth anniversary of the detention of the Baha’i Seven is emblematic of the Iranian regime’s intransigence in the face of the international community’s appeals. It is time to redouble our efforts to end the criminalization of thought and belief, and to promote the respect for the rights of all Iranians.” David Sweet, M.P., Vice-Chair

“Members of the LGBTQ community continue to be harassed, detained and arrested by security forces, as homosexuality remains criminalized and is punishable by flogging or death. The Iranian people are a great people. But the current regime does them little justice. Citizens are citizens, and human rights belong to us all. It is long since time for Iran to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation--it must use its legal system to extend human rights to all its peoples, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.” Cheryl Hardcastle, M.P., Vice-Chair

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For more information, please contact:
Angela Crandall, Clerk of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
Tel: 613-996-1540
E-mail: SDIR@parl.gc.ca