NCRI - The United Kingdom has classified Iran as a "Human Rights Priority Country," warning that the high number of executions carried out by the regime is of "particular concern."
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2015 Human Rights and Democracy Report, published on Thursday, April 21, 2016, said that in 2015, "Iran’s human rights record continued to cause great concern."
"President Rouhani pledged to improve the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Iran when he was elected in 2013. He also promised reforms on discrimination against women and members of ethnic minorities, and on greater space for freedom of expression and opinion. However, there has been little evidence of positive change," the report said.
"In some cases, the situation in Iran appears to have worsened. The high number of executions is of particular concern."
"The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran believes that between 966 and 1,025 people were executed in Iran in 2015, a substantial increase on 2014 and the highest number in over a decade."
"The majority of newspapers, TV and radio are government-controlled, and the internet and social media sites are heavily restricted. Journalists, bloggers and human rights activists are regularly arrested and detained. In November, over 170 individuals were arrested for messages they published on social media apps."
"Women do not enjoy the same rights and privileges as men in Iran and continue to face discrimination. For example, married women need the consent of their husbands to leave the country and can be banned from travelling abroad if their spouses do not sign the paperwork needed to obtain or renew a passport."
"While some religious minorities are formally protected in the constitution, the reality is that many non-Muslims face discrimination and attempts by Muslims to change their faith may lead to criminal prosecution. For example, there are regular reports of the arrest of members of Christian 'house churches' and in 2015 a number of Baha’i-owned businesses were reportedly closed by the authorities for observing non-sanctioned holy days."
The report said there were "concerning trends" in Iran "such as the increase in use of the death penalty, juvenile executions, and continued persecution of religious minorities."
The report pointed out that the UK has helped to maintain the listing of over 70 officials of the Iranian regime under the "Iran human rights sanctions regime."
"We welcome the renewal of the mandate for the UN Special Rapporteur in Iran. We will continue to support this mandate," the report added.