Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Listening to critical voices is crucial to the promotion and protection of all human rights. For whatever reason, the number of NGO’s that took the floor in the Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteurs at this session was 10% less than last year. Indeed Sudwind was not able to contribute to the interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on executions and the WG on discrimination against women as well as the panels on safety of Journalists, FGM and full day discussion on women.
Journalists and other members of the media, including bloggers and social media actors have a crucial role as human rights defenders as they carry out their daily work. Their work contributes to transparency and accountability in public affairs.
They document and disseminate information and opinion which are sometimes perceived to be sensitive by the authorities; such as reports on human rights violations, organized crime, corruption, human trafficking, bad governance, environmental issues and other catastrophes, economic crises, emergencies and public demonstrations.
Through their work, journalists are frequently subject to arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, threats, harassment, searches and seizures, sexual aggression – especially towards female journalists – and even death.
At present, there are no less than 23 journalists being held in prison in the Islamic Republic of Iran for doing nothing other than their jobs.
Mr. Amir Mohammad Mir Damady, Known as Seraj Mir Damady, is a journalist who reported to the human rights council on the crackdown on Iranian journalists during our Side Event in Geneva. He was arrested on 30 April 2014 and is accused of spreading falsehoods and conspiracy against regime. He is being held at Evin Prison in Tehran.
Mrs Saba Azarpeyk is another journalist who was arrested on 28 May 2014 and has not been heard of since. Her whereabouts are unknown and there is no information concerning the charges against her.
Iranian journalists working for the international media outside Iran are regularly harassed and defamed in Iran’s state-owned and state-affiliated media.
We call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to fully protect journalists as monitors of human rights in line with Iran’s international legal obligations.