Sudwind fully supports your opening statement, empathising with you and your office's feelings of exhaustion and anger based on the issues of asylum seekers, and the world's general human rights situation. We as well as the rest of the world wept over the body of Aylan.
Mr. High Commissioner, Sudwind are in support of the Iran deal with the international community and are also concerned with the accelerated use of the death penalty in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Around 750 individuals were executed from the beginning of 2015, yet this number is still rising rapidly. Our concern on arbitrary detention and lack of access to fair trials is that it is not only limited to journalists and bloggers, or even human rights defenders in Iran, but all prisoners of conscience as well as other prisoners.
Mostafa Azizi, a filmmaker and author, was arrested on 1 February 2015 after he had returned from Canada, where he is a permanent resident, to care for his ailing father in Tehran. He has been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of "collusion", propaganda against the ruling regime and insulting the Supreme Leader. While waiting for his appeals court on 20 September, he suffers from many health problems, including acute asthma. The sole evidence used against Mr Azizi, are the posts he has made on social media.
Said Razavi Faghih, a journalist and prisoner of conscience, began a dry hunger strike yesterday due to his unfair health treatment. He suffered from pulmonary heart disease, and had undergone heart surgery in February 2015. He was required to stay in hospital after surgery, but was instead transferred back to prison shortly after.
Just yesterday, a prisoner of conscience and union worker activist, Shahrokh Zamani was reported to have died in the Rejaishahr Prison in Iran. The 51-year-old's cause of death has not been officially released, but in a previous letter that he had written to Dr. Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, he stated that he had been given death threats from the security forces. He claimed that if he were to die in prison, it would not be a coincidence but related to the security forces actions. Sudwind are fearful of the neglected health care treatment of prisoners, in particular, prisoners of conscience. In Sudwind's previous oral statements, we informed this council of the deaths of Afshin Osaloo and Hoda Saber in prison, both civil society activists and prisoners of conscience. Their cause of death was also due to their health being neglected, and not receiving proper treatment for their illnesses.