Ambassador Richard Erdman
Senior Area Advisor for Near East Affairs
New York, New York
October 25, 2021
Thank you, Special Rapporteur Rehman.
We remain concerned about death sentences following unfair trials and forced confessions reportedly obtained through torture. The most recent example is the reporting on the imminent execution of Heidar Ghorbani. Iran also continues to execute child offenders despite its prohibition under the ICCPR and Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a party.
We are alarmed by Iran’s repression of the right to freedom of expression in online fora, including through Internet shutdowns, measures to unlawfully or arbitrarily block or takedown media websites and social networks, and other widespread restrictions on Internet access or dissemination of information online.
We are also alarmed by Iran’s pattern of reaching outside its borders to assassinate, kidnap, or target human rights activists. Iran’s recent efforts to kidnap Masih Alinejad are a clear example of Iran’s efforts to prevent the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Question: Given the videos from Evin Prison, arrest of Sepideh Gholian, and the call by some Iranian officials to punish the abusers, do you see any opportunities to engage with Tehran to enhance accountability of individuals deemed violators?