Posts tagged: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

EU Presidency Statement on the case of Kian Tajbakhsh in Iran (Source: European Union)

By , December 2, 2009 10:23 am
The Presidency of the European Union has issued a statement about Kian’s case and the human rights situation in Iran:

“In a declaration of 23 October the European Union expressed concern at the sentencing of American-Iranian scholar Kian Tajbakhsh to 12-15 years in prison. Recent reports that Dr Tajbakhsh now faces additional charges of espionage are deeply worrying. Dr Tajbakhsh was arrested in connection with the popular demonstrations after the Presidential election on 12 June and has been detained in Iran without access to an independent lawyer since 9 July.

The Presidency of the European Union remains deeply concerned by the overall human rights situation in Iran, including the large number of cases similar to that of Dr Tajbakhsh which fall short of the international human rights standards regarding fair trial that Iran has committed itself to implement and which in many cases also violate Iranian constitutional and legal provisions. The Presidency reiterates the call from the European Union to the Iranian authorities to release journalists and individuals detained for political offences.

The Presidency urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with all international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Iran – not least with relevant articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding the right to a fair trial, which is also enshrined in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

[Link to statement]

U.S. White House statement on the sentencing of Kian Tajbakhsh (Source: The White House)

By , October 21, 2009 2:53 am

The United States White House has issued the following statement via its Press Secretary:

“We express our deepest regret and strong objection that the Islamic Republic of Iran has sentenced Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh to 15 years in prison. Mr. Tajbakhsh poses no threat to Iran or its national security. As an independent and internationally-respected scholar, Mr. Tajbakhsh has dedicated his life to fostering greater understanding between Iran and the international community. He embodies what is possible between our two countries. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kian’s family and loved ones on this difficult day.

Further, we are deeply concerned that Mr. Tajbakhsh may have been forced to stand trial in the revolutionary court without the benefit of his own legal counsel. The right to due process is universal and must be respected. The right to a fair and public hearing is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the right to legal representation is also guaranteed in Iran’s own constitution, as well as in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party. We urge Iran to release Mr. Tajbakhsh as soon as possible.”

[Link to statement]

Family and Friends of Detained American-Iranian Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh Decry Decision by Iranian Authorities to Refuse to Receive Petition Calling for his Release

By , July 28, 2009 7:16 pm

Officials at the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York have refused to receive a petition including some 800 signatures by individuals calling for the unconditional release of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh from detention in Iran. Those signing the petition, organized by the New School for Social Research in New York, “strongly deplore and condemn [the] detention and persecution of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh…call for his immediate and unconditional release, and urge the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties to which Iran has long been a signatory.”

New School Professor Arien Mack confirmed that an attempt was made to deliver two envelopes containing the petition, addressed to Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene’i care of the Ambassador, to the Iranian mission to the UN on Wednesday, July 22, but the envelopes were refused. The New School left a message with the Mission’s legal department inquiring about the refusal, but has yet to receive a response.

Other prominent groups including the 3,300 members of PEN American Center, the International Cooperation Agency of Dutch Municipalities, Columbia University, and the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives in Pakistan have called for Kian’s release. PEN, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression, stated in their appeal that they are “deeply concerned that Kian Tajbakhsh has been swept up in a crackdown on peaceful scholars and journalists following the disputed presidential elections in violation of their right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.”

Iranian agents arrested Kian Tajbakhsh, an American citizen, and took him away from his wife and small daughter at their home in Tehran at 9:00pm on July 9, 2009. We still have no information about where Kian was taken. We are concerned that he is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial to falsely accuse ‘foreign powers’ of interference in Iran’s postelection crisis. Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.

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