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Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’
April 9, 2014

Iran Weekly: Selected News & Developments

The fol­low­ing is a selec­tion of news reports and com­men­tary from Iran­ian media and main­stream pub­li­ca­tions on devel­op­ments per­tain­ing to Iran. This weekly update includes a sam­pling of pub­lished reports from Iran’s Farsi-language media* as well as rel­e­vant arti­cles from the inter­na­tional press.

Iran­ian Media

FM: Iran’s negotiations with Powers not related to economic pressures

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)

While addressing expatriate Iranian researchers and university professors in Vienna before the resumption of talks with the P5+1, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “The Iranian nation has opted for negotiations based on its moderate spirit and its tendency for moderation and interactions. He also added, “If anyone thinks that the Iranian nation has chosen negotiations due to the economic pressures, he/she is definitely wrong in his/her analysis.”

Iran’s overhauled warship proves successful in joint drills with Oman

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)

Following the completion of joint naval drills with Oman on Monday, Deputy Commander of the Navy for Operations Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said, “[The] Shamshir missile-launcher warship is capable of firing different mid-range and long-range surface-to-surface missiles, including Nour and Qader, or any other type of missile after its recent overhaul.”

Commander raps West for double-standards towards human rights issues

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)ali-fadavi-irgc-iran

In response to last week’s European Union resolution criticizing Iran’s human rights violations, Brigadier General and Commander of the IRGC Ali Fadavi said, “The enemies of the Islamic Revolution consider justice and Human Rights to be in their right places when they serve the interest of company-owners, domineering power and international Zionism.”

Zarif questions EP’s legitimacy to preach on human rights

(Tasnim News Agency – April 6, 2014)

Following the European Union’s resolution against Iran on human rights, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded with: “Given the political weight, laws and the recent history in Europe…, it is obvious that the European Parliament lacks legitimacy and popularity to preach to the others on observing the human rights.”

Ayatollah Kermani: The people of Iran will not permit the Europeans to establish a new den of spies*

(Basij News Agency – April 4, 2014)

Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, one of Tehran’s Friday prayer leaders, responded to the EU’s human rights resolution against Iran by telling the faithful that “The people of Iran will not allow the European Union to open a new spy den in the country.”

IRGC Commander: Iran to give ‘stunning’ response to enemies’ threats

(Fars News Agency – April 3, 2014)

Commander of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force Qassem Suleimani boasted of Iran’s prowess over its enemies. “The enemies do not realize that the Iranian people are able to astound them. Relying on its devoted nation, our country will strongly confront any threat posed by the enemies,” Suleimani said in Southern Kerman province.

Inter­na­tional Media

 

Iran’s supreme leader: Nuclear talks should continue, but without concessions

(Ynet – April 9, 2014)

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei confirmed that negotiations will continue; however, he emphasized that “all should know that negotiations will not stop or slow down any of Iran’s activities in nuclear research and development.”

Spain arrests four accused of attempting to export equipment to Iran

(CNN – April 8, 2014)

One Iranian and three Spaniards were arrested by Spanish authorities for secretly trying to export industrial equipment to Iran that could be used to make missile parts or enrich uranium.

Iran’s choice for U.N. post denied entry into the U.S.

(The New York Times – April 7, 2014)

The U.S. Senate voted against issuing a visa to Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations due to charges that he was involved in the 1979 United States Embassy hostage-taking crisis in Tehran.

Chinese man, Iran firms charged in nuclear export case

(Bloomberg – April 4, 2014)

A Chinese national and two Iranian firms were charged with conspiring to export devises that can be used to enrich uranium.

Iran must see ramifications if nuclear talks fail, former advisors say

(The Wall Street Journal – April 4, 2014)

Two former advisers to the Obama Administration call for the White House and Congress to increase the threat of using military force against Iran if talks fail.

Boeing, GE say get U.S. license to sell spare parts to Iran

(Reuters – April 4, 2014)

Boeing and General Electric Co. announced that they had received licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department to export some spare parts for Iran’s aging commercial aircrafts.

Iranians avoid bad luck with outdoor festival

(The Sun Herald – April 2, 2014)

A report on the Iranian festival of “Sizdeh Bedar,” the last day of the long Persian New Year celebration.

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February 28, 2014

U.S. Highlights Anti-Semitism as a Human Rights Concern

Yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, a compendium of the world’s worst human rights violations, including Bashar Al-Assad’s brutality against his own people in Syria and crackdowns on fundamental freedoms in places like Russia, Egypt, and Ukraine.

The report highlighted another major human rights concern that manifests in just about every region: the persistence of anti-Semitism, whether promoted by official media, political parties, or peddled on the streets in the form of graffiti or harassment.

 

Anti-Semitism also remained a significant problem in 2013. According to a survey of eight European member states by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, harassment of Jews continued, with one-quarter of respondents stating they experienced some form of anti-Semitic harassment in the 12 months before the survey. In the Middle East, media occasionally contained anti-Semitic articles and cartoons, some of which glorified or denied the Holocaust and blamed all Jews for actions by the state of Israel.

Threats to religious practice also emerged during the year. For example, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a non-binding resolution implying that religious male circumcision – as practiced by Jews and Muslims, and other religions – is a human rights violation.

 

These reports are cause for concern but they also point to the increase in U.S. reporting on anti-Semitism as a human rights problem.  ADL has called for rigorous U.S. monitoring as an indispensable tool in spotlighting the problem and supported enactment of the law requires U.S. embassies to report trends in anti-Semitism as part of their core human rights work.

Today, the number of countries in which the State Department is documenting incidents of anti-Semitism has more than doubled since that new law was enacted.  The increased coverage of anti-Semitism in these annual reports reflects a greater awareness of what anti-Semitism is and how it threatens human rights.  Indeed, the reports have grown increasingly attentive to the issue of how anti-Semitism in the public discourse puts Jews at risk, as well as how hostility toward Israel and Jews is too frequently commingled.

The State Department’s Report details infringements on human rights around the globe, including but not limited to government-sponsored persecution, bias and bigoted portrayal of minority groups in the media, anti-Semitic incidents, attacks on the LGBT community, and the marginalization of persons with disabilities. Secretary Kerry highlighted, in yesterday’s press conference, the nearly 80 countries that criminalize homosexuality around the globe, and the struggle that those of the LGBT community face to survive, even in countries where homosexuality is not criminalized.

This routinized and required scrutiny of anti-Semitism and the full panoply of rights violations is accompanied by increased awareness and enhanced engagement by America’s diplomats.  And we know that understanding the nature and magnitude of a problem  is an essential jumping off point for prevention. When there is data, there is awareness; where there is awareness, there can be action.

 

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December 10, 2013

Promoting Human Rights on the 65th Anniversary of the Historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first ever global assertion that “all human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms.” The world celebrates annual Human Rights Day on December 10th each year.  This December, ADL honors the UDHR’s 65th anniversary by continuing to fight for the rights enshrined in that momentous declaration and by teaching new generations of children to learn about the principles it reflects.

Eleanor Roosevelt holding the Human Rights Declaration

Human Rights Day has particular meaning for ADL because anti-Semitism and the persecution of Jews was the touchstone for the creation of some of the foundational human rights instruments in the aftermath of the Holocaust.  ADL is committed to educating youth about the lessons of the Holocaust and how bigotry and exclusion can lead down a slippery slope toward unspeakable atrocities, and our web site features a short list of books for children on the UDHR and how it relates to the rights of children globally.

ADL is engaging activists in protecting the rights championed by this historic document whether it is by protecting the right of all children to an education, freedom of religion and belief for all, or freedom to associate and to seek asylum from persecution. This month, our priority human rights issues have put the spotlight on:

Today, through our activism and raising awareness, we honor the spirit of the moving words of, one of the UDHR’s authors, Eleanor Roosevelt, who asked:

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

 

— Eleanor Roosevelt, “In Our Hands” (1958 speech delivered on the tenth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

 

 

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