As delivered by Ambassador Hans Brattskar
Norway would like to start by paying our respects following the recent passing of Ms. Asma Jahangir. Her work as UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been of great importance and she will be missed as a leading global human rights defender.
Norway has a principled stance against death penalty. We remain concerned about the use of death penalty in Iran, especially the fact that Iran continues to execute individuals convicted of crimes committed before they were eighteen years of age, including three this year.
Norway welcomes the amendment of the drug-trafficking law which should lead to fewer death penalties. We do, however, note that the amended law retains mandatory death sentences for a wide range of drug-related offences.
Norway remains worried about the status of freedom of expression and media in Iran and that these freedoms continue to be curbed. In December 2017, President Rouhani stated "We need a secure communication atmosphere for people, not a suppressive one in which people's rights are violated". We join the hope expressed in the rapport of the Special Rapporteur that that this resolve will be sustained and allow greater freedom of expression and access to information within the country.