Norway would like to thank the outgoing Special Rapporteur for his tireless work in promoting and advocating Human rights in Iran. We also welcome the new Special Rapporteur. We are certain that she will continue the good work of her predecessor.
As a country with a principled stance against death penalty, Norway remains concerned about the use of death penalty in Iran. Since the beginning of 2017, we have registered an increase in executions compared to the same period last year. We hope that this tendency does not continue throughout the year.
Norway remains worried about the status of freedom of expression and media in Iran and that these freedoms continue to be curbed. We have noted with concern the actions against social media users in Iran in recent months. We also remain concerned that Iranian authorities are targeting young persons under the pretext of “un-Islamic behaviour”.
The situation for civil and human rights defenders in Iran remains a concern with continued arrests and prison sentences often based on vague charges. These individuals are constantly under pressure, which makes it impossible to carry out their legitimate work to promote and defend basic rights and freedom.
Last year we asked the Special Rapporteur if he could point to any human rights areas where he witnessed progress. We would like to ask if you the last 12 months could point to any areas where there have been improvement in the human rights situation in Iran?