Statement by First Secretary Sean Lobo at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Item 4 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Delivered at 9 March 2020
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Norway thanks the Special Rapporteur for his comprehensive report and reaffirms Norway’s firm support for the renewal of the mandate of the rapporteur.
The high number of executions still being carried out, are of great concern. In particular, we regret the continued use of capital penalty on persons who were under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged offences.
Norway deplores the continuing intimidation and discrimination of a number of ethnic and particularly religious minorities. One recent development that causes a particular concern is the introduction of new rules for obtaining new national identity cards that will exclude many Iranians from obtaining such cards irrespective of their religion or belief, including members of the Baha’i faith.
Norway would also like to share the report’s concern about the continuing restrictions on the freedom of expression and assembly in Iran. The high death toll and excessive use of violence against peaceful protesters last November were most disturbing. Norway urges Iran to respect the right to peaceful protest, freedom of expression and access to information
The continuing arrests and threats against human rights defenders, including women human right defenders, is most worrying. Human right defenders are serving prison sentences based on vague and non-transparent criteria. Reports on harsh treatment of prisoners are of great concern.
We urge the Iranian government to fulfill its obligations under international human rights law and encourage Iran to swiftly implement the recommendations from the UPR hearing of Iran last year.
Norway joins the rapporteur in urging Iran to cooperate fully with the rapporteur and allow him to undertake a visit to Iran. In this respect, how would the Special Rapporteur assess the possibility of establishing a constructive dialogue with the Iranian authorities?