Human Rights Expert: Absence of Human Rights from the Negotiations is a Political Mistake
2015-07-16 01:21PrintViews2214 Font Size: Bigger‌Smaller

Human Rights Expert: Absence of Human Rights from the Negotiations is a Political MistakeKurdpa: Despite numerous calls over the past year by human rights organizations to include concerns about Iran’s human rights violations in the negotiation, the deal was reached without it.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and major powers signed a permanent deal, on Tuesday to lift sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations. In return, Iran has agreed to downgrade its nuclear programme; however, the longstanding human rights differences were left out of the discussions.

A number of human rights organizations have regarded the absence of human rights in the discussions as a grave mistake, among them International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

“Rapprochement between Iran and the West is in some respects a good thing, especially if it leads to an end to the sanctions. But the failure to include human rights in the negotiations is a missed opportunity and a political mistake that will have a palpable effect on the Iranian people,” declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

These nuclear negotiations and apparent political rapprochement with the West have resulted in Iran’s President Rouhani being hailed by some as a reformist. In reality, the human rights situation in Iran since Rouhani’s election in 2013 has not improved.

In an op-ed published in 2014, Lahdiji also denounced the lack of progress on human rights under Rouhani’s administration. “Executions, torture, and imprisonment are just as prevalent in today's Iran as in the Iran of Ahmadinejad, and Rouhani's numerous electoral promises concerning rule of law and freedom of the press, of opinion, of assembly, and of association remain unfulfilled,” he said.

“If Rouhani is to have a truly successful term in power beyond the diplomatic pageantry of his first year in office, he will not only have to ensure the lifting of sanctions and revitalisation of Iran's economy, but will also have to leverage the Constitution (albeit an undemocratic one) and the bit of legitimacy bestowed on him by the Iranian people in last year's elections to push the regime to respect the Iranian people's most basic human rights, a duty and promise he has yet to make good on,” Lahdiji wrote.

Writing by Kurdpa Staff Writers and editing by Hazhir B.

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