Press release – For immediate use – Call for human rights in Iran to mark anniversary of UN Declaration

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) has called for the international community to focus upon the abuse of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran to mark the anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December.

The declaration sets out a range of “fundamental human rights to be universally protected” which the solidarity organisation states are not being observed in the Islamic Republic.

CODIR cite for example Article 3 of the declaration that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” as one which is routinely abused by the theocratic regime.  Intimidation, arbitrary arrest and false accusations, leading to imprisonment, are regularly practised by the regime’s security forces.  Article 9 also states that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”, all practices which those opposed to the regime in Iran are fearful of on a daily basis.

A recent report by Amnesty International for example outlines how rape and other forms of sexual violence have been used to torture and intimidate peaceful protesters engaged in the Women, Life, Freedom movement, which has been sweeping Iran since 2022 following the murder in detention of Mahsa Amini.

Such abuses also contravene Article 5 of the declaration which states that “no-one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”  Practices such as torture and degradation have been a feature of the Iranian regime’s treatment of political and dissident prisoners for over forty years.  

The award of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned women’s rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, was a recognition of the ongoing popular resistance to the theocratic dictatorship in Iran, sending a message to the regime that its abuse of human rights was not going unnoticed. 

CODIR General Secretary, Gawain Little, emphasised the solidarity organisation’s commitment to exposing human rights abuse in the Islamic Republic,

“The Iranian regime has been subjecting the Iranian people to abuse, torture and intimidation for too long” he said.  “The anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights gives us the chance to expose these abuses and call for the rights of the people of Iran to be upheld.”

The ongoing strike wave which has gripped Iran for the past two years has developed in spite of the draconian approach to trade union rights taken by the Iranian regime.  Although notionally a signatory to the charter of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Iran fails to uphold the right to organise or the right to assembly.

As an active trade unionist Mr. Little was keen to draw attention to Article 23 of the UN Declaration, which asserts that “everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”

“Sadly, the reality in Iran for activists remains dangerous,” said Mr Little. “The Iranian regime has done its utmost to crush any dissent, intimidated workers for demanding their right to form a trades union and carried out torture and execution of political prisoners without fair trial or representation.”

CODIR has called for all forces supporting the struggle for human and democratic rights in Iran, to condemn the imprisonment of human rights, trade union and political activists through issuing statements of solidarity and campaigning for their release.  

CODIR requests that trade union affiliates write to the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to make clear their opposition to the abuse of human rights and the restrictions placed upon freedom of expression by the regime. 

CODIR is also asking for individuals to write to their local MP, drawing their attention to the worsening situation inside Iran and requesting that they write to the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran on similar grounds, as well as using their platform in Parliament, to draw attention to the plight of the people of Iran.


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Further information on CODIR

CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights.  It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

CODIR has worked closely with the trade union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.  Major trade unions in Britain are affiliated to CODIR and support its campaign for peace, human and democratic rights, and social justice in Iran.

CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.

In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.

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