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U.K.: Human rights situation in Iran worsened in 2015

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A U.K. Foreign Office report published on Wednesday said little has changed in the human rights situation in Iran between January and June 2015 and even worsened in some respects.

Citing the European Union assessment, the report said that “in the first half of 2015, the number of executions in Iran surpassed the total number during 2014.”

In May, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, Mr Christof Heyns, released a report condemning the sharp increase in the use of the death penalty, and urged the Iranian regime to establish an immediate moratorium on its use, with a view to abolishing the punishment altogether.

“Between January and June, there were many examples of the Iranian authorities violating their citizens’ right to free expression,” the report said.

On the crackdown on freedom of access to internet the report said: “In February, a cyberspace expert from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned administrators of social network pages that the IRGC was closely monitoring them.”

“In March, the IRGC Cyber-security Command Centre for the Investigation of Organised Crime announced plans to intensify efforts to monitor crimes on social media. The unit will employ a surveillance programme named “Spider” which can allegedly monitor Viber and WhatsApp messaging services.”

Prison conditions in Iran were also a particular cause for concern in the first half of 2015.
On freedom of religion or belief, the report highlights the treatment of Baha’is and Christians in Iran.

“Those involved in the Christian house church movement continue to be harassed,” the report said.