The representative of the Iranian delegation boycotted the intervention of the Maat Foundation today before the Human Rights Council in its 45th session, during which it expressed deep concern about the ongoing reprisals in Iran against human rights defenders, especially those cooperating with the United Nations, in light of the severe retreat that Iran is witnessing in Fundamental rights and freedoms, including restricting the work of human rights defenders, and the arbitrary arrest of a number of civil society activists. On September 6, 2020, the Iranian authorities arrested the prominent lawyer and director of the Imam Ali Student Charitable Association, “Zahra Rahimi,” and after lengthy investigations, Zahra was taken to the notorious Evin Prison. This is not the first time that Zahra Rahimi has been subjected to investigation. On August 16, she was also summoned for investigation, over unfair accusations, including communication with outside parties. On September 12, 2020, the Iranian authorities carried out the death sentence against the Iranian wrestler, Nawed Afkari, in light of the Iranian government’s complete disregard for international and UN calls to abolish death sentences and imprisonment against detainees of popular protests. It is worth noting that the Iranian authorities executed at least 251 people during 2019, which is the second country in the world to carry out the death penalty after China. In 2018, Iranian authorities executed 253, including 6 against people who were children when they committed their alleged crimes. Finally, Maat Foundation called on member states and United Nations officials to establish policies to prevent and investigate reprisals and to ensure accountability for them.
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