UN report describes a worsening human rights situation in Iran
In his report to the Human Rights Council, the UN special rapporteur laments the increase in executions: 753 last year - including 25 women and 13 minors - and 252 so far this year. Journalists, activists, lawyers and political opponents continue to be persecuted.

Geneva (AsiaNews) - The human rights situation in Iran has worsened since 2013 when Hassan Rouhani was elected president, said yesterday the UN special rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, before he presented his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Shaheed spoke to reporters about the growing numbers of executions and the jailing of journalists and activists in the Islamic country. In his press briefing, he warned that new legislation under discussion could increase discrimination against women and minorities.

According to his report, Iran executed at least 753 people, including 25 women and 13 minors, last year alone, a 12-year-high.

Shaheed noted that if one added the 252 executions carried out so far this year, Iran has executed more than a thousand people since January 2014.

The UN expert, a former foreign minister of the Maldives, also lamented that Iranian authorities "continue to harass, arrest, prosecute and imprison many members of society who express criticism of the government or publically deviate from officially sanctioned narratives."

In fact, he explained, journalists, as well as activists, lawyers and opposition politicians are often charged with breaching a number of national security laws, including engaging in propaganda against the system, and offending government leaders.