U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
January 26, 2012
STATEMENT BY VICTORIA NULAND, SPOKESPERSON
Wave of Arrests, Harassment, and Death Sentences in Iran
We are deeply concerned by the alarming increase in the Iranian regime’s efforts to extinguish all forms of free expression and limit its citizens’ access to information in the lead-up to March parliamentary elections.
In the past two weeks, security forces have reportedly arrested four journalists, including Shahram Manouchehri, Sahamedin Bourghani, Parastoo Dokouhaki, and Marzieh Rasouli, and Iranian courts confirmed death sentences for bloggers Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari, both of whom were not accorded due process and now face imminent execution on charges of “spreading corruption.”
The international community has repeatedly raised its concerns regarding Iran’s human rights record, calling on it to abide by its commitments to protect the rights of all its citizens and uphold the rule of law, including the conduct of a transparent electoral process that permits citizens to make their voices heard. We urge Iranian officials to respond to these calls, cooperate with UN Special Rapporteur Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and allow him to enter Iran to conduct his work.