Highlighting the Stories of Unjustly Imprisoned Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

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In the #PrisonersofIran campaign, the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor is highlighting the stories of Iranians who have been imprisoned for advocating for universal human rights.
In the #PrisonersofIran campaign, the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor is highlighting the stories of Iranians who have been imprisoned for advocating for universal human rights.

Highlighting the Stories of Unjustly Imprisoned Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

As we approach the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the United States remains deeply concerned that the Iranian regime continues to jail upwards of 800 individuals on spurious charges related to the exercise of universal human rights.

Many of these individuals, such as Tahereh Riahi and Hengameh Shahidi were arrested and convicted for their exercise of their fundamental rights of freedom of expression, working to bring about positive change on issues of concern to all Iranians, including the government’s lack of transparency, mismanagement and waste of public funds and resources, foreign policy adventurism, and degradation of the environment which is the centuries-long pride of the Iranian people. Their fates are sadly unknown to us and the free world. Others, such as Afif Naeimi are jailed simply for their religious beliefs. Afif’s crime was being a practicing Baha’i. Others like human rights defenders Atena Daemi and Shahnaz Akmal are imprisoned for simply advocating fundamental freedoms.

Sadly, these are the very people most countries would see as partners in helping a nation reach its full potential. By incarcerating them, the Iranian regime demonstrates its insecurities and further cements its pariah status among the nations of the world. We urge our partners and allies, and all nations, to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for human rights and fundamental freedoms. As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.

We call on the Government of Iran to release those individuals it continues to unjustly detain at once.

Follow the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on Facebook and @StateDRL on Twitter .

About the Author: Patrick Harvey currently serves as a Foreign Affairs Officer in Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State.

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.

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Patrick Harvey

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Foreign Affairs Officer for DRL