News : Human rights
- Published: Wednesday, 15 October 2014
By INU staff
INU - Possible Western willingness to extend nuclear talks with Iran past the November 24 deadline indicate that many policymakers are still disinclined to take a hard line with Iran under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani. But there are some indications that the Islamic Republic is becoming subject to greater scrutiny in other domains.
The Tower points out that some of this scrutiny is even presented in context with the nuclear deal, as with Benjamin Weinthal, who took to the Jerusalem Post to ask how a country that hasn’t fulfilled its most basic human rights obligations can be trusted on a nuclear accord. The two topics are brought into much closer contact by the case of Omid Kokabee, a physics graduate student who is serving a ten-year prison sentence for refusing to work on Iranian weapons systems.
Another individual prisoner who has brought particular attention to Iran’s current human rights abuses is Ghoncheh Ghavami, a dual British-Iranian citizen who was arrested after she attempted to attend a volleyball game, as women are not permitted to do in the Islamic Republic. Ghavami has been held in prison without charge for over three months. She has lately begun a hunger strike to call attention to her plight, joined outside Evin Prison by her mother.
An article at Patheos gives a first-hand account of what it is like to be an atheist in Iran. In addition to pointing out that atheism puts one at risk of hanging, the anonymous blogger, himself an atheist, says:
“It shapes your life maybe more than any other thing about you. If you are not a 12-Imam Shiite, you lose most of the opportunities in life. And if you are not a practicing member of one of the four “official” religions, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, you officially don’t exist. In the forms you have to fill out to get jobs or register for anything, these options are the only four options. According to the Islamic Republic, you have no right to have jobs, study in universities, open a bank account, or live, unless you belong to one of these four religions.”