The report emphasizes long-standing human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic. It calls attention to the escalating use of the death penalty in a country that already executes more people per capita than any other nation. The report also highlights the deteriorating situation for women throughout Iranian society, as well as instances of intimidation and reprisal against human rights activists who have sought to communicate with the UN and other international organizations.
While this report provides a general snapshot of the human rights trends in the country, specific cases periodically reach the media to highlight the human stories behind such reports and statistics. Among these is the case of Saeed Abedini, a dual Iranian-US citizen and Christian pastor arrested for practicing his faith.
Western Journalism reports that last week his wife, Nagmeh Abedini, spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference and lamented that independent activism on his behalf does not seem to be adequately supported by the US President, whom she described as neglecting the American ideal of religious liberty.
This criticism has been levied against the Obama administration by some human rights activist groups that feel as though negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program ought to also be utilized to pressure the Islamic Republic on its human rights situation. Some analysts have speculated that US citizens imprisoned in Iran are essentially being regarded by the Iranian regime as bargaining chips in dealings with the West.
As much as Obama has been criticized for failing to challenge Iran on its human rights situation, there is little to suggest that the administration has directly cooperated with the regime. However, this apparently cannot be said for all nations in the West, as some have been accused of enabling human rights abuses for political or economic ends.
The government of Argentina is particular subject to such allegations, and Fox News reported on Wednesday that Argentine prosecutor Gerardo Policita has appealed a judges recent ruling that dismissed the case against Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, who has been accused of participating in a cover-up of the Iranian role in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, in exchange of favorable trade agreements.
The prosecutor formerly assigned to the case, Alberto Nisman, was found dead under mysterious circumstances a day before he was to present evidence against Fernandez and several high-ranking Iranian officials.