Iran: Record number of states punishing human rights activism: U.N

GENEVA (Reuters) – A record 29 states, including China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have retaliated in the past year against citizens who cooperate with the United Nations, the U.N. human rights office said on Wednesday…People communicating with the rights body had been abducted, detained, held incommunicado, or had disappeared, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said…
“There is something grotesque and entirely contrary to the Charter and spirit of the United Nations, and particularly this Council, that people get punished, through intimidation and reprisals, for cooperating with the U.N. on human rights,” he said.
Other victims lost their jobs, had their homes or offices raided, or were targeted by travel bans or asset freezes. Many cases involved arbitrary detention and torture, sometimes by sexual assault or rape…Some countries “justified” their tactics by saying the individuals were terrorists or cooperating with foreign entities aiming to damage the state, Gilmour said.“I think we should see these individuals as the canary in the coal-mine, bravely singing until they are silenced by this toxic backlash against people, rights and dignity.” (Reuters – Sep. 20, 2017)

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