London – U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized the little progress achieved by Iran in improving human rights under President Hassan Rouhani’s tenure, stressing that he was “deeply troubled” by the “alarming rate of executions” and arbitrary arrests and detentions perpetrated by the Iranian regime.
The U.N. chief released earlier this week a report on human rights in Iran, highlighting the shocking rate of executions and saying little progress has been made under Rouhani.
Ban’s 19-page report noted that the Secretary General was “deeply troubled” by accounts “of executions, floggings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, unfair trials, denial of access to medical care and possible torture and ill-treatment.”
“He is also concerned about continued restrictions of public freedoms and the related persecution of civil society actors, the persistence of discrimination against women and minorities and conditions of detention,” the report added.
The U.N. says the rate of executions in Iran remains a huge source of concern. According to the report, most of the executions are related to drug offences but trials “fall short of the international fair standards.”
The U.N. chief also criticized the deteriorating conditions in Iranian prisons, where the use of solitary confinement is widespread and many prisoners, especially those held on political grounds or because of their beliefs, are at times denied proper medical treatment.
In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the report was based on faulty principles which rendered it invalid.
“Such reports have fundamental problems principally and in nature and therefore, are invalid in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s view,” Qassemi said, as quoted by the Iranian FARS news agency.
Qassemi went on to say that the report was biased against Iran, based on unverified sources and written to serve certain countries’ interests.