Reporters sans Frontiers calls on the EU to more firmly press for human rights improvements in Iran, and Mehrangiz Kar says EU has failed in its human rights talks with Iran, while the Islamic judiciary officials consider the talks a means for Europeans to familiarize themselves with other notions of human rights. The EU-Iran “dialogue” on human rights, “launched in 2001, has not yet led to any decrease in repression, but it allows the Iranian regime to maintain ‘good relations’ with the European countries,” Paris-based freedom of press advocacy group Reporters sans Frontiers wrote in a letter to the European Union, according to a statement the group issued on Tuesday.
The organization, which monitors Iranian government’s treatment of press, asked the EU “to take account of the reports and recommendations provided by the independent and representative organizations of Iranian civil society,” and calle on the EU to adopt a “firm position” on Iran.
The fourth round of Iran-EU human rights roundtable was held in Tehran last month, after which Ireland issued a stinging statement on behalf of the union, condemning a broad list of human rights violations and calling for the release of 40 political prisoners. EU has made improvements in human rights a condition of resumption of stalled economic talks with the Islamic government.
“We point out that 120 newspapers have been banned since 2001, more than 50 journalists have been detained and 11 are still in detention, making Iran the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East,” RSF’s letter said.
“One wonders what to make of the Iranian government’s remark on June 20 that it is the European Union that should learn from Iran about human rights,” RSF said, citing comments by the Islamic government’s judiciary officials.
The EU’s outcome from four rounds of human rights talks with Iran has been negligible, Radio Farda’s legal and human rights commentator Mehrangiz Kar says in today’s broadcast. “It can be said that EU has failed in these talks,” she adds. But the dominant view in the judiciary is that these talks are for making the Europeans more familiar with various interpretations of human rights, she says. “Whereas from the position of human rights, there is no difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim woman, she says.