Iran, UN Criticized for Afghan Discrimination
The group Justice for Iran released a report on human rights violations committed by the Iranian government against Afghan refugees in the country. According to the report, Iran has called for the deportation of all single Afghan men by the end of the month, relocated 5,000 refugees to a former POW camp, and denied recognition of mixed marriages and the rights of resulting children. The group also alleges that the U.N. Human Rights Commission has cooperated with Iran by handing refugees over to the government.
In Washington, Congressman Chris Smith, chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Comission, expressed ”grave concern” for Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, an imprisoned Iranian blogger reportedly close to death. Ronaghi-Maleki is in jail for “insulting” Ayatollah Khomeini and Rep. Smith urged the Iranian government to provide him medical care for his failing kidneys. Meanwhile, Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Mehdi Zalieh Naghshbandian has died from health complications. Despite his deteriorating health, officials waited until two weeks ago to bring him to a hospital.
Additionally, Christopher Thornton published an article in The Atlantic on Wednesday entitled “The Iran We Don’t See” in which he argues “probably no country in the world is more mischaracterized in Western eyes than Iran.” Rather, Thornton found on a recent visit to the country that many Iranians admire the U.S. and hope for better relations.