Thursday 20th December 2012 | 15:20
FCO: Iran must uphold rights and freedoms of its citizens
Foreign and Commonwealth Office press release
To mark the United Nations vote on the human right situation in Iran, the Foreign Secretary has released a video. He said:
"The basic freedoms of ordinary Iranians are being denied. Many citizens live in constant fear of arbitrary arrest, false imprisonment and, in some cases, death. There is undeniable evidence of abuse: the recent death in custody of blogger Sattar Beheshti is one tragic example. "
The Foreign Secretary also spoke about Nasrin Sotoudeh, who recently ended a 49-day hunger strike in protest against the harassment of her family. Addressing Ms Sotoudeh directly, the Foreign Secretary said:
"You have sacrificed your own freedom, family life and health in order to help others. I want you to know that we are following your case closely. And that I echo the many calls upon Iran for your immediate release. Be assured that we will continue to hold the Iranian government to account for your terrible treatment. We will not forget you.
"The regime hopes to silence those who call for basic human rights in Iran. I want to make clear that the promotion and protection of human rights is at the heart of UK foreign policy. And we are committed to supporting and protecting those who defend human rights and work tirelessly to advance personal freedoms, often at great personal risk."
See the Foreign Secretary's video message here