Continued Imprisonment of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and Repression of Minorities in Iran
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
July 9, 2012
STATEMENT BY VICTORIA NULAND, SPOKESPERSON
Continued Imprisonment of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and
Repression of Minorities in Iran
We note that July 8 marked 1,000 days Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has spent in an Iranian prison. Pastor Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith, and we repeat our call for Iranian authorities to release him immediately.
Unfortunately, Pastor Nadarkhani is not alone in his suffering. The Iranian regime continues to deny and abuse the human rights of its citizens, in particular those of its many ethnic and religious minorities. We are troubled by reports of the execution of four members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab community, whose sentences were carried out with little due process. In March 2012, Iranian state media broadcast the forced confession of one of those executed.
We are also concerned by credible reports that prominent author Mohammad Soleimani Nia is missing following his release in May after five months in prison on unspecified charges.
We call upon Iranian authorities to respect and protect the freedoms and dignity of all its citizens, and to uphold its own laws and international obligations which guarantee such rights to all Iranians, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.