London: United Nations human rights officials have condemned Iran`s use of stoning as a form of capital punishment among a number of "deeply troubling" rights violations, many of which are "systemic in nature," according to a report.
UN Human Rights Council`s special rapporteur on Iran Ahmed Shaheed also called for an "extensive, impartial and independent investigation into the violence in the weeks and months that followed the presidential election of 2009", when pro-democracy protesters surged into the streets to denounce the election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as bogus and rigged.
Shaheed ‘reiterates his call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience’ in the report, the Daily Express reports.
He claimed that at least 150 journalists have fled Iran since the 2009 elections, and some reports put the number as high as 400.
According to his report, and to the New York-based rights group Committee to Protect Journalists, Iran detained more journalists than any other nation last year, which counted 179 writers, editors and photojournalists jailed in Iran in December last year.
Half of them spent time in solitary confinement, 42 percentwere sent into exile in 2010-11, and half were serving sentences ranging from six months to 19 years on charges such as "working with hostile governments", "propaganda against the state", and "insulting religious sanctities", Shaheed wrote.
The document will be the basis for a General Assembly resolution critical of Tehran`s human rights violations, which will probably be voted on in December.