US contradicts Iran`s stand on unrest in Libya

Amid pro-democracy uprising in several countries of the Middle East, US has slammed Iran for its recent crack down on protesters inside the country.

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 16:07 PM IST

New York: Amid pro-democracy uprising in
several countries of the Middle East, US has slammed Iran for
its recent crack down on protesters inside the country, even
as Tehran called on Libya to stop atrocities that are being
perpetrated against the Libyan people.
"Iran, for example, has consistently pursued policies of
violence abroad and tyranny at home", Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
yesterday.

"In Tehran, security forces have beaten, detained, and in
several recent cases killed peaceful protesters even as Iran`s
president has made a show of denouncing the violence in
Libya," she said contradicting Iran`s stated condemnation of
violence in Libya and its ongoing crackdown on dissent at
home.

Last week, the Human Rights Council decided to suspend
Libya`s membership from the 47-nation body. This decision
needs to be approved by two-thirds of the 192-member General
Assembly.

Clinton stressed that Iran should be treated the same way
as Libya by the Council.

"Indeed, every member of this Council should ask him or
herself a simple question: Why do people have the right to
live free from fear in Tripoli but not Tehran?" Clinton said.

"The denial of human dignity in Iran is an outrage that
deserves the condemnation of all who speak out for freedom and
justice," she added.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has continued to
ruffle US feathers since he took power in 2005.

Speaking at the annual debate of the General Assembly,
last year, Ahmadinejad had said that most people believed the
US government was behind the 9/11 attacks.

Following reports of 66 people being executed in January,
the UN expressed alarm in February at the frequency of the
death penalty being doled out in Iran.

"We have urged Iran, time and again, to halt executions,"
said Navi Pillay, UN human rights chief. "I am very dismayed
that instead of heeding our calls, the Iranian authorities
appear to have stepped up the use of the death penalty."

Noting that US had imposed new sanctions on Iranian
officials for serious human rights abuses, Clinton said
Washington was working with Sweden to establish a special
rapporteur on Iran to investigate abuses inside the country.

"Iranian human rights advocates have demanded this step
to raise international pressure on their government," Clinton
said.

"Iranian authorities have targeted human rights defenders
and political activists, ex-government officials and their
families, clerics and their children, student leaders and
their professors, as well as journalists and bloggers," she
added.

PTI