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European parliament condemns human rights abuses in Iran

AFP: The European Parliament expressed alarm Thursday at the deterioration in the area of human rights in Iran, in particular those relating to press freedom and the death penalty. "The situation in Iran with regard to the exercise of key civil rights and political freedom has deteriorated since the parliamentary elections of February this year despite commitments on the part of the government of Iran to promoting these universal values," according to a motion passed by the parliament. AFP

STRASBOURG - The European Parliament expressed alarm Thursday at the deterioration in the area of human rights in Iran, in particular those relating to press freedom and the death penalty.

"The situation in Iran with regard to the exercise of key civil rights and political freedom has deteriorated since the parliamentary elections of February this year despite commitments on the part of the government of Iran to promoting these universal values," according to a motion passed by the parliament.

"The National Security Council and the office of the public prosecutor are increasingly intervening directly with the press to influence the content of the reported news," it said.

The parliamentarians drew attention to the cases of eight journalists working for the electronic media, imprisoned for unknown reasons at an undisclosed location.

Websites -- "the Iranian public's only remaining means of access to uncensored information"-- were increasingly censored by the religious authorities, they said.

The parliamentarians said they were "appalled at the public hanging" two months ago of a 16-year-old boy. They noted that 25 minors had been sentenced to death in the past year.

They said they were deeply worried by the sentence of death by stoning passed on a 13-year old girl, Zhila Izadi, pregnant by her 15-year-old brother, himself sentenced to 150 lashes.

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