Amy Kirk


Signs with the slogan, ‘I am Neda’, flooded the streets of Tehran in the violent aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections and assassination of Neda Agha-Soltan. The internationally publicized video of Neda’s death became an iconic rallying point for the reformist opposition in Iran. Stringent clampdowns since the 1979 revolution have signified a sociopolitical change that has endured for three decades. President Khatami’s reform efforts of the late 1990s were stifled by Ahmadinejad’s election of 2005. Since Ahmadinejad’s appointment there has been little official tolerance for political and fundamental Islamic dissent, leading to serious human rights violations against the reformist opposition. Despite claims of implementing four of the six principal human rights treaties, the Iranian government has continually operated outside the bounds of these treaties as well as its own laws. Some of the most flagrant abuses have included discrimination of women and minorities, repression of the freedom of assembly and expression, and the torture of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Though not exhaustive, these categories are representative of the violent and fervent abuse of human rights by the Iranian government.

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