In connection with the start yesterday of the trials of dissidents in Iran, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued today (2 August) in Berlin the following statement:
“We are greatly concerned by the news that dissidents in Iran have now been put on trial. According to present reports, these trials do not conform to minimum rule of law standards of transparency and fairness. voluntarily given to protect the civil and political rights of its citizens.The Iranian Government must release the political prisoners and honour the international commitments it has”
Iran has signed and ratified the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Entrepreneur Bijan Khajehpour Khoi, human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani and former Iranian Vice-President and Hojatoleslam Seyed Mohammad Ali Abtahi are among the most prominent detainees.As yet the Iranian authorities have given no official indication as to which political prisoners are to be put on trial.
Some 140 political prisoners were released mid-week, including women’s rights activist Shadi Sadr, for whose release Minister Steinmeier had made a personal appeal. The exact number of political prisoners detained following the disputed presidential elections on 12 June 2009 and still in custody remains unknown but is estimated at several hundred,not including the already large number of political prisoners detained in recent years.