2023-01-29

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Human rights: Iran, the U.S., and the truth – Tehran Times

TEHRAN- As the world marks Human Rights Day, Western politicians and mainstream media have sharpened their disinformation and propaganda campaigns against Iran over the past few weeks. The truth is a very different narrative.
Under the pretext of the unfortunate death of a young Iranian woman who collapsed at a police station and died in hospital a few days later because of underlying medical conditions, the self-proclaimed flag bearer of human rights in the world: the U.S. (a country where kids have been locked up in small cages at the southern border) and its allies have taken advantage of events that followed.
Peaceful protests in some parts of Iran against the tragic death of Mahsa Amini quickly diminished as the Iranian public found out the true facts about the incident. 
But the ensuing riots: the torching of public property and the murder of security personnel without mercy by a small bunch of thugs were egged on by the U.S., its allies, and Persian language media outlets based in the UK and funded by London and Riyadh (under the guise of Iran’s human rights record). 
Enemies of Tehran and those trying to topple the government while at the same time affiliated with anti-Iran terrorist groups have been trying in vain to use human rights for their own political objectives, citing the riots as “peaceful protests” that are being met with a “deadly crackdown” by Iranian security. 
The vast footage of the “peaceful protesters” burning security personnel to death or dragging and beating and stabbing others through the streets was not displayed on their mainstream media. Nor were the terror attacks over the past few weeks that received no condemnation. 
After all, these videos would naturally challenge the Western narrative of “Iran’s human rights record”.
The outlets that do publish the truth have been subjected to all kinds of censorship in a massive campaign to keep the Western and regional public as far away from reality as possible.
And the reality that some just don’t want to publish is that Iranian women hold some of the highest posts in authority, and the education and university graduates among Iranian women in comparison to before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution is similar to night and day. 
When the West talks about women’s rights in Iran, they refuse to accept that the Islamic Republic gave birth to the most skillful female experts in West Asia. In the fields of medicine, science, technology, arts and cinema, sports; some of the best doctors, entrepreneurs, business managers… the list is long but women are leading the way and the only thing holding them back is U.S. unilateral sanctions against Iran.
This is while prior to 1979 when the U.S. installed monarchy was a puppet state of Washington, half of the population could not read or write. 
The Iranian Parliament has a special seat reserved for the Jewish minority group and other seats for other minority groups. Followers of the Jewish faith enjoy better human rights than they do in the apartheid regime of Israel.
Iran has female members in the parliament, vice presidents, and many international envoys like Zahra Ershadi, the deputy permanent representative of the country to the United Nations, the voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the UN, a familiar face who speaks out for the Iranian people.
The list is endless of the number of rights women enjoy in Iran is endless, but there isn’t enough paper to name them all. 
Wearing the hijab is, in essence, a law under the country’s constitution that was voted in favor of in a public referendum.
Claims by the West that there are “peaceful protests” over women’s rights and the hijab are a joke… Pull the other one, as they say.
Of course, you would believe that to be the case, if you follow Saudi-funded Persian language news channels based and supported by the United Kingdom. 
Unfortunately, the West has used censorship against so many Iranian media outlets inside Iran, that the international public doesn’t enjoy the choice to follow an alternative view.
Think about this one… the UK state media, the BBC, charges the British people a license fee to switch on their TVs but provides its biased views FREE OF CHARGE in the form of BBC Farsi to the Iranian audience.
A simple online search about news and developments in Iran on one of the most popular search engines, Google, will show results from U.S., UK, Canadian, Israeli, and Saudi news websites citing human rights violations in Iran. 
But little to none of the Iranian news websites from inside Iran are displayed if you reside outside Iran.
In other words, online users from around the world are basing their knowledge on news about Iran from regimes that have publicly expressed their hatred toward Iran and officially called for regime change.
As for the self-proclaimed flag bearer of human rights?, the U.S., where small kids have been separated from their parents and locked up in small cages at the southern border in a bid to prevent refugees from entering the country. (This was two years, three years ago not two or three thousand centuries ago). 
By the way, Iran extended its hands to refugees at its border with Afghanistan where upwards of three million have been provided with shelter, healthcare, and other services.
Washington likes to preach about human rights and actually uses it to exert political confessions but needs a serious look in the mirror. 
This is the same country where Black Americans are still being treated as second-class citizens by systematically racist institutions despite decades of work by the black civil rights movement. 
U.S. authorities have failed to adopt and implement significant police oversight and accountability measures promised by the Biden administration in response to nationwide protests against police violence in 2020, which were marked by widespread excessive use of force by police officers.
The limited public data available from 2015 to 2021 suggests Black people were disproportionately impacted by police use of lethal force. The federal government’s program to track how many such deaths occur annually remained unimplemented.
At least 1,055 people were reported killed by police using firearms in 2021, a slight increase from previous years. 
Indigenous women continue to experience disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence and lack access to basic post-rape care. 
In addition to that, indigenous women continue to experience high rates of disappearance and murder. The exact number of indigenous women victims of violence or who went missing remains unknown as the U.S. administration does not collect data or adequately coordinate with Tribal governments.
Violence against women is on the rise. Police brutality against minority groups is on the rise.
The U.S. human rights record under the current administration of President Biden has still failed to adopt human rights-respecting immigration and asylum policies on the U.S.-Mexico border or realize its human rights-related agenda on the domestic level.
Under the Biden administration, authorities continue to drastically limit access to asylum at the Southern border, resulting in irreparable harm to many thousands of people, including children, who are seeking safety from persecution or other serious human rights violations in their countries of origin.
There are discriminatory attacks on voting rights, or unlawful state-level restrictions on rights, including the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
Opposition politicians continue to challenge the 2020 presidential election results insisting there was vote rigging.
State governments continue intensified efforts to curtail reproductive rights by seeking to criminalize abortion and limit access to reproductive health services, enacting more abortion restrictions in 2021 than in any other year.
In Texas, a law was enacted criminalizing abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy – before most people know they are pregnant – and privatizing enforcement against abortion providers or anyone “suspected” of assisting the person in obtaining an abortion.
Muslim men remain arbitrarily and indefinitely detained by the U.S. military in the detention facility at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in violation of international law. 
Lawmakers in at least 36 states and at the federal level introduced more than 80 pieces of draft legislation limiting freedom of assembly, with nine states enacting ten such bills into law in 2021. 
In May, news media revealed that U.S. authorities tracked and harassed human rights defenders.
Human rights defenders and journalists continued to report intimidation and harassment by U.S. authorities when crossing the U.S.-Mexico border or when conducting their work in Mexico, which impacted both their ability to do their work and their overall well-being. 
In neighboring Canada, indigenous authorities have a long way to go before finding the remains of tens of thousands of native children forcibly taken from their parents and sent to school institutions that resembled dungeons. The practice only ended in 1996 but the indigenous leaders accuse the government of failing to seriously assist them in digging up the bodies and the facts.
There they were beaten, starved, sexually abused, and buried in mass graves just because of their background and the color of their skin.
Tens of thousands of French protesters sustained injuries for joining the Yellow Vest protest movement as a result of French police brutality.
Violence against Black British citizens by racist officers is still rampant in the United Kingdom.
America’s closest ally in West Asia, the Israeli regime is massacring women and children at such disturbing rates, its Western backers should at least be secretly ashamed to support it. Yet they continue to do so.
Israeli human rights violations are too long to list here as there isn’t enough paper. 
So, on International Human Rights Day, there may be a focus on Iran this year. The U.S. axis of allies may have just done enough to spread its disinformation, and fake propaganda campaigns while heavily censoring news from official Iranian news outlets inside Iran. 
But experts say Washington knows the Iranian people are with the Islamic Republic. 
They just don’t want you to know it.
Iran is being targeted by a hybrid war because of its vast natural resources and its refusal to submit to American hegemony over West Asia. 
But no empires last forever, and the U.S. is slowly but most certainly falling down and is resorting to desperate media efforts now.
The American hegemony, like the titanic, may appear powerful from the outside, but it is drowning.
And when it sinks, then there will be freedom, truth, and human rights in West Asia. 
 
All Content by Mehr News Agency is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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