FCO human rights report fails to highlight widespread torture in Iran
Freedom from Torture welcomes today’s launch of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2016 Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report, in particular the UK’s affirmation of the absolute prohibition on torture, and its commitment to preventing torture around the world.
However, while the report designates Iran as a country of concern, the list of violations highlighted by the FCO does not include torture. Evidence derived from Freedom from Torture’s work with torture survivors indicates that widespread use of torture by the Iranian state remains a grave problem: it is currently the second most frequent country of origin for Freedom from Torture’s clients.
Susan Munroe, Freedom from Torture’s CEO, said:
"The reiteration in today’s report of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s commitment to ending torture is warmly welcomed. However, by failing to fully highlight Iran’s widespread and ongoing use of torture, there is a risk that this grave human rights violation may be downgraded.
"For the UK government’s principles to have practical effect, Iran’s use of torture should continue to be a key concern, and must feature in the UK’s discussions with the Iranian government.
"As we approach the 30th anniversary of the UK’s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture, we also call on the UK government to continue its efforts to encourage states not yet party to that treaty to ratify it; this includes Iran."
Freedom from Torture is calling on the Prime Minister to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to opposing torture in all its forms, wherever it takes place. Please join the campaign by signing our petition.