I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 and 416 together.
I remain deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Iran, including restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, arbitrary arrest, torture in detention and the use of the death penalty.
Ireland opposes the use of the death penalty whenever it occurs. I fully support the statement issued by the EEAS on behalf of the EU on 14 September 2020, which strongly condemned the execution of Navid Afkari, and noted that the death penalty "represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."
In addition, at the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, HRC, this month, Ireland co-signed a Joint Statement delivered by Germany which expressed deep concern at the continuing human rights violations in Iran, making particular reference to Iran’s ill-treatment of detainees and use of the death penalty. The statement also states clearly that “the sudden execution of Navid Afkari, on 12 September, was appalling, given the concerns about his trial, the reports of forced confessions, and his treatment in detention. We reiterate our opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances, and urge Iran to enact a moratorium.”
My Department has consistently raised human rights issues with Iran at every suitable opportunity, including in our direct contacts with Iranian officials, in contributing to EU policy on Iran, and in international fora such as the UN General Assembly and the HRC.