Poets Mehdi Mousavi and Fatemeh Ekhtesari disappeared in Iran. News reported that the two have been detained since early December. More than two hundred people signed an online petition and called on the UN to take action about the situation of cultural activists particularly the case of these two young poets in Iran.
Progress towards a nuclear deal should by no means lessen
international attention to the human rights violations that have reached crisis
levels in Iran since the disputed 2009 election and which continue to this day
despite the election of Hassan Rouhani. For nearly a decade, the nuclear issue
has eclipsed the struggle for human rights inside Iran on the international
stage. As Iran’s foreign policy makers move towards rapprochement with the West
after 34 years of estrangement, Iranians are worried that their basic rights,
instead of being elevated to the importance it deserves, will be sacrificed in
these negotiations. They fear that repression in Iran could even intensify if
the regime concludes that once a nuclear deal with the international community
is reached, there will be little international pressure to improve the
country’s human rights record.