Iran: Dire situation of human rights defenders detailed in report for UN review

FIDH, OMCT and LDDHI submitted a report to the 34th session of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iran, which will be held in November 2019. The report assesses the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs), in particular human rights lawyers, who have been judicially harassed since 2017, and offers recommendations for the third cycle of the UPR.

Since the second cycle of the UPR of Iran, which was held in October 2014, the situation of HRDs, including lawyers, has continued to worsen. This has been particularly the case since street protests erupted in December 2017 in reaction to the government’s economic policies and continued in 2018 in opposition to a wider set of issues. A number of national security-related legislative provisions have been regularly used by the authorities to limit freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, pursue politically-motivated cases against HRDs, and violate fair trial rights. The use of these provisions is enabled by a judiciary that lacks independence from the executive branch of government and fails to uphold Iran’s obligations under international law with regard to the right to a fair trial.

HRDs, including lawyers, are frequently arrested without charge, held in prolonged pre-trial detention without access to legal representation of their choosing, sentenced to lengthy prison terms following unfair trials, and incarcerated in poor conditions.

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