Iran: Suppression of freedom, prison, torture, execution... A state policy of repression

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A FIDH/LDDHI report on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day

The dimensions of gross human rights violations in Iran are expanding beyond imagination in every possible direction. The list is very long: torture and other cruel and inhuman punishments, arbitrary and often very long pre-trial detentions and extremely non-standard and unfair trials frequently based on vaguely worded charges often even used to issue and implement death sentences, execution of dissidents and juveniles and the use of death penalty for non-serious offences, growing discrimination against women and women’s rights defenders, as well as against all religious minorities and groups, and ethnic communities, suppression of all kinds of dissent and opposition, extremely heavy-handed crackdown on political activists and organisations of all hues and civil society institutions, increasing number of political prisoners and the massive pressures on them, denial of freedoms of assembly, association, expression and press, censorship of books and blocking of various websites and blogs…

Against this backdrop, FIDH and LDDHI submitted a preliminary joint report to the session of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) in New York in March 2011, including suggestions for questions to be asked to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The HRC, comprising 18 independent experts, asked 34 questions to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian Government replied to them. Subsequently, the report was complemented and submitted it to the HRC session at the end of September 2011 for consideration by its 103rd session (17 Oct - 4 Nov. 2011) in Geneva. Meanwhile, a joint report was presented to Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, at the end of August 2011.

We have now revised our report to the HRC extensively and updated it to cover the events leading to the end of November 2011. In this report, we have examined parts of the third periodic report of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) on the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to the Human Rights Committee, the HRC’s questions to Iran as well as Iran’s replies to those questions. In its report that was submitted 18 years after its second report, as well as in its Replies, the Islamic Republic of Iran has beyond doubt failed to demonstrate its adherence to and compliance with the basic tenets of the ICCPR on every count, i.e. the rights of citizens to liberty and equality free from any kind of discrimination, the right to life, freedom of thought, conscience, religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, electoral rights and rights to due process and fair trial, among others.

In our present report, not only have we tried to demonstrate the Islamic Republic of Iran’s deliberate refusal to comply with the ICCPR, but we have endeavoured to draw up a balance sheet of certain aspects of its gross human rights violations. It should be emphasised that the vast expanse of human rights abuses in Iran makes it impossible for any single report to cover all the pertaining areas and instances and even all the instances related to a particular area, despite the constant endeavours of various credible international human rights organisations, and the relentless efforts of thousands of Iranian defenders of human rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, defence lawyers, trade unionists, political prisoners, political and student activists and others.

Rather than offering a set of recommendations, we urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to embark immediately on a plan of action to address the ‘Concerns’ of the Human Rights Committee and implement its ‘Recommendations.’

On 10 December 2011, Human Rights Day and anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we dedicate this report to all those human rights defenders and activists.

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