HomeParty    Publications    Universities    Youth    Women    Labor movement    International Politics    News    Arts and Culture    Humanrights in iran   

Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs

United Nations A/66/374
General Assembly Distr.: General
23 September 2011
Original: English
11-51218 (E) 111011
Sixty-sixth session
Agenda item 69 (c)
Promotion and protection of human rights: human
rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs
and representatives
The situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic
of Iran
Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of the
General Assembly the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human
rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, submitted in accordance with
Human Rights Council resolution 16/9.
The Special Rapporteur officially assumed responsibility for the mandate on
1 August 2011 and has since notified the Secretariat that, owing to his late
appointment, he would not be in a position to present a substantive report, but would
focus instead on presenting his proposed methodology and cataloguing the most
recent trends in the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This would emphasize the need for greater transparency and cooperation from
the Islamic Republic of Iran. A/66/374
2 11-51218
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human
rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
II. Proposed methodology of work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
III. Human rights situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
A. Treatment of civil society actors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1. Political activists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2. Journalists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3. Student activists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
4. Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
5. Lawyers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
6. Environmentalists — Save Lake Urmia Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
B. Freedom of assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
C. Women’s r ights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
D. Religious and ethnic minorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
E. Capital punishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
F. Detention for relations with foreign entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
IV. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20A/66/374
11-51218 3
I. Introduction
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution
16/9, which establishes the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the first country mandate of the
Human Rights Council on the Islamic Republic of Iran since the termination in 2002
of the mandate of the former Commission on Human Rights. The resolution
mandates the Special Rapporteur to: (a) submit an interim report to the General
Assembly at its sixty-sixth session and (b) to submit a report to the Human Rights
Council for consideration at its nineteenth session. It also calls upon the
Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate fully with the mandate
holder and to permit access to visit the country as well as provide all necessary
information to enable the fulfilment of the mandate.
2. The President of the Human Rights Council appointed the Special Rapporteur
on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran on 17 June 2011.
Mr. Shaheed officially commenced his mandate on 1 August 2011, at which time he
wrote to the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran to seek their cooperation in
the discharge of his mandate. The Special Rapporteur requested an informal meeting
with the Ambassador in July 2011 and also offered to travel to Switzerland during
the month of August to meet with him prior to the submission of the present report,
but was unsuccessful in scheduling either meeting. In a press release dated 3 August
2011, the Special Rapporteur appealed to the Government to extend its full
cooperation to the carrying out of his mandate and stressed that the establishment of
the new mandate provided an opportunity for the Islamic Republic of Iran to engage
on a range of human rights issues that had been raised by the international
community. On 19 September 2011, in a letter to the Special Rapporteur, the
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations at
Geneva, Ambassador Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi, expressed a willingness to
exchange views and discuss his methodology of work. A letter requesting a country
visit in late November was transmitted to the Iranian authorities on 19 September
2011. The Special Rapporteur looks forward to a positive response to that request,
as it would further signal the cooperative and constructive intentions of the Islamic
Republic of Iran.
3. The Special Rapporteur undertook a private visit to Geneva prior to the
commencement of his mandate in July 2011 and a formal visit in early September
2011. He met with a number of stakeholders, including the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights and a number of reputable international
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and country delegations, some of which
supported the mandate and some of which did not.
4. The present report outlines the methodology that will guide the Special
Rapporteur’s work throughout the mandate and presents the focus of his work. The
Special Rapporteur notes that a separate report of the Secretary-General on
developments related to the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
since September 2010 (A/66/361) will also be submitted to the General Assembly at
its sixty-sixth session. Without prejudice to the matters that he wishes to raise with
the Iranian authorities, the Special Rapporteur shares the concerns addressed in the
report of the Secretary-General, as well as the recommendations contained therein.
Accordingly, the present report includes a section on recent developments with
regard to the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but focuses on A/66/374
4 11-51218
cases and issues raised directly with the Special Rapporteur and on developments
following the session of the Human Rights Council.
5. The Special Rapporteur welcomes statements that have been attributed to
various Iranian functionaries about the country’s interest in cooperating with the
United Nations human rights system, including the standing invitation issued to
thematic special procedures and the proposed visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran
by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as this would provide
an opportunity for cooperation between the human rights machinery and the Iranian
authorities through contact at the highest level. The Special Rapporteur hopes to
have an opportunity to visit first, with a view to helping to make the High
Commissioner’s visit as substantive as possible. The Special Rapporteur also notes
that a number of urgent appeals made by various thematic special rapporteurs
remain unaddressed by the Iranian authorities. He fully shares the concerns
addressed in those appeals, and regrets that no visit by a mandate holder has taken
place since 2005.
6. The Special Rapporteur firmly believes that the establishment of the current
mandate provides for a more coordinated engagement with the Iranian authorities on
a range of human rights issues that have been raised by the international community.
The country mandate is also an opportunity to facilitate a deeper, country-specific
understanding of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its
unique cultural and historical contexts. It is also an opportunity to advance the
current efforts being made to address the challenges of the Islamic Republic of Iran
in an incremental and holistic manner. The Special Rapporteur also hopes that the
Islamic Republic of Iran will view his role as a secure and legitimate space in which
to take steps to comply with its international obligations, as well as an opportunity
to address the areas of concern communicated to the country during its interactions
with the international community on human rights issues.
7. The Special Rapporteur will, therefore, continue to appeal to the Islamic
Republic of Iran to extend its full cooperation to the fulfilment of the mandate.
Engagement with the country mandate holder can only lessen the potential for
politicization, over which the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly expressed
concern. However, insufficient cooperation will continue to heighten the concern of
the international community and will reduce the potential for a positive and
constructive dialogue on these issues.
II. Proposed methodology of work
8. The Special Rapporteur will be guided by the principles of impartiality,
independence and transparency, with the explicit objectives of clarification,
verification, and cooperation in the implementation of the human rights obligations
of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Special Rapporteur believes that the exercise of
his mandate should be free from politicization and be guided solely by the interest
of assisting the Islamic Republic of Iran to meet its international obligations in an
incremental and transparent manner.
9. The primary focus of the Special Rapporteur’s efforts will be to seek the
cooperation of the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran in the interest of fair
and accurate reporting on its human rights situation. In this regard, the Special
Rapporteur will continue to express interest in undertaking field visits to the A/66/374
11-51218 5
country, meet with relevant official delegations of the country and seek information
from the Iranian authorities on matters that are being addressed by the SecretaryGeneral and the human rights machinery, especially those relating to issues
highlighted in various resolutions of the General Assembly and the Human Rights
10. The Special Rapporteur has sought and will continue to seek the cooperation
of a number of Member States, including members of the Human Rights Council,
and to request their support in facilitating his work. Although some of those
countries are not necessarily supporters of country mandates, they uphold the
legitimacy of Council decisions and the importance of international cooperation in
the promotion and protection of human rights. The Special Rapporteur intends to
remain in close contact with those countries and to seek their support in encouraging
the Islamic Republic of Iran to enable the independent examination of the veracity
of claims about its human rights situation. The Special Rapporteur hopes that
members of the General Assembly will encourage the Islamic Republic of Iran and
other countries to extend their cooperation to his efforts to gather relevant and
accurate information.
11. The Special Rapporteur has been contacted by a number of Iranian human
rights and civil society actors, as well as international organizations, concerning the
human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and has conducted a number
of consultations with them. Those testimonies and issues are included in the present
report. The Special Rapporteur will seek the cooperation of the Iranian authorities in
examining these cases and will report on developments in his next report.
12. The Special Rapporteur believes that the outcome of the universal periodic
review of the Human Rights Council, which examined the situation in the Islamic
Republic of Iran in February 2010, provides a sound basis for collaboration between
himself and the Iranian authorities. In that regard, he could contribute to the efforts
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to implement the 123 recommendations of the
review, which it agreed to accept for implementation with transparency and with the
support of the international community. The Special Rapporteur will also seek to
engage with the Islamic Republic of Iran on those recommendations that it rejected,
especially in the light of international human rights law. Moreover, issues
highlighted in reports to treaty bodies, in various reports of the Secretary-General
and thematic mandate holders, as well as in resolutions of the General Assembly and
the Human Rights Council, will constitute a major part of the Special Rapporteur’s
agenda for engagement with Iran.
13. The Special Rapporteur will also work in collaboration with the other thematic
mandate holders on urgent appeals and other communications and will consider
generating his own appeals and communications as necessary. He notes that, while a
number of communications remain unanswered, there have been many instances in
which the Islamic Republic of Iran has responded, and he will seek to increase the
level of communication with the Government on matters of interest to the Human
Rights Council and the General Assembly.
14. The Special Rapporteur believes that the mandate also entails an important
advocacy role in relation to the international obligations of the country concerned
and will give considerable attention to collaboration with Iranian human rights
defenders and civil society, in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Special
Procedures Mandate Holders of the Human Rights Council. He will also promote A/66/374
6 11-51218
efforts to generate non-political discussion, advocacy, publicity and study of the
human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran through civil society
interaction and engagement of legal and academic expertise. He also intends to
maintain a high media profile, not only to amplify the efforts of the Iranian
authorities to meet their international obligations, but also to highlight the
grievances of those who feel victimized. In that regard, the Special Rapporteur also
believes in maintaining a balance between constructive engagement with Iranian
authorities and media advocacy in order to demonstrate good faith and commitment
in investigating allegations of human rights abuses.
III. Human rights situation
15. The Islamic Republic of Iran ratified the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights on 24 June 1975, without reservations, thereby committing itself to
the promotion and protection of the guarantees therein. These include freedom of
expression, assembly, association and religion, all of which are recognized as
integral to the promotion and protection of democratic ideals.
16. The Covenant also provides for the right to due process, legal assistance and
humane treatment of detainees, and prohibits the arbitrary arrest and detention of
individuals. International law also secures equal rights of women, stipulating that
State parties must ensure the “equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all
civil and political rights” contained in article 3 of the Covenant. Those rights also
include the right to be elected by and participate in free and fair elections. Likewise,
the Covenant protects the rights of minorities, where they exist in a country, by
stipulating, in article 27, that minorities shall not be denied the right, in community
with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and
practise their own religion or to use their own language.
17. In line with these human rights safeguards, articles 23 to 27 of the Constitution
of the Islamic Republic of Iran provide for freedom of expression, assembly and
association as well as the freedom to practise one’s religion. In addition, the rights
of the accused and detained are protected by the Constitution in articles 32 and 35,
wherein it is stated that charges with reasons for accusation must, without delay, be
communicated and explained to the accused in writing, and a provisional dossier
must be forwarded to the competent judicial authorities within a maximum of
24 hours.
18. A number of individuals and organizations provided the Special Rapporteur
with first-hand testimonies, the preponderance of which presents a pattern of
systemic violations of the aforementioned fundamental human rights. In that regard,
and without prejudice to subsequent communications, the most urgent issues that
have been brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur include multifarious
deficits in relation to the administration of justice, certain practices that amount to
torture, cruel, or degrading treatment of detainees, the imposition of the death
penalty in the absence of proper judicial safeguards, the status of women, the
persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, and the erosion of civil and political
rights, in particular, the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and
civil society actors.
19. Furthermore, reports frequently communicated the use of physical and
psychological mistreatment and torture for the purposes of inducing A/66/374
11-51218 7

self-incrimination. In that regard, several personal interviews revealed that
individuals were often held in solitary confinement for long periods during the
investigative phases of their cases. All of those interviewed with regard to their
detention reported the consistent use of blindfolds when being transferred from
solitary confinement, as well as during their interrogations. Several persons reported
being threatened, beaten, insulted or intimidated by threats against family members,
and they speculated that those actions were intended to encourage admission to
knowledge of or association with persons reportedly unknown to the detainees.
Incidences of the arrest and/or intimidation of family members were also often
20. Charges brought against human rights defenders, as well as civil society and
religious actors, include: (a) acting against national security; (b) participating in an
illegal gathering; (c) insulting the Supreme Leader; and (d) spreading propaganda
against the regime. The latter charge appears in a significant number of cases
discussed below.
21. The majority of reports also highlight exorbitant bail requirements, reportedly
totalling between $10,000 and $500,000, to guarantee the appearance before the
court of those arrested for activities pertaining to civil, political or human rights.
Defendants and/or their guarantors must often furnish deeds or sign promissory
notes that are later used to garnish the wages of guarantors. All reports maintain that
deeds used to guarantee appearances were never returned to the guarantors, even
after acquittals or final convictions. Since these parties no longer possess the deeds
to their properties, they are deprived of financial control of their assets, which
produces a disturbing level of persistent punishment, even beyond the conclusion of
the cases.
22. Moreover, several reports allege that prosecutors are aware of the sentence to
be imposed prior to the defendant’s appearance in court for sentencing and often
inform the defendants accordingly. Those reports contain speculations that this
reflects a lack of independence of judges in such cases, which is of deep concern to
the Special Rapporteur.
23. The Special Rapporteur is encouraged by the announcement by Iranian
authorities on 28 August 2011 of their intention to pardon 100 political prisoners
accused of various crimes, including participation in the 2009 protests. He hopes
that this step, together with the review of the cases of human rights defenders,
lawyers, journalists, women’s rights activists, artists and other civil society actors
highlighted in the present report, will advance the Government’s progress in
improving its human rights situation. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur requests the
Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide him with information about
the process and the criteria employed to grant amnesty to the aforementioned
individuals. The Special Rapporteur is encouraged by the release from custody, on
21 September 2011, of two hikers from the United States of America.
A. Treatment of civil society actors
1. Political activists
24. Reports about the detention conditions and denial of the rights of political
leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, as well as their wives, Zahra A/66/374
8 11-51218
Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi, are deeply disturbing. All four individuals were
placed under a form of house arrest by the Government in February 2011 in
response to their calls for protest in solidarity with pro-democracy activists
throughout the region.
25. A description of Mr. Mousavi’s detention conditions was conveyed to the
Special Rapporteur during an interview by a person close to his campaign on
26 August 2011. The witness, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported that,
despite the fact that no formal charges had been brought against Mr. Mousavi or his
wife, the conditions surrounding their confinement to their home had led
Mr. Mousavi and Mrs. Rahnavard to consider themselves prisoners of the State. The
individuals have reportedly been unable to communicate freely with family or
friends since their detention. The witness reported that all methods of
communication had been either destroyed or removed from the couple’s home. He
also stated that, as at two weeks prior to the interview, the couple had been allowed
only a few closely monitored visits with family members over the previous six
months. It was reported that family members were thoroughly searched, and it was
speculated that their visits were recorded. Moreover, the couple have reportedly
been deprived of control over their health care, access to publications, privacy and
the ability to live a normal life. The harassment and intimidation of Mr. Mousavi’s
family members was also conveyed. The witness stated that Mr. Mousavi’s family
was deeply concerned about his health, as he had reportedly lost a significant
amount of weight. However, despite several incidents of discomfort that required
medical attention, physicians who have treated Mr. Mousavi have reported that his
health was not critical.
26. An interview with a close colleague of Mr. Karroubi who wishes to remain
anonymous was conducted on 23 August 2011. The witness conveyed a first-hand
account of violence directed against Mr. Karroubi and his staff, as well as the
conditions of Mr. Karroubi’s house arrest. It was reported that all of Mr. Karroubi’s
phone lines were disconnected and that authorities had entered Mr. Karroubi’s home
and removed his television and all of his books and files. Mrs. Karroubi was not
allowed to keep her medical appointments, the couple’s medication was confiscated
and Mr. Karroubi has not been allowed access to the family doctor, despite
respiratory issues. It was also reported that Mr. Karroubi had been allowed outside
for fresh air only once for 10 minutes during his 186 days of house arrest. The
witness also stated that Mr. Karroubi’s privacy had been compromised, since
intelligence officers and cameras transmitting images to an unknown location had
monitored all the hallways and rooms of the first location used for the couple’s
detention. It was further reported that Mr. Karroubi had been allowed only six visits
from his family since his house arrest, that visitors were fully searched upon
entering and leaving the house and that agents surrounded the couple for the
duration of the visits. Mr. and Mrs. Karroubi were removed from their home and
taken to separate locations on 16 July and 1 August 2011, respectively. While
Mrs. Karroubi is reportedly no longer under house arrest, Mr. Karroubi was
transferred and detained in a two-room office and has had no contact with his family
since 16 July. Reports that six agents consistently occupy both rooms and that a
team of psychiatrists also surrounds Mr. Karroubi for the purpose of coercing
televised confessions are deeply disturbing to the Special Rapporteur. It was also
reported that members of both Mr. Mousavi’s and Mr. Karroubi’s families have been
harassed, intimidated and/or briefly detained. A/66/374

11-51218 9
27. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, political activist and Secretary-General of the Iran
Democratic Front, was arrested on 27 December 2009 and transferred to Evin
prison. He was reportedly confined to a solitary cell and tortured. In October 2010,
he was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment and 74 lashes for “gathering and
colluding against national security” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”. After
protesting against the execution of five political prisoners, Mr. Tabarzadi was
transferred to Rajaee Shahr prison. He wrote a letter from prison asking the
international courts to review his grievances against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei. In April 2011, Mr. Tabarzadi, along with other prisoners, went on a
hunger strike to protest prison conditions.
2. Journalists
28. In a letter to the Special Rapporteur dated 17 August 2011, the Committee to
Protect Journalists stated that 34 journalists had been detained as at the end of 2010.
They wrote that journalists were often subjected to exorbitant bail, at times totalling
as high as $500,000. One such case is that of Ahmad Zeidabadi, reformist, journalist
and columnist for Rooz Online, and the Secretary-General of the Iranian Alumni
Association, Advar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, who was arrested on 14 June 2009.
Mr. Zeidabadi’s attorney and wife reported that he was detained for more than two
years and denied furlough for the duration of his detention. On 4 August 2011,
Mr. Zeidabadi was granted a 48-hour furlough on the condition that he post
$500,000 bond. Mr. Zeidabadi was sentenced on 2 January 2010 to six years’
imprisonment, five years’ exile in Gonabad and a lifetime ban on social and political
activities on charges of “attempting to implement a velvet revolution”.
Mr. Zeidabadi has reportedly spent 141 days in solitary confinement, suffered
difficult interrogations and was violently coerced to incriminate himself.
29. Mohammad Davari, winner of the Committee to Protect Journalists
International Freedom Award and editor-in-chief of the Saham News website,
videotaped statements from detainees at the Kahrizak detention centre who
indicated that they had been raped, abused and tortured. This, among other reasons,
reportedly led to the closing of the detention centre in July 2009 amid public uproar.
Mr. Davari’s work reportedly led to his arrest and detention in Evin prison in
September 2009, and he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for “mutiny
against the regime”. The sentence was recently increased to six years because of
Mr. Davari’s inability to pay a $5,000 fine for his participation in a teachers’ protest
in February and March 2006. His mother has written to the Secretary-General,
communicating that her son has endured torture while in custody. Mr. Davari was
reportedly tortured for the purpose of soliciting televised confessions against Mehdi
Karroubi, a former presidential candidate. It is reported that Mr. Davari is being
held in solitary confinement and has not been allowed to have contact with his
family for more than eight months.
30. Accounts regarding the detention and death of an Iranian journalist and social
activist, Reza Hoda Saber, raise further concerns about arbitrary arrest and detention
and the treatment of civil society actors. Mr. Saber is reported to have suffered a
heart attack following a hunger strike at Evin prison and died on 12 June 2011.
There are concerns that prison authorities may have denied proper medical attention
Committee to Protect Journalists, “Iran must work toward improving press freedom”, 17 August
2011, available at www.cpj.org/2011/08/post-3.php#more. A/66/374
10 11-51218
to Mr. Saber, who is reported to have complained of chest pains for hours before he
was given access to medical care. Mr. Saber had been on a hunger strike since
2 June, after Haleh Sahabi, daughter of Ezzatollah Sahabi, a nationalist-religious
leader, died of a heart attack after a confrontation with security forces at her father’s
funeral (see para. 51). Information received by the Special Rapporteur suggests that
prisoners use hunger strikes as a means of protesting against prison conditions,
arbitrary detention and/or discriminatory sentences. At the time of writing at least
15 prisoners were reported to be on a hunger strike, some of whom were in critical
31. Issa Saharkhiz, journalist, political activist and former head of the National
Press Department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, is being detained
at Rajaee Shahr prison on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and making
“propaganda against the regime”. Mr. Saharkhiz was arrested on 3 August 2009 and
sentenced to three years in prison, along with a one-year ban on foreign travel and a
five-year prohibition on journalistic activities. Mr. Saharkhiz was informed on
5 August 2011 that he had been sentenced to an additional two years in prison for
his prior journalistic activities.
32. Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a blogger, was arrested on 13 December 2009 and
held in solitary confinement for almost 11 months in Evin prison in ward 2-A.
Mr. Maleki was sentenced to 15 years in prison on 5 October 2010 on charges of
“membership in the Iran Proxy Network”, “insulting the Supreme Leader” and
“insulting the President”. Mr. Maleki’s attorney announced that his client had health
issues that required medical attention outside the prison. On 15 March 2010,
Kayhan newspaper published an article in which Mr. Maleki was accused of, inter
alia, “accepting money from Western countries”, “helping political figures escape
Iran” and “heading political gangs”. Mr. Maleki is reportedly being held in ward
350 in Evin prison.
33. Masoud Bastani, a journalist, was arrested on 5 July 2009 for “activities on the
Jomhouriyat website”, which openly supported Mr. Mousavi during the 2009
presidential elections, as well as “collusion, creating riots, and propaganda against
the regime”. Mr. Bastani reportedly spent three months in solitary confinement and
was beaten by a prison staff member during a family visit in June 2011, when he
asked for a few more minutes to say goodbye to his mother and wife. As a result,
Bastani suffered nausea and disorientation leading to his transfer to the hospital,
where he reportedly spent a day under observation for brain damage. After
retracting his complaint for the beating, he was transferred from a solitary cell to the
general ward.
34. Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, a journalist who contributed to reformist
newspapers and was the author of a blog, was arrested in June 2009 and is serving a
five-year sentence for “actions against national security”. In a letter describing his
prison conditions, Mr. Amouee and several other prisoners wrote that most of them
had been subjected to inhumane conditions, including the common use of solitary
confinement in cells measuring approximately 2.2 by 1.6 m (6.6 by 4.8 ft). The
letter conveyed that they were subject to severe beatings and mistreatment,
including the shoving of their heads into toilet bowls, repeated threats and the use of
prolonged sleep deprivation.
35. Mohamamd Sadiq Kaboudvand, founder of the Human Rights Organization of
Kurdistan (HROK) and a journalist, was arrested in June 2007 and held in Evin A/66/374

11-51218 11
prison, where he was placed in solitary confinement for five months. He was
sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of “acting against national security
through establishment [of] HROK”, “widespread propaganda against the system by
disseminating news”, “opposing Islamic penal laws by publicizing punishments
such as stoning and executions” and “advocating on behalf of political prisoners”.
Mr. Kaboudvand has since suffered from a series of chronic and acute medical
problems often not attended to by medical staff, including two strokes in 2010.
Mr. Kaboudvand’s wife stated that her husband had told her that he had been seen
by a neurologist after the first stroke, but that he had not been examined thoroughly
and no tests had been administered. She also reported that her husband had
maintained that the attending physician had prescribed a series of pills to be taken
daily instead, but had not given any details about their name, their prescribed use or
their possible side effects.
36. Taghi Rahmani, journalist, author, member of the Nationalist Religious
Activists Council and an active member of Mehdi Karroubi’s 2009 election
campaign, was arrested on 9 February 2011 after unidentified security agents
reportedly broke into his home violently and detained him in the presence of his
wife and two young children. According to his wife, Narges Mohammadi, Iranian
authorities have not given any information about his charges to date.
37. Keyvan Samimi, managing editor of the now-defunct Nameh magazine, was
arrested on 14 June 2009. He was sentenced to six years in prison and a lifetime ban
on political, social and cultural activities on charges of “membership in illegal
groups, including the ‘National Religious Coalition’, ‘National Peace Council’ and
the ‘Committee to Investigate Arbitrary Detentions’”. An appeals court upheld his
prison sentence but reduced the ban on his activities to 15 years. Mr. Samimi has
developed liver disease in prison, but prison authorities have reportedly refused to
give him permission to have medical treatment outside prison. Mr. Samimi has also
been reportedly subjected to ill-treatment on numerous occasions during his time in
custody, and in February 2010 local activists reported that he had been transferred to
solitary confinement after he objected to substandard conditions. It was reported
that his family visits were also cancelled.
3. Student activists
38. Three interviews with student activists who wish to remain anonymous were
conducted. They reported that they faced arrest and intimidation and were
sometimes subjected to beatings and torture for their ties to legally registered
student activist organizations. Additional cases were also communicated to the
Special Rapporteur by reputable NGOs.
39. Student activist Abdollah Momeni was arrested on 21 June 2009 and sentenced
to 4 years and 11 months in prison for his participation in the 2009 protests. It was
reported that Mr. Momeni was placed in solitary confinement for almost 200 days,
subjected to physical and psychological abuse and coerced into making a televised
confession. In a letter to Ayatollah Khamanei, Mr. Momeni wrote that his
interrogator had strangled him to the point of unconsciousness and that authorities
frequently shoved his head into toilets. Momeni also reported that he had been
deprived of furlough and family visits after the submission of that letter. New
charges were filed against Mr. Momeni on 27 July 2011 for allegedly writing the
aforementioned letter. Mr. Momeni’s wife also reported that her husband needed A/66/374

12 11-51218
medical treatment outside of prison, but that he had been denied proper medical
care. Mr. Momeni has yet to be sentenced, however, and he has not been given
furlough since his detention.
40. Ramin Parchami, a graduate student of film directing and acting, was arrested
during the 14 February 2011 street protests. The presiding judge sentenced
Mr. Parchami to one year in prison on charges of “acting against national security
through participation in an illegal gathering”, “attempting to videotape” and
“disrupting public order”. The artist, who supports the Green Movement, was
detained in a solitary cell at the Intelligence Ministry’s ward 209 inside Evin prison
for more than two months. He was then transferred to ward 350.
41. Ali Malihi, student activist, journalist, and member of the Tahkim-e Vahdat
Alumni Association, was arrested on 2 February 2010 and convicted on charges of
“congregation and collusion against the regime”, “propaganda against the regime”,
“participation in illegal gatherings”, “publication of falsehoods” and “insulting the
President”. His four-year sentence on those charges was upheld in July 2011.
42. Arash Sadeghi, a student activist, was denied the right to continue his higher
education, reportedly as a result of his involvement in Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s
presidential campaign. Mr. Sadeghi was first arrested on 9 July 2009 during a raid of
Tehran University’s campus and released after 45 days. Mr. Sadeghi was arrested
again in the aftermath of the 27 December 2009 Ashura Day protests, and released
in April 2010. He was summoned to Evin prison court in November 2010 and
arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for “assembly and collusion against
the regime”. Sadeghi was reportedly hospitalized in April 2011 due to a hunger
strike that led to his slipping into a coma. Mr. Sadeghi also reportedly suffers from
other medical problems as a result of repeated beatings and torture, including a lung
infection and limb paralysis.
4. Artists
43. Jafar Panahi, a highly acclaimed Iranian film director and winner of the
Cannes Film Festival’s Camera d’Or Award and the Venice Film Festival’s Golden
Lion Award for his films “White Balloon” and “The Circle”, was first arrested on
30 July 2009, along with documentary filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi, when they
attended a memorial to pay their respects to those who were killed during the
post-election protests. He was released a few days later. Mr. Panahi was arrested
again on 1 March 2010 at his home, along with 18 family members and friends. His
family and friends were released after a few days, but he remained in detention until
25 May 2010, when he was released on $200,000 bail following reactions from the
international arts community. On 20 December 2010, the presiding judge sentenced
Mr. Panahi to six years in prison and imposed a 20-year ban on making and
directing any films, writing screenplays, conducting interviews with the national or
international media and travelling abroad.
44. Film director Mohammad Rasoulof, Mr. Panahi’s colleague, was also
sentenced to six years in prison. Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court cited
articles 500, 610 and 19 of the Islamic Penal Code as the basis for its ruling, listing
charges such as “assembly and collusion with the intent to commit a crime against
national security, and propagating against the Islamic Republic of Iran”. A/66/374
11-51218 13
45. Mohsen Namjoo, a well-known Iranian singer and composer, was sentenced in
absentia to a five-year prison term on 9 June 2009. Mr. Namjoo’s conviction for the
crime of “insulting Islamic sanctities” was based on his alleged ridiculing and
unconventional singing about the Koran. He is currently abroad.
5. Lawyers
46. Prominent human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate, Shirin Ebadi, submitted to
the Special Rapporteur a list of 42 attorneys that have faced Government
prosecution since 2009. She noted that the Government of the Islamic Republic of
Iran had been viewing lawyers representing political and ideological defendants
with suspicion in recent years and, as a result, they had had criminal cases filed
against them. Some of them, such as Houtan Kian, Ghasem Sholeh-Sa’adi and
Hossein Younesi, were currently in prison. Several others, such as Mohammad Ali
Dadkhah, Khalil Bahramian and Abdolfattah Soltani, were free on bail, and others,
such as Mahnaz Parakand and Nasim Ghanavi, were being interrogated. Ms. Ebadi
also stated that the majority of the attorneys faced charges related to their
representation and public advocacy for the rights of defendants in political cases,
and that it was inevitable that, as a result, lawyers in the country would soon lose
the courage to defend those individuals.
47. A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was summoned to
Evin prison court on 4 September 2010, where she was arrested and transferred to
solitary confinement. In January 2011, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison, with
a 20-year ban on being professionally active and a 20-year travel ban on charges of
“acting against national security”, “colluding and propagating against the Islamic
Republic of Iran” and “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Centre”.
Almost a year after her arrest, Ms. Sotoudeh, the mother of two young children,
remains in Evin prison and is denied furlough. After being told by interrogators that
the appeals court would uphold her 11-year prison sentence, Ms. Sotoudeh withdrew
her request for appeal. She has been on several hunger strikes to protest her illegal
detention and violations of her rights. According to information received by the
Special Rapporteur, Ms. Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, who has publicly
campaigned for fair treatment for his wife, was questioned by the authorities,
arrested and reportedly subjected to physical abuse and threats. Ms. Sotoudeh’s
family members were reportedly physically abused and detained by prison
authorities in a recent visit to the prison. In protest against the physical abuse and
detention of family members, Ms. Sotoudeh has reportedly stopped receiving family
48. Mohammad Seifzadeh, prominent lawyer and co-founder of the Defenders of
Human Rights Centre, was sentenced on 30 October 2010 to 9 years in prison and a
10-year ban on practising law for “acting against national security” by “establishing
the Centre for Human Rights Defenders”. His case is currently under review by an
appeals court. His charges also include “collusion and assembly with the intent to
disrupt internal security” and “propagation activities against the regime”. He has
reportedly been denied access to his attorney and other due process rights.
6. Environmentalists — Save Lake Urmia Campaign
49. Communications regarding escalations in the dispute over threats to Lake

Urmia, located between the East and West Azerbaijan provinces of the Islamic A/66/374
14 11-51218
Republic of Iran, were sent to the Special Rapporteur by several NGOs in August
2011. Environmentalists, as well as residents of two major cities surrounding the
lake — Urmia and Tabriz — argue that the construction of 35 dams built on
21 rivers that feed the lake deprive it of 5.5 billion cubic metres of water annually.
This deprivation is said to be the major cause of increasingly low water levels and
salinity of the saltwater lake. It is reported that 8 billion tons of salt will potentially
be released into surrounding areas if the lake dries up, producing significant flora
and fauna losses and affecting the health and agricultural capacities of an estimated
14 million people in the area.
50. Protests calling for action to save the lake after the Iranian Parliament failed to
pass an emergency bill to raise water levels by diverting water from the Aras River
began in late August 2011. These protests have reportedly resulted in the arrest and
detention of at least 60 individuals for their participation in the protests and injuries
to another 45 protestors as a result of shootings by authorities. Allegations of lack of
access to lawyers, family and medical treatment, torture and other inhuman and
degrading treatment of detained protestors were also received. Faranak Farid, an
activist, journalist and member of the Azerbaijani minority in the Islamic Republic
of Iran, was reportedly tortured after her arrest on 3 September in the city of Tabriz.
Ms. Faranak, currently being held in Tabriz prison, is reportedly accused of
insulting the Supreme Leader, spreading propaganda against the system and acting
against national security. The Special Rapporteur is concerned by claims of
suppression of guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as
allegations of the deprivation of due process rights.
B. Freedom of assembly
51. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees the right
to peaceful assembly. However, several accounts alleging the deprivation of the
right to peaceful assembly include the Government’s denial of permits and
intimidation of demonstrations commemorating the anniversary of the June 2009
election protests. The Special Rapporteur was made aware of one such incident in
which members of the Government allegedly denied mourners the right to attend the
funeral of political activist, Ezatollah Sahabi. Accounts suggest that security forces
disrupted the funeral observances, held in June 2011, by forcibly seizing and
removing Mr. Sahabi’s body and beating mourners, including Mr. Sahabi’s daughter,
Haleh Sahabi. Ms. Sahabi, also a political activist, was serving a two-year sentence
in prison for “spreading propaganda against the regime” and “disrupting public
order”, but had been released from prison to attend her father’s funeral.
Eyewitnesses maintain that Ms. Sahabi sustained beatings by the security forces,
after which she suffered a fatal heart attack.
52. A former member of Mehdi Karroubi’s presidential campaign who wishes to
remain anonymous reported during an interview that, on 30 July 2009, Mr. Karroubi
had attended a memorial service in Behesht cemetery for those who had died in the
June 2009 protests, when police forces reportedly had attacked participants with
batons, pepper spray and tear gas. The witness reported that he had been separated
from Mr. Karroubi while the latter was being severely beaten, but that Mr. Karroubi
had been rushed relatively unharmed to his car by his mandatory security detail. The
aforementioned witness also reported another attack on Mr. Karroubi and attendants
at a gathering north of Azadi Square on 11 February 2010. Mr. Karroubi was A/66/374
11-51218 15
reportedly beaten on his thighs and back and suffered from exposure to tear gas and
pepper spray. One of Mr. Karroubi’s sons, Ali Karroubi, was arrested along with
many other demonstrators and taken to a mosque for holding. Ali Karroubi was
reportedly subjected to severe beatings in front of the other detainees during his
detention. It was reported that one arm had been fractured and that he had suffered
from injuries to his back and one eye. He was released 24 hours later.
C. Women’s rights
53. The Islamic Republic of Iran ratified the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights without reservations, indicating its intention to promote and protect women’s
enjoyment of all civil, political, social and economic rights set out in the Covenants.
While article 20 of the Iranian Constitution states that “all citizens of the country,
both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human,
political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria”,
interpretations of how sharia law accommodates gender equality is the subject of
ongoing dialogue between the State and women’s rights activists. The Special
Rapporteur contends that the Government’s capacity to accommodate democracy,
pluralism and gender equality is seriously undermined by the repression of activities
that advance this dialogue.
54. Moreover, the application of certain laws that erect barriers to gender equality
undermine the Government’s ability to equally protect those human rights stipulated
in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for all its citizens. For
example, a woman’s worth and testimony in a court of law are regarded as half that
of a man’s. Men have absolute rights to divorce, while women may initiate divorce
only if they meet certain conditions, some of which must be agreed to in a marriage
contract. Mothers can never be awarded guardianship rights for their children, even
upon the death of their husbands. Women do not have equitable inheritance rights,
and even when a wife is the sole survivor to her husband’s estate, she may not
inherit more than a quarter of the estate. If she is not the sole survivor, she is limited
to an eighth.
55. Women’s rights activists who endeavour to address the aforementioned gender
equality issues seem to have been targeted for their campaigns and activities in
support of women’s rights. For example, members of the “One Million Signatures
Campaign” have routinely been subjected to threats, harassment, interrogations and
imprisonment. The Special Rapporteur conducted two interviews with members of
that campaign who wish to remain anonymous. Those individuals reported that they
had been monitored, arrested, detained and interrogated while blindfolded for
actions related to their student and women’s rights activities. They also reported
having been threatened with expulsion from university or prevented from pursuing
further education as result of their activities. In addition, they reported having
endured lengthy periods in solitary confinement during the investigative phases of
their cases, lack of access to legal counsel and being coerced for the purposes of
incriminating themselves or others known or unknown to them. One of the
witnesses reported having been sentenced in absentia to five years’ imprisonment
for the “encouragement for protests”, one year for disseminating propaganda
through media interviews and articles and one year and 74 lashes for “acting against
the regime by means of participating in peaceful demonstrations”. A/66/374

16 11-51218
56. Moreover, strict implementation of the morality code concerning dress and
attempts to criminalize improper veils have limited women’s participation in public
and social arenas. Equally worrisome are statements made by authorities that blame
victims for inducing attackers to violate their physical integrity. These include
reports of Government officials citing women’s dress as the cause of recent attacks
that took place in Isfahan in June 2011, where 14 women were kidnapped and gangraped while attending a private party. Government statements asserted that the
women’s dress was a source of the violence perpetrated against them and a rationale
for the lack of action in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
57. The case of Bahareh Hedayat, a student and women’s rights activist, member
of the Central Council and Spokesperson for the “Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat”
student union and an activist with the “One Million Signatures Campaign” was
submitted to the Special Rapporteur. She was reportedly arrested by the Ministry of
Intelligence for the fifth time in four years on 31 December 2009. She was
transferred to Evin prison’s ward 209. In May 2010, Ms. Hedayat was sentenced to
nine and a half years in prison for “assembly and collusion against the regime”,
“insulting the Supreme Leader” and “insulting the President”. The court also
reactivated an earlier two-year suspended sentence for participating in a 2006
gathering to protest against laws discriminating against women.
58. Mahboubeh Karami, a women’s rights activist and member of the “One
Million Signatures Campaign”, was arrested on 1 March 2009 and spent 170 days in
prison before being released on bail of $500,000. Ms. Karami was sentenced to four
years in prison. In February 2011, an appeals court reduced her sentence to three
years. She began her three-year prison term on 15 May 2011 after responding to a
summons requiring her to report to Evin prison in Tehran. Ms. Karami’s charges
include “membership in the Human Rights Activists in Iran organization”,
“propagating against the regime” and “assembly and collusion with the intent to
commit crimes against national security”.
D. Religious and ethnic minorities
59. The Special Rapporteur is also concerned by reports of targeted violence and
discrimination against minority groups. Members of recognized and unrecognized
religious and ethnic minorities such Arabs, Azeris, Balochs, Kurds, Nematullahi
Sufi Muslims, Sunnis, Baha’is and Christians are reportedly facing a wide range of
human and civil rights violations. These include encroachment on their rights to
freedom of assembly, association, expression, movement and liberty.
60. The Special Rapporteur is concerned about reports of violations against the
Baha’i community, which, despite being the largest non-Muslim religious minority,
does not enjoy recognition as such by the Government. Its members have
historically suffered multifaceted discrimination, including denial of jobs, pensions
and educational opportunities, as well as confiscation and destruction of property.
According to information received by the Special Rapporteur, at least 100 members
of the Baha’i community, including seven community leaders
are currently
Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saied Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid
Tizfahm, and Mahvash Sabet are the seven members of the Baha’i faith who had been detained
since 14 May 2008 and who went on trial on 12 January 2010 for charges including “acting
against national security, espionage and spreading corruption on Earth. They have each been
sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. A/66/374
11-51218 17
imprisoned in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The majority of those detained allegedly
face national security-related charges and have undergone judicial proceedings that
lacked due process and fair trial standards.
61. In addition, recognized religious minorities reportedly face serious constraints
in the enjoyment of their rights and are subjected to severe limitations and
restrictions on the freedom of religion and belief. For instance, the Special
Rapporteur notes that conversion from Islam is still punishable. Articles 13 and 26
of the Constitution recognize Christianity, granting Christians the right to worship
freely and to form religious societies. Article 14 obligates the Government to uphold
the equality and human rights of Christians. However, Christians in the Islamic
Republic of Iran are reportedly subjected to limitations on their freedom of religion
and various forms of religious discrimination. This is said to be particularly true of
Protestant Christians, most of whom are newly converted. The Intelligence Ministry
is reported to closely monitor Protestant congregations and to routinely summon or
detain members of Protestant groups for interrogations, during which individuals are
questioned about their beliefs, church activities and other church members and are
often urged to return to Islam. In this regard, some Protestants reported having been
threatened by intelligence officials with arrest and apostasy charges if they did not
return to Islam. This pattern of harassment has reportedly resulted in the operations
of most Protestant churches going underground, where church services and Bible
studies are conducted in private homes.
62. The Special Rapporteur was particularly disturbed by a recent ruling of the
Supreme Court that upheld a death sentence for Yousef Nadarkhani, a Protestant
pastor, who was reportedly born to Muslim parents but converted to Christianity
when he was 19 years old. The verdict reads that, unless he decides to renounce his
Christianity, Mr. Nadarkhani will be executed by hanging. This is an emblematic
case of religious intolerance and State-sanctioned violations of the right to freedom
of religion and belief, a fundamental freedom guaranteed by international
instruments. Behrouz Sadegh-Khanjani, pastor for the Church of Iran in the city of
Shiraz, was also detained, in June 2010, and was reportedly held incommunicado in
solitary confinement for approximately two months. Authorities originally charged
him with apostasy, but later dropped that charge and charged him with “blasphemy”
instead. He is currently awaiting trial under this charge.
63. Sufi Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Iran are also subjected to limitations
on their freedom of religion and various forms of religious discrimination. This is
particularly true of members of the Shia Sufi order, Nematollahi Gonabadi.
Authorities sentenced Gholam-Abbas Zare-Haqiqi, a Gonabadi leader, to four years
in prison in October 2009, for allowing a burial at Sufi cemeteries, a banned
practice. On 13 April 2011, authorities arrested eight Gonabadi dervishes by the
names of Abdolreza Kashani, Shokrollah Hosseini, Alireza Abbasi, Ali Kashanifar,
Mohammad Marvi, Nazarali Marvi, Ramin Soltankhah and Zafarali Moghimi. The
men had been part of a group of dervishes previously sentenced to five months in
prison, 50 lashes and one year’s exile on charges of “disrupting public order”,
mainly for assembling in front of the Gonabad Justice Department and prison to
protest the detainment of a leader of the order.
64. Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei is a prominent Shia source of emulation in Qom and
has a track record of issuing fatwas with reformist interpretations. He supported
Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s candidacy during the 2009 election, and has been a vocal A/66/374
18 11-51218
critic of the post-election crackdown. Throughout July and August 2009, Ayatollah
Saanei spoke out against detentions, torture, forced confessions and violence against
dissidents and protestors. On 3 January 2010, plain-clothes Basijis reportedly
attacked Ayatollah Saanei’s office in the city of Gorgan after he delivered a speech
that criticized the post-election developments in that city. Plain-clothes agents also
reportedly congregated in front of his house in Qom, attacked it and destroyed
property inside on 13 June 2010.
65. Mowlavi Habiballah Marjani, a teacher and director of seminary student
affairs at Dar-al-Ulum Seminary, was arrested on 1 May 2011. On 24 May 2011,
Bultan News, an Iranian website known for its close association with intelligence
circles, claimed that Mr. Marjani had been charged with “attempts to organize
illegal gatherings”. There is no information about Mr. Marjani’s whereabouts or his
current condition.
66. Hojataleslam Ahmad Ghabel is a well-known religious scholar and a close
associate and former student of the dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri. On
14 September 2010, Mr. Ghabel was summoned to the revolutionary court in
Mashhad. When he arrived, he was arrested and transferred to Vakilabad prison in
Mashhad. He was charged for interviews he had given about prison conditions and
mass secret executions inside Vakilabad prison. On 31 July 2011, Mr. Ghabel was
ordered to report to that prison, where he is currently serving his 20-month sentence.
67. Hojataleslam Mojtaba Lotfi is a young cleric who published his articles in
reformist newspapers and websites. He was arrested on the order of the Special
Court for the Clergy in city of Qom on 8 October 2008. He was charged with
“publication of lies and production and distribution of articles and writings without
a legal permit”. The Court sentenced Mr. Lotfi to four years in prison and five years
of internal exile on 29 November 2008 and transferred him to Langrood prison in
Qom to serve his term. On 29 November 2009, authorities announced that Mr. Lotfi
would be allowed to spend his evenings, from sunset until next morning at his
home, and that he was required to report to prison every morning. He was arrested
again after participating in Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral procession and was
subsequently prosecuted by the Special Court for the Clergy under the charge of
“participation in Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral during a prison furlough”. The court
sentenced him to 10 years of internal exile in the city of Ashtian.
68. The Special Rapporteur also received reports of discrimination against Sunni
Muslim sects in the Islamic Republic of Iran. For instance, Sunnis are reportedly not
allowed to build any mosques and houses of worship and are also prevented from
offering prayers in congregation, especially Eid and Friday prayers. On 29 August
2011, a religious Sunni leader and cleric Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdul Hameed
asked the Supreme Leader to remove barriers from establishing Eid and Friday
prayers of Sunnis in major cities. He also expressed concern over reports regarding
discriminative measures of officials by taking written oaths from Sunni scholars in
Tehran to not offer Eid al-Fitr prayers. Furthermore, on 6 February 2011, security
forces reportedly raided a house of worship for Sunnis in Tehran, locked it up and
detained its prayer leader, Mowlavi Musazadeh. He was released on 13 March 2011
after posting bail. A/66/374
11-51218 19
E. Capital punishment
69. The interim report of the Secretary-General to the Human Rights Council
(A/HRC/16/75) documented a dramatic increase in executions recorded in the
Islamic Republic of Iran. In addition to serious concerns over the frequency of its
application, the Special Rapporteur is concerned that the death penalty is regularly
used in cases where due process rights were denied to the accused. Secret group
executions inside prisons, which reportedly occur in alarmingly high numbers, are
often carried out without the knowledge and presence of families and lawyers.
Public executions, which the Iranian authorities claim have been effective in
preventing crimes, also continue to recur. The Special Rapporteur was particularly
disturbed by the video footage of recent public executions of three persons
convicted of kidnapping and rape in the Azadi Square of Kermanshah on 19 July
2011. As seen in the footage, a large crowd, including children, attended the
70. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur is troubled by reports of the widespread
application of the death penalty for crimes that do not meet the international
standard for most serious crimes. According to various sources, including Amnesty
International, a majority of those executed in 2010 had been convicted of drugrelated offences.
The Human Rights Committee and the Special Rapporteur on
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions have stated that drug offences do not
constitute a “most serious crime” for which the death penalty is permissible under
international law (see A/HRC/4/20, para. 51). Capital punishment was also applied
to cases regarding Mohareb or “enmity against God”, rape, murder, immoral acts or
acts against chastity and kidnapping. More than 200 officially announced executions
have taken place in 2011. At least 83 persons, including 3 political prisoners, are
known to have been executed in January 2011 alone. It was also noted that
4 per cent of the executions announced by the official Iranian media stipulated no
charges. At least one person has been sentenced for apostasy in 2011, and more than
100 officially announced executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2011 were
reportedly for drug-related crimes.
71. Furthermore, authorities reportedly conducted more than 300 secret executions
at Vakilabad prison in 2010. Vakilabad officials, in violation of Iranian law, allegedly
carried out the executions without the knowledge or presence of the inmates’ lawyers
or families and without prior notification to those executed. It has also been reported
that at least 146 secret executions have taken place to date in 2011.
72. It has also been reported that more than 100 juveniles are on death row in the
Islamic Republic of Iran. In a joint press statement, on 22 September 2011, the
Special Rapporteur, together with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary
or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and
lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment condemned the public execution by hanging of
17-year-old Alireza Molla Soltani, which was carried out on 21 September in the
city of Karaj. The Special Rapporteurs stressed that any judgement imposing the
According to official judiciary news, Mohammad Bagher Bagheri, Social and Crime Prevention
Deputy of South Khorasan province Judiciary, confirmed the executions of 140 persons in
relation to drug-trafficking during 2010. Official judiciary news, 26 June 2011, available from
http://shorakj.ir/Default.aspx?tabid=1056&ctl=Edit&mid=2234&Code=1762. A/66/374
20 11-51218
death penalty upon juveniles below the age of 18, and their execution, were
incompatible with the international obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran and
called upon the Government to institute a moratorium on the death penalty. The
execution of minors, defined as an individual under the age of 18 years at the time
they committed their offence, is prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to both of which
the Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur is
concerned with the unequal treatment of boys and girls under the penal code, which
currently holds girls criminally liable for their actions six years earlier than boys.
F. Detention for relations with foreign entities
73. Omid Kokabi, an Iranian scientist and a postgraduate student at the University of
Texas, has been at Evin prison (wards 209 and 350) since February 2010, when he was
arrested after travelling to the Islamic Republic of Iran to visit his family. His charges
are cited as “illegitimate earnings” and “relations with an enemy state”. Prior to his
trial, which was later postponed, Mr. Kokabi wrote a letter to the head of the Iranian
judiciary to report prison abuse, torture and solitary confinement. He also wrote that
he had been arrested “for the astounding charge of assembly and collusion against
national security and was held in solitary confinement for 36 days”. Mr. Kokabi wrote
that he had been forced to sign false confessions and to report details about
individuals he may have observed or come into contact with at embassies or
conferences. He stated that he had been told that those individuals were Central
Intelligence Agency operatives. He asserts that he has no history of political activity
and challenges the legality of his arrest. Mr. Kokabi’s attorney also reportedly wrote
to the head of the judiciary to declare that he had not had access to his client.
74. The Special Rapporteur conducted an interview with a source that wishes to
remain anonymous regarding the arrest and detention of two physicians and
HIV/AIDS experts, Arash and Kamiar Alaei, as well as two of their associates,
Mohammad Ehsani and Silva Harotonian. A review of the court’s decision, issued
on 27 January 2004 by the Special Rapporteur, revealed that all four individuals
were charged with committing “actions against domestic security by way of
cooperation with the Government of the United States of America”. A document
containing the court’s decision stated that the United States Government was
suspected of “trying to attract and employ elements of non-governmental
organizations, journalists, bloggers, members of the intellectual and educated class,
scientific leaders, social movements, and students, by creating organic linkages”.
The document further cites the evidence used to convict the Alaei brothers,
indicating that they had confessed to attending conferences, inviting individuals to
participate in conferences and developing, coordinating and executing exchange
programmes with entities such as Johns Hopkins University and the Asia Society.
IV. Conclusion
75. The Special Rapporteur wishes to emphasize his desire for constructive
dialogue with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the international
community and civil society. The Special Rapporteur looks forward to the
challenging responsibility of this mandate and to positive outcomes in the field A/66/374
11-51218 21
of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has identified a number of
promising starting points for cooperation in the present report, notably in the
implementation of the recommendations of the universal periodic review, treaty
body observations and the findings of other special procedures mandate
holders. He has also catalogued an increasing trend of alleged violations of the
fundamental rights of the people, guaranteed under international law, and
stresses the urgency for greater transparency from the Iranian authorities and
closer engagement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the international
community in strengthening human rights safeguards for its citizens.
76. The Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to open greater space
for the aforementioned groups of civil society actors to be able to carry out
their work. He also wishes to stress the importance of freedom of expression
and assembly for a democratic, open society governed by the rule of law, and
encourages the Government to refrain from repressing dissent. The Special
Rapporteur would also like to underscore the importance of perpetuating a
culture of tolerance, and urges the Government to prevent discrimination
against women, as well religious and ethnic minorities, in all spheres of public
life and services, and to protect their freedoms to freely associate and express
77. The Special Rapporteur also remains concerned about the well-being and
health of prisoners, especially those mentioned in the present report, and
encourages the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to launch full
investigations into those cases. He also requests that he be granted the ability to
substantiate accounts raised here through access to both detention centres and
those detained. The Special Rapporteur further requests that the Government
of the Islamic Republic of Iran review those cases and furnish the Special
Rapporteur with information that would enable him to report progress or
developments in those matters to the General Assembly and the Human Rights
Council. He also urges the Government to increase its cooperation with the
special procedures, as this would create a productive space for further actions
to improve the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
78. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic
Republic of Iran once again requests that he be allowed to visit that country in
order to develop his dialogue with the authorities and either substantiate or lay
to rest, allegations of human rights violations committed within its sovereign
territory http://persian.iranhumanrights.org/wp-content/uploads/SR_Report_14_Oct.pdf

go back

last update: 10/18/2017 3:39