London, 26 Oct – Ms Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, compiled a report for the seventy-second session of the General Assembly.
She raised some very troubling issues regarding the behaviour of the Iranian regime and made suggestions on how this can be resolved.
The report covers the period from January to June 2017 and is based on sources inside and outside the country.
She mentioned that she was very concerned about the number of executions being carried out and highlighted that there have been at least 435 since the beginning of the year. Another big concern is the fact that juvenile offenders are also being put on death row to await execution. At the minute there are thought to be 86 juvenile offenders on death row, but Jahangir has requested official figures and a list of names.
The Special Rapporteur said that torture is still being widely used in Iran as a punishment. “There are numerous reports of the use of physical and mental torture, including to coerce confessions. I regretfully note that amputation, blinding, flogging, and the continued use of prolonged solitary confinement continue to be regularly practiced. I am also deeply concerned by consistent reports of the denial of access to proper and necessary medical treatment of detainees, including the deprival of medical care as a form of punishment.”
The rights of women were also addressed in the report and Jahangir noted that women are still being subject to mandatory dress codes and are banned from watching sporting events in stadiums. Women are still being discriminated against in the workplace and are excluded from several professions. She also noted that several Iranians have been arrested for “reading and spreading feminist literature”.
She also reports that the situation of ethnic minorities is very similar and that they are particularly targeted by authorities.
Jahangir suggests that issues from the past need to be acknowledged and addressed. She referred to the 1988 massacre in which tens of thousands of political prisoners, including women and young people, were killed. She said that it still sparks a “deep and unremitting pain” for many.
“The killings themselves have been acknowledged by some at the highest levels of the State. Almost on a daily basis, I receive heartfelt letters from the relatives of those killed calling for answers. The families of the victims have a right to remedy, reparation, and the right to know about the truth of these events and the fate of the victims without risking reprisal. I therefore reiterate my call upon the Government to ensure that a thorough and independent investigation into these events is carried out.”
Jahangir ended her report with a dedication to the repressed people who have risked their lives to provide her with information. She said: “I would conclude by paying tribute again to those who continue to speak out and provide information to my mandate, amidst a blanket of fear and intimidation directed towards them and their families.”