The second report focuses on the main human rights violations occurring in Iran, with a special emphasis on the situation of minority groups, including the Ahwazi Arabs, the Azeri Turks, the Kurds and the Baloch. There are no significant signs of improvement in the routine violations of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights.
Discrepancies between various aspects of national laws and Iran’s human rights obligations, along with the erratic application of these laws, are the reasons for the lack of progress. There are grave restrictions on freedom of expression and association. Of special concern are the multiple reports of arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment. Another serious issue is the widespread use of the death penalty, even for offences that are not considered among the most serious crimes under international law.
In the Kurdish, Azeri, Arab and Baloch communities these abuses are carried out on a greater scale with impunity. On the basis of these findings, the report formulates a series of recommendations to be considered by the Iranian government:
- To eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to ethnic, linguistic or other minorities;
- To end the intimidation, harassment and persecution of political dissidents, human rights defenders, academics, media workers, and lawyers, on the basis of their political views;
- To amend or abolish the vague security laws under the Constitution and Islamic Penal Code and other legislation that permits the government to arbitrarily suppress and reprimand individuals for peaceful political expression;
- To free all individuals currently deprived of their liberty for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly;
- To free all minority rights activists, human rights defenders, journalists and others who are currently imprisoned for their peaceful advocacy for minority rights;
- To uphold, in law and in practice, procedural guarantees to ensure due process of law;
- To eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
- To fight impunity, investigating complaints of torture, ill-treatment and unfair trials;
- To abolish death sentences for drug-related crimes and convert those already passed to prison terms;
- To declare a moratorium on all executions; ban public executions; and limit capital punishment to offences considered to be serious crimes under international law.
During the months of October and November 2014, the UNPO reports will be examined along with other NGO reports and the State report at the 20th Session of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review.
The full reports are available for download in the top right column or here: