Top UN Iran Expert Expresses “Alarm” at Iran’s “Unprecedented Violent Crackdown” against Protestors
Imprisonment of Lawyers and Human Rights Defenders, Juvenile Executions, Singled Out for Condemnation
In the latest report by the UN’s top expert on Iran, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, expressed “alarm” and “dismay” over a broad range of human rights violations by the government of the Islamic Republic.
The Special Rapporteur (SR) focused particular attention in the report on the Iranian authorities’ violent response to the widespread protests that swept through the country in November 2019. He expressed “alarm” over the “unprecedented violent crackdown against protesters,” noting not only the excessive and lethal use of state force, but also the lack of investigation and accountability for the hundreds of people killed by state security forces, the harassment of victims’ families and the mass arrests.
He added he was “extremely disturbed” by detention conditions for the protestors that included the denial of medical treatment and the “widespread pattern” of officials using torture to extract false confessions. The SR added he was “particularly alarmed at reports of the detention and mistreatment of children.”
Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders, Lawyers and Dual Nationals “At Risk” for COVID-19
While acknowledging the “positive initiative” of temporary prisoner releases to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Iran’s overcrowded prisons, the UN expert asserted he was “concerned that most human rights defenders, lawyers, dual and foreign nationals and other targeted groups [conservationists, religious and ethnic minorities and prisoners of conscience imprisoned on national security charges] have not benefitted.” He stated that despite the temporary furlough plan, “longstanding problems [of] systemic overcrowding and hygiene issues” were “putting detainees and prison staff at risk.”
Dismay at Continued Use of the Death Penalty against Child Offenders
The SR stated he was “dismayed by the continued use of the death penalty against child offenders and its high execution figures,” and noted that also of “primary concern” is the continued practice of child marriage in Iran.
Deep Concern Over Imprisonment of Human Rights Defenders, Lawyers and Dual Nationals
He also stated he was “deeply concerned at the reported harassment, imprisonment and mistreatment in prison of human rights defenders and lawyers,” and that he remains “deeply concerned about the situation of imprisoned dual and foreign nationals, including Ahmadreza Djalali, Massud Mossaheb, Kameel Ahmady, Kamran Ghaderi, Morad Tahbaz and Siamak Namazi.”
Notes Continued Discrimination against Women and Minorities
The SR noted “the slow pace of change concerning the protection of women and girls against discrimination and inequality,” adding that gender-based discrimination permeated law and practice, including employment, political and judicial positions and family life. He noted that individuals defending women’s rights continue to be targeted by State authorities.
He expressed concern over “threats against and arrests and imprisonments of individuals for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression,” and noted “the authorities continued to target journalists for critical and independent reporting.”
Javaid Rehman also stated that he “remains deeply concerned at the continued discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities.”
The full UN report, dated July 21, 2020, can be read here.