Human rights

UN report paints grim picture of human rights in Iran

In its latest report on the human rights situation in Iran, the UN expressed concern about the excessive use of force against dissidents and protests.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on June 16 presented an interim report on Iran’s rights situation – covering the period from June 11, 2021 to March 20, 2022 – which will be presented to the Human Rights Council. man during its 50th ordinary session (June 13 – July 8, 2022).

The report received testimonies and reports from non-governmental organizations, individuals, victims and their families “concerning potential violations of the right to life allegedly committed by the State, including arbitrary executions, use of lethal force by security forces against peaceful protesters and border crossings, as well as arbitrary deprivation of life in detention as a result of torture or denial of timely access to medical care.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights continued to receive reports of torture and ill-treatment in places of detention, leading to death, the UN chief said, citing the names of many people who died in custody, such as Shahin Naseri, Amirhossein Hatami, Adel Kianpour and Baktash Abtin.

Decrying “the high number of death sentences and executions” and “reports of deaths in prison due to denial of adequate and timely medical care”, the UN chief said the number of executions in Iran has gone from at least 260 cases in 2020 to 310 people in 2021, and the number of continued to rise until 2022.

According to the report, between January 1, 2022 and March 20, 2022, at least 105 people were executed, and in March 2022, 52 prisoners convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges were transferred for execution to the Shiraz central prison. By mid-March, at least 16 of them had been executed.

He also condemned Iran’s “execution of child offenders”, saying: “Under international human rights instruments, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party, capital punishment will not be imposed for offenses committed by persons under the age of 18”.

Three citizens killed in protests in different cities in mid-May

Referring to protests that erupted in more than 26 towns in Khuzestan province over water shortages in July 2021, the UN chief also criticized the “enforced disappearances of protesters” and said that ” on some occasions, authorities allegedly used plainclothes officers to pose as gunmen or violent protesters, and later blamed them for the deaths of protesters”

António Guterres also expressed concern about the potential impacts of Iranian policies aimed at increasing population growth, such as the Young Population and Family Protection Law, which restricts the sale of contraceptives, prohibits sterilization and restricts the abortion, “on the rights of men, women and girls”. to sexual and reproductive health.

The UN also expressed concern over “new legislative measures aimed at restricting the digital space”. including User Protection Bill which “would grant the government and military extensive control over the infrastructure that connects Iran to the global internet”.

The report also denounces the way in which the Islamic Republic uses article 49 of the Constitution to “confiscate wealth and property minorities, especially the Baha’i religious minority, as well as political dissidents and their families.

Guterres also noted that “journalists, including overseas journalists working for foreign media, continued to be intimidated. These acts included coercion by proxy through threats against family members inside the country, economic pressure, travel bans and interrogations.

He also denounced the intensification of summonses, arrests and detentions of labor rights defenders amid growing protests from teachers, pensioners and other groups demanding labor and social security rights.

Weak growth, high inflation and widespread unemployment have caused increase economic disparitiesadds the report.

António Guterres concluded his report with a list of recommendations aimed at improving the human rights situation in the country, including the abolition of the death penalty, reforms aimed at strengthening the right to a fair trial in accordance with international organizations, the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, investigations into the use of excessive and deadly force during protests and measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

In March, the Iranian Foreign Ministry accused the UN human rights rapporteur to “politicize” the human rights situation in Iran and to publish biased reports, in reference to the report of the UN special rapporteur, Javaid Rehman.