Ahmed Shaheed latest Report on the Situation of Human Rights in IranPublished by International Liberty Association on October 25, 2016
Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, has submitted his latest report to the UN General Assembly’s 3rd committee. In terms of time period, the report covers January 1st 2016 to mid August 2016. Mr. Shaheed says that during this period he has sent 23 letters on human rights to the Islamic Republic officials.
In his 45-minute speech in the 3rd committee of the UN General Assembly, Ahmed Shaheed raised the most important human rights issues in Iran, including increased executions, keeping hundreds of prisoners of conscience, difficulties and obstacles to the freedom of speech, pressures on the press and journalists, violating the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, especially followers of the Baha’i Faith.
The UN reporter has criticized the performance of Iranian regime’s organizations in issues like providing people with the freedom of speech and thought, the right to freedom of association and assembly, as well as the rights of women and children, dual citizens, and political and social activists and workers.
Regarding the freedom of speech, Dr. Shaheed criticizes the current restrictions in Iran and writes: “from January 2016 to date, 15 journalists and bloggers have been arrested and five million websites have been blocked in Iran, which are the main obstacles to the freedom of speech.”
On the number of executions, it has been stressed in Ahmed Shaheed’s report that from January 1, 2016, to the 3rd week of July the same year, between 241 to 253 executions have been carried out in Iran which is significantly less compared to the same period in 2015. Ahmed Shaheed announced that the number of executions in 2015 has been between 966 to 1054.
In his speech, Mr. Shaheed criticized the easy issuance of death sentences, even for crimes which are not classified as serious crimes, such as murder.
The UN Reporter on Iran’s human rights situation, however, writes that the number of executions in recent months has had an increasing rate and that the executions have been mostly drug-related.
Ahmed Shaheed welcomed in his speech the release of a number of political prisoners and leave (temporary release) of some others and demanded that for completing his reports be allowed to visit Iran.
During the assembly, the representative of Canada criticized Iran for not allowing the UN reporter to travel to Iran.
It should be pointed out that Ahmed Shaheed’s mission will come to an end at the end of the present review of Iran’s human rights records, and according to reports, the Pakistani ‘Asemeh Jahangir’, a longtime human rights activist, will be the new UN Rapparteur on human rights in Iran.