UNSG: No improvement in human rights in Iran under Rouhani

UNSG: No improvement in human rights in Iran under Rouhani

Published by on September 30, 2015

ban-kimoonUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized Iran’s regime for gross violations of human rights in a report to the 70th session of the UN General Assembly. In his annual report to the General Assembly on Friday, September 25 the UN chief referred to numerous human rights violations in Iran in the past year.

“There has been a steady upward trend in the number of executions from 2008 to 2015, with a peak of at least 750 in 2014,” the report said.

In response to the Iranian regime’s argument that executions are a preventive measure against drug trafficking, the report asserts: “Given the steady upward trend in the number of executions in recent years, the Secretary-General questions the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent and urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to seek alternative solutions that comply with international human rights law and standards.”

“The Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran has been a State party since 1975, has repeatedly stressed that capital punishment for drug-related offences does not comply with the ‘most serious crimes’ requirement under article 6 of the Covenant, which international human rights jurisprudence has defined as murder or intentional killing.”

“That interpretation has been reiterated by the Secretary-General, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who have also stressed that drug-related offences that do not involve intentional killing do not meet that threshold.”

“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has also consistently expressed concern about drug-related offences being qualified as the ‘most serious crimes’ in its high-level talks with senior Iranian officials … The Secretary-General is concerned that capital punishment is used for crimes that do not meet that threshold.”

Secretary Ban noted that Tehran has failed to make publicly available “official data on children in conflict with the law, in particular those at risk of execution”

“Nonetheless, as at 2014, there were reportedly 160 juveniles at risk of execution and at least 13 juvenile offenders were reportedly executed in 2014 and 1 in 2015.”

Secretary Ban stated that public executions in Iran have a “dehumanizing effect.”

The report also referred to flagrant cases of violation of women’s rights. “More than 2.9 million women reportedly received a warning for failure to observe the [dress] code between March 2013 and March 2014.”

“There has been a net decrease in the number of female employees from 3,691,000 in 2006 to 3,145,000 in 2015, an average loss of 100,000 jobs in each intervening year,” the report said.

It also highlighted state censorship and imposition of limitations on the media, internet filtering, threatening freedom of expression, pressuring of labor associations, prejudice against religious and ethnic minorities, arrest of human rights activists, and public executions.

“The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has noted that it has transmitted 537 cases to the Government since its establishment and that 518 remain outstanding.”
“The Secretary-General remains deeply troubled by the increased number of executions and reiterates his call upon the Government to introduce a moratorium on the use of the death penalty and to prohibit executions of juvenile offenders in all circumstances.”

“The Secretary-General urges the Government to create space for human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists and to release political prisoners, including human rights defenders and lawyers, detained solely for legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly,” the report added.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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