ICCPR Report – I. Executive Summary
This report presents information about compliance by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) with its obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Following introductory information and general observations, Iran’s adherence to the pledges contained in a number of the articles is discussed, with respect both to the country’s laws and its human rights practices. Not all articles of the Covenant are discussed, nor is the presentation comprehensive, as it reflects those aspects of the problem about which the most detailed information is available.
The grave human rights violations in Iran are primarily violations of the fundamental civil and political rights protected by the ICCPR. In many, and very serious cases, Iran’s laws themselves are incompatible with the Covenant. However, Iranian authorities routinely violate the country’s own Constitution and laws that are meant to protect human rights.
With respect to Article 2 and 3 of the Covenant, Iran’s laws are deeply discriminatory, particularly against women. Iran’s laws and social policies not only devalue women, but also put them at risk of exploitation, abuse, and even murder. The Right to Life (Article 3) is massively violated on the basis of laws under which citizens may be executed for a wide range of crimes including sexual offenses, while women and non-Muslims are at greatest risk. There are excessive numbers of executions and including executions of those who committed crimes as juveniles. Torture (Article 7) is systematic and widespread in a system in which confessions often are the main evidence upon which convictions are made. Thousands of Iranians have been arbitrarily detained (Article 9) in the context of recent political disturbances. Prison conditions (Article 10) are in many cases intentionally inhumane and unhealthy, particularly for prisoners of conscience. The Freedom of Movement (Article 12) is violated by arbitrarily-imposed travel bans.
This report deals at length with ways in which judicial processes and guarantees in Iran violate Article 14, and in particular with the lack of an independent judiciary. The Right to Privacy (Article 17) is violated by extensive monitoring of private communications. The Freedom of Expression (Article 19) is severely limited by censorship, the closing of newspapers, restrictions on Internet use, and arrests of journalists. The report includes information on how Iranian officials and publications have engaged in incitement to violence (Article 20). Iranian civil society organizations and social movements, in particular women’s rights groups, students, human rights activists and labor activists, have been denied the Freedom of Assembly (Article 21) and the Freedom of Association (Article 22). Finally, the report includes an analysis of laws governing elections in Iran, which conflict with Article 25 and with the basic principles of equality and non-discrimination.