Dr. Ahmed Shaheed the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted his report to the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
In his report, Dr. Shaheed expresses alarm about the persisting use of capital and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment at alarming rates. He especially raises concern about the frequent application of the death penalty for crimes not considered “most serious” under international human rights law, and considering policies and practices previously identified by the United Nations human rights mechanisms that continue to challenge the administration of justice.
The Special Rapporteur also expressed concern over the ongoing arrests of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, religious and ethnic minorities, as well as closures of media outlets and severe limitations on the Internet and social media this past year. He further calls on the IRI Government to amend laws that violate the human rights of the citizens including discriminatory laws against women.
Dr. Shaheed also indicated that at least 753 people were believed to have been executed in the Islamic Republic last year, the highest number since 2002, half of them for drug-related crimes. He urged Iranian authorities to rescind capital punishment for drug offences and juveniles, in line with international law, and to uphold fair trial standards.
Finally, the Special Rapporteur reiterates his request for a visit to Iran and stresses that in the meantime he will continue to gather information through interviews with Iranians located inside and outside the country in lieu of a country visit.
On Monday, March 16, Dr. Shaheed will formally present his latest report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The interactive dialogue will include Iran’s official reply and discussion of Dr. Shaheed’s findings by the Council member states. Member states will then vote on a resolution calling for the renewal of Dr. Shaheed’s mandate for a fifth consecutive year towards the end of the current session on March 27.
Read full report here.