In the name of God
Presented to the 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council (March 2013)
I. Women’s rights
A. Honor killings
B. Civil and Political Rights
C. Economic and Social Rights
D. Early Marriage
E. Freedom of travel and transport
II. Free and fair elections
IV. Torture and other inhuman punishment, cruel and degrading
V. Freedom of expression, assembly and association:
A. Journalists and citizens
B. Human rights defenders
VI. Sexual orientation
VII. Ethnic minorities:
VIII. Religious minorities:
D. Other religious and spiritual groups
IX. Economic and social rights
A. Right to education
B. Economic sanctions
X. Conclusions and recommendations
Following to the brief answer of the I.R. Iran to the report of the Special Rapporteur due to the provision of inadequate time, a detailed answer to the report is submitted as follows:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly taken steps toward promotion of human rights at national and international levels. Our efforts to promote human rights have been based on our religious obligations and adherence to the constitutional and ordinary laws of the country and our commitments under international treaties. We are committed to promotion of human rights both in our deeds and words. Submission of national report under the UPR mechanism, cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner, invitation of the High commissioner for Human Rights to visit the Country and visit by the OHCHR to Iran in December 2011 to facilitate the visit of the High Commissioner to Iran are examples of our cooperation [sic].
Cooperation with the thematic mandate holders shall remain the principled position of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since 2003, six thematic rapporteurs visited Iran, which is still a high number of visits paid by the Council mandate Holders to a country in the region. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes in serious cooperation with international bodies and has continuously reported to related committees on international conventions and found itself legally bound to implement its international obligations. In this regard, Iran defended its third periodic report on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights last year and in May this year will appear before the Committee on Social, Cultural and Economic Rights to defend its report on the Covenant on Social, economic and Cultural Rights. The l. R. Iran declares its readiness to continue with this cooperation and in recent years responded to considerable communications of HRC rapporteurs. Therefore, mere mentioning figures as cases of human rights violation without referring to Iran’s responses reduce credibility of the report. Such approach cannot prepare the ground for dialogue and promotion of engagement with the I.R Iran.
The Special Rapporteur in his report instead of referring to credible, and official sources, and considering trends and human rights pattern in Iran engaged in prejudgment and used incredible and unofficial sources. He therefore pointed out unreal details and breached principles of impartiality, independence and transparency.
As it was referred to in the brief response we again emphasize that:
I – The assessment of the SR on the continuation of widespread systemic and systematic violation of human rights in Iran seems totally flawed since:
I/I- The report which is partial and biased disregards realities on the ground, as well as principles of transparency, fairness and impartiality, and has violated paragraph g of the preamble of the Code of the [sic] Conduct (which makes it unfit for appraisal);
1/2- References to allegations of unspecified non-governmental organizations, human rights defenders and individuals as the core sources of the report (against provision of Article 6a and Article 8g of resolution 5/2 on the Code of Conduct) can by no means authenticate its content. Basically, inclusion of disconnected and baseless subjects in a report (in contradiction with the provision of Article 3a of the document 5/2) has led the draft report to lose its credibility. No sound judgment could be made on unverifiable claims.
1/3- Against the allegations made in the introduction of the draft report on the violation of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people in law and in practice, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes in serious cooperation with international bodies and has continuously reported to related committees on international conventions and found itself legally bound to implement its international obligations. In this regard, Iran defended its third periodic report on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights last year and in May this year will appear before the Committee on Social, Cultural and Economic Rights to defend its report on the Covenant on Social, economic and Cultural Rights. Therefore, claims on the “culture of impunity” and “weakening impact of the human rights instruments” are totally baseless and rejected (claims which are made in disrespect to Articles 6a and 12a of the resolution 5/2).
It has to be further emphasized that using expressions such as “widespread systemic and systematic violation of human rights” and “fostering culture of impunity” by the Special Rapporteur are strictly against the Code of Conduct which requires adopting clear and unambiguous language. Besides, such terms are inconsistent with the content of the draft report itself. It seems that the UN human rights mechanism should seriously reconsider recruiting unprofessional Rapprteurs [sic] with partial and biased attitudes (the Special Rapporteur has violated Articles 3 and 5 of resolution 5/2)
Taking into account the above mentioned considerations, it seems that in preparation of the draft report motivations beyond and above the UN mechanisms were involved.
2- The phrase “cumulative and systematic” (used in paragraph 2 of the report) is not valid and baseless. It is proposed in a non-technical, unprofessional and biased context and disrespects the provisions of Article 3f and Article 5 of resolution 5/2.
Undoubtedly, terms such as “systematic, cumulative or widespread” each bear specific connotation. Therefore, it deserves to be asked that why the Rapporteur who according to his mandate should base his work on impartiality and honesty, and should look for facts based on objective and reliable information derived from valid sources, so recklessly and unprofessionally makes in his report unreliable assumptions based on false claims? As a matter of fact, the Special Rapporteur in gathering required information should act under the guidance and observance of such principles as transparency, impartiality and fairness as foreseen in paragraph 8a of resolution 5/2. However, the performance of Rapporteur and making baseless and unreliable claims has deeply undermined the process of confidence-building and cooperation with him.
2/1- The Rapporteur argues that the scope of the human rights situation prevents him to address all dimensions in the report. The Rapporteur, in disrespect of Article 3e of resolution 5/2, piles up scattered, heterogeneous and undocumented materials to produce a dubious draft and by resorting to such claims tries to cover up serious defects in the draft report or to justify them.
2/2- The Rapporteur, since his appointment has disrespected several provisions of resolution 5/2. However, in his latest report he has regretfully gone further and predicts the future. He claims about deterioration of the situation based on a possibility in future that is next presidential election in June 2013. Without doubt, the possibility judgments are futile. Comparing 2009 presidential election with the next one is erroneous and such flawed comparison seriously undermines and questions credibility of draft report altogether. [sic]
3- The Special Rapporteur, without providing reasonable proves and solely based on media allegations, has (in paragraph 6 of his report) referred to the “reprisal cases” and offers an erroneous interpretation of the facts. He confined himself to mentioning of some names without complete information. Because of numerous similar names, he made the investigation almost impossible. Moreover, the general phrase “in a file” without mentioning of the number of the dossier removed the possibility of clearing cases in paragraph 6 of the report. [sic]
4- In relation to paragraph 7 of the draft report, first of all charges against 5 persons mentioned in the paragraph are pure lie because [sic]:
4/1- Mr. Ahmed Tamoie accused of armed activities and membership of the PJAK terrorist group, after investigation, and fair hearing, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and is serving his sentence.
4/2- Mr. Yosof Kak, accused of armed activities and membership of the PJAK terrorist group, after investigation, and fair hearing, was sentenced to 9 years in prison and is serving his sentence.
4/3- Mr. Jahangir Badvzadh charged of armed robbery, disturbing public order, assault, and purchasing and storing weapons, escape from prison, public intimidation, after investigation and fair trial sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and returning of robbed properties. He is serving his prison term.
4/4- Mr. Ali Ahmed Suleirnan, charged of being a member of the terrorist group PJAK, armed activities, two counts of murder and is in temporary detention and his case is under investigation.
4/5 – Mr. Mustafa Ali Ahmed, charged of membership in the PJAK terrorist group, armed actions and propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran, after investigation, and fair hearing was sentenced to a total of 10 years and 6 months after the finality of verdict is serving his prison term.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, guaranteeing rights of prisoners based on legal provisions and regulations of prisons and safeguarding measures and educational organizations, facilities such as frequent meetings with relatives, having adequate health care facilities, access to amenities, shops, barbershop, Sports Club, education and culture facilities, cinema, library, etc. are foreseen. So, claims of investigation for contacting the Special Rapporteur and torture and solitary confinement are seriously refuted. Therefore, the Rapporteur ignoring regulations in Iran has repeated his untrue claims and therefore, breached Article 6 of the Code of Conduct.
I. Rights of women:
The I.R. Iran has carried out promotional measures on the rights of women and is committed to the economic, social, cultural and educational advancement of women. The following is some of those measures:
One of the legislative measures on enjoyment of women of all economic, social and cultural right is the adoption of the Law on Rights and Responsibilities of Women (2006) by the Islamic Republic of Iran. This law underscores the following rights for women:
– Right to self-reliance
– Right of ownership
– Right to work
– Right to establish trade associations
– Freedom of expression and assembly in accordance with the norms.
– Right to establish parties and other political associations and right to participate in their activities by observing independence of the country, national unity and overall interests of the Islamic system of government.
– Right to participate in elections and to be elected to the Islamic Consultative Assembly, to various legislative councils, to participate in government planning and to assume high management positions by observing the norms.
– Right to social security
– Right to food, clothing and housing.
– Right to physical and mental health.
– Right to education
– Right to participate in cultural life.
In the area of policy making, one of the fundamental measures by the Islamic Republic of Iran to elevate the status of women is the drafting and adoption of the strategic document by the Center for Women and Family Affairs of president’s Office in 2010. This document includes goals and strategies that generally relate to all activities by government agencies in relation to women and family. Article 21 of the Constitution obliges the government to create a favorable environment for the enhancement of woman’s personality and the restoration of her rights, both the material and intellectual ones; for the protection of mothers, particularly during pregnancy and child-rearing years, and the establishing competent courts to protect and preserve the family; and for the provision of special insurance for widows, the aged women, and women without support.
The Twenty-Year Vision of the country, adopted in 2005, takes into its full view the need for elevating the status of women and family in all social arenas, restoration of all Sharia and legal rights of women in all fields of human endeavors and according greater attention to their constructive role. Article 158 of the Third Development Plan underscores measures to strengthen the institution of family by following means:
– Identifying educational, cultural and sports needs of women in accordance with Islamic principles, and strengthening their role in the development of the country.
– Promoting employment opportunities.
– Facilitating access to courts and judicial recourse.
– Supporting the formation of NGO’s that support women heads of households and women without legal support in the less developed parts of the country.
Article 111 of the Fourth Development Plan obliges the government to take measures such as those listed below for the purpose of elevating the role of women in the society, promoting opportunities and increasing the level of women participation in the affairs of the country:
– Adoption and implementation of comprehensive programmes for women participation, including review of legislations and regulations, especially the Civil Code, strengthening the skills of women that are appropriate for the needs of the society and technological developments, identifying and elevating quality of life of women.
– Taking all necessary measures, including preventive programmes to end violence against women.
– Presenting bills on supporting creation and expansion of NGO’s, community-based organizations and women organizations to the parliament for the purpose of implementing article 111 of the Fourth Development Plan. A special line has been set aside for this purpose in the national budget.
– Drafting and adoption of “Comprehensive Development Plan for the Center for Women and Family Affairs” on the basis of Article 230 of the Fifth Five-year Development Plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran that includes provisions concerning ways to strengthen the institution of family, review of laws and regulations, prevention of social harms, developing and managing economic and livelihood affairs and enhancing the capabilities of women with leadership qualities and promotion of health.
The Center for Women and Family Affairs has drafted a bill on safety and security of women. One of the purposes of this bill is to prevent violence against women and to support victims and those likely to be targets of violence. According to this bill, violence against women is defined and criminalized under different circumstances.
The constitutional and civil law of the Islamic Republic of Iran do not place any barrier for ownership by women of housing, land, movable and immovable property. Women in Iran currently possess 28,652,912 deeds of property.
It is noteworthy that numerous bodies and institutions have been set up to elevate status of women in the country:
– Special Committee on Women and Youth in the State Expediency Council.
– Socio-Cultural Council of women affiliated to The High Council for Cultural Revolution.
– The Center for women and family affairs affiliated to presidential office.
– Women Caucus in the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
– Women and Youth Working Group in the High Council for Planning and Development in Provincial Administrations.
– Offices for Women and Family Affairs in the ministries and all agencies and instrumentalities of government.
– The Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Women and Children in the Judiciary.
– Center for Strategic Studies in the judiciary with the mission to prepare mechanisms for the advancement of the rights of women.
Among other important steps for the advancement of women mention can be made of the following achievements:
– Increasing the level of health, culture and literacy of women nationwide; this has led to reduction of maternal mortality and improvement of other indicators.
– Promotion of women members of Scientific Boards of universities and Educational institutes.
– Increasing the quota in institutions of higher learning for medical assistants for neurosurgeons, urologists, orthopedists, ear, throat and nose specialist, ophthalmologists and other medical professions form 25% to 50%.
– Growing trend of women participation on medical education and in higher specialist levels in faculties of medical sciences and health services.
– Elevation of the level of women organizations in the structure of government by allocating 31 senior director-general women affairs posts at provincial administration
The Council of Ministers has adopted a number of directives and taken many steps in relation to elevating the status of women. The decisions of the Council of Ministers for the purpose of promoting women’s cultural activities and strengthening the foundation of family life in their third round of provincial visits are as follows:
– Supporting the implementation of programmes for the consolidation of the foundation of family and teaching ways of clean and moral living in cooperation with the religious seminaries.
– Helping with the preparation and implementation of plans and programmes for the promotion of culture of hijab and chastity by emphasizing on public culture, traditions, customs and local clothing (men and women), and supporting apparel industries that produce clothing that are consistent with Islamic norms.
– Supporting establishment of sports and recreational centers for women at provincial levels.
– Supporting the development and strengthening of family guidance and counseling units in provinces with a view to promote good morals in the family on the basis of Islamic teachings and values.
– Helping with the empowerment of women for occupations at home, launching workshops and indigenous handicraft markets in provinces.
– Helping to establish special guarantee funds for rural and tribal women homemakers with respect to religious and health issues.
– Assisting to promote cultural and social programmes for women in provinces by launching, activating community-based organizations, networks and centers for dealing with women affairs.
– Supporting the development of technical and vocational centers for girls by concentrating on local handicraft and carpet weaving.
– Supporting the implementation of supportive programmes that intend to elevate the status of exemplary, talented and virtuous girls by presenting them as good examples and introducing them via the local provincial media.
– Helping with the preparation and implementation of plans and programmes for respecting the elderly in the family.
– Helping to rejuvenate and bring greater safety to girls’ schools.
– Adoption of article 227 of the Fifth Development Plan concerning the preparation and drafting of National Document for Safety and security of women and Children in the society.
– Establishment of National Women and Family Headquarters chaired by President with the participation of the President.
A. Honor killings
According to Iran’s law the murderer involved in honor killing is punished to retribution in kind (qusas) or paying Diya (blood money). Even in the absence of private plaintiff or pardon of blood owners according to article 208 of Islamic Penal Code the culprit will be sentenced to prison. In this case the accused will not be granted pardon or any other kind of forgiveness.
B. Civil and Political Rights
In the Islamic Republic of Iran all social activities in the form of parties, associations or societies requires observance of regulations stipulated in the law on activities of political parties and professional associations, as well as Islamic and recognized religious minority societies, and upon obtaining of permit from Commission of Article 10 of the mentioned law. It should be mentioned that activities of women in the framework of “one million campaign” has received no permits from the mentioned Commission; therefore their activities are considered as illegal.
The I.R. Iran has taken a number of measures for the empowerment of women at all levels of occupation, management and education some of them are as following:
– With regard to elevating women’s participation in the labour market, The High Administrative Council adopted on 14 March 2003 the criteria for selection, appointment and change of management posts in the government. The Council decided that “for the purpose of promoting women participation in management positions, the government agencies and instrumentalities are required to take all necessary steps to identify, elevate women’s capabilities and to increase their appointments in management positions. For this purpose, positions at national level have been created that are solely for women, including the Advisor to the President on Women and Family Affairs, special advisors to Ministers on women issues, membership in Women Social and Cultural Council, director-general positions in all provincial administrations, deputy ministerial position for elementary education in the Ministry of Education and ranking positions in all General Departments of the Ministry and in research institutes dedicated to women’s issues.
– It is to be noted that in addition to the positions listed above, women in the Islamic Republic of Iran have managed to acquire four cabinet positions on the basis of their merits and in a clean competition, serving as a minister and deputy ministers and vice president and advisors to the president. There are also women parliamentarians, members of cultural and social commissions in the government, deputy ministers, heads of organizations and agencies, directors general in ministries, members of the Supreme council for Cultural Revolution, High Council for Employment, High Council for Health, High Council for Youth, members of Planning and Development of Provinces, and in the High Council for Iranians Abroad. There are also advisory posts for Women’s affairs in all ministries and government agencies which have been one of the successful experiences of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These positions clearly show the presence of women in high and decision-making places in the nation. It should also be informed that allocation of advisors for in all government administrations is among the best practices.
– Over the period extending from the first election of parliament to the ninth round of election, the number of parliamentary seats occupied by women has increased 265% and the share of women in the parliament has gone up from 0.86% in the first parliament to 3.14% in the ninth parliament.
– The number of women candidates for parliamentary elections over the nine rounds of elections has risen from 66 to 432 which indicate 550% increase.
– The number of women representatives in city and village councils has increased by 8.4% over the past three rounds of elections. In the most recent election 1,490 council members were women.
– There has been considerable growth in the number of management positions held by women. Percentage of women in managerial poisons, as legislators and senior officials in 1996 was 0.11%, and 0.525% for men. Presently this number for men is 2.9% and 3.36 % for women.
– At present time 60,365 women are working as legislators and high-ranking officials.
– The Ministry of Education ranks first among government ministries and agencies in terms of high positions held by women. One-fourth of members of the Council of Deputy Ministers, comprising deputy ministers and, heads of agencies and advisors to the ministers, are women. There are presently more than 99,839 women in the Ministry of Education holding senior positions,
– There are 980 women in charge of the position of women affairs in ministries and government agencies. There are also 880 women serving as village managers (dehyar). In total, 162,064 women are gainfully engaged as decision-makers and mangers in various arenas of human endeavours.
– In the arena of decision-making in judicial poisons, there are 18 women serving as deputies to the highest judicial authorities, 10 serving as counsellor-in-chief and 7 as assistant prosecutors. There are also 560 women judges which are a major and important development in believing in empowerment of women and providing them opportunities and laying the ground for meritocracy.
Presence of women in the power structure and political participation in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
– Appointment of women as a Minster (Minster of health)
– Appointment of women as deputy head of Department of Environment and vice- President for Legal Affairs.
– Appointment of women as advisors to the president for women and family affairs.
– Preparing the ground for the active presence of women in the decisive and political elections such as the election for the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
– Appointment of women as members of Cultural and Social Council for Women.
– Appointment of women and as judicial counsellor and judges.
– Appointment of women as advisors to the ministers on women affairs.
– Appointment of women as directors, directors-general and deputy ministers in government agencies.
– Appointment of women as directors-general for women’s affairs in provincial and other local administrations.
– Supporting village councils in their efforts to elect women mayors.
– Appointment of women as mayors and president of local councils.
– Election of women as village mangers.
– Creating conducive conditions for candidacy of women in elections by supporting the efforts of High Provincial Councils.
– Supporting the effective and quality presence of women in international interactions and sending women experts to international meetings and forums.
– Supporting active participation of women in their efforts to form political parties.
– Supporting establishment and participation of women NGO’s.
C. Economic and Social Rights
After the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of Women in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution discussed specifically the policies relating to participation of women in higher education in its meeting of 18 October 2005. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss ways of elevating the participation of women in higher education for the purpose of eliminating discrimination in benefiting from their capabilities.
One of the important areas in planning and policy measures for higher education is to know the number of entrants to higher education system. Those enrolled in the institutions of higher learning are in fact the entrants to this system. The number of women enrollees increased from 40,169 in 1989 to 513,535 in 2010 academic year which is equivalent to 20.3% increase in the number of women enrollment.
– The growing trend of women enrolled in the higher education system.
– The number of women university students has surged from 12,187 in 1989 to 2,038,089 in 2010, equivalent to 15.4 times increase.
– In 1989, 12,846 women graduated from universities and institutions of higher education. With a sharp increase this number jumped to 243,970 in 2009. In addition, table 3 shows that women graduates grew by an annual average of 2%.
– In 1998 from total number 35,193 for the members of faculty of universities, full time and part time, 6,562 were women which were 18.7% of the total number of the teaching staff of the universities. In 2010 the number of women members of the faculty was 23.1% or 27,646. These numbers are only those full-time or pat-time members of faculty (men and women) and other members of faculty who teach on the basis of fee for teaching service are not included.
– Total number of women enrolled at state universities and institutions of higher education. Total number of women enrollees in universities and institutions of higher education was 313,725 which constitute 54% of the total. The largest number of enrolled students, 166,413 (53%), in universities and institutions of higher education belongs to humanities, and the lowest number, 18,851 (6%) to arts.
– In school year 2010-2011 there were 1,288,376 women students in state universities and institutions of higher education which is 57.1% of the total number of state university students. The largest number of students is in human sciences (747,235), or 57.1%, the smallest number in arts (68,479) or 5.3%. In 2002 in Iran the share of women in tertiary education exceeded 50% for the first time. For the next subsequent two years the share of women in universities also exceeded 50%. The level of participation of women students in higher education is an important indicator of women’s share in university graduates. It is noteworthy that the highest growth of women students is at the post-graduate level.
– On Article 1117 of Iran’s Civil Code referred to in paragraph 24 of the report, it is not the question of obedience in relations of matrimony. In the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran, article 1102 in this code clearly states: “As soon as marriage takes place in due form, relations of matrimony will automatically exist between the marrying parties and rights and reciprocal duties of husband and wife will be established between them”. In light of the best interest of the child and the need to preserve the foundation of family life, the responsibility for the financial maintenance of the household is on the husband which is practically the result of agreement between the couple and in reality the role of the wife is greater and more serious than husband. Preventing one of the couple to enter employment is the power that is given equally to both husband and wife. Article 18 of the Family Protection Law states: “The husband can prevent upon receiving a court order his wife from occupations which is incompatible with the family interests or the dignity of himself or his wife. The wife can also ask the court for the same permission. The court can prevent the husband from the occupation if it does not disrupt family livelihood”. Therefore, this is a right given equally to both sides and it is not only the right of the husband. It is noteworthy that the right to employment is among those rights that can be agreed and stipulated in the marriage contract. By agreeing to this stipulation, the husband cannot prevent his wife from entering employment.
D. Early marriage
In accordance with the amendments of civil law made in 1381, minimum age for girl’s marriage is set to be 13 and 15 for marriage. The difference is arisen for their physical growth and emotional development.
Having said that, the age of marriage for girls and boys in Iranian society has increased due to wider access to information and media in a way that these cultural changes will gradually stop marriages under 18. Cultural institutions of the society are simultaneously raising awareness in this regard to encourage youth to get married when they are nubile.
E. Freedom of travel and transport
Those subjects that have not been completely studied and moved to the parliament’s open session are not attributable due to their lack of executive guarantee. All bills and motions after the end of their required processes in parliament’s ratification, Guardian Council’s approval and 15 days since their publications in Gazette will turn into a law and will be binding. Special rapporteur in this paragraph has violated paragraph 3 of Article 4 and Article 5 and paragraph A of Article 6 and paragraph A of Article 7 of special procedures mandate holder’s job description. [sic]
II. Free and Fair Election
The SR in paragraph 29 refers to a legislative discussion in Iran on amendments to the law on presidential election. A free society is open to any sort of discussion and they are welcomed. However, it is disappointing that the SR tries to mislead the public opinion by criticizing such lively open discussions in the Parliament. Since, the mentioned amendments have not been approved and are not considered as law, the reference of the SR is superfluous.
III. Capital punishment
Use of phrase “execution of individuals in lack of fair standards” in this paragraph indicates draft writer’s lack of knowledge towards Islamic Republic of Iran judicial system. Having said that in most of countries including Iran capital punishment is anticipated and there is no global consensus on it’s elimination. Capital punishment in Islamic Republic of Iran for the most serious crimes is legally executable which is also ratified by international documents. [sic]
In accordance with Islamic Republic of Iran law, capital punishment is only applied for the most serious crimes and even for premeditated murder there is no capital punishment in the law unless the owners of the blood request for retribution in kind and the highest pertinent judicial authority (or his representative) agrees with the demand (Article 219 of the Islamic penal code). [sic]
There are many countries who have capital punishment for serious drug offenders. For Islamic Republic of Iran that lies next to the largest producer of opium and heroin in the world, it is very natural to have capital punishment for drug traffickers. Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran seizes narcotics shipments of tens of times more than other countries altogether, and thousands of our border guards have been martyred or injured in this fight. This matter has become particularly serious for Islamic Republic of Iran since the number of abusers of new types of synthetic drugs has been on the rise, leading to serious consequences for the families and the economy of the nation. Recently many of these drug abusers have lost their lives and many others have suffered from psychosis and incurable illnesses that ends in their death raised from destruction of body tissues.
The fight against drugs and hard-core traffickers who have smuggled large amounts of drugs on numerous occasions, is a matter of high priority for Islamic Republic of Iran. It is very clear and can be proven that capital punishment within Islamic Republic of Iran judicial system is only applied for those who have been key players and have had previous records in this illicit inhumane trade. In numerous cases those individuals have committed other serious crimes such as acts of terrorism and kidnapping in addition to drug trafficking. Islamic Republic of Iran believes that production and distribution of narcotics is a major and most serious threat against all people of the world. Particularly young generation, and therefore Islamic Republic of Iran considers it as an example of crime against humanity. It is noticeable that in trial of individuals charged with drug trafficking all the legal proceedings and requirements are put into place irrespective of the accused person’s nationality. As for the individuals who are charged with minor drug-related offenses, the Iranian legislator has introduced and implemented plans and programs for rehabilitation of offenders and addicts to help them to have a safe return to their society.
Baseless allegations of covert executions and alcohol drinker’s execution are strongly rejected.
Rapporteur’s baseless concern about Islamic Republic of Iran new penal regulations which is reiterated by this phrase “it is not still put into place” coupled with his unfounded and undocumented conclusion on rise of death penalty are regarded totally biased. In this segment, rapporteur [sic] has clearly violated regulations stipulated in paragraph 3 of Article 4, Article 5, paragraph B of Article 6, paragraph A of Article 8, paragraph A of Article 12 of human rights council’s special procedures mandate holder’s job descriptions. When it comes to Mr. Saeid Sedghi, he was arrested on charge of shipment of 518 kg crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride. Having said that 115 kg of that amount was discovered in his own car.
After investigations, arraignment hearing, indictment and a fair trial by the presence of his lawyer in all stages of legal proceedings he was sentenced to death.
IV. Torture and other inhumane, cruel and humiliating punishments
Islamic Republic of Iran strongly rejects biased allegations on widespread use of torture for confessions. Because according to Islamic Republic of Iran constitution, ordinary laws specially citizenship rights and regulations pertinent to respect to legitimate rights, perpetrator of torture shall be held accountable and shall stand trial. Therefore there is no room for impunity of torture perpetrator in Islamic Republic of Iran current laws [sic].
In accordance with Articles 20 and 22 of Islamic Republic of Iran constitution, all individuals of the nation are under protection of law and their soul, dignity, wealth, rights, house and occupation are all immune from any kind of offensive.
In a glance, status and value of people and their dignity are of the greatest importance. Parallel to this, Article 32 of constitution has reiterated that “no one shall be arrested unless by law and through a certain legal procedure. In case of arrest, he/she should be notified about his/her charges in writing (Articles 112 and 113 of code of criminal procedure).
According to Article 38 any kind of torture to obtain confession or information is forbidden. Forcing individuals to give testimony, confession or oath is not allowed and such testimony, confession or oath are all null and void and violator of this law shall be prosecuted.
Definition of this article is clear. Forced confessions are worthless, in accordance with Article 194 of code of criminal procedure, whenever the accused person confesses to his/her crime, provided that his/her confession is explicit and there would be no misgiving there and all evidences confirm it, the court can issue sentence. In case of denial or silence of the accused or existence of any misgiving or contradiction in confession or other similar reasons, the court starts to investigate witnesses, informed persons and the accused person and shall study other relevant reasons, articles 196 and 197 of criminal procedure code are also after bringing the case into light that will eventually help judge to be sure of the final sentence.
In many other cases, the accused persons in presence o [sic] their lawyers repeat their previous confessions which can confirm authenticity of confessions which were made under investigations. In case of any claim about torture, judicial authority shall send claimant to forensics.
If confessions are proven that had been made under any kind of pressure, harassment or torture those confessions will be null and void and torture perpetrator shall be prosecuted.
In accordance with Islamic Republic of Iran constitution and current laws including the code for respect to legitimate freedoms and citizenship rights adopted in 1383 and Article 169 of executive by-law of prisons organization adopted in 1384 any kind of mistreatment or torture is forbidden. Having said that prison officials and officers have all got trained in this regard.
From the other side, the Islamic penal code (articles 69 and 70) has set some conditions for acceptability of confessions including maturity, being wise, being free, having intention coupled with rational and explicit statements.
When it comes to Satar Beheshti, human rights headquarter of the judiciary immediately after being informed of the incident issued a declaration arisen from judiciary serious will to investigate the case and punish the offender or offenders. Then after Islamic Republic of Iran consultative assembly (parliament) put the case in its agenda. Afterwards Tehran office of prosecutor opened a file for Satar Beheshti who died on 1392/8/13 in FATA Police house of detention to investigate over the case. Investigation reports that Satar Beheshti was arrested on charge of propagating against the Islamic Republic of Iran on 139118/11. After his death one of FATA police officers as the main accused person was sent into jail with temporary detention writ. Official opinion of seven-member commission of the forensics reports on cause of death that; with respect to the made investigations and existing information it is impossible at the time being to determine the definitive cause of death. But in examination of the corpse there was no sign of any disease that would have caused death. So the most probable cause of death can be shock arisen weather from blow to sensitive organs or sever emotional stress”. [sic]
With regard to above-mentioned points, it is clear that Islamic Republic of Iran will decisively deal with any illegal and arbitrary act in a non-negligible manner and will prosecute every violator of law.
In the end it is announced that every unfounded, false and biased claim from the side of special rapporteur runs counter to human rights council special procedures mandate holder’s job description particularly paragraph 3 of Article 4, Article 5, paragraphs A and C of Article 6, paragraph A of Article 8 and paragraph A of Article 12.
When it comes to Jamil Soveidi, he was arrested on charge of purchase of 3 grams of opium and having some instruments for drug abuse and sent to Karoon prison in Ahvaz. When he felt stomach ache he was sent to prison clinic and there he received medical cares and on 1391/17/26 he died. Autopsy examination report indicated that there had been no sign of assault and battery in his corpse and definitive cause of his death was announced peptic ulcers and rupture of septic fluid and spread of infection (peritonitis), having said that his addiction test had been positive. [sic]
Although special rapporteur in paragraph 38 of his draft report has referred to his meeting and interview with some witnesses of human rights violations in Iran but when it comes to substantiating evidences, testimony is regarded as a reason which affords its own legal definition and it is totally different with the claimant in terms of legal definition who has the claim of human rights violation. Because opposite side of the claim is entitled to modify the witness. But paragraph C of Article 8 of human rights council special procedures mandate holders job description (resolution 5/2) reiterated on; referring to objective, reliable and trustworthy facts based on validation standards of documents; which this point unfortunately is being neglected in his report. [sic]
Referring to interview with torture claimants who have talked about a wide range of tortures, special rapporteur has tried to induce readers of his report to accept continuity of torture in Iran. But he has provided no evidence or even records number of these unfounded torture claims of expatriates to follow up in our system. Having said that in accordance with our laws and religious rules any kind of torture or even emotional pressures and harassments towards the accused and prisoners are forbidden and violator of these rules and laws shall be prosecuted seriously.
For cases in point look at Satar Beheshti’s case and Kahrizak detention house which caused judiciary to take some serious actions against violators of laws. Therefore that certain approach which special rapporteur has taken ahead, proves his departure from neutrality which is certain violation of paragraph 3 of Article 4, Article 5, paragraph A of Article 6, paragraph A of Article 8, paragraph A of Article 12 from human rights council special procedures special rapporteur’s job description.
V. Freedom of Expression, Assembly and Association
A. Journalists and citizens
Special rapporteur, in paragraph 39, has expressed his concerns about arrest, detention ad prosecution of journalists and citizens and in paragraph 40, has named some persons who had received their conviction. But we deem it necessary to mention that journalism occupations never give judicial immunity to journalists who have perpetrated any offense.
Legislator has laid down some acts for arrest, detention and prosecution of the accused based on contents pertinent to public and revolution court’s code of penal procedures adopted in 1999.
Additionally, no one can be arrested unless with the court verdict and related procedures stipulated in the law. In case of detention, charges and reasons should be immediately notified to the accused. Moreover, within 24 hours, the preliminary case should be sent to the court so that the trial session be held as soon as possible. Any violation in such a procedure is punishable by law.
With regards to press crimes, the court session should be held openly with the presence of the Board of Jury. Any accusation of arbitrary detention, for a short or long period, is rejected. The allegation of sexual assault on two alleged unidentified female journalists is categorically denied.
The Special Rapporteur in Paragraph 41 has expressed his concern about the harassment of family members of Iranian journalists residing abroad; such an allegation presented without a justifiable reason, cannot be given consideration.
B. Human rights defenders
Although in this paragraph there are ambiguous references to the harassment, detention, arrest and torture of human rights defenders, it is stated for the information of the author of this report that: using the phrase “human rights defender” for people who ignore the social norms of the society by showing anti-social behaviors under the excuse of a sacred cause, and who act against the national security, and who propagate against the system, is in fact an insult to the rights of the people of society. Principally, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, an social activity in the form of a party, assembly, circle or association requires the exercise of related rules and regulations for the activities of parties, assemblies, political associations, guild union, religious minorities associations and the like. According to Article 10 of the mentioned law, a permit should be also taken.
The Center for Human Rights Defenders is an illegal organization whose founding members have established it without taking related permits from respective bodies. They have continued their activities illegally and criminally, with enmity, despite being informed of the legal procedure they have to take and repeated notifications sent to them by the Ministry of Interior. This center, as against its name, has never taken any action in defense of human rights. Instead, they work purposefully on special cases under the title of lawyer for the accused; they spread propaganda and tarnish the image of the Islamic Republic in their pre-planned interviews with foreign media. They also try to create obstacles on the legal procedures of the court cases by instigating the families of the accused.
With regards to Narges Mohammadi: Her case was primarily dealt with in the court with the presence of her lawyers and her defenses in accordance with legal procedures. After the preliminary verdict was issued, her lawyers appealed. The Appeals Court reduced her punishment to six years in prison. Despite such a verdict, she was pardoned after two months in prison. She is now on leave.
Allegations of torture, harassment and sexual assault of the detainees are totally fabricated and repetitive. They in fact indicate the dishonesty of the Special Rapporteur. So is the case with the allegations of arrest without warrant. It is reiterated that no one can be arrested without an arrest warrant issued by judicial officials.
Attorneyship is a contract under which one side employs the other side to represent him/her. A lawyer cannot undertake an action which is beyond his attorneyship contract. Additionally, a lawyer should take into consideration the expedience of his/her client and do not go beyond his/her duties and obligations. Based on the law, any lawyer who violates his/her legal duties and responsibilities, and who commits acts against the profession of attorneyship and conventions, is liable to disciplinary prosecution. In case the acts of a lawyer are considered criminal, he/she will be tried in court after the issue of the crime warrant and indictment in accordance with the legal procedures. Then, he/she may be punished if the court decides. Therefore, the mentioned lawyers have been prosecuted as the result of the unconventional or illegal acts they might have committed.
The employment of more than 48,000 lawyers in Iran suggests that they are free to exercise their professional and legal duties. Lawyers in Iran are free to represent any accused person. There are of course a small number of lawyers, like any other country, who violate the rules and act against the national security of the state. And sometimes they do this despite being aware of the rules and regulations.
With regards to Nasrin Sotoudeh: She is one of the members of the illegal Center for Defending Human Rights. She is aware that this center is illegal; yet, she continues her activities in the name of the center. Under the pretext of representing clients, she has supported in a purposeful manner some terrorist groups and their elements who have confessed to sabotage. The court session for Ms. Sotoudeh was held with the presence of more than 10 lawyers introduced by herself. Her lawyers studied for hours her case with hundreds of pages of evidence of her acts against national security. The court issued a verdict in a completely legal manner. The Appeals Court also studied the appeal by her positively and favorably and reduced her imprisonment term. Concerning her hunger strike and concerns about her health and wellbeing, it should be stated that such acts are being undertaken only for attracting the attention of foreign media and securing foreign human rights prizes (such as the Sakharov prize). She ended her hunger strike after she was given the award. In relation to her wellbeing, it is sufficient to mention that she was given two occasions for leave; however, she used them to continue her illegal activities instead of treating her alleged wounds.
She has met her family 29 times in 2011 and 28 times in 2012. She was also given the opportunity to take part in the university entrance examination for the PhD level held on March 2012 in Shahid Beheshti University. She is currently serving in Evin Detention House’s Women’s Section. Her public health has been also reported as good.
With regards to Abdolfattah Soltani: He is one of the founding members of the illegal Center for Defending Human Rights. He has acted beyond his legal duties serious measures against the national security under the pretext of defending human rights. One of his measures was to enter purposefully to security cases, interview with foreign media and instigating the families of the people accused of security offences to interview with such media which act against the national interest of Iran. Also, his links with the intelligence officers of the foreign embassies following his access to security cases, has nothing to do with human rights and it is not acceptable any other countries. The legal procedure for Mr. Soltani’s case was held completely legal with the presence of 15 lawyers. On the day of trial, four more lawyers were present in the guise of “observer”. They have underlined that the legal procedures were followed according to the law and that his accusations were true. Although he is in prison now, he has spent more than 40 days outside the prison for treatment purposes. He has now returned to prison upon his own request. The court has informed him that he can be bailed out of prison; however, he refuses to do so.
With regards to Mohammad Ali Dadkhah: He is also a founding member ofthe illegal Center for Defending Human Rights. He has been sentenced to nine years in prison on accusations of 1- effective membership and continued activity in the illegal Center, 2- spreading propaganda against the regime through interviews with the media opposed to the Islamic system, 3- participation in keeping two illegal weapons, 4- keeping instruments of using opium and keeping opium. His hearing session was held in the presence of his lawyer. He was also deprived from teaching at university and acting as a lawyer, according to Article 19 of the Islamic Penal Code. He was acquitted from participating in keeping illegal weapons. His appeal was sent to Tehran Appeals Court which reduced his prison term to six years. The Appeals Court held that all related legal procedures had been taken with regards to the trial of Mr. Dadkhah. He served for only three months and he is now free.
It is remarkable to say that the rights of prisoners are exercised according to the rules and regulations of the Prisons Organizations. Facilities such as repeated visits with family members, telephone conversation, health and treatment, access to welfare facilities, shops, barbers, fitness center, training, newspaper, cinema, library and so on are also provided to prisoners.
VI. Sexual Orientation
Pedophiles are punished as per Article 109 of the Islamic Penal Code. Islamic principles and the Sharia have stressed the necessity of the strengthening the family foundations. It is also necessary for man and wife to marry in order to maintain the human generation. Establishing a sexual relationship between two people with the same gender is an impediment to the survival of generations while it shakes the family foundations.
Although the special rapporteur has expressed interest in reflecting the concerns of the Human Rights Committee about gender tendencies, the base of his concerns are the articles of the new penal code bill. He has in fact regarded it as a new law while it is not yet law-abiding until it is finalized, ratified and published as a law.
Cases of violation of laws will be punished by the judge after passing related legal procedures. The punishment for the gay or lesbian people is based on the standing law and is not violating the behavior of such people which is of course against the conventions of the Iranian society. The special rapporteur, as against the rules stipulated in Paragraph A and C of Article 9 of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council for experts and mandates. It has been described in the Special Procedures that any correspondence of the special rapporteur should not be baseless, and politically-motivated while the language of correspondence should not be insulting.
Based on the principles of the Sharia law and standing laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the dominant culture, conventions and habits in the Iranian society, and the significance of the dignity of family, any act or measure which violates the law and conventions of the Iranian society is punishable by law. Regarding homosexuals, there is a supportive approach currently applied in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
VII. Ethnic minorities
Various ethnic minorities are living in the Islamic Republic of Iran in peace and serenity while being entitled to equal rights. Using the phrase “Arab Ahvazis” is considered as being politically-motivated and therefore as mentioned above, it is against the spirits of the Special Procedures. This phrase is in fact a faked expression. The Special Rapporteur is therefore reminded that he should not use such politically-motivated expressions and phrases which would create division.
The Special Rapporteur’s claim which is based on the reports of unidentified sources on the arrest and torture and threatening of family members is unsubstantiated and is vehemently denied.
Following is a list of terrorist operations conducted by the Arab Nation grouplet:
– intimidating and threatening people through firing bullets at their homes
– sending people to other countries to take terrorist training
– distributing statements and notes and CDs which promote division and separatist tendencies across the Khouzestan province
– drafting an organizational charter in order to fight with the Islamic Republic of Iran through military operations with the aim of separating the Khouzesan province.
– setting up military branches
– supplying ammunitions
– poisoning, arsoning and destroying water storage tanks with the aim of obstructing public services
– attacking railway stations, railways, bridges, high-pressure power hubs, drilling equipment and so on.
– Trying to destroy oil installations such as oil wells and similar facilities.
– Attacking public buildings in some cities ofthe Khouzestan province
With regards to Sattar Sayyahi; He was primarily accused of disruption in public order and spreading propaganda against the state by Branch 12 of the Public and Revolution Court in Ahvaz. An order of dismissal for want of prosecution was issued for Mr. Sayyahi. He was therefore released from prison on 23 January 2008. He later died on 12 December 2012. The report of the Medical Forensic Organization suggests that there has been no sign of battery. The toxicology test has been also reported negative. There are however signs of severe cardiovascular stenosis.
With regards to the allegations of underrepresentation in state apparatuses and restrictions in religious schools and mosques belonging to the Sunni Balouchis: All such allegations are dismissed.
Firstly, a remarkable number of executive posts in Iran in general and in Sistan-Balouchestan province in particular have been taken by the Balouchis. Moreover, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is seriously keen on using the capacities, capabilities, merits and efficiencies of the Sunnis in different sectors.
Secondly the selection criteria for employment in state organizations are equally applied for all Iranian citizens irrespective of their religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
Thirdly, there are no restrictions on the activities of religious schools. The establishment of such schools requires taking related legal procedures. There is no distinction between Shia and Sunni religious schools.
Fourthly, a remarkable number of mosques in Sitan-Balouchesstan belong to the Sunnis and Sunni clerics are freely exercising their religious functions. Any claim of underrepresentation or restriction is absurd.
Fifthly, with regards to accounts of assassination of some Sunni clerics, which is a major matter of concern for the Islamic Republic of Iran itself, evidence has revealed that remnants of dismantled terrorist groups assassinate clerics in order to create division and difference between Sunnis and the Shias.
Sixthly, any allegation of arbitrary arrest or torture of the Balouchis is vehemently rejected. The Special Rapporteur is seriously advised that he do not use the faked phrase of “Baloch activists” to refer to the people of Sistan-Balouchestan.
Seventhly, the rate of executions for drug-related crimes is inadvertently due to the neighborhood of Sustan-Balouchestan and its long borders with Afghanistan. Moreover, attributing any criminal act including “enmity against the God and corruption on earth” to someone is dependent on the identification of the elements of crime which are investigated during the course of a fair trial. Therefore, baseless claim of the “death penalty as a means to suppress opposition” is seriously flawed and comes from the ignorance of the Special Rapporteur towards standing laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such an approach by the rapporteur suggests that he is violating provisions stipulated in Paragraph 3 of Article 4, Article 5, Paragraph I of Article 6, Article 7, Paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 8 and Paragraph I of Article 12 of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council for experts and mandates.
With regards to Yahya Charizhi: He has been sentenced to death by a Zahedan court for enmity with God and corruption on earth through membership in, cooperating with and supporting the terrorist group set up by Abdolmalek Rigi. The court verdict has been also upheld by the Supreme Court. Activities of Mr. Charizhi have been effective in progressing the terrorist goals of the Rigi gang. A number of explosives, suicide explosive vests, two grenades and one waist pistol have been discovered from him while trying to act against the national security of Iran. He is also accomplice in one act of suicide bombing which led to the killing of 300 people in Chabahar during “Tasoua”-a highly respected religious commemoration ceremony.
With regards to persons named as “Abdol Basit Rigi” and “Abdoljalil Rigi”: There is no information about these two people. Any comment on their status requires the presentation of full particulars by the Special Rapporteur.
VIII. Religious minorities
A number of articles stipulated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, such as Article 23 and Article 32, stresses on the basic rights and freedoms for all Iranian citizens and subjects. According to such articles, they are entitled to such rights irrespective of their ethnic, racial and language origins.
According to the principles of the Iranian Constitution, basic rights such as equality before the law, security for life and property, occupation, housing, freedom of expression, choice of occupation, entitlement to social security, justice administration, education, entitlement to fair trial, entitlement to nationalities of other countries, participation in the state of affairs, and other citizenship rights are exercized [sic] for all Iranian citizens, residents and subjects irrespective of their ethnic, language and racial origins. All are entitled to such basic rights without discrimination. Article 13 of the Constitution stipulates that all are free to exercize [sic] religious functions.
It is first necessary to remind the Special Rapporteur that Bahaism is a “sect” and not a “faith”. The rapporteur is strongly advised not to describe Bahaism as a “faith”.
Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran describes that the people of Iran, from whatever ethnicity, enjoy equal rights and that their color, race, language and other specifications do not deprive them from exercising their rights. Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is about the rights of the Iranian people, stipulates that all the people in Iran including men and women are supported by the law and enjoy legal rights equally and absolutely in isolation from their ethnic or religious inclinations. The Iranian Constitution has not conditioned the entitlement to rights on any particular grounds. National groups in Iran are entitled to rights described in the Iranian laws and regulations irrespective of their ethnicity or religion. In the Iranian laws, as in the laws of many other countries (such as the Belgioum [sic], Greece and …), a limited number of religions have been officially recognized. The Bahais in Iran are entitled to all forms of social, civil and citizenship rights, even though they are no considered as the official religions.
It is also remarkable to mention that Paragraph 3 of Article 18 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights stipulates that: Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others”. Also, based on Article 19 of the same Covenant, the exercise of the right to freedom of expression is conditioned on respect to the rights or reputations of others and protection of national security or of public order or of public health or morals.
With regards to Zohreh Nikaein: She was primarily prosecuted by the court on accusation of acting against the security of the state through setting up illegal groups and membership in groups which spread propaganda against the Islamic system in favor of the opposition. After she was found guilty of crimes against the national security of the country, she was sentenced in abstentia to seven years in prison. Her case was re-investigated by the court and her written justice in abstentia was upheld. Her lawyer appealed and Branch 4 of the Appeals Court reduced the imprisonment to 23 months. This verdict is being executed.
With regards to Taraneh Torabi: Under accusations of setting up an illegal group in favor of the opposition, and of membership in illegal groups, and of spreading propaganda against the Islamic system, she has been sentenced to five years in prison for First Category and 10 years in prison for Second Category crimes, and seizure of discovered documents. Mr. Mazdak Etemadzadeh, her lawyer, appealed and Branch 4 of the Appeals Court reduced the imprisonment to 20 months. She is serving.
Like other religious minorities in Iran, the citizenship rights of the Bahai sect are strictly observed and respected. No need to say that exercising citizenship rights carries with it special duties and responsibilities described in the law because the credit of each right is tied to assuming responsibilities. This legal principle that there is responsibility for each right is well known in most legal regimes.
Accusations of persecution and arson and other allegations leveled with regards to the Bahais are unsubstantiated.
In Islamic tenets, inquisition of beliefs is strictly forbidden. Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution also stipulates that inquisition of beliefs is prohibited and no one can be persecuted and scrutinized only for holding a particular belief. Therefore, despite the many hues and cries by the Bahai representatives, no one is expelled from university or imprisoned for having a particular belief. There are tens of Bahais studying in different levels such as the postgraduate and doctoral at Iranian universities. Therefore, no one is confronted with for having a belief even if misguided.
That Christianity has been officially recognized in the Iranian Constitution will not bring judicial impunity for the followers of Christianity. Paragraph 14 of Article 3 and introduction to Article 20 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran clearly mention that all are equal before the law.
It is worth mentioning that no one will be prosecuted only because of believing on a particular religion or being its follower unless he/she commits a crime or offense in which case related legal procedures (crime investigation, arrest warrant, indictment, fair trial, hearing of statements, legal assistance, and … ) are taken.
Building a mosque requires taking related legal procedures such as the rules and regulations of the municipality. So does building a church.
It is reiterated that based on Article 23 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, inquisition of beliefs is forbidden and no one can be persecuted or scrutinized for having a particular belief. Likewise, no one can be prosecuted for having a particular belief.
Based on unsubstantiated interviews and information taken from unidentified sources, the Special Rapporteur has raised allegations of pressure on Gonabadi Daravish, attacks on their places of worship, arbitrary detention, prosecution and arrest in Kovar city. Acts committed by the mentioned Daravish are not of a nature and quality of (Darvishi) belief. They are criminal acts which are considered offence according to the laws. Such acts include but are not limited to:
– armed attack on citizens and battering 45 people
– vandalism on public and private places
– obstructing streets and pavements and creating disturbance
– fighting with the police and battering officers
– insulting and assaulting people
With regards to the places used by the Daravish: Some Daravish try to build places without taking related necessary permits from the municipality. It is against the municipal rules to construct a building (even a mosque) without taken related permission.
No judicial action has been taken against the Daravish or their place of congregation solely because they are Daravish. Daravish who disrupt public order and security will be definitely prosecuted in the same way as any other Iranian citizen may be prosecuted.
D. Other Faith Groups and Spiritual Practices
On the case of Mr. Nasradin Heydari, it has to be informed that he does not have any legal or criminal record with the judicial authorities and presently he, as an ordinary citizen, is living in his hometown and the news on his house arrest is completely false and baseless.
IX. Economic and Social Rights
As stipulated in Article 131 oft he Iranian Labor Law, based on the Article 26 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the purpose of protecting legitimate rights and interests of workers and employers and with aim of promoting their economic status in favor of interests of the whole community, all workers and employers covered by the Iranian Labor Law are entitled to establish their relevant guild associations.
Contrary to the claims of the Special Rapporteur on the participation of government representatives in the ILO international meetings and conferences on behalf of the Iranian workers and employers it is announced that representatives of Iranian workers and employers have been actively participated and involved in such international gatherings. In this respect it must be admitted that the Special Rapporteur acted in violation of regulations stipulated in Paras (a) and (b) of Article 9 the document “5/2 the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate- holders of the Human Rights Council” because the said paras have stipulated that “The communication should not be manifestly unfounded or politically motivated” and “the language in the communication should not be abusive”.
A. The right to education
Contrary to the false claims of the Special Rapporteur maintaining that students engaged in political activities are being deprived of their education it is announced that no limitation has been practiced on access to education of such students and all university officials are in favor of organization of Q&A meetings and debates in the academic environments. It goes without saying that in all universities it is necessary to observe relevant bylaws and internal regulations in order to provide an environment conducive to further manifestation of students’ talents in favor of the county’s scientific progress therefore violation of the said bylaws and regulations are needed to be dealt with accordingly.
B. Economic sanctions
As it was already mentioned economic sanctions are followed by serious adverse consequences against basic rights of citizens of the country that is subject to such sanctions. Based on the same approach these sanctions are not legitimate and can not be justified because they are practiced against international human rights norms and standards. It is so unfortunate that the Special Rapporteur condemns the country that is subject to such sanctions rather than denouncing those countries that are imposing these sanctions and introducing them as violators of the Iranian citizens’ human rights. The worst is that the Special Rapporteur does not condemn one sided sanctions imposed by the US and the EU against Iranian population; the sanctions that are in clear contrast to the provisions of the principles and spirit of the international law and articles of the UN Charter. It is needed to say that position of the Special Rapporteur vis-a-vis these sanctions and their adverse effects on lives of Iranian citizens is not clear and transparent. This occurs while he has had access to all cyber media and news sites and definitely has been informed and aware of the adverse consequences and impacts of the one-sided sanctions upon lives of Iranian citizens. Therefore his deliberate and meaningful silence can not be justified by anything but his favor for practicing such sanctions against Iranian citizens.
X. Conclusion and recommendation
The conclusion of the Special Rapporteur has been produced based on a non-professional and unconstructive draft comprising of false and baseless allegations and it is devoid of legal legitimacy. This conclusion lacks any legitimacy because of violating principles stipulated in the document 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council” as follows:
1. It seems that using words” widespread ……and……. violations of human rights” has taken placed in a non-professional and ambiguous manner and based on false allegations that is indicative of non-constructive will of the the [sic] Special Rapporteur as well as gross violation of provisions of the document 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council”. And it goes without question that the responses already produced or to be produced in the future by the Islamic Republic of Iran in line with further cooperation and interaction with international bodies shall not be observed as meaningful non-cooperation. It must be added that use of words ” lack of meaningful cooperation” and “intransigent position” is in gross violation of the para 3 of Article 4 of the same document utilized in disregard of the state rules and regulations therefore violating paras (a) and (b) of Article 6 of the same document accordingly as well.
2. The Special Rapporteur has referred to reprisal cases just based on the media reports without presentation of legitimate evidences and has produced misconstrued and wrongful impression that is in contrast with the duties rested upon him for producing recommendations and conclusions based on realistic and objective assessment of human rights status free from his own political and personal affiliation. All these found to be in gross violation of para (a) of Article 12 of the document 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council”. It is noticeable that the Special Rapporteur, in line of his duties and responsibilities stipulated in para (b) of the said document, is needed to show self-restraint and moderation. Therefore his attitude shall not be in a manner that brings into question his independence in carrying out his duties in a desired manner. Henceforth in view of the aforementioned, the Special Rapporteur due to his lack of knowledge (in disregard of provisions of Article 5 of document 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council” stipulating that the mandate-holder shall enjoy sufficient knowledge in the rapportuership process) on the judicial system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the relevant steps in judicial process, has presented a wrongful and misconstrued image of the Iranian judicial procedures irrespective of the judicial process from investigation to issuance of the indictment for the charges pressed against the defendant, the fair trial and issuance of the final conviction. It is notified that the steps of the judicial process is by no means considered as a reprisal act and use of such literature by the Special Rapprteur [sic] is beyond the duties of the mandate-holder as stipulated in the document 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council”.
3. The Islamic Republic of Iran has displayed its will in favor of the regular follow up, with national bodies and institutions concerned, of action to implement the UPR recommendations and it has included such an access to its national bodies and institutions in its agenda.
4. The allegation on the increased religious and tribal discrimination and continuation of such discrimination, abuse and ill-treatment and even arrest of individuals from minority groups is rejected. Based on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution and other relevant rules and regulations all Iranian people shall enjoy their social, civil and citizenship rights regardless of their race, religion, and tribal and ethnic affiliation. For the same reasons within the Iranian legal system indicators like religion, ethnicity, race and the like do not bestow any privilege in the judicial process and no judicial hearing considers such indicators in issuance of the verdicts.
5. The Special Rapporteur insistence on release of all individuals lacks required legal basis and as a gross interference in the Iranian national sovereignty it is against provisions of para 3 of Article 4 of the 5/2″Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council” that requires the mandate-holders to fully respect national and regulations of the country they are exercising their mission because as it was already mentioned the steps in the judicial processes from pressing charges to final conviction are taking place based on requirements of each judicial case as well as the relevant rules and regulations.
6. Based on contents of its third periodical report submitted to the Human Rights Committee within the framework of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) the Islamic Republic of Iran has already announced and is announcing its adherence to its obligations stipulated in the said covenant including provisions of Article 18 of the said International Covenant.
7. Insistence of the Special Rapporteur for reconsideration of Iranian rules and regulations under the pretext that they are inconsistent with Iran’s international obligations is baseless and illegal taking place regardless of the need to attend cultural diversity while speaking of the human rights. This occurs while the Islamic Republic of Iran, if deems necessary, may make any amendment to its national laws and regulations thorough its legislative branch based on its experiences and its community requirements and, if required, it may adopt new laws. It goes without saying that if adoption of any law is deemed necessary for promotion of the human rights the legislative branch will take required measures to this end as we can see such promotional approach in the case of adoption of Law on Respect for Legitimate Freedoms and Preservation of Citizenship Rights dated 2005.
8. The most cases of executions have taken place with respect to armed drug trafficking crimes committed by individuals who have killed and wounded large number of border guards and police forces as the result of their armed operations. Final verdicts of all armed drug traffickers (members of organized drug trafficking gangs) have been issued by the court after passing the relevant judicial procedures, the appeal process and even after restitution of judicial procedures. It is emphasized that perpetrators of terrorist acts who have put an end to lives of innocent people within the community are among other individuals who have been executed based on the court verdicts.
9. In spite of the impression of the Special Rapporteur that offences committed by the said individuals that do not meet “most serious crimes” standards, it is reemphasized that based on the Iranian binding laws these crime are classified as “the most serious crimes” and impression of the Special Repporteur [sic] in this respect has been due to his lack of knowledge on the realities inside Iran (the pressing need for providing security of citizens and carrying out preventive measures to this end) and the Iranian legally binding criminal laws.
10. The Islamic Republic of Iran categorically rejects and denies biased allegations on using torture for extracting forced confessions and stipulates that based on the provisions of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other ordinary laws including the Law on Respect for Legitimate Freedoms and Preservation of Citizenship Rights any state officials or authorities who commits torture shall be dealt with harshly on legal basis. Therefore the case of impunity is out of the question.
11. As it was already mentioned economic sanctions are followed by serious adverse consequences against basic rights of citizens of the country that is subject to such sanctions. Based on the same approach these sanctions are not legitimate and cannot be justified because they are practiced against international human rights norms and standards. It is so unfortunate that the Special Rapporteur condemns the country that is subject to such sanctions rather than denouncing those countries that are imposing these sanctions and introducing them as violators of the Iranian citizens’ human rights. The worst is that the Special Rapporteur does not condemn one sided sanctions imposed by the US and the EU against Iranian population; the sanctions that are in clear contrast to the provisions of the principles and spirit of the international law and articles of the UN Charter. It is needed to say that position of the Special Rapporteur vis-ii-vis these sanctions and their adverse effects on lives of Iranian citizens is not clear and transparent. This occurs while he has had access to all cyber media and news sites and definitely has been informed and aware of the adverse consequences and impacts of the one- sided sanctions upon lives of Iranian citizens. Therefore his deliberate and meaningful silence cannot be justified by anything but his favor for practicing such sanctions against Iranian citizens.
12. The existing laws in Iran have ensured participation of people in free and fair elections and notification of the Special Rapprteur [sic] in this respect is baseless because all political and civil rights including freedom of speech and freedom of association are observed according to the relevant rules and regulations.
13. In view of the afore-mentioned it is quite clear that the Special Rapporteur has disregarded 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council” some cases of which were previously mentioned and referred to in the present text.
In conclusion it is reemphasized that unfortunately the Special Rapporteur in his draft report contrary to the 5/2 “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the Human Rights Council” has resorted to non-authentic, biased, baseless, unfair allegations rather than the authentic, reliable and official sources as well as existing realities and patterns of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This draft report is mostly referring to some details that are of lots of ambiguities and unrealities away from the impartiality, independence and transparency claimed in preparing the draft report.