Presented by the “League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)” Considering that the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been drastically deteriorating in the past three years:
• The UN Secretary General and the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran have issued annual reports depicting the worsening conditions of human rights in Iran;
• The UN General Assembly’s annual resolutions on Iran have denounced the violations of human rights with ever-growing majority;
• The government has totally ignored the recommendations made during the 2010 UPR and utterly failed to fulfil even the recommendations it agreed to.
Considering that the death penalty is frequently and extensively used:
• Islamic Republic of Iran ranks first per capita execution worldwide and second to China in regard to absolute number of executions. In the past three years, at least 553 (2010), 634 (2011) and more than 544 (2012) executions have been recorded. Minors are executed for crimes allegedly committed when they were below 18 years of age. Executions in public and secret executions are common;
• Death sentence is imposed for more than 20 categories of offences, including for non-serious offences, such as drugs-related and economic offences; as well as ambiguously worded offences such as moharebeh (waging war on God) and corruption on earth, mostly for political prisoners;
• Strangulation is the most frequently used inhuman method of execution; stoning is another cruel method stipulated in law and practised; several persons are facing the sentence of death by stoning;
• Thousands of prisoners are on death row.
Considering that due process is systematically disregarded and denied:
• Defendants, notably in political cases, are arrested without arrest warrant, are held for long periods in solitary confinement and denied access to family and lawyer and to fair trial;
• Death-row drugs-related offenders do not have the right of appeal.
Considering that freedoms of conscience and conviction, expression, assembly, and association are practically nonexistent:
• Hundreds of journalists have been forced to flee the country and around 52 journalists, writers and bloggers are in prison at present; Newspapers are frequently closed;
• Peaceful assemblies have been attacked and their participants have been detained; literary gatherings have been banned;
• Various organisations, including the Journalists Association, Writers Association as well as dissenting peaceful political parties have been banned and their activists are serving long-term prison terms;
• Independent unions of workers and teachers have been attacked and their activists are in prison serving long-term sentences;
• Film makers have been sentenced to imprisonment for their work;
• And the book publishing industry is under very strict and harsh control and subjected to heavy censorship that is driving many publishers into bankruptcy.
Considering that human rights defenders, including human rights lawyers, women’s rights activists, unionists attempting to organise independent labour unions, student activists, journalists and writers, minority rights defenders have faced severe persecution, been victims of harsh repression and sentenced to long term imprisonment sentences. Among them:
• Four members of the FIDH league member, Defenders of Human Rights Centre, Messrs Mohammad Seifzadeh, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, and Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh (co-recipient of European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for freedom of thought in 2012) are currently serving imprisonment sentences of 8, 13, 9 and 6 years, respectively, while the last three have been banned from practising law for 10 years; Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, president of Kurdistan Human Rights Organisation, has been serving an 11-year prison sentence since 2007.
Considering that women’s rights are regularly violated:
• Women are regarded half the men before the law in numerous instances; age of criminal responsibility for women is 9 lunar years; the draft Family Protection Law will further ease polygamy and reduce the already very limited rights of women;
• The police and other security forces frequently use force and violence as well as statutory measures and fines to force a strict dress code on women;
• Extensive measures have been taken to segregate women from men in universities and government departments and ban women from a large number of university courses;
Considering that ethnic communities have been consistently repressed:
• They have been deprived of the right to learn, to teach and publish books and newspapers in their own languages;
• They have faced extensive political and economic discrimination;
• Their political and cultural activists have faced stronger repression and, in particular the Arabs, Kurds and Baloch communities, have been victims of proportionately higher number of executions.
Considering that religious minorities have suffered from severe persecution:
• The constitutionally recognised religious minorities, in particular Sunni Muslims, dissenting Shiites including Sufi dervishes, Christians, and other minorities have suffered from severe repression and scores of their followers have been detained and sentenced to harsh prison sentences;
• Prayer centres of dervishes have been attacked and demolished; several dervishes, including four lawyers, have been in pre-trial detention since September 2011;
• Churches of Christians have been closed; several Christians including some pastors are serving prison sentences;
• Followers of the non-recognised Baha’i faith have been deprived of their social rights; more than 100 of the followers are in prison and many of them are serving long-term prison sentences.
Considering that free elections are consistently prevented:
• Elections are open only to hand-picked candidates under highly discriminatory legislation; hundreds of candidates have been barred from standing in elections;
• Women have not been permitted to stand in presidential elections;
• In the wake of the millions-strong demonstrations in 2009, thousands of people who protested vote-riggings were arrested, tortured, and imprisoned; several lost their lives in detention centres and the perpetrators enjoy impunity;
• Two 2009 presidential candidates, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, as well as Mr. Mousavi’s wife Ms. Zahra Rahnavard, have been under house arrest since February 2011.
The 38th FIDH Congress Expresses its strong support for all Iranian human rights defenders; Urges the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to:
• Respect all its obligations under the international human rights law, and in particular:
• Stop immediately the execution of juveniles and public executions;
• Stop immediately imposing the death penalty for political charges;
• Establish a moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to abolish it completely;
• Respect and guarantee equality for women before the law and in practice;
• Respect and guarantee freedom of expression, thought, conscience and conviction, assembly and association, as well as minority rights;
• Guarantee fair and free elections;
• Guarantee for all prisoners, the application of due process, access to proper medical care, their families and lawyers and their right to fair trial in conformity with international standards;
• Release all prisoners of conscience;
Urges the United Nations, the European Union and the national governments to:
• Call on the Iranian government to release all prisoners of conscience, including human rights defenders;
• Call on the Iranian government to cooperate with and ensure prompt access by UN special procedures;
• Take effective steps to remedy and prevent corporate behaviour that may constitute complicity for human rights violations perpetrated in the Islamic Republic of Iran and, in particular, ban the export of all items used for repression of protesters, eavesdropping and other equipment used to control the population’s access to internet and other media.