REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
November 6, 1990
Agenda item 12
REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of the General Assembly the interim report prepared by Professor Reynaldo Galindo Pohl (El Salvador), Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with paragraph 14 of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1990/79 of 7 March 1990 and Economic and Social Council decision 1990/243 of 25 May 1990.
90-28544 1985-86e (E)
Interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, prepared by the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights in accordance with Commission resolution 1990/79 and Economic and Social Council decision 1990/243
I. INTRODUCTION:1 — 5
II. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF
III. INFORMATION RECEIVED BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE :27 — 132
IV. REPORT ON THE SECOND VISIT TO THE
V. OBSERVATIONS :264 — 291
I. NAMES AND PARTICULARS OF PERSONS
ALLEGEDLY EXECUTED IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
IN PREVIOUS REPORTS OF THE SPECIAL
REPRESENTATIVE (this list will be in Omid's database and does not appear in the present version)
1-At its forty-sixth session, the Commission on
Human Rights decided, by its resolution 1990/79 of 7 March 1990, to extend the mandate
of the Special Representative, as contained in Commission resolution 1984/54 of
14 March 1984, for a further year and requested the Special Representative to submit
an interim report to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session on the human
rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the situation of minority
groups, such as the Baha'is, and a final report to the Commission at its forty-seventh
session. In its decision 1990/243 of
2-Previously, the General Assembly had decided,
buy its resolution 44/163 of
3-In compliance with paragraph 14 of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1990.79 and in response also to the General Assembly's decision to keep the question under consideration on the basis of additional information, the Special Representative submits herewith his interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
4-As in previous years, the interim report concentrates on oral and written communications with government officials and on allegations of human rights violations from non-governmental organizations and individuals and very briefly reports on the second visit to the country. Some of the documents received are now under study and if the information they contain proves to be relevant, it will be considered in the final report. Owing to the short interval between the two reports, the interim report has been planned and written as the first part of the final report and the two documents should accordingly be regarded as one.
5-The structure of the interim report is similar
to previous reports, and is accordingly divided into five sections: I. Introduction;
II. Communications between the Government of the Islamic
II. Communications between the government
of the Islamic
A. Communications of a general nature
6-By a letter dated
7-On 6 February 1990, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted a letter addressed to the Special Representative by Mr. M. Mottaki, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, who, in reply to a question raised by the Special Representative during his first visit to the country, submitted two examples of judgements in which the High Disciplinary Court had convicted judges of abuse of authority. The text of the judgement was as follows:
"Judgement 1/67 dated
" Judgement 64/130
8-By a letter dated 2 May 1990 the Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at
" On the occasion
of Eid ul-Fitr, marking the
end of the month of Ramadan on
" On the occasion
of the Iranian New Year, on
9-On 14 June 1990, the Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations forwarded to the Special Representative
the text of a message from Ayatollah Mohammed Taqui Ja'afari, inviting him " not in the capacity of the Special
Representative but as a scholar and a scientific and intellectual personality, to
pay a visit to Iran prior to your official visit, during which you could participate
in scientific and legal meetings arranged in your honour ..."
. By a letter dated
10-By a note verbale of 22 August 1990, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations office at Geneva informed the Special Representative of the statement delivered by Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on 10 August 1990, in which, referring to article 35 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, referring to article 35 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Yazdi, " once again emphasized that the courts should be held in public and they must respect the right of every party in a case to choose his or her own legal counsel and even if the person cannot afford to secure legal counsel, it would be provided by the Judiciary" . Moreover, a circular letter by the Head of the Judiciary to all judicial units and authorities, dated 4 August 1990, stressing the right of the parties to a lawsuit to select an attorney in all civil and penal courts was handed to the Special Representative by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs at Tehran and is reproduced in appendix VIII to the present report.
11-On 11 September 1990, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran sent to the Special Representative a copy of a note verbale it had addressed on 13 August 1990 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In that note the Permanent Mission referred to paragraph 167 of the last report of the Special Representative 1/ reflecting a suggestion he had made to the Government concerning regular visits by ICRC to prisons throughout the country in order to ascertain the conditions of imprisonment and, in particular, to look into the situation of political prisoners. The note verbale stated, inter alia, the following: " With due regard to the co-operation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights, the former invites the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the prisons."
12-By a letter dated
"1. The Islamic Republic of
"2. The Islamic Republic of
"3. The Head of the Judiciary's general circular
letter No. 1/7553/9 dated
" 4. A bill of law was prepared according to which the period of detention of the accused prior to the pronouncement of the verdict is included in their term of prison.
" 5. Clemency measures
have been pursued and implemented on various occasions. The details shall be presented
during your visit to
" 6. An academic
seminar was held for "A Comparative Study of Islamic and Western Principles of Human
Rights' in which Iranian scholars, authorities, and professors participated. Furthermore,
as the Human Rights Centre has been already informed, an international seminar with
the participation of Iranian and Foreign scholars, including personalities from
the Human Rights Centre, will meet in
" 7. Preparation
of detailed and elaborate response to the accusations, allegations and claims presented
to you by various groups, that there were forwarded to the Islamic
"8. Expansion of judicial services and works to promote the living standard of the families of persons sentenced or accused; that includes the creation of a special fund with the financial support of the government and benevolent persons."
Communications concerning allegations received by the Special Representative and transmitted to the Government
13-Since the forty-sixth session of the Commission of Human Rights, a great number of reports alleging human rights violations, including specific incidents and cases, have been brought to the attention of the Special Representative. In accordance with the understanding reached during his first visit to the country, the Special Representative transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva by letters dated 12 March, 7, 8, 11 and 23 May, 27 June, and 9 July 1990, several individual cases of alleged human rights violations which, in his view, required urgent attention of the Government. The Special Representative requested that the reported incidents or cases be investigated and that he be informed of the results of the Governments' inquiries, as well as of the situation of each of the persons concerned, in particular as regards the precise charges brought against them and all relevant details of their trials.
14-By a letter dated
15-By a letter dated
16-By a letter dated
17-In response to that request, by a letter date
18-By a letter dated
19-By a note verbale dated 19 October 1990, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted the translation of a letter which the Voice and Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Television) had addressed to the Movement for Freedom in reply to its telex dated 22 September 1990, concerning the televised " confession" of Mr. Behbehani (see para. 23). Relevant excerpts of the letter are as follows:
" 1. Article 52 and paragraph b of Article 55 of the Law governing the policies of this organization clearly stipulate our policy as follows:
"Article 52: "to enlighten the populace about the devilish plots of the world colonialists and their internal agents for the weakening of deviation of the Revolution'.
Article 55, paragraph b: "Denunciation of the activities, plots and working methods of counter-revolutionary groups and the enemy's fifth Column, and familiarizing the populace with the nature of their thinking and practice.'
" 2. It has been according to these Articles that the Voice and Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran has since the victory of the Islamic Revolution broadcast the trials and confessions of hundreds of members of the traitorous and counter-revolutionary parties, groups, and grouplets which have conspired in various ways against the Islamic Revolution and the interest of the people and the country or collaborated with the enemies of the Islamic Revolution and the Muslim people of Iran. It might as well be remembered that during the transitional Government which was in the hands of the Freedom Movement and of those whose members headed this organization, series of such interviews and confessions were broadcast on the Voice and Vision. As far as we remember and the records indicate, no response of the concerned elements has ever been broadcast.
"3. Broadcasting by the Voice and Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran the interview with Dr. Farhad Behbehani represents one such example and is in line with Article 52 and paragraph b of Article 55 of our law.
" 4. Upon receipt
of the telephone-gram No. 1-1-46/5400, dated
Communications relating of the second visit of the Special Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran
Conversations with representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
20-On 12 July 1990, the Special Representative
met with Ambassador Sirous Nasseri,
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office
21-The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva told the Special Representative that he would transmit his request to make a second visit to the country to his Government and said that he was pleased to have had the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions with the Special Representative on matters relating to his mandate. Furthermore, commenting on the request made by the Special Representative concerning the need to receive detailed replied to the allegations of human rights violations, he said that his Government had every intention to reply to those allegations. In that connection he said that in order to expedite the investigation of the allegations and ensure a prompt reply, the allegations should be stated in the clearest and most unequivocal terms. Lastly, the Permanent Representative reiterated the assurance of his Government's full co-operation in helping the Special Representative to implement his mandate.
2. Written Communications
22-On 13 July 1990, the Special Representative sent a letter to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva stating that: " ... it would be my intention to carry out this visit before drafting my report to the next session of the General Assembly and I propose as dates for the visit the week 25 to 30 August 1990" .
" 1. With regard to the date of your second visit, the suitable date would be the 1 of September 1990.
" 2. While I also
appreciated the occasion we had on
" 3. Concerning the communication of the Centre for Human Rights containing all the allegations which we were expected to receive by the end of July, you may note that we have yet to receive it."
24-By a letter dated 20 August 1990, the Special
Representative informed the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of
Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva that health reasons prevented him from
travelling to Tehran on 1 September 1990, as suggested
by the Government, and that he would propose as soon as possible new dates for the
visit, which for the above-mentioned medical reasons, could not take place before
the end of September. The Special Representative assured the Permanent Representative
that he would make every effort to arrange for another meeting with him as soon
as feasible before his departure to
25-By a letter dated 17 September 1990, the Special
Representative proposed the period from 6 to 11 October 1990 as new dates for the
visit, adding that he could meet the Permanent Representative at Geneva on 28 September
1990. By the same letter, he communicated a list of personalities and places that
he would like to visit and reminded him that the terms of reference of his visit
remained identical to those described in the annex to the letter addressed on
26By a note verbale
III. INFORMATION RECEIVED BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
27-The following paragraphs contain allegations
of human rights violations received by the Special Representative and transmitted
to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran by memoranda dated 20 August and
A. Right to life
28-According to a report by the daily Abrar, a man condemned for fornication with a close relative
was publicly executed in Mashad. Agence France Presse reported on 16 January that, according to news received
29-Jomhouri Islami reported
30-Dailies from various countries published the statement of Mitra Moazez (21), claiming that she had been forced to witness the death by burning of a 37 year old woman and two 18 year old men in an Iranian prison. According to these reports, they had been thrown into a furnace by guards, named Jamshid Sohrabi and Mojtaba Halvai. Reportedly, she had been imprisoned from 1981 to 1984 for having taken part in an anti-government demonstration and had been tortured for 85 days before being interrogated. When she was freed, she visited the family of one of the young men, named Asghar Ghorbani Maleki, who told her that prison guards had brought them a box containing Asghar's ashes and that, as a consequence of the shock this had caused, the young man's father had committed suicide.
31-Abbas Raissi, a navy
officer stationed at Chah Bahar
was said to have been arrested around September 1989 in Chah
Bahar on unknown charges. The source of the information
presumed that his arrest, as well as the arrest ofa group
of other persons, related to an incident in which a Government opponent, of whom
Mr. Raissi was a close friend and distant relative, was
smuggled out of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The group arrested at the same time
included two of the opponent's nephews as well as his brother, Mohammed Karim Naroui, who was the Head Postmaster at Chah
Bahar, and was executed at Zahedan
on 28 January 1990 (8 Bahman 1368), reportedly having been sentenced to death at
a trial the previous day. Mr. Raissi
who was detained at either Chah Bahar
or Zahnedan prison, was said to be at imminent risk of
execution; the charges brought against him were not known and no information was
available as to whether he had been tried. By a letter dated
32-According to a cable from
33-By a letter dated
34-By a letter date
36-On 11 May 1990, the Special Representative, pursuant to his letter dated 8 May 1990 and reiterating the requests expressed therein, communicated to the Permanent Representative 10 more names of persons allegedly belonging to the above-mentioned group of 14 as follows: Dr. Bahman Agahy, Legal Advisor of the Iranian Foreign Ministry; Hooshang Amjadi Bigvand; General Ardeshear Ashraf; Manochehr Azar, Attorny; Masoud Deadehvar, Planning Advisor for the Iranian Oil Company; Navy Captain Kyanoosh Hakeamy; Colonel Bahram Ikany; Heshmatolah Magsoody, Clergyman/Attorney; Captain Gahraman Malekzadeh and Colonel Masoud Payaby.
37-By a letter dated
" According to the article 37 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and as contained in the second paragraph of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, no person shall be considered guilty by law unless the accusation against him is proved by a competent court and the courts are naturally obliged to act accordingly;
" In the light of information received by the Islamic Revolutionary Court, those people were arrested and tried in accordance with the law. In addition, they were entitled to appoint a legal counsel and they duly and freely defended themselves during the trial;
" With regard to the right of the accused to resort to high court, it should be mentioned that the sentences issued in accordance with law could be reviewed in the Supreme Court. Consequently, after the issuance of the verdicts all the accused requested for a review by the court of appeal.
Investigation, therefore, was conducted on their request and verdicts of two of the accused were referred to another court for re-examination."
38-On 19 February Radio Tehran announced that
31 persons had been executed for drug trafficking and organizing position in the
cities of Tehran, Sabzevar, Karaj,
Arak, Kerman, Boushehr, Sari,
Qom, Bakhtaran, and Rashat. Radio
39-It has also been reported that 18 prisoners
were executed on 17 and
40-It has futher been
reported that on
Gholamhossein Golzar, 27 years old, discharged employee of the Agricultural
Gholamhassan Golzar, aged 28, discharged employee of the
Reza Khanian, 23 years old, fruit and vegetable centre clerk: 74 lashes for committing robbery; 50 lashes for participation in a forbidden act; amputation of hand for committing assault and battery and hanging by scaffold.
41-The newspaper Kayhan announced on
42-The newspaper Ettelaat announced the following executions: Gholam Zanbgian and Rashid Noor-Mohammadi, in Bakhtaran, on 6 January 1990, for murder; Ahmad Souri, for murder, on 9 January; two persons whose names were not announced in Mashad on 1 January 1990, for murder; and the murderer of a 13 year old girl, hanged in Ahwaz.
43-The Special Representative has been particularly
shocked of the news of the assassination on
44-The assassination of Mr. Rajavi generated fear in persons visiting the Palais des Nations to give information about human rights in
the Islamic Republic of Iran. They took extraordinary precautions so as not to draw
attention to their lives and their beliefs and asked for special police protection,
in some cases notifying the competent authorities in advance of their movements
45-It has also been widely reported that the Iranian
Government has endorsed the death sentence pronounced by Ayatollah Khomeini against
the British author Salman Rushdie. On
46-In many communications the Special Representative has received, it has been asserted that the families had never been officially notified that their relatives had been executed. In addition, those that were notified were often not told where their relatives had been buried.
47-It has been reported that as of January 1990 persons have been executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran for their homosexual or lesbian tendency. It was asserted that at least five such executions took place in January 1990.
48-The Special Representative has repeatedly received expressions of fear that the serious accusations formulated against the co-signatories of the open letter which Mr. Mehdi Bazargan, Prime Minister of the first provisional Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, had addressed to the President to the Republic, could result in executions. Particular concern was expressed over a televised " confession" by Mr. Farhad Behbehani, a member of the dissolved Association for the Defence of Freedom and Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation, in which he reportedly admitted connections between the association and foreign Governments. In this connection, the Special Representative wishes to emphasize that such extrajudicial confessions are contrary to internationally recognized standards of due process.
49-Other individual cases were reported as follows:
Mr. Bizhan Ahmadian: It has been reported that he was shot in a street in Babol and tha thte authorities refused to return his body to the family. Subsequently, his parents an dsome other members of his family were allegedly arrested;
Mr. Mohammad Fadaii:
It has been reported that he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. At the end
of his prison term, which was spent in
Mr. Amir Taavoni-Ganji: It has been reported that in 1987 Mr. Taavoni-Ganji, his wife and daughter, left
Mr. Mohammad Amin Danesh: It has been reported that he was executed on
Mr. Davoud Mohammadi: A former veterinarian working in the Veterinary Office of Arak city. It has been reported that he was executed in October 1989 on charges of drug trafficking, but that the real reason for his execution was to be found in his political activities opposing the Government.
50-Further names of persons who were allegedly executed, updating the lists which the Special Representative annexed to his previous reports, were included in annexes to the two memoranda. They are reflected in appendix I to the present report. The Special Representative requested the Government to provide him with detailed information on the relevant charges and trial proceedings for all persons mentioned.
B. Right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; allegations concerning torture, ill-treatment and prison conditions
51-Reports on torture and the ill-treatment during
imprisonment have continued to be received since the first visit of the Special
Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was also alleged that mutilations
and corporal punishment are being applied. In this context, it is pertinent to note
that Agence France Presse reported that, according to
Kayhan, a person convicted for robbery suffered the amputation of four fingers on
his right hand in Ghasr prison at
52-By a letter dated
53-By a letter dated
54-The Special Representative has also been informed that Mr. Kianouri's wife, Mrs. Meriam Feirouz, was placed in solitary confinement, despite her advanced age and poor health.
55-In addition, the Special Representative received the following allegations.
Jamshid Amiri-Bigvand, 52 years old, former Director of Marodasht Shiraz Petrochemical Laboratory, was arrested on
Parvin Amiri-Bigvand, 51 years old, wife of Houshang
Amjadi-Bigvand, was arrested in November 1988 at her residence
in the city of
Houshang Amjadi-Bigvand, 51 years old, self-employed, was arrested in
November 1988 at his residence in the city of
Reza Arbabi, 38 years
old, was reportedly arrested in 1983 and kept in Mashad
Mr. Yagoub Bahramy. It has been reported that he was repeatedly subjected to beatings in Ghasr prison.
Mr. Asdollah Bayat. It has been reported that he was repeatedly beaten with cables in Ghasr prison, resulting in mental problems;
Mr. Ardeshir Bonyani. It has been reported that he was arrested in December 1989 for refusing military service. He was reportedly beaten up and his jaw broken;
Mr. Kamran Bonyani. It was reported that he had distributed pictures of the late Shah and displayed the former Iranian flag in Valiahd Swuare and Pole-Seyyed Khandan. Reportedly, he had been arrested by the revolutionary guards at the house of a certain Mr. Misaghieh at Shemiran and taken to the Komiteh in Jamaran District, where he was allegedly tortured; as a result, his jaw and teeth were broken;
Mr. Aslan Fadavy. It has been reported that at Evin prison he suffered severe beatings;
Mr. Masood Farjad, engineer. Security officers allegedly used burning cigarette butts to inscribe on his back " death to opponents of Velayate Faghih" (religious guide);
Mr. Navabali Ghaemmaghami. It has been reported that he was subjected to various forms of sexual abuse and psychological torture in Ghom prison. He was allegedly forced to watch other prisoners being tortured. Several times, his clothes were reportedly soiled with the urine and excrement of other prisoners;
Mrs. Tahere Hadadian-Zanjani, aged 53, reportedly spent more than five years in prison, partly in solitary confinement. As a result of being flogged on the soles of her feet with cables, and other kinds of alleged torture, she had to undergo surgical operations;
Ms. Soraya Hagh-Shenas. It has been reported that the Procurator of Tabrix prison allegedly ordered her arrest when she refused his sexual advanced. In prison she was allegedly flogged and forced to witness other prisoners being tortured;
Mr. Ahmad Khanzamapour. It has been reported that he was imprisoned from 1981 to 1986 in Evin, Gohardasht and Ghezel-Hesar prisons. Despite the fact that he has epilepsy, he was allegedly subjected to different kinds of torture. In particular, it was reported that he was beaten with cables, that his genital organs were connected to electric wires and that he was forced to witness other prisoners being tortured. Allegedly, the prison guards used to confiscate the drugs he needed to treat his epilepsy, and when he had epileptic fits, medical care was not provided except in the most critical situations.
Mr. Habib Maffi. It has been reported that the prison guards in
Mr. Ebrahim Mazroii. It was alleged that he was unlawfully imprisoned and tortured. He reportedly filed a complaint with the authorities, but to no avail;
r. Afrasiab Pakzadegan. It has been reported that, on two occasions at Ghom prison, he was tied to a chair while dogs were incited to attack him.
John Pattis. A citizen of the
Mr. Rahim Rahseparian. It has been alleged tha
the was forced to perform various sexual acts in
32 years old. He was arrested in 1981 at
Mr. Mostafa Salehyar. It has been reported that four prison guards sexually abused him and that he was beaten on his genitals;
Mohammad Reza Sedaghat, former manager at one of the Government offices. It has been reported that he is in prison without any charge and trial, and that he has suffered from torture many times, resulting in serious damage to his feet;
Ms. Fatema Taati-Asil. It was reported that she was arrested in 1981 on the accusation of being a Mojahedin sympathizer. While in prison, she was allegedly subjected to torture, resulting in serious mental disorder. She was released in 1988, after six years of imprisonment;
Jamshid Torabi, 37 years old, was arrested in 1982 and taken to Evin prison. There he was given a brief trial, reportedly without the presence of a lawyer for his defence. He was sentenced to an undefined period, from 15 to 17 years' imprisonment. Later he was transferred to Gohardasht prison, where he was held until the spring of 1989, where he was transferred back to Evin prison. Allegedly he has been severely tortured several times during his years of imprisonment;
Ms. Mehrangiz Yeganeh. It has been reported that she was arrested in 1981
and charged with being a Mojahedin sympathizer. She was
imprisoned for two and a half years in
C. Administration of justice
56-It has been reported that, although the Administrative Regulations Governing the Revolutionary Courts and Public Prosecutor's Offices stipulates that an Islamic revolutionary court should be presided over by a religious judge and that it should be composed of as many as five members, in practise, such courts have consisted of only one judge discharging his duties in a summary fashion. Allegedly, hearings before such courts have in many instances been a matter of minutes only.
57-It has also been reported that trials before Islamic revolutionary courts have usually taken place in secret, sometimes inside prisons, that defendants have not usually enjoyed the right to be represented by a lawyer, and often have not even been made aware that the proceedings were in fact a trial and not an interrogation session.
58-It has been reported that prisoners may be held in indefinite pre-trial detention. The principle of presumption of innocence is allegedly not respected, particularly when the subject is accused of being a member of an armed opposition group. It was said that lawyers generally do not accept cases of such a nature in order not to be suspected of being armed opposition sympathizers themselves. The absence of lawyers in political trials has been considered as one major shortcoming in the procedures of revolutionary courts. Others were said to consist in the denial of the right of the accused to call witnesses in their own defence, and in the absence of the right of appeal against verdict and sentence. In this connection, it may be recalled that, during his first visit, the Special Representative was informed by the President of the Supreme Court of the Justice that the right of appeal is recognized and that no exception is made in cases under the jurisdiction of the revolutionary courts. However, Article 11/2 of the Administrative Regulations Governing the Revolutionary Courts and Public Prosecutor's Offices precludes the possibility of any revision being made to the judgements of Islamic revolutionary courts. (For the explanations received from the authorities in this regard see para. 206.)
59-It was also said that, in the proceedings of revolutionary courts, the requirement for adequate time and facilities for the preparation of a defence is generally not met. Reportedly, during the period of investigation, persons to be tried before revolutionary courts are frequently held in solitary confinement and incommunicado and are not informed sufficiently in advance of the date of their trial. It was further alleged that in practice the Islamic revolutionary courts give greater priority to handing out exemplary punishments than to ensuring that the accused receive a fair trial.
60-Other reports allegedly disregard of court sentences by arbitrary extensions of the terms of imprisonment, execution of inmates sentences to life or imprisonment of various durations or rearrest of persons who already completed their prison terms.
61-With regard to the administration of justice
in cases of drug trafficking, it has been reported by the newspaper Abrar that, in conformity with instructions given by the Deputy
Chief of Intelligence of the General Committees Command, since the entry into force
of a new law against drug trafficking, 50,000 drug addicts have been arrested, including
19,822 heroin addicts, 22,963 opium addicts, and 7,215 hashish addicts. According
to figures provided by Radio Tehran on
62-The Special Representative has been apprised of the following specific cases of alleged irregularities in the administration of justice, which were reported as follows:
Ms. Mitra Ameli, aged
36, widow, medical doctor, daughter of Ziaedin and Aghdas. It has been reported that she was arrested on
Mr. Roger Cooper, British, aged
55, businessman. It has been reported that he was arrested on
Jamshid Fadec was reportedly executed in the city of
Mehrdad Fadec. It is reported that he was executed in the city of
Mr Saeed Firooz. Accountant
in the Office of Justice Ministry in Tonekabon.
It was reported that on
Ms. Hura Fuladpour, aged 38, married, teacher, daughter of Ghasem and Sedigheh. It was reported
that she was arrested in February 1983 in
Ms. Zohreh Ghaeni. Aged about 35, widow, high school
teacher and editor of a young woman's newspaper of the Youth Organization of the
Tudeh Party, Azarakhsh.
It is reported that she was detained as she was going to a meeting at the Party's
Mahmoud Hassani. Reportedly sentenced to seven years' imprisonment and executed shortly before completion of his prison term;
Sussan Hosseinzadeh-Arabi. Born in 1962 in
Ms Fatemeh Hosseinzadeh-Tussi Moghadam. Also known as Giti Azareng, aged about 40, widow, employee of an insurance company. IT has been reported that she was arrested in April 1983 with her two-year-old son, who was imprisoned with her but later released and handed over to relatives. She was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment, apparently for having links with the Tudeh Party. Her husband, Saeed Azarang, was executed in the latter part of 1988;
Ms Fatemeh Izadi. Aged approximately 40, widow, medical doctor. It was reported that she had been a political prisoner under the Shah's regime and was again arrested in February 1983, at the same time as her husband, Mr. Fariborz Salehi, for activities in support of the Organization of Iranian People's Fedeyan. Her husband was executed in 1988. She was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment after a summary trial. While in prison, she allegedly contracted tuberculosis.
Mahin Jahangiri. 26 years old, was reportedly imprisoned in 1981 in Semiron. After approximately 35 days in prison, she was allegedly executed without trial;
Mohammed Gholi Jahangiri. 24 years old, was imprisoned in 1981 in Semiron, and allegedly without a trial, was executed after 35 days in prison;
Mr Amir Houshang Kamrani. It has been reported that he was arrested in 1984. In 1986 he was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment. Since 1988 he has not been allowed to receive visits. His present whereabouts are unknown;
Ms Malekeh Mohammadi. Aged about 65, widow, journalist, and editor of the Tudeh Party newspapers Mardom and Donya. She was arrested in April 1983, along with Meriam Firouz, and sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted. The charges on which she was convicted are unknown. She was married to Mohammad Pour-Hormozan, a leading Tudeh Party figure, who was executed in the autumn of 1988;
Seyyed-Mehdi Nasry. 64 years old. It has been reported
that he has been detained since
Mr Mohammad-Taghi Rahimpour. Assistant lieutenant in the Army. It was reported that he was arrested in 1981, allegedly because the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution were unable to arrest his wife, Ms. Zahra Nouri, accused of being a Mojahedin sympathizer. In 1982, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a summary trial which reportedly lasted five minutes.
Ali Reza Rajai. Born in 1957, was reportedly executed in 1989 after six years of detention in Evin, Gohardasht, and Ghezel-Hesar prisons. Reportedly, he had been sentenced to only five years;
Ms Manijeh Riazi. Aged 36, married, student, daughter of Jaber. It has been reported that she was arrested in June 1981, sent to Evin prison and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. At the end of the two years, she was again questioned but not released. She has allegedly not been told why and how long she must remain in prison;
Ms Faezah Sabetjahromi. Aged 33, married, student, daughter
of Fathali and Ehteram.
It has been reported that she was arrested in 1983 in Hesarak,
Ms Fatemeh (Zohreh) Sadigh Tonekaboni. Widow, teacher. It was reported that she had spent over five years in prison during the Shah's Government, but had not been released at the time of the revolution. She was re-arrested in 1983. It is not known whether she has been tried or sentenced since then;
Mohammad Reza Sedaghat. It has been reported that he is in prison without any charge or trial;
Mehdi Vosooghian. Reportedly arrested in 1985 and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. After the first year he was tried again and convicted for 12 years. In June 1988, he was reportedly executed.
Freedom of opinion, expression, press, and association and right to peaceful assembly
63-It has been reported that the Government continuously intervenes in the free flow of information in the form of letters, telegrams, telexes, and telephone conversations. In this connection it was alleged that a large number of disabled veterans have been hired and placed in the communications offices throughout the country to monitor telephone conversations between citizens. Letters coming in and going out of the country are allegedly routinely opened.
64-It has also been reported that printing houses are required to obtain the previous formal permission of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for all publications and that printing paper is attributed by the Ministry only to those publishing houses whose publications have been approved.
65-On 27 June 1990, the Special Representative sent a letter to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva expressing concern about reports received according to which a number of co-signatories of an open letter which Mr. Mehdi Bazargan, Prime Minister of the first provisional Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, together with 89 other persons, recently addressed to the President of the Republic, had been arrested. The names of some of the detained co-signatories of the open letter were given as follows: Abdol Ali Bazargan (son of Mehdi Bazargan), Ezzatollah Sahabi (former Director of Planning and Budget), Reza Sadr (former Minister of Trade), Hussein Bani Assadi (former Vice-Prime Minister), Shams Shahshahani (former Prosecutor of Tehran), Nour Ali Tabandeh (lawyer and former Vice-Minister of Justice), Yadollah Chamse Ardallan, Ali Ardalan, Rochan Ardalan, Farhad Behbahani, Abbas Ghaem Sabahi, Khossro Mansourian, Hashem Sabaghian, Ezatollah Hamede Sahabi, Mohammad Tavassoli, and Akbar Zarrinehbaf. The Special Representative requested the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide him with information about the arrest of these persons, the charges brought against them and about the Association for the Defence of Freedom and Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation, which had been allegedly dissolved as a consequence of the open letter. The Special Representative requested assurances that any persons arrested in the above context would receive humane treatment while in detention and benefit from all procedural safeguards provided for in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
66-On 9 July 1990, the Special Representative
transmitted the following additional names of persons allegedly arrested as a consequence
of the open letter: Mr. Habib Davaran,
Mr. Naim Pour, Mr. Amir Tavakol Ebrahimi, Mr. Hossein Shah Hosseini, Mr. Nezamedine Movahed, Mr. Mahmoud Maleki, Mr. Hormoz Momayezi, Mr. Said Sadr, Mr. Hamid Sadr, Mr. Khosrow Parsa, Mr. Ahmad Shayegan, Mr. Mahmoud Habibi, Mrs. Shahin Parsa, and Mrs. Azar Sadr. He also reiterated the
requests made in his letter of
67-On 12 July 1990, the Special Representative heard the testimony of Mr. Aboulfaz Khorassani Nejad, who said he was a political science graduate and a reporter for an evening newspaper. He said that his journalistic activities had caused him serious problems: on the one hand, his articles were often censored or not printed and he was not entirely free to practise his profession. On the other hand, because of his articles, he received many letters containing threats from the Mojahedin, which considered him a collaborator of the Government without realizing that his articles were often rewritten. In 1981, he and his wife were assaulted by two individuals armed with revolvers who shot at them. As a result of that attack, his wife died.
68-Another person interviewed the same day said
he had belonged to the Tudeh Party and carried out political
activities in the north of the country on the border with the
69-Many press reports, publications of opposition groups abroad and reports from Iranian sources told of clashes between demonstrators and Pasdaran on the outskirts of Shiroudi Stadium in Tehran. The incidents were apparently set off by the cancellation of the soccer games and the fans' protests turned into political protests. The people demonstrating shouted their opposition to the Government and hurled stones against cars and buildings. Official sources acknowledged the arrest of some 30 demonstrators and added that they were released after interrogation. However, information from other sources accused the Revolutionary Guards of shooting into the crowd indiscriminately in addition to arresting many demonstrators and added that 10 persons died in those incidents and were secretly buried in unmarked graves in Behesht-Zhara Cemetary.
70-On 17 April 1990, the Times of London printed a cable from Tehran saying that the police had arrested 65 people in the northern quarter of Tehran because they were shouting political slogans and disturbing public order. The same dispatch told of the arrest of the group alleged hooligans attending the funeral of Aref Valizadeh, who had been killed by the police on Monday, 16 April, when they tried to arrest him.
71-The National Resistance Movement of Iran announced
that Mr. Shapour Bakhtiar had called for peaceful marches
along the main avenues of all Iranian cities on Friday, 18 May, from 10 a.m. to
noon to demand that the Government hold free elections under United Nations supervision.
72-On 19 February 1990, Kayhan International published a report that the Ministry of the Interior had authorized three political parties and associations to function: Hedayet-e-Islami (Islamic Guidance), headed by Darius Zargari Marandi; the Islamic Association of Graduates of the India-Pakistan Subcontinent, whose president's name was not given; and the Society of Zoroastrian Priests, headed by Ardeshir Azarghoshasb.
E. Freedom of movement; right to leave one's country and to return
73-It has been reported that the Government is maintaining a computerized list of nearly 35,000 names of Iranian citizens who are forbidden to travel abroad. Those Iranians allowed to travel abroad have to pay heavy exit duties and passport fees in addition to airport tax. The reported amounts are as follows: exit duties, $US 625; passport fees, $US 275; airport tax, $US 2,500. A person leaving for a second time during a calendar year is reportedly obliged to pay double the amount of exit fees. Travel agencies, when issuing tickets, are reportedly required to register the travellers' name and address, their destination and place of sojourn, and to report it to the security authorities.
74-The Special Representative has received the following complaints of an individual character:
Bahieh Shahidi, 75 years old, housewife. In August 1988, while departing
Mehr-Abad to the
Reza Hadipanah, Iranian
resident in the
F. Allegations of intimidation or reprisal
75-In its resolution 1990/76, adopted on 7 March 1990, the Commission on Human Rights condemns all acts of intimidation or reprisal, in whatever form, against private individuals and groups who seek to co-operate with the United Nations and representatives of its human rights bodies, or who have sought to avail themselves of procedures established under United Nations auspices for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It further requests all representatives of United Nations human rights bodies reporting on violations of human rights to the Commission or to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, in the exercise of their respective mandates, to take urgent steps, in conformity with their mandates, to help prevent the occurrence of intimidation or reprisal, and to devote special attention to the question in their respective reports of the Commission or the Sub-Commission.
76-The Special Representative has received the following complaints about cases of intimidation or reprisal:
Achea Ahmadi. It is reported that the family of this person, who was executed in mid-1988, was warned by the prison authorities of the consequences they would face in case news of the execution was made public;
Noureddin Kianouri, former first secretary of the Tudeh Party, and his wife Meriam Feirouz. It is reported that, shortly after his meeting with the Special Representative at Evin prison, during which, inter alia, he asserted to have been subjected to torture, Mr. Kianouri was placed in solitary confinement and has no longer been allowed to receive visits. It was also reported that the same treatment has been applied to Mr. Kianouri's wife;
It was also alleged that, during the Special Representative's
first visit, several persons who had tried to contact him at the UNDP Office at
Tehran had been prevented from doing so by Government agents who took them for questioning
to various Komiteh installations. In particular, it was
reported that a husband and wife (names provided to the Special Representative)
had been taken in this manner to a Komiteh at
77-In a letter dated 23 March 1990, Mr. Bazargan, former Prime Minister of the first provisional Government, told the Special Representative that in letters dated 15 and 16 February 1990 to the Prosecutor General of Tehran and the Minister of the Interior respectively, Mr. Tavassoli had reported that he and his family had received threats and abusive telephone calls in the days following his conversations with the Special Representative. He had attached copies of the letters.
G. Situation of women
79-According to reports received by the Special Representative, women in the Islamic Republic of Iran have suffered from various acts of discrimination. Unequal treatment meted out to women have been alleged in the following particular areas.
80-In the family context it has been reported, inter alia, that a husband, father or brother may kill his wife, daughter or sister when she commits an immoral or unchaste act. Further, in case of dissolution of marriage, a mother's right of custody over her children was said to be limited to the son under two years of age and the daughter under 7 years, even when the father has died.
81-In the area of equal opportunities for women, it was alleged that women have no access to certain fields of study, e.g. graphics, visual communications and cinematography. Promotional opportunities for women were said to be few, with practically no women in managerial or supervisory positions
82-With regard to the administration of justice, it was reported that a woman's testimony in court was considered to be worth half that of a man. Thus it would take two women witnesses to offset a single male's testimony. It has also been alleged that a virgin woman condemned to death goes through forced matrimony and is deflowered before the death sentence is carried out.
H. Situation regarding the rights of children
83-It has been reported that, according to Clause 1 of Article 1210 of the Civil Law, the age of puberty for girls has been determined to be nine lunar years (equivalent to eight years and nine months). At that age, the father or the paternal grandfather reportedly has the right to marry off his young daughter to anyone he considers suitable, in exchange for a sum of money, the so-called " Shir Baha" .
84-It has also been reported that, according to Article 32 of the Law dealing with Islamic punishment, physical punishment of children is permitted to the limit of maiming them.
I. Testimonies concerning acts of violence against the civilian population
85-On 23 February 1990, six witnesses members of the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, an organization established in the Islamic Republic of Iran, requested to be heard by the Special Representative in Geneva. They asked that their names be kept confidential.
86-One witness stated that he used to be a teacher
of English and had never engaged in political activities. Since he was bearded,
the Mojahedin suspected him of being a fundamentalist
and Government agent and made an attempt on his life which resulted in the death
of his wife. They advertised the incident as " having
executed a Government agent" . The witness stated that he had not been in his
wife's company when the killing took place. He further stated that in
87-Another witness stated that he was an ex-member of the Mojahedin. He had joined the movement after the Revolution, as he had been attracted by its propaganda. For two years he was trained in political activities, such as organizing a public demonstration and social upheaval. Afterwards he went through a military training period. In the year following his military training he was arrested by the Government and taken to Evin prison. He stated that he never had participated directly in military activities. He was condemned to 10 years in gaol but was released during the general amnesty in 1986 after serving 4 years. He had knowledge of at least three assassination perpetrated by Mojahedin agents; the victims were a grocer, a taxi driver and watchmaker.
88-Another witness stated that he was a medial
doctor by profession and an ex-member of the Democratic Kurdistan Party. He had
belonged to that party two years and one year after the Revolution. He alleged that
the Democratic Kurdistan Party had received money from the Government of Iraq before
the war. In fact, each family involved in this party had received 5,000 dinars from the Iraqi Government. The Iranian agent for the
distribution of money was a man called Abdullah and was presently very influential
with the Party. Although he was in exile now, he continued his activities from abroad.
According to the witness, the
89-Another witness stated that she had joined
the Mojahedin for a period of three years through her
husband who was a Mojahedin leader. Both had received
military training and she had served as a deputy to her husband. They were arrested
together and her husband was executed. As his deputy she had initially been condemned
to prison for life, but her sentence was later reduced to 10 years. She was released
in 1989, after having served six years. The witness further states that, as an ex-member
of the Mojahedin, she could testify to the fact that they
were a terrorist group. She had been told by the Mojahedin
that certain people were considered essential to the Government and that if they
were killed the Government would collapse. Now she realized that this system of
struggle was not rational. One terrorist she had known personally was Mr. Radjavi, who had served in the group of her husband. In 1982
Mr. Radjavi had killed a grocer at Dj'an Houri whose name was Hossein Mehrabanian. Mr. Radjavi had also received the order to kill a wood carver, called
Davood Nazeur Baka, who had left the Mojahedin organization.
Two other members of her husband's group, who were later caught
had killed a seller of textiles by the name of Haji at
Narmak. Another killer belonging to the group was Ali
Soleamani who lived at Djavadeeh
and had assassinated a housewife. Another terrorist she knew had killed two people,
one of whom owned an electricity shop in
90-Another witness stated that she had been arrested
in September 1971, as she had held responsibility for the protection of one of the
private hiding places of the Mojahedin. Five or six persons
were living there; one was called Mohammed and was the perpetrator of several assassinations.
In 1981 a fruit seller was killed by Mohammed because he supported the government.
Other members of the organization, called Ali-Reza Madani
and Reza Ostad Hossein, had
killed two college students by the names of Reza Darrsh
Vand and Naserh Salem. The entire
group was arrested in September 1981. The witness stated that when new members joined
the Mojahedin they were promised all kinds of facilities,
but all the promises proved to be lies and, little by little, they were induced
to commit crimes. The facts related should be considered only as samples of the
activities of the Mojahedin. She said she did not understand
how it was possible that members of the organization were allowed to move freely
91-Another witness, an employee with the Iranian Television, stated that when his wife was 16 years old, she had contacts with the Mojahedin organization. After their engagement she left the organization at his request. When they got married and received threatening letters from the Mojahedin asking her to return to the organization. In 1982, a woman who used to be a friend of his wife, accompanied by three man, went to their house and violently attacked his wife, who was pregnant at that time. As a consequence their child was born disabled and his wife suffers from speech problems.
92-In addition, on
93-Mr. Gazam Faripoor said that his father was killed in 1981 by terrorist groups despite the fact that he was not politically involved. Thus his family became one of the many families victims of terrorism.
94-Another person stated that he had worked with
the Mojahedin organization. As a result of his political
activities he had served four years in prison, from 1981 to 1985. He is now working
on his father's business, but he intends to resume the medical studies he was forced
to interrupt to serve his prison term. His applications for readmission to the University
have been rejected. He charged that the groups belonging to the Mojahedin, as well as other political, social, and religious
groups, were trying to exploit and take advantage of the forthcoming visit by the
Special Representative to
95-Another person stated that he had been a member of the Mojahedin organization since 1979, the year when he was recruited. At the beginning, he was assigned simple tasks such as distributing propaganda leaflets. Later, he was given more important political tasks, but never military tasks. He stated that in 1981, the organization decided to step up its terrorist activities with the aim of eliminating those it considered to be key people, mainly officers of the army and the security forces. The chief of this cell was Mohammed Moghaddam, who did take part in terrorist activities. The witness says he had to go into hiding and live in a house with his weapons at the ready. In 1983, his house was razed by the security forces and he received a gunshot wound. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He appealed the sentence and the term was reduced to 15 years. In 1987, after four years and three months in prison, he was released under the amnesty decreed that year.
96-Another person stated that his son was killed nine years ago after receiving a number of threats from members of the Mojahedin organization.
97-Another person, a university student, stated that his younger brother had been killed by members of the Mojahedin despite the fact that he was not politically involved. He said that he tried unsuccessfully to speak with the Special Representative during his first visit. He added that many members of the families of victims of terrorism had not been able to see the Special Representative either at that time.
J. Freedom of religion
98-It has been reported that the Iranian Bible Society was dissolved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in February 1990, and has failed in numerous attempts to get approval to re-open. The Iranian Bible Society has operated legally and openly for the last 10 years. After its dissolution, its files were confiscated and its staff locked out of the premises. In addition, its executive secretary, Mr. Sadegh Sepehri, his wife and his son, have allegedly suffered harassment and threats of imprisonment.
99-It has been reported that, starting with the academic year 1983-1984, religious education was prohibited in all Christian Armenian schools. New books in Farsi prepared by Muslim theologians were reportedly introduced. It has also been said that as of 1985-1986 all Christian Armenian schoolgirls were forced to wear an Islamic veil, irrespective of the fact that they were already wearing scarves covering their hair and neck. It has been also reported that Armenian clergymen, including the Archbishop, have been prohibited from entering school compounds, while Muslim clergymen have free access. It was also alleged that messages to the students on the occasion of religious holidays have to be submitted tin Farsi for approval by the authorities two weeks in advance.
100-It was also reported that the
101-It was alleged that, in April 1990, Guardians of the Islamic Revolution entered the Sipan Cultural and Athletic Club of the Armenian community, closed the club and detained three members of the board and the office clerk. They were reportedly accused of allowing girls to be present in the premises without head scarves. The four detained persons were reportedly sentenced to 74 lashes for violating the Constitution. Allegedly, they were allowed to " purchase" the lashes by paying 74,000 rials each.
K. The Situation of the Baha'i community
102-Although the number of Baha'is is reported
to be imprisoned has declined from 13, as of
104-Three other persons asked to speak with the
Special Representative on
105-Written information on the situation of the Baha'is has also been received by the Special Representative, accompanied in many instances by official Iranian documents. The information received has been divided into the following categories:
1. Dismissal of government employees
106-In a letter dated 22 February 1990, addressed to Izzatu'llah Nazari, a retired employee of the Baha'i faith, the National Iranian Oil Company stated: " As you have already been informed, in accordance with Civil Court verdict No. h.b. 1236/7 of 15 Ordibehesht 1362 (5 May 1983) and because you belong to the misguided Baha'i sect, you have been permanently disqualified from exercising Government functions and from serving in any Government-affiliated organization."
107-In a letter dated
108-On 10 December 1989, the Department of Social Security informed the Office of Social Services for the Employees of the Ministry of Labour that, in accordance with the relevant decision, Dhabihuillah Fada'I had been permanently dismissed from his post because of his membership in the misguided Baha'i sect and that payment of his pension continued to be suspended on the basis of verdict No. 28827/6 of 14 September 1983.
109-In a letter dated
110-In a letter dated 30 September 1989 from the Office for the Investigation of Administrative Offences of the Ministry of Agriculture to Mr. Payduilla'h Ali-Tabar, who had been dismissed from his post, it was stated that the fact that he belonged to the misguided Baha'i sect had been proved on the basis of his confession and statement of 7 April 1982; that the decision relating to his dismissal from his post was therefore valid; and that it was legally unnecessary to submit the case for review.
111-On 12 September 1989, a judge of the Administrative Court handed down a ruling in connection with the consideration of a complaint against the Ministry of Health, stating that Mr. Hushang Gulistani's considered himself a member of the misguided Baha'i sect, that an administrative decision of 21 March 1981 had ordered his dismissal from his post and the suspension of his pension payments and that, as that decision had been based on the law, it could not be changed.
2. Refusal of withdrawal of work permits
114-In a letter dated 31 October 1989, the National Veterinary Organization informed the Director of the Inspection Group of the Ministry of Agriculture that it was not possible to give a permit to Jamshid Faris because, in his request of 2 November 1988, he had acknowledged that he was a member of the misguided Baha'i sect; and that sect was an agent of foreign interests and Governments.
115-A letter from the Central Council of Trades of Simnan, dated 20 January 1990, informed a Baha'i, Mr. Afrasiyab Subhani, that his work permit had not been approved and that, as from 21 January 1990, he would have to close his business and return the original permit to the Council. It was also stated that, if the order was not complied with, he would be treated in accordance with Act No. 72 of the Union Regulations.
116-In a letter dated 4 May 1989, the Trade Union for Repairs of House Equipment in Gurgan informed Mr. Massud Masudi that, following the investigation which had been carried out confirming that he belonged to the Baha'i sect, the Trade Union was unable to give him a work permit and he would therefore have to close his business.
3. Suspension of pension or salary payments
118-On 23 July 1989, the local Health Department in Khurasan sent a letter to the Office of Personnel of the Ministry of Health indicating that Mr. Dhabihullah Dhabini-Muqaddam was a member of the misguided Baha'i sect and that the payment of his salary had therefore been discontinued.
4. Prison sentence
119-In a letter dated 12 March 1989, the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Gombad referred to the case of Mrs. Bihidukht Tibiyani belonging to the Baha'i faith in the following terms: " the case concerning the accusation that you take part in the Baha'i activities has been considered by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Gombad and, in accordance with verdict No. 1684-7 of 26 February 1989, you have been sentenced to one year's imprisonment; the verdict was handed down in your absence since you did not appear before the court" .
5. Invalidation of ration card
6. Denial of education
122-On 9 November 1988, a committee to investigate cases of expelled students informed Miss Farzanih Khusravi Hamadani by letter that her case had been considered and that, since she had been banned from continuing her education because she belonged to the Baha'i sect, she would have to publish three announcements in major newspapers recanting her Baha'i faith and that, if she did not do so, her situation would remain unchanged.
123-In another case at the
7. Baha'is who have been ordered to return salaries received as public employees
124-Hushang Tabish, an employee who had worked for the Sadirat Bank was arrested because he refused to return the salary he had received. After being in prison for some time, he agreed to pay monthly amounts of 3,000 tumans as from October 1988. When he had made seven monthly payments, he decided to stop them. Reportedly the prosecutor is currently dealing with his case.
125-Mrs. Tal'at Mazlumi, a former employee of the Department of Education was
ordered to return the salary that she had received while she was in Government service.
The order came from the Prosecutor's Office of Section 1 at Evin prison. The prosecutor's
last order that the former employee should provide a guarantee of payment was dated
a retired army officer received a summons to appear before the Prosecutor's Office
of Section 1 at Evin on
127-Isfandiyar Ghadanfari, Nadir Ghadanfari, and Nadir Vahid have been summoned repeatedly. They were taken to Section 13 at Evin prison because they have not provided a guarantee that they would pay back the salaries they received during the time they were in Government service.
128-Mr. Manuchihr Mishn Chi was reported to be held in Evin prison because he would not or could not pay back the salary he had received.
129-Mr. Yusuf Ahmada'I, whose case is with Section 4 at Evin, agreed to provide a guarantee that he would pay back the salary he had received. He has already made two payments.
130-Vahid Sabuhiyan, a former army officer who received an order for the repayment of 153,000 tumans agreed to pay back that amount, but later decided not to do so and to await official reaction.
131-Mrs. Faridih Ahmadiyyih, a former employee of the Tijarat
Bank received a summons concerning the repayment of salaries from the prosecutor
of Section 12 at Evin, dated
8. Confiscation of property
132-It has been reported that Mr. Enayatollah Eshraghi, Mrs. Ezzat Eshraghi, and Miss Roya Eshraghi, members of the Baha'i community of
IV. REPORT ON THE SECOND VISIT TO THE ISLAMIC
133-The second visit to the Islamic Republic of
Iran was made from 9 to
134-By a letter dated 17 September 1990, the Special
Representative had requested the Government to arrange for the following appointments
with official or religious personalities: The Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Interior,
and Culture and Islamic Guidance; the Head of the Judiciary, the President of the
Supreme Court of Justice, Ayatollah Montazeri and Ayatollah Ja'afari,
the Special Prosecutor for Drug Trafficking, and a senior president of a revolutionary
court. By a letter dated
135-The Special Representative also requested the Government, by a letter of 17 September 1990, to arrange a visit to Evin prison and pointed out that he would ask to visit one or two other prisons in the Tehran area, if considered necessary. He further indicated that it would be his intention to conduct hearings, in private, with prisoners of his choice, the names of whom would be communicated in due course. The Special Representative also stated that he would appreciate being given the opportunity to be present at trial proceedings of a revolutionary court concerning an offence for which capital punishment may be pronounced.
136-In the first meeting with the Deputy Minister
for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, the Special Representative
was handed a programme based on his aforementioned requests. In the course of the
visit, the programme underwent a number of changes, some of which were requested
by the Special Representative, who asked, in particular, that
137-The programme of official meetings that took place during the visit is reproduced in appendix III.
138-On 9 October, the Special Representative and
his team members co-ordinated their own programme of work
with official proposals and incorporated the activities they would conduct without
official contacts or assistance. This programme was considered chiefly with a view
to allotting time for ht examination of specific cases, mainly of prisoners and
for interviews with a number of personalities in Iranian public life and individuals
who, through contacts in
B. Meeting with representatives of the executive and judicial branches of government
139-The following paragraphs summarize the highlights of the interviews conducted by the Special with government authorities. They are in chronological order.
1. Meeting with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
140-The Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. M. Mottaki, thanked the United Nations mission for coming and said that the first visit had opened a new chapter in the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations. He pointed to the expanded role of the United Nations in world affairs and said that the end of the cold war would open a new chapter in international relations. Disarmament and human rights will be the two basic issues of the new age. The Islamic Republic of Iran is strengthening its spirit of co-operation with all nations and with the United Nations. The search for negotiated solutions to all international problems is another feature of the new age. The issue of human rights figures prominently among the concerns and goals of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
141-Mr. Mottaki said
that the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights had been adopted by experts at the
Islamic Conference and that the Declaration was taken up and adopted at the meeting
of Ministers of the members countries of the Islamic Conference held at
142-Mr. Mottaki said
that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran had examined closely the recommendations
of the Special Representative. The Iranian Government was now in a position to refute
the false allegations made by its political enemies. A Human Rights Department has
been established in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two seminars have been held
143-Mr. Mottaki considered eight categories of recommendations issued by the Special Representative and said that they have all been considered by the Government. Substantial action has been taken on each recommendation. A letter addressed to the Special Representative summarizes the measures taken (see para. 12).
144-Mr. Mottaki referred to a pending matter: visits to the prisons by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Red Cross has already been notified that the Government is prepared to allow visit by ICRC. The Special Representative could visit any prison he liked.
145-The Islamic Republic of
146-The Special Representative expressed the hope that the discussions with the ICRC with a view to reaching a concrete agreement on visiting prisons could be concluded very soon. Mr. Mottaki replied that his Government saw no problem whatsoever in reaching an agreement with ICRC and hoped that visits to the prison would begin very shortly.
147-The Special Representative referred to two memoranda submitted recently and reiterated the importance of receiving official replies. Mr. Mottaki announced that the Special Representative would begin to receive specific replies in the course of his visit.
148-The Special Representative gave Mr. Mottaki a list of 202 prisoners in connection with whose whereabouts,
arrest or possible sentencing (see appendix II), information had been requested
and submitted the names of 26 prisoners he wishes to visit. This list of 26, reproduced
in appendix IV of this report, contained names of persons about whom the Special
Representative had received information during or after his first visit to
149-The interview concluded with an official statement by the Government that it would co-operate fully with the United Nations in general and the Commission on Human Rights in particular.
Interview with the Minister of Intelligence
150-On Wednesday, 10 October, at , Hojatolislam Fallahian, the Minister of Intelligence, was interviewed. The Special Representative requested clarification of certain matters which had arisen in the course of the investigations. In particular, he asked questions concerning the following: the role played by information or intelligence officers and agents in the trial of prisoners, chiefly in cases submitted to the revolutionary courts, the specific role of intelligence agents who worked with the prosecution and, particularly, their participation in interrogations, the hierarchical relationship between intelligence officers, Komitehs and Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards); and the degree to which intelligence agents could act on their own initiative without express orders from their immediate superiors.
151-The Minister spoke of plots against the Iranian
nation and then referred to the observations in the Special Representative's reports,
which, in his view, did not do justice to
152-The Minister went on to say that the Constitution establishes three branches: legislative, judicial and executive. In the executive branch, the revolutionary Komitehs and Pasdaran maintain public order and security and are accountable directly to the President o f the Republic; however, they perform their duties in respect of citizens' rights under the supervision of judges. The Pasdaran are under the Ministry of the Interior for matters of public order, under the Ministry of Defence for military matters. The Komitehs are under the Ministry of the Interior, and the intelligence officers, under the Ministry of Intelligence. Co-ordination takes place at the highest level, that of the president of the Republic.
153-Commeting on the role of intelligence officers at trials, he said that it was not true that judges consulted them during the trials. In many cases, the judges do not accept testimony by intelligence officers and deny them permission to arrest suspicious persons. Indeed, while intelligence officers did participate in interrogations, they do so under the supervision of the judges. It is not true that they use any means, including violence and torture, to obtain confessions.
154-intelligence officers take orders; they are not independent agents. In certain cases, they may take initiatives, for example when they see someone trying to enter the country with a false passport or someone plant a bomb. In such cases they can arrest the culprits. However, they must so advise the judge within 24 hours and he must decide whether or not there are legal grounds for the arrest. There is a department which oversees the activities of these agents and is responsible for punishing them. In some case, they are referred to an administrative tribunal and, in very serious cases, to a military tribunal. Many agents have been dismissed or sentenced to prison terms.
155-The Minister reported that in addition to the Pasdaran, the Islamic Revolutionary Committees, the officials of his Ministry, the police and the gendarmerie were responsible for preventing and investigating ordinary crimes like homicide and robbery and ensuring the safety of the citizenry. Both police forees were under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior. Lastly, the Minister of Intelligence said that, in his view, the Special Representative should focus the attention ofworld public opinion on the acts of aggression committed against the Iranian nation and adopt a clear stance denouncing and condemning acts perpetrated by terrorist organizations. He added that the family and relatives of the martyrs and victims of terrorism shared that feeling.
156-Responding to a question from the Special Representative, the Minister said that there was no prison attached to the premises of the Ministry of Intelligence and that all detainees were subject to the authorities of the Prison Organization. He then invited the Special Representative to visit the building complex where the Ministry has its offices so that he could make sure that there was no prison attached to or included in the building complex where the Ministry is located.
157-The Special Represented submitted the following questions to the Special Prosecutor, Hojatolislam Zargar: (a) How many drug traffickers have been executed in 1990? (b) How many are currently tried? (c) How many of those being tried may be condemned to death? (d) How many of those condemned to death have seen their sentence commuted? (e) How many executions in public or mass executions have taken place during the last few months? In reply to these questions, the Prosecutor stated the following:
158-He said that the number of traffickers who have been arrested since the first visit, including traffickers and consumers, comes to of 9,201, 8,898 of whom are addicts and have been sent to rehabilitation centres. Rehabilitation centres are still inadequate and, for that reason, the Government has requested assistance from international organizations. The remaining 303 are traffickers. Not all of the 303 traffickers can be given the death penalty; some will be sentenced to prison. Of the groups previously sentenced to death, six have had their sentenced commuted.
159-The special prosecutor said that the 1990 capital punishments figures are lower. In 1989, 4,113 persons were pardoned. Of those, 2,259 were released and 1,854 had their sentenced commuted. Many obtained permission to live at home for three days and some were already enjoying this benefit for the sixth time.
160-He also stated that there had been no public executions since the first visit. At times 15 or 20 persons were executed in the prison courtyard. The Special Representative emphasized two points: the need to guarantee due process of law to traffickers and to reduce significantly the number of death sentences pursuant to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
161-The Special Prosecutor referred to opium that is being processed into codeine at laboratories under his supervision. The codeine will be transferred to the Ministry of Health. A total of 1,320 kilos of heroin and 9,090 kilos of opium were confiscated in the first six months of 1990.
162-The Special Prosecutor said that he would obtain an exact figure showing the number of persons executed in 1990 for the Special Representative through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because he did not have it available at that time. The Special Representative asked whether consideration had been given to transferring jurisdiction over such crimes from the revolutionary courts to the ordinary courts, and the answer was no.
163-At the suggestion of the Special Prosecutor
the Special Representative briefly met two detainees convicted on drug trafficking
charges who were working on the premises. One of them, who had admitted carrying
20 kg of opium from
4. Interview with the commission on article 10 of the constitution
164-The Chairman of the Commission, Deputy Asgharzadeh, explained that the Commission on article 10 is composed of representatives from the three branches of government. The purpose of the Commission is to apply the constitutional principle of the people's right to form associations in general and political parties in particular. The Commission is made up of two members of Parliament, two from the judicial branch and one from the executive branch. The Secretary of the Commission is independent and the Minister of the Interior carries out the decisions of the Commission.
165-The procedure is as follows: whenever a certain number of citizens wish to form a political party, they register the members' name and the leaders submit their personal documents and a charter of principles and objectives. The Commission considers such requests at its weekly meetings. The applicants' background is investigated, on the basis of reports from the security and judicial authorities.
166-The Commission has four divisions: (a) The
religious division, which places restrictions, for example, on autonomous groups
or sects, which do not have the right to form associations; (b) The trade union
and crafts division; (c) The division that deals with political groups wishing to
function as political parties which are subject to restrictions relating to public
security and co=operation with foreign political parties; and (d) The division that
handles association of groups engaged in social activities — i.e., cultural or technical
activities. Requests are considered in the order that they are received and authorization
is granted to associations that are not political more promptly than to political
parties. In the past year and a half, 20 to 22 associations were approved. Seven
requests from minorities (Armenians), and a request from
apolitical group in
167-Replying to a question from the Special Representative, the Chairman of the Commission said that the request from the Association for the Defence of the Freedom and Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation is under review. As long as some leaders of this group are having security problems, this association cannot be authorized. Some members of this group are on trials and in prison on charges of espionage.
168-The Special Representative also inquired about the reasons for the dissolution of the Bible Society. The answer was that it had been asked to appear before the Commission several times and bring its activities into compliance with the law. The Society also required authorization from the Ministry of Culture. Since it failed to submit that authorization, its activities were suspended. The Special Representative learned from a well-informed source that the Ministry for Culture and Islamic Guidance had refused to grant the authorization.
169-The Special Representative explained his ideas on the responsibility of individuals and societies and suggested that the doctrine which clearly distinguishes between the responsibility of individuals and the responsibility of associations should be accepted and applied. In his view, he continued, Iranian law projected onto associations what was exclusively the responsibility of the individual members. He was told in reply that this theory would presumably be taken into account when Parliament reconsidered the law on political parties.
170-The Secretary said that the Commission has had difficulty in applying the law in force and that revisions have been considered and proposed for submission to Parliament.
171-A discussion ensued on whether activities for the protection of human rights are considered political. The answer was that this topic has been debated time and again. The defence of human rights is in the interest of the people; however, certain groups claim to be defending human rights in order to mask political activities — at times, political activities designed to destabilize the Government.
5. Interview with the Deputy Minister of the Interior
172-Deputy Minister Atrian-Far said that it was natural that the Special Representative should have identified a number of ambiguous situations on his first visit; he hoped that any such situations would be cleared up during the second visit. Some ambiguities concerned the revolutionary courts, while others concerned political parties.
173-Concerning the unification of the police, Pasdaran, Komitehs, Gendarmerie and judicial police, their co-ordination had been entrusted to the President of the Republic with a view to improving their functioning and thereby guaranteeing citizens' rights. A bill for the integration of those security and protection forces had been approved. A thousand hours of work with experts had been devoted to the issue and the act was being implemented.
174-The Ministry of the Interior must provide an organizational chart and job descriptions in order to implement the act within a year. Two months had gone by and the integration of all police forces would be complete within 10 months. Their integration would considerably enhance efficiency.
175-The Special Representative asked about the press. The Deputy Minister told him that the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance would give him more information on that subject. He then gave some details. Anyone that was qualified to do so would publish ideas or news with his own resources and means. The Government considered it its duty to provide facilities to people who wished to engage in news activities and it therefore gave permission for the import of machinery and paper. The Government welcomed anyone who wished to engage in journalism, and also accepted criticism if it was presented " earnestly and truthfully" . Newpapers and magazines contained abundant criticism of the Government. The same approach was taken with political parties. The Government could not renounce that principle. Everyone must adhere to one basic, inviolable principle, namely, respect for the Constitution. The press and political parties must accept and adhere to the Constitution. That imposed certain responsibilities on writers. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance was responsible for applying the Constitution and therefore monitored publications and associations. It was lenient with them, however, even when there was cause for severity.
176-No newspaper sent its articles for prior review by the authorities, but if an article was published containing erroneous or untrue information or if someone was insulted, the newspaper must give equal space to a correction. Otherwise, the complainant could take legal action.
177-In the past 10 years, over 50,000 books on different topics had been published. The organization which had oversight of books monitored publishers' activities. It also studied books before they were published and if it found them contrary to the Constitution or liable to corrupt or offend public dignity, it could ask the authors to correct the inappropriate or detrimental parts. The problem was almost always solved by negotiation and the authors were satisfied with the outcome.
6. Interview with the Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
178-Deputy Minister Aminzadeh
said that he was sceptical about the activities of international
organizations and that it would be along time before
179-The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance was the product of a merger of two ministries, the Ministry of Art and Culture and the Ministry of Information and Tourism; the merger had been designed to enhance their functioning. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance worked with cinema, theatre, the performing arts, music, publications, books, art (painting, drawing, etc.), press, radio, television, printing, tourism, and pilgrimages to holy places. Radio and television were under the joint supervision of the three branches of Government.
180-The Government had never been opposed to foreign films and television but had to put a stop to propaganda that caused moral corruption. The same was true of music: the Government had never been opposed to music but had eliminated certain kinds of music which encouraged prostitution and corruption. The same had happened with other forms of artistic expression such as painting. Iranian films had won international prizes. Artists were aware that limits had been drawn to prevent corruption and that they must not overstep those limits.
181-Before the Revolution, many books had been banned. After the Revolution, the number of books published had increased enormously. There were sometimes arguments about permission to publish a book. When a book contributed to prostitution and corruption, its publication was not permitted.
182-The press enjoyed protection and freedom, but anything that was contrary to Islam and public order was inadmissible. The press promoted Islamic values, opposed colonialism, promoted morality and upheld the policy of " neither East nor West" . The committee that granted permits for the founding of newspapers was made up of representatives of three branches of Government, the universities, publishers and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. There were 15 daily newspapers and 300 monthly, weekly or bimonthly magazines.
183-The Special Representative asked what action the Ministry took with regard to the day-to-day activities of newspapers. He was told that if a newspaper insulted Islam, the Leader or the Government, it could be penalized by cancellation of its operating permit.
184-The Special Representative referred to the distribution of paper. The Deputy Minister replied that his Ministry distributed paper. Any authorized newspaper was entitled to the paper it needed. There were limitations on the allocations of paper. For instance, Kayhan and Ettelaat were daily papers with the potential to increase their circulation but there were limits on the amount of paper the Government could distribute at a relatively low price. No limitations had been placed on the amount of paper that the opposition press could receive.
185-The Special Representative asked about the conditions for distributing paper for books. Paper was supplied to printers or authors. Books needed authorization before they could be published. There had been criticisms when the publication of some books had not been allowed, but the only criterion for authorization had been moral, never political.
186-The official interview over, the Special Representative talked to working Iranian journalists in the same building.
7. Interview with the President of the Supreme Court of Justice
187-The President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Ayatollah Moghtadaei, said that according to Islam, judges were answerable before God and sat among the prophets and that the place of trial was the place of God. Under Iranian law, a defence lawyer was necessary and mandatory and to the accused and the lawyer was given certain facilities. Sentences could be brought to the Supreme Court on appeal or for review. When the accused had not had a lawyer, the Supreme Court revoked the sentence. Parliament had just adopted an act on procedures under which, once the case was concluded, it was considered res judicata. The act enabled the President of the Supreme Court to consider the case and decide whether it needed to be reviewed.
188-Under the Islamic judicial system, all individuals
were equal. Once recently, at an annual nation-wide seminar, the President of the
Republic had expressed satisfaction that the judiciary judged law-breakers strictly
and equally. The Islamic legal order had special features with regard to respect
for human rights.
189-Under the Islamic legal order, the purpose of bringing a person to trial was not punishment, but rehabilitation. If the prisoner showed that he was sorry and could be rehabilitated, he was included in the list of those eligible for amnesty, even if much of his sentence remained to be served. Amnesty was granted to groups and individuals. Only rarely did prisoners remain in prison for the full term of their sentence.
190-No one was ever arrested because he adopted a different ideological line from the Government. Baha'is were not arrested because they were Baha'is but for specific offences. The same was true of political prisoners: if they were arrested and executed it was because they had been involved in acts of violence. If the detainee or accused repented, he could be amnestied, even if he had committed horrendous crimes.
191-Another question related to the campaign against drugs. The judiciary was determined to take vigorous action in that regard. Drugs were a problem in the country. Cases came to the Supreme Court, where they were reviewed. A sentence could be applied only with the approval of the Supreme Court.
192-The Special Representative asked about cases in which a number of years elapsed between the guilty verdict and the actual sentencing. The President replied that that sometimes happened because further investigations were conducted. On other occasions, the prisoner could not be informed of the sentence because the case was awaiting review. The sentence was made known only when the Court had approved it. The prisoner could appeal once h was informed of his sentence. Prisoners sometimes did not know that their case had been passed onto the Supreme Court, which was why they complained and felt that an excessive period of time was elapsing between the guilty verdict and the sentence.
8. Interview with the Political Deputy to the Head of the Judiciary
193-The Political Deputy, Mr. Badamchian, said that the Freedom Movement and the Association for the Defence of Freedom and the Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation had published their manifestos freely during the war, even when these dealt with sensitive issues that affected national security. The Freedom Movement, had no been authorized, but it had been active recently. Mr. Bazargan and other members were at liberty; other members of the Freedom Movement had been arrested on serious charges.
194-The Association for the Defence of Freedom and the Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation had bene operating without authorization. It had declared its existence without authorization and had published illegal declarations; many of its members were actively involved in politics. Some of its members were being tried on serious charges. The Association had not been set up to defend human rights but as a cover for illegal political activities.
195-The Special Representative said that, according to the information he had been given, the two groups had submitted applications in due form but had been denied authorization. Their property had been confiscated or frozen, since the authorities had occupied them, and their documents had been seized. The Freedom Movement had existed prior to the Revolution and had simply been required to adapt to the new legal statute. The Movement had filed an application and documents with the Ministry of the Interior and since the Ministry had not raised any objection within three months, the Movement had been tacitly authorized under the law in force.
196-The Political Deputy replied that the Movement had engaged in sabotage and had had contacts with the country's enemies abroad. While it was true that it had bene recognized before the promulgation of the new act on political parties and after it had filed an application with the Ministry, the application had not met the necessary legal requirements and the Movement could nto be authorize.d the members of the movement had not been acting in good faith. The act which said that if no objection was raised within three months, the applicant organization was automatically recognized did not apply in that case.
9. Interview with the Head of the Judiciary
197-The Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Yazdi, said that the main source of Iranian law was the Holy Scriptures, which were never intended for mankind's salvation. The Koran said: " I respect and honour mankind" .
198-The Special Representative drew the following situations to the attention of the Head of the Judiciary: (a) public trials were impossible in prisons; (b) some people who had been condemned to death had not had lawyers, and a person accused of spying, for which he could be sentenced to death, had been tried two years previously and still did not know his sentence; (c) the question of the applicability or the repeal of article 11/2 of the Administrative Regulations governing the Revolutionary Courts and Public Prosecutor's Office of 1979.
199-The Head of the Judiciary said that there
was a principle whereby the interests of society must prevail over the interests
of the individual. The international community paid little attention to that principle
because the issue of human rights had been politicized. Such politicization undermine the enjoyment of those rights. In eight years of war,
the international community had never concerned itself with the crimes perpetrated
against the Iranian people. He then referred to recent events in
200-The Head of the Judiciary went on to say that no legal system protected human rights as thoroughly as Islamic law. The best evidence of that was the existence of groups which were opposed to Islamic principles, expressed their views publicly and were left in peace as long as they did not engage in armed action.
201-Concerning the openness of trials, he said that court sessions were held at the Palace of Justice in the city centre and that no less than 20 trials were held each day, all of them public. When citizens were interested in a case, larger premises were used. At Evin prison there were restrictions on access, but the principles of public trials was in force. In any case, the judge could prohibit access for reasons of public order.
202-Everyone was entitled to defence counsel and when the accused could not obtain it, the court provided it. Since that was the accused's right, if the accused said that he considered himself better equipped than the lawyer to conduct his defence, he was not forced to accept the lawyer. The Special Representative said he had observed that, in practice, accused persons tried by the revolutionary courts did not have a lawyer.
203-The Head of the Judiciary said that in the case of ordinary offences, when the parties reached a compromise, the proceedings ended. In cases of espionage, after the accused had been arrested and the accusation substantiated, the investigation and gathering of evidence began. Evidence was weighed by the judge. If it was deemed adequate, sentence was passed.
204-Crimes could be committed by individuals or groups. In the latter case, the accused could not be informed of the charges against them during the investigation stage because they would prejudice the outcome of the investigation. Concerning the applicability of article 11, he said that decisions of the revolutionary courts were not final: the accused could appeal them or request that they be reconsidered and the Supreme Court could review them.
10. Interview with the Judicial Deputy to the Head of the Judiciary
205-The Judiciary Deputy, Mr. Mehrpoor, referred to the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights and to the Special Representative's previous report. He said that comparative study of the Islamic system and the international system had begun with particular reference to human diginity and the right to life, drawing comparisons between Islam and Christianity. Concerning the need for defence counsel, he said that the Constitution provided that a lawyer must assist the accused in court. The Head of the Judiciary had made a statement on that point. Concerning the crediting of the period of the pre-trial detention to the term of imprisonment imposed by the sentence, he said that under a bill currently being drafted detention prior to the date of the verdict would have to be credited to the term of punitive detention. He added that many people had been amnestied, and provided a list which is reproduced in appendix VII. He said that the rules of Islamic law could not be repealed: the penalty of flogging, for instance, was provided for in Islamic law. However, it was being imposed less and less frequently, for it was usually replaced by a fine or imprisonment. The Special Representative said he hoped that flogging would be replaced by fines in all cases.
206-Concerning the revolutionary courts, the Judicial Deputy said tha the sentences passed down by those courts would be appealed, or reviewed by the Supreme Court of Justices. The act allowing for the possibility of appeal or review had been promulgated two years previously. Article 11/2 of the Administrative Regulations governing the Revolutionary Courts and Public Prosecutor's Offices of 1979, which provides that " judgements of the revolutionary courts shall be final and no revision be made thereon" , had been tacitly repealed because the 1988 act on appeal procedures took precedence, particularly its article 5 which stated: " With regard to the decisions of penal 1, legal 1, military 1, special civil and revolutionary courts which have been reversed by the Supreme Court, the authority for revising and passing a new judgement is a court equal to the court which had passed the first judgement.
11. Interview with the Minister for Foreign Affairs
207-On Monday, 15 October, the last day of his visit, the Special Representative was received by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ali Akbar Velayati. The Special Representative summarized the main points of his visit and thanked the Iranian Government for its co-operation. The Minister said that it was his Government's policy to continue its co-operation with the Special Representative. He said he hoped that by now, at the end of his second visit to the country, the Special Representative was able to see that the allegations of human rights violations were false and that the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran was comparatively better than in other countries of the so-called " third world" . The Minister expressed surprised that the Commission on Human Rights should have decided to examine the situation of human rights in his country and not the situation in other countries where respect for those rights was known to be much worse. He said he hoped that such discriminatory treatment was not politically motivated or designed to put pressure on his country. He also hoped that the Special Representative had not been pressured by other Powers or groups.
208-The Special Representative replied that he had not been pressured by any Government — neither the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran nor other Governments — or by individuals or groups. In any case, his sense of duty would make him reject any attempt to pressure him.
209-The Minister said he hoped that at its next session, the Commission for Human Rights would change its attitude to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Otherwise, a sector of national public opinion might interpret the official attitude of co-operation with the Special Representative and the Commission on Human Rights as a mistake. In any event, international monitoring of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran should not continue indefinatly. The country could not tolerate such monitoring for long. If the Commission on Human Rights did not change its attitude to the country, some hard-liners within the country would argue that the conclusions of the Special Representative's reports and his visits to the country, as well as the voting within the Commission, were politically motivated.
210-The Special Representative expressed satisfaction that the Government had acted on one fo the recommendations made in his earlier report and had invited the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit Iranian prisons. However, an agreement would have to be concluded with ICRC so that prison visits could begin as soon as possible. The Minister said that a high-level ICRC delegation had already visited the country and that a director would be arriving shortly to work out the details of the agreement. Once the necessary arrangements were made, ICRC would be able to begin its work immediately and make regular prison visits. The Minister mentioned that the Special Representative had been able to interview, in private and in complete freedom, many of the prisoners he had asked to see. That was a demonstration of the Government's trust, for he had even been allowed to interview people convicted of supplying information on national security to foreign Powers.
211-The Special Representative then asked the Minister for a detailed Government response to all the allegations of human rights violations contained in his earlier reports and in the two memorandums submitted in 1990. Such replied were crucial to the performance of his mandate. He also asked that the Government respond to his requests made on purely humanitarian and non-political grounds. The Minister answered that his Government would provide such replied, some of them before the end of his visit, and that it would consider his humanitarian requests.
212-Lastly, the Minister expressed satisfaction
at the holdings at
12. Final interview with the Deputy Foreign Minister
213-After the meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the last official meeting of the visit took place. Deputy Foreign Minister Mottaki recalled that during the Special Representative's first visit there had been a discussion of the particular features of Islamic human rights principles and the Government's attitude of co-operation with the Special Representative and the Commission on Human Rights had been confirmed. It was in keeping with that attitude of co-operation that the Special Representative had been invited to visit the country a second time. One practical result of that co-operation was that talks had begun with senior ICRC officials on authorizing members of ICRC to make regular prison visits, as recommended by the Special Representative. A specific agreement to that effect would be reached shortly.
214-Concerning the Special Representative's recommendation that the rights of all accused persons to legal counsel must be guaranteed, he said that a bill to that effect, which would expand on the relevant provision in article 35 of the Constitution, had been presented to Parliament. Legal counsel would even be available before the oral proceedings, in other words, during the investigation of the detainee.
215The Deputy Foreign Minister also said that, in keeping with the role played by compassion in Islam and with the Special Representative's recommendations, the policies of amnesty and pardon had been developed and expanded. Moreoever, concerning the recommendation that comparative studies and seminars be conducted on the international system for the definition and protection of human rights and the Islamic system, he said that the progress made included the recent holding of a seminar at Tehran University. Further to another of the Special Representative's recommendations, the Government had decided to request assistance from the Centre for Human Rights, under the latter programme of advisory services, for a comprehensive, long-term project.
216-Concerning the number of executions, he said
that further to one of the Special Representative's recommendations, the number
of executions had declined significantly since
217-Concerning replies to the allegations transmitted by the Special Representative, the Deputy Foreign Minister said that the Government would do its best to reply to all the allegations made. However, those allegations would have to refer to problems in applying the law, the severity of penalties in relation to the crimes committed, or consistency between the penalties imposed and the laws in force. They could not be allegations questioning the Islamic legal system, laws or, specifically, the provisions of the Penal Code of the Islamic Republic. Those were issues which must be dealt with in other, primarily academic, forums and in other circumstances. The Deputy Foreign Minister also announced that the Government had presented to Parliament a bill under which the time spent in prison before sentence was passed must be credited to the term of punitive detention. The Special Representative expressed satisfaction at that initiative.
218-The Deputy Foreign Minister also said that the Islamic Republic was open to anyone who wished to examine the situation of human rights there. In that connection, he announced that the Government was giving favourable consideration to a request by Amnesty International to visit the country. He also reported that the Head of the Judiciary had replied to many letters containing allegations. He said that there was complete freedom of expression in the country and that a wide variety of views existed on domestic and international issues. No one was being investigated or detained simply because of his political views and any citizen could express his political views openly every day in the mass media, on the street or in the mosque. Parliament reflected the diversity of political views in the country.
219-The Deputy Foreign Minister next referred to the Special Representative's visit to Evin prison. He said that the Special Representative had bene able to interview in complete freedom most of the prisoners he had asked to see, including those accused and convicted of spying for enemies of the nation and of attempts on the security of the State. He added that the reasons why he had not been able to interview the other prisoners had been explained to him at the time; they had been released, they had been on temporary leave from the prison, or their trials were at the investigation stage the prosecutors had not given the necessary authorization. In any case, the Government had trusted the Special Representative enough to let him interview people who had supplied foreign Powers with highly strategic internal information, even in wartime. That demonstrated the Government's attitude of co-operation towards the Special Representative and the Commission on Human Rights. If that co-operation was to continue, however, prejudices attitudes and preconceptions about the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in his country would have to be abandoned, the remaining obstacles would have to be removed and there would have to be an end to the double standard whereby the human rights situation was investigated in some countries but no in others where there were more serious and systematic human rights violations. He hoped that the meetings of the Third Committee of the General Assembly would mark the opening of a new chapter in co-operation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations.
220-Lastly, the Deputy Foreign Minister handed over to the Special Representative a list giving official Government information on the alleged executions of 3,620 people mentioned in different reports of the Special Representative (E/CN.4/1988/24, E/CN.4/1989/26, A/44/620 and E/CN.4/1990/24). The information in the list had been compiled by the Statistics Department of the Ministry of Justice and Police Identification Unit and the Registry and Statistics Organization. A summary of the list is contained in appendix VI.
221-The Special Representative thanked officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government for the facilities and co-operation extended to him during his visit.
C. Hearing of prisoners at Evin prison
222-The visit to Evin prison took place on
223-Since the Special Representative had already
visited various installations at Evin prison, he requested that his visit be devoted
this time exclusively to a hearing of the 26 prisoners he had selected. The 26 names
given to the authorities on
224-The Special Representative was told upon arrival
at Evin prison on
225-The Director of Evin prison explained that two persons appearing on the first list had been released, four persons had been granted leave, and that two persons were detained at Arak and Karaj, respectively, and could, therefore, not be met at Evin. For a group of 10 prisoners (six on the first list and four on the second) he had not received authorization from the prosecutor to present them to the Special Representative, since their cases were still under investigation. The Special Representative pointed out that the cases of other prisoners whom he would be allowed to meet were also under investigation, in some instances even in connection with the same offence of which other prisoners whom he would not be permitted to see were charged.
226-Appendix IV of the present report contains the names of all those prisoners which the Special Representative had requested to see, as well as the reasons given by the authorities with regard to those with whom he could not meet.
227-Among the persons who were not available for a hearing by the Special Representative was Mr. Roger Cooper, whom the Special Representative had unsuccessfully tried to see during his previous visit. Asked about the reasons, the Director of Evin replied that the trial of Mr. Cooper was still pending. The Special Representative recalled that, on his first visit, he had ben told that Mr. Cooper had been sentenced to 10 years in prison and that this sentence was being translated into English. The Director said that the trial was not over because the sentence had been appealed. The Special Representative said he did not consider this a valid reason for refusing to let Mr. Cooper see him, for the interviews were neutral and had nothing to do with the status of the trials. Moreover, some of the other prisoners he was going to interview had appealed their sentences and he did not see why Mr. Cooper's case should be handled any differently. The Director replied that a new accusation had been made against Mr. Cooper and another trial had begun, relating to moral issues. He then confirmed that Mr. Cooper had been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.
228-During the ensuing interviews, which took place in an office of the administration of Evin prison without the presence of Iranian officials, the Special Representative spoke briefly with the following persons:
Mr. Jamshid Amiri-Bigvand, Mr. Bahman Agahy, Mr. Hooshang Ahmadi Bigvand, Mr. Noureddine Kianouri, Ms. Meriam Feirouz, Mr. John Pattis, Mr. Nour Ali Tabandeh, Mr. Ali Ardalan, Mr. Farhad Behbahani, Mr. Hossein Shah Hosseini, Mr. Badiullah Sobhani, Ms. Sakineh Sedaghat, Mr. Ezzatollah Sahabi, and Mr. Khossro Mansourian.
229-The Special Representative first received Mr. Kianouri, the former Secretary-General of the Tudeh Party, whom he had already seen during his first visit and who, on that occasion, had made serious allegations of torture. He also saw his wife Meriam Feirouz. Concerning both persons, allegations have been received that they had suffered reprisals subsequent to the Special Representative's first visit (see para. 76). Mr. Kianouri stated that the permission given to him to see his wife and daughter once a week for one hour had been reduced to one telephone call to his wife every four weeks and one visit from his daughter every two weeks. However, he had not been placed in solitary confinement, as alleged, and three weeks before, the previous rhythm of visits was again being applied. He appeared to be in better physical condition than in January 1990. Mr. Kianouri further stated that he had requested that permission be given to his wife to undergo surgery outside the prison, but that he authorities had so far not acceded to this request. Mrs. Meriam Feirouz referred to various types of torture inflicted upon her at the beginning of her detention, which started in 1982. This torture had resulted in the loss of hearing in one ear, considerable difficulty in swallowing food and various other consequences as a result of heavy beatings. She requested that she be allowed to give her statements standing, as she suffered pain when sitting. Given her physical condition, she had requested the prison authorities not to oblige her to share a cell with others and this has been granted. On the other hand, the lack of company has resulted in serious psychological strain. She also said that during the eight years of her detention, and particularly during the past three years, she had received sympathetic treatment from a number of persons within the prison.
230-The Special Representative then met Messrs.
Ardalan, Behbahani, Mansourian, Sahabi, Shah Hosseini and Tabandeh, who had signed
the open letter of former Prime Minister Mr. Bazargan
to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These persons stated that they
had been arrested in June 1990, some 20 days after the publication of the open letter,
and since then had been kept in solitary confinement, some at Tohid prison (formerly called Central Komiteh
Prison) and at Evin prison. While some of them stated that they had received written
charges, others said that they had learned of the accusations indirectly through
questions put to them by their interrogators. According to the detainees, the charges
varied from case to case, such as " measures offending
national interest and sovereignty" , " participation in activities against
the revolution and national interests" , " publication of the open letter
and dissemination of its contents abroad" , etc. In several instances, the
interrogators alleged that there had been a co-operation between the group of signatories
of the open letter and a foreign intelligence agency and that by publicizing the
letter abroad the group had played into the hands of the enemy. Mr Ardalan, the Chairman of the executive
committee of the Association for the Defence of Freedom and the Sovereignty of the
Iranian Nation, categorically denied that the Association had attempted to become
a political alternative to the present Government or had ever engaged in activities
that could be construed in any way as espionage. If any of the co-signatories of
the open letter had had contacts abroad, this was a private initiative of the individual
concerned and not a policy of the Association. Mr. Behbahani
stated that the authorities had resented that the open letter had reached foreign
media. In this connection, he was questioned about a visit to the
231-The Special Representative also met messrs. Amiri-Bigvand, Agahy and Ahmadi Bigvand, all accused of espionage (see para. 35). The first two persons confirmed that they had been tried and sentenced to execution, whereas the third person declared that his trial had taken place two years ago and that he was still awaiting to be informed of the sentence. Their trials had taken place before a revolutionary court, without formal charges or defence counsel. One of them stated that his trial had lasted only 15 minutes. The two convicted persons had made confessions on television and had appealed against the verdict. They had not been informed of the follow-up to their appeals.
232-The Special Representative also saw Mr. John
233-Mr. Sobhani, a retired employee of the Ministry of Education, stated that he had been arrested a month before, as he was unable to repay the pension he received during the past 14 years. This had been requested since he was a Baha'i. He was simply told by the authorities that, as long as his family could not pay his bail, he would remain in prison. He had never been formally charged, nor had he been presented to a judge. Since he had no hope of ever being able to pay the requested sum, he feared that he would be imprisoned for the rest of his life.
234-The Special Representative also received Ms. Sakineh Sedaghat Rashdi, who was arrested in 1988 while trying to leave the country illegally. She was sentenced by a revolutionary court to three years' imprisonment, without access to legal counsel and stated that she had recently received permission to leave the prison for one week and was receiving visits from members of her family.
D. Trial proceedings at Evin prison
235-The Special Representative had requested the
opportunity to be present at trial proceedings of a revolutionary court concerning
an offence for which capital punishment may be pronounced. On
236-A judge presided over the hearing in the presence of nine accused and five victims. There was a defence lawyer who asked to speak at the end of the hearing, before sentence was passed. The judge read out verses from the Koran and then asked the accused to introduce themselves and answer questions. The prosecutor read out the accusation, mentioning eight different acts of armed robbery committed by the nine accused. The six victims then testified.
237-The prosecutor asked each of the accused whether they admitted to having committed the offences, and all of them answered in the affirmative. The judge repeated the question, asking the accused whether they admitted to the offences; they again answered in the affirmative. The judge asked each of them what he had to say in his own defence and they all answered that they simply begged forgiveness. He then asked one of them why he had committed the offence and the answer was one word: " stupidity" . The judge asked whether they were ready to apologize to the victims and some of them simply said no.
238-The judge turned to the victims. The first of them said that the held to his version that the attackers had used weapons, even though they denied this. One of the plaintiffs said that one of the accused had apologized to him but the other two had not, and if they apologized he would withdraw his complaint. Each plaintiff in succession then described his reaction and wishes.
E. Information received by the Special Representative from non-governmental sources
239-The Special Representative was informed by
the Minister for Foreign Affairs that a number of Iranian non-governmental organizations
had requested the Ministry to arrange for meetings with him during his stay in
240-The Organization of Iranian Women stressed that women enjoyed freedom in absolute terms without any limitations. They stated that women had freely chosen the law of Islam and that their only complaint was that not all Islamic rules were yet fully implemented. They thought it a cruelty to pretend that men and women are equal, since the two sexes had very distinct characteristics.
241-The representatives of Worker's House explained that that organization was the principle trade union of the country and participated in the work of the International Labour Organization. He stated that many of its leaders had been assassinated by counter-revolutionary groups and that they still feared for their safety. The most recent assassination had taken place at Sanadah some two weeks before. He described the union's relationship with the Government as satisfactory, although not all promises had been fulfilled and difficulties with regard to housing and the level of salaries still existed. However, the organization had realized the limitations that the Government was facing in this regard in view of the consequences of the war that had been imposed by it.
242-The Organization for Defending Victims of Violence presented several witnesses, three of whom stated that they had been former members of the Mojahedin Organization. They had subsequently been imprisoned and amnestied. All of them stated that they had received " humane and Islamic treatment" while in prison. At present they did not have problems with the authorities but were living in constant fear of reprisals by the Mojahedin Organization. One of them said that he had been given a job in the administration. A fourth witness aid that he was a former communist but realized that his activity as a journalist for communist publications was equivalent to the crime of spying. Two persons presented by the Organization, Ismail Asghar-Nejad and Mohammad Shabanzadeh, stated that their names had been included in a list published by the Mojahedin Organization of persons allegedly executed by the Government. They showed their identity cards, of which photocopies were taken. The name of the first person appears in the list of alleged executions annexed to the Special Representative's report to the forty-fifth session on the Commission on Human Rights. 2/ The name of the other person does not figure in any list available to the Special Representative.
243-The Association of Families of Martyrs requested the Special Representative to devote particular attention in his report to the problem of terrorist acts committed by the Mojahedin Organization and, in this connection, reported several killings. The Special Representative was also asked to reaffirm the specific rights of the martyrs of terrorism. The Association further referred to the Baha'i community, which they accused of financially supporting the State of Israel. Those Baha'is who refrained from such activity did not suffer any discrimination in the country.
244-The Association of Teachers referred to certain problems that those in their professions were facing, which they, nevertheless, fully accepted. The difficulties they mentioned concerned economic restraints for schools, limitations for women with regard to pursuing certain university studies and limitations for Armenians and Kurds regarding the teaching of their respective languages and culture in their schools. They also complained that it was not admissible to criticize the Government for such situations.
245-The Writer's Association, represented by three women, referred to the strict control to which they had been subjected during the Government of the Shah. The main problem they were facing at present was the fact that they were not allowed to write about non-religious subjects. Numerous members wished to describe the problems of present-day Iranian society in the form of a story. This was, however, not permitted. All literary works required the approval of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and it was impossible to have paper allotted by the Government and have literature published without such approval. The association considered itself in opposition with the government, but wanted to underline clearly the distinction between themselves and any opposition groups existing outside the country. They stated that the Government did not prevent unarmed opposition.
246-The Association of High School Students informed the Special Representative that an organization of guardians of the Islamic society had been established in every high school, which resulted in certain limits with regard to the freedom of expression and instruction. Generally, they complained that standards of teachings were low and that classes were over-crowded. Although secondary education was free of charge, important expenses had to be incurred by the families for book and teaching materials. For that reasons, they had decided to leave the organization of Guardian and to create their own association. This did not mean, however, that they were political opponents of the Government or that they sympathized with the Mojahedin Organization, whose members they considered as terrorists.
247-The Association of Students explained their objectives as encompassing the struggle for freedom of expression, the promotion of sound intellectual and political activities, and a campaign against oppression and anti-human movements. The Association presented various allegations concerning the activities of the Mojahedin Organization.
248-The Association for the Defence of the Victims of Violence also denounced several attacks by the Mojahedin Organization.
249-At the request of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, the Special Representative also paid a brief visit to the Institute for
International Studies. The Director of the Institute explained hat, already I the
late nineteenth century, a similar institution was founded which was later incorporated
F. Information received from private persons
250-During his stay in
251-The open letter criticized the government for the worsening economic and social situation and the lack of freedom and security in the country. It accused the Government of mismanagement and of an extremist foreign policy which has led to the country's isolation in the international community. The signatories of the letter invited the President and his Government to take the following measures and policies:
"(a) To prevent the perpetration of violations and destructions in the country and to avoid signing subjugating and not nationally supervised agreements with foreigners;
"(b) To restitute the legitimate rights of people stipulated in chapters 3 and 5 of the Iranian Constitution and to stop suppressive policies of some [government] institutions and organs;
"(c) To safeguard and guarantee freedoms of activity for those political parties and associations and press which have legal and open activities;
"(d) To provide opportunities for free and undisturbed debates, talks and exchange of views for the purpose of resolving problems of the country and seeking sincere co-operation of people and eventually paving the way for establishing the legitimate rule of the people"
252-Mr. Bazargan further stated that none of the arrested persons had been allowed to avail themselves of legal counsel, that virtually all were held in isolation and that their contacts with relatives and friends had been extremely limited. As he had stressed in various letters to the authorities, it was illegal to detain persons without informing them of the charges held against them within 24 hours and keep them in solitary confinement for such extended interrogation by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence without passing the cases to the competent courts. He also drew the Special Representative's attention to the precarious health situation of some of the detainees. He further mentioned that the offices of both the Freedom Movement (the party of which he was president) and the Association for the Defence of Freedom and the Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation had been closed by the announcement and that all their files had been confiscated. According to an announcement of the revolutionary prosecutor, the Association for the Defence of Freedom and Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation had been prohibited. However, the revolutionary prosecutor was not competent to make such a statement and a ruling concerning the dissolution of a political party or association, in accordance with the existing laws on political parties and associations, could only be made by the special court of the Ministry of Justice upon a complaint by the Minister of the Interior. With regard to his own party, the Freedom Movement, no formal decision had been taken, but since its building and files had been confiscated, its activities were de facto restrained. The Freedom Movement had provided all the information required by the Ministry of Interior in accordance with the Law on political parties and the Minister had not declared its functioning illegal within the three-month period stipulate by the law.
253-Mr. Bazargan further mentioned that on numerous occasions the authorities had officially recognized the right to criticize the Government and an example of this were the discussions in the Majlis (Parliament). However, a number of deputies had publicly declared that they did not feel safe to say everything they wanted to say. He cited several names of deputies who had been eliminated from the Majlis as a consequence of critical statements.
254-Other private persons, including Ayatollah Seyed Abolfazl Musavi Zanjani, the author of a comparative study on Islamic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, complained about the lack of freedom of expression. According to assertions by several persons, the manner in which this manifested itself varied from case to case, ranging from intimidation and threats by members of the revolutionary guards or other organized groups, dismissal from employment, exclusion from public activity to detention and indictment or de facto isolation or house arrest, such as in the case of Ayatollah Qomi in Mashad or Ayatollah Rohani in Qom. These persons also referred to a variety of strict measures of control over any opposing views, such as the inspection of correspondence, the tapping of telephone conversations, and a network of inquisition exercised by the revolutionary guards and agents of the Ministry of Intelligence.
255-Relatives of Mr. Amir Taavoni reported that he was arrested, together with his wife and his four year old daughter in 1982, on charges of sympathizing with the Mojahedin Organization. His daughter was released after 40 days in detention and he was sentenced seven months later to five years of imprisonment. The relatives affirmed that he was tortured and that as a result of the beatings he could hardly stand on his feet when they visited him at Evin prison. He was released in 1986 and, since he could not obtain a passport, he fled the country together with his wife and daughter. He was rearrested at the frontier in 1987 and, after 10 months of imprisonment, without trial, was executed at Evin prison.
256-One person, who requested that his name be kept confidential, alleged that some 50 former members of the Mojahedin Organization were kept in incommunicado detention at Evin prison in the so-called " Section 209" . The names of these prisoners did not appear on the prison register and the persons detained in this Section required the urgent attention of the Special Representative. A similar assertion was received from a former detainee at Evin prison. Since this information was given to the Special Representative on the last day of the visit, he had no occasion to follow it up with the authorities.
257-Nahid Arabali, Effat Bahrololoum, Ali Jajarmi, Maryam Rahmanian-Kooskaki and Mahshid Shakernia stated that the Mojahedin Organization had reported their execution. They presented their identity cards and it was later established that the names of the first and third person appear in a publication by the Mojahedin, that the names of the second and fifth persons are listed in the annex of the Special Representative's report to the General Assembly at its' forty-fourth session (A/44/620), and that the name of the fourth person is included in the annex to the report to the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-fifth session. 3/ It should be noted, however, that the lack of personal data other than the name, as well as discrepancies in the spelling of names do not permit one to establish with certainty that the listed persons are identical with those who appeared before the Special Representative.
258-Several persons said that they were Iranian
prisoners of war in
259-Co-ordination between Islamic law and international law was the subject of a private conversation with Ayatollah Yafari, who long before had invited the Special Representative to discuss that matter with him. The Ayatollah expressed the view that a truly universal order of the rights of human beings should be based on the common principles of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this connection, he suggested the creation of an " Abraham Society" in the framework of which the implementation of these principles could be studied.
260-Hundreds of letters and written communications were again received by the Special Representative during his visit. Since most of them were received in Farsi, they could not be translated and analyzed in time for the completion of the present report. The Special Representative, therefore, intends to revert to these communications in his report to the next session on the Commission on Human Rights.
G. Meeting with members of the Baha'i community
261-The Special Representative also met three
members of the Baha'i community, who essentially confirmed the allegations received
earlier. At the same time, they recognized the willingness of the Government to
solve the outstanding problems and stated that discrimination, n particular business
and occupational deprivation, although still existing, had been somewhat relaxed,
that confiscation of property had been limited in the present year to one case only
and that petitions regarding confiscation of farms and orchards had met with some
positive reactions, though so far with little tangible results. Nearly 300 Baha'is
had applied for passports but only 24 had obtained them, as well as the necessary
exit permits, and some more had been summoned to interviews, possibly leading to
the issuance of passports. Baha'i students were still not admitted in colleges and
universities, but those who were denied admittance in primary or secondary schools
were not permitted to continue their education at pre-college levels. The courts
of justice still did not accept heredity petitions presented by Baha'i heirs and
many Baha'is were deprived from entering into business transactions. However, in
some localities Baha'is were now being granted business
licenses. With regard to the problem of cemeteries, there were still no formal ownership
rights given to the Baha'is guaranteeing their places of burial. Medical doctors
could only exercise in private practises and could not
take part in the national insurance scheme, and Baha'i lawyers were not admitted
in the bar association or in courts. Reference was also made to the enormous financial
pressure to which members of the community were subjected, to the impossibility
of obtaining credit, or to accede to higher positions, even in cases of academic
qualifications acquired abroad. A person who had been involved in scientific research
for many years related how she had been ousted from
262-Some positive developments were said to consist in the partial lifting of the ban on meetings, allowing a maximum of 15 Baha'i to attend their 19-day feasts. For Baha'i funeral meetings there were no restrictions on the number of persons attending. Furthermore, Baha'i families received food allowance booklets and coupons and were given permission to connect their telephones, which had been interrupted for many years. Finally, regulations affecting married conscripts were now also being applied to Baha'is.
H. Meeting with the Armenian community
A. General observations
264-Following the submission of his final report to the Commission on Human Rights, 4/ the Special Representative received copious, diverse information on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Encouraged by his first visit to the country, Iranian exiles of all political persuasions, relatives and friends of people with police or judicial problems and non-governmental organizations working for the protection of human rights all provided such information. Hundreds of letters were received, some of them in English or French but most in Farsi. During his second visit to the country, the Special Representative also received information about specific cases and heard the Government's views.
265-Charges and counter-charges, allegations and counter-allegations are alluded to briefly in the relevant chapters of the provisional report. Often conflicting data and views have been included, giving an idea of the diversity of opinions, some of them extremely polarized, as to the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are virtually no accounts of situations or specific cases whose accuracy and veracity are not disputed.
266-This final chapter summing up the provisional report contains general or specific observations, depending on the matters at issue. In a way, the observations are the forerunner of the conclusions which the Special Representative will submit in his final report to the Commission on Human Rights, but they are separate and distinct from those conclusions. The recommendations addressed to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in earlier reports therefore remain valid.
267-In preparing the programme of work for the second visit, it was necessary to select cases which were sufficiently important on which sufficient details were available for them to benefit form on-site investigation. It was possible to take up most, but not all, of the cases selected on previous occasions: the cases of 10 prisoners accused of espionage or similar offences could not be investigated because the Government would not allow the prisoners to be interviewed. The Special Representative deeply regrets that he was not allowed to interview these prisoners for he believes that they could have given him information about due process of law and the prison system. The Special Representative was also unable to visit Gohardasht prison, where he had planned to request an interview with four prisoners. The Government was given only a few hours advance warning of his desire to visit Gohardasht and he was not informed of its reasons for refusing permission.
268-On his second visit, the Special Representative did not have to contend with the crowds who obstructed his first visit. On some days, relatively small groups of people blocked the entrance to the office where he generally heard witnesses, but even so he was able to receive witnesses at the office and to question others at the Estelghlal Hotel and in private homes. Of course, the rule of confidentiality was observed with regards to the names of people who requested it.
269-The information he received concerned executions, ill-treatment and torture, lack of defence counsel in trials before the revolutionary courts, failure to notify detainees of the charges against them immediately after their arrest, difficulties in ensuring public trials, restrictions on the press, on the publication of books and on artistic creation, problems with the right of petition and obstacles to forming associations in general and political parties in particular.
270-In general, witnesses and observers often seem to seem the Special Representative's visit to the country as operating as some kind of panacea, and they tend to expect spectacular results from it. That, after all, is the attraction of the panacea which, since time immemorial, has been sought after both as a cure for individual diseases and as a solution to social problems. It is very difficult, in one or two visits, to change a situation as if by magic, or to investigate thousands of case when only a sample can be obtained of such cases and their implications must be analyzed by means of logic. Visits are but a stage, though obviously an important and essential one, in the process of verifying the human rights situation in a given country, and evidence of a Government's desire to co-operate with the competent United Nations organs.
B. Action taken by the Iranian Government
271-As a result of recommendations made in earlier
reports and matters discussed during the first visit, senior officials said that
the Government had taken steps to implement some of the recommendations. In particular,
they mentioned the decision to allow ICRC to visit prisons. The official notification
of the decision to allow prison visits imposes no restrictions whatsoever as to
the prisons that can be visited or the kinds of prisoners or their offences. The
Special Representative pointed out that in order to implement the decision, the Government would have to reach a working agreement
with ICRC because IRC begins to make prison visits only after such agreements have
been obtained. The Special Representative urged the competent officials to conclude
such an agreement as soon as possible so that regular visits to prisoners accused
of ordinary and political offences could begin. The competent officials said they
were ready to conclude a definite agreement with ICRC as soon as possible. On his
272-The Iranian Government has requested technical assistance from the Centre for Human Rights. It has also brought together experts from various countries and regions to consider ways of co-ordinating Islamic law with the obligations imposed by international law. The Government has also granted a number of amnesties which have benefited many prisoners (see appendix VII). Iranian officials said that they had taken steps to improve conditions for accused or convicted prisoners and that a special fund had even been set up, financed by the Government and philanthropists, to provide them with financial aid.
273-Another noteworthy development is that the
Government has begun to reply to the allegations transmitted to it. It presented
a long list of people allegedly executed over a number of years (see appendix VI)
and a list of executions carried out since the beginning of the current Iranian
274-In recent months, the Government's co-operation with the Special Representative has improved and has come closer to, although it has yet to reach, what could be considered a desirable level. The provision of information on executions in a positive step, but a detailed response has yet to be forthcoming on numerous allegations of human rights violations. The Government has reiterated its willingness to reply to all these cases. It is therefore necessary to reiterate to the Government the request that it reply in detail to all allegations regardless of the date on which they were made, in other words, without drawing any distinction between old and new allegations.
C. Specific Observations
275-Concerning the most important right, namely,
the right to life, it should be noted that according to estimates from non-governmental
sources based, inter alia, on statements by the Assistant
Attorney-General, the number of executions between January and May 1990 was relatively
high. Moreover, before completing his second visit to the country, the Special Representative
was given an official list indicating that 113 executions had been carried out since
276-The Special Representative has continued to receive many reports about the absence of a lawyer at trials heard by the revolutionary courts. On his second visit, in the course of interviews with prisoners at Evin prison, he was able to confirm that in five cases the accused had appeared before the revolutionary courts without defence lawyers. Two prisoners had been condemned to death had not benefited from defence counsel, and had not even requested it because they knew it was not allowed in revolutionary courts. A third prisoner, who was tried two years ago and still has not been informed of his sentence, also did not have a defence lawyer. In the first two cases, the sentence was the death penalty, and the same penalty is expected in the third case. These cases confirm that, in practice, compliance with this essential element of due process of law is inconsistent and uneven.
277-Public trials are another element of due process. According to information received, the Government has ruled, without mentioning any exceptions, that trials must be public. Based on this, the Special Representative pointed out that facilities for a public trial did not exist in prisons. When he attended a trial in Evin prison, it was obvious that prison trials can not really be public because access to them is subject to the restrictions inherent in prison security. Entry to Evin prison is heavily supervised and restricted, while a public trial requires access by the press and the public as and when they desire. The room in which the trial was held was also too small for a genuinely public trial to be held, for with nine accused, five plaintiffs and various court officers, it was almost full.
278-The Special Representative found that in many cases the constitutional obligation to inform an arrested person of the charges against him immediately after his arrest had not been fulfilled. Some prisoners had never been informed of the charges, while others were informed two or three weeks after their arrest. A number were not informed in writing and quite a few realized what the accusation was from the questions asked during their interrogation. These cases would also seem to bear out similar allegations received from different sources.
279-Special mention should be made of televised confessions. The Special Representative talked to three people at Evin prison who had appeared on television and confessed to the crime of espionage. All denied having acted under pressure or in response to threats or promises. However, two of them said that it was known from earlier cases that people who confessed their guilt in public had their sentences reduced; and were treated more leniently, and that they therefore expected something in return. Televised confessions have aroused considerable skepticism and they are seen as lacking spontaneity and authenticity. In view of this situation, the practice does not contribute to the proper administration of justice. Rather, it undermines and obscures the administration of justice for purposes alien to it, particularly when the practice takes place in the course of the investigation.
280-Citizens who have availed themselves of the right of petition have not received a reply from the officials petitioned. It should be recalled that the right of petition imposes on to authorise an obligation to respond to the petition, although not necessarily to grant it.
281-Concerning associations in general and political parties in particular, it should be noted that the laws regulating them impose conditions which, in theory, are supposed to ensure that the Constitution and moral and religious principles are upheld. In practice, however, they have the effect of ensuring that associations whose purpose is political propaganda and electioneering or the protection of human rights are not legally recognized. Problems arise for individuals when associations are in the process of being formed, since there is no clear distinction between the individual responsibility of members and the responsibility of the association themselves, or indeed of associations whose activities are authorized. Moreover, until an association is recognized, no judicial remedies are available to it. Two groups outside the Government have attempted to form legally recognized associations and have made the corresponding applications to the Minister of Interior. These are the Freedom Movement and the Association for the Defence of Freedom and the Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation. Neither of these groups has been formally authorized and their situation recently became more precarious when accusations were made against some of their members. The authorities say that they have been given de facto authorization, a situation which perpetuates the uncertainty about their activities and leaves the right of association open to interference. Moreover, while they are allowed to publish statements and manifestos, the authorities can at any time seize the publication which provokes their displeasure. This tolerance does not extend to participation in elections. The Bible Society, which has a long tradition and has existed for many years, has also been dissolved and its papers confiscated.
282-In early June 1990, 90 former members of the first Revolutionary Government and eminent persons from a very broad spectrum of professions and occupations signed an open letter, the text of which circulated world wide, in which they called on the Government to adhere to the Constitution and criticized its economic policies. The Special Representative was able to interview some of the letter's signatories, many of them members of the Freedom Movement and the Association for the Defence of Freedom and the Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation, at Evin prison. They claimed that the open letter was the sole reason for their detention and that the accusation of espionage was a fabrication. One of the prisoners interviewed, who had appeared on television, admitted that on a trip abroad he had met with friends and that during the investigation he had acknowledges that the views of the organization to which he belonged coincided with the position of foreign news agencies, but said that he had neither committed nor admitted to committing espionage. He said he had appeared on television on his own free will and that no promises had been made to him. The other people interviewed vigorously denied having engaged in espionage and said they hoped that each of them would be judged in terms of his individual responsibility.
283- Some prisoners had been able to deduce from
their interrogations that the accusation was based on two facts: first, that foreign news agencies had published the contents of the
letter before it was made known in
284-The trial of these people will be a test case for the application of the rules of due process. It should be noted that the rules governing the Iranian judicial system establish that during a period of investigation the accused remains in complete isolation. As mentioned above, the authorities allowed the Special Representative to interview a number of the accused. The sequence of events shows that the publication of the letter prompted and marked the beginning of the judicial proceedings. The real reason for the official reaction may therefore be the Government's displeasure at this kind of critics. As a result, most — if not all — of the prisoners can be considered dissidents and prisoners of opinion and that calling on the Government to adhere to the Constitution implied, by definition, that the Constitution was not being adhered to. As subsequent events have shown, however, freedom of expression and the right of petition are indeed being flouted.
285-From talking to journalists and writers, the Special Representative was able to obtain information about restrictions on the press, on the publication of books and on artistic creation. For the press, problems begin with the distribution of paper, which is in the Government hands. The Government can use this to put pressure on the mass media, giving them less than they need if they deviate from the accepted or tolerated line. After this comes personal pressure on journalist whose work is not, for one reason or another, in line with dominant official opinion; such pressure has the effect of bringing the journalist somewhat into line.
286-According to the information received, books require prior authorization from the competent authority. The authorities say that such authorization is granted or denied strictly on moral grounds, but the fact is that, by law, books are also evaluated in terms of their adherence to the Constitution. Since the Constitution is a political and legal instrument, political criteria therefore also come into play. The writers and artists interviewed feel that artistic freedom is being impaired. The Special Representative was told of the case of a woman writer who published a book which apparently did not meet the necessary requirements, was put in prison and has only just been released after serving her sentence. The owner of the publishing house was also convicted. Writers and artists want more room for artistic expression and say that the current regulations inhibit their freedom of expression, both in literature and in the arts.
287-The information received about associations, the press, books and artistic creation, the truth of which does not appear to be in doubt, is consistent and coherent with the laws governing those matters which senior officials explained in the course of interviews. Given the prevailing legal and administrative situation, it does not appear possible to exercise the right to disagree with the Government because the right presupposed an atmosphere of social and political tolerance and adequate guarantees of legal security.
288-The Special Representative talked privately,
in private homes, to people who have no ties to the Government and have led a normal
life, without police or judicial complications. These people, however, agreed to
be interviewed only after taking numerous precautions to preserve their anonymity.
They said they feared reprisals if it became known that they had given information
about the situation in the country. They fear irregular groups and Komiteh and Pasdaran agents who use
intimidatory tactics. Many people interviewed at the UNDP
office and the hotel voiced the same fears. This is further evidence of people's
uncertainty about the consequence of their actions. This uncertainty is felt even
by members of Parliament, as can be seen from a statement made in Parliament by
Haeri Zadeh, representative
289-Concerning the situation of the Baha'is, nine of them are still in prison, but none has been executed in recent months. Many documents signed by administrative authorities have been received, providing evidence of discrimination, confiscation, rejection by universities, suspension of pensions, demands for the return of pensions earned and paid, denial of passports and other irregularities. Such measures are not take everywhere, nor in all administrative offices, and it would seem that the attitude towards the Baha'is and their situation depends on the temperament and personal convictions of individual officials. This keeps the Baha'is in a perpetual state of uncertainty about their activities. The Government should therefore be requested to take effective action to ensure that these Iranian citizens enjoy the same civil and political rights as the rest of the population.
290-It can be concluded from the specific cases that have been confirmed that the investigation of other cases would yield similar results, in other words, evidence of further human rights violations. The enormous quantity and variety o f allegations and complaints received from very diverse sources, even allowing for the fact that they may contain errors or exaggerations, provide a credible factual basis for the belief that human rights violations occur frequently in the country and that government action to prevent and remedy such violations has not been sufficient to put an end to them. We do not have the information to judge what might be their common denominator. This explains the fear shown by independent citizens who, when they talk, try to conceal their identity and what they really thin, and the uncertainty felt by private individuals and senior officials alike, which makes them extremely cautious about expressing their opinions and about how they act in general.
291-The above observations all point to the same conclusion: that it is both useful and appropriate that international monitoring by the competent United Nations organs with a view to ensuring compliance with international human rights instruments in the Islamic Republic of Iran should continue, that efforts should be made to ensure the uniform and proper application of the appropriate norms, and that a climate of confidence and legal and political security in which people can exercise their individual rights without adverse consequences should be promoted.