August 2017 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
August 14, 2017
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir, has published the second report of her tenure, covering the period January 1 – June 31, 2017. Despite obstacles posed by the Iranian government’s “considerably reduced rate of reply” to the Special Rapporteur’s queries (18 of 21 communications went unanswered) and an “extremely disturbing” level of fear (including of reprisals against loved ones living inside the country) among those who have tried to communicate with the Special Rapporteur, the report draws on information from a number of expert and civil society sources, including the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, to describe Iran’s “serious human rights challenges.”
Jahangir notes with concern that Iran’s judicial system continues to use capital punishment “at an alarming rate" - at least 247 persons were put to death in the period covered by the report. She reports intervening in the cases of two men condemned to the cruel and unusual punishment of amputation: in their formal reply, Iranian officials insisted that this punishment is administered only where a defendant's crimes "may have disturbed the safety or sentiments of a huge number of people.” In her Conclusions and Recommendations, The Special Rapporteur stresses the need for reform in Iran's judicial system: "In order to improve the human rights record in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Government will have to reform the judicial system with a view to ensuring its independence. Appropriate training for the members of the judiciary is also necessary to ensure that guarantees of a fair trial and due process are effectively respected." Jahangir calls on the Iranian government "to uphold the integrity of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, notably by ensuring that appointments of judges are transparent and based on merit and by protecting them, their families and their professional associates against all forms of violence, threats, retaliation, intimidation and harassment as a result of discharging their functions."