Distr.
GENERAL

E/CN.4/1994/50
2 February 1994

ENGLISH
Original: ENGLISH/FRENCH/SPANISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fiftieth session
Item 12 of the provisional agenda


QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS, IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COLONIAL AND OTHER DEPENDENT COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

Final report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic
of Iran prepared by the Special Representative of the Commission on
Human Rights, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, pursuant to Commission
resolution 1993/62 of 10 March 1993 and
Economic and Social Council decision 1993/273


CONTENTS
Paragraphs
      Introduction
1 - 5
      I. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN AND THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
6 - 14
      II. INFORMATION RECEIVED BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
15 - 220
      A. Right to life
16 - 77
      B. Enforced or involuntary disappearances
78 - 82
      C. Right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
83 - 91
      D. Administration of justice
92 - 125
      E. Freedom of expression, opinion and the situation of the press
126 - 143
      F. Freedom of religion and the situation of the Baha'i community
144 - 170
      G. The situation of women
171 - 191
      H. The situation of children
192 - 195
      I. Right to work
196 - 199
      J. Right of everyone to own property
200 - 203
      K. The events of 25 May 1993
204 - 206
      L. The situation of the Kurdish and Naraoui people
207 - 212
      M. Political rights
213 - 214
      N. Situation of refugees
215 - 220
      III. CONSIDERATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
221 - 268
      A. Content of the report
221 - 228
      B. The right to life
229 - 240
      C. Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment
241
      D. Administration of justice
242 - 246
      E. Arrests and prison situation
247 - 248
      F. Freedom of opinion and expression and the situation of the press
249 - 253
      G. Freedom of religion and the situation of the Baha'is
254 - 257
      H. Situation of women
258 - 260
      I. Drug trafficking
261 - 265
      J. Refugees in Iran
266 - 267
      K. Relatives of Iranian citizens abroad
268
      IV. CONCLUSIONS
269 - 271
      V. RECOMMENDATIONS
272
      Annex


Introduction

1. At its forty-ninth session, the Commission on Human Rights decided, by its resolution 1993/62 of 10 March 1993, 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-eighth session on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the situation of minority groups, such as the Baha'is, and to report to the Commission at its fiftieth session. In its decision 1993/273, the Economic and Social Council endorsed that resolution.

2. In compliance with paragraph 13 of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/62 and Economic and Social Council decision 1993/273, the Special Representative submitted his interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran to the General Assembly (A/48/526). It refers to the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the months that had elapsed in 1993. In its resolution 48/145 of 20 December 1993, the General Assembly, inter alia, decided to continue the examination of the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran including the situation of minority groups, such as the Baha'is, during its forty-ninth session in the light of additional elements provided by the Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council.

3. In compliance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/62 and Economic and Social Council decision 1993/273, the Special Representative submits herewith his final report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It refers to the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran during 1993, although it must obviously be read in the light of the reports submitted by the Special Representative since 1986.

4. As in previous years, the present report concentrates on written communications with government officials and on allegations of human rights violations from non-governmental organizations and individuals.

5. The structure of the present report is similar to that of previous reports, and it is accordingly divided into five sections: Introduction; I. Communications between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Special Representative; II. Information received by the Special Representative; III. Considerations and observations; IV. Conclusions and V. Recommendations. There is an annex containing information received from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran

I. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ISLAMIC
REPUBLIC OF IRAN AND THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE

6. The Special Representative met with Ambassador Sirous Nasseri on 20 January and 2 September 1993, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva. He also had the opportunity to meet with the Permanent Representative and other representatives of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran during his visit to Vienna to attend the World Conference on Human Rights, held from 14 to 25 June 1993. At those meetings and in letters dated 23 March, 28 April and 31 August 1993, the Special Representative reiterated his firm opinion that a fourth visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran would be very useful since it would permit him to obtain direct and first-hand information on the current human rights situation in the country, and would go far towards demonstrating the willingness of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate in enabling the Special Representative to discharge his mandate. The Special Representative initially suggested the months of July and August 1993 as the period during which he could make his fourth trip to the country. Subsequently, by letter dated 31 August 1993, he suggested that the trip be made during the second half of October 1993.

7. On 16 July 1993, the Special Representative addressed the following letter to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva:

8. On 28 July 1993, the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted the reply of his Government to the letter from the Special Representative dated 16 July 1993. The letter reads as follows:

9. On 20 September 1993, the Special Representative, following past practice, transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva a memorandum containing the allegations of human rights violations he had received since the last renewal of his mandate as Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights. The Special Representative also requested information from the Government regarding the situation of 93 prisoners.

10. After having finalized his report to the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session, the Special Representative received a letter dated 27 October 1993 from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva, transmitting the replies of that Government to the allegations of human rights violations contained in his memorandum dated 20 September 1993 and reproduced in chapter III of the main part of his report (A/48/526). In accordance with the request formulated in the letter of the Permanent Representative, the replies of his Government were reproduced in an addendum to his report to the General Assembly (A/48/526/Add.1).

11. Moreover, by a letter dated 22 October 1993, the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted to the Special Representative, pending replies to the allegations raised by him in his last report to the Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/1993/41), as well as information on measures of clemency granted to persons convicted of various offences, on the elections and on the problem of narcotic drugs and human rights; a list of those convicted by the High Disciplinary Court for Judges and a list of staff members of the Prisons Organization of the country accused of various offences under investigation.

12. By a further letter dated 25 October 1993, the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted to the Special Representative a list in Persian of 174 pardoned prisoners previously sentenced to severe punishment for involvement in drug trafficking and robbery. [sentence deleted]

13. On 17 December 1993, the Special Representative transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva a memorandum containing the allegations regarding the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran which he had received since the last report he presented to the General Assembly (A/48/526).

14. On 30 December 1993 and 13 January 1994, the Special Representative addressed the following letters by telex to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

II. INFORMATION RECEIVED BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE

15. The following paragraphs contain a summary of some of the allegations of human rights violations received by the Special Representative and communicated to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran by memoranda dated 20 September and 17 December 1993. Replies received from the Government with regard to the alleged incidents and cases have also been reflected in this section. However, the memoranda and the Government's replies cannot be reproduced in their entirety owing to the limit imposed on the number of pages for reports submitted to the Commission on Human Rights by Commission resolution 1993/94 A of 11 March 1993.

A. Right to life

16. Although the Iranian press has apparently ceased to publish all the cases of executions, grave concern was expressed about the continuing use of the death penalty. Sentences of death can be imposed for premeditated murder, homicide, armed robbery, drug trafficking, armed rebellion, complicity in murder, kidnapping, rape and other crimes.

17. By letter dated 27 October 1993, the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva forwarded to the Special Representative the following response:

18. The Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, stated on 12 February 1993 that "those executed in Iran were either drug-traffickers sentenced to death according to the ruling of the Expediency Council, or were cases falling within divine jurisdiction and no authorities have the right to reverse such rulings". He added that "in its campaign against narcotics, the Islamic Republic of Iran is actually doing the world a favour" and that it would never allow itself "to be contaminated by narcotics because of protests lodged by certain circles".

19. By letter dated 27 October 1993, the Government stated that:

20. It has been reported that Mr. Mohsen Mohammadi Sabet was executed in Rasht prison. The actual date of the execution is not known. He was reportedly arrested in September or October 1992 at his home in Rasht, apparently for political reasons, and had been held in solitary confinement in Rasht prison since that date.

21. In its response dated 27 October 1993, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran replied as follows: "To date, no such individual has been arrested. This allegation is denied."

22. It was reported that an alleged supporter of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, Mr. Hussein Mouloudi, was executed in public in Orumiyeh in October 1992. No information was available about his trial. Mr. Mouloudi had reportedly been imprisoned for two years in different prisons.

23. The reply dated 27 October 1993, declared that: "In 1992, no such individual was executed in Orumiyeh."

24. On 20 April 1993, four persons were hanged in Sirjan, after being found guilty of perturbing public order and destroying public security. Their names were given as Dianat Aghabeighi, Majide Khadjuni, Ali Aghabeighi and Mohammad Eftekhari.

25. In its response of 27 October 1993, the Government replied as follows: "This allegation is confirmed."

26. In May 1993, a woman named Zohré Eghbali, governess and mother of two children, aged five and two years, was hanged in Isfahan, after being found guilty of adultery. The newspaper Ressalat reported on 11 August 1993 that a man was executed in the courtyard of Mashhad Penal Court No. 1 on charges of adultery. Another man was executed at the same time and place on charges of murdering his wife.

27. In its response dated 27 October 1993, the Government stated that for the case of Zohré Eghbali, this allegation was also raised by the Special Representative and was investigated at the time. It has been reinvestigated and it is denied. For the second and third sentences of previous paragraph, this allegation is confirmed.

28. It was reported that Mr. Ahmad Ghofrani was sentenced to death on 13 January 1993 because of his alleged political opposition to the Government. He was arrested in Mashhad in December 1992. No information about his trial, the charges on which he was convicted or his place of detention was available to the Special Representative. In March 1993, Mr. Salim Saberniah and Mr. Seyed Mustafa Ghaderi were sentenced to death by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tabriz for illegally leaving the country and belonging to the Kurdish section of the Communist Party of Iran, Komala. The verdicts issued have been approved by the Supreme Court.

29. In its response of 27 October 1993, the Government replied as follows:

30. It was reported that Mr. Feizollah Mekhoubad, aged 77, resident in Tehran, was sentenced to death in early May 1993 by an Islamic revolutionary court of Tehran. He was reportedly active in relief and charitable work for needy people and did not engage in any political activities. In May 1992, he was accused of having links with zionism and having the intention of departing for Israel. It was alleged that during his trial he was not granted the possibility of exercising his rights to defence and appeal.

31. In its response dated 27 October 1993, the Government stated the following:

32. According to the newspaper Salam of 31 March 1993, Hojjatolislam Mahmoudi, in a Friday sermon in the city of Varamin, south of Tehran, noted the negative impact of the public executions carried out in Rah Ahan Square in Varamin and the misgivings they bred in the minds of the public. Hamzeh Karami, Governor of the city, and a group of teachers also criticized such methods of punishment.

33. In its response of 27 October 1993, the Government reported the following:

34. It was reported that in September 1992 the Minister of Intelligence of Iran, Hojjatolislam Ali Fallahian, spoke on television of the Government's success in striking at opponents outside the country:

35. In its response dated 27 October 1993, the Government replied that "this paragraph distorts the statements of this individual, who denies the accuracy of the statements as quoted."

36. It has been reported that several government opponents were either killed or injured outside Iran in circumstances suggesting that people acting on behalf of Iranian officials may have been responsible.

37. It was reported that in October 1992 the German authorities arrested an Iranian national and four Lebanese in connection with the killings of four Iranians, leading members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran - Qassemlou Faction - who were shot dead in a restaurant in Berlin in September 1992 while they were participating in a meeting held by the Socialist International. Those killed were the Secretary-General of the Party, Mr. Sadegh Sharafkandi, the representative of the party in Europe, Mr. Fattah Abdoli, the representative in Germany, Mr. Homayoun Ardalan, and the interpreter, Mr. Nouri Dehkordi.

38. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that:

39. The assassination in Turkey was reported of Mr. Ali Akbar Ghorbani, also known as Mr. Mansour Amini, a member of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran. He was abducted close to his home in Istanbul on 4 June 1992. According to reports, bombs were placed in vehicles belonging to the People's Mojahedin Organization around the same time. Mr. Ghorbani was tortured and hanged 10 days after his abduction. His body was discovered severely mutilated in a shallow grave in Cinarcik, 28 miles south-east of Istanbul. His finger nails had been pulled out, his genitals cut and a rope, tied around his neck, used to kill him. According to a dispatch from Reuters of 4 February 1993, the Minister of the Interior of Turkey, Mr. Ismet Sezgin, stated in Istanbul that police had arrested 19 members of the previously unknown Islamic Action group. They were charged with killing Mr. Ghorbani and two Turkish pro-secular writers. Mr. Sezgin said that the Islamic Action group had been trained in Iran, in a military camp located between Tehran and Qom, and that three of its leaders were believed to have taken refuge there. He said that it was clear that those who had committed the murders had connections with Iran.

40. In response to this information, the Government stated, on 27 October 1993, that:

41. The assassination in Karachi, on 6 June 1993 of Mr. Mohammad Hassan Arbab, alias Mohammad Khan Baluch, by four armed men was also reported. He was a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. During the attack, a bystander was also killed and a child was seriously injured. The political assassination of Mr. Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, on 16 March 1993 in Rome, allegedly by agents of the Iranian regime, was also reported. Mr. Naghdi had reportedly received recent threats and was assigned home and office protection three years ago after the murder of Mr. Kazem Rajavi. According to The Independent of 19 March 1993, the Minister of the Interior of Italy, Mr. Nicola Mancino, said on State radio that the killing was "part of an extremely dangerous strategy aimed at subverting Europe and the West. Naghdi's murder must be seen in a very worrying global context where the terrorist threat is more insidious than ever in various continents and especially in Europe". Mr. Naghdi, a former chargé d'affaires of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Rome, had been the National Council of Resistance of Iran representative there after his defection.

42. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that:

43. By note verbale dated 11 November 1993, the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted the following information from the Ministry of the Interior of Italy:

44. According to The New York Times of 22 June 1993, the Minister of the Interior of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Abdollah Nouri, referring to such opposition leaders as Mr. Naghdi, asked:

45. With reference to the preceding paragraph, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran replied:

46. With regard to the assassination of Mr. Kazem Rajavi at Coppet, Switzerland, on 24 April 1990, it was reported that on the basis of the preliminary investigation carried out by the Investigating Magistrate of the Canton of Vaud, 13 persons were implicated as having been involved in the assassination. The Government of Switzerland is asking the French authorities to extradite two Iranians arrested in November 1992 in Paris. They are suspected of having participated in the preparation or the execution of the assassination. It was also reported that Judge Roland Chatelain had transmitted rogatory letters via Bern to the Iranian authorities, but that no answer had been received.

47. In his letter of 27 October 1993, the Government stated the following:

48. On 1 January 1994, the Special Representative received information related to the expulsion from the territory of France of the two Iranians arrested in connection with the assassination of Mr. Kazem Rajavi, Mr. Mohsen Sharif Esfahani and Mr. Ahmad Taheri.

49. Concern was expressed about the continuing endorsement by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran of threats to the life of the British novelist Salman Rushdie. On 14 February 1993, the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, reiterated that the decree against Rushdie was inalterable and that:

He suggested that, as a logical solution, the British Government should hand over the apostate Rushdie to Muslims to be punished. The President of the Republic, Hojjatolislam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, stated that the decree issued by Imam Khomeini was the expert view of a high-ranking scholar on Islamic jurisprudence and such a decree could not be revoked. On 22 February 1993, Majles Speaker, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, said:

On 19 February 1993, a member of the Council of Guardians, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, called for implementation of the late Imam Khomeini's edict against Salman Rushdie:

50. Subsequent to his interim report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva, by letter dated 17 December 1993, the following allegations concerning the right to life.

51. It was reported that three followers of Dr. Ali Shariati - Ali Reza Hamidabad, 36; Hamid Kord, 32; and Gholam Reza Sagvand, 37 - were executed in early 1993 or at the end of 1992. They had reportedly been arrested three years earlier and spent most of their imprisonment in Dezful prison, where their executions are believed to have taken place. They were all reported to have been tried in secret. No further information about their trials was available to the Special Representative.

52. It was also reported that Ms. Maryam Ashtiani, aged 35, was executed in March 1993 in Evin prison in Tehran. She had reportedly been arrested following the burial of her father, when she spoke out against political executions. Her relatives were informed of her execution only four months later and after persistent inquiries.

53. On 8 August 1993, Mr. Abbas Sialipour and Mr. Faramarz Gharib, two supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, were hanged in public in the city of Karaj, on charges of possession of 100 kilograms of hashish. They were reportedly arrested in 1991 on political charges.

54. It was reported that Mr. Mohammad Salami, who had been arrested on political charges, was executed in Evin prison in Tehran in August 1993, after being found guilty of attempting to leave the country illegally.

55. According to the Iranian newspaper Ressalat of 13 September 1993, an unnamed person was publicly hanged on 5 September 1993 at Qyam Square in Isfahan. He had been found guilty of the murder of Mr. Mohammad Mohsenian, a member of the Bassiji Resistance Forces.

56. According to Ressalat newspaper of 27 October 1993, three people were hanged in October 1993 in Roudan. They had been found guilty of committing armed robberies and creating insecurity across Hormuzgan province. Their names were given as follows: Mir Agha Momenzadeh, citizen of Afghanistan, Yar Mohammad Jamshid Zehi and Bakhshak Zakhmipour.

57. On 23 September 1993, three people were executed at Zanjan, reportedly for political reasons. Their names were given as follows: Mohammad Mohamedi, Khatame Dadashi and Fereidoun Bichloc.

58. In September 1993, four unnamed persons were executed at Torbat-e Heidarieh, eastern Iran, after being found guilty of smuggling and distributing heroin in the province of Khorasan.

59. On 31 October 1993, the Iranian newspaper Kayhan reported that three unnamed persons were hanged in public at Rezaieh.

60. It was further reported that four people were recently executed in the Holy City of Mashhad, Khorasan province. They had all been arrested at Mashhad in June 1992 in connection with the riots in that city. Their names were given as follows: Darbehshti Mehdi, Kahnamoui Mahmoudi, Zibai Kadjani and Masoudi Ali Aghar.

61. According to the Iranian newspaper Jomhouri-Islami of 5 December 1993, five unnamed persons were hanged in public in the Holy City of Qom, Central province, on 2 December 1993. They had been found guilty of propagation of corruption on earth, consuming drugs and drinking alcohol.

62. It was further reported that around 20 Baluchis, members of the Naroui and the Barahoui tribes, were executed in December 1992 and February 1993 in Zahedan prison. Information regarding the precise charges and trials was unavailable to the Special Representative.

63. With respect to the assassinations of Mr. Shapour Bakhtiar, the last Prime Minister before the Islamic Revolution, and Mr. Katibeh Fallouch, his personal secretary, both assassinated in August 1991 in a Paris suburb, it was reported that, on 21 April 1993, the investigating magistrate, Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, issued warrants for the arrest of Mr. Nasser Ghasmi Nejad and Mr. Gholam Hossein Shoorideh Shirazi, two Iranian citizens, who were suspected of helping the killers to escape from France. Mr. Ali Rad Vakili, one of the suspected murderers, and another two Iranians are in prison awaiting trial. The judge also issued international arrest warrants against Mr. Hossein Sheikhattar, an adviser to the Iranian Telecommunications Ministry, for complicity in the crime, and against Mr. Mesut Edipsoy, a Turk of Iranian origin.

64. With regard to the killings of four Iranians, leading members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran - Qassemlou Faction - who were shot dead in Berlin in September 1992, it was reported that the federal prosecutor's indictment asserts that "... the ringleader of the Berlin attack was Kazem Darabi, an agent of the Iranian secret service ..." and that "... an agent of the Iranian intelligence service, Kazem Daravi, received orders from superiors in Tehran to kill the Kurds during their visit to a meeting of the Socialist International here. He is said to have planned and carried out the shootings with the help of four Lebanese confederates. All are under arrest ... ." It was further reported that Mr. Youssef Amin and Mr. Abbas Rhayel, two of the four Lebanese men accused of aiding Kazem Darabi, were named as members of the Hizbullah "Party of God" militia. Another, Mr. Atallah Ayad, was said to belong to the Amal.

65. It was also reported that two chiefs of the Narou'i tribe of Baluchistan, Mr. Heybatollah Narou'i and Mr. Delaviz Narou'i, were shot dead outside their home in Karachi, Pakistan, on 9 March 1993.

66. It was further reported that Mr. Mohammad Ghaderi, a former member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and recognized refugee, was abducted on 25 August 1993 from his house in Kirshahir, Turkey. Some ten days later his mutilated body was discovered. According to reports, two men, who introduced themselves as Turkish police officers, entered his house and took him away.

67. It was reported that Mr. Bahram Azadifar, a member of the KDPI, was killed on 28 August 1993 in his house in Ankara, by two men disguised as Turkish policemen.

68. On 6 October 1993, Mr. Majid-Reza Ibrahimi, aged 36, a member of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, was killed in an attack in Baghdad, As-Sha'ab district. Another member of this organization was wounded during the attack.

69. It was reported that an attempt was made on the life of Mr. William Nygaard, the Norwegian publisher of Salman Rushdie's book, The Satanic Verses, in November 1993.

70. On 2 September 1993, Miss Bahareh Vojdani, aged 20, was killed by a vice-squad militia agent in Shemiran, a Tehran suburb, during a campaign for the prohibition of vice and promotion of the Islamic dress code. She was reportedly shot after making a call from a telephone booth on the street.

71. On 17 October 1993, the Iranian newspaper Ressalat reported that, on 15 October 1993, Lieutenant Rostami, a militia agent, shot and killed the driver of a car who was stopped by him at a check-point in Esfarayen, eastern Iran, and who had not obeyed his orders. According to Ressalat, "a few hours later Rostami broke into the victim's home and killed him by shooting three times in the head". Lieutenant Rostami was reportedly released immediately after his arrest.

72. On 20 October 1993, the death sentence against Mr. Ahmed Bakhtari, an agricultural engineer, was confirmed. He had reportedly been convicted of membership of an illegal opposition group and sentenced to death by an Islamic Revolutionary Court on 17 January 1993. It was said that the trial procedures were grossly unfair as he did not have access to a lawyer. He is currently held at Evin prison in Tehran.

73. The Special Representative has also received reports of the following cases concerning the right to life.

74. According to a dispatch from Reuters of 22 December 1993, six persons were hanged in a police headquarters in Shahriar and four persons were hanged in public in Karaj in December 1993. They were reportedly members of a gang convicted of murder, armed robbery and rape on highways.

75. It was reported that Mr. Mohammad Ismail Farid and Mr. Massoud Alvand were executed during 1993 in Tehran on political charges. The exact date of their execution was not available to the Special Representative.

76. According to a dispatch from Reuters of 7 January 1994, Mr. Taha Kirmench, an Iranian Kurdish dissident, was shot dead on 4 January 1994 in the Turkish city of Corum, where he had been registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a refugee since July 1993. Mr. Kirmench was reportedly a leader of a faction of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI).

77. It was reported that, on 19 December 1993, the Majlis approved the death penalty for producers and dealers of pornographic videos on their third conviction. According to the information received, conviction on a third offence would make culprits corrupt on earth, a state punishable by death under Iranian law.

B. Enforced or involuntary disappearances

78. The Special Representative was informed that the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the Commission on Human Rights has transmitted to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran a total of 506 cases of missing persons. So far only one case has been clarified by information received from non-governmental sources.

79. It was reported that Mr. Abbas Gholizadeh, a member of the opposition group Derafsh-e Kaviani, the Flag of Freedom Organization of Iran, was abducted near his home in Istanbul in December 1992. No news of him is available. It has been reported that Mr. Shahriar Farsi, a geologist born on 20 March 1965 in Tehran, son of Mr. Hayat Gholi and Mrs. Sammaie, married with one child, disappeared on 11 November 1992 while he was working with a civil electric company. His fate remains unknown. No investigation appeared to have been carried out in spite of numerous inquiries by his relatives.

80. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government stated the following:

81. It was reported that the fate of Mr. Bahman Qahramani remained unknown. He disappeared in 1988 after being detained on political charges in the city of Yasooj.

82. It was also reported that Mr. Habib Fereidun Sharshar Yegane (previous name Aghachi), aged 51, disappeared in July 1990. He was reportedly seen in captivity in Qom prison and in Evin prison in Tehran. Before his disappearance he telephoned his relatives in Tehran saying that he was in Qom and that if he did not contact them again within 24 hours, they should know that he was in trouble. He had travelled from Tehran to Qom in order to receive the proceeds of the sale of his shop from a Muslim cleric called Hosein Najafi Musavi, who was later imprisoned for offences not connected with this case.

C. Right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment

83. Torture of prisoners was reported to remain common throughout the country, in spite of the prohibition contained in article 38 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to former prisoners, the most frequently used methods were beatings with cables and rifle butts on the back and the soles of the feet, suspension for long periods in contorted positions and burning with cigarettes.

84. The specific cases of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment mentioned below were reported to the Special Representative. On 15 December 1992, an Islamic revolutionary court sentenced an Afghan accused of multiple thefts to have his fingers cut off. The sentence was carried out in a public square using an electric saw. In February 1993, Mr. Mohamedi Khalede, aged 20, was condemned to the amputation of his right hand on charges of stealing in Sanandaj.

85. With reference to the preceding paragraph, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran replied: "This allegation is denied."

86. Subsequent to his interim report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva, by letter dated 17 December 1993, the following allegations.

87. It was alleged that political detainees continue to be subjected to torture following arrest to force them to confess or give statements. It was said that prolonged incommunicado detention facilitates the torture of detainees.

88. It was alleged that Mr. Mohammad Taghie Rahmanie, a 33-year-old student held in Evin prison in Tehran, was subjected to lashes on the soles of his feet and on his legs, beatings, punches in his face and kicks. As a result of beatings, he has reportedly lost most of the hearing in his left ear and his eyesight is also said to have deteriorated in the course of his confinement. He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment following a trial by an Islamic Revolutionary Court in 1986.

89. It was alleged that Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was prevented from being hospitalized in Tehran on 16 August 1993. According to the reports received, he had been admitted to a Tehran hospital as he was suffering from kidney stones and a heart ailment. Doctors at Loghman-Od-Dowleh hospital recommended that Ayatollah Montazeri stay there for a check-up for 48 hours. Intelligence officials reportedly went to the hospital and told the doctors that it was not expedient for Ayatollah Montazeri to be in Tehran and that he should return to Qom.

90. According to the Iranian newspaper Ressalat of 17 October 1993, a prisoner named Mohsen was condemned by an Islamic Revolutionary Court in eastern Iran to hand amputation on charges of robbery and drug dealings. Mohsen's hand was amputated in a prison in the city of Mashhad.

91. It was also reported that four fingers of the right hands of 14 persons were chopped off in August 1993 by orders of the Islamic Revolutionary Courts for disturbing public order.

D. Administration of justice

92. Concern was expressed at the lack of transparency and predictability in the application of Iranian law. On 26 June 1992, the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, stated during his Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University that the laws that were the criteria for action were taken from different Islamic treatises (Resaleh) and the Tahrir-Ol-Vassileh, work of legal exegesis by the Leader of the Nation, Imam Khomeini. It was said that those treatises might be mutually antagonistic, leaving uncertainty about what could be considered to be applicable legislation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

93. It was further said that fatwa or religious opinions issued by qualified mojtahedin had played a major role in court decisions, and that in itself had undermined the principle of equality before the law and contributed to the issuing of confusing and often inconsistent judgements by Iranian courts. The institution of the fatwa was said to militate against the principle of equitable application of the law in all cases. It was said that there were many examples where the court's verdict or judgement had been based on the opinion of a mojtahed rather than on codified legislation. In cases involving loosely defined capital offences, people have reportedly been deprived of their lives, based on an individual personal interpretation. It was also said that even in civil matters, fatwa had played a major role in court decisions and that there were numerous instances of property being seized on the basis of fatwa.

94. It was said that the multiplicity of interpretations of the law and its application, the wide disparity in sentences handed down by the courts for the same offence and the inconsistencies and unresolved tensions in the Iranian legal system undermined the rule of law. Under article 167 of the Constitution, judgements are to be delivered, in the absence of a codified law, on the basis of authoritative Islamic sources and authentic fatwa.

95. With regard to the judiciary, it was alleged that, on 16 October 1986, the Majles approved a law that permitted the Supreme Judicial Council to employ judges with little formal education and minimal experience. According to the law, published in the Official Gazette No. 12160 of 8.9.1365 (November A.D. 1986):

It was alleged that, over time, the requirements for experience had become less stringent, leading to an even less qualified and ultimately a less independent judicial body.

96. It was also reported that the safeguards available to judges accused of disciplinary offences had been substantially diminished. Judges could now be accused of offences not defined in law, such as failing to abide by "Islamic considerations" or "the interests of the society". Lack of any safeguard against arbitrary removal of judges and dismissal without any judicial inquiry has severely undermined the independence of the Iranian judiciary. It was said that the rights of judges subject to disciplinary proceedings to a fair hearing and to an independent review of the decision of the disciplinary authority were not respected.

97. On 12 February 1993, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the Head of the Judiciary, stated that in accordance with Islamic penal law the punishments for certain offences had been laid out by canons, which in legal terminology are called hudud, and punishments for other offences (ta'zirat) were left to the discretion of the religious judges. In the legal system of Islam, the laws and canons were religion. The legal system of non-Muslim countries was based on the experience of mere human beings, but the foundation for all Islamic law was divine revelation.

98. It was reported that, during 1993, no defendants in political trials before Islamic revolutionary courts were known to have received legal assistance, in spite of the new legislation introduced in October 1991 to permit defendants the right to appoint a defence lawyer. It was further reported that no provision appeared to have been made to allow those previously tried without the benefit of legal counsel to seek fair retrial.

99. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government stated the following:

100. It has been reported that there is currently no definition of political offences and no law has been passed to implement or explain article 168 of the Constitution. In political cases, trials are almost always held in secret, often lasting only a few minutes, and the detainee has no access to legal counsel at any stage and is denied the right to appeal both against the conviction and the sentence. If a death sentence is passed, execution may be carried out within days of conviction. It was also said that despite repeated official claims that problems with the Islamic revolutionary courts were being rectified, there was no indication of any improvements in practice. It was reported that under article 130 of the Code of Penal Procedure, the accused could not communicate with his/her family or friends if contacts with other persons could lead to destruction of evidence or collusion with witnesses.

101. By its letter dated 27 October 1993, the Iranian Government stated that:

102. It was further alleged that the right to be presumed innocent, guaranteed in article 14.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is clearly lacking in a system in which guilt or innocence is not based on clearly codified laws, but on the interpretation of numerous texts and the imprecise quantification of religious or societal interests.

103. With reference to the nine preceding paragraphs, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:

104. Concern has been expressed to the Special Representative about the practice of videotaped confession, which may have been extracted under pressure as a result of torture or ill-treatment. It was said that such videotaped confessions undermined the possibility of the defendants' receiving a fair trial. Some political prisoners have been released only after agreeing to give videotaped interviews, sometimes lasting several hours, in which they confess at length to their alleged wrongdoings, denounce their political organization and pledge support for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such interviews may then be shown on television. It was reported that Abdollah Bagheri's videotaped confessions were broadcast on television in Iran at the beginning of 1993. Mr. Bagheri, a former member of the Kurdish opposition group, Komala, was arrested at the beginning of November 1992 outside Mariwan, close to the border with Iraq. It is not known whether he has yet been charged and there is no information regarding the date or place of his trial. It was pointed out that Mr. Bagheri's videotaped confession might seriously undermine the possibility of his receiving a fair trial. The videotaped confession of another member of Komala, Mr. Towfiq Aliasi, was reported to have been broadcast on local television in Sanandaj in August 1992, some days before his execution.

105. Mr. Ali Mozaffarian's videotaped confession, which may have been obtained as a result of physical or psychological pressure, was broadcast on television in Shiraz and in the streets of Kazerun and Lar. He was a well-known surgeon and one of the leaders of the Sunni Muslim community in Fars province in southern Iran and was convicted of spying for foreign countries, adultery and sodomy. Mr. Mozaffarian was arrested in his office in late 1991, a day after he and other Sunni leaders had attended a meeting in Shiraz in the house of the Friday prayer cleric, Ayatollah Haeri, to discuss deteriorating Sunni-Shiah relations in Fars. Reportedly, his arrest was in connection with his refusal to take part in a prayer for unity and his outspoken opposition to the Government. He was tried and executed in Shiraz, following riots in that city in August 1992. It was reported that his trial was unfair, although no information about the proceedings was available to the Special Representative.

106. With reference to the two preceding paragraphs, the Government stated that:

107. According to the newspaper Salam of 19 August 1993, Mr. Jalaledin Farsi, a writer who shot to death Mr. Mohammad Reza Khani, was only sentenced to pay the blood money by Branch 145 of the First Penal Court of Tehran. He was released on bail immediately after his arrest.

108. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that:

109. It was reported that detentions and arrests were made by the State Security Police; the Police Force; the Gendarmerie; the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (Pasdaran); the Revolutionary Committees; the Basijis, irregular paramilitary forces of volunteers who seek to uphold revolutionary ideals; the Islamic Societies; the Political-Ideological Bureau of the Armed Forces; and numerous patrols, such as the patrol to remove street vendors and that to combat improper veiling. It was reported that tens of thousands of Basijis had been ordered to prowl about every factory, office and school to ensure that everyone adhered to the Islamic code. The Basij organization was originally created during the Iran-Iraq war to provide volunteers for the front. After the summer 1992 riots Basij units were revived, rearmed and sent out into the streets to help enforce Islamic law. The Basijis are reportedly under the control of local mosques. It was further said that the Basijis set up checkpoints around the cities and stopped cars to sniff their occupant's breath for alcohol and check for women wearing make-up or travelling with a man not their close relative or husband. It was reported that the Law of Judicial Support for the Basijis, published in the Official Gazette No. 13946 of 8.10.1371 (December A.D. 1992), provided no redress against arbitrary detention by the Basijis.

110. The letter of the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Repub-lic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva of 27 October 1993 stated the following:

111. It was alleged that the lack of an independent bar association had an adverse effect on the administration of justice and a debilitating effect on the potential of lawyers to address deficiencies in their own prof-ession. It was reported that the Iranian Bar Association did not currently enjoy the right to elect its Board independently. It has been alleged that the harassment of lawyers who have tried to carry out their duties on behalf of their clients indicates a tendency on the part of the authorities to identify lawyers with their clients' causes, in contravention of Principle 18 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted in 1990 by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.

112. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that "this allegation is denied".

113. With regard to Iraqi prisoners-of-war, it was reported that, on the occasion of the fourteenth anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran had unilaterally released some 1,000 Iraqi prisoners. However, there were said to be thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war still being held in Iranian detention camps.

114. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government stated that "the report regarding the release of 1,000 prisoners-of-war on that specific occasion is confirmed. However, the allegation that follows is denied."

115. With regard to the condition of Iranian prisoners, on 14 January 1993, the Head of the National Prisons Organization, Mr. Assadollah Lajevardi, stated that the nation's prisons were facing up to two main problems, the shortage of manpower and space to hold prisoners.

116. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government stated the following:

117. According to a dispatch from Reuters of 26 August 1993, Mr. Lajevardi stated that the country held an average of 99,900 prisoners in the Iranian year ending on 20 March 1993, more than half of them jailed for drug addiction or dealing. He said that nearly 7,000 were women and about 2,000 were aged under 18. Some 52,000 were jailed on drug-related charges, 9,000 for robbery, 6,000 for financial offences, 5,000 for murder, 4,000 for vice, 2,000 for illegal crossing of borders and 2,000 for battery. He did not specify the offences of the rest, but added that prisoners who could learn to recite parts of the Holy Koran by heart would get home leave.

118. On 23 June 1993, the commander of the law enforcement forces of Tehran, Brigadier-General Abdollah Oqabaei, said that from 16 to 23 June 1993, 802 men and women had been detained for wearing unsuitable dress. He added that inspectors in plain clothes were keeping a watch on the law enforcement personnel assigned to carry out the campaign against social corruption; a law in effect since the early 1980s defined the type of clothes Iranians could wear, as well as the amount of make-up women could wear, based on the religious and social practices of the Muslim majority of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

119. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its reply of 27 October 1993 stated the following:

120. On 13 January 1993, the President of the Republic, Hojjatolislam Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, stated at the anti-drug campaign headquarters in Tehran that a plan to dispatch drug traffickers and addicts to Farour Island in the Persian Gulf was positive and desirable. According to Kayhan International of 14 January 1993, the President had approved related funds for the execution of the plan.

121. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government stated that "such a plan has still not been implemented".

122. Subsequent to his interim report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva, by letter dated 17 December 1993, the following allegations concerning massive arrests.

123. On 30 October 1993, the Iranian newspaper Kayhan reported that the police arrested 190 persons during October 1993 on charges of selling alcoholic drinks and renting out decadent video cassettes, as part of a crackdown on social corruption.

124. According to the Iranian newspaper Abrar of 16 September 1993, police invaded a wedding reception in Tehran and arrested 15 people for violating an Islamic ban on dancing.

125. It was reported that at least 283 persons who were arrested following demonstrations and protests at Mashhad, Khorasan province, during June 1992 are still in prison.

E. Freedom of expression, opinion and the situation of the press

126. The Special Representative received a number of allegations concerning freedom of expression, opinion and the situation of the press which were communicated as an integral part of the memorandum sent on 20 September 1-993 to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its investigat-ion, consideration and comments.

127. The Director of a scientific journal and three of his colleagues were arrested in Tehran in April 1992 for having published a caricature which was considered offensive to the memory of Imam Khomeini. Mr. Naser Arabha received a six-month prison sentence for having violated the Press Act. Mr. Karinzadeh was sentenced to one year's imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 rials. The editor of Abrar, Mr. Ghafour Garshassbi, received a summons to appear in a Tehran court on 3 March 1993 for the publication of different articles that were considered scandalous, slanderous and offens-ive.

128. In its reply of 27 October 1993, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated the following:

129. On 14 May 1993, a group of motorbikers broke into the offices of the magazine Kian. The No. 11 issue of the magazine included an interview with Mr. Mehdi Bazargan who was Prime Minister of the First Revolutionary Government. The assailants shouted "Death to Bazargan" and called for Kian and other magazines regarded as liberal to be shut down; meanwhile they broke windows, tables and chairs, according to the newspaper Kayhan of 15 May 1993.

130. On 27 October 1993, the Government stated that:

131. The Director of Kayhan, the daily newspaper with the largest circulation, Mr. Mehdi Nassiri, received a summons to appear in a Tehran court on 28 August 1993, where he was interrogated and then released pending trial. The charge was that his newspaper had criticized the dismissal from office of three high-ranking judicial officials ordered in April 1993. It seems that Mr. Nassiri has been barred from leaving the country.

132. The weekly newspaper Avay-e Shomal was closed down for having published a photograph of a semi-nude actress in its issue of 29 December 1992, according to Kayhan of 18 January 1993. The Director of the daily newspaper Salam, Mr. Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, received a summons to appear in court following charges in connection with certain articles published in the last few months. Mr. Khoeiniha described the action as illegal and said it was connected with Salam's criticisms of the Governm-ent. Moreover, the editor-in-chief of Salam, Mr. Abbas Abdi, was arrested by order of the Revolutionary Court without being told what the charge was, according to a cable from Agence France Presse of 28 August 1993.

133. With reference to the two preceding paragraphs, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran replied that:

134. Subsequent to his interim report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative transmitted to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva, by letter dated 17 December 1993, the following allegations regarding the freedom of expressi-on, opinion and the situation of the press.

135. It was reported that in July 1993, a University professor was arrested because of his speech during meetings in Ferdowsi University at Mashhad, commemorating the Islamic radical thinker Dr. Ali Shariati.

136. It was reported that a Tehran municipality monthly, Hamshahri, was closed on 15 September 1993 for allegedly publishing articles promoting western culture.

137. It was further reported that Mr. Mehdi Nasiri, the editor of the Iranian newspaper Kayhan, received on 16 September 1993 another writ to present himself before a judge in three days' time. The new accusation against Mr. Nasiri was not specified in the writ. Mr. Nasiri had been summoned to a special tribunal for clerics on 28 August 1993.

138. On 24 September 1993, Mr. Mahmoud Asghari, the Managing Director of Kayhan, was reportedly arrested.

139. On 18 September 1993, the Iranian newspaper Salam wrote "Unfortunately, when we independently report events, some people start a premeditated campaign against us. This plot is now at work with the purpose of closing down our newspaper. On the other hand, any time we try to get some information about affairs of the State, they either do not give us any, or they give cliché answers of which no reader will be convinced".

140. It was reported that in September 1993, the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran issued a writ for the arrest of Mr. Abbas Abdi, editor-in-chief of the Iranian newspaper Salam. The Salam publisher, Mohammad Moussavi Khoiniha, who was also summoned to the Special Tribunal for Clerics several days later, argued that if Mr. Abdi was charged with violation of the Press Law then he should be served with a summons by the special courts prescribed under the Press Law and not by an Islamic Revolutionary Court. Mr. Abdi was reportedly seized when walking in the street with his wife and children. His wife and children were also arrested, but were released later.

141. It has been alleged that gangs of vigilantes claiming to protect Islamic values issue death threats and attack publications they disapprove of, with the tolerance of the authorities and without fear of prosecution.

142. It was reported that, on 13 August 1993, the authorities ordered the withdrawal of all books by Mr. Aziz Nasin, a Turkish writer, reportedly because of his support for Salman Rushdie. The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance warned all libraries in the country that they will be punished if they sell Mr. Nasin's books.

143. An editorial in the Iranian newspaper Gozaresh-e-Hafteh of 21 November 1993 stated the following:

(more Database 'HuriDocDa', View 'AllSymbols', Document 'Final report on the situation of human rights in ', Anchor '[more]')



HOME | SITE MAP | SEARCH | INDEX | DOCUMENTS | TREATIES | MEETINGS | PRESS | STATEMENTS



© Copyright 1996-2000
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland