Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/84


The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23) as endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/121 of 20 December 1993, and in particular Part I, paragraph 1, which reaffirms, inter alia, that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings and that their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of Governments,

Reaffirming that all Member States have a duty to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments in the field of human rights,

Mindful that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Recalling in particular its resolution 1984/54 of 14 March 1984, in which the Commission requested its Chairman to appoint a special representative to make a thorough study of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on such information as the special representative might deem relevant, including comments and material provided by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Noting the appointment by the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights of Mr. Maurice Danby Copithorne as Special Representative of the Commission on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and paying tribute to his predecessor, Mr. Reinaldo Galindo Pohl,

Welcoming the cooperation extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Special Representative, who has been able to conduct a preliminary visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Recalling its previous resolutions expressing concern at the violations of human rights by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including its most recent, resolution 1995/68 of 8 March 1995, and those of the General Assembly, including the most recent, resolution 50/188 of 22 December 1995, and of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, including the most recent, resolution 1995/18 of 24 August 1995, which condemned the violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Noting the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Reaffirming that Governments are accountable for assassinations and attacks by their agents against persons on the territory of another State, as well as for the incitement, approval or wilful condoning of such acts,

Noting the view of the Special Representative that a number of specific topics warrant his further detailed examination, particularly in the area of criminal procedure and the penal system,

Expressing the hope that the atmosphere for change believed to be detected by the Special Representative will result in relevant improvements,

Welcoming the cooperation extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, who have been able to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran, and bearing in mind the reports of these Special Rapporteurs on their visits (E/CN.4/1996/95/Add.2 and E/CN.4/1996/39/Add.2),

1. Welcomes the report of the Special Representative of the Commission and the observations contained therein (E/CN.4/1996/59);

2. Expresses its concern at the continuation of violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in particular the failure to meet international standards with regard to the administration of justice, notably with respect to pre-trial detention and the right of accused persons to defence lawyers, subsequent executions in the absence of guarantees of due process of law and cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the discriminatory treatment of minorities by reason of their religious beliefs, notably the Baha'is, whose existence as a viable religious community in the Islamic Republic of Iran is threatened, lack of adequate protection for some Christian minorities, some members of which have been the target of intimidation and assassinations, violations of the right to peaceful assembly and restrictions on the freedom of expression, thought, opinion and the press, including intimidation and harassment of journalists;

3. Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to implement fully the conclusions and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance relating to the Baha'is and to other minority religious groups, including Christians;

4. Expresses its concern at the lack of full and equal enjoyment by women of human rights, and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take effective measures to eliminate discrimination against women;

5. Expresses its grave concern at the continued use of the death penalty in the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of the relevant provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations safeguards;

6. Also expresses its grave concern that there are continuing threats to the life of Mr. Salman Rushdie, as well as to individuals associated with his work, which have the support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran;

7. Deplores the continuing violence against Iranians outside the Islamic Republic of Iran, and urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to refrain from activities against members of the Iranian opposition living abroad and to cooperate wholeheartedly with the authorities of other countries in investigating and punishing offences reported by them;

8. Urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a State party to the International Covenants on Human Rights, to abide by its obligations under the Covenants and under other international instruments on human rights to which it is party, and to ensure that all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, including religious groups, enjoy the rights recognized in these instruments;

9. Encourages the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue to extend maximum cooperation to international humanitarian organizations;

10. Welcomes the invitation extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Special Representative as well as the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression and association, and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue to cooperate with the mechanisms of the Commission, including by allowing them continued free access to the country;

11. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Representative, as contained in Commission resolution 1984/54 of 14 March 1984, for a further year;

12. Stresses the need to apply gender perspective in the reporting process, including in information collection and recommendations;

13. Requests the Special Representative to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first 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 fifty-third session;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to give all necessary assistance to the Special Representative;

15. Decides to continue its consideration of the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a matter of priority, at its fifty-third session.

62nd meeting, 24 April 1996
[Adopted by a roll-call vote of 24 votes to 7, with 20 abstentions]


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