Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Sub-Commission resolution 1996/7


The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,

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

Recalling its resolution 1995/18 of 24 August 1995, and taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/84 of 24 April 1996 and General Assembly resolution 50/188 of 22 December 1995,

Welcoming the cooperation extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Special Representative of the Commission on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, who were able to conduct visits to the Islamic Republic of Iran at the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996,

Welcoming the report of the Special Representative of the Commission on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (E/CN.4/1996/59), the report of the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance (E/CN.4/1996/95/Add.2) and the report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression and the recommendations contained therein (E/CN.4/1996/39/Add.2),

Noting the view of the Special Representative that some subjects need to be further investigated, especially in the field of penal procedure and the penal system,

Gravely concerned at reports of:

(a) Extensive and continuing human rights violations by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including arbitrary and summary executions, torture and inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, unexplained disappearances, the absence of guarantees essential for the protection of the right to a fair trial and disregard for freedom of expression and freedom of religion;

(b) An increase in the wave of political executions in the current year, both by public hanging and by stoning to death;

(c) Repression by the security forces of peaceful demonstrations, resulting in the killing or wounding of many civilians;

(d) Continued repression of women, including the practice of gender-based discrimination and the use of unacceptable and unjustifiable means of punishment;

(e) An increase in death sentences and inhuman and degrading punishments resulting from the adoption of the new law on punishment;

(f) An increase in the number of murders of members of the opposition abroad in recent months;

(g) Continued harassment of the families in the Islamic Republic of Iran of Iranian exiles and the pressure exercised by the Government's undercover terrorists against Iranians abroad, aimed at compelling them to cooperate in activities against the opposition in exile;

Noting that judicial inquiries in various countries, including Germany, Italy and Turkey, investigate the role and responsibility of Iranian officials and services in the planning of extrajudicial political killings,

Affirming that human rights are universal and indivisible and that the violation of internationally recognized human rights standards cannot be justified by cultural or religious considerations,

1. Requests the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to investigate fully in order to end the alleged violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran which include:

(a) Excessive use of the death penalty;

(b) Numerous cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment;

(c) Failure to meet international standards with regard to due process and the administration of justice;

(d) Religious discrimination, notably against Baha'is and Christians;

(e) Discrimination against women;

(f) The use of excessive force and firearms in suppressing public demonstrations, as well as the organization of secret patrols;

(g) Harassment and intimidation of people by street patrols;

(h) Restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of opinion and undue limitation of freedom of the press;

(i) Extrajudicial murders of political opponents;

2. Expresses deep concern at the continuing allegations of aggression against the Iranian Kurdish refugees and rocket attacks against Iranian opponents' bases on the territory of neighbouring countries;

3. Demands that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran cease forthwith any involvement in or toleration of murder and State-sponsored terrorism;

4. Also demands that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran put an end to the harassment by the secret services of Iranian refugees abroad and their families in Iran;

5. Expresses the hope that the atmosphere for change noted by the Special Representative during his latest visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran will result in marked relevant improvements in the situation of human rights in the country by the time of his next scheduled visit;

6. Urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to implement fully the conclusions and the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance relating to the Baha'is and to other minority religious groups, including Christians, until they are completely emancipated;

7. Also urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with all current international norms in the field of human rights, in particular those contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party;

8. Encourages the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to pursue its cooperation with the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights and especially with the Special Representative of the Commission on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to keep the Sub-Commission informed of relevant reports and United Nations measures to prevent human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including violations of the religious freedoms of the Baha'i and the Christian communities in Iran;

10. Decides to consider further the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran at its forty-ninth session.

21st meeting
20 August 1996
[Adopted by secret ballot by 12 votes to 6, with 6 abstentions.]



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