In a recent statement on November 11th 2015 Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, censured that country for its poor record on human rights. This comes just over a month after Mr. Shaheed published a heavily critical report on the subject on October 6th. See the full report here.
In his statement Mr. Shaheed spoke critically about Iran’s disregard for freedom of expression:
- “The authorities in Iran should stop arresting, prosecuting and harassing journalists and online activists, and provide a safe space for freedom of expression as the country prepares for parliamentary elections early next year”
- “The government of Iran should not silence critical or dissenting voices under the guise of vague and unsubstantiated national security concerns”
- “As a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has international obligations to allow and protect the right to a free press and access to information”
The October report covered a wide array of human rights abuses identified by the Special Rapporteur in Iran, but was particularly critical of Iran’s record with respect to the death penalty:
- “The recommendations [from Iran’s universal periodic review] also called upon the Government to consider abandoning stoning as a form of punishment and urged it to place a moratorium on all executions with a view to its abolition. The Islamic Republic of Iran continues, however, to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world. Executions have been rising at an exponential rate since 2005 and peaked in 2014, at a shocking 753 executions. This spate reportedly accelerated at a further staggering rate during the first seven months of this year.
- “The Special Rapporteur is alarmed by the rate of executions reportedly taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”