- Review of the draft resolution of the United Nations’ General Assembly on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Islamic Republic of Iran as a democratic system, emerged from the Islamic Revolution, by relying on Islamic, human and moral teachings and values, was able to get rid of the Iranian people from gross violations of fundamental rights as well as oppression of the authoritarian Shah regime supported by the West.
This revolution provided life saver messages and programs in various fields especially considering the necessity of confronting foreign domination and coping with the tragic decadence of the international system, globalization hegemony and the ever increasing pressure on the oppressed and less-developed nations, the revolution which was also welcomed by other countries.
Now it is is flourished today and in national dimensions, in addition to the country's worthy independence, has been able to cope with foreign domination. So, throughout this target, it has well tolerated the illegal, coercive and unilateral sanctions that widely violated human rights of Iranians.
It implements several programs to promote the rights of people, including in the fields of health, general and higher education, amendment and improvement of laws and realization of justice. Also successful planning of the country to resolve the fabricated charges of “the threat of Iran in the nuclear sphere” led to The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which despite the dishonesty of the West, especially the U.S., was able to contribute to correct wrong perceptions about Iran's nuclear capabilities; to the extent that the international community is not only eager but also insists on accepting the positive and effective role of Islamic Republic of Iran in the region and in countering terrorism and extremism.
It should be noted that in this point, the pervasive and massive risk of terrorism in the Middle East and its spread to other parts of the world, has made the fight against this sinister phenomenon tantamount to protect of human rights and thus, the seriousness of countries in the fight against terrorism is considered as the best indicator to assess their loyalty to human values and human rights.
It is fortunate that rational decisions and uninterrupted policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran to combat this sinister phenomenon have been made clear after nearly six years and the international community has recognized and welcomed these activities. The Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved great progress in its internal issues as well, which was stipulated in many paragraphs of international reports and even in the current unacceptable and political draft resolution.
It is very surprising that a developed and well managed country such as Iran with a democratic system that relies on people’s voting and holding numerous elections which approaches higher standards as well as further development in social, cultural and economic areas is assaulted, slandered and unfairly accused simply because of its independent foreign policy which is opposed to the domination and hegemony of some Western countries, especially the U.S.
In the years after the Islamic Revolution, human rights resolutions have been repeatedly issued by some western countries, while they have committed egregious cases of human rights violations both within and beyond their territory ,and even have close allies with no notion of any kind of democracy who remain fully reactionary or have been engaged in occupation [of other countries] and infanticide for years; but, because of their support, receive no serious criticism from the international human rights mechanisms. Unfortunately, the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran submitted to the 71th meeting of the General Assembly (A/C.3/71/L.25) as it mentioned above, has been prepared without taking into account the existing facts.
We hereby express our views regarding the content of the resolution and hope that UN member states will pay the required attention and be conscious of the double standards and selective approaches in the UN so that politically motivated draft resolutions that are prepared by the government of Canada and certain other western countries will not pass:
- 1. The Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted its documents and evidence pertaining to the UN Secretary General’s report and the report by the special rapporteur -- to be presented in the 71st General Assembly -- to the High Commissioner, through its Permanent Mission. We expect countries behind the resolution will carefully, and with good will, study the content to become aware of the lack of necessity for such a resolution. Although the present resolution is political, imbalanced and based on unproven claims, But in some paragraphs (paragraphs one to six),the country's various advancements in areas such as promotion of rules and regulations, the constructive interaction of Islamic Republic of Iran with organizations which are based on treaties, good conduct with refugees and the like have been pointed out, which is indicative of positive policies and determination of Iran’s government for improvement of human rights in all areas; and with a little justice, the irrationality of the suggestion for ratification of such resolutions is proved.
- 2. It is noticeable that the honourable president had much determination in realization of electoral promises; like improvement of women's rights, Appointing deputies to the President from the elite women (for the Environment Organization, Legal Affairs and Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization), the elevation of the position of “President’s advisor for women’s affairs” to “deputy to the President for women’s affairs and families”, appointing the first female ambassador in Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the creation of the position of “President’s special aide for ethnic groups and religious minorities” as well as appointing ambassador from Sunni Muslims(in addition to their constant participation in domestic and local political positions) are the steps taken to protect the rights of such groups. The continuous policy of Islamic Republic of Iran, especially Dr. Rohauni is obvious regarding promoting the freedom of speech in a sense that this area’s indications show increase in the number of the press (from 6000 to 8500 titles), facilitation and shortening the time in issuing permit (from 2.5 years to 4.5 months in a transparent and online way) and bringing more justice in distribution of their subsidies in the last two years.
- 3. Islamic Republic of Iran in the context of its continuous policy of promoting human rights and materialization of justice has taken many steps which most recently been some law and procedures have been modified. The modifications have been acknowledged in the Par 3 of the resolution. It should be noted that, Islamic penal law and the new judicial processes have been designed to improve and review the old laws and regulation and make them compatible with Iran’s international commitments. The preparation of the new regulations has also benefited from the views and proposals of legal experts with regards to the old rules and regulations. The new rules and regulations are formally and content-wise more comprehensive than the old ones. Topics such as commutation, suspension of prosecution, postponement of heavy sentences and using alternative sentences for imprisonment, parole, pardoning, protection of children and adolescents and the legal responsibility of legal persons are taken into account in the Islamic penal law. The new prosecution procedures’ laws were also approved in 1393(2014) and since 22/jun 2015 has been implemented, to facilitate the process. Among the novel features of this law according to the article 66 , reference can be made to the official recognition of the presence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with respect to their articles of association in the legal investigation process. In addition, the draft of the charter of citizen’s rights has been prepared through the collaboration of scholars and social thinkers in the new administration, which after presentation to the public and seeking their advice and incorporating their view and making the draft compatible with upstream laws and international commitments, will be finalized.
- 4. The positive points of the Par 4 of the draft resolution are welcomed in acknowledging the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran to further promote women human rights. Although Iran has experienced one of the least statistics in violence against women in the region, it is firmly determined to totally eliminate violence against women and condemn all forms of violence and especially insists on strengthening family, and believes that perpetration of violence against women contrary to the women dignity and their spiritual and physical health and survival of the family; therefore, Iran has taken several pre-emptive measures to empower the laws in order to uproot violence which have been mentioned in details in international reports.
- 5. In the Islamic Republic of Iran's educational system all refugees have equal right to education. Right now, the Bureau forAliens of Iran’s Ministry of Interior, with cooperation of the Ministry of Education, has taken some actions for providing access for children without identity or identity documents and immigrant children:
This bureau supports about a million official refugees; 288 thousand Afghan children are supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran's educational system; 850 educational units, consisting of 12 classes, are allocated to these immigrant students.With cooperation of the commissioner, 12 schools have been allocated to the Ministry of Education.
Notice that based on the educational statement, Afghan students can register [in schools]. each year about 300 thousand Afghan students are registered in Iran's schools from the first grade of primary school to the end of high school; and based on the Supreme Leader's order, Afghan children must be registered even in case of illegal presence in Iran, which is the most unprecedented humanitarian action in the world to help these refugees.
- 6. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as has been its normal practice, has done its utmost to cooperate over human rights at international, regional and bilateral levels. Cooperation with the human rights systems of the UN, human rights activities in the Non-Aligned Movement and the Islamic Cooperation Organization as well as dialogue, and bilateral technical cooperation with other countries are examples of such activities. It should be mentioned that the country’s second UPR report, was prepared and based on the recommendations made during the first cycles and was successfully presented in the 20th session of the universal periodic review and has accepted around 65 percent of all the presented recommendations. This professional mechanism, if not used as a political leverage, can help in the promotion of human rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran has had a constructive interaction with special procedures and has been in communication and contact with some of them. So far 7 special rapporteurs and working Group have visited Iran and Based on the planning, two special rapporteurs (on the right to food and onunilateral coercive measures) are supposed to travel to Iran in the future. Furthermore, in order to improve constructive cooperation and interaction with the high commissioner’s office, the minister of foreign affairs in 2015, and the secretary of the high council for human rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2016, in separate meetings with the high commissioner for human rights, invited him again for a trip to Iran. Besides, Islamic Republic of Iran, via presentation of periodical report to the "Convention on Persons with Disabilities" and presentation and defence of the third report to the "Committee on the Rights of the Child" supervising the Convention on the Rights of the child, in January 2016, has shown its permanent tendency for improving cooperation with federal organizations.
The positive stance of this paragraph of the draft and acknowledging the Islamic Republic of Iran's efforts for further improvement of women's rights is welcomed.
Again- acknowledgment, by these two subsections, of Iran's attempts for improving talks and interaction with the special rapporteur on Iran and of the invitations extended to other rapporteurs and the positive reception of the suggestion by the high council for human rights and other authorities for interactions and talks are welcomed mutually.
- 7. Under the Islamic Republic of Iran's law, capital punishment is administered only for most serious crimes. The most serious crimes like mass drug trafficking along with terrorist activities are dealt with special sensitivity at courts in the presence of the representative of the prosecutor general, the accused and his or her lawyer and after fair proceedings and trial, a ruling is issued. Only if the lawyer of the accused attends the trial will the proceedings have formality. Court sessions from which the lawyer is absent lack effectiveness and legality and any decisions taken at such trials can be revoked by the High Court of the Islamic Republic. In addition, the legislature, according article 477 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the Head of the Judiciary to order a retrial, if he recognizes there is any violation to the Sharia and send the case to the High Court to revoke the sentence (by revoking the execution of the sentence will be ceased) and examine and issue sentence the case again by considering the legal formalities and based on a fair trial. Meanwhile, figures released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime show that more than 80 percent of the world narcotics are confiscated by Iran. As the UNODC and the deputy chief of the UN have confirmed, Iran is the flag bearer of the global war on drugs. In other words, it should be acknowledged that by considering the population of Iran, Iran gains the first ranking in terms of world per capita of narcotics seizures. According to the international figures, Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts and the seriousness of the Judiciary Brach and police force in combating narcotics problem as well as controlling and limiting of these crimes have been significant. It should be added that imposing the prohibition of execution of the producers and traffickers (after the Western troops arrival) in the Eastern neighboring countries with Iran during the last 14 years has caused 33.3 percent growth in production of these drugs (from 180 ton in the year 2001 to 6000 ton in 2014) as well as increase in inhuman crimes. Those countries which are facing narcotics as their serious social and security scourge, have put serious and though penalty in their agenda. Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly voiced its readiness to have international and regional cooperation to help eradicating production and smuggling the narcotics. In this context, UNODC has repeatedly appreciated Iran’s seriousness and strength in combating narcotic drugs and jointly implemented several national programs and in their new plan for the time period of 2015-2019, which is being ratified, there is no effective and efficient substitute for execution. It also should be mentioned that in order to explain its position in the area of combating narcotics and reaching the most possible advanced experience, Iran shared the issue with other countries in the framework of bilateral legal dialogue and cooperation such as presenting a comprehensive plan for regional cooperation (in cultural, social and technical aspects) with the presence of some European countries which are behind the resolution that despite of lengthy discussions some parties did not seriously entered the plan.
** As it was said, Iran stands in the front line of fights against drug trafficking.It has made major investments in order to prevent their transit to other countries, in addition to making appropriate cooperation with the UN and other countries in playing its own role in preventing drug smuggling. The IRI is confronting this issue with all its facilities, such that the amount of narcotics discovered in Iran is higher than in any other country in the world. Confronting drug smuggling has imposed huge costs on Iran, including in the area of human resources, and sometimes, because of a lack of responsible cooperation from other countries, issues such as taking police forces hostage by terrorists related to smugglers have occurred. Moreover, there is no doubt that in our surrounding region, there is an integral link between extremism and terrorism on the one hand and drug trafficking and organized crimes on the other. Therefore, it is necessary that all countries and relevant international institutions make a serious and responsible contribution in this regard. Besides, the Iranian parliament is considering new ways to deal with drug smuggling and to punish the related offences. In case if these be approved and if international contributions be attracted, there will be the possibility for a better confrontation and for a reduced use of the severest punishment for a considerable number of such criminals.
** As to the claim about the execution of juvenile convicts under 18, we should note that Iran shows much leniency towards criminals who are under 18 according to human and Islamic concerns. This involves the need for cross-examining their cases at special courts and using light sentences. Only for murder cases, the under-18 perpetrator is tried at the provincial criminal court with 3judges. According to the law, premeditated murder is punishable by Ghesas, which means punishment in kind. The government's duty in this regard is only to ascertain that the murder was premeditated or willful and the murderer is executed if the heirs of the slain person demand. After the court ruling is upheld at the High Court, some strenuous efforts are made by the Reconciliation Commission to win the consent of the heirs of the slain person and turn it into blood money. Over the past years, several people have been spared the death penalty in this way.
**It is Iran's policy to encourage reconciliation and even to pay cash aid to the convict in Ghesas cases so that he or she can pay the blood money. This is the way Iran has been dealing with convicts. Among other measures, Iran's judicial system has created new work groups to prevent life rights. The group is affiliated with the executive Committee for Protecting the Rights of Children at Tehran's Justice Ministry. The group's mission is to reconcile between two sides and to prevent the execution of Ghesas. Even during the proceedings, the work group makes efforts to satisfy the heirs of the murdered person. Its members are: the representative of the National Authority of Children's Rights, a psychologist from the juvenile institution, a social worker from the institution, the manager of the institution, a juvenile lawyer, the secretary of the Committee for the Protection of The Rights of Children and Adolescents (Tehran's Justice Department) and person in charge of raising financial support. Artists, members of popular organizations, experts from the fields of children and charitable people are invited to sessions of the committee as honorary members.
* * Pursuant to article 89 of Islamic Penal Law, for people between the age of 15 to 18 penalties (short of capital punishment) are mitigated and commuted to such punishments as being held at the juvenile institution or short jail terms or cash fines. Even pursuant to Article 91 of the same law, "regarding punishable crimes or crimes which are punishable by Qesas, if the convict is under 18 years old and they do not understand the nature of the crime or there are doubts as to their growth or wisdom, given their age, they will be sentenced to punishments laid out in this chapter". These measures have revolutionized Iran's judicial system so that maximum leniency is shown and justice is observed regarding under-18 convicts. In this respect, Iran's interests and current circumstances in different areas and also the traditions of different ethnics groups have all been taken into account. It is also should be noted that executions in public are only carried out under special circumstances including when public feelings are hurt as a result of a heinous crime. This serves as a deterrent and is strictly in accordance with Iran's laws.All the information pertaining to the upholding of a verdict is given to the lawyer of the convict and his or her family.
- 8. Islamic Republic Iran's law especially article 38 of the Constitution and article 9 of Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Protecting Civil Rights Law prohibits any torture and has clarified how it must be dealt with in order to prevent torture from taking place. Pursuant to Articles 570,578,579 and 587 of the Islamic Penal Law, any of the judicial and non-judicial officials who persecute or physically torture the accused to coerce him or her into confession will be sentenced to 5 to 6 months in prison or dismissed from government jobs. In Islamic Sharia corporal punishment has a clear definition (hodoud and Qisas which clearly related punishments are mentioned in the Islamic Sharia), which aim punishing the wrong doer and preventing the repetition of the crime and by no means is match with torture.
- 9. Both in action as well as in laws, Islamic Republic of Iran has foreseen necessary guarantees to fully observe fair trial standards; so that in the new Code of Criminal Procedure (implemented since 22 June of 2015) defendant’s rights in all trial procedure from detection, investigation and trial to execution of the verdict (before the trial and after that) including having access to attorney by the defendant, have been emphasized by the legislature, and the implementation of this law is mandatory for all judges. On the path of investigation and then trial, no forms of torture is possible and the judge of any case is obliged to issue an appropriate bail on the stage of investigation and then issuing a proportionate penalty insisting on the rationales and the contents of the case and considering the defense of the defendant and his attorney’s. Therefore the claim of arbitrary detention and forced disappearance are not credible. “Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Protection of Legal Civil Rights”, that’s the title of another article in the Iranian penal law which along with other regulations seeks to ensure that no extrajudicial arrests are made. It bans personal and subjective treatment of citizens as well as power abuse and stipulates that any arrest must be made only and only after permits are granted by judicial authorities.
**The same law has determined clear punishment measures for those who violate the rules of arrest. Article 10 has clarified the punishment. It also says in addition to the fact that the head of the judiciary oversees the entire process through various committees under his supervision, individuals can also directly report any mistreatment and extrajudicial arrests to the secretariats of those committees where the claims will be closely and clearly reviewed and followed up.
Unfortunately, in this Paragraph, the legal detentions (those which are based on the orders of the judges) are interpreted as forced disappearing, which is an effort to bold the claim of violation of the human rights in Iran. Although, in the previous year, claims about two cases of disappearance in Iran were reported to the relevant working group and were removed from the agenda by this group.
- 10. Pursuant to existing rules and regulations and international standards, Islamic Republic of Iran is using prison as penalty for those crimes, which are mentioned in the laws. State Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization is in charge of all prisons in the country and all prisons are run based on a similar standards and regulations. It has always been the approach of the Organization to improve the status of the prisoners and the way they are kept as well as health issue, treatment and appropriate nutrition of the prisoners are in the agenda of the organization. According to article 95 of the aforementioned regulation, the minimum the prisoners have three meals a day in a way that all necessary nutrient will be provided including at least three meals containing meat in a week. This standard is fully observed and inspectors carry out comprehensive control on its implementation. Buffet and shop are established to promote the welfare of the prisoners, which according article 98 and its notes the price of the goods are inspected and observed to be fair. In prisons, there are health departments where health services and treatment services are provided and all the services are provided free of charge. If the health department of the prison recognizes that medical services are needed outside of prison, such services will be provided through coordination with observing judicial official of the prison. There are training workshops for qualified volunteered inmates, which give the inmate opportunity to learn a skill and later make money from his or her manufactured goods and send the money to his or her family outside the prison. In Islamic Republic of Iran facilities such as regular visits with family members, benefiting suitable health and treatment services, access to recreational facilities, shop, barber and hair dresser, sports gym, cultural and training classes, movie theatre and so on and so forth have been foreseen.
As mentioned above, the executive guarantee for respecting the Prisoners' rights and Proper treatment of them, including the right to defense, and access to lawyer and legal expert has been expressed in the “law on Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Protecting Citizenship Rights" and other statutory laws.
According article 102 of the regulations of the Prisons organization, Health department of the institution or the prison is obliged to carry out medical test for all inmates at least once a month ad pursuant to article 103, measures should be taken so that medical and health related needs would be met inside or outside of rehabilitation center or prison. In urgent cases, sending the inmate to an outside treatment center to be treated is possible with the authorization of the relevant officials. According to article 104, the cost of the treatment for the patients who should be sent outside, the prison should pay medical center. As article 105 explicitly states, all prisons and places relating to the prisons such as training workshops should be disinfected at least once a month; in case it is needed, it could be done sooner. Thus, the claims in draft resolution are flat lies and denied. Especially in Evin prison which is one of the most standard prisons of the country and has been inspected by the domestic inspectors and international delegations, the mendacity of the claims in this paragraph of the draft resolution are proved.
Despite imposed various economic hardships caused by illegal sanctions on Iran’s society, related budget for medical cost of the inmates have been regularly allocated and the inmates have acceptable access to medical facilities inside and outside prison.
The issue of inmates’ health and sanitation is guaranteed by following the article 102 to 118 of the regulation of the Prisons Organization. According to article 9 and 10 of the According to article 9 and 10 of the Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Protecting Civil Rights Law, Provincial Observation and Inspection of Civil Rights groups visit the detention sites and prisons and their various departments, meet inmates and interview them to see whether their rights are protected and how they are treated. In their inspection they study the per capita space, segregation and classification of inmates from convicted and accused point of view, separation of inmates infected with contagious and dangerous diseases as well as medical and health situations of the inmates and in case of any shortcomings or faults, they will provide necessary notes.
It should be mentioned that issuing the regulation of “ establishing, running and supervision of detention houses” by the Judiciary Branch is in line with further and efficient observation of laws and regulations especially Legitimate Freedoms and Protection of Civil Rights Law. It is a clear sign that judiciary branch is serious and determined to protect the defendants’ rights. It should be also mentioned that Supervision and Inspection teams of Civil Rights in addition to periodical and planned visits carry out unexpected and snap visits and inspections to prisons and detention houses in order to ratify official performance as well as conducting complete study on health and medical situation of the prisons and inmates to fully protect their rights.
- 11. In Iran, like in most civilized countries of the world, the civil society performs activities, extensively and freely, based on legal criteria. In the course of implementing Articles 26 and 27 of the Constitution and in accordance with the provisions of the Activities of Parties, Syndicate and Technical Organizations, and Religious Minorities Act, some 230 political parties, 400 technical and syndicate associations, and 60 societies of religious minorities have received license and are operative. An average of 300 political, syndicate, social, labor and international rallies and assemblies are held each year. Based on the aforesaid provisions, freedom of expression is also recognized in the country. Other relevant legislation has also been adopted, the most important of which is the Free Access to and Dissemination of Information Act adopted in 2009. In line with the best implementation of Article 24 of the Constitution (freedom of expression), the legislature has specified punishment in Article 608 of the Islamic Penal Code only for those who abuse freedom of expression and insult others. The Press Act has also verified freedom of expression and constructive criticism provided there is abstinence from insulting, humiliating, accusing, and violating the public and private rights of individuals. The aforementioned restrictions are also compatible with Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
At the moment, 8500 periodicals have been registered in the country, half of which are published totalling 214 daily newspapers and 813 weeklies. The distribution scope of over 30 percent of the country’s periodicals is local (city, province, or several neighbouring provinces) from which around 1000 (approximately 17 percent of all of the country’s periodicals) are published in border regions (some in local dialects and languages). The binding principle for the observance of the rights of the press has also been incorporated in Article 4 of the Press Act: “No governmental and/or nongovernmental entity has the right to publish content in order to place pressure on the press and/or censor and control the press.”
The Internet was introduced into Iran 25 years ago; today the number of users tops 35 million in the country. There are over half a million “ir” domains and this provides Iran an exclusive stance among regional countries. Network and computer sciences have also improved significantly in the country. It is worth noting that in line with implementing Article 46 of the Fifth National Development Plan on establishing and developing the national information network providing high-speed Internet access to all citizens. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has engaged in designing and constructing the infrastructure required; most unfortunately, the illegal sanctions imposed against Iran have decelerated the pace of the development. Nevertheless, the Ministry is employing its maximum capacity and domestic facilities to materialize the goal stated above.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, all media – print and digital (off line or online )– are approached and dealt with based upon the law. According to Article 22 of the Cybercrime Act, the Judiciary has been mandated to set up the Committee for Identifying Examples of Criminal Content comprising representatives from pertinent institutions headed by the General Prosecutor. Enshrined by the existing rules and regulations, the Committee takes measures to identify the websites which seek to jeopardize the general peace and security of the society, promote the crime of violating public morals and chastity, disseminate false content, support terrorist groups, etc. Eligible judicial centers also look into the crimes committed by those in charge of such websites within the framework of Iran’s legislation; this approach is by no means a violation of people’s private sphere and freedom of expression and, in effect, primarily guarantees the individual rights and privacy of citizens in cyberspace. Furthermore, this is a serious public demand from the government to defend and protect individual privacy, rights, and stance against those who disseminate the personal and private information of individuals without permission and in a reckless fashion.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, all social activities of establishing parties, societies, associations, etc. necessitate the observance of the Activities of Political and Syndicate Societies, Parties, and Associations and Islamic Societies Act following the obtainment of permission from the Commission of Article 10 of the Activities of Political and Syndicate Societies, Parties, and Associations and Islamic Societies Act. In addition, domestic laws allow freedom of expression and constructive criticism by journalists and cyberspace users provided they refrain from insulting, humiliating, accusing, and violating the public and private rights of individuals.
Abusing the term “defending human rights” or any other label in order to achieve organizational goals would not negate judicial liability. Unfortunately, the term “defenders of human rights” is applied inaccurately and imprecisely in the context of Iran to the extent that in certain cases terrorists are also included under this title. In any case, labeling individuals who overlook social norms and break the law through their own antisocial conduct is disrespect to the real defenders of human rights. Thus it can be seen that item 11 of the draft resolution is rife with unsubstantiated and false claims that could be proven false just with little recourse to international figures on Iran’s achievements in the areas of education, health, welfare and social during the last three decades.
- 12- Securing the inclusive rights of everyone – men and women – and the equality of the public before the law, eliminating discrimination, and establishing equitable facilities for all have been highlighted in the Constitution and other legislation. Governmental institutions are obligated to create the grounds for the material and spiritual growth of women and guarantee the rights of women in different domains through providing the necessary facilities and requirements. Ever since its founding, the Islamic Republic of Iran has given special attention to the advancement of women’s rights. To secure this goal, the country has implemented extended measures regarding the promotion of the health, educational, employment, and security issues of women and elimination of violence against them and facilitating their social participation through holding decision-making positions. Some of the policies and programs for promoting women’s rights in relation with the claims raised in this regard include:
Islamic Republic of Iran has tried to promote women’s health at four levels: a) family b) health centers in villages and towns c) hospitals and specialized clinics and d) hospital, academic and specialized services
Women’s health network now provides direct access to 100% of urban population and 95% of rural population (over 20 million people) to “primary health care” through about 17 thousand health houses, 2400 rural health centers, 2200 urban health centers and more than 30 thousand active health workers. Moreover, plans of health network system were revised during the recent years and new plans were added to the network’s system. Currently, health houses and medical centers provide primary health care including maternal and child care, family planning, screening and follow-up services, environmental health, occupational health, school health as well as oral and mental health and etc. Also, “Committee for the Prevention and Control of AIDS” (with the aim of increasing awareness and advocacy as well as empowering and coverage of women at risk or high-risk behavior), “Positive club for women” in Tehran in 2011 (in order to support women living with HIV), and also counseling, care and treatment centers for vulnerable women (Wives of prisoners, wives of drug users), and people with HIV and their families, were established.
Fighting Violence against Women
Fighting violence against women at all prevention, protection, and restoration levels has been continuously emphasized. The following initiatives are among the most noteworthy activities in this regard during recent years:
- - Implementing a program to prevent social ills and fighting corruption and cruelty against women (2012);
- - Holding exhibitions, training workshops, seminars, and technical meetings for women and for girls at school in order to increase their awareness concerning social threats and ways to fight them and also HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, mental disorders, and gynecological complications;
- - Supporting research projects concerning the analysis of causes and motives of violence against women and ways of prevention and damage repair;
- - Conducting an initiative to prevent women’s social pathologies since 2010 through holding 300 hours of training workshop and defining 224 educational projects to raise women’s awareness on risky behaviors; and
- - Carrying out a project by the police on joint operation for social promotion with two approaches to fight violence and sexual abuse of women and prosecuting the offenders.
Women’s Participation in Socioeconomic Domains
A number of the major economic and women’s empowerment interventions are:
- - Establishing and operationalizing the Foundation of Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives to alleviate poverty in 2010;
- - Assisting groups that support female heads of households;
- - Providing entrepreneurship and self-employment loans and grants to women; and
- - Establishment of Women’s Comprehensive Empowerment Headquarters.
Promoting women’s education is among the main goals of the country. According to the UNESCO Global Monitoring Report on Education for All 2012, the Islamic Republic of Iran is among the top six countries of the world in terms of access to gender equality in education. It is worth noting that the literacy rate of women aged 15-24 stood at 97.7 percent in 2010 while the percentage of female students in state universities was 56 percent in 2012.According to the available official statistics, the number of the female university students have increased 10.6 percent during the several decades after the revolution. In other words, the total numbers of the female university students increased from 54248 students (30 percent of the total university students) in 1978 to 2,214,418 students (47.3 percent of the total students) in 2014. It should be also mentioned that after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, officials and planners in all development plans of the country have insisted on education justice. Of the most important objectives of the Fourth and Fifth Development plan of the country is having access to higher education, in a sense that in the period of the study we are witnessing 201 percent increase in Non-Profit Institutions, 183 percent in Centers of Applied Science and Technology, 12 percent in Centers affiliated to the Ministry of Health and 6 percent increase in Higher Education Centers affiliated to Ministry of Education. In non-state level, Islamic Azad University (Open University) has 35 percent growth only in the Fourth Development plan. This huge amount of growth in higher education centers along with demands for having higher education have increased the portions of women in higher education and increased their share. By looking at the population distribution of female university students studying in main university majors, we could clearly see that women of our country as the result of a spontaneous intellectual and cultural development have utilized their capabilities and increased their participation in the area of higher education in a way that after removing the barriers and quota belonged to the 80s and 90s, in the last two decades we are witnessing the growth in the participation and presence of the women, offsetting inequalities in opportunities and creating a positive development in academic society of the country and it can be said that the level of participation of women in all major academic courses half of the population belong to the women. To give a more complete picture it could be said that in Fundamental Science group more than 69.2 percent of the total numbers of the students are women and after that in Medical Science group by having 67.5 percent of the total numbers of the students they have gained the second position in attracting women university students.
Women’s Political Participation
Some of the most significant political activities of women in recent years include:
- - Membership in the Islamic Consultative Assembly;
The increase in the number of women candidates and elected members in the eleventh parliament;
- - A rise in the number of the female members of rural and urban councils (6093 in the 2013);
- - Appointment to high-ranking posts and positions such as Vice President, Ministers, Ambassador, university professors, research centres managers, hospital doctors etc.
Unemployment as a global phenomenon affects men and women around the world and global statistics also indicate that it is more prevalent among women. In addition, the transition from traditional to modern economy in developing countries is aggravating unemployment. The Islamic Republic of Iran is not an exception; yet two points need to be noted in this context:
*** The laws of Islamic Republic of Iran obliged men to finance the wife and other dependents and this duty will not be removed from men even in the case of financial ability of women. Unlike many parts of the world, this has led to the fact that women be less exposed to the risk of poverty caused by personal unemployment. In addition, the religious, social and cultural attitude arise from the financial irresponsibility of women in obtaining means of living has caused that many women treat a job not as a necessity but as a choice; so this issue is effective on the insufficient presence of women in the field of employment.
*** Illegal sanctions and their direct and indirect consequences together with the negative impact on the labor market severely violated economic and social rights of women and have confronted their realization with difficulties. This matter is always emphasized by the IRI representatives in all international interactions about women and it deserves more attention by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and many of thematic Rapporteurs, headed by the Special Rapporteur of sanctions.
***Mr. Rouhani’s ordered for postponing the recruitment exam in order to observe gender justice for women’s employment and its enforcement shows the political will in Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials toward women’s empowerment.
Response to forced and early marriage claim:
Considering the fact that in some parts of the country because of the geographical circumstances, boys and girls reach to their physical and sexual puberty at early ages and need to marry. In the past, their marriages were consummated without any legal observation but now the lawmakers conditioned this issue to observe and follow article 1041 of Civil Law (Marriage for girls before the age of 13and boys before the age of 15 is hinge on the permission of the Guardian and on condition of expediency of the juvenile, with the recognition of competent court).
According the tribal norms and traditions as well as some villages’ norms, many of the marriages at early age are without any sexual intercourse and it is postponed to older age. Attention should be attached to this point that major portion of marriages number at early age are consummated in this cultural and traditional framework. Judicial system is fully determined to observe the compatibility of this type of marriages with law. These observations are being done in light of article 646 Islamic Punishment Law (ratified in 1375 Iranian calendar), regulations and rules mentioned in article 1041 of Civil Code of I.R. of Iran and article 50 of Family Protection Law (2011). According to article 56 of recent mentioned law, if a notary public registers a marriage without asking and taking attestation or violate the content of article 1041 of Civil Code , according to Islamic Punishment Law he/she will sentenced to be deprived from notary public position. In the article 45 of the Family Protection Law it says: The Judiciary is duty-bound to provide proper mechanisms to protect the expediency of the family and the child and provide visitations of the child with parents. The courts usually for the sake of respecting the interests of juveniles will not accept marriage requests easily.
It should be noted that while laws with high accuracy have stopped forced marriage and possible perpetrators are suable, on the other hand, courts will allow certain requested marriage cases for juveniles in observing the expediencies.
According the Statistics Bureau of Iran, in urban areas the average age for marriage among men was 24.1 in 1975 and 26.7 in 2011, and for women it was 19.7 in 1975 and 23.4 in 2011.
As it was mentioned in previous part, in Civil Code of Iran necessary protections have been foreseen in order to prevent domestic violence, especially preserving physical and spiritual health along with the respect of the spouse. According article 1119 of this law, the woman to the marriage can stipulate any condition to the marriage which is not incompatible with the nature of the contract of marriage (for example, if the husband mistreats the wife) the wife has the power to obtain a divorce. It is also mentioned in article 1130 of the mentioned Law the wife can refer to the Islamic Judge and request for a divorce. When it is proved to the court that the continuation of marriage causes difficult and undesirable conditions, the judge can for the sake of avoiding harm and difficulty compel the husband to divorce his wife. Regarding verbal violent or irreverence article 608 of Islamic Punishment Law is bidding. In the meantime an independent bill under the title of “providing security for women against violence” in order to protect women in domestic violence which is under discussion.
- 13- In the Constitution there is an independent chapter that includes twenty-three articles under the title of “The Rights of the People” in which it foresees the legitimate and legal rights and freedoms of different walks of life such as language groups, faith and denomination, ethnic and race. According to these principals all people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; and color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege. It should be noted that according to article 13 of the Constitution non-Muslim Iranians are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.
- 14- Notwithstanding the detailed information provided last year, unfortunately this paragraph of the current draft resolution is still replete with false claims which need to be corrected via avoiding prejudgments and avoiding to follow political tendencies. According to articles of the Constitution, fundamental rights such as being equal before law, protection of life and wealth, job, housing, freedom of expression, benefiting social security, pleading for justice, education, benefiting fair trial, citizenship, participation in the affairs of the country and other citizen rights for all dwellers and fellow citizens of the country regardless of their religious, ethnic and belief tendencies are recognized and all Iranians could benefit these rights without any discrimination. Therefore, dividing Iranians into ethnic, race and similar categories with political motive and sowing discord is not acceptable.
“United people of Iran” away from their differences and characteristics, consider one another fellow citizen. Iranians are honored to have different and various ethnicity, denominations and cultures and away from any ethnic, religious and racial prejudice are coexisting. Iranians solidarity and culture is exemplary and rooted in thousands of years of history of the country; in a way that all religions and denominations are doing their rituals as well as they are interwoven in the unique culture of the country. It should be mentioned that although the overwhelming majority of Iranians are Muslims, to perform other religious rituals and ceremonies as well as for education of non-Muslims the Consultative Assembly of Iran allocates certain portion of the annual budget. As an example we can mention holding 140 artistic and ritual ceremonies by non-Muslims Iranians.
It should be mentioned that in order to support and protect cultural heritage of the minorities and their house of worship, the Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization formed a headquarter under the title of “Special Headquarter for three Sacred Mausoleums and Religious Sites” and put in the agenda overhauling and repairing chapels and sacred places of the minorities and facilitate any necessary measures which should be taken to preserve and restore these sites and places.
It should be noted that according the laws of the country, one representative will be added for each 150,000 people, but for the non-Muslims despite the number of the minority groups are less than the minimum, according the Constitution each minority group has one representative in the parliament. Adopting such a method guarantee the political participation of these Iranians through a mechanism which is called “guaranteed representative chair”.
As it has been mentioned in this item of the resolution, every one belongs to any ethnicity and religious minority groups will be legally examined in case of committing crime. In Islamic Republic of Iran, in the Constitution and Criminal Procedures Law and other laws, the issue of fair trial has been emphasized in all stages of trial from detection to issuing verdict regardless of considering ethnicity, religion, gender and race. In article 37 of the Constitution and articles 2 and 12 of the Islamic Punishment Law it has been specified that innocence is presumed and the law does not consider anyone guilty unless the person’s guilt is proven at a qualified court.
Besides religious minority groups, citizenship rights of Cult followers such as Baha’is are completely observed. It is obvious that observing citizenship rights of people depends on carrying out duties and legal obligations of individuals in the society; since the credibility of any right is conditioned to doing reciprocal obligations and this is a well-known legal principal in most legal and judicial systems that rights stand before obligation. Whereas in Islamic teachings, investigation into one’s idea and belief is strongly forbidden and as it has been clearly stated in article twenty-three of the Constitution, “ investigation into one’s ideas is forbidden. No one can be subjected to questioning and aggression for merely holding an opinion”: therefore, despite all biased political propaganda and several media especially by the some Baha’i Claims, no one has been prisoned or questioned because of holding a belief. Regarding seven mentioned Baha’is in this Paragraph, it should be noted that the arbitrary detention claim of the aforementioned people is baseless, since the criminal act of any person which has been tried legally and one’s crime has been proved in the qualified court after the accused and/or his/her attorney has been heard, that person will be considered guilty. Therefore according international standards those who have been issued the final verdict are not included in arbitrary detention and no one can neglect and ignore verdicts of the courts in the countries because of his/her political goals or personal interpretations and requests to change those verdict in the Resolutions.
Based on current laws and policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all Baha’is can benefit from civil rights and thus they enjoy from acceptable cultural, economical and social conditions. Baha’is in Iran are grateful to facilitations provided by governmental entities such as banks, Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, for prosperity in their businesses. The Islamic Republic of Iran maintains accountability measures for providing justice in judicial and civil affairs for followers of this cult.
Despite their small population, Baha’is are extensively active in many fields of production, trade, and services. They are active in the fields of eyeglasses, cooling and heating appliances, elevator, engineering companies, construction, agriculture and livestock, cosmetics and etc. They have done business with governmental entities on numerous occasions where sometime main customer of their products are governmental organizations, while the main source of investment for establishing and operating their business comes from large scale bank assistance and loans.
In this respect, companies such as Tavan Rah Sanaat, Shahin Mafsal, Paksaz Plastic, Bisan Pars, Pars Paya, Fanar Ghate, Ziba Rakhsh Arak, and Mansoor Asia Trading can be mentioned as examples, whose advertisements are widely observed in Iranian media. Baha’is benefit from trade activities such as Import/Export business card and their summoned wealth are in such a level that they provide financial donations to other nations, including African countries. Moreover, their general financial situation is in a reasonable level in a sense that there are almost no poor and needy persons among them. Regarding Baha’is employment in government, only organizational Baha’is are prohibited to undertake such roles, while there is no limitation for employment of Baha’is in the government who are not members of abolished or illegal organizations. There are currently a number of Baha’is employed by the government.
Considering the extension of the urban areas, many graveyards, including few Baha’is graveyards (where there are no new burials have happened for more than thirty years) have changed their use. Notably, new graveyards have been allocated for the Baha’is; therefore the claim raised in the Resolution regarding the destruction of the graveyards is completely baseless . other claims raised in this item regarding the violation of rights of the minorities are absolutely false, as well .
- 15- In practice, necessary measures have been taken with the creation of a central monitoring committee in provincial capitals which is tasked with making sure that the rights of the citizens are respected. Inspectors are dispatched to relevant authorities and any possible violations of the law will be dealt with. The authorities suspected of mistreating or torturing shall be prosecuted after their conduct is investigated by qualified committees. One example is the Kahrizak case which involved people who had tortured inmates and they were sentenced to such punishments as imprisonment, reparations and dismissal from government jobs. Necessary measures have been taken to compensate for the harm from which the victims suffered. Iran's judicial system is based on laws ratified by the representatives of the people at the parliament. All judicial verdicts are issued after legal proceedings and fair trial in accordance with the law. Therefore, administering punishment according to the laws approved in a democratic process does not count as torture.
It must be noticed that according to principle 38 of the Constitution, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, any type of torture is forbidden and according to articles 570, 578, 579 and 587 of Iran’s Penal Code and the paragraphs of the single article of the law on respecting legitimate freedoms and protecting the rights of citizens, those who commit torture or other misbehaviors, will be subject to a heavy punishment. Moreover, in order to control the proper enforcement of this law, in accordance with paragraph 15 of the executive directive, the Central Supervisory Board, in cooperation with provincial Supervisory boards, carries out the required inspections and takes the required legal action against any offence or commission of crime in this regard.
In the same line, in the past four years (2012-2016), 38557 inspections have been carried out of several thousand prisons and Police and judicial bodies all over the country. Also 11093 complaints and reports have been received from provincial boards and the central supervisory board for protecting the rights of citizens’ system for taking people’s reports, which have been considered. From this total, only 4332 cases were about the law on respecting legitimate freedoms and protecting the rights of citizens regarding which the central board and the provincial boards have taken the required measures based on the executive directive of the mentioned law. In the end, these have led to 622 cases of warning to judicial personnel and 385 cases of warning to administrative personnel. Also 128 cases were referred to the Disciplinary Court of Judges and 116 were referred to judicial bodies. In the total of inspections that were carried out, 511 people were encouraged by provincial boards for their precision in carrying out their assigned duties and for observing the rights of citizens. It is reminded that from the total of 4332 received reports and complains (including from inspections and the received complaints) which were investigated, only a small percentage included traceable cases of violating rights of citizens, regarding which required measures were taken. In accordance with paragraph B of article 9, articles 10, 14 to 17, article 39 and paragraph C of article 68, in case if a complainant claims to have received harm because of an offence, after considering the claim, and if it is proved, the court will order that the material and spiritual harms be compensated for.
- 16- During the several decades long life of the Islamic Republic of Iran, more than 35 elections have been held in Iran, which have been welcomed by the general public and their results have helped in circulation of power between different political parties and groups. In electoral laws of all political systems, presidential candidates must possess certain qualities which are determined by law. In the Islamic Republic of Iran as well, additional to the Constitution, people’s representatives in the Islamic Consultative Assembly have codified and ratified electoral laws based on the political, social, cultural and domestic conditions of Iran. The Guardian Council supervises proper enforcement of these laws. In Iran, elections are carried out by executive boards whose members are trusted by people and supervision of the Guardian Council does not go beyond the law. The mechanism of elections and the manner of supervising them, in terms of people’s right to participate in public administration, the right to equality toward the law and enjoyment from support of law via preserving domestic criteria, completely conforms to article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and no irrational or illegal discrimination is enforced regarding those who voluntarily participate in elections.
Existence of variety in ways of thinking and in parties of presidential candidates and elected presidents in Iran is indicative of the circulation of power between parties, political groups and independent individuals based on people’s votes and this brilliant record confirms that the mentioned allegations are pointless. This also confirms that Iran does not need the recommendations of others for securing transparent and free elections in the country. Considering the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution, performance of the Ministry of Interior and the Guardian Council during these years has managed to guarantee the popularity of presidents and to preserve the independence of elections. Also, the huge number of people who attend ballot boxes confirms their belief in the freedom and acceptability of elections in Iran.
- 17- According to election laws of any political system, in order to enter into parliament candidates should have qualifications, which are determined by law. In Islamic Republic of Iran as well, in addition to the Constitution, representatives of the people in the Consultative Assembly have regulated and ratified the election laws in accordance to political, social, cultural and indigenous conditions of the country and the Guardian Council is also supervising the proper implementation of these laws. In several decades age of the Islamic Republic of Iran more than 35 elections have ben held that all have been supported by the public participation and their results caused power shift, among different political parties and groups.
In Iran the executive board holds elections whose members are the trusted and elder citizens and therefore the supervision of the Guardian Council is not above the law. Election mechanism and the monitoring and observation process from the perspective of people participation right in conducting public affairs, the right to be equal before the law and benefiting the protection of law are completely compatible with article 25 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in no way at all is impose any discrimination on candidates who take part in election.
Having a parliament comprise of representative from all political parties and fractions as well as independent ones within the framework of the Constitution has always guaranteed the political vitality of the country. In all periods powerful and critical positions adopted by the Iranian parliaments and serious monitor and observation on all affairs of the country proves the importance of the parliament in political system of Iran. With regard to the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran, performance of the Ministry of Interior and the Guardian Council during all these years has been able to guarantee the public stands of the parliament and continues the independence of the parliament. Massive presence of the people in casting ballots for the parliament election proves their support to the position of the legislative power.
- 18- Islamic Republic of Iran has already joined several human rights conventions and treaties (17 items). It is also considering joining to some other conventions. It should be noted that the process of joining other international conventions needs to conform certain domestic formalities of studying, legislating and ratifying; something that is neglected by the Draft Resolution. The average number of the human rights conventions Iran has joined is more than many countries even some of the member states of the Human Rights Council, therefore mentioning such an paragraph in the Resolution is false, discriminatory and follows double standards.
In response to the recommendation for cooperation with the special rapporteur, it must be noticed that the continuation and expansion of IRI’s cooperation with this rapporteur has been such that after six years of rapporteurship he has acknowledged, in the final conclusion to his latest report, that “there are reliable elements and indexes in the Islamic Republic of Iran for developing human rights” and has expressed his hopefulness that this close acquaintance and constructive strategy be placed on the agenda of all relevant special procedures. Also, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that many paragraphs of the recent report and his final conclusion are the best proofs for confirming the normal and progressive conditions of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This approves the necessity of removing the pointless international supervision and rapporteurship and it is necessary that other human rights sectors of the United Nations, as well, pay attention to these realities and avoid suggesting and issuing political, unfounded and unconstructive resolutions.
Emphasizing on the point that joining international conventions is ultimately the sovereign authority of any country. It should be noted that the formation of the international conventions is based on the consent of the countries and accepting the reservations in order to have further participation of countries is in line with norms and new conventions. Adoption of resolution to persuade countries to remove the reservations is an incorrect procedure, for it would endanger and threaten all new conventions with the decline in the support of the countries in the future.
Islamic Republic of Iran has continued its constructive cooperation with United Nations Treaties institutions; also in line with this cooperation Iran has provided its periodical reports to relevant committees on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Also the government has a real interaction and participation with the Council in the second round of the UPR and invited special rapporteur on the right to food and has officially accepted the request of the visit of special rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. These interactions are confirmed in international conventions as part of Islamic Republic of Iran’s measures in line with practical intention as well as serious programming to constantly promote human rights. Islamic Republic of Iran in the context of promoting and protecting human rights has put in the agenda to have constant cooperation with human rights international mechanisms and has always been determined to expand its cooperation and interactions with the UN mechanisms.
Basically, establishing a Special Rapporteur in the areas of human rights for country like Iran which s committed to its obligations towards its fellow citizens and international community and has taken significant measures to promote the status of the human rights inside the country, is unjustified, meaningless and absolutely destructive. Also, the mechanism of the Country Special Rapporteur in the United Nations should be based on accurate, unbiased, non-discriminatory, fair and non-political comments. It should be noted that the Human Rights Council has been established to avoid any double standards and the UPR mechanism which is in the completing phase has been arranged based on equal responsibilities of all countries; therefore such a mechanism should not be weakened by talking parallel measures. Therefore, Islamic Republic of Iran believes that establishing a Special Rapporteur for Iran due to the above-mentioned fundamental reasons as well as because of the lack of realization and observing those elements, is an unacceptable measure. Therefore it expects the General Assembly of the United Nation should not allow to damage its own and affiliated institutions reputation by following such an approach and taking unprofessional measures.
In response to the recommendation of cooperating with the Special Rapporteur, it should be noted that the Special Rapporteur has neglected previous documented responses of the Islamic Republic of Iran and under the impression and using unauthentic sources, the same as previous reports, without ratifying and following the job description of the those who were established as Special Rapporteurs of Human Rights (subject of Document 5/2) has repeated some allegations. This mode of action is a clear indication that the Special Rapporteur has violated the stipulated regulations in the mention document as well as an implication of biased and unfair attitude toward the Iranian nation. Therefore, public confidence has been deprived of Special Rapporteur. Unequivocal support of the Special Rapporteur of terrorism under the title of “human rights defenders” and making a report with political motivations and in line with the certain countries foreign policy has disparaged the stand of the rapporteur. Although Islamic Republic of Iran considers establishing the Special Rapporteur as unjustified, meaningless and destructive, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Missions and other relevant officials have carried out meetings with him in the context of cooperation with United Nations Human Rights system and with intention of correcting the approach of the Rapporteur and providing report based on authentic information; this cooperation with the Rapporteur will continue.
Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys a serious will in order to respond all claims and human rights related correspondence and also provide any necessary transparent information. In this context in the provided responses to correspondence on human rights regarding the announced concerns in this item, Iran has informed reasonably and in detail by giving references to all legal foundation and practical procedures and the guarantee for implementation of each of them.
As it was mentioned, Islamic Republic of Iran has provided National Periodical Reports on Human Rights Conventions (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and has taken into consideration the recommendations of the relevant committees. It should be noted that National Reference on the Rights of the Child has been established in order to have further interaction and engagement with human rights institutions and implementation of the commitments.
As it was mentioned, in order to interact with special procedure, Islamic Republic of Iran has invited thematic rapporteurs an so far 7 thematic rapporteurs and independent working group have visited so that the average of the visit of the rapporteurs from Islamic Republic of Iran is more than many other countries and as it mentioned earlier, 2 thematic rapporteurs have been invited to the country. Also in the recent meeting of Iranian officials with the Iran’s Rapporteur and the officials of the High Commission Office issues regarding the future technical cooperation and “punishment relating to narcotic drugs” were discussed and invitation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Iran and “continuation of regional cooperation on human rights” were followed.
Islamic Republic of Iran has shown a high level of cooperation by providing National Report on implementing the recommendations of the first periods reviews in 2010 as well as sending a high level delegation to discuss issues in the meeting of Periodic Reviews on 31st of October 2014 and accepting 65 percent of recommendations. Some of the recommendations were not accepted due to their conflict with the Constitution and other statute laws and some because of disrespectful tone. After finishing its second UPR, Islamic Republic of Iran has started to implement the accepted recommendations by involving relevant institutions and organizations and civil society institutions. Iran in implementing the recommendations of the first UPR and providing the second National Report has benefitted the participation of the NGOs and civil society institutions as well and will continue this active participation in implementing the accepted recommendations in the second round.
On the process of establishing the national foundation, the High Council for Human Rights is preparing the bill of establishing this institution, which after the finalization will be sent for the ratification to turn into a law. It should be noted that, a great number of NGOs have been established that great portion of them are working on human rights promotion. Moreover, the High Council for Human Rights is involved in doing its tasks in protecting the citizens’ rights and coordinating between the members from Ministries and organizations in the High Council in order to promote and protect human rights and follow up the implementation of international commitments in the country by arranging annual programs.
- 19- As was stated in the initial paragraphs President Rouhani’s Cabinet attaches special attention to ethnic and religious minorities affairs and in this context the President has appointed a Special Assistant on ethnic, religious and denomination affairs. Further political participation of the women in important political capacities, appointing first female ambassador, appointing ambassadors from Sunni minority group, growth in the circulation of newspapers and magazines and facilitation in issuing media activity permit and so on and so forth are some indications to show the implementation of major portion of pledges made by the President during his Presidential Campaign.
- 20- As it was said, Islamic Republic of Iran has had constant cooperation with the “ Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights” in the context of interaction with United Nations Human Rights Mechanism through contact and cooperation with the High Commissioner at the level of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights, President’s Advisor and Head of Women and Family Affairs. As it was mentioned in part “b” of the previous item, Islamic Republic of Iran has had several cooperation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights such as in December 2011 Iran received a preliminary delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The delegation had several meetings with various government institutions as well as civil society ones and discussed the areas of further cooperation on human rights. and the secretary of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Human Rights Council, in 2016, in separate meetings with the High Commissioner of Human Rights, again invited him to travel to Iran.
There was also a delegation of High Council for Human Rights who visited the Office of the High Commissioner for the Human Rights on September 2014 and talked with officials of the Office in the framework of cooperation and interaction and invited Mr. zeid ra'ad zeid al-hussein to visit Iran and repeated the invitation in September 2015.
Islamic Republic of Iran has actively taken part in United Nations Human Rights meetings including meetings of the “ Third Committee of the General Assembly”, “ Human Rights Council” and “The Commission on the Status of Women” and in the meantime has presented its Periodical Reports to the mentioned committees. In April 2014 The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) approved Islamic Republic of Iran to join 5 affiliated institutions of the United Nations including The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW),The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations and Commission on Population and Development.
Islamic Republic of Iran also has had interaction and cooperation. In this connection the visit of senior delegation from International Organization of Labor (ILO) in 2014 can be mentioned to consider the implementation of the Convention 111(Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation) and eventually removing the issue of observing Iran in 103rd Meeting of International Organization of Labor from the agenda. In addition to the visit of Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in August 2014, Mr. Ian Eliasson Deputy Secretary- General of the United Nations visited Islamic Republic of Iran and discussed with Iran’s officials.
- 21- Selectively requesting Human Rights Rapporteurs to consider and provide reports on Iran’s human rights status is in contradiction of the positive developments and recent measures of Islamic Republic of Iran, which are mainly happened in the mentioned working areas and is acknowledged by any independent and fair references and sources. It is also neglected the constructive trend of the cooperation of Iran with the Office of the High commissioner for Human Rights as well as strictly following up the improvement in the relevant areas. Therefore, this strategy could damage the constructive and positives trend of cooperation, which should be seriously avoided.
- 22- Requesting the Secretary General to provide a draft resolution based on two parallel human rights reports to the Seventy two meeting of the General Assembly and Thirty four meeting of the Human Rights Council is considered a rework and is a waste of time and budget. It is while that Human Rights Council of the United Nations is the noblest specialized human rights foundation, which through the UPR mechanism considers the status of the countries equally. This issue is in contradiction with efforts and achievements of the country in promoting human rights and continuing the ongoing efforts and can merely considered in line with increasing the numbers of repeated reports and documents and unproductive.
Considering the numerous cases of Islamic Republic of Iran’s progress in Human Rights issues, which have been acknowledged in the current draft report, and the comprehensive points referred to the area of human rights, the Islamic Republic of Iran, like many other countries and unbiased entities interested in true promotion of human rights in the world, expect countries to pay close attention to the abovementioned and adopt a constructive position with regard to the draft in question and vote for its removal from the agenda.