The United Nations said that the human rights situation in Iran has gotten considerably worse since its previous report in August, citing executions (including of juveniles), discrimination against women and other marginalised groups, corporal punishment, free speech restrictions, and arbitrary arrests.The UN report reads: “The late Special Rapporteur [Asma Jahangir] had observed a worrying picture

developing in the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the issuance of her last report in August 2017. Despite assurances from the government, improvements are either not forthcoming or are being implemented very slowly and in piecemeal.”

These findings by Jahangir, who died in February, are set to be debated at the UN Human Rights Council.


The number of executions has reduced slightly, but Iran is still the number one executioner per capita in the world, with 482 executions reported in 2017.

This alarmed the UN not just because of the sheer number, but also because of serious, routine violations of the rights to a fair trial and due process.

Another matter of concern for the UN is the number of juvenile offenders being executed in Iran, despite international law that forbids the execution of people under 18 at the time of the offence.

Currently, there are at least 80 juvenile offenders on death row, but the number is likely more due to the Regime’s propensity for underplaying the real figures.

Treatment of Prisoners

The UN also reports the systematic abuse of prisoners, including torture, prolonged solitary confinement, violence, and sexual abuse, which are likely used to coerce confessions, especially on those who differ from the Regime in terms of ethnicity, religion, political views.

Prisoners are also given inadequate accommodation, which may include cramped, unhygienic cells with lack of food and water, and restricted bathroom access.

Crackdown on free expression

The UN also criticised Iran for its recent crackdown on free speech, which included, but was not limited to:

• closing 7 million web addresses, including social media sites and those belonging to human rights and political opposition groups

• harassing journalists and other media workers, including arresting them, detaining them, and putting travel bans on them

• intimidating Iranian trade unions and their members

Discrimination against women

The UN was also concerned about Iran’s repression of women, which includes, but is not limited to mandatory hijab laws, and few restrictions on child marriage.

Abuse of minorities

The UN is also concerned about persistent human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities, including the Yarsan, Baha’i, Kurdish and Baloch communities.

The report said: “The special rapporteur is also deeply concerned by reports of individuals from the Kurdish community having been persecuted, arrested and sentenced to death for their political affiliation or beliefs.”

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