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Report by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran – 2017


The Secretary-General of U.N. transmitted to the General Assembly the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, which has been submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 34/23.

During its thirty-third session, the Human Rights Council appointed Asma Jahangir as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. The present report outlines the activities carried out by the Special Rapporteur since the issuance of her first report to the Council (A/HRC/34/65), examines ongoing issues and presents some of the most recent and pressing developments in the area of human rights in the country.

It is noteworthy that recently Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in her speech on the anniversary of 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran stated: ‘It is essential that the UN Security Council refer this case to the International Criminal Court to arrange for the prosecution of the regime’s leaders and those responsible for the massacre. How the international community approaches this genocide and this crime against humanity is a litmus test of its adherence to the principles of human rights.

The following are excerpts of this report and relevant articles examining the violation of Human Rights specially the 1988 massacre of the political prisoners, mostly members and sympathizers of the PMOI/MEK. The titles for each article are chosen by us to clarify the subject of each paragraph an are not a part of the main report.


11. During the period of candidate registration, a total of 1,636 individuals, including 137 women, submitted their names as candidates for president. However, in April, the Guardian Co uncil, a body of six clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader that oversees the electoral process and vets the candidates, announced that the candidatures of only six men (0.37 per cent of the applicants) had been approved. Among them was Ebrahim Raisi, who reportedly had served on a committee that had ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

Hiding the crimes:

71. In March, families who visited a mass grave located in the city of Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province, where up to 170 political prisoners are believed t o be buried, reportedly discovered that the previously flat area had been covered with soil to create a raised mound over the grave. In mid -May, bulldozers were reportedly seen working on a construction project directly alongside the mass grave site at Ahvaz, located on a barren piece of land 3 km east of Behesht Abad Cemetery, where the remains of at least 44 people killed during the summer of 1988 are believed to be located. The plan is reportedly to ultimately raze the concrete block marking the grave si te and build a “green space” or commercial development over the site.

Surviving Witness

72. In her first report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur raised the case of Maryam Akbari Monfared, who had been denied medical treatment and threatened with the canc ellation of her visitation rights for having published a letter calling for an investigation into the executions of 1988. 43 In May, Ms. Akbari Monfared’s husband was summoned for interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and threatened with the prospect that his wife would face an additional three-year prison term and exile to a remote prison in Sistan and Baluchestan Province if she continued to write open letters about the 1988 events.

Death Committee:

73. Between July and August 1988, thousands of political prisoners, men, women and teen-agers, were reportedly executed pursuant to a fatwa issued by the then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. A three -man commission was reportedly created with a view to determining who should be executed. The bodies of the victims were reportedly buried in unmarked graves and their families never informed of their whereabouts. These events, known as the 1988 massacres, have never been officially acknowledged. In January 1989, the Special Representative of the Commission on Hman Rights on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, expressed concern over the “global denial” of the executions and called on Iranian authorities to conduct an investigation. Such an investigation has yet to be undertaken.44

Historical Revelation:

74. In August 2016, an audio recording of a meeting held in 1988 between high – level State officials and clerics was published. The recording revealed the names of the officials who had carried out and defended the executions, including t he current Minister of Justice, a current high court judge, and the head of one of the largest religious foundations in the country and candidate in the May presidential elections. Following the publication of the audio recording, some clerical authorities and the chief of the judiciary admitted that the executions had taken place and, in some instances, defended them.

New revelations:

70. During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur continued to receive information about the harassment, intimidation and prosecution of human rights defenders seeking truth and justice on behalf of individuals who had reportedly been summarily executed or forcibly disappeared during the 1980s.

Ongoing Medieval Punishments:

80. In June, the public and revolutionary prosecutor in Qazvin, Ismail Sadeghi Niaraki, announced that, out of the 90 people arrested for eating in public during the month of Ramadan, 20 had received flogging sentences, which had been carried out.50