Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Politics of the
Islamic Republic of Iran
|Government of Islamic Republic of Iran|
The state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized both by Iranians and international human right activists, writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned prior and ongoing abuses in Iran in published critiques and several resolutions. The government of Iran is criticized both for restrictions and punishments that follow the Islamic Republic's constitution and law, and for actions by state actors that do not, such as the torture, rape, and killing of political prisoners, and the beatings and killings of dissidents and other civilians.
Restrictions and punishments in the Islamic Republic of Iran which violate international human rights norms include harsh penalties for crimes, punishment of "victimless crimes" such as fornication and homosexuality, execution of offenders under 18 years of age, restrictions on freedom of speech and the press (including the imprisonment of journalists), and restrictions on freedom of religion and gender equality in the Islamic Republic's Constitution (especially attacks on members of the Bahá'í religion).
Reported abuses falling outside of the laws of the Islamic Republic that have been condemned include the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, and the widespread use of torture to extract repudiations by prisoners of their cause and comrades on video for propaganda purposes. Also condemned has been firebombings of newspaper offices and attacks on political protesters by "quasi-official organs of repression," particularly "Hezbollahi," and the murder of dozens of government opponents in the 1990s, allegedly by "rogue elements" of the government.
Under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s human rights record "has deteriorated markedly," according to Human Rights Watch, and following the 2009 election protests there were reports of killing of demonstrators, the torture, rape and killing of detained protesters, and the arrest and publicized mass trials of dozens of prominent opposition figures in which defendants "read confessions that bore every sign of being coerced." In October 2012 the United Nations human rights office stated Iranian authorities had engaged in a "severe clampdown" on journalists and human rights advocates.
Officials of the Islamic Republic have responded to criticism by stating that Iran has "the best human rights record" in the Muslim world; that it is not obliged to follow "the West's interpretation" of human rights; and that the Islamic Republic is a victim of "biased propaganda of enemies" which is "part of a greater plan against the world of Islam". According to Iranian officials, those who human rights activists say are peaceful political activists being denied due process rights are actually guilty of offenses against the national security of the country, and those protesters claiming Ahmadinejad stole the 2009 election are actually part of a foreign-backed plot to topple Iran's leaders.
After the election of Hassan Rouhani as President, he stated "Women must enjoy equal opportunity, equal protection and equal social rights", although Iran still has "a long way to go" to achieve gender equality. The topic of women's reform is contentious in Iran, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini saying that gender equality was "one of the biggest mistakes of Western thought."
On 19 December 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a Canadian-sponsored resolution expressing “serious concern” about Iran’s high rate of executions without legal safeguards, ongoing use of torture, widespread arbitrary detentions, sharp limits on freedom of assembly, expression, and religious belief, and continuing discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities.
- 1 Background
- 2 Constitutional and legal foundations
- 2.1 Explanations for violations
- 2.2 Rights under the constitution
- 2.3 Provisions in violation of Human Rights
- 3 Extralegal violations of human rights
- 4 Notable issues concerning human rights
- 4.1 Killings during the first decade
- 4.2 Extrajudicial killings
- 4.3 Deaths in custody
- 4.4 Capital punishment
- 4.5 Political freedom
- 4.6 LGBT issues
- 4.7 Gender inequality
- 4.8 Religious freedom
- 4.9 Ethnic minorities
- 5 Current situation
- 5.1 Freedom of expression
- 5.2 Deaths in custody
- 5.3 Freedom of religion
- 5.4 Ethnic issues
- 5.5 Gender inequality
- 5.6 Child executions in Iran
- 5.7 Significant activists
- 5.8 Organizations
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Islamic revolution is thought to have a significantly worse human rights record than the Pahlavi Dynasty it overthrew. According to political historian Ervand Abrahamian, "whereas less than 100 political prisoners had been executed between 1971 and 1979, more than 7900 were executed between 1981 and 1985. ... the prison system was centralized and drastically expanded ... Prison life was drastically worse under the Islamic Republic than under the Pahlavis. One who survived both writes that four months under [warden] Ladjevardi took the toll of four years under SAVAK. In the prison literature of the Pahlavi era, the recurring words had been ‘boredom’ and ‘monotony’. In that of the Islamic Republic, they were ‘fear’, ‘death’, ‘terror’, ‘horror’, and most frequent of all ‘nightmare’ (‘kabos’)."
However, the vast majority of killings of political prisoners occurred in the first decade of the Islamic Republic, after which violent repression lessened. With the rise of the Iranian reform movement and the election of moderate Iranian president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 numerous moves were made to modify the Iranian civil and penal codes in order to improve the human rights situation. The predominantly reformist parliament drafted several bills allowing increased freedom of speech, gender equality, and the banning of torture. These were all dismissed or significantly watered down by the Guardian Council and leading conservative figures in the Iranian government at the time.
According to The Economist magazine,
The Tehran spring of ten years ago has now given way to a bleak political winter. The new government continues to close down newspapers, silence dissenting voices and ban or censor books and websites. The peaceful demonstrations and protests of the Khatami era are no longer tolerated: in January 2007 security forces attacked striking bus drivers in Tehran and arrested hundreds of them. In March police beat hundreds of men and women who had assembled to commemorate International Women's Day.
Since the founding of the Islamic Republic, human rights violations of religious minorities have been the subject of resolutions and decisions by the United Nations and its human rights bodies, the Council of Europe, European Parliament and United States Congress. According to The Minority Rights Group, in 1985 Iran became "the fourth country ever in the history of the United Nations" to be placed on the agenda of the General Assembly because of "the severity and the extent of this human rights record". From 1984 to 2001, United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) passed resolutions about human rights violations against Iran's religious minorities especially the Bahá'ís. The UNCHR did not pass such a resolution in 2002, when the government of Iran extended an invitation to the UN "Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression" to visit the country and investigate complaints. However, according to the organization Human Rights Watch, when these officials did visit the country, found human rights conditions wanting and issued reports critical of the Islamic government, not only did the government not implement their recommendations", it retaliated "against witnesses who testified to the experts."
In 2003 the resolutions began again with Canada sponsoring a resolution criticizing Iran's "confirmed instances of torture, stoning as a method of execution and punishment such as flogging and amputations," following the death of an Iranian-born Canadian citizen, Zahra Kazemi, in an Iranian prison. The resolution has passed in the UN General Assembly every year since.
The European Union has also criticized the Islamic Republic's human rights record, expressing concern in 2005, 2007 and on 6 October 2008 presenting a message to Iran's ambassador in Paris expressing concern over the worsening human rights situation in Iran. On 13 October 2005, the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution condemning the Islamic government's disregard of the human rights of its citizens. Later that year, Iran's government announced it would suspend dialogue with the European Union concerning human rights in Iran. On 9 February 2010, the European Union and United States issued a joint statement condemning "continuing human rights violations" in Iran.
One observation made by non-governmental sources of the state of human rights in the Islamic Republic is that it is not so severe that the Iranian public is afraid to criticize its government publicly to strangers. In Syria "taxi driver[s] rarely talk politics; the Iranian[s] will talk of nothing else."
A theory of why human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic are not as severe as Syria, Afghanistan (under the Taliban), or Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) comes from the American journalist Elaine Sciolino who speculated that
Shiite Islam thrives on debate and discussion ... So freedom of thought and expression is essential to the system, at least within the top circles of religious leadership. And if the mullahs can behave that way among themselves in places like the holy city of Qom, how can the rest of a modern-day society be told it cannot think and explore the world of experience for itself?
Perspective of the Islamic Republic
Iranian officials have not always agreed on the state of human rights in Iran. In April 2004, reformist president Mohammad Khatami stated "we certainly have political prisoners [in Iran] and ... people who are in prison for their ideas." Two days later, however, he was contradicted by Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, saying "we have no political prisoners in Iran" because Iranian law does not mention such offenses, ... "The world may consider certain cases, by their nature, political crimes, but because we do not have a law in this regard, these are considered ordinary offenses."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other government officials have compared Iran's human rights record favorably to other countries, particularly countries that have criticized Iran's record. In a 2008 speech, he replied to a question about human rights by stating that Iran has fewer prisoners than the US and "the human rights situation in Iran is relatively a good one, when compared ... with some European countries and the United States."
In a 2007 speech to the United Nations, he commented on human rights only to say "certain powers" (unnamed) were guilty of violating it, "setting up secret prisons, abducting persons, trials and secret punishments without any regard to due process, .... " Islamic Republic officials have also attacked Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.
Constitutional and legal foundations
|This section duplicates the scope of other sections, specifically, Human rights in Iran#Constitutional and legal foundations. (April 2016)|
Explanations for violations
Among the explanations for violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic are:
The legal and governing principles upon which the Islamic Republic of Iran is based differ in some respects from the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Sharia law, as interpreted in the Islamic Republic (and by many Muslims), calls for inequality of rights between genders, religions, sexual orientation, as well as for other internationally criticised practices such as stoning as a method of execution. In 1984, Iran's representative to the United Nations, Sai Rajaie-Khorassani, declared the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be representing a "secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims and did not "accord with the system of values recognized by the Islamic Republic of Iran" which would "therefore not hesitate to violate its provisions."
- According to scholar Ervand Abrahamian, in the eyes of Iranian officials, "the survival of the Islamic Republic – and therefore of Islam itself – justified the means used," and trumped any right of the individual. In a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in early 1988, he declared Iran's Islamic government "a branch of the absolute governance of the Prophet of God" and "among the primary ordinances of Islam," having "precedence over all secondary ordinances such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage."
Rights under the constitution
The Iranian fundamental law or constitution calls for equal rights among races, ethnic groups (article 19). It calls for gender equality (article 20), and protection of the rights of women (article 21); freedom of expression (article 23); freedom of press and communication (article 24) and freedom of association (article 27). Three recognized religious minorities "are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies."
However, along with these guarantees the constitution includes what one scholar calls "ominous Catch-22s", such as "All laws and regulations must conform to the principles of Islam." The rights of women, of expression, of communication and association, of the press – are followed by modifiers such as "within the limits of the law", "within the precepts of Islam", "unless they attack the principles of Islam", "unless the Law states otherwise", "as long as it does not interfere with the precepts of Islam."
Provisions in violation of Human Rights
The Iranian penal code is derived from the Shari'a and is not always in compliance with international norms of human rights.
The Iranian penal code distinguishes two types of punishments: Hudud (fixed punishment) and the Qisas (retribution) or Diyya (Blood money or Talion Law). Punishments falling within the category of Hududs are applied to people committing offenses against the State, such as adultery, alcohol consumption, burglary or petty theft, rebellions against Islamic authority, apostasy and homosexual intercourse (considered contrary to the spirit of Islam). Punishments include death by hanging, stoning or decapitation, amputation or flagellation. Victims of private crimes, such as murder or rape, can exercise a right to retribution (Qisas) or decide to accept "blood money" (Diyyah or Talion Law).
Following traditional shariah punishment for thieves, courts in Iran have sometimes sentenced offenders to amputation of both "the right hand and left foot cut off, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the condemned to walk, even with a cane or crutches." This was the fate, for example, of five convicted robbers in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province in January 2008 according to the news agency ISNA.
Shariah also includes stoning and explicitly states that stones used must be small enough to not kill instantly. As of July 2010, the Iranian penal code authorizes stoning as a punishment. However, Iran says a new draft of the penal code that has removed stoning is currently under review by the Iranian parliament and has yet to be ratified.
The use of stoning as a punishment may be declining or banned altogether. In December 2002, Ayatollah Shahroudi, head of the judicial system, reportedly sent judges a memorandum requesting the suspension of stoning and asking them to choose other forms of sanctions. In 2005, Amnesty International reported that Iran was about to execute a woman by stoning for adultery. Amnesty urged Tehran to give reprieve to the woman. Her sentence is currently on hold pending "consideration by the pardons commission." According to the Iranian officials "Stoning has been dropped from the penal code for a long time, and in the Islamic republic, we do not see such punishments being carried out", said judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad. He added that if stoning sentences were passed by lower courts, they were overruled by higher courts and "no such verdicts have been carried out." According to Amnesty International, in July 2010, the Iranian parliament began considering a revision to its penal code that would ban stoning as a punishment.
The Iranian legislation does not accord the same rights to women as to men in all areas of the law.
- In the section of the penal code devoted to blood money, or Diyya, the value of woman's life is half that of a man ("for instance, if a car hit both on the street, the cash compensation due to the woman's family was half that due the man's")
- The testimony of a male witness is equivalent to that of two female witnesses.
- A woman needs her husband's permission to work outside the home or leave the country.
In the inheritance law of the Islamic Republic there are several instances where the woman is entitled to half the inheritance of the man. For example:
- If a man dies without offspring, his estate is inherited by his parents. If both the parents are alive, the mother receives 1/3 and the father 2/3 of the inheritance, unless the mother has a hojab (relative who reduces her part, such as brothers and sisters of the deceased (article 886)), in which case she shall receive 1/6, and the father 5/6. (Article 906)
- If the dead man's closest heirs are aunts and uncles, the part of the inheritance belonging to the uncle is twice that belonging to the aunt. (Article 920)
- When the heirs are children, the inheritance of the sons is twice that of the daughters. (Article 907)
- If the deceased leaves ancestors and brothers and sisters (kalaleh), 2/3s of the estate goes to the heirs which have relationship on the side of the father; and in dividing up this portion the males take twice the portion of the females; however, the 1/3 going to the heirs on the mother’s side is divided equally. (Article 924)
According to Zahra Eshraghi, granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini,
"Discrimination here [in Iran] is not just in the constitution. As a woman, if I want to get a passport to leave the country, have surgery, even to breathe almost, I must have permission from my husband."
- Compulsory hijab
Post-pubescent women are required to cover their hair and body in Iran and can be arrested for failing to do so.
Freedom of expression and media
The 1985 press law prohibits "discourse harmful to the principles of Islam" and "public interest", as referred to in Article 24 of the constitution, which according to Human Rights Watch provides "officials with ample opportunity to censor, restrict, and find offense."
Freedom and equality of religion
The constitution recognizes the freedom of Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and accords non-Shia Muslims "full respect" (article 12). However the Bahá'í Faith is banned. The Islamic Republic has stated Baha'is or their leadership are "an organized establishment linked to foreigners, the Zionists in particular," that threaten Iran. The International Federation for Human Rights and others believe the government's policy of persecution of Bahá'ís stems from some Bahá'í teachings challenging traditional Islamic religious doctrines – particularly the finality of Muhammad's prophethood – and place Bahá'ís outside the Islamic faith. Irreligious people are also not recognized and do not have basic rights such as education, becoming member of parliament etc.
Hudud statutes grant different punishments to Muslims and non-Muslims for the same crime. In the case of adultery, for example, a Muslim man who is convicted of committing adultery with a Muslim woman receives 100 lashes; the sentence for a non-Muslim man convicted of adultery with a Muslim woman is death. In 2004, inequality of "blood money" (diyeh) was eliminated, and the amount paid by a perpetrator for the death or wounding a Christian, Jew, or Zoroastrian man, was made the same as that for a Muslim. However, the International Religious Freedom Report reports that Baha'is were not included in the provision and their blood is considered Mobah, (i.e. it can be spilled with impunity).
Freedom to convert from Islam to another religion (apostasy), is prohibited and may be punishable by death. Article 23 of the constitution states, "the investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief." But another article, 167, gives judges the discretion "to deliver his judgment on the basis of authoritative Islamic sources and authentic fatwa (rulings issued by qualified clerical jurists)." The founder of the Islamic Republic, Islamic cleric Ruhollah Khomeini, who was a grand Ayatollah, ruled "that the penalty for conversion from Islam, or apostasy, is death."
At least two Iranians – Hashem Aghajari and Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari – have been arrested and charged with apostasy (though not executed), not for converting to another faith but for statements and/or activities deemed by courts of the Islamic Republic to be in violation of Islam, but which appear to outsiders to be simply expressions of political/religious reformism. Hashem Aghajari, was found guilty of apostasy for a speech urging Iranians to "not blindly follow" Islamic clerics; Hassan Youssefi Eshkevari was charged with apostasy for attending the reformist-oriented 'Iran After the Elections' Conference in Berlin Germany which was disrupted by anti-government demonstrators.
The small Protestant Christian minority in Iran have been subject to Islamic "government suspicion and hostility" according to Human Rights Watch at least in part because of their "readiness to accept and even seek out Muslim converts" as well as their Western origins. In the 1990s, two Muslim converts to Christianity who had become ministers were sentenced to death for apostasy and other charges.
In a 2008 report, the organization Human Rights Watch complained that "broadly worded `security laws`" in Iran are used "to arbitrarily suppress and punish individuals for peaceful political expression, association, and assembly, in breach of international human rights treaties to which Iran is party." For example, "connections to foreign institutions, persons, or sources of funding" are enough to bring criminal charges such as "undermining national security" against individuals.
Ahmad Batebi, a demonstrator in the July 1999 Student demonstrations in Iran, was given a death sentence for "propaganda against the Islamic Republic System." (His sentence was later reduced to 15, and then ten years imprisonment.) A photograph of Batebi holding a bloody shirt aloft was printed on the cover of The Economist magazine.
Despite signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran, according to human rights groups, is the world's largest executioner of juvenile offenders. As of May 2009, there were at least 137 known juvenile offenders awaiting execution in Iran, but the total number could be much higher as many death penalty cases in Iran are believed to go unreported. Of the 43 child offenders recorded as having been executed since 1990, 11 were still under the age of 18 at the time of their execution while the others were either kept on death row until they had reached 18 or were convicted and sentenced after reaching that age. Including at least one 13-year-old and 14-year-old.
A bill to set the minimum age for the death penalty at 18 years was examined by the parliament in December 2003, but it was not ratified by the Guardian Council of the Constitution, the unelected body that has veto power over parliamentary bills. In a September 2008 interview President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was asked about the execution of minors and replied that "the legal age in Iran is different from yours. It’s not eighteen ... it’s different in different countries."
On 10 Feb 2012 Iran's parliament changed the controversial law of executing juveniles. In the new law, the age of 18 (solar year) would be for both genders considered and juvenile offenders will be sentenced on a separate law than of adults."
Extralegal violations of human rights
A 2005 Human Rights Watch document criticizes "Parallel Institutions" (nahad-e movazi) in the Islamic Republic, "the quasi-official organs of repression that have become increasingly open in crushing student protests, detaining activists, writers, and journalists in secret prisons, and threatening pro-democracy speakers and audiences at public events." Under the control of the Office of the Supreme Leader, these groups set up arbitrary checkpoints around Tehran, uniformed police often refraining from directly confronting these plainclothes agents. "Illegal prisons, which are outside of the oversight of the National Prisons Office, are sites where political prisoners are abused, intimidated, and tortured with impunity."
According to dissident Akbar Ganji, what might appear to be "extra-legal" killings in Iran are actually not outside the penal code of the Islamic Republic since the code "authorises a citizen to assassinate another if he is judged to be ‘impious’," Some widely condemned punishments issued by the Islamic Republic – the torture of prisoners and the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 have been reported to follow at least some form of Islamic law and legal procedures, though they have also not been publicly acknowledged by the government.
Extra-legal acts may work in tandem with official actions, such as in the case of the newsweekly Tamadone Hormozgan in Bandar Abbas, where authorities arrested seven journalists in 2007 for "insulting Ayatollah Khomeini," while government organisations and Quranic schools organized vigilantes to "ransacked and set fire" to the paper's offices.
Torture and mistreatment of prisoners
Article 38 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic forbids "all forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information" and the "compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath." It also states that "any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value and credence."
Nonetheless human rights groups and observers have complained that torture is frequently used on political prisoners in Iran. In a study of torture in Iran published in 1999, Iranian-born political historian Ervand Abrahamian included Iran along with "Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, and early modern Europe" of the Inquisition and witch hunts, as societies that "can be considered to be in a league of their own" in the systematic use of torture.
Torture techniques used in the Islamic Republic include:
whipping, sometimes of the back but most often of the feet with the body tied on an iron bed; the qapani; deprivation of sleep; suspension from ceiling and high walls; twisting of forearms until they broke; crushing of hands and fingers between metal presses; insertion of sharp instruments under the fingernails; cigarette burns; submersion under water; standing in one place for hours on end; mock executions; and physical threats against family members. Of these, the most prevalent was the whipping of soles, obviously because it was explicitly sanctioned by the sharia.
Two "innovations" in torture not borrowed from the Shah's regime were
the ‘coffin’, and compulsory watching of – and even participation in – executions. Some were placed in small cubicles, [50cm x 80cm x 140cm (20 inches x 31.5 inches x 55 inches)] blindfolded and in absolute silence, for 17-hour stretches with two 15-minute breaks for eating and going to the toilet. These stints could last months – until the prisoner agreed to the interview. Few avoided the interview and also remained sane. Others were forced to join firing squads and remove dead bodies. When they returned to their cells with blood dripping from their hands, Their roommates surmised what had transpired. ...."
According to Abrahamian, torture became commonly used in the Islamic Republic because of its effectiveness in inducing political prisoners to make public confessions. Recorded and edited on videotape, the standard statements by prisoners included not only confessions to subversion and treason, but praise of the Islamic Revolution and denunciation or recantation of their former beliefs, former organization, former co-members, i.e. their life. These recantations served as powerful propaganda for both the Iranian public at large – who by the 1980s almost all had access to television and could watch prime time programs devoted to the taped confessions – and the recanters' former colleagues, for whom the denunciations were demoralizing and confusing. From the moment they arrived in prison, through their interrogation prisoners were asked if they were willing to give an "interview." (mosahebah) "Some remained incarcerated even after serving their sentences simply because they declined the honor of being interviewed."
Scholars disagree over whether at least some forms of torture have been made legal according to the Qanon-e Ta'zir (Discretionary Punishment Law) of the Islamic Republic. Abrahamian argues statutes forbidding ‘lying to the authorities’ and ability of clerics to be both interrogators and judges, applying an "indefinite series of 74 lashings until they obtain `honest answers`" without the delay of a trial, make this a legal form of torture. Another scholar, Christoph Werner, claims he could find no Ta'zir law mentioning lying to authorities but did find one specifically banning torture in order to obtain confessions.
Abrahamian also argues that a strong incentive to produce a confession by a defendant (and thus to pressure the defendant to confess) is the Islamic Republic's allowing of a defendant’s confession plus judges "reasoning" to constitute sufficient proof of guilt. He also states this is an innovation from the traditional sharia standard for (some) capital crimes of `two honest and righteous male witnesses`.
Several bills passed the Iranian Parliament that would have had Iran joining the international convention on banning torture in 2003 when reformists controlled Parliament, but were rejected by the Guardian Council. 
In March 2013 UK based medical charity Freedom from Torture( site) published a report providing detailed evidence of torture being practiced in Iran. "We Will Make You Forget Everything: New Evidence of Torture in Iran Since the 2009 Elections", is a study of 50 Iranian torture cases and provides an alarming insight into the brutality of the Iranian authorities in the years since the 2009 elections. The report found that torture was used by state officials as a method of repression, in order to obtain information and that a variety of torture methods were used in a highly systematic way. In one case a woman was raped twice during interrogations and some reported being forced to sign 'confessions' of their involvement in anti-regime activities.
Chronicle of Higher Education International, reports that the widespread practice of raping women imprisoned for engaging in political protest has been effective in keeping female college students "less outspoken and less likely to take part" in political demonstrations. The journal quotes an Iranian college student as saying, "most of the girls arrested are raped in jail. Families can't cope with that."
Notable issues concerning human rights
Killings during the first decade
As with many revolutions there were mass executions and killing of opponents during the early years of the Islamic Republic. Between January 1980 and the overthrow of President Abolhassan Banisadr in June 1981, at least 906 government opponents were executed. From June 1981 to June 1985, at least 8,000 were executed. Critics complained of brief trials lacking defense attorneys, juries, transparency or opportunity for the accused to defend themselves. In 1988, several thousand political prisoners were executed, estimates ranging somewhere between 8,000 and 30,000. Since the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini there have been fewer government sanctioned killings in Iran.
In the 1990s there were a number of unsolved murders and disappearances of intellectuals and political activists who had been critical of the Islamic Republic system in some way. In 1998 these complaints came to a head with the killing of three dissident writers (Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, Mohammad Mokhtari, Majid Sharif), a political leader (Dariush Forouhar) and his wife in the span of two months, in what became known as the Chain murders or 1998 Serial Murders of Iran. of Iranians who had been critical of the Islamic Republic system in some way. Altogether more than 80 writers, translators, poets, political activists, and ordinary citizens are thought to have been killed over the course of several years. The deputy security official of the Ministry of Information, Saeed Emami was arrested for the killings and later committed suicide, many believe higher level officials were responsible for the killings. According to Iranterror.com, "it was widely assumed that [Emami] was murdered in order to prevent the leak of sensitive information about Ministry of Intelligence and Security operations, which would have compromised the entire leadership of the Islamic Republic."
The attempted murder and serious crippling of Saeed Hajjarian, a Ministry of Intelligence operative-turned-journalist and reformer, is believed to be in retaliation for his help in uncovering the chain murders of Iran and his help to the Iranian reform movement in general. Hajjarian was shot in the head by Saeed Asgar, a member of the Basij in March 2000.
At the international level, a German court ordered the arrest of a standing minister of the Islamic Republic – Minister of Intelligence Ali Fallahian – in 1997 for directing the 1992 murder of three Iranian-Kurdish dissidents and their translator at a Berlin restaurant, known as the Mykonos restaurant assassinations.
Two minority religious figures killed during this era were Protestant Christians Reverend Mehdi Dibaj, and Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr. On 16 January 1994, Rev. Mehdi, a convert to Christianity was released from prison after more than ten years of confinement, "apparently as a result of the international pressure." About six months later he disappeared after leaving a Christian conference in Karaj and his body was found 5 July 1994 in a forest West of Tehran. Six months earlier the man responsible for leading a campaign to free him, Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr, had met a similar end, disappearing on 19 January 1994. His body was found in the street in Shahr-e Rey, a Tehran suburb.
Deaths in custody
In what has been called "an act of violence unprecedented in Iranian history" the Iranian government summarily, extrajudicially, and secretly executed thousands of political prisoners held in Iranian jails in the summer of 1988. According to Human Rights Watch the majority of prisoners had had unfair trials by the revolutionary courts, and in any case had not been sentenced to death. The "deliberate and systematic manner in which these extrajudicial executions took place constitutes a crime against humanity." The Iranian government has never "provided any information" on the executions because it has never acknowledged their existence. However, there is indication that government believed the prisoners were being tried according to Islamic law before being executed. According to reports of prisoners who escaped execution, the prisoners were all given a quick legal proceeding – however brief and unfair – with Mojahideen found guilty condemned as moharebs (those who war against God) and leftists as mortads (apostates from Islam). One complaint made against the mass killings was that almost all the prisoners executed had been arrested for relatively minor offenses, since those with serious charges had already been executed. The 1988 killings resembled the 'disappearances' of prisoners in 20th-century Latin America.
UN judge and leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson has urged the UN Security Council to set up a special court, along the lines of the International Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to try the men involved "for one of the worst single human rights atrocities since the Second World War."
Among those Iranians who have died under suspicious circumstances while in prison are
- Ali-Akbar Saidi Sirjani an Iranian writer, poet and journalist who died in prison in November 1994.
- In June 2003, Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist, died while in custody in Tehran's Evin prison. "Iranian authorities arrested her as she was photographing Evin prison. A few days later, Kazemi fell into a coma and died." Doctors examining her body determined that she died from a fractured skull and had been beaten, tortured, and raped.
Iran retains the death penalty for a large number of offenses, among them cursing the Prophet, certain drug offenses, murder, and certain hadd crimes, including adultery, incest, rape, fornication, drinking alcohol, "sodomy," same-sex sexual conduct between men without penetration, lesbianism, "being at enmity with God" (mohareb), and "corruption on earth" (Mofsed-e-filarz).
Although it is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which states that "[the] sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.”, Iran continues to execute children for various offenses.
In 2008 at 346 confirmed executions were carried out in Iran. In 2009, 252 people were officially executed but 300 more executions were unacknowledged by the government according to Human rights groups,
In the first half of 2011, human rights groups estimated that an average of two people a day were being executed. Officially the executions are related to drug trafficking, but independent observers have questioned this claim. An Iranian man, Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, was scheduled to be executed on 10 September 2012, on the charge of "enmity against God" (moharebeh) for his alleged support of a banned Iranian opposition group.
The Islamic government has not hesitated to crush peaceful political demonstrations. The Iran student riots, July 1999 were sparked by an attack by an estimated 400 paramilitary Hezbollah vigilantes on a student dormitory in retaliation for a small, peaceful student demonstration against the closure of the reformist newspaper, Salam earlier that day. "At least 20 people were hospitalized and hundreds were arrested," in the attack.
Political freedom has waxed and waned. Under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, beginning in 2005, Iran’s human rights record "deteriorated markedly" according to Human Rights Watch. Months-long arbitrary detentions of "peaceful activists, journalists, students, and human rights defenders" and often charged with "acting against national security," intensified.  the United Nations General Assembly expressed "deep concern" for Iran's human rights record In December 2008 Following the protests over the June 2009 presidential elections, dozens were killed, hundreds arrested – including dozens of opposition leaders – several journalists arrested or beaten.
According to a 2011 report by the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic appeared to be increasing, and hundreds of prisoners were secretly executed. Iran's deputy ambassador to the United Nations condemned the report.
2009 election protests
Dozens were reportedly killed and thousands arrested following the June 2009 elections. Human rights workers and international observers put the estimated dead at well over 100. Reports of abuse of detainees include "detainees being beaten to death by guards in overcrowded, stinking holding pens." Detainees "fingernails ripped off or ... forced to lick filthy toilet bowls." Among those killed in detention was Mohsen Rouhalamini, the son of an adviser to the conservative presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai. In response to complaints President Ahmadinejad issued a letter that called for "Islamic mercy" for detainees, and supreme leader Ali Khamenei intervened to close the "especially notorious" Kahrizak detention center.
Homosexual acts and adultery are criminal and punishable by life imprisonment or death after multiple offenses, and the same sentences apply to convictions for treason and apostasy. Those accused by the state of homosexual acts are routinely flogged and threatened with execution. Iran is one of seven countries in the world that apply the death penalty for homosexual acts; all of them justify this punishment with Islamic law. The Judiciary does not recognize the concept of sexual orientation, and thus from a legal standpoint there are no homosexuals or bisexuals, only heterosexuals committing homosexual acts.
For some years after the Iranian Revolution, transgender people were classified by the Judiciary as being homosexual and were thus subject to the same laws. However, in the mid-1980s the Judiciary began changing this policy and classifying transgender individuals as a distinct group, separate from homosexuals, granting them legal rights. Gender dysphoria is officially recognized in Iran today, and the Judiciary permits sexual reassignment surgery for those who can afford it. In the early 1960s, Ayatollah Khomeini had issued a ruling permitting gender reassignment, which has since been reconfirmed by Ayatollah Khamenei. Currently, Iran has between 15,000 and 20,000 transsexuals, according to official statistics, although unofficial estimates put the figure at up to 150,000. Iran carries out more gender change operations than any country in the world besides Thailand. Sex changes have been legal since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa authorising them nearly 25 years ago. Whereas homosexuality is considered a sin, transsexuality is categorised as an illness subject to cure. While the government seeks to keep its approval quiet, state support has increased since Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. His government has begun providing grants of £2,250 for operations and further funding for hormone therapy. It is also proposing loans of up to £2,750 to allow those undergoing surgery to start their own businesses.
Unequal value for women's testimony compared to that of a man, and traditional attitudes towards women's behavior and clothing as a way of explaining rape have made conviction for rape of women difficult if not impossible in Iran. One widely criticized case was that of Atefah Sahaaleh, who was executed by the state for 'inappropriate sexual relations', despite evidence she was most probably a rape victim.
Differences in blood money for men and women include victims and offenders. In 2003, the parents of Leila Fathi, an 11-year-old village girl from Sarghez who was raped and murdered, were asked to come up with the equivalent of thousands of US dollars to pay the blood money (diyya) for the execution of their daughter's killers because a woman's life is worth half that of a man's life.
Iran elected not to become a member of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2003, since the convention contradicted the Islamic Sharia law in Clause A of its single article. "Discriminatory provisions" against women in criminal and civil laws in Iran were declared "in urgent need of reform," and gender-based violence "widespread" by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a report released 20 Oct 2008.
|This section duplicates the scope of other sections, specifically, Human rights in Iran#Religious freedom. (April 2016)|
Amnesty International and others report that 202 Bahá’ís have been killed since the Islamic Revolution, with many more imprisoned, expelled from schools and workplaces, denied various benefits or denied registration for their marriages. Iranian Bahá'ís have also regularly had their homes ransacked or been banned from attending university or holding government jobs, and several hundred have received prison sentences for their religious beliefs, most recently for participating in study circles. Bahá'í cemeteries have been desecrated and property seized and occasionally demolished, including the House of Mírzá Buzurg, Bahá'u'lláh's father. The House of the Báb in Shiraz has been destroyed twice, and is one of three sites to which Bahá'ís perform pilgrimage.
The Islamic Republic has often stated that arrested Baha'is are being detained for "security issues" and are members of "an organized establishment linked to foreigners, the Zionists in particular." Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations, replies that "the best proof" that Bahais are being persecuted for their faith, not for anti-Iranian activity "is the fact that, time and again, Baha'is have been offered their freedom if they recant their Baha'i beliefs and convert to Islam ..."
Jews have lived in Iran for nearly 3,000 years and Iran is host to the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside of Israel. An estimated 25,000 Jews remain in the country, although approximately 75% of Iran's Jewish population has emigrated during and since the Islamic revolution of 1979 and Iran-Iraq war In the early days after the Islamic revolution in 1979, several Jews were executed on charges of Zionism and relations with Israel. Jews in Iran have constitutional rights equal to other Iranians, although they may not hold government jobs or become army officers. They have freedom to follow their religion, but are not granted the freedom to proselytize. Despite their small numbers, Jews are allotted one representative in parliament.
Iran's official government-controlled media published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1994 and 1999. Jewish children still attend Jewish schools where Hebrew and religious studies are taught, but Jewish principals have been replaced by Muslim ones, the curricula are government-supervised, and the Jewish Sabbath is no longer recognized. According to Jewish journalist Roger Cohen:
Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran – its sophistication and culture – than all the inflammatory rhetoric. That may be because I'm a Jew and have seldom been treated with such consistent warmth as in Iran.
Cohen's depiction of Jewish life in Iran sparked criticism from columnists and activists such as Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic Monthly and Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. In his Jerusalem Post op-ed, Medoff criticized Cohen for being "misled by the existence of synagogues" and further argued that Iranian Jews "are captives of the regime, and whatever they say is carefully calibrated not to get themselves into trouble." The American Jewish Committee also criticized Cohen's articles. Dr. Eran Lerman, director of the group's Middle East directory, argued that "Cohen’s need to argue away an unpleasant reality thus gives rise to systematic denial". Cohen responded on 2 March, defending his observations and further elaborating that "Iran’s Islamic Republic is no Third Reich redux. Nor is it a totalitarian state." He also stated that "life is more difficult for them [the Jews] than for Muslims, but to suggest they [Jews] inhabit a totalitarian hell is self-serving nonsense."
Non-government Muslim Shia issues
Muslim clerical opponents of the Islamic Republic's political system have not been spared imprisonment. According to an analyst quoted by Iran Press Service, "hundreds of clerics have been arrested, some defrocked, other left the ranks of the religion on their own, but most of them, including some popular political or intellectual figures such as Hojjatoleslam Abdollah Noori, a former Interior Minister or Hojjatoleslam Yousefi Eshkevari, an intellectual, or Hojjatoleslam Mohsen Kadivar", are "middle rank clerics."
Iran's Darvish are a persecuted minority. As late as the early 1900s, wandering darvish were a common sight in Iran. They are now much fewer in number and suffer from official opposition to the Sufi religion.
According to the official Iranian census from 2006 there has been 205,317 unreligious or irreligious people in Iran, including atheists, agnostics, sceptics. According to the Iranian constitution, irreligious persons can not become president of Iran.
Iran is a signatory to the convention to the elimination of racism. UNHCR found several positive aspects in the conduct of the Islamic republic with regards to ethnic minorities, positively citing its agreement to absorb Afghan refugees and participation from mixed ethnicities. However, the committee while acknowledging that teaching of minority languages and literature in schools is permitted, requested that Iran include more information in its next periodic report concerning the measures it has adopted to enable persons belonging to minorities to have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue and to have it used as a medium of instruction.
In May 2014 six young people in Tehran were arrested for making and posting a video in which they danced and lip-synched to the song, "Happy." The video was declared an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace," by Tehran's police chief Hossein Sajedinia, and "vulgar" by state media. Authorities forced the young people to repent on state TV, but later released them, possibly because of public opposition to the arrests. As of 21 May 2014 the director of the video is still in custody.
Freedom of expression
According to Amnesty International report, after May 2006 widespread demonstrations related to Iran newspaper cockroach cartoon controversy in Iranian Azerbaijan hundreds were arrested and some reportedly killed by the security forces, although official sources downplayed the scale of arrests and killings. Further arrests occurred, many around events and dates significant to the Azerbaijani community such as the Babek Castle gathering in Kalayber in June, and a boycott of the start of the new academic year over linguistic rights for the Azerbaijani community."
As of 2006[update], the Iranian government has been attempting to depoliticize Iran's student body or make it supportive of the government by stopping students that hold contrary political views from attending higher education, despite the acceptance of those students by their universities. According to Human Rights Watch, this practice has been coupled with academic suspensions, arrests, and jail terms.
According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, women’s rights advocates for the One Million Signatures Campaign have been "beaten, harassed and persecuted for peacefully demonstrating" and collecting signatures on behalf of their Campaign.
Some Iranian victims include:
- Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi
- Mansour Osanlou, president of the Executive Committee of the transport workers' trade union in Tehran, was arrested in 2005, 2006, and 2007 in connection with industrial action and protest by his union.
- Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand
- Farzad Kamangar
- Mansour Osanloo
- Emad Baghi
- Hadi Ghabel
During Iran’s 2013 presidential and local elections, dozens of opposition party members were serving prison sentences and prevented from participating. Opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi remained under house arrest or detention as of late 2013.
Prior to the election, the unelected Guardian Council, disqualified all but eight of the more than 680 registered presidential candidates using vague criteria that enabled authorities to make sweeping and arbitrary exclusions. (Nonetheless, turnout was high and voters overwhelmingly elected moderate Hassan Rouhani.)
While authorities released at least a dozen rights activists and political opposition figures following the president's inauguration, scores of others jailed for their affiliation with banned opposition parties, labor unions, and student groups remain in prison. The judiciary continued to target independent and unregistered trade unions.
Freedom of the press
|This section duplicates the scope of other sections, specifically, Human rights in Iran#Freedom of the press. (June 2015)|
In Freedom House's 2013 press freedom survey, Iran was ranked "Not Free", and among "The world’s eight worst-rated countries" (coming in 5th out of 196). According to the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index for 2013, Iran ranked 174th out of 179 nations. According to the International Press Institute and Reporters Without Borders, the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme National Security Council had imprisoned 50 journalists in 2007 and had all but eliminated press freedom. RWB has dubbed Iran the "Middle East's biggest prison for journalists." 85 newspapers, including 41 dailies, were shut down from 2000 to the end of 2002 following the passing of the "April 2000 press law." In 2003, that number was nearly 100. There are currently 45 journalists in prison a number surpassed only by Turkey with 49. The "red lines" of press censorship in Iran are said to be questioning rule by clerics (velayat-e faqih) and direct attacks on the Supreme Leader. Red lines have also drawn against writing that "insults Islam, is sexually explicit, "politically subversive," or is allegedly "confusing public opinion."
Journalists are frequently warned or summoned if they are perceived as critical of the government, and topics such as U.S. relations and the country's nuclear program are forbidden subjects for reporting.
In February 2008 the journalist Yaghoob Mirnehad was sentenced to death on charges of "membership in the terrorist Jundallah group as well as crimes against national security." Mirnehad was executed on 5 July 2008.
In November 2007 freelance journalist Adnan Hassanpour received a death sentence for "undermining national security," "spying," "separatist propaganda" and being a mohareb (fighter against God). He refused to sign a confessions, and it is theorized that he was arrested for his work with US-funded radio stations Radio Farda and Voice of America. Hassanpour's sentence was overturned on 4 September 2008, by the Tehran Supreme Court. Hassanpour still faces espionage charges.
In June 2008 the Iranian Ministry of Labor stated that the 4,000 member journalists' union, founded in 1997, was "fit for dissolution."
Human rights blogger and US National Press Club honoree Kouhyar Goudarzi has twice been arrested for his reporting, most recently on 31 July 2011. He is currently in detention, and his whereabouts are unknown. Following his second arrest, Amnesty International named him a prisoner of conscience.
In 2012 the journalist Marzieh Rasouli, who writes about culture and the arts for several of Iran's reformist and independent publications including Etemaad, Roozega, and Shargh, where she edited the music pages, was arrested and accused of collaborating with the BBC. In 2014 she was convicted of "spreading propaganda" and "disturbing the public order". She was sentenced to two years in prison and 50 lashes, and reported to Evin prison on 8 July 2014.
In 2003, Iranian ex-patriate director Babak Payami's film Silence Between Two Thoughts was seized by Iranian authorities, and Payami smuggled a digital copy out of Iran which was subsequently screened in several film festivals.
On 28 February 2008, Amnesty International called on the Iranian government "to stop persecuting people" involved in the "One Million Signatures" campaign or "Campaign for Equality" – an attempt to collect one million signatures "for a petition to push for an end to discrimination against women." According to AI, "Dozens of women have been arrested," suffered harassment, intimidation and imprisonment. One campaigner, Delaram Ali, 23, "was sentenced to nearly three years in prison and 10 lashes for participation in an illegal gathering". Her punishment has been suspended while her case is re-examined.
Blogger and political activist Samiye Tohidlou was sentenced to 50 lashes for her activities during protests at the 2009 presidential campaign. Activist Peyman Aref was sentenced to 74 lashes for writing an "insulting" open letter to President Ahmadinejad, in which he criticised the president's crackdown on politically active students. An unnamed Iranian journalist based in Tehran commented: "Lashing Aref for insulting Ahmadinejad is shocking and unprecedented."
Freedom of movement
On 8 May 2007 Haleh Esfandiari an Iranian American scholar in Iran visiting her 93-year-old mother, was detained in Evin Prison and kept in solitary confinement for more than 110 days. She was one of several visiting Iranian Americans prohibited from leaving Iran in 2007. In December 2008, the presidents of the American National Academy of Sciences issued a warning to "American scientists and academics" against traveling to Iran without ‘clear assurances’ that their personal safety ‘will be guaranteed and that they will be treated with dignity and respect’, after Glenn Schweitzer, who has coordinated the academies’ programs in Iran for the past decade, was detained and interrogated.
The Internet has grown faster in Iran than any other Middle Eastern country (aside from Israel) since 2000 but the government has censored dozens of websites it considers "non-Islamic" and harassed and imprisoned online journalists. In 2006 and again in 2010, the activist group Reporters Without Borders labeled Iran one of the 12 or 13 countries it designated "Enemies of the Internet" for stepped up efforts to censor the Internet and jail dissidents. It also ranked worst in "Freedom on the Net 2013 Global Scores". Reporters Without Borders also believes that it is the Iranian "government’s desire to rid the Iranian Internet of all independent information concerning the political opposition, the women’s movement and human rights”. Where the government cannot legally stop sites it uses advanced blocking software to prevent access to them. Many major sites have been blocked entirely such as Google, YouTube Amazon.com, Wikipedia, IMDB.com, Voice of America, BBC.
Deaths in custody
In the past few years several people have died in custody in the Islamic Republic, raising fears that "prisoners in the country are being denied medical treatment, possibly as an extra punishment." Two prisoners who died, allegedly after having "committed suicide" while in jail in northwestern Iran – but whose families reported no signs of behavior consistent with suicidal tendencies – are:
- Zahra Bani Yaghoub, (aka Zahra Bani-Ameri), a 27-year-old female physician died in October 2007 while in custody in the town of Hamedan.
- Ebrahim Lotfallahi, also 27, died in a detention center in the town of Sanandaj in January 2008. "On 15 January, officials from the detention center contacted Lotfallahi’s parents and informed them that they had buried their son in a local cemetery."
Political prisoners who recently died in prison under "suspicious circumstances" include:
- Akbar Mohammadi, a student activist, died in Evin prison on 30 July 2006, after waging a hunger strike. Originally sentenced to death for his participation in the pro-democracy July 1999 student riots, his sentence had been reduced to 15 years in prison. "Several sources told Human Rights Watch that after his arrest in 1999, Mohammadi was severely tortured and ill-treated, leading to serious health problems."
- Valiullah Faiz Mahdavi, also died after starting a hunger strike when his appeal for a temporary relief from prison was denied. His cause of death was officially listed as suicide.
- Omid Reza Mir Sayafi, a blogger, died in Evin Prison 18 March 2009, less than six weeks after starting a 30-month sentence.
- Amir Hossein Heshmat Saran, died "in suspicious circumstances" on 6 March 2009 after five years in prison for establishing the United National Front political party.
- Abdolreza Rajabi (1962-2008) was a member of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), who died unexpectedly in Reja'i Shahr Prison on 30 October 2008. He was transferred from Evin to Raja’i Shahr Prison before the news of his death was announced.
Freedom of religion
Around 2005 the situation of Bahá'ís is reported to have worsened; the United Nations Commission on Human Rights revealed an October 2005 confidential letter from Command Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Iran to identify Bahá'ís and to monitor their activities and in November 2005 the state-run and influential Kayhan newspaper, whose managing editor is appointed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, ran nearly three dozen articles defaming the Bahá'í Faith.
Due to these actions, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights stated on 20 March 2006 that she "also expresses concern that the information gained as a result of such monitoring will be used as a basis for the increased persecution of, and discrimination against, members of the Bahá'í faith, in violation of international standards. … The Special Rapporteur is concerned that this latest development indicates that the situation with regard to religious minorities in Iran is, in fact, deteriorating."
In March and in May 2008, "senior members" forming the leadership of the Bahá'í community in Iran were arrested by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence and taken to Evin prison.  They have not been charged, and they seem to be prisoners of conscience. The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center has stated that they are concerned for the safety of the Bahá'ís, and that the recent events are similar to the disappearance of 25 Bahá'í leaders in the early 1980s.
Muslim Shia issues
One opponent of theocracy, Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi and many of his followers were arrested in Tehran on 8 October 2006. As of 2015 Boroujerdi is in the ninth year of an 11-year prison sentence and despite "multiple health complications, including heart and respiratory problems and kidney stone complications and vision loss from cataracts", is being denied medical care.
According to Amnesty International's 2007 report, "Ethnic and religious minorities" in the Islamic Republic "remained subject to discriminatory laws and practices which continued to be a source of social and political unrest".
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: religious police|
In Spring 2007, Iranian police launched a crackdown against women accused of not covering up enough, arresting hundreds of women, some for wearing too tight an overcoat or letting too much hair showing from their headscarves. The campaign in the streets of major cities is the toughest such crackdown since the Islamic revolution. More than one million Iranians (mostly women) have been arrested in the past year (May 2007 – May 2008) for violating the state dress code according to a May 2008 NBC Today Show report by Matt Lauer.
"Guidance Patrols" (gasht-e ershâd) — often referred to as "religious police" in Western media – enforce Islamic moral values and dress codes. Reformist politicians have criticized the unpopular patrols but the patrols ‘interminable’ according to Iranian judicial authorities who have pointed out that in the Islamic Republic the president does not have control over the enforcement of dress codes.
Banning of women from universities
In August 2012, following years in which Iranian women students have outperformed Iranian male students, 36 universities announced that 77 BA and BSc courses would be "single gender" and not co-ed. Under this policy, undergraduate women are excluded from a wide variety of studies in leading institutions, including English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and business management. Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian Nobel laureate and human rights lawyer exiled in the United Kingdom, wrote to United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay over the move, saying that Iran's true agenda was to lower the proportion of female students from 65% to below 50%, which would weaken Iran's feminist movement in its campaign against discriminatory Islamic laws. Some Iranian parliamentarians have also criticized the new policy.
Child executions in Iran
Iran "leads the world in executing juvenile offenders – persons under 18 at the time of the crime" according to Human Rights Watch. International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran states that of the 32 executions of juvenile offenders that have taken place in the world since January 2005, 26 occurred in Iran. In 2007 Iran executed eight juvenile offenders. In July of that year, Amnesty International issued a comprehensive 46-page report titled Iran: The last executioner of children noting Iran had executed more children between 1990 and 2005 than any other state.
Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 6.5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) declares: "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age" and the article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides that: "Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offenses committed by persons below eighteen years of age".
In January 2005, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors states' compliance with the CRC, urged Iran to immediately stay all executions of child offenders and to abolish the use of the death penalty in such cases. In the summer of 2006, the Iranian Parliament reportedly passed a bill establishing special courts for children and adolescents. However, it has not yet been approved by the Council of Guardians, which supervises Iran's legislation to ensure conformity with Islamic principles. During the past four years, the Iranian authorities have reportedly been considering legislation to ban the death penalty for child offenders. Recent comments by a judiciary spokesperson indicates that the proposed law would only prohibit the death penalty for certain crimes, and not all crimes committed by children.
In spite of these efforts, the number of child offenders executed in Iran has risen during the past two years. As of July 2008, Stop Child Executions Campaign has recorded over 130 children facing executions in Iran.
In late 2007, Iranian authorities hanged Makwan Mouludzadeh in Kermanshah prison for crimes he is alleged to have committed when he was 13 years of age. According to Human Rights Watch, this was despite the fact that his accusers had recanted their statements and Mouladzadeh had repudiated his confession as being coerced by the police, and despite the fact that the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi, had ordered a unit of the Judiciary to investigate the case and refer it back to the Penal Court of Kermanshah, before any final decision on an execution.
The following individuals represent a partial list of individuals who are currently, or have in the past, significantly attempted to improve the human rights situation in Iran after the revolution in 1979.
- Shirin Ebadi
- Nasrin Sotoudeh
- Akbar Ganji
- Mehrangiz Kar
- Emad Baghi
- Abdolfattah Soltani
- Mohammad Ali Dadkhah
Iran has an Islamic Human Rights Commission, but it is "housed in a government building and headed by the chief of the judiciary," and is not considered to be particularly concerned with human rights abuses, according to Nobel peace prize laureate and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center Shirin Ebadi.
Other human rights organisations based in Iran include:
- High Council for Human rights, Judiciary of Islamic Republic of Iran
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners
- Be Like Others, a documentary film about transsexuality in Iran
- Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
- Defenders of Human Rights Center, Iran's leading Human Rights organization.
- Ethnic minorities in Iran
- Freedom of speech in Iran
- History of Islamic Republic of Iran
- International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
- International rankings of Iran
- Judicial system of Iran
- Religion in Iran
- Status of religious freedom in Iran
- Stop Child Executions Campaign
- Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei
- Reza Alinejad
- Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
- Emadeddin Baghi
- Delara Darabi
- Nazanin Fatehi
- Kouhyar Goudarzi
- Bahareh Hedayat
- Zeynab Jalaliyan
- Ateqeh Rajabi
- Marzieh Rasouli
- Nasrin Sotoudeh
- Majid Tavakoli
- Ahmad Reza Radan, who was in charge of 2007 moralization plan
- Iran rejects UN report on 'rights abuses' Archived 25 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine. aljazeera.net 20 October 2011
- Ehsan Zarrokh (,Ehsan and Gaeini, M. Rahman). "Iranian Legal System and Human Rights Protection" The Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World e-journal, New York law school 3.2 (2009).
- Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran, University of California Press, 1999, p.4
- "Rights Crisis Escalates Faces and Cases from Ahmadinejad's Crackdown, 20 September 2008". Iranhumanrights.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iran reformer says he wants to present rape evidence, 19 August 2009". Reuters.com. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Worth, Robert F. (29 July 2009). "Reports of Prison Abuse and Deaths Anger Iranians. ROBERT F. WORTH. 28 July 2009". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director (21 September 2009). "Iran: Appoint Special UN Envoy to Investigate Rights Crisis". Hrw.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Robert F. Worth; Nazila Fathi (14 June 2009). "Opposition Members Detained in a Tense Iran". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
- Iran reformists arrested after Tehran riots. London: Times Online. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- Iran Engaged in ‘Severe Clampdown’ on Critics, U.N. Says. New York: nytimes.com. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- Iran has best human rights record in the Muslim world quoting Ali Akbar Salehi| Tehran Times| 28 February 2012| accessed 29 February 2012
- "Islamic world urged to stand against Western-style human rights Tehran, 15 May, IRNA". .irna.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Human rights fully respected in Iran: Judiciary chief Tehran, April 10, IRNA". .irna.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iran: End Widespread Crackdown on Civil Society". Hrw.org. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Testimony in Iran Trial Ties Mousavi to Unrest. Thomas Erdbrink. Washington Post. 17 August 2009". Washingtonpost.com. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iran President Rouhani urges equal rights for women". BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "UN General Assembly Rebukes Iran for Human Rights Record – Iran Press Watch". iranpresswatch.org. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
- source: Anonymous "Prison and Imprisonment", Mojahed, 174–256 (20 October 1983 – 8 August 1985)
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions (1999), p.135-6, 167, 169
- "The Latter-Day Sultan, Power and Politics in Iran" By Akbar Ganji From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2008
- "Men of principle", The Economist. London: 21 July 2007. Vol. 384, Iss. 8538; pg. 5
- Affolter, Friedrich W. (2005). "The Specter of Ideological Genocide: The Bahá'ís of Iran" (PDF). War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. 1 (1): 59–89. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2007.
- Cooper, R. (1995). The Bahá'ís of Iran: The Minority Rights Group Report 51. London, UK: The Minority Rights Group LTD.
- "Human Rights Overview 2005". Hrw.org. 31 December 2004. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Canadian-sponsored human rights resolution against Iran passes". 21 November 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "U.N. Assembly Chides Iran on Human Rights By BENNY AVNI, Staff Reporter of the Sun | 21 November 2007". Nysun.com. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "MEPs review progress on human rights in the world in 2007". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- EU chides Iran on human rights [dead link] 8.10.2008
- "Iran, events of 2006". Hrw.org. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Obama, European Union combine to condemn Iran over human rights, usa today 8 February 2010
- Molavi, Afshin, The Soul of Iran, Norton, (2005), p.296
- Sciolino, Elaine, Persian Mirrors : the Elusive Face of Iran, Free Press, 2000, 2005, p.247
- John Pike (3 May 2004). "Iran Report, A Weekly Review of Developments in and Pertaining to Iran, 3 May 2004". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Tehran Times". Tehran Times. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the Threat of US Attack and International Criticism of Iran's Human Rights Record". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- cnn.com, Iran's leader slams 'arrogant' powers in U.N. address, 25 September 2007 This was seen as "a veiled but unmistakable criticism of the United States" extraordinary rendition and domestic surveillance under the USA PATRIOT Act:
- Refah Revisited: Strasbourg's Construction of Islam, by Christian Moe, Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, published at the site of The Strasbourg Conference
- United Nations General Assembly. 39th Session. Third Committee. 65th meeting, held on 7 December 1984 at 3 pm New York. A/C.3/39/SR.65. quoted by Luiza Maria Gontowska, Human Rights Violations Under the Sharia'a, A Comparative Study of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, May 2005, p.4
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions", 1999, p.137
- Hamid Algar, `Development of the Concept of velayat-i faqih since the Islamic Revolution in Iran,` paper presented at London Conference on wilayat al-faqih, in June 1988 [p.135-8]
- Also Ressalat, Tehran, 7 January 1988, Khomeini on how Laws in Iran will strictly adhere to God's perfect and unchanging divine law
- (French) L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, Jacques Leclerc, CIRAL (Centre international de recherche en aménagement linguistique), Université Laval
- Iranian constitution Article 13 "Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, 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."
- Abrahamian, Ervand, History of Modern Iran, Columbia University Press, 2008, p.167
- "The Iranian Legal Framework And International Law". Hrw.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Prof. Dr. Axel Tschentscher, LL.M. "Iran – Constitution". Servat.unibe.ch. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- `The Complete Text of the Retribution Law` Iran Times, 6 March 1981. See also: 22 May 1981, 15 October 1982. Quoted in Tortured Confessions by Ervand Abrahamian, University of California Press, 1999, p.133
- 15 January 2008 (15 January 2008). "Iran: Death by stoning, a grotesque and unacceptable penalty. 15 January 2008". Amnesty.org. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- (English) Iranian Civil Code, NATLEX . Retrieved 21 August 2006.
- "Spate of Executions and Amputations in Iran". The New York Times. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- BBC article "Iran denies execution by stoning", which includes the statement "Iranian law specifies exactly how stoning should be carried out, saying stones must be small enough not to kill instantly".
- "Iranian women escapes death penalty by stoning (which includes the statement "Stoning is part of Sharia Law that mandates that a stone not be too big to kill too soon, or too small to unnecessarily prolong the death)". Allvoices.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014.
- Book title: Death defying: dismantling the execution machinery in 21st century, Author: Pam McAllister, Page: 23
- "The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women" (PDF). Stop-killing.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-28.[dead link]
- "Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Amnesty International". Amnesty.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "BBC: Iran denies execution by stoning". BBC News. 11 January 2005. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Human Rights in Iran 2007 MEHR.org p.4,5
- Ebadi, Shirin, Iran Awakening : A Memoir of Revolution and Hope, by Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni, Random House, 2006, p.117
- "Islamic Penal Code of Iran, article 300" (PDF). Mehr.org.
- "Women act against repression and intimidation in Iran, 28 February 2008". Amnesty.org. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- (French) Report by the special UN envoy, edited by Human Rights Internet, 2001.
- "Analyses Private Relations in Iranian Civil Code by ehsan zarrokh". Legal-articles.deysot.com. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Daily Telegraph, June 19, 2005, "If I want to breathe I must have permission of my husband", by Colin Freeman quoted in http://mehr.org/HumanRightsinIran07.pdf
- Iran vows crackdown on 'inappropriately' dressed women, AFP (Yahoo! News), 24 February 2007, via the Wayback Machine
- "Iran arrests Bahai 'leadership' 19 May 2008". BBC News. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "22 May 2008. "Iran 'plans to destroy Baha'i community'"". Cnn.com. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran" (PDF). International Federation of Human Rights. August 2003. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- Kamguian, Azam. "The Fate of Infidels and Apostates under Islam", International Humanist and Ethical Union, 21 June 2005.
- "hrw.org, Iran – THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK". Hrw.org. 22 May 1992. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iran. International Religious Freedom Report 2004. Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor". State.gov. 1 January 2004. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Iranian academic sentenced to death| bbc.co.uk| 7 November 2002.
- "hrw.org, November 9, 2002 Iran: Academic's Death Sentence Condemned". Hrw.org. Archived from the original on 13 November 2002. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iran: Trial for Conference Attendees". Hrw.org. 2 November 2000. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Human Rights Watch: Religious minorities in Iran (1997)". Hrw.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iranian activists fight child executions - USATODAY.com". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- CHILD EXECUTION IN IRAN AND ITS LEGALITY UNDER THE ISLAMIC LAW
- "John Howell MP - News". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Background Information: Stop Child Executions in Iran". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Iran: Execution of child offender Makwan Moloudazdeh is a mockery of justice". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Execution of Juveniles in Iran: prisoner executed for murder committed at age 14; another juvenile offender scheduled for execution Tomorrow - Iran Human Rights". Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- (French) "Eléments sur le statut juridique des femmes et la peine de mort des mineurs en Iran" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-10. (90.6 KB), SAFIR, 28 February 2005.
- "Iran changes law for execution of juveniles". Archived from the original on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "ghanoononline.ir". ghanoononline.ir. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Overview of human rights issues in Iran, January 2005
- Interview with Akbar Ganji, Le Monde, 6 June 2006.
- Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p.209-228
- "Reporters sans frontières -". Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran
- Manou & Associates Inc. "3-The Rights of the People". Iranonline.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions 1999, p.5
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, 1999, p.139
- Democratic Society of Iranians in France, Dar Rahruha-ye Khon: Yazdah Gozaresh (In the Labyrinth of Blood: Eleven Eyewitness Accounts) (Paris, 1984), p.12 (p.139)
- Human Rights & Democracy for Iran __ Iran TV "Confessions" Breach Suspects’ Rights 2012
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, 1999, p.5
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, 1999, p.138
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, 1999, p.133
- Werner, Christoph (1 November 2000). "Review of Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 27 (2): 239–240. JSTOR 826111.
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, 1999, p.134
- Iran: Guardian Council turns down Majlis bills on women's rights, torture ban, Payvand's Iran News, 13 August 2003.
- Iran: Ban on Torture Rejected, New York Times, 10 January 2003
- Torture in Iran after 2009
- 1 August 2008, "Among Scholars, Resistance and Resilience in Iran, Tradition of dissent survives despite government pressure" By AISHA LABI, Chronicle of Higher Education International
- Source: Letter from Amnesty International to the Shaul Bakhash, 6 July 1982. Quoted in The Reign of the Ayatollahs by Shaul Bakhash, p.111
- Abrahamian, Ervand, History of Modern Iran, Columbia University Press, 2008, p.181
- Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs (1984), p. 61.
- "Massacre 1988 (Pdf)" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Memories of a slaughter in Iran". Iranfocus.com. 5 September 2004. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Khomeini fatwa 'led to killing of 30,000 in Iran'". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Killing of three rebel writers turns hope into fear in Iran", Douglas Jehl, New York Times, 14 December 1998 p.A6
- John Pike (5 February 2001). "RFE/RL Iran Report. 5 February 2001". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Sciolino, Persian Mirrors, 2000, p.241
- "A Man Called Saeed Emani". Iranterror.com. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Ebadi, Iran Awakening, 2006, p.132
- BERLIN COURT SAYS TOP IRAN LEADERS ORDERED KILLINGS, New York Times 11 April 1997
- Tortured Confessions by Ervand Abrahamian, University of California Press, 1999, p.210
- "Pour-Mohammadi and the 1988 Prison Massacres, December 2005". Hrw.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, 1999, p.210
- Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p.217
- "Iran: Imprisoned Dissident Dies in Custody". Hrw.org. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iranian dissident 'admits' working for US". aljazeera.net. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2006.
- Iran and Saudi Arabia: Laws that Treat Children as Adults hrw.org
- International Convention on Civil and Political Rights: Article 6, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- "EXECUTIONS IN 2008". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Rights groups: Iran increasing executions". Upi.com. 8 July 2011.
- Amnesty International, "Iran: Man at Risk of Execution (UA 240/12)", 13 August 2012.
- Ebadi, Iran Awakening, 2006, p.149
- Iran sacks police chiefs over student protest crackdown Archived 28 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- Report 2001, Islamic Republic of Iran, Amnesty International Archived 11 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Confronting State Terrorism, Asian Centre for Human Rights Review, Special Issues for 60th Session of the UNHCR, 24 March 2004 Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN[dead link]
- "News". 27 April 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Iran accuses US of meddling after disputed vote. By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, 17 June 2009 Archived 22 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Borzou Daragahi (29 July 2009). "Iran hard-liners warn Ahmadinejad he could be deposed". Latimes.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "16th June 2009, End Violence against Peaceful Protests". Iranhumanrights.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Farhad Tajari (deputy chief of the parliament's judicial and legal commission) told the Iranian Labor News Agency that "evidence shows that ultimately 30 people were killed" (source: Reports: 50 'political figures' among Iranian detainees. 30 July 2009
- "Reports: 50 'political figures' among Iranian detainees. 30 July 2009". Edition.cnn.com. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Individuals executed for homosexual offences Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Omid: A Memorial in Defense of Human Rights. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
- Mixed reports on Iran hangings Archived 24 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine., Washington Blade, 29 July 2005, regarding the executions of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Country Information Report: Iran, 2004" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2012. (356 KB), Safra Project, 2004 Archived 16 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Communication No.190/2001 Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine., Decisions of the United Nations Committee Against Torture under article 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 26 May 2003 Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
- Netherlands: Asylum Rights Granted to Lesbian and Gay Iranians, Human Rights Watch, 19 October 2006
- Iran's state murder of gays: Victims framed for kidnap and rape, Peter Tatchell's blog, 20 April 2006 Archived 23 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Saviz Shafaie: An Iranian gay activist leader, interview by Jack Nichols, Badpuppy Gay Today, 27 May 1997
- Ahmadinejad speaks; outrage and controversy follow Archived 6 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine., CNN.com, 24 September 2007
- "The story of Maryam Hatoon Molkara (Iran)". Ai.eecs.umich.edu. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Iran's sex-change operations, BBC Newsnight, 5 January 2005.
- Sex change funding undermines no gays claim, The Guardian, 26 September 2007.
- "Rape under a fundamentalist regime". Iran-bulletin.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Terzieff, Juliette (31 July 2003). "Women in Iran Deem Rape Laws Unfair, 12/21/03 By Shadi Sadr". Womensenews.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Amnesty International Outraged at Execution of a 16 Year Old Girl". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Execution of a teenage girl". BBC News. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Why is Shirin Ebadi still risking her life?". Accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.[dead link]
- Reuters Editorial (20 October 2008). "U.N. concerned on Iran human rights". Reuters. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Amnesty International (October 1996). "Dhabihullah Mahrami: Prisoner of Conscience". AI INDEX: MDE 13/34/96. Archived from the original on 23 February 2003. Retrieved 20 October 2006.
- "Iran, Islamic Republic of". Netherlands Institute of Human Rights. 8 March 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2006.
- "Bahá'í International Community dismayed at lack of Human Rights Resolution on Iran". Bahá'í International Community. Religion News Service. 14 April 2005. Archived from the original on 21 February 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2006.
- The Jews of Iran, Jewish Virtual Library
- Iranian-Jews reject calls to leave Iran, The Jewish Daily Forward, 10 January 2007
- Jeffrey Goldberg (26 February 2009). "Roger Cohen's Very Happy Visit with Iran's Jews (Feb 2009)". The Atlantic. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Roger Cohen's Very Happy Visit with Iran's Jews. Jeffrey Goldberg's Atlantic Blog. Published 26 February 2009.
- Medoff, Rafael (26 February 2009). "Don't turn Iran's Jews into a political football". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
- AJC Responds to Roger Cohen Columns on Iran. By Dr. Eran Lerman. American Jewish Committee. Published 13 April 2009.
- Cohen, Roger (1 March 2009). "Iran, the Jews and Germany". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "Arrest of a High Ranking Cleric is a Return to Revolutionary Times, October 10, 2006". Iran-press-service.com. 10 October 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- 3 May 2011 by Tom Thumb. (3 May 2011). "Dervishes in Iran and Sufis in Kurdistan". Roadjunky.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari. The Last of the Khans: The life of Morteza Quli Khan Samsam Bakhtiari. iUniverse, New York, 2006. 215 pages. ISBN 978-0-595-38248-4.
- "Statistical Centre of Iran: 11. Population by sex and religion (2006)". Amar.sci.org.ir. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "United Nations Human Rights Website – Treaty Bodies Database – Document – Concluding Observations/Comments – Iran (Islamic Republic of)". Unhchr.ch. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Ahmad, Shaheed (13 March 2014). "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran" (PDF). p. 18. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Abedine, Saad. "'Happy' video dancers, but not director, freed in Iran, group says". 21 May 2014. CNN. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Ghitis, Frida. "In Iran, happy gets you arrested". 21 May 2014. CNN. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Iran, annual Report, 2007, Amnesty International
- Iran: End Ban on Access to Higher Education, Reuters AlertNet, 18 October 2006
- "Rights Crisis Escalates Faces and Cases from Ahmadinejad's Crackdown, September 20, 2008". Iranhumanrights.org.
- "WORLD REPORT 2014. Iran". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "2013 Freedom of the Press Report: Iran". November 2013.
- Freedom of the Press 2013
- "Overview Essay". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- 2013 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX Archived 15 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- nine journalists remain in prison at year’s end and the opposition press has all but been quashed through successive closure orders[dead link], International Press Institute region review.
- IRAN - 2003 ANNUAL REPORT
- "Emadoldin Baghi freed, but Iran still Middle East's biggest prison for journalists". RSF. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Reporters without Borders, Iran – 2003 Annual report". Rsf.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- THE INTERNET UNDER SURVEILLANCE OBSTACLES TO THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION ONLINE - REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS 2003 REPORT
- "Journalists in prison reach record high: Turkey, Iran, and China among leading jailers". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Molavi, Afshin, The Soul of Iran, Norton, (2005), p.130
- The press in Iran, BBC country profile. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- Gelb, Leslie H. "US". Topics.nytimes.com. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Journalist Sentenced to Death in Iran, Accused of Terrorism, Nazila Fathi, New York Times, 21 February 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- "First executed Iranian blogger: Yaghoob Mehrnehad". Rottengods.com. 7 August 2008. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Iran – Annual report 2008, Reporters Without Borders. Archived 30 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Quashing of the death sentence of Mr. Adnan Hassanpour – IRN 007 / 0807 / OBS 092.2". Fidh.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "IRAN: Court overturns death sentence but journalist faces espionage charges". Cpj.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Iran journalists union to resist government pressure, Kuwait Times, 29 June 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008. Archived 19 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Saeed Kamali Dehghan (4 October 2011). "Pressure on Iran over missing activist". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Urgent Action: Increasing concerns for safety of Goudarzi". Amnesty International. 30 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (8 July 2014). "Iranian reporter sentenced to two years in prison and fifty lashes". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Lo_so (11 June 2004). "Sokoote beine do fekr (2003) - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Babak Payami - News". IMDb. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "BBC News, Iran 'targeting' women activists 28 February 2008". BBC News. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Richard Hooker says:. "Young Political Activist Receives 50 Lashes for Blogging". Iranhumanrights.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (9 October 2011). "Iranian lashed 74 times for 'insult' to Ahmadinejad". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
Peyman Aref [...] has been lashed 74 times for insulting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. [...] In a letter to the president during his 2009 election campaign, Aref attacked Ahmadinejad for his crackdown on students who had been politically active at university and barred from continuing with their studies. [...] "Lashing people sentenced to various charges such as those caught drinking alcohol is common in Iran but political activists are usually lashed for ambiguous charges such as desecrating Islam or prophets," said an Iranian journalist based in Tehran who asked not to be named. "Lashing Aref for insulting Ahmadinejad is shocking and unprecedented."
- Menkes, Suzy (17 September 2013). ""Iranian-American academic held in notorious Iran prison", 9 May 2007". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- [National Academies Presidents Issue Warning on Travel to Iran, 29 December 2008].
- Robert Tait. "Censorship fears rise as Iran blocks access to top websites". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- RSF Internet Iran (circa 2004)
- Tait, R. (2006.) "Censorship fears rise as Iran blocks access to top websites". The Guardian UK. Retrieved 9 December 2006.
- Reporters Without Borders. (2010). "Web 2.0 versus Control 2.0 - The Enemies of the Internet 2010" Archived 21 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Report finds online censorship more sophisticated By ANICK JESDANUN, 11 March 2010
- Independent news website closed, blog platform briefly blocked, Reporters Without Borders, 28 September 2006
- "Internet Filtering in Iran in 2004-2005: A Country Study". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Yeganeh Torbati (10 March 2013). "Iran blocks use of tool to get around Internet filter". Reuters. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- the CNN Wire Staff (24 September 2012). "Iran blocks YouTube, Google over Mohammed video". CNN. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Iran issues list of banned websites
- "Iran: Investigate Detention Deaths". Hrw.org. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- IHRV. "Mysterious death of the Political prisoners in Iran. By IHRV | March 25, 2009". Ihrv.org. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Mother and Wife of Ailing, Imprisoned Labor Leader Plead for His Release. 18 May 2009 Retrieved 19 May 2009.
- Deaths in custody in Iran highlight prison authorities' disregard for life. 20 March 2009 Retrieved 19 May 2009.
- CNN (16 May 2008). "Iran'sااتتنه arrest of Baha'is condemned". CNN. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
- Asma Jahangir (20 March 2006). "Special Rapporteur on Freedom of religion or belief concerned about treatment of followers of Bahá'í Faith in Iran". United Nations. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
- Michael Rubin (25 January 2006). "Iran Means What It Says". Middle East Forum. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
- The press in Iran, BBC News Online, 16 August 2005. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
- "A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Baha'is of Iran". Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Daragahi, Borzou (15 May 2008). "IRAN: Bahais rounded up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (15 May 2008). "IHRDC Condemns the Arrest of Leading Bahá'ís" (PDF). Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- Amnesty International (15 May 2008). "Document – Iran: Arbitrary arrests / Prisoners of conscience". Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- COTLER, IRWIN (11 May 2015). "Defending human rights prisoners of Tehran". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- see also: Imprisoned Cleric’s Life in Danger _ International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
- Iran Human Rights | Reports, News Articles & Campaigns | Amnesty International Archived 14 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Iran Cracks Down on Women's Dress, Washington post, 23 April 2007.
- Criticism mounts over Iran headscarf crackdown, National Council of Resistance of Iran, 6 May 2007.
- "YouTube, Matt Lauer in Tehran 1 of 4". Youtube.com. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Too late for a reformist momentum? April 19, 2009 by Rasmus Christian Elling". Cuminet.blogs.ku.dk. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Report: Women banned from Iranian university programs". Yedioth Ahronot. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Bennett-Smith, Meredith (21 August 2012). "Iran Universities Reportedly Ban Women". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Tait, Robert (20 August 2012). "Anger as Iran bans women from universities". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Iran: Prevent Execution of Juvenile Offender". Hrw.org. 20 June 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Iran: The last executioner of children". Amnestyusa.org. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- International Instruments - Juveniles - the International Justice Project
- "Iran: Prevent Execution of Juvenile Offender". Hrw.org. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Programmes | Execution of a teenage girl". BBC News. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Ebadi, Iran Awakening, (2006), p.133-4
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1999). Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21866-3.
- Sciolino, Elaine (2000). Persian Mirrors : the Elusive Face of Iran. Free Press. ISBN 0-684-86290-5.
- Ebadi, Shirin; Azadeh Moaveni (2006). Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope. Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6470-8.
- Torbat, Akbar, The Human Rights Issue And The Sanctions On Iran
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Human rights in Iran.|
- ‘We are ordered to crush you.’ Expanding Repression of Dissent in Iran. Amnesty International 2012
- Iran: Human Rights in the spotlight on the 30th Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, 5 February 2009
- Amnesty International report 2010 on Iran
- REALITE-EU Human Rights Violations and Torture in Iran 2009
- Iran Human Rights
- Amnesty International's Concerns about Iran
- International 2005 report
- Freedom House: Freedom in the World Country Report: Iran
- Freedom House: Freedom of the Press 2010 Report: Iran
- Freedom House: Freedom on the Net 2011: Iran
- Human Rights Watch – Iran Documents
- Human Rights Watch's Developments in Iran
- Human Rights Watch 2005 report
- Various human rights news stories at Iran Focus
- Freedom of Expression violations in Iran, IFEX
- Human rights violations against Iranian Azeri Turks[verification needed]
- Guardian Newspaper – Special Report – Death of a Teenager
- Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
- Foundation for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran
- Translation of the Islamic Penal Code of Iran Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran (MEHR Iran)
- Translation of the Iranian Civil Code by Alavi and Associates
-  Saeed Ghanbari received 80 lashes, and was convicted of consuming alcohol and having sex outside of marriage. Photo by Mohammad Kheirkhah Zoyari