A statement released by the UN General Assembly addressed the various concerns related to the shocking number of cases of human rights abuse in Iran. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights has been denied access to Iran, further complicating the situation.

As reported by The Media Express, The UN General Assembly have issued a report which has accounted for at least 966 deaths by death penalty during 2015. This is a record-high number – following a trend that began in 2008, the number of executions is at its highest point in over two decades. The report also provided details of human rights abuse in 2016, stating that “at least 200 people were executed” so far. Iran is currently the country “with the world’s highest death penalty per capita”.

A large proportion of the executions take place without a fair trial or the prisoners being able to access basic human rights, such as requesting a lawyer or seeing their families while in prison. ‘Mock trials’ often last only a few minutes, and fall short of the article 14 of the Covenant to which Iran is a State Party. Earlier in August, 25 Sunni prisoners were executed without a fair trial. Women, foreign nationals, and children are often among those executed.

Its’ particularly distressing that over the recent months, the rights of the Iranian people have been suppressed even further, following the USA-Iran ‘Nuclear deal.’ The report noted a particular increase in oppression of journalistic activities, social media, and artistic expression. Women constitute a large proportion of the oppressed groups, and the Iranian Government has been clamping down on women’s rights more and more frequently. Women have been denied access to the public services unless they oblige to wear the veil, as well as prohibiting women to cycle in public. The UN report stated that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has made little progress towards gender equality and has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”

The UN report also shunned the maltreatment of refugees in Iran, despite the Iranian Government having signed an official agreement with “the Iran Health Insurance Organization and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)”. In accordance with this agreement, Iran needs to put measures in place to ensure that almost 1 million refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq are able to gain access to a health insurance scheme. The deportations of the refugees are also concerning. The report stated that “between March 2014 and March 2015, 216,923 individuals, including 1,772 children, were reportedly forcibly deported”. Iran has also seen an increased number of cases, where religion has been the motive for discrimination and human rights abuse, particularly against the religious minority of Baha’i. 

Concluding, the report urged the Iranian regime to release a moratorium on the penalty of death and executions and reduce the number of laws and actions that inhibit those residing in Iran from being able to enjoy the freedom of expression. The report urged the Iranian Government to take measures towards promoting equal rights and treatment for religious and ethnic minorities in Iran, pressing “for Iran to join international protocols for the upholding of such rights, and to promote international cooperation.”