She call the reports that she continues to receive “painful”.In particular, she is concerned about the rate of executions in Iran. Reports indicate that since the beginning of the year, 435 persons have been executed. Juvenal executions continue, with at least four juvenile offenders executed, and 86 more known to be on death row, and says that the actual figure may be higher. She reiterated her appeal to the Iranian authorities to urgently abolish the sentencing of children to death, and to engage in a comprehensive process of commutation of all death sentences issued against children, in line with juvenile justice standards.
She also calls for the withdrawal of charges against all individuals held for peaceful exercise of freedom of expression, religion, or belief. She cites the case of Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of a spiritual movement, writer and practitioner of alternative medicine theories used in Iran and abroad, who was sentenced to death on the charge of Fesad fel Arz (corruption on earth). She calls for his unconditional release, saying, “His appeal is pending before the Supreme Court. The trial took place amidst serious due process concerns, and a number of his followers were arrested and reportedly coerced into giving confessions.”
Ms. Jahangi received numerous reports of the use of physical and mental torture, including coerced confessions. She also notes that amputation, blinding, flogging, and the continued use of prolonged solitary confinement continue to be regularly practiced. She is deeply concerned by reports of the denial of access to proper and necessary medical treatment of detainees, including the deprival of medical care as a form of punishment.
She has received reports about ongoing and consistent harassment, intimidation, and prosecutions of human rights defenders. She gives as an example, the human rights defender, Narges Mohammadi who continues to be imprisoned because of her commitment to human rights, and says she is also deeply concerned by reports of attacks on women human rights defenders, in the form of judicial harassment, detention, and smear campaigns.
She talks about the fear that activists have of reprisals against their family members living in Iran, and says she has received reports of actions taken, mainly by the judiciary, against the family and lawyers.
She also highlights the situation of trade unionists held in prison for peaceful activism, as well as the urgent and critical health situation of prisoners of conscience on, or having undergone, life-threatening hunger strikes to contest the legality of their detention.
She calls the reports she has received regarding violations against the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, information and the press, “chilling”, and says that as of June 2017, at least 12 journalists, as well as 14 bloggers and social media activists are either in detention or have been sentenced for their peaceful activities.
In her statement, Ms. Jahangir highlighted an emerging pattern concerning the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of dual nationals, and called for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. A dual national, Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a sentence of five years and is now facing new charges which could lead to an additional sixteen years of imprisonment.
Ms. Jahangir also confronts the unabated discrimination against, and targeting of, the Baha’i community, which threatens their right to a livelihood, and reiterates her call upon the Government to guarantee their equal protection as provided for by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a party. She says she has received reports of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, and prosecution for activities carried out by ethnic minorities to promote social, economic, cultural, and linguistic rights and call upon the Government to ensure that the rights of all communities are protected.
She made some specific recommendations in her report. One such recommendation is to look at the significant number of petitions, communications, and documentation related to the reported execution of thousands of political prisoners, men, women, and teenagers who were massacred in Iran in 1988. The families of those killed are experiencing a deep and unremitting pain that must surely be addressed. The killings have been acknowledged by some at the highest levels of the State. She says that on almost a daily basis, she receives heartfelt letters from the relatives of those killed, calling for answers. The families of the victims have a right to remedy, reparation, and the right to know about the truth of these events and the fate of the victims without risking reprisal. She reiterates her call upon the Government to ensure that a thorough and independent investigation into the events that occurred in the summer of 1988 be carried out.