Report on Alleged Violations of Human Rights in Iran

Article excerpt

Andres Aguilar, a Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights, has "noted with great concern the number and gravity" of "alleged violations of human rights" in Iran.

He took that action in a preliminary report (E/CN.4/1985/20) to the Commission on the human rights situation in Iran. He said he had received from "various sources" communications and documents containing information on "alleged violations" of human rights in Iran. The sources included non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

Mr. Aguilar's report was reviewed by the Commission during its 1985 annual session, held at Geneva from 4 February to 15 March.

Mr. Aguilar said that although he had not been in a position to evaluate the information received from those sources--due to, among other things, his "lack of direct contact" with Iranian authorities--he had noted, in particular, those "alleged violations" relating to the right to life (article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights); the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (article 7); the right to liberty and security of person and to freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention (article 9); the right to a fair trial (article 14); the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and to freedom of expression (articles 18 and 19, respectively); and the right of religious minorities to profess and practise their own religion (article 27).

In resolution 1984/54 adopted at his annual meeting last year, the Commission had requested its Chairman to appoint a special representative of the Commission, whose mandate would be to establish contacts with the Government of Iran and to make a thorough study of the human rights situation in that country. The study would be based on such information as he might deem relevant, including comments and materials provided by the Government. The Commission Chairman on 19 October 1984 designated Mr. Aguilar as Special Representative.

In his report, Mr. Aguilar recalled that Iran had ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It had also ratified a number of other international instruments in the field of human rights. He observed "No State can claim to be allowed to disrespect basic, entrenched rights such as the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to a fair trial which are provided for under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights, on the ground that departure from these standards might be permitted under national or religious law. …