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UN -- Information Service -- United Nations Office at Geneva -- Human Rights Committee Urges Iran to Submit Report on Protection of Civil and Political Rights of Iranians

          
          NATIONS UNIES' UNITED NATIONS
          SERVICE DE LINFORMATION - OFFICE DES NATIONS UNIES A GENEVE
          INFORMA TION SER VICE - UN/TED NA TIONS OFFICE A T GENEVA
          Press Release HR/1123
          26 October 1981
          !IUNAN RIGHTSCOM1 ITTEEURCES IRAN TO SUBMIT REPO}tT ON PROTECTION OF,
          CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS OF IRANIANS
          Committee Addresses Request To Eleven Countries Whose Reports Are Overdue
          The Government of Iran was urged today,, Monday 26 October, by a cotniuittee
          of 18 human rights experts to submit for international review a report onwhat
          it has done to protect civil and political rights guaranteed for the
          individual unaer internatiOfl l law.
          These rights are guaranteed under the International Covenant .:OU Civil and
          Political Rights. Iran has voluntarily accepted the legal obligation to
          protect them, but its present Government has been unable for the pest three
          years to fulfil its promise to submit a report on its compliance efforts as
          • required under the Covenant's provisions.
          In a strong appeal, the 18—member Human Rights Committee said it had
          nothing but: full understanding for a country when it was in difficulty over
          the submission of its report. This was how it felt about Iran.
          However, it had no power to exempt the Iranian Government from its
          obligations. At best, the Government should give its own version of how human
          rights were protected in Iran. Besides it would be in its own interest to do
          so.
          The Committee was set up to monitor compliance with the Covenant Ofl the
          basis of the reports of the States Parties. Iran is one of eleven Governments
          whose reports are overdue. The Committee made its appeal as it decided to
          address to the Iranian Government the same reminder it had sent to the
          Governments of the other ten countries — Lebanon, Uruguay, Panama, Zaire,
          Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, Gambia, India and Chile.
          (wore)
          Les communiques sont de inés a linformation: us ne constituent pas des documents officiels
          For use of informauofl media: not an officia' record - --
          BP000438
          
        
          
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          Press Release HR/1123
          Page 2
          The Committee has been meeting in Bonn since Monday, 19 October. The
          appeal came towards the end of a day mnarked by a series of events concerning
          Iran.
          Ftrst the day's morning meeting ot the Committee was interrupted by a
          group of Iranian students. l ithout being given the floor by the Chairman, a
          spokesman of the group began to make a statement. He ignorea the request of
          the Chairman to cease and desist.
          Next, tbe..Chairu1ans,4sP . t1ded the meeting. Following a fturry of
          consultations, tb Chair man ..o ered to arrange for a delegation of the Iranian
          students to be received privately by the Committee's bureau.
          The C airma emerged from the orivate meeting to reconvene the Committee
          in open session Brief remarks by the Chairm n explaining the reasons for the
          suspension of the meeting was fo-llow d. by a d z iOn cenfirming the
          Committee's earlier agreement to take up later today consideration ot the
          que t 9 i f tbe.a ibmission of the overdue report of Iran.
          The day's events began as the Committee met to continue consideration of
          the.. ç prtof the Net e.Fl.andS , the second report to be taken up at the current
          meeting The fi rst report to be examined was that bt Jap”an
          Proceed ing in acco dat Ce with• h agreed workprOgramme for;the day, the
          Committee concluded consideration ot the repoTt ot'the 1 ether1andS'.. It. a ..S.9
          co plet.e 1 d consideration of the question of the submission of the report of
          Iran
          The Comn irtee uill treet again tomorrO , Tuesday, 27 October to take up the
          report of Hdrocco. . . 0 . . H;- . •
          emarks çp1anation.of Suspension of ileeti . . 0
          The Committee's morninS meeting was interrUpted by the Iranian Studen - S
          just before noon. The meeting was then suspended for one hour. The private
          meeting betwe n he .Committee's bureau and the Iranian student delegation
          lasted for ábqut 20 minutes. . . . .
          In his e arks explaining the suspension, the Chairmafl, Andreas
          AVROHNATIS, expert from Cyprus, said he regretted the interruption, he
          suspended then eting because the interruption was contrary to the Committee's
          rules of prccedure
          As were the wishes of all its t erubers, the Committee would-dO everything
          it could to procaed with its s rk independentlY dnider its own tules. That ..as
          exactly what it as doing until the iuterrupriOfl
          (more)
          
        
          
          Press Release RR/1123
          Page 3
          During the suspension, he said, members of the bureau met privately with a
          delegation of the Iranian students. They explained to the latter how the
          Committee worked. Apparently a telegramme had been addressed to the
          Committee, he stated. A further investigation suggested that a cable had been
          received. He was arranging for an informal translation of the text into
          English. It would then be dealt with in accordance with the usual procedure
          followed by the Committee regarding communications from individuals laiming
          that their hum . i rights had been violflted. (Such communications are
          considered in closed session under the Committee's confidentiality rule.)
          The Committee, the Chairman went on to say, was concerned over the human
          rights situation throughout the world. It was for this reason that it
          reviewed, at each session, the question of the States Parties whose reports
          were overdue, such as Iran.
          Repudiation of Earlier Iranian Reports '
          The Committee took up consideration of the question of the submission of
          the report of Iran at the day's afternoon meeting. Nehai NAWAB, Ambassador of
          Iran to Bonn, appeared before the Committee for the discussion.
          The Chairman opened the discussion with a brief review of the history of
          the question which can be summarized as follows:
          Iran's initial and supplementary reports were submitted to the Committee
          respectively on - August' 1977 and 29 May 1978, and were cOnsidered a few
          months later.
          In April 1979, a representative of Iran, appearing before the Committee,
          said thesetwo reports were submitted by the former regime of Iran and did not
          reflect the reality ot the situation regarding civil and political rights in
          the country. Iran was going through a revolutionary process in which the
          foundation was being ‘laid down for a new society. A new Constitution would be
          drafted, and elections would be held to set up a constituent assembly. In due
          course, ‘Iran would submit a report in conformity with the relevant provisions
          of the Covenant.
          When this pledge was not fulfilled by May 1980, the Committee sent a
          reminder to Iran. In the spring of this year, a representative of Iran
          informed the Committee that his country was going through an abnormal
          situation which made it difficult for his Government to submit its report.
          At the 1981 spring session, the Committee stressed' that derogatiOnS from
          certain fundamental rights, including the right to life, were not permissible
          even in times of emergency under the Covenant. Reports which States Parties
          had undertaken to submit were thus all the more important in difficult
          situations. Thus Iran was urged, at the spring meeting? to submit its report
          as a matter of urgency. The representative of Iran undertook to transmit the
          Committee's wishes to his Government.
          (more)
          
        
          
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          ess Releese. IiR/1123
          ge 4
          ifl conclusion the Chairman sai i the Committee would welcome any further
          formation hr. Nawab, the, Iranian Mbassadàr to Bonn, might have.
          at ment qf the Ambassador of Iran
          The Irian rc p ndin o t e Ch ir .ian's re4u t for furtI' èr
          formation, said his Government rdj 'ect.E the r óor 't'submitted ‘the Shah's ‘‘
          ime his Government -iac ev '-v of ulfilltnb its promise and
          shed to submit its report: as soon as possible.
          Indeed, action, he asserted, had been initiated several times on the
          parationof the report. However, as everyone was aware, Iran facednew
          ficultiesevery day. Almost daily it had r ew problerus 6rced upon it,
          ich it had to tackle.
          For instance the individuals who were entrusted with the preparation of
          report had been annihilated in bomb blast ' .' The dei y. in: submitting the
          uor was due mainly to this wave of assassinations which was caused
          imarily by the West. :
          Faced with a state of war as Iran was, no one could criticize' it for
          iling to submit its report. In the prevailing circumstances, Iran was in no
          sition to finish work on the report. : ‘ :.
          T.mittee Members Express Concern
          In the discussibn, Abdoulaye DIEYE, expert from Senegal, said special
          nks were due to the Iranian Ambassador for agreeing, on his own initiative,
          appear before the CoTrnrittee. The purpose of the discussion was not to pass
          ment as to whet was happening in Iran. However, there was cause for
          ricern. The AxnbassadQr hinselt had highlighted some of the events, such as
          loss of life through bomb aas ssinations.
          It was precisely accounts of these events which ted the Committee to
          nsider once again the delay in submitting Iran's report. Whatever the
          r.curnstances, jt was absolutely-essenti ii that it should 2 submitted without
          rther delay.
          ‘ aleed SADI, expert from Jordan, said mass executions anywhere would cause
          ncern for a body such as the human Rights Coiimittee. It was up to Iran to
          •hnit a report tb apprise the Commi.ttee of ‘the issues, such as how the public
          :ibunals were conducted, the nature of the crimes people were accused of and
          ‘ sentences were imposer' and enforced.
          There were qaily. reports ‘ot mass. executions in Iran, almost unparallelled
          contemporary history Foi this reason, he welcomea the opportunity to hear
          e Iranian.4mbassador. He h'oped ‘the latter would transmit the Committee's
          shes to hi's Government. , ‘ ‘ :
          (more)
          
        
          
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          Press Release HR/ll23
          Page 5
          Christian TOMUSCHAT, expert fro n the Federal Republic of Germany,
          referring to limitations of human rights.;.allOWed in times of emergency,
          recalled that the Coyenai t.rVl d .0 t completely derogatiQtis from certain
          rights and fundamental freedoms. -
          For instance.the right to li e was guaranteed even in, times of emergency,
          he stressed. This was the most elep ntarY fundamental çight of any
          individual, it would appear that thi2 right enjoyed no ,rotectiOfl whatsoever
          in Iran. . .
          The facts must be made ,knOWfl.. The Government must justify it.s actions.
          If it was in no position to provide a detailed report, perhaps it could àubmit
          a..shorter.rePOrt. He too hoped the AmbassadOr would t anstni-t the Committee's
          wishes to his Goverrrnent. 0
          Felix ERMACORA, expert from Austria, said there was a voluntary acceptance
          of collective responsibilitY on the part of all, the States Parties to
          co—operate with one another in ensuring implementation of the Covenapt. The
          submissiOU of reports by States was a crucial tacto.r in this collectjVe
          responsibilitY, since oply i -n light o•f such reports could the Committee assess
          adherence to the Covenant. 0 •. 0
          The Committee m nibers would be under indictment,, accused qf shirking their
          responsibilitY i-f they were to remain silent in the face, of persistent reports
          of summary executions and the execution of religious groups. 0
          Admittedly the situation couid,be.eX only in light of the report of
          the Government of Iran. Thus, he supported the call fox clarification of the
          situation, especially regarding the right to life. It was absolutelY, 0
          essential that the Government submit its report, if it wished to command any
          credibilitY. . 0 ,‘ ‘ , .
          Nejib BOUZIRI, expert frou' Tunisia, said he w. s among those who á cepted
          as valid the view that Iran was goj.ng through a revolutionarY period. ‘As a
          national of a Third World country, he fully understood Iran's difficulty.
          He joined other Committee members in saluting Iran for its undertaking to.
          submit its report in spite of the circufflSt nc S prevailing in the the country 1
          0 and he was distressed to learn that those entrusted with this task had since
          been killed. .. . 0 ‘ ‘ .
          However, the Committee had a respons1bi1 tY. The situation had become
          aggravated. Those who started the revplutiOfl had become.the subject of
          execution, exile and sudden departure. , lie had become perplexed by the
          extremely alarming accounts of events in, press reports, especially in regard
          to the Covenant's provisions on the r .ght to life. 0 ‘
          As was well-knOWfl, he had made reservations regarding the proposal made in
          the past that the Committee request Iran for a special report. However, in
          view of persistent media accounts of events, he felt in duty bound to support
          a request for such a report.
          (more
          
        
          
          Press Release HR/1123
          Page 6
          Torkel OPSA}IL, expert from Norway., agreed that a short report would do in
          certain circumstances, such as those of Iran The Committee must, of
          necessity, act on the asis of the Covenant 1 o iever, in so doing, it should
          treat everybody equally, riot only Governments but peoplé a 's well.
          It needed, to do this for its own credibility. It had considered the case
          of other countries, including El Salvador. The Committee would ‘fail in its
          duty if it dic. not consider the case Of ‘Iran.
          Julio Prado VALLEJO, expert from Ecuador, said the very presence of the
          Iranian Ambassaodr gave cause for optimism. Pis presence showed that his
          Government was willing to co—operate with the Committee.
          Coiwern' for delaysin submitting reports was not confined to Ir an. He had
          supported the action taken by the Committee in regard to countries of Làtii
          America, his own region. For instance, he fully endorsed the request to Chile
          to honour its reporting obligat ions under the Covenant.
          Accounts regarding ecial tribunals and summary judgment and executions
          in. Iran had caused grave concern throughout the world, including his region,
          Latin America. He hoped the Iranian' Ambassador's presence was an indication
          that his Government would soon submit its report.
          In summing up the sense of the Committee's discussion, the Chairman, Mr
          Mavrommatis, sai it was the feeling of all its members that Iran should
          submit its report without any further delay. As some had suggested, the
          Government could at least submit an interim report. The Committee would be
          addressing a request to this etfect to the Iranian Government through the
          Ambassador. H hoped the Iranian Ambassador's prsence was an indication that
          his Government would soon submit its report
          In final remarks, the Iranian Ambassador, hr. Nawab, said he had taken
          note of the Committee's concern. He was satisfied that it was not the
          intention of any of its members to create difficulties for Iran. He would
          transmitthe áense of the Cotnmittee'sdiscussiOfl to his Government.
          However it. was difficult to indic. ' te, with any preci' ion, when his
          Government would be able to provide the report The problem ot his Government
          was one of honesty. Of course it couldproduce a report which could run up to
          20 pages but would not solve the probl in. His Government did not wish to do
          that because it was anxious that its dialogue with the Committee should be on
          an honest basis.
          The matter could be compared to a situation, he said', where you held
          someone's, nose and then asked why' he was unable to breathe properly. In fact,
          he might be blo .'n up ma bomb blast as he lett the Committee, and might not
          be able to deliver its message to his Government.
          (more)
          
        
          
          Press Release Hr.1123
          Page 7
          Reference had been wade to media reports of events in Iran, he noted.
          Over 95 percent of this was the result ot a slanderous propaganda against
          Iran. The death sentence was enshrined in the Iranian Constitution, and those
          who were involved in bomb assassinations were executed in accordance with the
          ( law.
          The Chairman, Mr. I1avrommatis, in his final remarks, said the Arnbassador's
          concluding observations had borne out what had been said by several members in
          the discussion. It woul i be in Iran s own interest to submit a report to put
          the records right.
          
        
          
        
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Assassinations, Executions