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Interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, prepared by the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights in accordance with Commission resolusion 1988/59 and Economic and Social Council decision 1988/137


          UNITED A
          General Aseembly Distr.
          13 October 1988
          Forty-third ..aeion
          Agenda item 12
          8i uaticn of human right. in the Islamic Republic of Iran
          Not. by the S.cx .tatyi-Gin .r4 ]
          The S.cretary-Gsnsral has II. honour to traninit to the mArnbsr$ of the General
          Assembly II. interim r.port. prepared by Mr. Reyna1i o Galindo Pohl
          (El Salvador), Special Repres.nt&tivs of the Commission on Human Rights Gfl the
          situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with
          paragraph 12 of Commission on Humar Rights rebolution 1988/69 of 10 March 1988 and
          Economic and Social Council decision 1988/137 o 27 May 1988.
          88-25318 0563i (B)
          / ..,
          age 2
          Intarim report on t} iituation of hun tn righti in the i1amic
          .puh1io of Iran. pr parad hy the Ipeolal Representative af
          the Coi iiiion on Human lights in aooordanoe with Commission
          resolution 1088/80 and loonomie and looial Counoil
          . decision 1018/137
          I • Ik TRODUCTIC*I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          REP 3BLXC OF tRAIl . . . . . . . . , . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          A • Written cor,v unicatiens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          I. Meeting with the representative of the Govt nment
          ofth.X.l micR.pub1icofIran......................
          A • Oral information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          B. Written information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          1. Right to life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . .
          2. Right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman
          or degrading treatment or punishment
          3. Right to liberty and security of person
          4. Information concerning the situation of followers
          of the Baha' i faith , . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . , . , . . . . . . . .
          C. Additional recent information on alleged violations
          of the right to life. . . . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . ,, . .. . . . . . . . . . .
          A. The question of politics in human rights
          S. C mpatibiltty of Islamic law with international law ..
          1—4 4
          5—11 4
          5-10 4
          11 7
          12—51 8
          12—20 8
          21—46 11
          22 — 33 11
          34 — 35 12
          36—40 13
          41 -46 14
          47 — 51 15
          52—63 1
          54—55 16
          56 — 57 17
          Eng 1 i sh
          Page 3
          CONTENTS (continued)
          C. Co-operation extended by the Government of the
          !slamicRepub licoflren.............................. 58—60 18
          D • Re1e se of prisoners . . , . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 — 62 19
          E. Detai1edr p1iestoa11egations......... .... ..... .... 63 19
          V • GENERAL OBSERVATXONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . 64 — 80 19
          Peg. 4
          1, At its forty-fourth session, the Commission on Human Rights decided, by
          its resolution 1988/69 of 30 March 1988, to .xtend IIe mandate of the Special
          Repr.s.ntative, as contained in Commission resolution 1984/54 of
          14 March 1984. for a further year and requested the Special Representativ, to
          present an interim report to the General Assembly at its forty-third session
          on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, end a final
          report to IIe Commission at its forty-fifth session.
          2. In compliance with paragraph 12 of Commission on Human Rights resolution
          1988/69, the Special Representative submits herewith to the General Assembly
          at its forty-third session his interim repo t on the human rights situation in
          the Islamic Republic of Iran,
          3. As in previous reports prepared by the Special Representative, section II
          of the interim report contains the communications between the Special
          Representative and the Iranian Government. Section III describes the
          information, both oral and written, received by the Special Representative
          since the renewal of his mandate, regarding the evolution of the situation of
          human rights and fundamental freedoms in that country. Section IV contains
          the consideration of views recently expressed by the Iranian Government. The
          examination of such views in the present report would seem opportune, as it
          might assist the General Assembly in its deliberations on the question and on
          the resolution it may subsequently adopt. Section V sets forth general
          4. Several issues portaining to the legal system applicable In the Islamic
          Republic of Iran will be dealt with In some detail in the final report to the
          Commission on Human Rights. OEes. would Inc .ude the question of the
          availability of Lemedies in the Islamic Republic of Iran and their conformity
          with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
          Rights. Some points which the Iranian Government may wish to consider on the
          occasion of the termination of the trial period of its Penal Code, with a view
          to harmonising it with international instruments, will also be examined.
          A. Written, communications
          5. On 5 February 1988, in reply to t e letter addressed to him on
          20 January 1988 by the Special Representative (quoted in his report to the
          Commission on Human Rights, document E/CN.4/1988/24, par*. 6). the Permanent
          Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at
          Geneva addressed to the Special Representative a letter which read as fol1ows
          / ...
          A/43 /7 05
          Page 5
          “iour letter dated 20 January 1988 is will received and has II.
          honour to inform you that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran
          having taken note of th, contents and iti attachments will do all that is
          in its power to co-op•rate wiII the Centre for Human Eights to furnish
          any information that it finds relevant to the allegations made against it.
          “An arrangement could be made in order to meet and discuss the
          matter and look forward to hearing from you in the v.ry near future,
          indicating the time and place for our meeting.
          “I take this opportunity to express my desire to continu, the good
          relationship already established between our two institutions,”
          6. on 25 March 1988 the Permanent Representative adGressed a letter to the
          Special Representative regarding th. issue of Kurdish civilians, which was
          referred to in paragraph 23 of the report (E/CN.4/1988/24) to the Commission
          on Human Rights. The letter read as followsx
          “Since the iusue of Kurds was taken up in your report addressed to
          the Commission on Human Rights, I would like to draw your attention to
          several points in this r.gard
          “1. Thousands of Kurds have been deported by Iraq forcefully and
          involuntarily. Most of these deportees are now sheltered in I'an.
          “2. The residential quarters of Iraqi Kurds are constantly under
          Iraqi bombardments and shelling particularly cluster and Napalm
          “3. The Iraqi Kurds have been subjected to chemical weapons and the
          most abhorrent occasion was against the kurdish population of
          Halabchah in Soleimanieh Province of Iraq which left 5500 dead and
          4500 injured. As a western rep..cter has reported an4 I quote ‘more
          that 100 bodies of women, children and elderly men lay in the
          streets, alleys and courtyards of this now empty city, victims of
          the worst chemical warfare attack on civilians, Some victims hugged
          children in silent embraces, others sprawled in d. ,rtzays. In other
          houses, the cellar became the death chamber for residents trying to
          flee the heavier-than-air t 1oud that seeped down into their refuge
          to kill them. Outside, the streets were littered iith bloated
          “Excellency, there are hundreds of Kurds who are ready to be
          interviewed by you as witnesses of inhuman crimes and violation of human
          rights by the Iraqi r gime. We hereby await your speedy response to the
          urgent appeal of these Kurds to be interviewed by you.”
          7. In reply to that letter, the Special Representative, on 21 June 1988,
          addressed a letter to the Permanent Representative. The letter read as
          Page 6
          U would like to thank you fo your letter dated 25 Sarah 1988. After
          having thoroughly examined its contents, it would appear that it concerns acts
          carried out by the Government of Iraq, against Kurds of Iraqi nationality
          living on Iraqi territory, It would therefore seem that the situation
          referred to in your letter, however serious it may be, does not inter within
          the terms of my mandate.
          “Nevertheless, since your letter refers to information which I had
          received and included in my latest report to the Commission on Human Rights
          (paragraph 23), I would transmit it. ontents tc the competent ..rgans of the
          United Nation. by referring to it in my forthcoming report. These organs may
          take action thereon, as they deem appropriate.”
          S. Volleying the adoption of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1988/69 and
          subsequent to Economic and Social Council decision 1988/137 of 27 May 1988, the
          Special Representative, on 3 June 1988, eddr.ssid a letter to the Minister for
          Poreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, transmitting to him the text of
          that resolution. The letter read as followas
          “I have the ) unour to refer to Commission on Human Rights resolution
          1988/69 concernir g the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
          of which the t nt is attached. As Your Excellency may note the Commission on
          Human Rights de ided to extend my mandate as its Special Representative for a
          further year and requested me to present an interim report to the General
          Assembly at its forty-third session and a final report to the Commission at
          its forty—fifth session.
          “I would ike to assure Your Excellency, as I had already dons following
          my appointment as Special Representative of the Commission, that I intend to
          carry out the mandate and the responsibilities with which the Commission has
          entrusted me in a spirit of total objectivity and impartiality.
          “I should like to tak. this opportunity to reiterate my strong conviction
          that in order to fully discharge my responsibilities, it is essential that
          direct contacts with Your Excellency's Government be maintained and furthir
          enhanced. I rema3n at th. disposal of Your Excellency's Government for any
          contacts it may wish to maintain with me, through the Centre for Human Rights,
          Palais dee Nations, Geneva.”
          9. On 6 September 1988, after hsvin conducted a series of informal hi arinqs in
          the course of which 16 persons who claimed to have first-hand knowledge and
          esperience of various aspects of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic
          of Iran described to him their experience, the Special Representative addressed a
          letter to the Permanent Representative communicating to him the summary of
          statements made by these persons, as well as written information received by him,
          OEese summaries of oral and written information are reflected in section III
          below. Tb. lettir read as followsz
          / ...
          Page 7
          “I should like to inform you that, during my visit to G.n.va from 20 to
          24 June 1.988 I conducted, in the framework of my mandate under Conmiission on
          Human Rights resolution 1988/89 a sines of informal hearings with sixteen
          persons who claimed to have first-hand knowledge and experienc, of various
          aspects of th. human right, situation in IIe Islamic Republic of Iran, A
          summary of the allegations mad. in the course of these hearings is enclosed
          herewith, for your information.
          “A summary of allegations contain.d in venous docusn.nts and letters
          provided to me in ricent months by various organisations and individual.
          concerned is also enclosed herewith for your information.
          “I would greatly appreciate receiving any information or comments that
          Your Excellencys Gov.rnment may wish to provid. with regard to these
          “I should also like to inform you that I intend to visit the Centre for
          Human Rights in Geneva from 26 to 30 Sept.oe•ber 1988, in connection with the
          preparation of my interim report to the General Assembly. I hope that a
          meeting may be rranged between u on that occasion in order to continu, the
          dialogue upon which we embarked last year, in the same constructive and
          positive spirit as the one manifested in II. statement made by Your Excellency
          on 9 March 1988, before th. forty-f ,urth sessicn of the Commission on Human
          Rights and the one made Iiy the observer for the Islamic Republic of I n,
          Mr. Asadi, on 19 August 1988 before the fortieth session of the Sub-Commission
          on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.”
          10. On 28 September 1988, after having received information about a wave of
          executions that was al.teg.dly taking plac. in th. I lamic Republic of Iran since
          the month of July 1988, the Special Representative addressed a letter to the
          Permanent R.pr.sentative, communicating to him a summary of these allegations, as
          will as a summary on allegations concerning discrimination against followers o the
          Baha'i faith. These summaries are reflected in section III below. The letter read
          as followss
          “Subsequent to my letter of 6 September 1988, by which X communicated to
          Your xcel1ercy summaries of oral and written information I had received in
          recent months, I hereby wish to submit to you further detail6 allegations
          which were broight to my attention recently. I would greatly appreciate
          receivln any information or comments that Your Excellency's Government may
          wish to provide with regard to these allegations.”
          B. N.eting r.pr .Ien iM.of IIa Government
          of the Ii3 , mic I.publi Liran
          11. On 27 September 1988 a meeting was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva
          between the Special Representative and the Charg d'affaines of the Permanent
          Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geniva,
          Mr. Asadi. In the course of the meeting, the Special Representative stressed the
          importanc. of receiving circumstantiated replies from the Iranian Government to the
          / ,.,
          Page 8
          allegations submitted to it, in order to provide the competent United Nations
          organs with a complete picture of the situation. Other matters pertaining to the
          mandate of the Spech.l Representative were also discussed.
          A. Oral informatig
          12. On 21, 23 and 24 June 1988, the Special Representative conducted a series of
          informal hearings in the course of which 16 persons who claimed to have first-hand
          knowledge and experience of various aspects of the human rights situation in the
          Islamic Republic of Iran described their experience. Seven of the persons
          appearing before the Special Representative were Bahais, who requested that their
          identity not be revealed. The other nine persons described themselves as
          •yvnpathis.rs of the Hojahedin organisation. They were, in order of appearance
          before the Special Representative, Mrs Jokar Kobrah, Mr. t4ohamed R.za ,
          Mr. Abolfasel aersegar Fathi, Mr. Mashal]ah M caneke, Mr. Mahmood Davoodi,
          Mrs. Maryam Ha ei Khanian and Hr. Mahmood ______ (the persons whose surnames are
          not indicated asked that they not be revealed).
          13. All the persons appearing before the Special Representative stated that they
          had spent periods of various durations in prisons in Iran. In the case of the
          Mojahedin sympathi.eri, the periods e)ent in prison were often five to six years.
          Several of these persons affirmed having witnessed executions in prison. Others
          claimed that members of their family or other relatives had been executed. One of
          the Baha'ls appearing before the Special Representative statid that three other
          Bahais who had been held with him in the same prison in 1981 were later executed.
          They were Mr. Aminj, Mr. Babisdeh and Mr. Khayrkhah, Another $aha'i affirmed that
          two members of his family, Mr. and Mrs. Siyavashi, were executed in June 1983,
          allegedly due to their being active Bahais. Their bodies were not returned to
          their families, but were buried by revolutionary guards together with other Baha'is
          who were executed, two or three in one grave in the cemetery of Shires. The same
          person hea also been acquainted with two other Bahe is who were later executed:
          Mr. Ardishir Akhtari, a member of the disbanded national Baha'i council, executed
          on 28 September 1987 after three years' imprisonment, and Mr. Jahangir Hedayeti,
          also a member of the national Baha'i council, who was executed on 15 May 1984.
          14, Mrs. Joker Kobreh stated that her nephew, Mahoeood Saveghi, had died in prison
          under torture. Hr. Bahmen Jenat Sadeghi stated that while he was in prison some 90
          prisoners were executed in one night, 4 n three successive groups of 30. He later
          learned that the number of persons executed that night had reached 155, and that
          they were all buried in a mass grave. He personally knew a prisoner who was
          executed, Hasan 5sf ai, aged 65. He further alleged that by 1987 the policy
          regarding executions of prisoners had changed, and that prisoners were no longer
          executed in Evin prison but in various houses in town. Miss Vajieh Xarbalaei Fatah
          stated that while she was held in the Xomiteh Moshtsrak prison, in 1987, she
          witnessed II. death under torture of a female detain.. whose surnam, was
          Mokhtarudeh. Her sister, named Zahra, allegedly also died under torture.
          Mr. Abolfuel Baziegar Fathi affirmed that some 20 detainees amon'j some 700 who
          Page 9
          went on hunger strike i .' Evin prison in 1987 to protest against their prison
          conditions, had been beaten and were later executed. Mrs. Maryain Hajei Khanian
          spoke about several of her acquaintanc.s who were executed. These included her
          brother tn-law, Mortazah Habazian, a woman aged 60, Hadijeh Zabihi, who was raped
          dnd executed, and all her Sons who wire also executed as Mojah.din sympathizers.
          Another man, Hasan Sabaghi, who was arrestod before the Mojahedin organization was
          outlawed, was executed in 1987. Mohamed Rise ____ stated that a fellow inmate in
          Gohardasht prison, named Nasser Nazeri, was executed as a punishment for having
          chanted Koran verses.
          15. All the persons who appeared before the Special Representative alleged having
          been subjected to ill-treatment and to physical and psychological torture. The
          most common form of torture was flogging, •specially on the soles of the feet, and
          beating by several guards simultaneously. Various persons were subjected to
          mock-executions and other forms of psychological torture, including threats of
          sexual abuse and threats of torturing the detainee's parents, children or spouses.
          Prison conditions were invariably described as extremely poor. Cells were narrow,
          damp, dark and extremely overcrowded. Food was inuufficient and of poor quality.
          Sanitary conditions were very bad, resulting in the spread of skin and other
          diseases among the detainees and there was insufficient access to doctors and to
          medicine. Very often political prisoners were kept together with common criminals,
          including drug adc. icts. Prisons where conditions ware allegedly very bad included
          Ohezel-Heser in Karej, Evin in Teheran, Salehabad, Gohardasht and Saveh in northern
          16. Some of the persons appearing before the Special Representative described
          particular forms of torture to which they had allegedly been ,ubjected or which
          they had witnessed. Mrs. Joker Kobrah stated that while she was in prison she saw
          children aged 8 to 11, mostly girls, being used for forced labour. She witnessed
          girls being raped by revolutionary guards, and other children, as young as six
          years old, being tortured 1 She also witnessed the torture of women immediately
          after giving birth, and mentioned in particular the name of Maryam Abdelahi.
          Mohained Reza and Mohamed Davoodi described a form of torture known as the
          “coffin”, consisting of having the prisoner seated, blindfolded, n a coffin-like
          box which is then repeatedly pushed against a wall. Moharned Davoodi mentioned the
          name of two prisouers who had allegedly been subjected to that torture, Maghrebi
          and Rashidi. Several persons affirmed that in recent years, and in particular
          since 1987, methods of torture practised in Iranian jails had become more
          sophisticated and measures were being taken to eliminate all traces of physical
          torture. New sorts of cables were being used for flogging and tortured prisoners
          were being separated from the others and kept elsewhere, until they ahowed no trace
          of torture • Bahinan Jenat Sadeghi affirmed that one of the new methods of torture
          consisted of introducing brutal common criminals iimong political prisoners and
          inciting them to torture and rape other prisoners. He further affirmed that since
          1981 a machine was being used that introduced needles into the soles of the feet of
          prisoners after they had been flogged with cables, in order to eliminate swelling
          and other marks of torture. Some persons showed the Special Representative scars
          and marks on various parts of their body, allegedly resulting from torture in
          / . . .
          Page 10
          17. Most of IIs person, appearing before the Special Representative described
          their trial in prison a. an •xtr.mely sunvnary proceeding lasting sometimes no more
          than a few minutes. Such proceedings were held before a religious judge, and
          sometimes before a judge and another religious official serving as an
          interrogator. In some of the cas.s the sentence was made known to the accused only
          months after the trial took place. Non. of the persons had access to a defence
          lawy.r, and there was no possibility of appealing to a higher instance. I some
          casis pressure was exerted on the defendants to recant their fe.tth and become
          Muslims, or repent their political ideology and appear on television to announce
          such repentance. Some were blindfolded during their trial, Bahman Jenat Sad.ghi
          affirmed that in his trial, which was held after his arrest on 1 November 1980,
          before the Mojahedin organisation was outlawed, IIe court, which consisted of a
          judge named Ravandi and a prosecutor named Ratchoui, acknowledged that his arrest
          was il3egal, but sentenced him nevertheless to six months' imprisonment.
          Abdol as.l Bersegar Fathi had a trial that lasted three minutes, after being held
          one year in prison. H. was sentenced to three years inprisonment, but was in fact
          held for six years. Mohamed Davoodi stated that he was tried twice before the same
          religious judge, who allegedly proposed to him on both occasions that he
          coll b rat. with the r4gim.. He refuied, since collaboration meant flogging other
          prisoners, and was sentenced to three years imprisonmert, but was in fact held for
          four years.
          18. The followers of t 1e Baha'i faith appearing before the Special Representative
          described various forrs of persecution and harassment to which they personally or
          their family memL ad been subjected and which had eventually led to their
          departure frcm their country. The most common forms of harassment suffered by
          almost all the Ba1 a'is who appeared before the Special Representative was the
          denial of means of subsistence and of access to higher education.
          19. All the Bahais who appeared before the Special Representative described
          instances of brutal arrest and interrogation to which they had been subjected,
          mostly in the early 1980.. In all thee, cases th. arrest was accompanied by
          searches and confiscation of Baha'i literature and documents. Interrogation was
          often very brutal and accompanied by beating and by pressure to recant their
          faith. At trials held in pricon before one or two religious officials, these
          persons were always offered the possibility to recant their faith and be released
          forthwith and regain all their rights and property. Charges most commonly pressed
          against them included collaboration with the former, imperial r 9 me and spying for
          the United States of America or Israel.
          20. One of the persons appearing before the Special Representative, who was born a
          Zoroastrian but later converted to Baha'iem, stated that a retigious judge n med
          M.sbah, who apecialisid in Baha'i cases, had pronounced the death sentence . jainst
          him for having become a Baha'i and having married a Baha'i woman. He had also
          condemned him to pay back all the salaries he had received during his years of
          work. Another person witnessed the case of a Baha'i widow whose only income was
          rent from her house. The house was allegedly confiscated by the religious judge
          Mesbah who rented it to his own relatives. The same religious judge was also
          allegedly involved in hitting Baha'i prisoner, severely, and causing them serious
          inj iries.
          / ...
          Page 11
          B. Written information
          21. The Special Representative has continued to receive written information
          contained in various documents and reports, made available to him by various bodies
          concerned, including non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the
          Economic and Social Council. That information contained allegations of human
          rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran relating to the period from
          October 1987 to July 1988. A summary of such a'legations is reproduced below.
          1. Right to life
          22. It was alleged in September 1987, that 40 persons, described as political
          prisoners, had been executed in Evin prison after having participated in a hunger
          23. According to a report appearing in the Keyhan newspaper on 20 October 1987,
          the Supreme Judicial Council had approved 24 death sentences for members of
          opposition groups.
          24. The same newspaper reported on 29 October 1987 that the Supreme Judicial
          Council had approved death sentences on seven members of “atheistic and
          hypocritical mini-groups”, which were passed by Islamic courts in West Azerbaijan,
          Isfahan and 11am. No details were given as to the nature of the groups concerned
          or the charges against the convicted prisoners.
          25. According to a report appearing in the i eyh an newspaper on 21 November 1987,
          two members of the Kurdish Democratic Party, named Karim Ghaderzadeh and
          Abdullah Berrinjani, were executed in Sanadaj.
          26. It was alleged that Mohammad Amin Danesh, who was arrested on 10 December 1987
          in Iranshahr, was tortured and then murdered on 12 January 1988. His body was
          subsequently burnt, and his family told that he had committed suicide by burning
          himself. The case was said to be reported by his brother who was in the same cell
          at the time.
          27. On 27 May 1988, Anoushirvan Lotfi, Hojat Mohammad Pour and Hojatollah Ma'boudi
          were reportedly executed in Evin prison, Teheran, for having allegedly attempted to
          overthrow the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and participated in armed
          clashes with Government forces. Mr. Lotfi was a leading member of the People's
          Fadayan Organization of Iran (Majority). Mr. Pour was described as a member of the
          Union of Iranian Communists and Mr. Ma'boudi was reportedly a member of the
          Mojahedin organization.
          28. It was further alleged that 12 persons, described as political prisoners, were
          executed on 20 July 1988. The identity of only four of those allegedly executed
          was reported. They were identified as Kouinars Zarshenas, Simm Farzin,
          Sayed Azarang and Faramarz Sadeghi. According to the same information 55 other
          persons described as political prisoners were being held in solitary confinement,
          awaiting execution. The charges against those persons had reportedly never been
          announced, and they had allegedly been denied a fair and public trial.
          Page 12
          29. According to a report appearing i the Kayhan newspaper on 3 August 1988, 10
          members of II. Mojahedin organisation were hanged in public in aekhtaxan, western
          Iran, on 1 August 1988.
          30. According to IRNA information reported by Reuters on 4 and 5 August 1988, a
          leading memb.r of the Mojahedin organisation was hanged in public in 11am, western
          Iran, on 3 August 1988, and two other members of that organiiation we:e hanged in
          Kangavar, western Iran, on 4 August 1988.
          31. On 26 August 1988 it was alleged, that on 28 July 1988, 200 persons described
          as political prisoners, sympathis.rs of the Mojah.din organisation, had been
          massacred in the central bell of Evin prison. It was further alleged that, from
          14 to 16 August 1988, 860 bodies of “,xecuted political prisoners' had been
          transferred from Evin prison, in Teheran, to Behesht ahra cemetery,
          32. In addition, the Special Representative continued to r.ceive lnfo:matlon,
          based on of ficiol Iranian press reports, on death sentences being pronounced and
          carried out against persons convicted of crimes, such as murder and drug
          trafficking. One reported case . oncerned a youth, aged 17, from Mehdishahr, who
          was hanged if ter being convicted of child murder. The case wa reported by the
          Kayhan newspaper of 28 January 1988. Other C6IS5 included the followings
          Mohammed Au Barati, aged 30, and Mohammed Rahim Anvari, aged 18, hanged at Qasr
          prison, Teheran, for murder ( Kayhan , 8 March 1988); Jamshid Taheri Khan, aged 24,
          and 1 aram Bahmani, aged 21, •xecuted in Qairin for armed robbery (A ha i ,
          8 March 1988), Mahmood Ney.stani, Valli Rostem, Nass.r-Hassan Nejad and Au Kamali,
          members of a group known as “Scorpio”, executed in Bojnurd for exua1 Rbuse of
          children ( Keyhan , 12 May 1988); Abbai idbaih, publicly executed in Shires for the
          murder of a young girl ( Keyhan , 15 May 1988). Four persons described as “atheistic
          terrorists”, whole names re not specified, had their death sentence confirmid by
          the Supreme Ju tcial Coun' il and were consequently executed ( tjjjf, 16 May 1988).
          33. Furthermore, the Special Representative in January 1988 received Information
          that 67 prisoners, accused of being members of various political groups held in
          Evin and Gohardasht prisons, were sentenced to death. OEe sentences were
          reportedly approved by the Supreme Judicial Council. No information was received
          concerning the fate of this. prisoners. It was also reported (J eyhan ,
          17 February 1988) that a women named Adjabnas Keshavars was sentenced by a tribunal
          in Shiras to death by lapidation for adultery and the murder of her husband. It
          was reported that the sentence wa to be publicly executed shortly in the town of
          Marvdasht. The newspaper ,jomhouri Eslami of 11 July 1988 reported that the
          Supreme Judicial Council had confirmed death sentences for 10 persons described as
          “spies and counter-revolutionaries”, and convicted of having collaborated with Iraq.
          2. Right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degtading
          treatment or punishment
          34. The Special Representetive continued to receive information that torture was
          still applied in Iranian prisons and that it consisted in particular of beating and
          / ...
          A/43 /7 05
          Eng 1 i sh
          Page 13
          flogging with cables on all parts of the body, and particularly on the soles of the
          feet. Psychological torture also reportedly persi t.d and included such practices
          as mock execution and thr.ats of sexual abuse of female prisoners and female
          relatives of nn*le prisoners.
          35. In ac 3 .tion, the Special Representative rec .i'ped information, based on
          official tranlan press r. ports, on co:poral punishment being applied to persons
          convicted of various of fences such as stealing or making alcohol. The Kyhan
          newspaper, of 10 April 1988 reported that Mohaivmiad Resa Zandi. aged 18, had four
          fingers of him right hand amputated for theft. OEe newspaper D, pm iouii...Z.sJ..ami of
          6 January 1988 reported that Seyy.d Hassan Ohadiri had a so had four fingers
          amputated. Other similar cases were reported in the towns of Shira. and Zahedan in
          May 1988.
          3. Right to liberty and security of person
          36. According to information received by the Special Representative an Iranian
          official named Davoud Karirni reportedly affirmed on 18 February 1988 that 9,000
          persons . who he described as belonging to small counterr.voluti nary groups, were
          at that time held in prisons in the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to other
          sources, the number of prisoners who were members or sympathisers of opposition
          groups was much higher and reached many thousands. Many of those imprisoned were
          reportedly arrested for non-violent activities, such as distributing leaflets or
          newspapers or merely on suspicion of being syrnpathiiers of such opposition
          groups. It was alio reported that 152 followers of the Baha'i faith were still in
          prison, allegedly on the sole grounds of their religious beliefs.
          37. It was further alleged that the practice of arresting the parents ai d other
          family members of wanted persons continued in the Islamic Republic of Irnn.
          Parents were often held in detention despite their old age and poor health, without
          any charge or trial.
          38. Following are some detailed allegation. brought to the attention of the
          Specia] Representative:
          The ti iutZ(iu. i of 5 May 1988 reported that some 200 memher i of the
          outlawed Marxist opposition party Fedeyeen e..Khalq had bean arrested in the
          north-eastern province of Ehorasan. They were reportedly accused or having
          been trained for “political, espionage and military operations in a foxaign
          country . One of those arrested was identified as Khaleq Ah yiadi, member of
          the Tudeh Party, who was detained by sec..arity police as he was crossing the
          border from Afghanistan into Iran, allegedly in order to met up en alliance
          between two rival leftist groupss
          On 31 May 1988 six members of the Association for the Dcfence of Freedom
          and Sovereignty of the Iranian Nation, or of the Freedom Movement, two
          non-violent groups advocating an end to the Gulf war, were reportedly arrested
          by revolutionary guards. They were identified as Dr. All Ardelan. Head of the
          Executive Committee of the first group mentioned above, Mohammad Tavassoli,
          / , , ,
          Ongi ish
          Page 14
          Hossain Shah-Hossaini, Khosrow Mansourian, lishem Babbaghian and Ahm d
          Zarijani. The six men were reportedly arrested following the circulation of
          an open letter calling for an end to the war with Iraq. Some of those persons
          were said to be elderly man. No information was giv.n as to their place of
          d.tent ion.
          39. The Special Representative also received a litter concerning a British citizen
          named Roger Cooper, who wa. reportedly arrested in Teheran in December 1985 and had
          since been held in Evin prison. He was reportedly charged with •spionagn and put
          on trial towards the end of 1987. H• allegedly had no legal representation and was
          found guilty and s.ntenc.d to d.ath, It was further alleged that Mr. Cooper's
          health was deteriorating and that hi had not been given appropriate medical care
          and had no access to consular visits. The Special Representative was subsequently
          informed that Mr. Cooper had received a visit from a special British envoy visiting
          40. The Special Representative was also informed by the Working Group on Enforced
          or Involuntary Disappearances that it had transmitted to the Government of the
          Islamic Republic of Iran five cases of disappearances which allegedly occurred in
          1907. No cases of disappearances were reported to have occurred in 1988.
          4, Informatjon concerning th. situation of followers of the
          Baha'i faith
          41. According to information received by the Special Representative the general
          policies and attitudes of the Iranian authorities towards the followers of the
          Baha'L faith remained unchanged. Thus, Baha'is allegedly continued to be denied
          any right to profess their religion, to meet as a community. to have places of
          worship or to maintain th administrative institutions of the Baha'i faith. It was
          acknowledged, however, that the intensity of the campaign of persecution against
          the Baha'is in Iran had sornewhar diminished in the first half of 1988. Baha'ls in
          Iran allegedly continued to be subjected to various forms of discrimination end
          harassment. They were still denied access to higher education, and Baha'i school
          children were threatened with being denied the opportunity to take their
          examinations if they did not renounce their religion. Some students had none the
          less been allowed to return to school in recent months.
          42. It was alleged that most Bahais in Iran continued to be d nied government
          employment and pension., and that II had been instructed to repay all salaries
          received during their period of government employment. The Special Representative
          received copies of announcements made in the official national, newspaper It. .1'at,
          dated 10 February and 3U June 1988, with their French or English translation,
          according to which two persons were being permanently banned from government
          service d e to their being followers of the “misguided Bsha'i sect”.
          43. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran allegedly continued Its
          campaign to deny Baha'is the opportunity to earn their living in the private
          sector. Baha't farmers bad been denied membership in co-operatives and had been
          forced to flee from their homes after meny Baha'i farms had been burned and
          confiscated. The Goverr .. ,, nt had also allegedly confiscated numerous Baha'i-owned
          Page 15
          44. All Baha'i holy places in Iran remained desecrated and confiscated, and
          Baha'is wire still denied access to Baha'i cemeteries and often h d difficulties in
          burying their dead. Bahais in Iran continued to be deprived of th. tight to leave
          the country.
          45. By July 1988, a nwnb.r of Baha'is, including some prominent members of the
          Baha'i conv unity who had been arrested, allegedly because of thur faith, were
          released from prison and som. prison sentences were reduced. In the month of July
          alone, 13 Baha'is wer, reportedly released from prison and since February no new
          arrests have been reported.
          46. Recently, the Special Representative received the English translation of three
          official letters addressed to followers of the Baha'i faith. According to one
          letter, dated 28 June 1988, and sent by the Department of Trad. and Comnerc. of
          Teheran, two ration coupon bookr for five persons were cancelled “due to the
          holders b.ing Baha'is”. According to the other two letters, dated 28 and
          31 January 1988 respectively, and sent by the Central Council of Trade Unions of
          the town of Burujan, the Council was unable to issue business licences for two
          person., because they were “connected to the Baha'i sect”.
          C. Additional recent infQrmktion concerning alleged
          violations of II. right to life
          47. According to information received by the Special Representative in
          3eptemb.r 1988, a large number of prisoners, members of opposition groups, were
          executed during the months of July, August and early September 1988. Most of those
          allegedly executed were reported to be members of the People's MojaI .din
          Organization, but some 20 supporters of other opposition groups, such as the Tudeh
          party and the People's Fedsyen Orqan .zation of Iran (Majority) were also reported
          to have been executed.
          48. It was further reported that, following the incursion between 25 and
          28 July 1988 of the group known as the National Liberation Army into Iran, alleged
          members of, or collaborators with the People's Mojehedin Organization, said to be
          linked with the National Liberation Army, including an unknown nwTlber of prisoners
          who had been serving terms of various durations, were publicly hanged in Kangavar,
          Bakhetaran and Islamabad a-Gharb, in western Iran, close to the area of incursion,
          In addition, approximately 80 members of the People's Mojahedin Organization.
          mostly prisoners or former prisoners, were allegedly executed in early August 1988
          in the towns of Mashed, Kermanshah, Arek and Veremin, and in the prisons of Evin,
          Shires and Malayer. Some of them ware reported to have been publicly hanged. Two
          former prisoners who wire allegedly executed in Arak recently, wer. identified as
          Mahnioud Hamz.h Louien and Hossein Namder. It was also alleged that death sentences
          had been confirmed on 55 political prisoners who were currently awaiting execution.
          49. The Iranian Chief Justice was reported as declaring on 5 August 1988 that ‘the
          Judiciary is under very strong pressure from public opinion asking why we evun put
          them (members of the People's Mojahedin Organization) on trial, why some of them
          are jailed, and why all are not executed ... the people say they should all be
          / .,,
          Page 16
          executed without •xc.ption”. The Chief Justice reportedly added that more members
          of that organisation should be executed and that they should not benef It from any
          amnesty. “It was lucky that many of those who fought with the National Liberation
          Army wer. killed, this saved having to prepar, files to have them executed”
          (published in Ital.ut of 6 August 1988). It was further reported that the
          Government had told revolutionary courts to be mar. sever, against “armed and
          atheist” groups.
          50. It was reported that Hahrdad Farjad , an alleged member of the Central
          Committee of the Tudeh party, who was arrested in April 1983 and had since then
          been held in Evin prison, allegedly without being charged or tried, on
          26 August 1988, was instructed to write his will.
          51. It was also reported that family visits to political prLsoners in Evin prison
          in Teheran and in other prisons had been suspended since August 1956.
          52. The Permanent Representativ, of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United
          Nations Office at Geneva, Mr. Syrous Nasseri, made a number of interesting comments
          and judgements in his statements of 9 and 10 March 1988 before the Commission on
          Human Rights, in the framework of the discussion of the final report of the Special
          Representative. Some of them would tend to confirm that the passage of time, and
          the exercise in which the Special Representative has been engaged over the past few
          years, may be conducive to a better understanding of the problems encountered in
          the implementation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
          5 . Some of the points made in the statement may be qualified as positiv, because
          of their contribution to the implementation of the mandate. Other points would
          tend to indicate that the exercise has not yet reached the nece ;sary degree of
          maturity for II. positions of the Iranian Government to be convergent with the
          demands of binding international instruments. Following is a brief examination of
          the principal points made in the statements of the Permanent k iresentative.
          A. OE. question of politics in human rights
          54. The Iranian statemeflt began with a subject that is of fundamental importance,
          namely, the application of principles of fairness, objectivity end
          non-selectivity. The ar ument considered the possible reduction to a minimum of
          political components in d alixig with human rights, The Special Representative
          shares th. opinion that the principles of fairnees, objectivity and non-selectivity
          should be adhered to. But, while agreeing on these principles, the question of
          t.eir scope, contents and interpretation still remains. While reducing them to
          uniform criteria, the problem shifts to the proof of facts and situations to be
          appraised under international norms. The unavoidable conclusion is that veracity
          in this field pertains to the kind of topical logic that is founded on probable
          reasoning and not on absolute truth.
          / ...
          J /43/ 705
          Page 17
          55. In order to reduce to the point of elimination IIe political components that
          at times permeate II. discussions and actions in the field of human rights, the
          meticulous exclusion rf political objectives, on the one hand, and strict adherc'nce
          to the universally r ognis.d principle of the protection of the inherent rights of
          all human beings, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, political
          affiliation or sex, on the other, are essential. Certainly such desiderata are not
          easy to attain but must. be omnipresent as a fundamental regulatory principle, in
          order to ensue. thaP misuse or deviation is kept to a minimum. There are some
          expressions of 2itica that are naturally incompatible with human rights, such as
          those directed to win and maintain control over Government or to compete or
          struggle for power, both in the domestic and the international arenas. But human
          rights express a kind of 9oli , as a definite cour3e of action selected among
          alternatives, and as a scheme embracing goals and procedures in accordance with
          aqr.ed international instruments.
          B. Iilaxnj law with inte tiona1 law
          56. The Permanent Representative stated that “the Islamic Republic of Iran
          welcomes the initiation of the discussion on the very important issue of
          compatibility between Islamic law anu international law”, expressed the hope that
          “this valuable discussion can lead to 3 comprehensive andlysis and a comparative
          study on a broader scale”, and added that “the Special kepresentative's decision to
          engage in this dialogue is positive and fruitful”. The Iranian Ambassador
          indicated that the importanc. of this issue is not due to the peculiarities of the
          current situation in Iran but “concerns Islamic countries and Muslims the world
          over”, He disputed the thesis that “aUh rence to international law is a must for
          all States”, and repeated that “Islamic doctrine had very limited presentation and
          reception at the time the Declaretlon and the two Covenant3 were formulated”. He
          concluded that “it is contrary to the objectives of a constructiv, approach and
          dialogue, therefore, to just turn around and say ‘ov.rs was to make the law, yours
          is to concede'”. These comments were followed by the statement that, “et the seine
          time, I shall reiterate that the discussion should not at serve as an obstacle
          in reflecting on the true situation of 1 uman rights in Iran. Matters raised by the
          Special Representative may still be considered in practical terms there is no
          unresolvable complication stemming from the compatibility between Islamic law and
          international law. I shall stress tha' Iran does not pursue a selective approach
          to international law”.
          57. This statement contains three elements that may be considered as promising
          with respect to the implementation of ‘esolutions of both the General Assembly and
          the Commission on Human Rights: (a) notwithstanding problems of compatibility
          between Islamic law and international law, “matters raised by the Special
          Representative may be considered in practical terms”, because there is no
          unsolvable complication stemming from that issue; (b) the question of compatibility
          is not an obstacle in reflecting on the true situation of human rights in Iran: and
          (c) “Iran does not pursue a selective approach to internatiunal law”.
          Page 18
          C. Co..oparation ,ij. ed by II. Gov.lnm.nt of the Z.lainic
          Republic of Iran
          58. The General Assembly and th. Commission on Human Rights have reiterated urgent
          demands to th. Iranian Government to co-operate fully in III procedures that should
          enable the •xaminstion of the situation of human rights in Iran. In another
          statement made by the Permanent R.pr.sentstive before the Commission on 10 March
          1988, he concurred with th. opinion that II. United Nations procedure. on human
          rights were predominantly oo-op.rativ. in nature. “It ii on thu understanding”,
          he stated, “that the Islamic Republic of Iran has .nq ged in positive and
          constructive dialogue with the Sp.cisl R.pr.sentativ.”. Thou qualificeti i&' ai
          compatible with polemical approaches and diverq nc. of views. If there were
          complete agreement the dialogue would become devoid of substance and would turn
          into a merely formal •*.rcis..
          59, Tb. Special R.presentative has emphasised the crucial role of that
          co-operation in regard to the full discharge of his mandate. Tb. Iranian
          Av bassador declar. i that “on the question of co-operation, thi Government of the
          Islamic Republic of Iran once aga. n states its readiniss to fully co-operate with
          the Special Representative”. However, the implementation of this encouraging
          assertion was poitpon.d on account of two obstacles, namely, the wording of the
          resolution adopted by the Commission and the source of some of the information
          received by the Special Representative. A. regards the wording of the resolution,
          the Permanent Representative indicated that “one major difficulty that remains is
          the attribution of th. term ‘religious minority' to Baha'ii”, and continued “we
          invite the sponsors of the resolution to clarify precisely on what basis have they
          decided to attribute the term ‘minority' to the Baha'is”. The Iranian statement
          referred to a resolution of the Islamic Assembly of Jurisprudencei a subsidiary
          organ of the Islamic Conference, which in the course of its fourth ssssion held at
          Jiddsh, Saudi Arabia, “decided that Bahaism do.s not represent a religion”. The
          other point of contention was the source of some of th. allegations collected by
          the Special Representative. Specific reference was made to the Mujahe .in Khalg, an
          organiustion which, according to the International Herald Tribune of
          8 December 1987, referred to in the Iranian statema t, had affirmed having killed
          several thousand Iranian soldiers and taken hundreds of prisoners.
          60. The Special Representative considered this question in his final report to the
          Commission (E/CN.4/1988/24, paras. 60-65). A distinction was then made between the
          channel through which the inZcrmation reaches the Special Representative and the
          allegations concerning the rights of individuals. Furthermore, it was asserted
          that members of all organisations, including those engaged in violent actions, were
          formed by human beings who, as such, were antitled to the enjoyment of human
          rights. They may be prosecuted and convicted but only within the norms of fair
          trial and full guarantees to whiob all human beings are entitled without
          distinction or discrimination, including their inherent right to bi detained,
          investigated and tried without ill-treatmsnt or torture. Whatever the channel or
          origin of the information, the Special Representative cannot discard reports on
          human rights violations simply on account of their origin. One major difficulty in
          the current exercise resides in the absence of circumstantiated replies from the
          Iranian Government.
          P. 143/705
          Page 19
          D. SifiI• 9 .iI.Q iU
          61. The statement by the Iranian Ambassador contained another paragraph that
          deserves to be brought to the attention of the competent organs of the United
          Nations, namely, that “it is the firm policy and intention of the Governm•nt of the
          Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners as long as they do not re—engage
          in violent end criminal acts”. 4. continued by noting that the experience had not
          been encouraging thus far because a percentage of released prisoners had re-engaged
          in violent actions 1 No precise figures were given.
          02. The statement may be understood as suggesting that more prisoners might be
          released if an appropriate situation were created. To that effect, it was
          suggested that the sponsors of United Nations rssolutions could co-operate with
          representatives of the Iranian Government. OEis was expressed in the conclusion of
          that part of the statement according to which the Iranian Government “looks forward
          to this co-operation whether on a direct basis or IIrough the Special
          K. Detailed replies to sliagations
          63. The statement under consideration contained the unqualified promise to give
          detailed response to allegations of violations of human rights. This was expressed
          in the following wordsi “on the lists of names provided by the Special
          Representctive, I would like to add that the final report of Mr. Galindo Pohi was
          received in early February. Preparation of more detailed response is currently
          under way and, once completed, will be communicated to the Commission”.
          64, During the period under review, detailed allegations of human rights
          violations, both oral and written in the Islamic Republic of Iran continued to be
          received. Such allegations were made both by Iranians who had fled their country
          in the past few years and by non-governmental organisetions and other independent
          sources. Ne lists of case. of alleged violations of human rights were
          communicated to the Iranian Government through official channels.
          65. It may be noted that the collection of first-hand information regarding the
          situation of human rights in the country presents certain difficulties, due to the
          conditions under which potential informants leave the country and reach other
          countries, and the laps. of time between their departure and the time of informing
          the Special Representative of their experience.
          66. The cases communicated to the Iranian Government may be classified into the
          categories of right to life, right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or
          degrading treatmen' or punishment, right to liberty and security of person, right
          to a fair trial a id right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. No
          allegations pertaining to other categories were received during the period under
          , . . .
          Pigs 20
          67. The Special Representative shares the Iranian Government's view that the
          principles of fairness, objectivity and non-selectivity should be adhered to in
          dealing with human rights, and that the use of the international protection of
          human rights for particular political gains s ould be rejectec t.
          68. The announcement made by the Iranian Government indicating that the
          preparation of more detailed responses to the cases presented to it hitherto was
          currently under way, and that such replies would be made known as soon as they were
          ready, deserves to be mentioned as a positive development. The transmission of
          circumstantiated official replies will contribute to balance the information
          constituting the basis for the resolutions of the organs in charge of monitoring
          the compliance of certain practice. with international instruments. Moreover, it
          would provide an additional and tangible proof of the increasing degree of
          co .-op.ration extended by the Iranian Government to the competent United Nations
          69. During 1987, the number of alleged violations of the ri ht to life continued
          to decrease, as it had in the past few years. Nevertheless, in July, August and
          September 3.988, an increase in the number of executions, principally of prisoners,
          members of variou, opposition group., ha. been reported. Such executions justify
          en international concern that the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil
          and Political Rights regarding the right to life are not fully adhered to by the
          Iranian Government. The Special Representative shares the concern expressed by the
          Special Rapporteur on Susv nary and Arbitrary Executioni who, on 24 August and
          14 September 1988, addressed telegrams to the Iranian Minister for Foreign Affeirs,
          transmitting to him case. of alleged violations of the right to life and recalling
          the provisions of article 14 of the International Covenant on ‘ ivil and Political
          Rights, to which the Islamic RepubLic of Iran is a party.
          70. All the sources providing information to the Special Representative, be they
          Iranian individuals, non-governmental organizations or other independent sources,
          converged in alleging that ill-treatment and torture, both physical and
          psychological, continued to be convnon in Iranian prisons, especially during
          interrogation but also invnediately after arrest and before and after the final
          71. Those sources also coincided in affirming the existence of extremely summary.
          informal and irregular proceedings, failure to inform defendants of specific
          accusations against them, lack of legal counsel, absence of an appropiate instance
          for appeal and other irregularities that contravene the international standards on
          fair trial.
          72. With regard to the number of political prisoners, even the figures admitted by
          official Iranian sources are sufficient to provoke genuine concern. While some of
          such prisoners had indeed engaged in violent actions, others have allegedly been
          arrested on grounds of mere sympathy with opposition groups or criticism of the
          current political situation.
          73. Regarding the conditions prevailing in Iranian prisons, the Special
          Representative continued to receive preoccupying reports alleging in p rticular
          / . . .
          ng1 I sh
          Page 21
          overcrowding, lack of access to medical treatment, poor quality and insufficient
          quantity of food and •xtr.mely poor sanitary conditions. In addition, II. Spicial
          Repr.sentativ. is concerned about reports that al ] family visits to political
          prisoners In Evin prison in Teheran and a few other detention centres have b..n
          suspended since August 1988.
          74. The alleged ill-treatment and torture of prisoners, the absenc• of regulation.
          on fair trial and the Infringement of the regulation, in force, th. large number of
          political prisoners and the alleged poor conditions prevailing .&n Iranian prison.
          continue to be a matter of legitimate concern. Th. examination of the Iranian
          Penal Code, which will be dealt with in the final report to the Commission on Human
          Rights, reveals that it does not fully conform with th. pertinent provisions on
          fair trial of II. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (arts. 7-11) and the
          International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (arts, 6, 14 and 15).
          75. All allegations concerning che Iranian peflitentiary system d.serv. to be
          thoroughly investigated by the Government. The total elimination of such practices
          has to be considered at the levels of both legislation and implementation. The
          Iranian constitution does conlain a provision forbidding torture, but it appears to
          be ignored by certain officials in charge of investigations and by prison wardens.
          The importauce of prompt investigation into all all.gations of irregularities
          referred to above, as well as redress action, must be emphasised a. part of the
          necessary efforts to reconcile the Iranian penal system with the requirements of
          the International human rights instruments.
          76. With regard to alleged violations of the right to freedom of thought,
          conscience and religion, the Special Representative received information concerning
          the situation of the Baha i community In the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose
          members allegedly continued to be harassed solely on the grounds of their faith.
          According to recent reports, however, harassment against Baha'is diminished
          somewhat in recent months. Since February 1988, no new arrests have been reported,
          but 140 Baha'is are still said to remain in prison. There have b.e no reports of
          recent executions. By July 1988, a number of Baha'is, including some prominent
          personalities, had been released from prison, including 13 for the month of .July
          alone, and the sentences of others were reduced. Lately, some schoolchildren were
          allowed to return to school.
          77. Whereas the official Iranian stand has been that Bahais had never been
          persecuted on account of their faith, and that those imprisoned or executed were
          punished for engagement in subversive ar.tivities, the Beh 'i International
          Community ha strongly denied these charges. According to that non-governmental
          organization, in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, Babe urn
          is an independent world religion whose members are forbidden from getting involved
          in partisan politics or in subversive activities.
          78. Although the state of full co-operation has not yet been achieved, during the
          period under consideration the Iranian Government continued to indicate its
          willingness to increase gradually its co-operation with the competent United
          Nations organs. The promise of full co-operation has none the less been
          conditional on the removal of the two obstacles referr•d to in paragraph 59 above.
          Page 22
          It may therefore be advisabl, at th. present stage to renew the urgent appeal to
          the Iranian Government to extend its full co-op.rati n to II. Special
          Representativ, in order to facilitate the full implementation of the resolutions
          adopted by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, and to comply
          with th. obligations contained in the International Covenants.
          79. The information received from th. Iranian Government, from Iranians who have
          recently fled their country and rrom non-governmental organizations and other
          independent sources does not contain elements that are likely to change the view
          expressed by the Special Representative in his report to the Commission on Human
          Rights. The Special Representative expressed his belief that acts continued to
          occur in Iran that were inconsistent with i t.rnational instruments to which the
          Government of that country w is bound. The Special Representative had reached the
          moral conviction that there was a nucleus of veracity in the information received
          thus far, and consequently, that acts continued to occur in Iran which deserved the
          full attention of the Government, in order to redress abuses and prevent their
          80. In the light of the foregoing, it appears that the persistence of alleged
          violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in particular, the
          recent reports of a renewed wave of executions in the period from July to
          September 1988, suffices to justify international concern and the need for the
          competent United Nations organs to continue monitoring the situation in that
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Freedom of Religion, Political Freedom