• This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Publication Reports

Iran must stop using long-term detention to silence human rights defenders, says UN expert

GENEVA (6 July 2021) — A UN expert today criticised the Islamic Republic of Iran's practice of sentencing human rights defenders to long-term detention, and called on the Government to release all those detained for their human rights work.

"It is too easy for human rights defenders in Iran to find themselves condemned to 10 years or more in prison for carrying out work that is legitimate in the eyes of human rights law," said Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

"Defenders of women, of children, of prisoner rights, of labour rights, of freedom of expression, of freedom of association, of minorities, of the right to receive a fair trial and of the right not to be tortured — they all run the risk of being detained in dire conditions for long periods of time," she said.


UNSGHuman Rights Council Forty-seventh session
21 June–9 July 2021
Agenda item 2: Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Report of the Secretary-General*

The overall situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran remains of serious concern. Notwithstanding the economic crisis, aggravated by the imposition of sectoral sanctions and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, internal factors involving impediments to the rule of law and weak justice and accountability mechanisms result in impunity, perpetuate existing violations and increase the risk of future violations. The failure to establish a mechanism in accordance with international law for accountability and remedy for violations committed in the context of protests in November 2019 is emblematic. Protesters, human rights defenders, lawyers and civil society actors continue to be subject to intimidation, arbitrary detention and criminal prosecution, including the death penalty.

Department of State 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Iran
 MARCH 30, 2021
Executive Summary

The Islamic Republic of Iran is an authoritarian theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist). Shia clergy, most notably the rahbar (supreme leader), and political leaders vetted by the clergy dominate key power structures. The supreme leader is the head of state. The members of the Assembly of Experts are nominally directly elected in popular elections. The assembly selects and may dismiss the supreme leader. The candidates for the Assembly of Experts, however, are vetted by the Guardian Council (see below) and are therefore selected indirectly by the supreme leader himself. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has held the position since 1989. He has direct or indirect control over the legislative and executive branches of government through unelected councils under his authority.

Launched by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), “Tracker 19” is a tool made for an unprecedented global crisis. So named in reference not only to Covid-19 but also article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this project aims to evaluate the pandemic’s impacts on journalism. It will document state censorship and deliberate disinformation, and their impact on the right to reliable news and information. It will also make recommendations on how to defend journalism.


IRAN (down three at 173rd)



IRAN 2020

The authorities heavily suppressed the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Security forces used unlawful force to crush protests. The authorities continued to arbitrarily detain hundreds of protesters, dissidents and human rights defenders, and sentenced many to imprisonment and flogging. Women, as well as ethnic and religious minorities, faced entrenched discrimination as well as violence. Enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment were committed with impunity on a widespread and systematic basis. Judicial corporal punishments amounting to torture, including floggings and amputations, were imposed. Fair trial rights were systematically violated. The death penalty was used as a weapon of political repression.

Page 1 of 2