Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/34/65 para 87
Full recommendation
The Special Rapporteur recalls that freedom of opinion and freedom of expression are
indispensable conditions for the full development of the person, are essential for any society and
constitute the foundation stone for every free and democratic society. The Government has the
responsibility to ensure that human rights defenders do not face prosecution for promoting and
advancing human rights in the country.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Article 27 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran2 ostensibly protects the right to
freedom of peaceful assembly, so long as it is not “in violation of the fundamental principles of
Islam”. There is no clear definition or criteria that define what constitutes “fundamental
principles of Islam”, granting the State significant discretion to restrict the right of peaceful
assembly when it is considered to be in violation of these fundamental principles. Similar
restrictions can also be found under Article 2 of the Law on Political Crimes, adopted in 2016,
which stipulates that participation in an unauthorized assembly, even if it is peaceful, can
effectively be considered a political offence.3
Similarly, the right to freedom of expression, recognized under Article 24 of the Constitution, is
restricted if it is “deemed harmful to the principles of Islam or the rights of the public”. Article
40 further allows for restrictions of rights, including peaceful assembly, if the exercise is deemed
“injurious to others” or “detrimental to public interests”. Similar provisions restrict the right to
freedom of expression online through the criminalization of vaguely worded offences such as the
“dissemination of lies” and what is deemed to offend “public morality and chastity”.4 The 1986
Press Law and its subsequent amendments also significantly obstruct the right to freedom of
expression, particularly for the media.5 The law mentions that publications should “duly
[observe] Islamic criteria and the best interests of the community”. It also provides twelve
conditions under which the press might be censored, including “publishing heretical articles”,
“spreading fornication and forbidden practices”, and “propagating and spreading
overconsumption”.6
1
CCPR.19.2.S.1; CCPR.19.3.S.1; CCPR.21.1.S.1; CCPR.22.1.S.2; CCPR.21.1.P.1; CCPR.21.1.P.2; CCPR.19.2.O.2;
CCPR.19.2.O.5; CPPR.21.1.O.2 ; CCPR.21.1.O.3; CCPR.22.1.O.1
2
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/constitutionenglish-1368.pdf
3
The 2016 Law on Political Crimes, available at: https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/968421
4
“Islamic Republic of Iran: Computer Crimes Law,” ARTICLE19, 2012. https://bit.ly/1RecP6R
5
The Press Law and its subsequent amendments up until 2002 is available at: http://irandataportal.syr.edu/press-law
6
Iranian Press Law, Article 6.

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