Concluding Observation Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 27
Full recommendation:
The State party should fully guarantee the right to freedom of expression and opinion of
independent media, and ensure that journalists can exercise their profession without fear of
being brought before courts. The State party should release, rehabilitate and provide effective
judicial redress and compensation for journalists imprisoned in contravention of articles 9 and
19 of the Covenant. The State party should also ensure that the monitoring of Internet use does
not violate the rights to freedom of expression and privacy as defined in the Covenant. The
Committee reminds the State party of its general comment No. 34 (2011) on article 19.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Islamic Republic of Iran should fully guarantee the right to freedom of
expression and opinion of independent media, and ensure that journalists can
exercise their profession without fear of being brough before courts
Iranian law, including the Islamic Penal code and the press law, enables Iranian authorities to
label as crime any act of criticism against the policies or practices of government institutions.2
Articles 23 and 24 of the Iranian Constitution recognize the right to freedom of thought and
expression while prohibiting censorship of press.3 However, Article 24 restricts freedom of the
press “when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public.”4
The “fundamental principles of Islam” or “the rights of the public” are not explicitly defined
under Iranian law which grants Iranian authorities significant discretion to restrict the right to
freedom of expression, freedom of the press and media. These legal guarantees are further
undermined by the criminalisation under the Islamic Penal Code of vaguely defined charges such
as “violating public morals”, “sowing corruption on earth” or disturbing national security5,
consequently largely restricting the right to freedom of expression.5

1

CCPR.17.1.S.1; CCPR.17.1.S.2; CCCPR.19.1.S.1.; CCPR.19.2.S.1.; CCPR19.2.S.2;
CCPR.19.2.P.2.; CCPR.19.2.P.2.; CCPR.19.2.P.3;
CCPR.19.1.O.1.; CCPR.19.2.O.1.; CCPR.19.2.O.2.; CCPR.19.2.O.5.
2
Article 608, 609 and 697 of Islamic Penal Code: https://shenasname.ir/laws/4475-ghanon-mojazat
3
The Constitution states that the press is free to express its views, unless it violates the principles of Islam and public law. The
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, <https://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b56710.html >
4
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/constitutionenglish-1368.pdf
5
Article 608, 609, 697 and Article 498 to 512 of Islamic Penal Code 2013 : https://shenasname.ir/laws/4475-ghanon-mojazat

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