Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/43/61 para 68(j)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government, the judiciary and the parliament:
Ensure that human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, lawyers and
journalists, are not threatened with or subjected to intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrest,
deprivation of liberty or other arbitrary sanction, and release all those detained in connection
with their work;
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, however only if it is not “in violation of the fundamental
principles of Islam”. There are no clear definitions or criteria that define what the “fundamental
principles of Islam” are, therefore the State has significant leeway to restrict the rights that
contain such condition. Similar restrictions can also be found under Article 2 of the Law on
Political Crimes, adopted in 2016, which stipulates that participation in an unauthorised
assembly, even if it is peaceful, can effectively be considered a political offence.3
Similarly, the right to freedom of expression, recognised 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 of the Constitution further allows for the restriction of rights, including peaceful assembly, if
their exercise is deemed “injurious to others” or “detrimental to public interests”. Similar
provisions restrict the right to freedom of expression online through the criminalisation 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 obstructs the right to freedom of expression, in particular 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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