Country Visit Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Report E/CN.4/2004/3/Add.2
para 65(2)
Full recommendation:
2. On the practice of “solitary confinement”. As this practice generates arbitrary situations,
plans should be drawn up for the closure of these prisons, retaining only a few punishment
cells in each institution for short disciplinary periods of solitary confinement. In addition, the
report of the Article 90 Parliamentary Commission on prisons should be made public or at
least debated in Parliament. The Commission would then be responsible for publishing a list
of prisons each year.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. Plans should be drawn up for the closure of solitary confinement prisons
The Iranian Criminal Code of Procedure (2015) lists the disciplinary punishments that may be
imposed on detainees and prisoners but excludes solitary confinement, which remains
prescribed under Article 175 of the Prison Regulations. 2 Under Iran’s Prison Regulations, any
disciplinary measures may be imposed after investigation by a disciplinary council composed
of judicial and prison officials, although the Regulations do not specify the offences that may
be subject to punishments. If the disciplinary council finds the accused prisoner guilty by
majority vote, it may impose “detention in solitary confinement for a maximum of 20 days.”3
The lack of regulations for holding detainees in solitary confinement outside of the
circumstances predicted under Prison Regulations put detainees at risk of arbitrary solitary
confinement, and for prolonged periods of time.
Article 175 of Iran’s Prison Regulations stipulates that solitary confinement should not exceed
20 days,4 while the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (or Nelson
Mandela’s rules) consider solitary confinement longer than 15 days as prolonged solitary
confinement. 5 The Human Rights Committee has stipulated that the prolonged solitary
confinement of detainees may amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.6
Reports suggest that the Section 209 of the Evin Prison in Tehran, under the control of the
Ministry of Intelligence, is the place of systematic and large-scale use of solitary confinement
1

CCPR.9.1.S.2
CCPR.9.1.P.1; CCPR.9.1.P.3
CCPR.9.O.1; CCPR.9.1.O.2; CCPR.9.O.3
2
Article 524, Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iranian Prisons Regulations, as referred to in
https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
3
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
4
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
5
Rule 44, Nelson Mandela’s Rules or UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners,
https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/Nelson_Mandela_Rules-E-ebook.pdf
6
General comment No. 20 (1992) on the prohibition of torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment, para. 6.

1

Select target paragraph3