Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/43/61 para 68(b)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government, the judiciary and the parliament:
Ensure that all those arrested, including those arrested during the November 2019 protests, for
the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of opinion, expression, assembly and association
are released, and ensure also that the detaining authorities promptly report the whereabouts and
situation of detainees to their families;
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government the judiciary and the
parliament: Ensure that all those arrested, including those arrested during the
November 2019 protests, for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of
opinion, expression, assembly and association are released
While Article 27 of the Constitution ostensibly protects the right to freedom of peaceful
assembly, the guarantee falls short of international standards set out in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by requiring that participants are not “in
violation of the fundamental principles of Islam”. There is no clear definition or criteria that
defines what can be considered “fundamental principles of Islam”. Under Article 2 of the Law on
Political Crimes, adopted in 2016, participation in an unauthorized assembly, even if it is
peaceful, can effectively be considered a political offence.2 Unauthorized assemblies were
previously prohibited under the 1981 Law on the Activities of Parties, Populations and Political
and Trade Unions and Islamic Associations or Recognised Religious Minorities.3 Those
participating in peaceful unauthorized assemblies are often charged and sentenced to prison
terms under Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code.4
The right to freedom of expression, recognised under Article 24 of the Constitution is similarly
undermined by vague qualifications, such as being “deemed harmful to the principles of Islam or
the rights of the public”. Article 40 further allows for restrictions of rights, including peaceful

1

CCPR.19.1.S.1; CCPR.19.2.S.1; CCPR.21.1.S.1; CCPR.22.1.S.1;
CCPR.21.1.P.2;
CCPR.21.1.O.2; CCPR.21.1.O.3; CCPR.22.1.O.2
2
The 2016 Law on Political Crimes, available at: https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/968421
3
The 1981 Law on the Activities of Parties, Populations and Political and Trade Unions and Islamic Associations or Recognised
Religious
Minorities, available at: https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/90226
4
The new Islamic Penal Code was introduced in 2013 for an experimental period of five years and was revised in 2016. See the
most updated
version of the Islamic Penal Code here on the website of the Iranian parliament: http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/print_version/845048

1

Select target paragraph3