Country Visit Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Report E/CN.4/2004/3/Add.2
para 65(3)
Full recommendation:
3. On the situation of prisoners of conscience. These prisoners are punished twice over.
Many of them have, on the one hand, simply peacefully exercised their fundamental right to
freedom of opinion and expression and, on the other, have been unable to benefit in most
cases from the guarantees which are essential to the right to fair trial, as we have
emphasized with regard in particular to the abolition of the prosecution service. Solutions
must be sought to bring about their release in the near term.
With this aim the Article 90 Parliamentary Commission which, as we have seen, has
investigated situations of arbitrary detention, could usefully be employed to propose a
reformed legal framework. These releases could be announced on the holding of the next
national or religious holiday.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Enacted in 1994, the Law on Formation of General and Revolutionary Courts gave the Head
of the Judiciary the authority to abolish the Office of the Prosecutor,2 subsequently
disestablished the following year.3 As described by the Working Group on Arbitrary
Detentions, in these circumstances the same judge would act “in succession as prosecutor,
then investigating magistrate and lastly sentencing judge”,4 in contradiction with international
standards.5 Amendments to the 1994 Law reinstated the Office of the Prosecutor in 2002.6
In its 2004 reports, the Working Group considered that the “multiplicity of functions” of the
judge “vitiate the right to due process and that account should be taken of this in the context
of amnesty laws and pardons”, notably with regards to prisoners of conscience. 7 However,
there is no readily available information that might indicate that redress for prisoners of
conscience, convicted while the prosecution services were abolished, was granted.

1

CCPR.9.3.S.3; CCPR.9.3.S.2; CCPR.9.4.S.1
CCPR.9.4.P.1
CCPR.9.2.O.4
2
The Law on Formation of General and Revolutionary Courts, 13 July 1994, available at rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/90416
3
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
4
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, 2004, https://documents-ddsny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G03/147/77/pdf/G0314777.pdf?OpenElement
5
The 1990 UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors,
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/RoleOfProsecutors.aspx, Human Rights Committee General comment
no. 32, Article 14, https://www.refworld.org/docid/478b2b2f2.html
6
Amendments to the Law on Formation of General and Revolutionary Courts, 3 November 2002, available at
https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/93837
7
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, 2004, https://documents-ddsny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G03/147/77/pdf/G0314777.pdf?OpenElement

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