Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/28/70 para 93
Full recommendation:
The Government should amend laws and policies, and reconsider draft legislation, that infringe
on the right to freely associate and assemble with expressive groups or like-minded individuals
and to promote peaceful ideals and activities. Non- governmental organizations, including
unregistered associations, should be allowed to function freely, and their members should be
able to operate in a safe environment. The Special Rapporteur echoes the recommendation made
by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association that
the establishment of associations should be facilitated by a notification procedure that is simple,
easily accessible, non-discriminatory and non-onerous or free of charge. Furthermore, the right
to peaceful assembly should not be subject to prior authorization by the authorities, but at the
most to a prior notification procedure, which should not be burdensome, and the Government
should recognize spontaneous assemblies as exempted from prior notification.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Government should amend laws and policies, and reconsider draft legislation,
that infringe on the right to freely associate and assemble with expressive groups or
like-minded individuals and to promote peaceful ideals and activities.
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
define 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 had
previously been prohibited under the 1981 Law on the Activities of Parties, Populations and
Political and Trade Unions and Islamic Associations or Recognized Religious Minorities.3
The revised version of the Islamic Penal Code,4 adopted in 2013, maintains numerous provisions
which criminalize the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful
1

CCPR.22.1.S.1
CCPR.22.1.P.1
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 Recognized
Religious
Minorities, available at: https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/90226
4
The Islamic Penal Code available at: http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/print_version/845048

1

Select target paragraph3