Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/73/398 para 33
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur reiterates the previous calls made by his predecessor and the SecretaryGeneral that all those arrested for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of assembly and
of opinion and expression be released, including those arrested during the protests in December
2017 and January 2018. The Special Rapporteur further calls upon the Government to undertake
an independent and transparent investigation into the reported deaths in custody and other
incidents leading to alleged violations of rights that took place during and after the protests.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Special Rapporteur reiterates that all arrested for the peaceful exercise of the
rights to freedom of assembly and of opinion and expression be released
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 is no clear definition or criteria that define what constitutes
“fundamental principles of Islam,” therefore granting the State significant opportunity to restrict
rights that contain such condition. Similar restrictions are also found under Article 2 of the Law
on Political Crimes, adopted in 2016, which stipulates that participation in an unauthorized
assembly, even if it is peaceful, can effectively be considered a political offence.3
Similarly, the right to freedom of expression, recognized under Article 24 of the Constitution is
restricted if “deemed harmful to the principles of Islam or the rights of the public.” Article 40
further allows restrictions of rights, including peaceful assembly, if the exercise is deemed
“injurious to others” or “detrimental to public interests.” Similar provisions restrict the right to
freedom of expression online through the criminalization 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 obstruct the right to freedom of
expression, particularly 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
1
CCPR.9.1.S.1; CCPR.9.1.S.2; CCPR.9.1.S.3; CCPR.9.2.S.1; CCPR.9.3.S.2; CCPR.14.1.S.2; CCPR.9.1.P.1; CCPR.9.1.P.2;
CCPR.9.1.P.5; CCPR.9.1.P.6; CCPR.9.2.P.1; CCPR.9.3.P.1; CCPR.9.1.O.1; CCPR.9.1.O.1; CCPR.9.2.O.1; CCPR.9.2.O.4;
CCPR.14.1.O.8
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

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