Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/40/67 para 70(j)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government and Parliament ensure that human
rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, and lawyers and journalists are not
threatened with or subjected to intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrest, deprivation of liberty
or other arbitrary sanction, and release all those detained in connection with their work.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
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 can be considered
“fundamental principles of Islam.” therefore granting the State with significant leeway to restrict
the rights that contain such condition. Similar restrictions can also be found under Article 2 of
the Law on Political Crimes, adopted in 2016, where stipulated 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, recognised 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 for restrictions of rights, including peaceful assembly, if their 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 obstructs the right to freedom of
expression, in particular 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
conditions under which the press might be censored, including “publishing heretical articles,”
“spreading fornication and forbidden practices,” and “propagating and spreading
overconsumption.”6

1
CCPR.19.2.S.1; CCPR.19.3.S.1; CCPR.21.1.S.1; CCPR.22.1.S.2
CCPR.21.1.P.1; CCPR.21.1.P.2;
CCPR.19.2.O.2; CCPR.19.2.O.5; CPPR.21.1.O.2 ; CCPR.21.1.O.3; CCPR.22.1.O.1
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 are available at : http://irandataportal.syr.edu/press-law
6
Iranian Press Law, Article 6.

1

Select target paragraph3