Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/34/65 para 89
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to take proactive steps to promote the
full realization of the rights of human rights defenders and to refrain from any acts that violate
the rights of human rights defenders because of their human rights work. The government should
take strict measures to ensure that the security and intelligence apparatus does not use reprisals
against families of those who monitor or campaign against human rights violations or express
views that are contrary to government policies.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Special Rapporteur urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to take proactive steps to
promote the full realization of the rights of human rights defenders and to refrain
from any acts that violate the rights of human rights defenders because of their
human rights work
The Iranian legal framework does not guarantee the full enjoyment of the rights of human rights
defenders, rather it severely limits or even criminalises their peaceful human rights work.
Article 27 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran2 ostensibly protects the right to
freedom of peaceful assembly, so long as it is not “in violation of the fundamental principles of
Islam”. There is no clear definition, nor criteria, that defines what is considered to be in
conformity with the “fundamental principles of Islam”. This results with the State having
significant discretion to restrict the right of peaceful assembly when it is considered to be in
violation of these fundamental principles. Similar restrictions can also be found under Article 2
of the Law on Political Crimes, adopted in 2016, which stipulates that participation in an
unauthorised 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 it is “deemed harmful to the principles of Islam or the rights of the public”. Article
40 further allows for the 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 criminalisation of vaguely worded offences
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

1

Select target paragraph3