Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/28/70 para 88
Full recommendation:
High priority should be placed on amending laws and policies that undermine or violate
internationally recognized rights and standards, and that therefore diminish the Government’s
capacity to address concerns highlighted during the review and presented in the present and
other reports produced by the human rights mechanisms. The Government should
rescind laws that render as offences activities conducted to exercise legitimate rights under
international law, including any laws that restrict the press, criminalize expression, limit
access to information and give rise to the ongoing arrests of civil society actors and
members of vulnerable groups, including religious and ethnic minorities, as well as laws that
apply the death penalty to offences, such as drug-trafficking, that are not considered to be
“most serious crimes” under international law. Moreover, the mandatory use of the death
penalty is not compatible with the fair trial safeguards required under international law for the
application of the death penalty and should be reconsidered.
Assessment using Impact Iran indicators.1
A. Freedom of expression and information
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 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.”2 The 1986
Press Law and its subsequent amendments also significantly obstructs the right to freedom of
expression, in particular for the media.3 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.”4

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; CCPR.6.2.P.1; CCPR.6.1.S.1; CCPR.6.2.S.1; CCPR.6.1.O.1;
CCPR.6.2.O.1
2
“Islamic Republic of Iran: Computer Crimes Law,” ARTICLE19, 2012. https://bit.ly/1RecP6R
3
The Press Law and its subsequent amendments up until 2002 is available at : http://irandataportal.syr.edu/press-law
4
Iranian Press Law, Article 6.

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