The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 37/30, comprises two parts.
In the first part, the Special Rapporteur describes how the protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran reflect long-standing grievances related to human rights. An amendment to the drug trafficking law has led to a decline in executions. Nevertheless, increasing economic challenges have intensified grievances, which may be exacerbated following the reimposition of unilateral sanctions. Discontent has been expressed through disparate protests by different groups across the country. The Government has introduced some measures aimed at addressing economic challenges, but the arrests of lawyers, human rights defenders and labour activists signal an increasingly severe State response. In the second part, the Special Rapporteur describes how the execution of child offenders in the Islamic Republic of Iran has continued over decades in violation of the country’s international human rights obligations. Girls can be sentenced to death as young as 9 and boys as young as 15. Despite amendments to the Penal Code and practical efforts aimed at reducing the executions, at least 33 child offenders have been executed since 2013. The Special Rapporteur makes a number of targeted recommendations to the Parliament and the judiciary with a view to ending such executions.
Consistent with the pattern of discrimination observed, minority groups have been affected. In July 2018, 80 persons from the Azerbaijani Turkish community were reportedly arrested before and during a cultural celebration at Babak Fort in East Azerbaijan Province. 30Most were released amidst reports that those detained had been subjected to ill-treatment. In August, 40 persons from the community were temporarily detained during a gathering in Meshgin Shahr in Ardabil Province amidst reports of excessive force by security forces. Concerns have also been raised about the fate and whereabouts of eight Gonabadi dervishes who allegedly held a sit-in protest in August 2018 at the Great Tehran Penitentiary.31 In its comments, the Government stated that the aforementioned persons were imprisoned with access to telephone calls.