Iran: Human Rights Report Flags Countless Abuses

The United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour has compiled a report about the human rights situation in Iran for the 2016 period. 

The report highlights that the Supreme Leader of Iran has the ultimate control including deciding who runs for presidency. It stated: “While mechanisms for popular election existed within the structure of the state, the supreme leader held significant influence over the legislative and executive branches of government through unelected councils under his authority and held constitutional authority over the judiciary, the government-run media, and the armed forces. The supreme leader also indirectly controlled the internal security forces and other key institutions.” Therefore, democracy is non-existent in Iran.

The worst and most pressing human rights issue in Iran is the suppression of civil liberties “including the freedoms of assembly, association, speech, religion, and press”. The abuse of due process, the use of capital punishment and the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments are also of grave concern.

The report also highlights that there are other human rights issues in the country including “politically motivated violence and repression; disappearances; limitations on citizens’ ability to choose their government peacefully through free and fair elections”. 

Many prisoners in Iran are also subjected to “harsh” and “life-threatening” conditions during their incarceration – this includes long periods of time spent in solitary confinement.

The trial process in Iran is grossly unfair and many Iranians have been denied a fair trial. Prisoners are often refused the legal representation they are entitled to have and they are denied visits from family members. 

“There was also violence against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.” 

The report also mentions that the exercise of labour rights are restricted. It highlighted the case reported in local media about an incident in September last year where there was an accident at a cement factory resulting in the death of a worker. “Workers do not have the right to remove themselves from situations that endangered their health or safety without jeopardizing their employment.”

The full report can be accessed here