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UPR of Iran – MRG, Ceasefire and CSHR’s submission

28 March 2019

Minority Rights Group International (MRG), the Ceasefire Center for Civilian Rights and the Center for Supporters of Human Rights (CSHR) have submitted a written contribution ahead of the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iran, scheduled for November 2019.

Our submission provides information and recommendations about the human rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, including Arabs, Azerbaijani Turks, Baluchis, Kurds, Bahá’í, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and others.

The full report can be accessed here.

MRG’s suggestions of recommendations include:

  • Amend all articles in the Islamic Penal Code which discriminate on the basis of religion or belief.
  • Release all minority activists imprisoned for their peaceful advocacy of human rights, and repeal or amend vaguely-worded articles in the Islamic Penal Code which allow for the conviction of minority rights defenders and other peaceful activists.
  • Protect the right of all defendants to a fair trial and respect due process standards, including by ensuring that the accused have access to a lawyer immediately after arrest and until trial, and access to an interpreter during court proceedings.
  • Ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.
  • End the use of the death penalty for crimes not meeting the ‘most serious’ threshold according to international standards.
  • Cease the indiscriminate killings of border couriers and take measures to regularize their work.
  • Join the Ottawa Convention on the banning of landmines and improve landmine clearance efforts in contaminated areas. Amend existing laws and ratify adequate legislations to guarantee rights and reparations for landmines survivors.
  • Introduce mother tongue education for minority languages at the primary school level.
  • Protect the freedom of religion or belief of all Iranians, including the freedom to change one’s religion or belief.
  • Extend the constitutional and legal recognition afforded to Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians to include all religious minorities.
  • Take measures to increase the representation of minorities in high-ranking political positions, especially in areas in which they form the majority.
  • Allocate sufficient budgetary resources to alleviate poverty and improve infrastructure in peripheral provinces.
  • Reform the process of gozineshand any other policies which condition access to employment on the basis of individual beliefs, in line with the Constitution.
  • Establish an independent, national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles, responsible for receiving complaints of human rights violations.
  • Permit the UN Special Procedures, including the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, to enter the country for monitoring visits.

MRG – Ceasefire – CSHR submission for the UPR of Iran – 2019