U.N. report rips Iran over rights record

Oct. 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A U.N. report, scheduled for release this week, condemned Iran for widespread human rights abuses, including torture and secret executions.

The report, compiled by the United Nations' special rapporteur on the human rights condition in Iran, is a listing of violations of rights ranging from the lack of freedom of expression and assembly, to torture and summary executions of detainees, Foreign Policy magazine reported Monday.

The magazine obtained a copy of the report before its publication.

Since the disputed presidential election in 2009, hundreds of activists, journalists, students, lawyers, and others have been imprisoned, the report said. About 500 activists remain detained.

Those convicted of crimes are sentenced to death more often in Iran than in any other country except China, the report by Ahmed Shaheed said. More than 200 "officially announced" executions have been carried out so far in 2011 and at least 146 secret executions have been performed in a prison in Mashhad, the report said.

Juveniles are among the announced executions the report said. At least 100 Iranians under the age of 18 are on death row, even though executing minors is banned by international covenants that Iran has joined, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the report said.

Shaheed is to present the findings to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday. The former foreign minister from the Maldives is the fourth special rapporteur to Iran. So far he has been unable to visit the Islamic republic, the magazine said.

Shaheed received a letter Sept. 19 from an Iranian diplomat that expressed "a willingness to exchange views and discuss his methodology of work," the report said." Shaheed has asked to visit Iran in late November and "looks forward to a positive response to that request, as it would further signal the cooperative and constructive intentions of the Islamic Republic," the report says.

Since he was unable to travel to Iran, Shaheed and his staff compiled the report using material from local and international human rights organizations, witnesses and relatives of detainees.

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