Iran's Dismal Human Rights Record under Fire

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Nov 17, 2016
Iran's Dismal Human Rights Record under Fire

On November 17, Amnesty International published a report that condemned the “macabre propaganda videos” aired on Iranian state-run media outlets that featured “forced confessions” of 25 Sunni men Iran executed on August 2, 2016.

The report, titled Broadcasting injustice, boasting of mass killing, said Iranian authorities used “crude propaganda tactics to dehumanize death penalty victims in the eyes of the public and divert attention away from the deeply flawed trials that led to their death sentences.” It also described the mass executions in Raja’i Shahr Prison as “appalling examples of the human rights violations that are common in Iran’s criminal justice system.” Moreover, it highlighted that Iran’s justice system “blatantly violated the men’s right to a fair trial, including their rights to access a lawyer, not to be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, to remain silent, to have their cases heard in public hearings, and to have a meaningful review of their sentences.”

The Amnesty International report comes two days after a Canada-sponsored UN resolution expressed concern over Iran’s “alarmingly high frequency” of the death penalty, and urged Tehran to end enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions.

Iran’s Deputy Representative to UN Gholam Hossein Dehqani called the resolution “biased” and “hateful” and defended the Islamic Republic’s human rights record. But inside Iran and among the large Iranian diaspora, Dehqan’s claims fall flat as many inside the country openly deplore the prevailing poor human rights situation.