Iran ― Human Rights Committee ― Death Penalty ― Sept. 2011

The Advocates for Human Rights in collaboration with The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty submitted a shadow report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee regarding Iran’s compliance with its international legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “ICCPR”). Specifically, the shadow report shows how methods of execution, death row prison conditions, and a state failure to notify families of impending executions of persons sentenced to death violates Article 7 of the ICCPR.

Although the Human Rights Committee has called public executions “incompatible with human dignity” and despite a 2008 moratorium on public executions, public executions still take place in Iran and are reportedly on the rise. Further, although execution by stoning has been prohibited since 2002 and is regarded as cruel or inhuman means of execution, stoning is still practiced. Additionally, there are numerous reports of extremely degrading prison conditions and torture of death row inmates.

The recommendations urge Iran to:

  • Protect death-row prisoners from torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment;
  • Investigate immediately and impartially all allegations of death-row prisons being tortured or treated cruelly, inhumanely, or in a degrading manner;
  • Prosecute anyone responsible for torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of death-row prisoners;
  • Abide by the moratorium on public executions ordered in 2008 and the moratorium on stoning that was declared in 2002;
  • Create transparency in the use of death penalty, including releasing statistics on the sentencing of the death penalty, the names of those executed, and the crimes for which they were found guilty;
  • Inform the family of the prisoner on death row when and where the execution will occur and return the body for proper burial; and
  • Declare and instate a moratorium on executions as a first step to abolishing the death penalty.

The report was drafted by attorney volunteer Maggie Lockner of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.