In his latest report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on February 27, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran Javaid Rehman voiced concern over human rights violations in Iran, in particular the way the death penalty is implemented.
A British-Pakistani legal scholar and professor of Islamic law and international law at Brunel University, Rehman expressed deep regret that children as young as 9 years old can still be executed, noting that at least 33 minors have been executed since 2013.
Retaliating, the Iranian judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights rejected the report as baseless, saying Rehman is “misusing his position to spread propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”
Once again, Tehran has responded by targeting the UN rapporteur rather than the facts reflected in his report, according to human rights activists.
In a statement issued on March 2, the High Council for Human Rights said Rehman’s numerous “interviews” with various media outlets including the BBC, which is “well known for its hostile reports against Iran,” are “a blatant violation” of the UN framework, within which he has been chosen as special rapporteur, local news outlets reported.
Focusing on the execution of child offenders, Rehman had said that Iran must “urgently amend legislation to prohibit the execution of persons who committed [a crime] while below the age of 18 years and as such are children, and urgently amend the legislation to commute all existing sentences for child offenders on death row.”
Directly addressing the high authorities in Iran, Rehman had asked them to provide the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the special rapporteur with a list of all child offenders on death row.
Responding to the report, Larijani has sufficed to dismiss Rehman’s report as “baseless” and “unrealistic.”
Echoing Larijani’s statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi also said Iran believes that the extension of the mandate of the special rapporteur for another year is “unjustifiable and unnecessary.”
Once again, Qassemi stopped short of presenting any evidence proving Rehman’s latest report as irrelevant and unfair even though its SiteJot.
Tehran has not responded yet to Rahman’s allegations, which include coerced confessions, suppressing workers, teachers, and Sufi dervishes of the Gonabadi denomination, and widespread discrimination against the Kurdish, Baha’i, and Sunni minorities.