26 October 2020 - Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran has raised concerns that there has so far been no accountability for the violent crackdown against protesters in Iran. In his new report, he insists on the importance of Iran conducting an inquiry into the horrific mistreatment of arrested protesters from November 2019 and January 2020.
Javaid Rehman points out the regime's involvement in the crackdown of prisoners, stating that 'The Government and judiciary appear to be implementing death sentences against protesters to prevent peaceful dissent and restrict civic space. The recent arbitrary execution of Navid Afkari for his participation in August 2018 protests is emblematic of this concern.' He also raised concerns about the treatment of victims' families.
Family members who try to enquire about the whereabouts of their loved ones are detained and harassed by security forces and in some cases, they are pressured into accepting compensation and keeping quiet.
Furthermore, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Rehman said that while it was encouraging to see that the regime had temporarily released prisoners during the first few months, he is alarmed that this was not made possible for prisoners of conscience who are still kept in prisons at risk to their health. Recent reports from inside Iran say that coronavirus has already started spreading in prisons. In some cases, prison guards who had contracted the virus arrived at the prisons, passing on the virus to the prisoners.
In other parts of his report, he mentions grave human rights abuses such as forced confessions of prisoners and the detention of juvenile offenders. Javaid Rehman states that in some cases, children (under the age of 18) are given lengthy prison sentences and kept until they are adults and then executed, violating international laws.