The UN expert on human rights in Iran has said in a report that US sanctions reimposed on the country in 2018 have hit oil sales and caused the devaluation of its currency.
“The negative impact of the reimposition of economic sanctions” by Washington has been “felt strongly by ordinary Iranians,” Javaid Rehman said in his report to the General Assembly circulated Friday.
“The sanctions have hit oil sales, imposed wide-ranging restrictions on traders and businesses and triggered the devaluation of the Iranian currency,” he said.
“All these factors have contributed to raising the scale of austerity and pushing inflation higher. Rising levels of unemployment and poverty have also adversely affected the rights to health and education and access to other basic services for millions of Iranians,” he stated.
The report also saw increasing restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and continuing violations of the right to life, liberty and a fair trial.
“The Iranian judiciary has continued to implement the death penalty, including on child offenders. Besides the recent release of Nizar Zakka, there has been no progress made in the cases of arbitrarily detained foreign or dual nationals,” it said.
Zakka, a Lebanese businessman with US permanent residency, who was detained in Tehran for more than four years on charges of collaborating against Iran, was released in June.
Rehman referred to the continued intimidation of human rights defenders, members of minority communities, lawyers, journalists, including journalists with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Persian service, labor and trade union activists and women protesting the compulsory veiling law.
Ethnic minorities including Arab Ahvazis, Azerbaijani Turks, Baluchis and Kurds also suffer from denial of their human rights, he said.
According to Rehman, Kurdish political prisoners charged with national security offenses represent almost half the total number of political prisoners in Iran.
The Special Rapporteur recommended that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and relevant legislative institutions amend article 13 of the Constitution “to ensure that all religious minorities and those who do not hold any religious beliefs are recognized and able to fully enjoy the right to freedom of religion or belief.”
He also called for amending all articles in the Penal Code that discriminate on the basis of religion or belief, and existing legislation to abolish the death penalty for crimes not meeting the “most serious crime” threshold according to international human rights law.
In other recommendations, Rehman called for urgently amending legislation “to prohibit the execution of persons who committed a hudud or qisas crime while under 18 years of age and who, accordingly, are children.”
He also said that Iran should permit the Special Rapporteur to enter Iran for monitoring visits.BBC*