"By adding major abusers to US sanctions lists Washington can boost the morale of protesters, challenge the regime’s radical Islamist ideology, & make pay for its behavior."

Profiles of Iranian Repression

By Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and Rose Parris Richter

The Islamic Republic of Iran remains one of the world’s worst abusers of human rights. During our work to document Iran’s human rights abuses in support of the United Nations’ special procedure to monitor rights violations in the country, we documented the Iranian government’s excessive and arbitrary use of the death penalty, its systematic violations of due process rights, inhumane prison conditions, restrictions on speech and assembly, and unequal protections for the human rights of ethnic and religious minorities, homosexuals, and women and girls. Sadly, though, as this important report shows, Iran has yet to institute meaningful reform despite myriad attempts by various government bodies and officials to address aspects of international concern about the country’s disturbing record.

Those who violate human rights in Iran are not fringe or renegade officials. Rather, they hold senior positions in the executive branch and the judiciary, where they continue to enjoy impunity. These officials control a vast infrastructure of repression that permeates the lives of Iranian citizens, governing what they study in school, whether they are allowed to attend school, how they dress, how they practice their faith, what websites they access, how they speak in public, and whether they are permitted to peacefully assemble to criticize the policies and practices of their government. Defiance of these norms often comes at a terrible cost, with Iranians frequently facing unjust detention, torture, and even death.