GENEVA / IRAN HRC

14-Mar-2016 00:02:35
The United Nations (UN) independent expert charged with monitoring the human rights situation in Iran said that an abrupt rise of executions in Iran is cause for alarm. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / IRAN HRC
TRT: 2:35
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 MARCH 2016, GENEVA / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE-

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations

14 MARCH 2016, GENEVA

2. Tilt down, Human Rights Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“These abuses include an alarming surge in the rate of unlawful executions in the country, and ongoing arbitrary arrests, detentions and prosecutions of individuals for the exercise of their fundamental rights. At least 966 persons—the highest rate in over two decades — were executed in 2015. At least 73 juvenile offenders were reportedly executed between 2005 and 2015. In the past two years alone, 16 juvenile offenders were executed. At present, at least 160 others are awaiting the same fate on death row.”
4. Med shot, Iran delegation
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“The troubling state of human rights in Iran today is due, in large part, to (1) inadequate legal protections against rights abuses, and (2) a failure to faithfully and properly implement laws that satisfy Iran’s international legal obligations. The urgent need for fundamental reform of the country’s criminal justice system, and the impact these reforms can have in dramatically improving the human rights situation in Iran cannot, in my opinion, be overstated.”
6. Wide shot, delegations in HRC
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“It should also be noted that amendments to the penal code now allow judges to assess the mental capacity of juvenile offenders before issuing a death sentence to determine if they understood the consequences of their actions at the time they committed a capital offense. “
8. Pan left, HRC
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Kazem Gharib Abadi, Deputy Secretary General of the High Council of Human Rights in Iran:
“Despite the progress made by the country, the Special Rapporteur even though has adapted a more open policy in his recent report to reflect only a small part of the progress of Human Rights in Iran, unfortunately opened the report with an unbalanced and biased language and presented distorted and unrealistic image of human rights situation in Iran”.
10. Pan left, HRC
11. Med shot, delegations
12. Med shot, panel
STORYLINE
The United Nations (UN) independent expert charged with monitoring the human rights situation in Iran said that an abrupt rise of executions in Iran is cause for alarm.
Addressing delegates today (14 Mar) in the Human Rights Council, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran said that human rights abuses "include an alarming surge in the rate of unlawful executions in the country, and ongoing arbitrary arrests, detentions and prosecutions of individuals for the exercise of their fundamental rights.

At least 966 persons—the highest rate in over two decades — were executed in 2015. At least 73 juvenile offenders were reportedly executed between 2005 and 2015. In the past two years alone, 16 juvenile offenders were executed. At present, at least 160 others are awaiting the same fate on death row.”

Shaheed also highlighted fundamental flaws in the administration of criminal justice, ranging from laws that expressly violate Iran’s legal obligation, to the failure of state officials to faithfully implement provisions of Iranian law that comply with international law. He explained that “the troubling state of human rights in Iran today is due, in large part, to, one, inadequate legal protections against rights abuses, and, two, a failure to faithfully and properly implement laws that satisfy Iran’s international legal obligations. The urgent need for fundamental reform of the country’s criminal justice system, and the impact these reforms can have in dramatically improving the human rights situation in Iran cannot, in my opinion, be overstated.”

While acknowledging positive steps towards legal reform, the Special Rapporteur also noted “that amendments to the penal code now allow judges to assess the mental capacity of juvenile offenders before issuing a death sentence to determine if they understood the consequences of their actions at the time they committed a capital offense.”

Shaheed’s report, which assessed developments in the human rights situation in Iran since the UN expert last reported to the General Assembly in October 2015, also covers other areas of serious concern such as restrictions on the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to free and fair elections.

He recognized efforts taken by the Iranian officials to engage with his mandate and cooperate with UN human rights bodies and congratulated Iran for the successful elections in February, expressing hope that the new parliament will play a key role in human rights based on international human rights standards.

Iran’s representative Kazem Gharib Abadi expressed his disappointment with the special rapporteur's assessment, saying that he had, "opened the report with an unbalanced and biased language and presented a distorted and unrealistic image of human rights situation in Iran."
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