Amnesty: Iran legal structures remain inadequate

Amnesty: Iran legal structures remain inadequate

Nearly 40 years after the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the nation’s legal structures are still “deeply flawed,” according to an 87-page report [text, PDF] released [press release] Thursday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. Describing how the revolution elicited sweeping changes in the justice system, the report discusses Iran’s new Criminal Procedure Code, criticizing it sharply as a “lost opportunity” to “address long-standing shortcomings in Iran’s criminal justice system.” Calling for the adoption of legal provisions increasing accountability and oversight of law enforcement and the judiciary, AI urged the nation to fall in line with international law standards. Noting that Iran has improved since the revolution, the report then made recommendations on the code such as adding provisions for the right to liberty, rights related to arrest and detention, and rights not to be tortured or mistreated, among others.

Much international pressure has been directed toward Iran in recent years for its use of the death penalty. Iran executed [JURIST report] Saman Naseem, a juvenile offender who was 17 years-old when sentenced to death in February of last year; he was charged in July 2011 with “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth.” The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran Ahmed Shaheed urged [JURIST report] Iran 2014 to immediately halt the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari. Jabbari was executed [JURIST report] the following October despite international opposition. In June 2014, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned [JURIST report] Iran’s use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders and called on authorities to halt the announced execution of Razieh Ebrahimi, who was 14 years old when sentenced to death. Also in June 2014 a group of independent UN human rights experts condemned [JURIST report] Iran’s execution of a political prisoner, calling for the country to end the death penalty.