UN Authority Figures

UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: Iran

Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, imprisoned in Tehran for more than 14 months, was convicted in a secret espionage trial that ended in August, Iran state television reported in October 2015.
Source: Washington Post, October 12, 2015

Mission of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: "The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) is the United Nations body of Member States responsible for setting out global strategy to prevent crime and promote stable criminal justice systems. The 40-member UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice formulates international policies and recommends activities in the field of crime control...The Commission offers nations a forum for exchanging expertise and information on matters of crime prevention and criminal justice and to determine strategies and priorities for combatting crime at the global level....Priority areas mandated by the [Economic and Social] Council when it established the Commission in 1992 are: international action to combat national and transnational crime...and improving the efficiency and fairness of criminal justice administration systems." (Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice website)

Term of office: 2016-2018

Iran's Record on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice:
"There were numerous reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. The government executed 964 persons during the year, according to the NGO Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), which reported that many trials did not adhere to basic principles of due process... there were credible reports that security forces and prison personnel tortured and abused detainees and prisoners. ... Commonly reported methods of torture and abuse in prisons included prolonged solitary confinement, threats of rape, forced virginity tests, sexual humiliation, threats of execution, sleep deprivation, electroshock, burnings, the use of pressure positions, and severe and repeated beatings. There were reports of severe overcrowding in many prisons and repeated denials of medical care for prisoners. Some prison facilities, including Evin Prison in Tehran and Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, were notorious for the use of cruel and prolonged torture of political opponents of the government,... Authorities also allegedly maintained unofficial secret prisons and detention centers outside the national prison system where abuse reportedly occurred... There were also deaths in custody... ... The security forces were not considered fully effective in combating crime, and corruption and impunity remained problems. Human rights groups frequently accused regular and paramilitary security forces, such as the Basij, of committing numerous human rights abuses, including acts of violence against protesters and participants in public demonstrations. There was no transparent mechanism to investigate or punish security force abuses, and there were few reports of government actions to discipline abusers... ...The court system was subject to political influence, and judges were appointed "in accordance with religious criteria." The government often charged political dissidents with vague crimes, such as "antirevolutionary behavior," "corruption on earth," "siding with global arrogance," "moharebeh," and "crimes against Islam." Prosecutors imposed strict penalties on government critics for minor violations. When postrevolutionary statutes did not address a situation, the government advised judges to give precedence to their knowledge and interpretation of Islamic law. Under sharia judges may find a person guilty based on their own "divine knowledge," or they may issue more lenient sentences for persons who kill others considered "deserving of death." Authorities designed other trials, especially those of political prisoners, to publicize coerced confessions. During the year human rights groups noted the absence of procedural safeguards in criminal trials. Courts admitted as evidence confessions made under duress or torture." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015, Iran)