Hoppa yfir valmynd

Statement to the Third Committee by Davíð Logi Sigurðsson, Director for Human Rights

Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Islamic Republic of Iran

23 October 2019

Statement by Iceland

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur for his latest report.

We value greatly the report´s focus on the human rights situation of religious and ethnic minorities. My delegation is concerned over the ongoing systematic discrimination and harassment of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran – including the Kurdish people as well as adherents to the Baha’i faith who continue to be prohibited from working in the public sector and many private enterprises.

Women´s human rights and gender equality are a priority for Iceland and we are therefore troubled that authorities would arrest women protesting against the compulsory use of the hijab. The rights of women human rights defenders must be protected and respected.

The right to freedom of expression and opinion is a fundamental right and we are concerned that journalists and media workers continue to suffer intimidation both inside and outside Iran, as well being under the constant threat of arrest.

Mr. Chairman,

Iceland is opposed to the use of the death penalty and call an all states to end this gruesome practice. With regard to Iran, we find the practice of capital punishment particularly abhorrent, where the crime committed often seems far from warranting such consequence.

In particular, we find particularly objectionable that children continue to receive death sentences. The report of the Special Rapporteur notes that in 2018 there were seven reported cases of executions of children who had been convicted for a criminal offense and that there are currently an estimated 90 individuals on death row who were all under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged offences. Death penalty for crimes committed by minors is explicitly prohibited in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Iran has ratified."

Mr. Special Rapporteur, in your report you urgently recommend amending legislation on which executions of child offenders are based. Could you please elaborate further on what would be the most urgent and achievable step, and what role there could be for international partners, to end capital punishment for children in Iran?

I thank you.

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