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The government did not ensure the right of citizens to change or recant their religion. According to an AI report in , between 15 and 23 evangelical Christians were reportedly missing or “disappeared” during the past 15 years. In the Tehran province judiciary tasked its branches to address and compile complaints about civil rights violations and reportedly received complaints, including one concerning a person jailed since without a conviction or indication of criminal record. Police arrested journalist Siamak Pourzand in and tried him in March behind closed doors. Domestic media later reported that Shahrudi instructed the public prosecutor’s office to transfer the cases to a special committee. Batebi reportedly was severely beaten and harshly interrogated while in prison and consequentlysuffered from health problems. The supreme leader also approves the candidacy of presidential candidates, with the exception of an incumbent president.

At year’s end there was no systematic campaign, although greater enforcement was reported on university campuses. In January Abtahi reported that the government blocked access to his Internet site. Offending writers were subjected to lawsuits and fines. For example, under existing inheritance laws, if a non-Muslim converted to Islam, that person would inherit all family holdings while non-Muslim relatives would receive nothing. There were threats and prosecution against journalists writing about ethnic issues. On September 24, police reportedly arrested 30 activists who gathered in front of the UN office in Tehran to protest the death sentence of Kobra Rahmanpour, who was convicted of the stabbing death of her mother-in-law in After the second round of voting, the supreme leader denied the allegations of basiji involvement, and the council validated the results on June 29, Authorities often charged individuals with relatively undefined crimes, such as “anti-revolutionary behavior,” “moral corruption,” and “siding with global arrogance.

According to one report, the Information Ministry prevented the book’s publication by violence against the publisher and its employees. Trials are supposed to be open to the public; however, frequently they are closed without access to a lawyer.

There were reports that Mandeans experienced discrimination in the form of pressure to convert to Islam and problems accessing higher education. The penal code provides for the stoning, or lapidation, of women and men convicted of adultery.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, with a population of approximately 68 million, is a constitutional, theocratic republic in which Shi’a Muslim clergy dominate the key power structures.

In May Shahrudi directed that convicts imprisoned for lesser offenses and gravely ill prisoners should be given parole for three months; the directive’s implementation was unknown.

An estimated demonstrators gathered, and the police forcibly dispersed the deama.

A special clerical court examines alleged transgressions within the clerical establishment, and a military court investigates crimes connected with military or security duties.

Security forces monitored the social activities of citizens, entered homes and offices, monitored telephone conversations, and opened mail without court authorization. The report on the treatment of the Internet writers was never publicly released see section 1. Although spousal abuse and violence against women occurred, reliable statistics were not available.

Former deputy prime minister Abbas Amir-Entezam, imprisoned for 26 years, was reported to be on leave from prison at year’s end. There were widespread reports that the homes and offices of reformist journalists were entered, searched, or ransacked by government agents in an attempt to intimidate. In March the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief expressed concern about allegations that security forces were monitoring and gathering information about the Baha’i community.


A September report by a Western NGO noted that censorship by authorities and a culture of self-censorship strongly inhibited artistic expression in the country. Regularly scheduled elections are held for the presidency, the Majles, and the Assembly of Experts, as well as municipal councils. Paramilitary organizations such as the Ansar-e Hizballah, a group of vigilantes who seek to enforce their vision of appropriate revolutionary comportment upon society, harassed, beat, and intimidated those who demonstrated publicly for reform.

In addition a man could escape punishment for killing a wife caught in the act of adultery if he was certain she was a consenting partner; the same rule does not apply for women.

However, the press law prohibited the publication of a broad and ill-defined category of subjects, including material “insulting Islam. As an example of discrimination, Sunnis citedthe lack of a Sunni mosque in the nation’s capital, Tehran, despite over a million Sunni inhabitants.

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The Culture Ministry must grant permission to publish any book, and it inspects foreign printed materials prior to their domestic release. On October 15, he was released on bail. Student groups reported interference with their activities vrama with student elections. Kabudvand, who is also secretary of the Kurdistan Organization for the Defense of Human Rights, wrote for the now-defunct weekly Payam Mardom Kordestan and was convicted of “inciting the population to rebel against the central state.

Domestic NGOs worked in areas such as health and population, women and development, youth, environmental protection, human rights, and sustainable development. Kamrani reportedly defended several individuals, including ethnic Azeri activist Abbas Lisani, who were arrested during the May demonstrations in the ethnic-Azeri majority region of the Northwest see section 1. Mansour Osanloo, the head of Sherkat-e-Vahed, was arrested at that time, and detained in Evin Prison.

At year’s end Batebi was in Evin Prison. However, a husband is not required to cite a reason for divorcing his wife. A Western NGO reported that few international humanitarian agencies operated in the country because the government restricted their operations and did not allow UNHCR to fund them.

There were no non-Muslims in the cabinet or on the Supreme Court. Throughout the year the government continued to harass senior Shi’a religious and political leaders and their followers who dissented from the ruling conservative establishment.

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The December 19 UNGA resolution on the country’s human rightsexpressed serious concerns about increasing discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities, citing the escalation and increased frequency of violations against Baha’is. He was first detained in after reporting the arrest of other Internet writers and, according to HRW, tortured and held for 88 days in solitary confinement. The penal code includes provisions for stoning persons convicted of adultery, although judges were instructed in to cease imposing such sentences.


In December President Ahmadinejad announced a ban on Western music, which remained in effect during the year. Students with three stars were reportedly banned from university or prevented from registering for upcoming terms. During the year the group maintained a Web site with information addressing human rights issues and in June published a report about prisons in the country.

Many police officers were also corrupt. Following release, these Afghans were to be repatriated; however, there was no confirmation during the year that they were repatriated.

Beginning in the government launched a major crackdown on sites based in the country, including blogs web-based publications of periodic articles with commentary by the author and readersreportedly blocking hundreds of Internet sites. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the country is obligated not to execute persons patam crimes committed when they were younger than Prior to August there were reports of judges handing down the sentence.

Also on September 12, monthly publications Nameh and Hafez were closed. In November he also reportedly told the Majles that inefficient economic institutions were at the root of corrupt practices and the duality of the economy–both state and private ownership–contributed to the problem.

Although the constitution mandates an Islamic army, members of religious minorities did serve in the military, raj non-Muslim promotions were limited by a military restriction against non-Muslims commanding Muslims. A June survey by a Western NGO noted that the country had deportedAfghans, including some with refugee status.

Report on Human Rights Practices in Iran – 2006

In the period immediately following detention or arrest, many detainees were held incommunicado and denied access to lawyers and family members. On an exceptional basis, in AI officials visited the country as part of the EU’s human rights dialogue, joining academics and NGOs to discuss the country’s implementation of international human rights standards. According to the Tehran-based Association for Advocating Freedom of Press, state pressure on journalists increased after President Ahmadinejad assumed office in August The government did not identify those convicted, the verdicts, or their sentences and provided no further information during the year.

In December student leader Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, jailed since Junewas sentenced by the revolutionary court to 16 years in prison. Qom officials announced that the worshippers were arrested following attempts by authorities to expel them from their place of worship. Another Baha’i, Mehran Kawsari, who was sentenced to three years in prison in November after writing a letter to then-president Khatami on the situation of Baha’is, was released on bail on March