Human Rights

New report examines Iran’s failed promises from 2010 Universal Periodic Review

In Brief: 
  • A new report from the Bahá’í International Community examines Iran’s record of delivering on promises it made to the UN Human Rights Council in 2010.
  • Examining recommendations accepted by Iran at its Universal Periodic Review that year, the report says Iran failed to live up to any of the 34 that affected the Iranian Bahá’í community.
  • One item, for example, called on Iran to “judicially prosecute” those who incite hatred against Bahá’ís. Yet hundreds of anti-Bahá’í articles were published by government-run media in 2014.

GENEVA — Iran has completely failed to live up to a series of promises it made regarding its treatment of Iranian Bahá’ís four years ago, according to a new report from the Bahá’í International Community.

Titled “Unfulfilled Promises,” and launched 15 September 2014 at the United Nations in Geneva, the report discusses 34 specific pledges made by Iran in February 2010 at the Human Rights Council that in some way could address human rights violations faced by members of Iran’s Bahá’í community.

“Iran has utterly failed in every case to fulfill the commitments it made to improve human rights in relation to its treatment of Bahá’ís when it stood before the Human Rights Council four years ago,” said Diane Ala’i, the BIC’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva, discussing the report.

“The Council is built on the idea that its members will be honest and sincere in their pursuit of human rights, and Iran’s record of ‘unfulfilled promises’ is a sad testimony of the gap between that country’s rhetoric and reality,” said Ms. Ala’i.

The pledges made by Iran came during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which each member state undergoes every four years.

During its 2010 review, Iran accepted 123 of 188 recommendations made by other countries about specific steps it could take to improve its human rights practices. Four of those recommendations referred specifically to Iran’s treatment of the Bahá’í community — and three of those four specifically called for a “fair and transparent” trial for the seven imprisoned Iranian Bahá’í leaders, who were then on trial.

“Unfortunately, as everyone knows, that trial was marked by numerous violations of due process, from a closed courtroom to obvious judicial bias,” said Ms. Ala’i, noting that their lawyers have said the indictment against the seven was “more like a political announcement, rather than a legal document” that was “written without producing any proof for their allegations.”

Another recommendation called on Iran to “judicially prosecute” those who incite hatred against Bahá’ís.

“Yet, during the first half of 2014, the volume of such media attacks rose sharply, from 55 in January to at least 565 in June,” said Ms. Ala’i, recounting figures from the report. “Yet the government has done nothing, as these attacks are made at the government’s instigation.

Another 26 recommendations cover human rights, such as protection from torture or freedom from economic and educational discrimination, that have also been withheld from Iranian Bahá’ís in recent years.

“Our report shows, on a recommendation-by-recommendation basis, how none of these commitments have been fulfilled,” said Ms. Ala’i.