The following submission, is presented to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of the 26th session of the Human Rights Council, and provides a brief summary of violations of rights of girl children in the Islamic republic of Iran as a result of laws that permit and indeed condone the practice of early marriage in that country.
In September, Iranian President Rouhani granted amnesty to 12 political prisoners as he made his way to an annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. But former Evin prison inmate and 2009 IWMF Courage in Journalism Awardee, Jila Baniyaghoob, cautions this isolated act does not signify democratic momentum.
Justice for Iran (JFI), London (28 October 2013) – On 24 October, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Professor Rashida Manjoo, introduced a comprehensive report, entitled Pathways to, conditions and consequences of incarceration of women. The report was officially presented at the UN General Assembly session and was followed by efforts highlighting the need to improve knowledge and skills pertaining to rights of women in the criminal justice system.
Forced marriages result from harmful traditional practices1 justified in the name of cultural, economic, political and/or legal standards. Forced marriages are a phenomenon tantamount to slavery, as explicated in a report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and often affect boys and girls under 18 years of age, especially under 10. 2 Global statistics demonstrate that every minute an average of 27 girls are forced into marriage.
The month of September marks one of the darkest periods in recent history when this time 25 years ago mass political executions were carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). On the 25th anniversary of this historical tragedy, WLUML has co-nominated the Mothers of Khavaran for the 2013 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. This grassroots group with its base in Iran is largely made up of women whose children, mostly political and ideological activists, were tortured and secretly executed on mass by IRI officials.
After years of silence, official organs of the Islamic Republic, including an organisation representing the Supreme Leader in Iranian Universities, have refuted claims of rape prior to execution. This is the first time that official state organs have declared their position with regards to this matter.