Prof. Copithorne expressed concern at the fact that "executions remain at an unacceptably high level, torture and similar treatment or punishment continue to exist and the prison system is facing unacceptable physical conditions." He wrote: "The crimes for which most of the executions are carried out are unknown, although a number of those put to death were said to be supporters of or activists in the illegal opposition Mojahedin Khalq Organization." On cruel and inhuman punishment, the Special Representative noted that "there continue to be amputations of arms, hands and most commonly fingers."
Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, welcomed the fact that Prof. Copithorne's report reflects, albeit partially, the clerical regime's crimes in Iran and said: This report shows that all claims and propaganda purporting ‘change' and ‘reform' under Khatami are totally baseless. They are merely a ploy to legitimize trade deals and economic ties with this inhuman regime.
Mr. Rajavi said: This proves once again that treating the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran as "separate factions" with the intention of acquitting certain parts of the ruling clique and thereby cultivating "moderate" business partners in this regime will only result in greater rights abuses and more suppression. As the Iranian Resistance stated on the day Khatami took office, the ruling factions have a consensus and common interests in suppression and export of terrorism. Khatami, like his peers in the regime, seeks to maintain religious dictatorship in Iran.
Mr. Rajavi called on the 54th session of the UN General Assembly to condemn strongly the aggravating violation of the most elementary rights of the Iranian people and export of terrorism by the mullahs' regime. He urged the General Assembly to refer the issue of human rights abuses in Iran to the Security Council, as this regime has been condemned on 44 occasions by different UN agencies.
Prof. Copithorne pointed out that the mullahs' regime has not allowed him to visit Iran for the past four years. He wrote: "In the period under review, the Islamic Republic of Iran has seen more political and social turmoil than in recent years." Referring to the antigovernment demonstrations and unrest in Iran, he wrote: "The rights of those engaged in the struggle as well as bystanders may be trampled on; this is certainly happening in the Islamic Republic."
The Special Representative emphasized that the mullahs' terrorist attacks on their opponents outside Iran have increased recently and referred to the bombing of "a loaded bus in Iraq." Six Mojahedin members died in the attack last June.
Prof. Copithorne noted that "in particular, freedom of expression has suffered a setback in terms of the treatment in the media and perhaps peaceful demonstrations as well."
Contrary to the mullahs' propaganda and its reproduction in some of the media in the West, Prof. Copithorne pointed out that there has been no progress in the "most critical areas" of human rights violations in Iran, adding that "the reform of the legal system remains a critical issue that has been on hold for some time."
The Special Representative noted that "without doubt the most significant political and social event during the period under review was the series of student demonstrations in early July 1999" and added: "The attack on the student dormitories was a clear violation of the human rights of the students."
He pointed out that "the period under review passed without much substantive change in the status of women" in Iran, noting that the Government "is not addressing the removal of those discriminatory laws and practices which remain the cause of the unequal treatment faced by women in Iran."
The Special Representative wrote: "The final report on a series of murders of intellectuals and political dissidents is still outstanding, which is contributing to widespread skepticism about the investigation." He pointed out that "reference was frequently made to the leader of the (murderers') group's apparently close relations with certain Iranian leaders...as well as his burial in a section of the cemetery reportedly designed for national martyrs."
Prof. Copithorne wrote in the conclusions of the report: "It is clear that freedom of expression with regard to the media has suffered a serious setback." He also noted: "Freedom of expression, as well as the rights of association and assembly, may have suffered in the aftermath of the student demonstrations."
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
November 2, 1999