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Civil Activists and Political Prisoners Call for “Yes to the Unconditional Implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights”

Posted on: 12th January, 2015
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Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj, Tehran, Iran

HRANA News Agency – A group of political prisoners and political and civil activists signed a letter to the Iranian people to join the campaign for the unconditional implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The following is the full text of this statement:

Dear compatriots!

Sixty-six years ago in the United Nations General Assembly, a declaration was adopted   that resulted from thousands of years of human effort and struggle to “recognize the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” The General Assembly in 10th of December 1948 adopted the Article 30 of the Declaration as the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights and published it as “a common standard achievement for all people and nations.” In 1975 after the approval in the National Congress, this Declaration was adopted as a law in Iran.

Furthermore, according to the articles #3, 9 and 77 of the current Iranian constitution and the article #9 of the Civil Code of the current government that has claimed that the rules are based on the commands of Quran, this declaration is a mandatory law that should be executed and even outshines the common and normal state regulations. Plus, any comment or condition added to the declaration will be seen an attempt by the government to avoid the execution of this international law. A review and comparative study of this declaration with some of the existing constitutional laws shows that there is no contradiction between the Human Rights Declaration and national constitution. Therefore, there is no excuse for failure in implementation of the Universal Declaration. (This comparative study has been conducted by a number of the country’s leading lawyers and presented in the Appendix).

Dear compatriots!

We are getting closer to December 10th, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights, and we should ask ourselves why we have failed to institutionalize the fundamentals of human rights in our country. Why these fundamental rights have been repeatedly violated while more than a century ago we, the people of Iran, took part in the Constitution Revolution with the purposes of implementing the rule of law and the same rights and the same law for everybody and agree to conform with the UDHR. An obvious example of the violation of the fundamental human rights in Iran is the violation of the rights of those who have been illegally prosecuted and put in trial in illegal and unfair courts only because of having different political ideas and views.

We are a group of political prisoners of Rajaei-sharh prison who demand for accurate and complete implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and invite the people of Iran to start and join a campaign for implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and demonstrate that Iranians want and strive for “freedom, justice, peace, democracy, universal respect for human rights.”

Let us work toward the “advent of a world in which human beings enjoy equal freedom of speech and rights to express opinions without any fear from poverty, ignorance and oppression.”  Let us strive for “the fundamental human rights, dignity and values.” We are sure that such efforts will facilitate “common understanding of these rights and freedoms.” This campaign will exhibit our determination to achieve a better world and personal and social development.

Let us demonstrate our true desire regarding the universal human rights by joining this campaign and join the international consciousness. Yes, the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is our dream and wish.

1. Hassan Ashtiani

2. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh

3. Vahid Asghari

4. Rasoul Bodaghi

5. Behrooz Tavakoli

6. Vahid Tizfahm

7. Latif Hussaini

8. Afshin Heyrtian

9. Keyvan Rahimian

10. Saeid Rezaie

11. Shahrokh Zamani

12. Seyed-Mohammad Seifzadeh

13. Ighan Shahidi

14. Siamak Sadri

15. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi

16. Saeed Abedini

17. Farhad Fohandezh

18. Asghar Ghotan

19. Saeed Masouri

20. Kamran Mortezai

21. Foad Moghaddam

22. Asadollah Hadi

23 Shahram Ahmadi



A comparative study of the Declaration of Human Rights and the national constitution:

1. Every human being has equal rights upon birth, and color, sex, race, language, religion, political beliefs doesn’t give any privilege to one person with respect to another, and any type of discrimination is rejected. According to Articles #1 to 7 of the Declaration, every human being has the right to leave, liberty and security. Article #3 of the Declaration is comparable to the paragraphs 9-4 and 19-20 of the constitution and Article # of the Civil Code.

2. Forced labor, slavery, torture and inhuman behavior, and degrading treatment of other persons are prohibited, and everybody has the rights to be recognized in the court of law. Article #4 of the Declaration is comparable to Articles #9 114, Article III, 38, 39 and 43 of the Iranian constitution.

3. All are equally responsible before law and must be equally protected by law without any discrimination. Everyone has the right to petition the courts of competent jurisdiction against acts violating his / her fundamental rights granted by the constitution or other corresponding law (Articles #7 and 8 of the Declaration and principles # 38 and 39 of the constitution).

4. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and open questioning by an independent and impartial tribunal for evaluation of his / her rights and obligations as well as any criminal charge against him / her. In view of the presumption of innocence, the principle of legality of crime, the fact that punishment is not retrospective, and the law of compliance of the alleged act with the law, any person must be presumed innocence until his charges are confirmed in an impartial and independent court and the person has the right to self-defense and fair and impartial persecution (Articles #9, 10, 11 of the Declaration which are equivalent of the principles e# 32, 33, 34, 36. 37 of the constitution and article #2 of the Penal Code).

5. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence nor his honor and reputation should be neglected. Everyone is entitled to protection by law against such interference or harassment (Article #12 of the Declaration which is closely equivalent of the articles #22, 23, 25, 34 of the constitution).

6. The right to travel and stay within the boundaries of the country and travel in any part of the country and apply for asylum and the right to accept asylum within the context of political offenses and withdrawal of citizenship and naturalization in another country of citizenship and exclusion (principles #12, 13 , 14, 15, 41 and 42 of the constitution and the principles of the Declaration which are repeated in Quran, suggesting Muslims to travel and migrate that is emphasized in the principle #4  of the  constitution).

7. The rights of adults to marriage, life, custody, separation, and that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of the society and is entitled to protection and the rule of law (Article #16 of the Universal Declaration which is almost equivalent of the principles #19, 20 and 21 of the constitution).

8. The right of personal and collective ownership and banning of his / her property (Article #17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles #46 and 47 of the constitution).

9. The right to freedom of opinion, conscience and religion and the right to advertise, educate, promote and practice it either individually or in community with others; freedom of seeking intervention, receive and impart information through any media and regardless of any frontiers; freedom of rallying and peaceful gathering and that nobody should be forced to join a union (Articles #18, 19, 20 of the Universal Declaration equivalent of the principles #24, 19, 20, 26, 27 and paragraph 6 of Article II, paragraphs 6 and 14 of Article III and Article 9 of the constitution.)

10. People give the sovereignty of a nation, and the people have the right to elect governors directly and indirectly. Elections should be healthy and held periodically and everyone has the right to choose and be chosen (Article #21 of the Universal Declaration and the Principles #1, 6, 56, 59, 62 of the constitution. It should be noted that after the Constitutional Revolution the Government came from heaven to earth and people gained the right to rule their own destiny. The rulers should only be considered as the servant of the people, elected by the people, and should be easily criticized and dismissed by the people. Unfortunately, despite the adoption of the Constitution, the rulers are still considered aristocrats with specific privileges with respect to the people.)

11. The right to have social security in national or international level; the right to work and free choice of employment; the right to receive equal payment for equal work based on fair and adequate compensation  to run the family at satisfactory level; the right to have union, rest and vacationing with payment; the right to receive medical care and social services to support welfare of the family during unemployment, sickness, disability, retirement,  or absence of financial income; rights of mothers and children with special to their needs whether resulted from a marriage or outside a social partnership with the same benefit (Articles #22, 23, 24, 25 of the Declaration and the principles #19, 20, 21, 26, 28, 29 of the constitution).

12. Free and compulsory basic education, vocational training and higher education should be accessible to everybody and based on acquired merits. Education should be a tool for full development of the human personality and strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms to promote goodwill, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups (Article #26 of the Declaration; the principle #30 of the constitution moves beyond this article and mandates free education from elementary to secondary school as well as enablement of the means of free higher education).

13. The right to participate in the cultural life of the society and the rights to use moral, scientific, literary, artistic, and social interests of the society; the rights to benefit from social and international infrastructures to accomplish the freedoms indicated in the declaration, responsibility about the society, and being limited only by law that is not contrary to the principles of the United Nations. These materials should not be interpreted in such way that grant specific privilege to a state, group or person that would violate the rights indicated in the declaration (Articles # 27, 28, 29, 30 of the Declaration of Human Rights and principles #1, 6, 9, 19, 20, 21, 22, 40 and section 6 of the article II and paragraphs # 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 14 and 56 of the Article III-59 of the constitution).

More than 885 political and civil activists joined this campaign and their names are listed in the original document.