UNITED NATIONS — The UN’s human rights expert on Iran is condemning the Islamic Republic’s reliance on stoning as a form of capital punishment, citing that as just one of a number of ‘‘deeply troubling’’ Iranian rights violations, many of which are ‘‘systemic in nature,’’ according to a report circulating among UN delegations.
Ahmed Shaheed, the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on Iran, also called for an ‘‘extensive, impartial, and independent investigation into the violence in the weeks and months that followed the presidential election of 2009,’’ when prodemocracy protesters surged into the streets to denounce the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as bogus and rigged.
Shaheed also reiterated his call “for the immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience,’’ according the report, which The Associated Press obtained Thursday.
The document will be the basis for a General Assembly resolution critical of Iran’s human rights violations, which will probably be voted on in December.
Shaheed reported that at least 150 journalists have fled Iran since the 2009 elections, and some reports put the number as high as 400.
Iran detained more journalists than any other nation last year, according to his report, and according to the New-York based rights group Committee to Protect Journalists, which counted 179 writers, editors, and photojournalists jailed in Iran in December 2011.
Half of them spent time in solitary confinement, 42 percent were sent into exile in 2010-2011, and half were serving sentences ranging from 6 months to 19½ years on charges such as ‘‘working with hostile governments,’’ ‘‘propaganda against the state,’’ and ‘‘insulting religious sanctities,’’ Shaheed wrote.
As the report was being prepared in March, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Shaheed was building it on statements by ‘‘terrorists.’’ The term ‘‘terrorist’’ is an apparent reference to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, a small exile group that until recently was listed by the United States as a terrorist organization. The group says it has renounced violence and also represents a very small fraction of the opposition to the government in Tehran.
Iran does not allow Shaheed entry to the country to conduct his research and regards his reports as punitive.