Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized both by Iranians and international human right activists, NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned prior and ongoing abuses in Iran in published critiques and several resolutions; the government of Iran is criticized both for restrictions and punishments that follow the Islamic Republic's constitution and law, for actions by state actors that do not, such as the torture and killing of political prisoners, the beatings and killings of dissidents and other civilians. Capital punishment in Iran remains a matter of international concern. Restrictions and punishments in the Islamic Republic of Iran which violate international human rights norms include harsh penalties for crimes, punishment of "victimless crimes" such as fornication and homosexuality, execution of offenders under 18 years of age, restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, restrictions on freedom of religion and gender equality in the Islamic Republic's Constitution.
Reported abuses falling outside of the laws of the Islamic Republic that have been condemned include the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, the widespread use of torture to extract repudiations by prisoners of their cause and comrades on video for propaganda purposes. Condemned has been firebombings of newspaper offices and attacks on political protesters by "quasi-official organs of repression," "Hezbollahi," and the murder of dozens of government opponents in the 1990s by "rogue elements" of the government. Under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's human rights record "has deteriorated markedly," according to Human Rights Watch, following the 2009 election protests there were reports of killing of demonstrators, the torture and killing of detained protesters, the arrest and publicized mass trials of dozens of prominent opposition figures in which defendants "read confessions that bore every sign of being coerced." In October 2012 the United Nations human rights office stated Iranian authorities had engaged in a "severe clampdown" on journalists and human rights advocates.
Officials of the Islamic Republic have responded to criticism by stating that Iran has "the best human rights record" in the Muslim world. According to Iranian officials, those who human rights activists say are peaceful political activists being denied due process rights are guilty of offenses against the national security of the country, those protesters claiming Ahmadinejad stole the 2009 election are part of a foreign-backed plot to topple Iran's leaders. After the election of Hassan Rouhani as President, he stated "Women must enjoy equal opportunity, equal protection and equal social rights", although Iran still has "a long way to go" to achieve gender equality; the topic of women's reform is contentious in Iran, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini saying that gender equality was "one of the biggest mistakes of Western thought."On 19 December 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a Canadian-sponsored resolution expressing "serious concern" about Iran's high rate of executions without legal safeguards, ongoing use of torture, widespread arbitrary detentions, sharp limits on freedom of assembly and religious belief, continuing discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities.
The Islamic revolution is thought to have a worse human rights record than the Pahlavi Dynasty it overthrew. According to political historian Ervand Abrahamian, "whereas less than 100 political prisoners had been executed between 1971 and 1979, more than 7900 were executed between 1981 and 1985.... The prison system was centralized and drastically expanded... Prison life was drastically worse under the Islamic Republic than under the Pahlavis. One who survived both writes that four months under Ladjevardi took the toll of four years under SAVAK. In the prison literature of the Pahlavi era, the recurring words had been ‘boredom’ and ‘monotony’. In that of the Islamic Republic, they were ‘fear’, ‘death’, ‘terror’, ‘horror’, most frequent of all ‘nightmare’."However, the vast majority of killings of political prisoners occurred in the first decade of the Islamic Republic, after which violent repression lessened. With the rise of the Iranian reform movement and the election of moderate Iranian president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 numerous moves were made to modify the Iranian civil and penal codes in order to improve the human rights situation.
The predominantly reformist parliament drafted several bills allowing increased freedom of speech, gender equality, the banning of torture. These were all dismissed or watered down by the Guardian Council and leading conservative figures in the Iranian government at the time. According to The Economist magazine, The Tehran spring of ten years ago has now given way to a bleak political winter; the new government continues to close down newspapers, silence dissenting voices and ban or censor books and websites. The peaceful demonstrations and protests of the Khatami era are no longer tolerated: in January 2007 security forces attacked striking bus drivers in Tehran and arrested hundreds of them. In March police beat hundreds of men and women who had assembled to commemorate International Women's Day. Since the founding of the Islamic Republic, human rights violations of religious minorities have been the subject of
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The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area. In the Classical era, part of the territory of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rhages, a prominent Median city, it was subject to destruction through the medieval Arab and Mongol invasions. Its modern-day inheritor remains as an urban area absorbed into the metropolitan area of Greater Tehran. Tehran was first chosen as the capital of Iran by Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty in 1796, in order to remain within close reach of Iran's territories in the Caucasus, before being separated from Iran as a result of the Russo-Iranian Wars, to avoid the vying factions of the ruling Iranian dynasties; the capital has been moved several times throughout the history, Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran.
Large scale demolition and rebuilding began in the 1920s, Tehran has been a destination for mass migrations from all over Iran since the 20th century. Tehran is home to many historical collections, including the royal complexes of Golestan, Sa'dabad, Niavaran, where the two last dynasties of the former Imperial State of Iran were seated. Tehran's most famous landmarks include the Azadi Tower, a memorial built under the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1971 to mark the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State of Iran, the Milad Tower, the world's sixth-tallest self-supporting tower, completed in 2007; the Tabiat Bridge, a newly-built landmark, was completed in 2014. The majority of the population of Tehran are Persian-speaking people, 99% of the population understand and speak Persian, but there are large populations of other ethno-linguistic groups who live in Tehran and speak Persian as a second language. Tehran has an international airport, a domestic airport, a central railway station, the rapid transit system of Tehran Metro, a bus rapid transit system, a large network of highways.
There have been plans to relocate Iran's capital from Tehran to another area, due to air pollution and the city's exposure to earthquakes. To date, no definitive plans have been approved. A 2016 survey of 230 cities by consultant Mercer ranked Tehran 203rd for quality of life. According to the Global Destinations Cities Index in 2016, Tehran is among the top ten fastest growing destinations. October 6 is marked as Tehran Day based on a 2016 decision by members of the City Council, celebrating the day when the city was chosen as the capital of Iran by the Qajar dynasty back in 1907; the origin of the name Tehran is uncertain. Prior to Tehran being the capital of Iran Isfahan was the capital. Isfahan has a significant Armenian Population; the settlement of Tehran dates back over 7,000 years. Tehran is situated within the historical region of Media in northwestern Iran. By the time of the Median Empire, a part of the territory of present-day Tehran was a suburb of the prominent Median city of Rhages.
In the Avesta's Videvdat, Rhages is mentioned as the 12th sacred place created by Ohrmazd. In Old Persian inscriptions, Rhages appears as a province. From Rhages, Darius I sent reinforcements to his father Hystaspes, putting down the rebellion in Parthia. In some Middle Persian texts, Rhages is given as the birthplace of Zoroaster, although modern historians place the birth of Zoroaster in Khorasan. Rhages's modern-day inheritor, Ray, is a city located towards the southern end of Tehran, absorbed into the metropolitan area of Greater Tehran. Mount Damavand, the highest peak of Iran, located near Tehran, is an important location in Ferdowsi's Šāhnāme, the Iranian epic poem, based on the ancient legends of Iran, it appears in the epics as the homeland of the protoplast Keyumars, the birthplace of king Manuchehr, the place where king Freydun binds the dragon fiend Aždahāk, the place where Arash shot his arrow from. During the reign of the Sassanian Empire, in 641, Yazdgerd III issued his last appeal to the nation from Rhages, before fleeing to Khorasan.
Rhages was dominated by the Parthian Mehran family, Siyavakhsh—the son of Mehran the son of Bahram Chobin—who resisted the 7th-century Muslim invasion of Iran. Because of this resistance, when the Arabs captured Rhages, they ordered the town to be destroyed and rebuilt anew by traitor aristocrat Farrukhzad. In the 9th century, Tehran was a well-known village, but less known than the city of Rhages, flourishing nearby. Rhages was described in detail by 10th-century Muslim geographers. Despite the interest that Arabian Baghdad displayed in Rhages, the number of Arabs in the city remained insignificant and the population consisted of Iranians of all classes; the Oghuz Turks invaded Rhages discretely in 1035 and 1042, but the city was recovered under the reigns of the Seljuks and the Khwarezmians. Medieval writer Najm od Din Razi declared the population of Rhages about 500,000 before the Mongol invasion. In the 13th century, the Mongols invaded Rhages, laid the city in ruins, massacred many of its inhabitants.
Following the invasion, many of the city's inhabitants escaped to Tehran. In July 1404, Castilian ambassador Ruy González de Clavijo visited Tehran while on a journey to Samarkand, the capital of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur, who ruled Iran at the time. In his diary, Tehran was described as an unwalled region. Ital