President Rouhani’s Statement on the Citizens’ Rights Charter and Protections of Privacy

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President Rouhani’s Statement on the Citizens’ Rights Charter and Protections of Privacy

President Hassan Rouhani stated during his speech at a televised ceremony marking the anniversary of the Bar Association: “at the beginning of my presidency, I have promised the people to draft the citizen’s rights charter and at least to command the executive administration to implement it so as to make people be aware of their rights more than over the past years”.

He indicated that “the First step is that people must know their rights very well. When the interrogator intrudes into the privacy of the people, the citizens must stand firm and say that this is part of my privacy and citizenship rights and you the interrogators do not have the right to question me. People must be familiar with and know their rights”.

He continued:  “As you know, Imam Khomeini in 1982, despite what the country was going through Crisis in terms of the security situation,  had issued an order that was composed of 8 articles. Imam in this decree states that if you [the regime elements] went into the homes of people and there you saw gambling, wine and drug existed if you the regime elements came to inform about it then you would be prosecuted. If you come out and say you have seen such things then you would be prosecuted.”

While addressing the regime security and intelligence apparatuses, President Rouhani affirmed that “You do not have authorizations to meddle into the privacy life of residents. You do not have rights to investigate and eavesdrop and to take measures to figure out what the citizen does in their house. It is not your business, it has nothing to do with you.

He concluded that we should not intervene in the private lives of people. As Quran and our current Constitution stipulate it explicitly that we do not spy…. People’s  private life must not be examined”.

Background of the Citizens’ Rights Charter

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has launched a Citizens’ Rights Charter that outlines one of his administration’s most outstanding efforts so far to meet campaign pledges he made in winning the presidency three years ago.

The long-awaited Citizens’ Rights Charter promised by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was revealed Dec. 19. After the signing ceremony of the charter, a text message from the president was sent to millions of cellphones in Iran. It read, “Noble people of Iran, let’s get more familiar with our rights and strongly  protect them.”

The hoped-for charter was one of Rouhani’s essential campaign promises during the 2013 presidential elections. Following his winning in the polls, Rouhani assigned Elham Aminzadeh, the current presidential adviser on citizenship rights, with drawing up the charter.

The first draft was, nevertheless, faced with serious criticism, the most notable of which was its absence of enforceability and the fact that it was a collection of laws previously seen in Iran’s legal system that linked to citizens’ rights, however, were too dispersed and never highly regarded — critiques that are still being made after the publishing of the final draft.

To mitigate these concerns and objections, Rouhani issued a statement to governmental organizations on Dec. 19. He requested the exact implementation of the charter, declaring, “[I] have arranged the needed bill regarding citizens’ rights and will confer it to parliament. I am certain that other [legislative and judicial] powers will support and cooperate to provide the grounds for its implementation.”