Brooklyn Journal of International Law


Cameron Moody

First Page



The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran saw sweeping changes in the country’s cultural policies, including the restriction of nearly all types of musical production. Today, the music production environment in Iran remains incredibly hostile to all but a select few. Iran’s government prohibits the production of most types of music and routinely prosecutes musicians. This Note seeks to examine the ways in which the existing U.N. framework for promoting musician’s rights fails to apply to the situation in Iran. Despite Iran being a signatory to the foundational UN Human Rights treaties, the country routinely flouts these rights. This Note argues that while the UN is making changes to the way it classifies and defends cultural rights, these changes will take time. In the interim, this Note proposes there are several measures the international community may take to mitigate the repression of musician’s rights in Iran and elsewhere.