HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, November 20

A number of workers and retirees assembled in the Worker House in Tehran. In this gathering, the workers showed their protest against a plan laid out in parliament, whereby wages can be wholly determined by a consensus between employee and employer.

“This plan will increase rural-to-urban migration and hence affect negatively the ecology”, Hassan Sadeghi, one of the workers’ representatives, commented about the plan. “It
reinforces informal employment and decreases demands in the market. In this plan, employers will be able to pay insurance contribution of just 10 days rather than 30 days.”



A group of workers of Abadan Petrochemical Complex assembled at company premises in front of the central factory building. They asked for the establishment of an Islamic Labor Council as a worker organization, pointing out that the government increases only the salary base in accordance with inflation each year, while other benefits remain the same.

Personnel of the medical treatment department of Elam University of Medical Sciences assembled on campus in protest.

A number of workers in Yazd Province assembled at the Worker House in Yazd City. They asked that the disparity in wages be closed, and that labor codes and regulations regarding worker housing be implemented.

“Considering the 47% (annual) inflation, a 20 to 30% increase in wages is never enough. Therefore, we are planning to address this issue in a session with workers’ organizations as
well as through Parliament,” the member of Parliament of this city, Mr. Jokar, commented. “Among other things, addressing the temporary contracts which undermine job security, productivity and motivations for labor force have to be prioritized.”

Sunday, November 21

In Shahrekord City, hundreds of people assembled in front of the municipal building of this Province and then marched through the streets of Shahrekord in protest against water shortages
and water mismanagement.

Families of the victims of Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, which was hit by two regime missiles on January 8, 2020, resulting in the death of the 176 people on board, assembled and demanded that the court-martial convene and hold low-ranking military officers responsible for the incident accountable. Carrying placards and pictures of the victims, protesters called for justice.

A group of the retirees of the Fulad Company’s pension fund protested in Isfahan and Khuzestan before the building of this fund. They asked for the fortification of their pensions to stand
above the poverty line, the closing of disparities in pensions, and that the issues of supplementary insurance be addressed.

For several consecutive days, a group of workers of Abadan Petrochemical Complex assembled and protested at the premises of this complex. They demanded increased wages and that a workers’ organization be established.

Monday, November 22

In Shahrekord City, for a second consecutive day, dozens of citizens marched to protest against water shortage and water mismanagement in the province.

Recently-dismissed workers of the Aq-Dareh gold mine assembled at their former workplace to protest mass layoffs. They have stated that, as seasonal workers, they can hardly earn their livelihood during the winter months.

In Sirjan City, a number of workers of the edible oil company FRICO demanded their several-months-delayed wages.

Tuesday, November 23

A group of workers of Asminon Mine assembled on the road connecting Manoojān to Bandar-Abbas to protest against not addressing their issues. Reportedly, this was their fourth day of the protest.

Workers of the vegetable oil factory Nina, located in the Sirjan industrial zone, assembled in front of the municipal building to ask for their wage demands and determine their job  conditions. One of the workers said that the employer’s neglect towards workers’ demands has weakened their work motivation. He also mentioned that it is about three months that the factory is temporarily closed due to the lack of raw materials.

Wednesday, November 24

Hundreds of people in two squares of Shahrekord City, in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, assembled and marched to protest against water shortages, ineffective water management policies and poor resource mismanagement. They demanded, in particular, shutting down a water transfer project which extracts water from the Province through two canals, exacerbating the current water shortage. Reportedly, currently, 96.1% of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province is facing drought.

In Isfahan, for several consecutive days, the farmers assembled in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud. They demanded their water portion and the revival of this river.

Several patients with the blood disorder Thalassemia assembled in front of the headquarter of Zahedan University of Medical Sciences. According to these protestors,  the worsening quality of its medicines has endangered the health of patients. They asked for the removal of all poor-quality medicines from the market.

A number of the victims of the financial fraud of the “King Money” cryptocurrency network assembled in front of the building of the Baadraan Universal Trading company.

The seasonal workers of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane company assembled in Shush city in front of the office of Parliament member Kaab Amir. They asked that their employment contract issues be addressed.

Thursday, November 25

A number of citizens assembled in front of the office of the Cleric Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani in Qom City to protest against the family law–particularly mehrieh (money or
possessions paid by the groom). Many men, who are not able to afford to pay this money in the divorce, are convicted and even jailed.

For a second consecutive day, seasonal workers of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane company assembled in Shush City in front of the office of Parliament member Kaab Amir.

The workers of the Iran-Khodro Company in Tabriz went on a strike and assembled at their workplace. They demanded closing the disparity in wages and implementing the Job Classification Act. 

Family of US Citizen Missing in Iran Seeks Answers

Three years after her disappearance, the family of Iranian-American dual citizen Ashraf Amin-Akbari continues to seek answers.

Ashraf Amin-Akbari, 63, is an Iranian-American-Canadian citizen born in Iran. Amin-Akbari, who resided in Las Vegas, Nevada, boarded a flight to Tehran to visit her family in July of 2018, and has been missing since August 1, 2018. The trip was meant to be a 3-week visit to a family home in Tehran.

Despite the passage of more than 3 years and her family’s persistent communications with US, Canadian, and Iranian officials, her whereabouts remain unknown. Amin-Akbari is currently listed on INTERPOL’s yellow notice list, a global police alert for missing persons.

In an interview with HRANA, Afsar Amin-Akbari, Ashraf’s sister, expressed concern regarding the condition of her 63-year-old sister.

“My sister had gone to Iran for a three-week trip to visit family,” she said. “Two weeks into her trip, on August 1, 2018, she disappeared. She has not been heard from since. Is it possible for a person to be lost in a country for this period and not be heard from? I follow up with the Iranian police and Agahi Shapoor (a specialist police department) every week and they say they have no information. I am told, ‘is your sister the only one missing in Iran?’”

Ms. Akbari is also concerned about the Iranian government’s history of arresting dual nationals.

“We have searched all hospitals, morgues, and cemeteries,” she told HRANA. “My sister has no history of civic activity, the only way left we think she may be is in a security detention center or prison. My sister is sick, suffering from kidney failure, she even quit her job due to illness. She needs her own medicine, and I do not know if she has access to her medicine wherever she is.”

On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, announced, “Iran’s Foreign Ministry is to launch a program under which it claims to guarantee that dual nationals traveling to the country will not face detention or any other legal problem.”

In light of the recent remarks, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson calls on Amir-Abdollahian to answer for the situation of Amini Akbari and other dual nationals that are seemingly being held as political bargaining chips.

Thompson added, “The claim of such a guarantee is remarkably insensitive to the families of disappeared and detained dual nationals inside of Iran, including Ms. Amin-Akbari.”

_________________________________

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, November 13

A number of retirees of the airline company Homa assembled before Mehrabad Airport Central Office Building in Tehran. They also protested against the merger of Homa’s pension fund into the national pension fund.

“We have not yet fully earned the salary for September.” one of the protestors stated. “The retirees of Tehran have received 5 million tomans of the payment but the rest of the retirees have not received anything.”

In Isfahan, a number of farmers assembled in and marched through in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud. This is the sixth day that they have protested to demand their water portion.

 

A group of contracted teachers and educators working in Neyshabur City protested in the building of the General Department of Education of Razavi Khorasan Province in Mashhad.

Reportedly, despite news that the contracted teachers will be recruited by the Ministry of Education in the cities of Neyshabur and Firouzeh, following a dispute between the local departments and the general department of the Ministry of Education on hours and wages, the supportive plan was cancelled.

 

A group of residents in a district in Izeh County in Khuzestan Province assembled in front of the government building to demand their rights. They claimed that a portion of their land has been confiscated by the Department of Natural Resources.

Sunday, November 14

 

A group of syndicate bus drivers of Tehran Bus Company assembled before the building of Government Employees’ Court and then marched towards the Judiciary Office in Tehran. As one of the protestors mentioned, they protested against delays in payment, not receiving uniforms and contractors who are shirking their responsibilities towards addressing workers’ issues.

Personnel of at least nine medical centers, belonging to the University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, assembled and protested against authorities’ failure to follow through on promises they have made.

Retirees of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad assembled before the office of the President to demand that their housing issues be addressed. Reportedly, several years ago, they made down payments on apartments from a housing cooperative and then were never granted building permits.

A number of contracted teachers assembled in front of the government building in Qazvin City to protest against modifications in job contracts and irregular payments. Reportedly, these teachers primary complaints relate to the arbitrary determination of salaries. They stated that their monthly salary is just about 1.8 million tomans, which falls below the poverty line.

A number of retirees of the pension fund of Fulad Company assembled in front of the pension fund offices of various cities. They asked for the fortification of their pension to surpass the poverty line, closing the disparity in pension incomes, enforcing Article 96 of the Social Security Act, solving issues regarding supplementary insurance.

A group of sugarcane harvesting workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled and protested at the company premises. 150 fired sugarcane workers demanded to be hired again and work in other parts of the company.

Contracted service workers of Ahvaz Municipality assembled before the governorate building to ask to be recruited by the municipality rather than contractors.

For a seventh consecutive days, a group of farmers assembled in Isfahan and marched through the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud to demand their water portion. They spent the night in tents under the Khaju Bridge.

Monday, November 15

A number of Taxi drivers assembled and protested before the City Council Office in Kahnooj City in Kerman Province to protest against the newly announced fare rates. They said that they can hardly afford their living costs with such low rates.

Tuesday, November 16

Personnel of the drilling company Global Petro Tech Kish assembled in Ahvaz City to protest seven month delays in payments.

 

Earthquake victims of Bandar-Abbas villages assembled to protest against neglect of their issues.

 

A number of workers of Sanandaj Municipality assembled in front of the City Council Building to demand their unpaid wages.

Wednesday, November 17

 

Dozens of workers of the tire manufacturing factory Barez assembled at factory premises to protest against the gap in wages and benefits.

“Many times we asked company management to do something about discrimination in wages and address our poor job conditions,” one worker said. “Considering poor economic conditions of the county, there has been no increase in our wages despite the multiplying manufactured products’ prices.”

 

Personnel of Metro security in Karaj City went on a strike and assembled before the metro station and demanded that wage and insurance issues be addressed.

 

In Tabriz, for several consecutive days, the workers of the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Industrial Group went on a strike and assembled at their workplace. They protested against low wages and the lack of job security, and the failure to enact the promised changes in their contracts.

 

For the ninth consecutive day, farmers in Isfahan assembled and protested in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud. They spent the night in tents under the Khaju Bridge.

 

A number of workers of the copper mining company “Dareh Zar Ruchun” assembled in Sirjan city.

They protested against the mismatch of working hours with wages, not implementing the Job Classification Act, low wages, the lack of job security.

Thursday, November 18

 

A number of workers of Railway Services & Technical Construction Engineering Company working in Metro Security assembled and blocked the railway and demanded their delayed payments.

For the tenth consecutive day, farmers assembled and protested in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud in Isfahan to ask for their water supply.

 

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

Saturday, November 6

Several workers working on the Shafa Rud dam assembled at their workplace to protest against job uncertainty and a months-long delay in payment. As one of these workers stated, they have not received wages in six months.  About 900 workers who are working on this dam have been suspended from work due to the company’s financial problems.

A group of personnel of the Islamic Azad University in Mahshahr City protested their wages
by spreading empty tablecloths as a sign of their hard livelihood conditions. One
stated that they have long been denied payment under the pretext of a funding shortage.

A group of retirees of Haft-Tappeh Complex protested in front of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Office in Shush city. They stated that their pension income has not been fully paid in accordance with Social Security Act.

A number of farmers in Bavi County assembled in front of the building of the company Karun-e-Bozorg, an operation and maintenance of Irrigation and Drainage Networks, to ask for their water portion for wheat cultivation. They also protested against the cut in the water supply for their gardens.

A group of workers of Kerman Coal Mining Company went on strike and assembled at their workplace to protest against assigning the stock management to the company Dalahu Tejarat. They will oppose any changes in stock management until they have taken formal employment with the company.

The workers of Iran-Khodro in Tabriz went on strike at work to demand delayed payments and benefits.

Sunday, November 7

A number of retirees and pensioners of the Khuzestan Social Security Organization protested in front of the building of the organization in Ahvaz city. They asked for levelling up pensions to stand above the poverty line, closing the disparity in pension incomes, enforcing article 96 of the Social Security Act, solving issues regarding supplementary insurance, paying end-of-year bonuses and factoring in employment history in hazardous jobs for calculating pension income.

A group of designers and supervising engineers assembled in front of the Iran Ministry of Roads & Urban Development to protest the enactment of new regulations and procedures which, as the protestors claim, would be devastating for companies in this sector.

Retirees and pensioners of Fulad Steel Company assembled in front of the company’s pension fund departments in Isfahan and Ahvaz. They asked that their pensions be raised above the poverty line, closing the disparity in pension incomes and addressing supplementary insurance issues.

A group of personnel of the Social Security Organization assembled in front of the parliament in Tehran. They demanded implementation of the Hard and Hazardous Jobs Act, which requires that military service periods and job hardship records be taken into account when raising wages.

A number of victims of the financial fraud of the cryptocurrency exchange “Cryptoland” assembled in front of the Judiciary Building and demanded their lost money.

A number of depositors who has lost their investment through Caspian institution assembled and protested in front of the building of the Central Bank in Tehran.

Monday, November 8

A number of retirees of Haft-Tappeh Company who went into a pension in 2020 assembled in front of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social welfare office in Shush city. They claimed that their pension income has been accounted for less than what the social security act requires.

In Tehran, a group of citizens who had pre-ordered cars from Ramak Khodro Company assembled in front of the Tehran Courthouse to ask for a demand accountability from the company, which has failed to deliver their cars after four years.

Dozens of citizens from Lorestan County in Fars province traveled to Tehran and assembled in front of the building of the Iran Ministry of Roads & Urban Development. They asked for maintenance of the unsafe and poor conditions of the road connecting Jahrom to Bandar-e Abbas. This road is still not two-lane, which has caused many fatal car accidents in recent weeks.

In Isfahan, a group of farmers assembled in front of the headquarter of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. Moreover, several other farmers marched in the streets of this city. They protested against not receiving their water portion for the fall wheat crop planting.

In Tabriz, the workers of SEMET Company assembled in protest in front of the company manager’s office.

In Kerman, a number of workers of Kerman coal company assembled in front of the office of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour, and Social Welfare to protest against the privatization of the company.

Tuesday, November 9

Dozens of retired teachers and educators who have been on pension since 2020 assembled in front of the building of the Planning and Budget Organization in Tehran. They demanded payment of their pension bonuses. The protest turned violent by police interference.

A group of livestock farmers in the Toroq area in Mashhad assembled to protest against the demolition of several animal farms.

For the second consecutive day, in Isfahan, farmers assembled in front of the building of the Regional Water Company and marched in the streets.

Wednesday, November 10

For the third consecutive day, in Isfahan, a number of farmers assembled in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud to ask for their water portion. In response, the member parliament Abas Moghtadai promised that to address their issue, along with other Isfahan members of parliament, he would have a meeting with the president.

A number of landowners in Astalak Pardis protested in front of the building of the Tehran Ministry of Roads & Urban Development. They claimed that their lands have been confiscated by the company Omran-Pardis.

In Khorasan province, a group of Iran-Khodro workers went on a strike to protest against forced overwork and ask for raising wages.

For the second consecutive day, to ask for addressing their work issues, a group of preschool educators assembled and spent the night in front of the building governorate building.

Thursday, November 11

In response to the call of the Coordinating Council of Iranian teacher Unions, both retired and working teachers in 67 cities across the country assembled and protested. As their most important demand, they asked for the implementation of the Ranking Income Bill, whereby the salaries of teachers should be raised to at least 80% of university board members’ salaries.

On the same day of nationwide teachers’ protest, in Isfahan, the school concierges and service workers assembled in the front of the building of the Department of Education to ask for their demands.

For the third consecutive day, in Isfahan, the farmers assembled in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud.

Victims of November 2019 Protests Call for Concrete Action Ahead of The Anniversary

NOVEMBER 15, 2019: A sudden and substantial hike in the cost of fuel sparks unrest across Iran. Individuals across the country pour into the streets in what soon becomes mass protests covering a reported 104 cities across Iran. 

 

As the anniversary of the November protests approaches, HRA has spoken with Iranians calling for concrete action against those responsible for violent crackdowns against protesters including arbitrary and incommunicado detention, illegal use of force, and torture among other serious violations. For nearly two years, perpetrators have, for the most part, enjoyed widespread impunity. Domestically, some have even seemingly been rewarded. Indeed, individuals such as now-President Ebrahim Raisi, a known and serious violator, have risen to top positions of power.

Soheila, a 45-year-old mother whose son was shot in the November 2019 protests, highlights the shortcomings of the judiciary in Iran, telling HRA, “I hope that accountability will mean that next time, my child, instead of taking to the streets, can work through established pathways to hold corrupt people accountable for their actions.”

November 2019 saw the deaths of several hundred Iranians  (227 were verified by HRA) in what is arguably a state-sanctioned arbitrary deprivation of life. In addition over 7,100 were arbitrarily detained, some remain detained today. Although the violations noted above have been extensively documented, little has been done to hold perpetrators accountable.

Figure 1: reported November 2019 protest points -black denotes locations where the killing of protester(s) were reported (Human Rights Activists in Iran)

 

Elika, 25, told HRA, “Without accountability for violations that occurred in November 2019, the cycle of repression and violence will not end. Those that intend to perpetrate future abuse [on us] need to see accountability. Maybe then they will take a moment to think before pulling the trigger.”  In a recent post in the Atlantic Council IranSource blog, Skylar Thompson, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator, stated similarly, “Without concrete action to fight the plague of impunity that covers Iran, these violent events will only continue to occur and the Iranian people will continue to suffer.”

Iran has proven unwilling to investigate and prosecute those responsible through domestic judicial frameworks. This unwillingness is paired with the fact that Iran’s judiciary is in no way impartial and is in fact led by the very perpetrators responsible for the noted violations. Unfortunately, violations of fair trial standards have become status quo.

When asked what accountability looks like to him, Hafez, 22, told HRA, “They should handcuff the perpetrators. […]. They should be prosecuted in a public court and imprisoned.” He continued, “Once handcuffed, perpetrators should have to look the victim’s mother in the face to calm her heart.” Nazanin, 32, told HRA that accountability, in her view “is [the Islamic Republic] honestly and openly admitting wrongdoing.”

HRA has identified 54 individual and seven institutional violators connected to the November 2019 protests. It Is noteworthy that a number of those violators have also been complicit in numerous additional acts of repression against protesters including in 1988, 2020 (protests over the shooting down of Ukrainian airliner), 2021 (protests over resource mis-management in Khuzestan), and many instances in between. This repeated action is a direct consequence of the lack of accountability.

The following section lists notable individuals responsible for repeated serious and widespread rights violations. Extensive and credible documentation is readily available. HRA calls on the international community to hear the pleas of Iranians like Hafez, Nazanin, and Elika and utilize available documentation to take concrete action against those responsible.

*For a more in-depth look at the listed violators visit www.spreadingjustice.org or select a name and be directed to a violator profile that includes several data points including an overview of violations, employment history, as well as additional evidentiary documentation. 

 

Government 

Mojtaba Raei
Special Governor, Najafabad City of Isfahan Province
Deputy Governor of Isfahan

Roham Bakhsh Habibi
Police commander of Fars Province

Lotfollah Dezhkam 
Representative of the Supreme Leader, Fars Province
Friday Imam of Shiraz

Leila Vaseghi
Governor of Quds City

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli
Ministry of Interior
Chairman of the Security Council
Deputy Leader of the Islamic Republic Police Force

Jamal Alami Nisi
Governor of Ahvaz and Chairman of the Ahvaz City Security Council

Masoumeh Khanfari
Governor of Karoun City

Nik-Mohammad Balouch-Zehi
Director General, Information and Communications Technology Department of Sistan and Baluchestan Province

Seyed-Vahid Haghanian aka “Vahid” or “Sardar (General) Vahid”
Executive and Special Affairs Deputy of the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader’s office

Saeed Jalili
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council

 

Police 

Ali-akbar Javidan
Kermanshah Police Chief

Hossein Rahimi
Head of Tehran Police Forces

Hossein AshtariFard
Commander of the police force of the Islamic Republic

Gholamreza Jafari
From November 12, 2019 to now: Commander of the Hormozgan Police Force

Hassan Karami
Command of the Special Unit of the Police Force

Mohammad-Hossein Babakalani
Retired Police Force

Saeed Motaharizadeh 
North Khorasan Police Chief

Reza Papey
Police commander of Mahshahr City

Abdolreza Nazeri
Commander of the Kerman Police Force

Ruhollah Geravandi
Dezful Police Commander

Manouchehr Amanollahi 
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Police Commander

 

IRGC

Kioumars Heydari
Brigadier General IRGC

Hossein Taeb
Former Head of the IRGC Intelligence Organization

Hassan Shahvarpour
Commander of the Khuzestan Provincial IRGC force (Valiasr IRGC base)

Masoud Khorramnia
Second Brigadier General (IRGC)
Commander-in-chief of West Azerbaijan province

Mohammad-Esmaeil Kowsari
Senior Commander, IRGC

Hossein Salami
Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC

Mohammad-Reza Yazdi
Senior Commander of IRGC

Gholamreza Soleimani Farsani
Commander of Sahib al-Zaman IRGC in Isfahan province

Gholam-hossein Gheibparvar
Commander of the Basij
Deputy Commander of the IRGC, Imam Ali’s HQ

Mousa Ghazanfar-Abadi
Former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunals of Tehran

 

Judiciary 

 

Dadkhoda Salari Manzari
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Kerman City

Heydar Asiabi
Senior Judicial Official, Judiciary of the Islamic Republic

Alireza Aghajari
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Pardis city, the former prosecutor of Mahshahr city

Peyman Samadi
Prisoner Supervisor in Ward 9, Evin Prison
Deputy Director of the 2nd Brigade in Fashafoyeh Prison

Mehdi Mohammadi
Deputy Prosecutor of Boroujerd

Hamid Golinejad
Head of Branch 101 of the 2nd Criminal Court of Urmia

Ali Esfahani
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Isfahan Province

Ali Zare
General and Revolutionary prosecutor of Najafabad city in Isfahan province

Yahya Jafari 
Judicial Official, Judiciary of the Islamic Republic

Mohammad-javad Heshmati Mohazzab
Senior Judicial Official, Judiciary of the Islamic Republic

Mohammad-Hossein Sadeghi 
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Kermanshah Province

Hamid Mohammadi
Head of Evin Prison

Mansour Mohammadi Khabbaz
Public and revolutionary prosecutor of Dezful

Abbas Hosseini-Pouya 

Public and Revolutionary prosecutor of Khuzestan Province

Hamid Asgaripour
Shahriar County Public Prosecutor and Revolution

Mahamad-Reza Amouzad Khalili
Judge, Head of Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Seyed-Ahmad Zargar
Judge of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran

Iman Afshari
Judge, Head of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Mohammad Mahdi Mahmoodi
Deputy Chief Justice of the General and Revolutionary Courts of Shiraz
Head of the 2nd Criminal Court
Judge of Branch 101 of the 2nd Criminal Court of Shiraz

Ali Alghasi-Mehr
General prosecutor of Tehran

 

Media 

 

Hossein Shariatmadari
Kayhan Institute

Abdolali Ali-Asgari
Head of the Islamic Republic Broadcasting Organization (IRIB)

Ameneh-Sadat Zabihpour
Interrogator-Reporter

____________________________________________________

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

 

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HRA’s Skylar Thompson Comments on Iran’s Culture of Impunity in Atlantic Council Article

HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson discusses the Iranian government’s  ongoing issue of impunity in a recent article published by the Atlantic Council.

“Without concrete action to fight the plague of impunity that covers Iran, these violent events will only continue to occur and the Iranian people will continue to suffer,” Thompson writes in the article. “Iran has proven they are both unable and unwilling to provide a domestic judicial remedy for victims of human rights violations.”

The blog post discusses the issue specifically through the lens of the November 2019 Protests and the Khuzestan Protests of this year. Protesters in both cases faced violent government suppression, and the actors most directly responsible have since faced little to no repercussions.

“The information on those perpetrators complicit in such widespread abuse is readily available,” Thompson concludes. “The international community must speak up for the Iranian people and take concrete action to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”

Read the full article here.

The Uprising of the Thirsty; An Analysis of the 2021 Khuzestan Protests

The July 2021 Iranian protests were a continuation of protests that have been erupting sporadically since 2016.

The driving force behind the July/August uprising was to protest the perennial water shortages and rolling blackouts stemming from mismanagement of resources, fueling public anger. The latest round of protests erupted on 15 July, starting in Khuzestan soon spreading to other provinces including Isfahan, Lorestan, Eastern Azerbaijan, Tehran, and Karaj. These protests have been coined the ‘Uprising of the Thirsty’.

As nearly 5 million Iranians in Khuzestan are lacking access to clean drinking water, Iran is failing to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to water, which is inextricably linked to the right to the highest attainable standard of health; both are protected by the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESR), to which Iran is a signatory. It is a common cause that Iran’s water crisis has reached a critical point. Even the regime’s state-run media have acknowledged the dire situation, with at least 700 villages out of water.

According to the state-run Aftab News on July 4, 2021, “Of Iran’s population of 85 million, about 28 million live in areas with water shortages and are under pressure in this regard, mainly in the central and southern regions of the country. Water shortages have affected all sections of society, from urban households to agricultural and rural communities.”

It did not take long for the protests to take on a political character, with protesters in various cities calling for the end of the current regime and expanding the subject matter of their protests from water shortages to deteriorating living conditions.

One protester told HRA, “My ideal outcome is to see a regime official resign in response to our suffering. We are tired of all of this misery, poverty, dehydration, neglect, lies, and empty promises.

A protester living in Tehran told HRA, “Besides supporting [the people of] Khuzestan, we are protesting unemployment, high prices, poverty, and the existing problems in the country. We can no longer bear the hardships of life created by unworthy officials. The authorities must address the problems…

In the two weeks of the uprising, Human Rights Activists (HRA) verified 129 videos documenting the protests, 361 arrests, 6 deaths, and several more wounded. HRA’s Spreading Justice team (HRA-SJ) additionally identified individual violators associated with the violent crackdown. The following report analyses the events that occurred as a result of the uprising, those responsible, and concludes with a call for accountability noting that without action, this cycle of abuse will only continue.

Read the full report here.

_________________________

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, October 30

The workers of Abadan Petrochemical Company assembled at the company premises to demand the right to form an Islamic Workers’ Council, as the labor code allows, the adjustment of their contracts according to their job classification plans, job security, preservation of the dignity of workers and an end to punitive measures towards employees who advocate for their rights.

A number of workers of the Golnar Vegetable Oil Factory protested at the company premises.  As well as fostering a number of other internal problems, the factory employer reportedly has been announcing temporary business closure each month, and sending about 300 workers on compulsory leave.

Dozens of teachers and educators from various cities came to Tehran on Saturday and and assembled in front of Parliament. They asked for implementation of the Ranking Income Bill, whereby the salaries of teachers must be raised to at least 80% of university board members’ salaries. They also demanded the fortification of pension funds, in adherence with Civil Service Management Law.

 

In Bandar Mahshahr, the workers of Razi Petrochemical Company went on strike for several consecutive days. They assembled in front of the company headquarters and demanded bonuses and benefits, improvement in the quality of meals, implementation of the Jobs Classification Plan, and supplementary health insurance.

The concierges and service workers of schools assembled in front of Parliament in Tehran and protested poor living conditions and low wages.

A number of residents of the village Shahr-e Kohneh in Neyshabur County protested infrastructural negligence, particularly in regard to road maintenence. Residents currently have to travel a long distance to reach an unsafe underpass in order to cross the railway.



A number of residents of Mahabad City in Isfahan assembled in the dried up stretches of the river Taherabad and protested water withdrawal from this river for the usage of the Fulad Natanz factory. Moreover, reportedly, as a result of this water withdrawal a 3000-year-old Qanat has been dried up.

 

In Tehran, A number of lawyers of the judiciary assembled in front of the building of the Iran Bar Association to show their opposition to enactment of a plan whereby the issuance of some business licenses will be facilitated.

A group of specialized hospital assistants of Imam Hossein Hospital went on a strike at their workplace in protest against their poor living conditions.

About 40 workers of Kayson Company stopped working and went on a strike to ask for their demands, including the payment of wages that have been delayed by three months.

Sunday, October 31

A number of retirees and pensioners of the Iran Social Security Organization assembled in front of their local units in various cities such as Tehran, Mashhad, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Rasht and Tabriz. They asked for a pension above the poverty line, implementation of article 96 of the Social Security Acts, closing the disparity in pension incomes, end-year bonuses and factoring in employment history in hazardous jobs when calculating pension income.

 

Service workers of Tehran Metro on Line 2 assembled to protest the three-month delay in their wages. Moreover, they have not received end of year bonuses for two years and the employer’s insurance contribution has also been delayed.

 

For a second consecutive day,  workers of the vegetable oil factory Golnar assembled at the factory premises to demand action.

“After two days of protests, no one from the company responds to us,” one of these workers stated. “Since the privatization of the factory, in recent years, there have raised many conflicts between the company and the workers including compulsory unpaid leaves, the deduction of leave from the salary, reducing in production, imposing one-month contracts and continuous two-week night work, and the most important, threatening workers to be fired.”

For the second consecutive day, a group of workers of Abadan Petrochemical Company (TAPPICO) assembled at the company premises to ask for the implementation of the Job Classification plan. They also protested against the layoffs of four fellow workers.

 

In Qazvin, the garden maintenance workers of Rojan Dasht Caspian went on strike to demand their wages, which have been delayed by 4 months.

 

Workers of Arak Machine Manufacturing Factory assembled and protested at the company premises. They demanded increased wages in accordance with inflation and real living costs.

 

A group of the retirees of Telecommunication Company of Iran assembled at premises of the building of the finance department of the company to ask for their demands.

A number of farmers from Shush and Shushtar assembled in front of their government buildings to protest rice exports outside the province.

Monday, November 1

Judiciary personnell assembled in front of the Justice building of various cities across the country including Tehran, Mashhad, Shush, Yazd, Zanjan, Farahan, Ray Shahr, Kuhrang, Neyshabur, Meybod, Gorgan, Azadshahr, Sanandaj, Ahvaz, Elam, Arak, Divandareh, Paveh, Damavand, Kasmar, Tafresh, Boroujen. They protested against poor living conditions and inattention to their demands.

A number of the workers in the lead and zinc mine in Gojar in Kerman Province assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social welfare in Kerman to demand increased wages.

A number of workers of Kut-e Abdollah Municipality assembled in front of the building of the Islamic Council in this city. They protested unpaid wages and unpaid employers’ contributions to health insurance.

A group of citizens in Tehran assembled in front of the building of the Securities and Exchange Organization to protest capital market collapse and demanded that measures be taken to protect people’s investments.

Workers of the Razi petrochemical company went on a strike at their workplace in Bandar Mahshah. They asked for benefits and bonuses in accordance with workplace conditions, improvment in the quality of meals, implementation of the Job classification plan, and supplementary insurance.

Tuesday, November 2

A group of personnel and board members of Islamic Azad University of Shushtar City assembled on campus to protest unpaid wages.

 

The residents of the town “Poshte Bagh-e Parandgan” in Astara County assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development office to protest against the decision to demolish a number of local residential complexes.

Personnel of the Regional Telecommunication Company of Eastern Azerbaijan Province assembled inside the company headquarters and in front of the management office.

A number of people who have not received their pre-ordered cars from Azvico Company (Azerbaijan Vehicle Industry) assembled in front of the office of the Head of the Judiciary .

 

 

Residents of the village Malek-Abad in Arak County protested the unlawful confiscation of their pieces of land by semi-government Awqaf and Charity Affairs Organizations. A few days prior, they had blocked the road from Arak to Qom City as a demonstration of protest.

 

A group of transport service drivers of the hospital Shahid Mohammadi went on a strike to protest poor living conditions and low wages.

 

Workers of Arak Machine Manufacturing Factory assembled at the company premises and went on strike.

Wednesday, November 3

Victims of the financial fraud of the cryptocurrency exchange “Cryptoland” assembled in front of the Tehran Courthouse this Wednesday and demanded that their complaints be addressed and their money returned.

A number of workers of Kut-e Abdollah Municipality assembled in front of the building of the Islamic Council in this city. Reportedly, 400 workers have not been fully paid since July.

A number of people with hearing impairment in Mariwan assembled in front of the State Welfare Organization building to protest poor living conditions and unemployment. They asked for enforcing the Comprehensive Law on Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

A group of shareholders who lost money due to fraudulent transactions in the Tehran stock exchange assembled in front of the Tehran Courthouse in protest.

 

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

Saturday, October 23

A group of contracted teachers and educators from the counties of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province assembled in front of the government building in Shahrekord to protest this year layoffs.

“126 teachers have been fired this academic year,” one protestor stated at the demonstration. “These layoffs happened only to the educators of this province. The teachers with the same conditions, all over the county, continue their work.”, he added.

Sunday, October 24

Workers for a heap leaching project at the copper mine Sungun Varzaghan assembled and protested their unpaid benefits this Sunday. 

Monday, October 25

In various cities across the country, judiciary personnel assembled in front of their local justice buildings and protested worsening job conditions and the failure of authorities to address their demands.

These protests were held in Tehran, Zanjan, Hamedan, Qom, Arak, Babol, Borujerd, Chaedgan, Firuzabad, Kerman, Khandab, Kuhrang, Meybod, Lenjan, Sari, Mehr, Nahavand, Urmia, Paveh, Rumeshkan, Semirom, Shahrekord, Shirvan,Shut, Taft, Razan, Eslamshahr, and Tuyserkan.

A group of patients with the blood disorder thalassemia assembled in front of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education building in Tehran. They protested the shortage of medicine and the institution’s shortcomings in addressing their issues.

A number of retirees on the pension fund of steel corporation Fulad traveled from various cities to Tehran and assembled in front of the pension fund building. As a symbolic act, they spread tablecloths without any food to show they hardly afford living costs. They asked for a pension above the poverty line, free medical treatment and closing the gap in pension incomes. They claimed that Fulad’s pension fund has breached regulations.

A group of teachers and educators in Rafsanjan City who has passed the recruitment exam taken by the Ministry of Education assembled in front of the building of this ministry in Rafsanjan.

“We are 62 teachers and all have been passed the recruitment exam, nonetheless, we have not been recruited,” one of the teachers commented. He added,  “Given that the Ministry of Education needed more than 200 teachers and there are a lot of local labour forces to be hired, why do they recruit from other cities?”

A number of athletes and paralympic medalists assembled in front of the government building in Damghan City. They protested the mismanagement of the county Ministry of Sport and Youth, as well as a shortage of sports facilities. According to these protestors, the sport salon allocated to them is often closed and each time they have to wait three hours for using the salon.

Bus and minibus drivers working in the transportation service of Southern Pars (Asaluyeh and Bandar-e Kangan) assembled outside the premises of the refineries. They protested against low wages in comparison to increasing transportation costs.

“Our wage is lower in comparison to the vehicle depreciation costs,” one protestor said, “and even though it is not enough, they delay payment.”

A number of young job seekers in Shushtar city assembled in front of the Karun Agro-industry Complex. They asked for recruitment of local job seekers in this industry complex. They find it unfair that, despite having several big corporation in this city, many skilled and educated workers remain jobless.

Some personnel of the Real Estate Registration Organization of Iran assembled and protested in front of the office of a member of the parliament in Qazvin.

A group of market workers in the border village Sheykh Salleh assembled to protest against the assigning  of border affairs to a non-native company.

Tuesday, October 26

A number of workers of Omidiyeh Water and Wastewater Company assembled in front of the government building of this city.

These workers said that despite promises from supervisors, they have four-month unpaid wages. Moreover, the end of year bonuses and three years end of service benefits have not been paid. They have protested several times in the past, but every time, they have not received an adequate response from authorities.

The retirees of Imam Khomeini hospital in Karaj assembled in front of this hospital to promote their demands on Tuesday.

For the second day, the retirees of the pension fund of the steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the pension fund building in Tehran.

A group of retirees and working personnel of airline company Homa assembled in front of the building of Iran Ministry of Roads & Urban Development. They asked for fair and timely wages. According to these protestors, not only is the pension insignificant, but also there have been significant payment delays.

A number of farmers from eastern Isfahan assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad. They protested not receiving their water shares and rights.

Workers of contractor companies delivering services like gardening, maintenance and transport for Pars Oil and Gas Company assembled in Asaluyeh to demand increased wages, supplementary insurance, and implementation of the Job Classification plan.

In Isfahan and Yazd Provinces, a number of people with hearing impairment assembled in front of the buildings of the State Welfare Organization of Iran. They cited livelihood problems, including denial of right to housing and insurance, as the reasons for their protest.

Wednesday, October 27

For the third consecutive day, a group of workers of Gachsaran Petrochemical Company protested at their workplace and then in front of the government building of Gachsaran.

They said that the contractors discriminates against the native laborers and threatens them to be fired. Reportedly, these contractor companies have raised the wage of non-native labor but not the native ones.

Some personnel of the Azad University, unit “Yadegare Imam” in Shahr-e-Rey city assembled and protested at the university premises to protest ongoing mismanagement. Reportedly, this protest turned somewhat violent.

A number of people who have lost their money in their accounts with Cryptoland, a cryptocurrency exchange, protested in front of the Tehran Courthouse. They demanded that legal processing return their losses.

A number of disabled war veterans assembled in front of the building of the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs in Tehran. They protested poor living conditions and the non-implementation of some protective laws

Thursday, October 28

A number of workers of Khorramshahr municipality assembled in front of the building of the municipality to protest against a six-month delay in payment and other demands.

In Isfahan, a number of people with hearing loss assembled in front of the buildings of the State Welfare Organization of Iran.

A number of workers of the Kut-Abdollah municipality protested in front of the Governorate building of Khuzestan Province. They asked for the payment of their delayed wages.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Friday, October 15

In Isfahan, a number of farmers assembled at the office of parliament member Hossein Mirzaie to protest the mismanagement in addressing water shortage. In response to the member of parliament (MP) who had recommended rain praying as the only solution, these farmers asked him to pray.

“We are waiting for the MP to come here and do rain prayer,” the farmers stated. “We go here on sit-down strike until it rains.”

 

A number of construction workers for a project to build a freeway tunnel from Manjil to Rasht City went on strike to protest against their employer who broke his promise regarding paying delayed wages. According to the workers, after fifteen days, the employer has yet to fulfill his promise to pay four months of unpaid wages.

About 800 workers working on the Shafa Rud dam in Gilan Province additionally went on strike last Friday to ask for the payment of their wages, which are seven months delayed.

“Since last year, I have been trying to address their issues,” Hassan Muhammad Yari , the MP of Talesh City, stated in Parliament. “Many times, I gave speeches in the parliament; however, so far there has been no one to listen. Therefore, these workers went on strike to reach their demands and I will join them from next week.”

Saturday, October 16

A group of workers of Ahvaz municipality protested on Saturday, first in front of the parliament building in Tehran and then at the office of the president. Reportedly, 69 recently-temporarily-laid-off workers of Ahvaz Municipality demanded to return to work. The workers have not been paid for the last six months and are facing a four month suspension from work.

Sunday, October 17

Workers of the Tehran Bus Company, along with the stakeholder of the housing cooperative of this company, assembled in front of the judiciary building in Tehran. The housing cooperative set up Sepidar construction projects 2 and 3 aiming to provide these bus drivers with housing, but 10 years after its introduction the project remains unfinished.

A number of people who have lost money to Cryptoland, a cryptocurrency exchange, assembled in front of the parliament building and demanded the return of their money

A number of retirees of the pension fund of the steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the building of this corporation in Isfahan. They asked for the improvement of their pension funds in proportion with the poverty line, closing the gap in pension incomes and addressing issues in regard to supplementary insurance.

Bus and minibus drivers working in the transport service of Southern Pars assembled and protested against low wages in comparison to increasing transportation costs.

Monday, October 18

Some personnel of Ahvaz Water and Wastewater Company assembled in front of the company building to protest the upcoming merger with Khuzestan Water and Water Waste company, among other issues. They said that the merger would worsen the financial situation of the company and the quality of their service as happened after the merger of with rural Water & Wastewater Company with its counterpart in the province.

Tuesday, October 19

A number of citizens assembled in front of the parliament building to protest against unfair family laws especially “Mehrieh”, which relates to the certain amount of money or possession paid by the groom before marriage or later at any time on request of the bride.

A group of workers working in ShafaRud dam assembled in on company property in Rezvanshahr City. These workers have not been paid for seven months and more than 700 workers have been laid off due to the shutdown of the project.

A number of workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled and protested on company property. They have been on strike for 23 days. These workers demand payment of their delayed wages, an immediate return of the company from the private sector to public, the return of laid off workers to work, extension of the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, and the carrying out of repair operations.

 

The workers of Hadid Mobtakeran Company assembled and protested unpaid wages, which have been delayed by two months. 

 

A number of customers of Azvico company (Azarbaijan Vehicle Industry), who had pre-purchased cars protested in front of the building of Economic Crimes Court in Tehran. These citizens have not yet received their purchased car after three years.

 

A group of people, who lost their investment in the Aftab Project, assembled in front of Rey City Court.

 

A group of poultry farmers assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad in Tehran in protest of high incubator costs and government-imposed fixed prices.

A group of people who have not yet received their pre-ordered cars after several years from Persian Khodro Company, Ramak Khodro Company, Seyf Khodro Company, and Karma Company protested on Tuesday.

 

Workers of the private companies which are working as contractors for Bushehr Petrochemical Company went on strike once again. They demanded increased wages, changing shift-work schedule to 20 days work, 10 days off, improvement of worker accommodations and food. It is worth mentioning that since June 19, these workers have launched a campaign to call all oil industry workers to join the strike.

Wednesday, October 20

A number of depositors of Caspian, a finance and credit institution, assembled in front of the building of the Liquidation Board in Tehran. They said that after six years, this finance institution refuses to return their investments. 

“Today we assembled in front of the building of Liquidation Board,” one of the participants in this protest commented. “Once they did not respond, we went inside and they cut off the power of the building to force us to leave.”

Thursday, October 21

A number of workers for a garment factory Sabalan assembled in front of the governorate building in Ardabil to demand their unpaid wages, which have not been paid for three months. These workers say that while the company spends a lot of money on erecting pavilions, building restaurants in company premises, other expenses for tourist attractions, and paying some former politicians apparently as Consultants or board members, they do not pay workers’ wages.

A group of women’s rights activists and other citizens assembled at the Faezeh Maleki-Nia’s burial place in Dolat-Abad village to ask for the repeal of discrimanatory laws against women. On Sunday, October 3, 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki was burned to death by her father in Sanandaj City.