Activist and Teacher Aziz Ghasemzadeh Still Incommunicado in Detention

After eight days, teacher and union activist Aziz Ghasemzadeh is still  incommunicado in a detention facility of the intelligence office in Rudsar County in Gilan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemzadeh has so far been denied access to a lawyer, phone calls and in-person visits.

On September 4, security forces arrested the educator at his parents’ home in Rudsar. During the arrest, security forces inspected the house and confiscated several of Ghasemzadeh’s personal belongings.

The arrest took place the day after working and retired teachers held protests in 36 cities across the country, which were organized by the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations.

According to HRANA, Ghasemzadeh is still being denied access to his lawyer and his temporary detention period has been extended. As of this writing, the charges against him are unknown.

 

 

Thirteen Baha’is Have Been Barred From Higher Education So Far This Year

Tehran resident Negar Sobhani Azabadi has become the 13th Baha’i citizen this year to be barred from higher education on the grounds of her faith.

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has identified one more examinee of the university entrance exam who has been rejected due to her belief in the Baha’i faith.

Azabadi received the rejection message when visiting the school website to view her exam results. It read “Rejected due to General ineligibility”, indicating that she had been identified as Baha’i and was thus ineligible to enter the university.

Each year, there are numerous reports about Baha’is who are barred from higher education once detected as Baha’is even on the verge of graduation.

At odds with Iran’s law clarifying the rights to education indiscriminately for all citizens, the enactment of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, which oversees to ensure that education and culture remain Islamic, barres Baha’is from taking an occupational position as well as tertiary education.

 

Seven Baha’i Citizens Barred from Continuing Education

Seven citizens who attended this year’s national university entrance exam were barred from access to education because they were Baha’is.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the citizens have been identified as Nasim Shahriari Zavareh, Mahsa Forouhari, Elena Gholizadeh Roshankoohi, Nora Nabipour Klankari, Parsa Charkhand, Mesbah Misaghi, and Forouzan Nikukar.

Every year, numerous reports indicate that Baha’is are being barred from continuing their studies at Iranian universities. Students are even sometimes dismissed from universities while on the verge of graduation if administration learns that the student is a Baha’i.

According to an informed source, when Ms. Shahriari contacted to follow up on this issue, she was told that the Ministry of Intelligence had given them her record.

She was also asked questions about her religious beliefs, and was told, “If you insist that you are a Baha’i, your problem will probably not be solved at all.”

Despite the explicit wording in the constitution in which the right to education is a fundamental right, according to a resolution of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, Baha’is are barred from university education, besides being barred from holding public office.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

More than 3,000 Nomadic Students in the Country have Dropped out of School

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ILNA, Seifi, the Director-General of Nomadic Education section in the Ministry of Education, announced the existence of 3,626 students who dropped out of school among students in tribes.

“The highest number of students who dropped out of school is in the provinces of West Azerbaijan with 1,061 students, Lorestan Province with 566 students, and Kerman with 265 students,” Seifi said. “Currently, more than 75,743 nomadic students are deprived of having access to Shad network to use virtual education due to lack of necessary infrastructure. During the last academic year, 72% of our nomadic schools were held in person. Provinces with better infrastructure had the highest rates of virtual classes.”

Seifi further noted, “Nomadic students of West Azerbaijan Province were left out of education due to their inability to purchase textbooks. This province has 32000 nomad students from which a large number of nomadic female students in this province did not enroll in school due to inability to purchase textbooks.”

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Khuzestan Water Crisis once again dominated this week’s protests in Iran. Since their start on June 15, citizens in over 41 cities have held rallies in protest of the mismanagement from officials that has led to water shortages throughout the province and the drying of the Karun river. A number of labor protests took place as well, and in some areas the ongoing oil protests continued. Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also continued their strike into a third week. Below is a recap of this week’s protests in Iran, along with footage from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, July 24

A number of protests took place this Saturday, July 24. A group of farmers in Shoaibiyeh district of Shushtar protested in Ahvaz, several telecommunication workers of East Azerbaijan province, some telecommunication workers of Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province, and employees of Abadan Petrochemical Complex held protests. A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the eleventh day in a row. A group of Shiraz city bus drivers went on strike and refused to work after their demands were not addressed. Citizens living in Tabriz also rallied and marched in support of the Khuzestan protests.

 

People of Tabriz:

 

Shiraz city bus drivers:

Farmers of Shoaibiyeh:

Telecommunication workers of East Azarbaijan:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Abadan’s Petrochemical Complex:

 

 

Sunday, July 25

A group of retirees of the Steel Companies of Isfahan and Khuzestan Provinces, several rural area telecom workers in the Hamadan region, and a group of workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. for the thirteenth day in a row held protest rallies and called on their demands to be met.

 

Retirees of the Steel company in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces:

 

 

Workers of rural area telecom in Hamadan:

 

 

Monday, July 26

A number of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company for the fourteenth day in a row, several employees of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj, a group of poultry farmers in Ilam, urban and rural water supply workers in Baghmalek and Izeh, a group of Isfahani citizens, a group of the retirees of IRIB in Tehran, and candidate students for the master’s degree entrance exam in Tehran all held protest rallies and called on their demands to be addressed. Also, in Tehran and Karaj people protested the current situation in the country by holding rallies and marches and chanting slogans.

 

Protesting people in Tehran:

 

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Poultry farmers in Ilam:

 

 

Workers of rural water supply in Baghmalek and Izeh:

 

 

Students in Tehran:

 

 

Tuesday, July 27

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the 15th consecutive day this Tuesday. Additionally, a group of workers of Rudbar municipality in Gilan province, a number of cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan cities, several workers of natural gas fuel gas stations in Urmia, and many people in Abdanan in Ilam province held protest rallies. Also, a group of retirees in Tehran and Karaj rallied in support of the protests of the people of Khuzestan.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Rudbar Municipality:

 

 

Cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan:

 

 

Workers of gas stations in Urmia:

 

Citizens of Abdanan:

Retirees in Tehran and Karaj:

Wednesday, July 28

For the 16th day in a row, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested. A group of workers from the Varamin Railway, a group of workers from the Rudbar Municipality for the second day in a row, and a number of truck drivers in Ahvaz all went on strike and called on their demands to be addressed.

 

 

Truck drivers in Ahvaz:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co:

 

Workers from the Varamin Railway:

Workers of the Rudbar Municipality:

Thursday, July 29

On their 17th day of protesting, a group of workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company in the yard of the company and another group near the site’s alcohol factory called on their demands be addressed in protest rallies.

 

Friday, July 30

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company continued their strike for an 18th day in a row and gathered on the company’s site. The Haft Tappeh workers stated that their main demands are the payment of arrears, the return of fired colleagues, and access to Covid-19 vaccines. They also chanted slogans protesting the Islamic Parliament’s decision to block the Internet in Iran. Also, A number of mothers of those killed during the nationwide protest in November 2019 protests held a protest rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square.

 

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Gathering in Tehran of mothers of those killed in the protests of November 2019:

 

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210,000 Students Were not Enrolled in the 2020-2021 Academic Year, Deputy Minister for Primary Education Says

210,000 students were, for various reasons, unable to attend school in the 2020-2021 academic year.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Student News Network, Deputy Minister for Primary Education Rezvan Hakimzadeh announced that 210,000 students were not enrolled in school for the duration of this academic year.

The Deputy Minister has laid out these numbers despite promises from the Interior Ministry last week to address the discrepancy by issuing new letters.

As the registration deadline for the upcoming school year approaches, Afghan immigrants are continuing to experience obstructions from the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs.

“Even children of families who are illegally in Iran can receive an educational support card from the governorates,” Hakimzadeh said, “and start studying after enrolling in school.”

Father Legally Bars 12-year-old Daughter From Attending World Equestrian Championship Abroad

12-year-old athlete Sara Pour-Azima was barred from participating in the World Equestrian Championships because her father legally banned her from leaving the country.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pour-Azima was scheduled to leave for Russia his week with the rest of her team.

Mehrdad Mehravin, the lawyer of Sara’s mother, said the young athlete’s parents are currently embroiled in a legal battle regarding alimony, and that the father’s move to ban Sara from travel was part of an ongoing dispute with Sara’s mother. Sara reportedly found out that she had been barred from travel to the Championships upon arriving at the airport.

Given the importance of the trip in the athlete’s success and future, legal action was taken to obtain permission from the prosecutor so that Sarah could travel, but legal authorities did not ultimately issue an allowance for her to leave the country.

In Iran, before getting married, women need the legal permission of a father or paternal grandfather to leave the country, and the permission of a husband after marriage.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

Friday and Saturday, July 2 and July 3

 

Several young job seekers in the Ghal’e Chan’an in Koot-Abdollah city, a group of workers of Kaveh Float Glass in Saveh, a group of fired workers of Khuzestan Pipe Manufacturing Company, a group of Shiraz Telecommunication employees, workers of the transportation unit of South Zagros Oil and Gas Production Company in Shiraz, Agar and Delan, a group of Khorramshahr municipality workers, and a group of pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company all held labor protests on between Friday and Saturday.

A group of Khuzestan environmental activists, teachers of Green Score Letter, a number of farmers of Hamidiyeh city, and a group activists  protesting the killing of Kurdish Kolbars (cross-border labors) also held rallies.

 

Job seekers in the Ghal’e Chan’an in Koot-Abdollah:

Protesters against the killing of Kolbars:

 

Employees of Kaveh Float Glass in Saveh:

Employees of Shiraz Telecommunication:

Workers on the transportation unit of South Zagros Oil and Gas in Shiraz:

Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. workers:

Khuzestan environmental activists:

 

Teachers of Green Score Letter:

Fired workers of Khuzestan Pipe Company

 

Khorramshahr municipality workers:

 

Sunday July 4:

A group of Karnameh Sabz teachers (Teachers of Green Score Letter) protested for a seventh day and night in a row. Animal rights advocates in Qazvin, ranchers in Takab city in West Azerbaijan province, shareholders of the Rezvan Qom project, retirees in Khorramabad , Shush, and Ahvaz, a group of Shush farmers, a group of pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company for several consecutive days, a number of school janitors and caretakers in different provinces, retirees of Khuzestan Steel Company in Khuzestan and Isfahan Steel Company in Isfahan provinces, staff of Qom Health Centers, young job seekers from the village of Maravneh in Ahvaz, workers of Khorramshahr municipal for the second day in a row, and taxi drivers in Zanjan all also held protest rallies this Sunday.

 

Animal rights advocates in Qazvin:

Ranchers in Takab:

 

Shareholders of the Rezvan Qom project:

Qom Health Center staff:

Retirees in Khorramabad, Shush, and Ahvaz:

Shush farmers:

Khorramshahr municipally workers:

 

Pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane:

School janitors:

 

Retirees of Khuzestan Steel and Isfahan Steel Companies:

Teachers of Green Score Letter:

 

Young job seekers from the village of Maravneh in Ahvaz:

 

Taxi drivers in Zanjan:

 

Monday, July 5

 

Following the general strikes of contract workers of refineries, petrochemicals and power plants, contract workers of Jofeir refinery in Khuzestan province, people in some cities of Golestan province including Gonbad Kavous, Bandar-e-Gaz, Bandar-e-Turkmen and Aqqala and also Kazerun in Keshavarzan in Fars province gathered after frequent, long-lasting power outages.  Farmers in Isfahan, shareholders and remitters of Azico Company, a group of pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company for several consecutive days, a group of truck drivers from Rasht, a group of bakers in Qazvin, and a number of people with disabilities additionally organized demonstrations.

 

Protest of a of people in different cities with frequent, long-lasting power outages:

Kordkuy

Gonbad Kavus

 

Kazerun

 

Farmers in Isfahan:

 

Shareholders and remitters of Azico Company:

 

Pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company:

Bakers in Qazvin:

Truck drivers in Rasht:

 

People with disabilities in Tehran:

 

Tuesday, July 6

 

Farmers in Ahvaz, a group of social security nurses in Tehran, kitchen workers in the Khark Offshore Oil Operation Area, employees in the Fars Region Telecommunication Company, a group of workers in the pest control department of Haft Tappeh Sugar Company for several consecutive days, a group of Retirees of Homa Airlines, Abadan bus contract workers, and contractors of the new city of Hashtgerd Metro all held protest rallies on Tuesday.

 

Ahvaz Farmers:

 

Social security nurses:

 

Kitchen workers in the Khark island Offshore:

Employees in the Fars Region Telecommunication Company:

Pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Company

Retirees of Homa Airline:

 

Abadan bus contract workers:

Staff contractors of Hashtgerd metro:

 

Wednesday, July 7

 

At least 4 rallies were held this Wednesday. Workers of Abadan Petrochemical, a group of third-party contract workers working in the South Pars Special Economic Zone, a group of Damghan cattle breeders, a group of railway maintenance workers in Azerbaijan all held protest rallies. Pest control workers from Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Cultivation also gathered for a twelfth for days in a row.

 

Workers of Abadan Petrochemical:

Contract workers South Pars Economic Zone:

 

Damghan cattle breeders:

 

Pest control workers of Haft Tappeh:

University of Tehran Reverses Expulsion of Imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish Student Kasra Nouri

On July 5, the University of Tehran reversed its decision to expel Gonabadi Dervish graduate student Kasra Nouri .

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Nouri had previously been expelled from the University of Tehran for “truancy”, or, missing class while serving out a sentence in Adelabad Prison.

This expulsion violated the Constitution and the International Convention on Cultural and Social Rights, which holds that students must be allowed to continue their education following the completion of a prison sentence.

After repeated follow-ups by Shokufeh Yadollahi, Kasra Nouri’s mother, a letter was received from the University of Tehran canceling the expulsion of the imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish. According to the letter, Nouri will be permitted to continue his studies after he has endured the entirety of his sentence.

Farshid Yadollahi, Kasra Nouri’s lawyer had previously mentioned that Mr. Nouri’s expulsion from the university was against the constitution and the International Convention on Cultural and Social Rights and emphasized that, “When Kasra Nouri went to prison, the family informed the university, meaning everyone knew he was in prison.”

450 Days After Their Arrest, Court Holds Trial for Elite Students Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi

On Saturday, July 3, the trial of Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi was held at Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the two Sharif University of Technology students have been detained by the Ministry of Intelligence since April of last year.

The students are being charged with “Corruption on earth”. Mr. Nili, the detainees’ lawyer, had previously stated that after more than 14 months, the defendants are still being held in Security Ward 209 of Evin Prison, and not transferring them to the public ward has made the defense process difficult. At the request of the case officer, the defendants have so far been denied transfer to a public prison.

Ali Younesi, a computer engineering student, and Amir Hossein Moradi, a physics student at the Sharif University of Technology, were arrested in April 2020 by the Ministry of Intelligence agents. The students are said to have been violently detained by plainclothes officers without a court order.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, accused these students of collaborating with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran in May 2020.
Ali Younesi’s sister, Aida Younesi, later denied the allegations against her brother in a video posted on the Internet. In September 2020, Aida Younesi announced that she was under pressure to confess against her brother on TV.

Amir Hossein Moradi was the winner of the silver medal of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2017. Ali Younesi was the winner of the silver medal of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and the gold medal of the 2017 Astronomy Olympiad. Ali Younesi also won a gold medal in the 12th World Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in China.