Annual Report on Human Rights in Iran- 2019

Posted on: January 3rd, 2020

This leaflet contains the 2019’s analytical and statistical annual report on human rights in Iran, prepared by the Department of Statistics and Publications of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI). This statistical analysis report presented by HRAI is the result of the daily efforts of this organization and its dedicated members as part of a daily statistic and census project that started in 2009 by this organization.

This annual report on human rights violations in Iran (2019) is the collection, analysis, and documentation of 4259 reports concerning human rights, gathered from various news sources during 2019 [January 1st to December 20th]. Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has gathered and reported 41%, official or close to the Iranian government sources 53% and other human rights news agencies 6% of all the reports analyzed in this Annual Report.

The following 42-pages includes statistical overviews and related charts on various sections regarding women’s rights, children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, etc. Based on this report, despite the 10% increase in human rights violations reports in provinces other than Tehran, compared to the last year’s annual report, there is still a major concern on lack of proper reporting and monitoring of the human rights by the civil society in the smaller cities.

This report is the result of endeavors made by courageous human rights activists in Iran who pay a very high cost for the realization of their humanitarian beliefs. However, for obvious reasons (i.e. existing governmental limitations and ban on the free exchange of information and government preventing the existence of human right organizations in the country), this report by no means is free of errors and cannot alone be a reflection on the actual status of human right in Iran. Having said that, it should be emphasized that this report is considered as one of the most accurate, comprehensive, and authentic reports on the human rights conditions in Iran and it can serve as a very informative source of information for human rights activists and organizations working on Iran, to better understand the challenges and opportunities that they may face.

This is the brief version and the full report is available for download in PDF format.

 

The following map illustrates the number of reports per province made by the human rights organizations and news agencies, this is a direct reflection of the capability of the civil society in each province of the country (2019).

 

 

 

As indicated in the distribution map, there exists a major difference between Tehran, the capital, and other parts of the country in terms of the number of published reports. This is while the population of Tehran has been reported on the census of 2017 as 15270000 people, compared to the population of other parts of the country being 81160000 people.

 

Ethnic Minorities

In the field of national and ethnic minorities’ rights, a total of 309 reports regarding 343 individuals have been registered by the department of the statistics and publication of human rights activists in Iran (HRAI) in 2019. According to these reports, at least 1171 people were arrested, and 60 people were sentenced to 2698 months of imprisonment. Compared to the previous year there has been a 70% decrease in the arrest of ethnic minorities and a 13% increase in imprisonment sentences. The highest number of violations occurred in the month of June, in contrast, the highest decline is observed in the month of December.

 

Religious Minorities

In this category, 162 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics in 2019, According to these reports, 135 civilians were arrested, 13 cases of prevention from economical activities, 90 cases were summoned to the judicial and security institutions, and 36 cases of depriving and preventing from education. 76 individuals of the religious minorities were arrested and sentenced by the judicial institutions to a total of 2983 months of imprisonment.

The highest number of violations occurred in the month of January, in contrast, the highest decline is observed in the month of April. In the field of religious minorities, the Baha’is constitute the highest of the Human Rights reports on religious minority violations with 54%, Sunnis 30%, Christians 9%, Dervishes 2%, Jews 1%, Yarsans 1%, and others 5%, of the total reports. The number of citizens arrested in the category of religious minorities has decreased by 78% in 2019 compared to 2018, and the imprisonment sentences issued by the judiciary has decreased by 82%.

 

Freedom of Speech

In the category of freedom of speech, in 2019, 529 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics that included 8293 arrested individuals; 274 summonses to the judiciary and security authorities; 4 cases of Internet website filtering, 1 case of nationwide internet shutdown, 1 case of cell phones shut down, 5 reports of publication banning; 17 cases of conviction for publications; 14 cases of intimidation and threats. In 2019, 292 arrestees were sentenced to a total of 10474 months of imprisonment, 4 billion and 278 million and 350 thousand Rials in financial fines, 3470 lashes, and 13 cases of deprivation from civil rights have been reported in this category. In the field of Freedom of Speech, there has been an increase of 51% in the reports of arrests compared to the previous year. Similarly, sentences issued by the judiciary have decreased by 11% based on the number of people being tried, and imprisonment sentences were increased by 40% compared to 2018.

The nation-wide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019 in this category. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, and hundreds died on the streets. The highest number of violations in this category occurred in the months of December, in contrast, the highest decline is observed in the month of March.

 

Trade Unions and Associations

the category of the rights of associations and trade unions in 2019, 339 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publications. This includes 69 members of the trade unions who reported being arrested. Also, in this category, 10 individuals have been sentenced to a total of 56 months in prison, 17 cases of summoning to the judicial and security institutions, and 1931 cases of closing the facilities have been reported. In 2019, at least 273 protests and 15 union strikes were held. Most of these protests were related to salary/wage demands from corporations, bad economic conditions, and lack of proper management of corporations.

In the category of Trade Unions and Associations, there has been an 83% decrease in the number of arrests and there has been a 72% decrease in the issue of sentences compared to the previous year. Moreover, the highest number of violations occurred in the month of July, in contrast, the highest decline is observed in December.

 

Right to Education

the category of violations of academic rights in 2019, 50 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran. This includes 104 students arrested, 1 student has been summoned to the court, 1 student banned from continuing their education, as it was also mentioned in the religious rights section of this report 34 students were prevented from continuing their education because of their religion. In the category of right to education, there has been a 6% decrease in the number of arrests. And based on these reports 11 students were sentenced to 570 months in prison. The highest number of violations occurred in the month of October, in contrast, the highest decline is observed in the month of April.

 

Right to Life

In the category of right to life in 2019, 246 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 108 death sentences, execution of 248 people with death sentences (including 13 executions in public). Based on the announced identifications of some of the individuals executed, 231 were male and 15 were female. In addition, 4 juvenile offenders have also been executed in 2019 who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. According to these reports, 79% of the executions were based on murder charges. Moreover, 5% charged with rape, another 12.5% with drug-related charges. 1% were charged with “waging war against God”, also 2% charged with armed robbery. The highest number of violations occurred in the month of August, in contrast, the highest decline is observed in the month of March. The highest number of convictions compromised of 79% of all death sentences are on murder charges and followed by rape charges which are 12.5% of the cases. The highest number of death penalty sentences were issued in Alborz province with 27% due to its two populated and important prisons, followed by Fars province with 10% of the cases. In addition, Rajai Shahr prison and Central Urmia Prison holding the highest number of death sentences. The province of Fars and Kohgiluyeh and Boyerr-ahmad have the highest number of executions in public each with 23% of total executions in public.

According to the statistics, about 5% of the executions were carried out in public and 95% were carried out in prison. Secret executions reported by independent sources and human rights association, indicating that 75% of executions are carried out in secret or without any public notice. In the category of right to life, the execution carried out in comparison to 2018 has decreased by 5%. The number of execution sentences issued also has decreased by 44% and the number of public executions has not changed. In addition, 6% of the executed individuals were female, 93% men.

 

Cultural Rights

the category of violations of cultural rights in 2019, 64 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 13 arrests, 38 people were sentenced to 186 months imprisonment, and 27 individuals were summoned to judiciary and security organizations. Moreover, 4 cultural materials publication were declined, 13 licenses were revoked, 6 people were banned from public speaking or performing, 4 historical places were damaged, 2 historical places were neglected, confiscated 38000 copies of books. In this category, arrests have decreased by 87% compared to the previous year. The highest number of violations have been reported in January, in contrast to the lowest number in September.

 

Workers’ Rights

the category of violations of workers’ rights in 2019, 1088 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 143 arrests. 33 workers activists or workers were sentenced to 696 months in prison, and 176 months of suspended sentences and 762 lashes, and 198 people were summoned to judiciary and security organizations. During 2019, a total of 799 months of overdue payment of salaries to workers has been reported. 4746 workers were laid off or fired, 10571 cases of unemployment, 50050 lacked work insurance, 199 workers waiting for work-related decisions. In addition, 1412 people have lost their lives in work-related accidents, and 14245 workers have been injured while at work. On a global scale amongst other counties, Iran ranks 102nd in work safety. Also, in 2019, at least 279 worker protests and 21 workers strike took place. most of these protests were regarding wages. Moreover, the arrest of workers has decreased by 35% compared to 2018. In the monthly comparison of workers’ rights violations in 2018, the highest number of violations per month have been in July, in contrast with the lowest being in April.

 

Women’s Rights

In the category of violations of women’s rights in 2019, a total of 103 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics. At least 335 women were physically and sexually abused, 12 cases of honor-killings, and 19 cases of summoned women’s rights activists to judiciary and security organs. At least 19 women’s rights activists and 86 others were arrested during the women’s march. At least 13 women’s rights activists were sentenced to 926 months in prison. The highest number of reports in women’s rights violations was in May and June and the highest decline in reports is observed in January.

 

Prisoners’ Rights

In the category of violations of prisoners’ rights in 2019, a total of 540 reports have been registered, 104 reports on physical assault of prisoners, 141 reports of deprivation/neglected of medical care, 151 reports of illegal transfer to solitary confinement, 302 attempted hunger strikes, 415 cases of forced transportation or exile, 71 cases of threatening prisoners, 67 cases of banning prisoners of having visitors, 7 cases of torture, 14 case of deaths by diseases, 65 cases of lack of access to lawyers, 742 reports of prisoners being held in unsuitable circumstances. Also, in this category, there have been 71 cases of keeping prisoners in an unsure state about their sentence and situation. Based on the number of reports per month, the highest number of reports in prisoners’ rights violations has been in July and the highest decline in reports is observed in December.

Sentences

2019, the judiciary of the Iranian government, including the initial court and appeal, issued 19111 months of imprisonment. These reports included; 2698 months of imprisonment for the ethnic minorities, 2983 months of imprisonment for religious minorities; 10474 months of imprisonment in the category of freedom of speech—it should be noted, these statistics only include the court sentences that indicated detailed information or characteristics of the verdicts. The highest number of reports in this category has been in July and the highest decline in reports is observed in May. In addition, a total of 5 billion and 152 million and 350 thousand Rials in fines and 4676 lashes has been issued in 2019. In 2019, the number of convictions of citizens or activists has decreased by 31%. Moreover, the convictions of religious minorities decreased by 82%, ethnic minorities increased by 13%, and freedom of expression has been increased by 40%.

Arrests

In 2019, the security forces arrested 9201 individuals because of political or civil rights-related activities. The statistical analysis exhibited 69 case of arrest in the trade union category, 343 arrests in the category of ethnic minorities, 135 arrests in the category of religious minorities, 8293 arrests in the category of freedom of speech, 100 arrests of students in the category of right to education, 13 arrests in the field of culture, and 143 arrests in the category of workers’ rights. The highest number of reports in this category has been in November and the highest decline in reports is observed in July. In 2019, the number of arrests increased by 12%. According to these reports, the number of arrests decreased in ethnic minorities by 70%, culture by 87%, religion minorities 78%, unions 83%, students 6%, workers’ rights 35%, and in the category of freedom of speech increased by 51%.

 

Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI)

Department of Statistics and Publications

January 2020

Five Citizens in Tehran Were Sentenced to 370 Lashes, Combined

Posted on: December 26th, 2019

Five prisoners were sentenced to public lashing on December 25, 2019. They were sentenced to 370 lashes combined among other sentences by the Branch 4 of the Tehran’s Financial Crimes Court. The five convicts are identified as following: Yousef Jannat Makan, Kourosh Mar, Mohammad Reza Okhovat Fard, Ali Zarnani, and Azim Ali Ashrafi Piyaman. They were tried in two court sessions in December 2019 resided by judge Salavati. According to the verdict, each of the convicts is sentenced to 74 lashed in public among other sentences.

In another case, on December 24, a young man was sentenced to lashes for extramarital relationships in Tehran. In addition, on December 19th, a 29-year-old Afghan citizen was sentenced to 149 lashes among other sentences in Tehran. On the same day but in a separate case, another young man was sentenced to 99 lashes among other sentences on the charge of rape in Tehran.

The Iranian judicial system is one of the few in the world that still uses humiliating punishments while the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has clearly forbidden inhuman punishments such as lashing and execution.

Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Posted on: November 18th, 2019

Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.

Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.

The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.

According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:

Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.

Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:

Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests:

A Report of Detained Activists in Mashhad

Posted on: October 9th, 2019

14 civil rights activists were arrested on August 11, 2019 in front of a courthouse in Mashhad. They were protesting the 13-years imprisonment sentence for a university professor, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, by his appeals court when they were arrested. Three of them were released on bail and the other 11 people are still in prison.

According to the written judgment published on October 2, 2019, the name of the 14 detained activists are as following:

Abdolrasoul Mortazavi, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, Hashem Rajai, Gholam-Hossein Boroujerdi, Mohammad Nourizad, Reza Jangi, Javad Laal Mohammadi, Morteza Ghasemi, Pooran Nazemi Moezabadi, Houriyeh Farajzadeh Tarani, Zahra Soleymanian, Seyed Hashem Khastar, Gholam-Ali Hosseinpour, and Fatemeh Sepehri.

Houriyeh Farajzadeh was released on bail on September 27, 2019 while Gholam-Hossein Boroujerdi and Pooran Nazemi were temporary released on bail earlier.

Kamal Jafari Yazdi is a university professor residing in Mashhad who was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Branch 4 of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court in mid-April 2019. He was initially sentenced to ten years in prison for “forming an illegal group against national security,” two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader,” and one year for “propaganda against the regime”. The Appeals Court has upheld a preliminary court verdict against him on August 19, 2019. He was arrested to serve his sentence on August 30, 2019. On the verdict of the appeals court, it was mentioned that his sentenced was not reduced because of his interviews and the demonstration of his friends in front of the court.

On August 11, several civil rights activists showed up at his appeals court in Mashhad to express solidarity with him and they were arrested. Men were transferred to the ward 1-6 and women were transferred to the women ward of Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad. They were transferred to the Intelligence Department Detention Center after three days. Fars News Agency also confirmed their arrest. Their case was transferred from Sorkhrud’s Branch 3 of Public Court to the Branch 903 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad. They were charged with “disturbance in public order” through demonstration, and “propaganda in favor of opposition groups”.

Mohsen Asadi University Professor Was Arrested

Posted on: September 22nd, 2019

Mohsen Asadi, a Yazd University professor, who was released on July 31, 2019 after finishing his sentence of a one-month prison term, was rearrested on September 14, 2019. Reportedly, the arrest is for a new case but the reason of the arrest is still unknown. He was transferred to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) detention center in Yazd on September 15, 2019. Earlier this year, he was arrested by security forces on May 26, 2019. He was transferred to Yazd Prison and was sentenced to one month imprisonment.

His brother, Majid Asadi, is a political prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison. He is serving his sentence of six years  imprisonment since February 18, 2017 . He was charged with “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state”.

First six months of Ebrahim Raisi as Justiciary Chief of Iran; 1000 years of prison sentences and 1500 lashes for activists

Posted on: September 13th, 2019

Ebrahim Raisi is a former Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi from 2016 to 2019 and a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 executions which were series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across the country. He succeeded Sadegh Larijani as the Judiciary Chief (the head of judicial system of Iran) in 2019. Being appointed as the Judiciary Chief by the Supreme leader, Ebrahim Raisi claimed that he wants the Iranian people to taste “the sweet flavor of justice” by reforming the judicial system to bring more justice and fairness. Six months after being appointed to the new position, the verdicts of political prisoners indicate that the pressure is increased on the civil rights activists and opposition groups in Iran. During six months of Ebrahim Raisi in office, political activists were sentenced to 1,027 years in prison and 1428 lashes.  Therefore, the verdicts targeting civil rights activists and opposition groups were increased by 119% compared to a similar time period during his predecessor, Sadegh Larijani, who was in office for nine and half years. Although Larijani faced massive demonstrations such as uprisings across the country in January 2017 and August 2018, protests in the Khuzestan province, and Dervishes protests which Raisi has not faced any yet.

Statistics Comparison of Verdicts with the Former Judiciary Chief

The following is a summary of verdicts between March 8, 2019 to September 8, 2019 which was gathered and analyzed by the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI): According to statistics, during this period, both sentences against political and civil activists or years of sentences were increased. 211 political or civil activists including advocates of freedom of expression, women rights activists, syndicates activists, students, ethnicity rights activists, labor rights activists, minority rights advocates, and religion activists were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court across the country to 1027 and six months of imprisonment, 418 million and 350 thousand Tomans of fines, and 428 lashes. Out of these numbers, 966 years and 8 months in prison sentences and 30 years and 10 months are suspended prison sentences. In comparison to the same period when Larijani was the Judiciary Chief, March 8 to September 8, 2018, 278 political and civil activists were sentenced to 468 years and one month in prison, 254 million Tomans fines, and 891 lashes. This comparison is based on the numbers of individual cases but mass sentences for the arrestees of uprisings such as 232 verdicts of Gonabadi dervishes in the case of so-called “Golestan Haftom” have been excluded. Overall, these statistics indicated that although the number of arrestees has been decreased in Raisi’s term but the average number of verdicts in comparison to the same period in the Larijani’s term has been increased.

The Names of 211 Activists Who Were Sentenced to Prison Term or Lashes During Ebrahim Raeissi’s term

Kiumars Marzban, Shima Babai Zeydi, Dariush Abdar, Mahmood Masoumi, Behnam Mousavand, Saeed Eghbali, Mojgan Lali, Saeed Seyfi Jahan, Shaghayegh Makai, Nader Afshari, Anoushah Ashouri, Ali Johari, Marzieh Amiri, Ishaq Rouhi, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeissi, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, Aras Amiri, Nejat Bahrami, Sadegh Zibaklam, Hamed Ayenehvand, Roozbeh Meshkinkhat, Mohammad Reza Aghajari, Nima Saffar, Khalil Karimi, Mehdi Moghadari, Golraki Ebrahimi Irai, Athena Daemi, Mohammad Reza Khatami, Mohammad Potaiesh, Khadijeh (Leila) Mirghafari, Reza Makian (Malek), Hashem Zeinali, Simin Eyvazzadeh, Ehsan Kheybar, Abdul Azim Arouji, Mohsen Haseli, Mohsen Shojai, Azam Najafi, Parvin Soleimani, Sharmin Yomni, Sara Saei, Arshia Rahmati, Masoud Hamidi, Ali Babai, Ismail Hosseini Koohkamarai, Farideh Toosi, Zahra Modarreszadeh, Amir Mahdi Jalayeri, Mohammad Najafi, Javad Lari, Rahim Mohammadpour, Masoud Kazemi, Sahar Kazemi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Milad Mohammad Hosseini, Abdollah Ghasimpour, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibi, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khand Mahabadi, Keyvan Bajan, Yousef Salahshour, Davood Mahmoodi, Mohammad Asri, Siavash Rezaian, Najaf Mehdipour, Behrooz Zare, Ata’ollah Ahsani, Abbas Nouri Shadkam, Ali Bagheri, Masoud Ajloo, Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Kianoush Ghahramani, Nariman Noroozi, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, Amir Mahdi Sedighara, Ali Amin Amlashi, Barzan Mohammadi, Arsham Rezai, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Michael White, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Nader Fotourehchi, Farhad Sheykhi, Mardas Taheri, Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, Rahman Abed, Asghar Amirzadegani, Hamid Reza Rahmati, Eghbal Shabani, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Fatemeh Mohammadi, Bahman Kord, Sina Darvish Omran, Ali Mozafari, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Mojtaba Dadashi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Hossein Janati, Omid Asadi, Sahand Moali, Mohammad Mirzai, Bapir Barzeh, Shirko Ali Mohammadi, Keyvan Nejadrasoul, Tohid Amir Amini, Kianoush Aslani, Abbas Lesani, Mobinollah Veysi, Mojtaba Parvin, Kazem Safabakhsh, Rahim Gholami, Jafar Rostami, Aref Mohammadi, Peyman Mirzazadeh, Samko Jafari, Behzad Shahsavar, Siamand Shahsavar, Salman Afra, Shaker Maravi, Khaled Hosseini, Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, Hasan Saeedi, Hossein Ansari Zadeh, Feisal Saalebi, Saab Zahiri, Adel Samaei, Esmail Jaadeleh, Bani Naami, Omid Azadi, Rostam Abdollah Zadeh, Ali Bani Sadeh, Nasrin Javadi, Tofigh Mahmoudi, Davood Razavi, Amanollah Balochi, Farough Izadi Nia, Moein Mohammadi, Sheida Abedi, Firouz Ahmadi, Khalil Malaki, Simin Mohammadi, Bijan Ahmadi, Maryam Mokhtari, Saghar Mohammadi, Sohrab Malaki, Bahman Salehi, Sofia Mombini, Negin Tadrisi, Kheirollah Bakhshi, Shabnam Issa Khani, Shahryar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Monika Alizadeh, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha Faramarzi, Pooneh Nasheri, Saba Kord Afshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Mojgan Keshavarz, Vida Movahed, Matin Amiri, Maryam Amiri, Atefeh Rangriz, Edris Kasravi, Taher Sufi, Haleh Safarzadeh, Alireza Saghafi, Yousef Jalil, Fatemeh Bakhtari, Zaman Fadai, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohsen Haghshenas, Nahid Khodakarami, Raheleh Rahimipour, Alireza Kafai, Mohammad Dorosti, Salar Taher Afshar, Oldoz Ghasemi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Hossein Habibi, Hossein Ghadyani, Mir Mousa Ziagari, Sajad Shahiri, Jafar Pekand , Hamid Balkhkanloo, Ghafour Barham, Vali Nasiri, Sahar Khodayari, Amin Seybar, Esmael Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar.

It should be noted that in addition to aforementioned names, several other activists such as detained environmentalists, arrestees of the International Labor Day’s protest, Baha’i citizens, and supporters of opposition groups are waiting for their verdicts. Based on the outcome of the first six months of Raisi as the Chief Justice of Iran, the continuous increase of the verdicts in the following six months is predictable. On the other hand, according to several lawyers, Raisi is trying to implement a rule in which the appeal’s courts will be in session only after obtaining permissions from the Supreme Leader. Thus, appeals courts will acknowledge the primary verdict without reserving a chance for lawyers and convict to defend.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Background

In 1981, 20-year old Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj. Later in 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran. He was a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 political prisoners’ executions across the country. Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s prosecutor from 1989 to 1994. In 1994-1995, he was appointed as the head of the General Inspection Office. From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as the First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran. He was later appointed as the Attorney-General of Iran in 2014-2016. He has also served as the Special Clerical Court prosecutor since 2012. He became the Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi on 7 March 2016 after the death of his predecessor Abbas Vaez-Tabasi. He is the second person to serve this office from 1979.  Raisi ran a presidential campaign in February 2017 but after losing the presidential election, he was appointed by Ali Khamenei as a member of Expediency Discernment Council.

The 1988 executions of the Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those who were killed were supporters of the Mujahedin Khalgh but supporters of other leftist factions such as Communist party were executed as well. The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in the modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup. Different sources put the number of victims between 2500 and 30000. Most of the people who were executed had already served their sentences in prison. Hussein-Ali Montazeri, deputy of Supreme Leader of Iran between 1985-1989, named Ebrahim Raisi as one of the people who was in administration of the executions which according to Montazeri, was implemented by a four-men commission, later known as the “death committee”. According to Montazeri, the commission consisted of Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, Morteza Eshraghi, and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi.

The Book “Human Rights and Pure Reason” Was Published

Posted on: August 8th, 2019

Human Rights and Pure Reason was published by Human Rights Activists in Iran. This book analyzes fundamental concepts in human rights and proposes a theory on human rights. The book is available for download at the end of this text.

Base on what reasons a government should give its citizens the freedom of speech, freedom of political parties and organizations? This is the question which the author of the book, Amin Ghazaei, asks in the beginning of the book. He then presents the common answers to this question and explains that none of the answers provide a rational reasoning for the governments to abide by the human rights.

The author presents rational and theoretical reasoning against sentimental and emotional reasonings for human rights issues. He also believes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, although convincing, provides no rational reasoning to prove human rights claims.

Thus, there is only one way to disarm violators of human rights and that is using theoretical and philosophical reasoning. The method that uses definitions and fundamentals of pure rational, proves the human rights as an unconditional, universal, and a priori discourse and disarms human rights violators. The author introduces theory of “Priori Rights” and presents a precise criterion to define its limitations: “a person is allowed to do anything unless his actions obstruct others’ actions”. However, since the author believes that human rights are not merely a claim but an absolute resultant of undeniable rational principles, he feels the necessity to present a system where not only the deducted rights are stemmed from rational principles, but there is  possibility to infer any of these rights from the other rights.

This way, any of the basic rights like the right to life, right to expression, and the right to own are inferred from the simplest rational and humane principles as well as “positive law” , other rights can be inferred and proven considering the relations between these rights with other basic principles. In general, reading this book is a guide for human rights activists to proceed from “Human Rights Convention” to “Comprehensive Principles of Human Rights”.

The book can be downloaded here.

A Ukrainian citizen was arrested in Yazd

Posted on: July 13th, 2019

A Ukrainian citizen was arrested by security forces in Ardakan on July 13, 2019. Behrouz Shahabizadeh, Ardakan governor confirmed and added that this person had been in a sensitive area by mistake and took pictures by heli shot in Kharanaq village in Ardakan. Some local sources claimed that he was filming by drone in Kharanaq village in Ardakan, which is 85 kilometers northwest of Yazd, when he got arrested.

This place is important because of the mines and natural resources. The city of Ardakan is located in Yazd province.

Behzad Homayouni Was Arrested in Aran o Bidgol

Posted on: July 2nd, 2019

Behzad Homayouni, civil rights activist, was arrested after visiting Mohammad Mahdavifar in Aran o Bidgol on June 30, 2019. His whereabouts and the reason of his arrest are still unknown. Mahdavifar was visiting his hometown while on a furlough from life in exile in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Homayouni was arrested at Mahdavifar’s house without any warrant.

In September 2018, Homayouni was sentenced to one-year prison term and he was also been banned from leaving the country or any activity in media or cyber space for two years. He was arrested with his son earlier in February 11, 2017 when holding a banner in support of Narges Mohammadi and Mohammad Mahdavifar. He was released in February 19, 2018. Homayouni is a disabled veteran of Iran-Iraq war.

Javad Lari was Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

Posted on: June 25th, 2019

Javad Lari, former political prisoner, was sentenced to six years in prison by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on February 12, 2019 led by Judge Moghiseh. He was arrested on July 6, 2017 by security agents and was released on bail two month later from Even prison. For the charge of “Assembly and collusion against the national security”, he was sentenced to five years in prison; and for the charge of “propaganda against the state”, he was sentenced to one year in prison. According to the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, he has to serve the charge with the highest penalty which is 5 years of imprisonment.

Lari was arrested earlier in September 2009 and was sentenced to death by the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran led by Judge Salavati. His case was referred later to the Supreme Court and was returned to the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran led by Judge PirAbbasi for further investigations. His death sentenced was reduced to two years imprisonment. Upon finishing his term, he was released in 2011. He was also imprisoned for 10 years in the 1980’s.