It is Time that Iran be Held Accountable 

Posted on: November 10th, 2020

HRANA – Last month the world turned its attention to Iran for its seemingly arbitrary transfer of a detained British-Australian academic. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was detained in September 2018 and is serving a ten-year sentence, was moved from the notorious Evin Prison to an unspecified location. When Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) released the report, nearly every major media publication across the globe once again jumped to denounce her detention. Widespread speculation as to Moore-Gilbert’s whereabouts ensued. 

As a human rights professional who focuses on Iran, it was gratifying to see such a swift and appropriate response. However, what about the countless grave and horrific human rights violations that happen every day in this country? Violations that are so numerous that they have become seemingly rote. 

In the week following Moore-Gilbert’s transfer, peaceful protestors outside Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum were violently attacked by Regime Security Forces. In the month of October, at least 130 Iranians were arrested for activities related to their political or ideological beliefs; 83 of which involved the detention of individuals participating in peaceful gatherings related to the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. 

Iran carried out 19 hangings in the month of October alone, sentencing an additional 8 to that same fate throughout the month.

At least 12 members of the Baháʼí religious minority were barred from entering university based solely on their religious beliefs. One man received 80 lashes for converting to Christianity; a thief was sentenced to having his hand amputated.

Iranian courts tried more than 70 political cases which resulted in convictions that totaled 295 years in prison and 2,590 lashes.  A cleric was summoned to court for suggesting there was no problem with women riding a bicycle, an activity for which all women in the country are banned. Two women, sentenced to 33 months each for writing a letter requesting the resignation of the Supreme Leader, were summoned by authorities to begin serving their time. A teacher was sentenced to 45 lashes for drawing a cartoon.

This list is by no means exhaustive. 

These violations are not a secret. HRANA, the very source that initially reported on Moore-Gilbert’s move, reported and continues to report on the numerous human rights violations happening daily in Iran against Iranians, as well as dual and foreign nationals. There remains little to no response.

Detained British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert

Why is this? 

I do not have the answer to that question, but I do know the differences these cases bear. The violations listed above are against Iranian citizens; Moore-Gilbert is a foreigner. Her case is, therefore, more appealing to the press it garners a more widespread response – and outcry. 

 

I’m reminded of a quote from Howard Bakerville, a young American who famously became a martyr of Iran’s Constitutional Revolution; he once said, “The only difference between me and these people is my place of birth, and that is not a big difference.” Today I fear there are times, unacceptably so, that this is the difference between life and death, between respect for rights and deprivation thereof. Will the world only shine the light on Iran when a Westerner is tangled in its web? Under international human rights law, States have a duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of those within their jurisdiction. It’s time that Iran be held accountable to its own citizens just as it is to those dual and foreign nationals that find themselves trapped within the confines of a state where deprivation of fundamental human rights continues to be the norm. 

Moore-Gilbert has since been returned to Evin Prison. Her return, much like her move, was documented extensively. The reason for her move remains unknown.

 

Skylar Thompson

Skylar Thompson is a Senior Advocacy Coordinator with Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI). For inquiries please contact email: [email protected]

 

Ahmad Yazdanipour was arrested in Tehran

Posted on: February 28th, 2020

On February 21, 2020, Ahmad Yazdanipour was arrested by the intelligence department of IRGC in Tehran. One day after his arrest, the security forces searched his house and confiscated his personal belongings such as a computer, books, and his notes. They arrested Mr. Yazdanpour’s daughter, Forouzan Yazdanipour, at her home and her personal belongings were confiscated.

Ms. Yazdanipour is 30-year old and she is a graduate student of “cultural studies” at Tehran University. Mr. Yazdanipour is 61-year old and has lung disease which has concerned his family due to the spread of Coronavirus in prison. He was a political activist in the 1980’s and lost his job after he was threatened by the intelligence department of Dorud. He is a researcher of Qoran and history during the past few years.

A week into their arrest, there is still no more information about their case or their whereabouts.

An update on arrestees of the last November’s protests

Posted on: February 27th, 2020

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds. HRANA has earlier published a report about the sentences of some of the arrestees of the late November Protests. The following is an update on the sentences and conditions of a number of individuals who were arrested during the last November’s protests:

1. Mohammad Hejazifar was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for the charges of “assembly and collusion” and “insulting the president” by Branch 10 of Malard’s Criminal Court and Shahriar’s Revolutionary Court. He was arrested on November 23, 2019, by the security forces of Islamshahr and was transferred to a detention center that belongs to a security organization and after a while, he was again transferred to the Great Tehran Penitentiary.

Mr. Hejazifar, 35 years old, is studying business at Islamshahr University and working in a publishing store. His 33 years old brother, Omid Hejazifar, is still in Great Tehran Penitentiary and his statues is unknown.

2. Mojgan Eskandari, the political prisoner of Qarchak Prison, was sentenced to three years in prison for the charge of “assembly and collusion” by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati on February 19, 2020. She was arrested on December 10, 2019. She is in the same case as Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi who were sentenced to execution, imprisonment, and lashes.

Ms. Eskandari is 51 years old and is now in ward 1 (Mothers ward) of Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

Ms. Eskandari said that she knows Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi during the protests at they arrested after that. Eventually, Mojgan Eskandari along with Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Shima (unknown family name) were tried on the same case. Shima (unknown family name) was released on bail. They were tried on 25-26 January 2020 presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati.

3. Samira Hadian, a political prisoner, was sentenced to eight years in prison by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Iman Afshari. Some of her charges are: “assembly and collusion”, insulting agents” “disobeying governmental agents’ orders”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should serve five years in prison. She was arrested on November 21, 2019, and was transferred from a detention center that belongs to a security organization to Qarchak Prison on December 1, 2019. She is now in ward 1 (mothers’ ward) of Qarchak Prison.

4. Melika Gharagozlou, student of journalism at Allameh Tabatabaei University, was sentenced to a six-month prison term for the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security” on February 26, 2020, by Branch 29 of the Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mazloum. She was arrested on November 17, 2019, and was released on a 60 million Tomans bail on December 1, 2019.

Melika Gharagozlou

5. Maryam Alishahi and her son, Mahyar Mansouri were arrested on November 16, 2019. Branch 36 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mohammadreza Amozadeh sentenced Ms. Alishahi to nine years in prison and Mr. Mansouri to six years in prison. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that, they should each serve five years in prison. On February 25, 2020, they requested appeal and their case was transferred to Branch 36 of Tehran’s appeals court presided by Judge Seyed Ahmad Zargar. The details of their sentences are as follows:

Maryam Alishahi was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”, two years of imprisonment for the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”, one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”, and one year in prison for the charge of “disturbing public order”.

Mahyar Mansouri was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”, and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”.

It should be noted that Mahyar Mansouri was released on 300 million Tomans bail. Maryam Alishahi was transferred from a detention center that belongs to a security organization to Qarchak Prison on December 1, 2019. She is now in ward 1 (mothers’ ward) of Qarchak Prison.

6. These arrestees of the last November protests were released on between 400 to 800 million Tomans bails form Tabriz Prison: Davoud Shiri, Ayob Shiri, Mohammad Mahmoudi, and Naser Kholousi (February 26), Akbar Mohajeri (February 25), Shahin Barzegar (February 24), Babak Hosseini Moghadam (February 25).

Davoud Shiri                         Ayob Shiri

Mohammad Mahmoudi     Naser Kholousi

 

Babak Hosseini Moghadam

An update on arrestees of last November’s protests

Posted on: February 18th, 2020

The nationwide protests of last November are the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 spots in the country, at least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.

1. The trial of four residents of Kermanshah was on February 10, 2020. Three of them were sentenced by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Kermanshah as the following:

Sohbatollah Omidi: He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and five years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve five years in prison.

Khalil Asadi Bouzhani: He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and three and half years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion against the national security”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve three and a half years in prison.

Mehdi Ebdali: He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.

Mohieldin Asghari: the court announced that it does not have the eligibility to try him for his charge of “assembly and collusion”.

It should be noted that Mohieldin Ashghari and Sohbatollah Omidi were released on a 200 million Tomans bail in January 2020.

 

Sohbat Omidi                    Khalil Asadi

 

2. Ali Nanvaei: was sentenced to six months imprisonment and 74 lashes (this sentence is suspended for two years). He is also sentenced to hand copy three books. He was initially charged with “assembly and collusion” but his charge was later changed to “disrupting public order”. He was arrested when he was leaving Tehran University on November 18, 2019. He is a student of Tehran University.

Ali Nanvaei

 

3.Mohammad Eghbali Golhin: On February 16, 2020, he was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, 74 lashes, and one-year exile to Rask by Branch 10 of Shahriar’s Criminal Court. He was sentenced to ten years for vandalism and one year for the charge of “disturbing public order”, and 74 lashes and one year exile for the charge of “fight with Basij militia”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve 10 years in prison. He was arrested on November 19, 2019, in Karaj.

 

4.Gita Hor: Ms. Hor, 30-years old, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment for “assembly in collusion against the national security” and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should spend five years in prison. She was arrested on November 21, 2019. She is currently in Qarchak prison. Her trial was presided by judge Mohammad Reza Amouzadeh.

 

Arrests:

Tehran University students, Bahareh Hedayat, Amir Mohammad Sharifi, and Moin Zareian were arrested by the national security police because of attending last November’s protests. They were arrested on the following days:

Amir Mohammad Sharifi on February 9, Bahareh Hedayat on February 10, and Moin Zareian on January 22, 2020.

It should be noted that Bahareh Hedayat was arrested at Tehran University and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She went on a hunger strike after her arrest. Her health condition is deteriorating due to the hunger strike and prison condition. Amir Mohammad Sharifi and Moin Zareian are in Evin Prison.

 

Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi and three others sentenced to prison

Posted on: February 7th, 2020

On February 2, 2020, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, civil rights activist, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by the Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Mohammadreza Amouzad for the charge “assembly and collusion against the national security and propaganda against the state”. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi should serve five years in prison. She was tried on February 1, 2020, in Tehran. She was arrested by the security forces on November 18, 2019, at her place of residence in Tehran. On December 12, 2019, she was transferred to one of IRGC’s Intelligence department detention centers. His places of residence was searched by the security forces at the time of arrest and her husband’s and her belongings were confiscated. She was eventually transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison after completion of her interrogation at the IRGC’s detention center on December 12, 2019. According to a source close to Ms. Ahmad Khanbeigi, she is suffering from seizure and epilepsy but the prison authorities have provided only a portion of her medications. Ms. Ahmad Khanbeigi was arrested along two other citizens for writing slogans on walls on January 16, 2019, and was sentenced to four years and five months imprisonment by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Iman Afshari for the charge of “assembly and collusion against the national security and propaganda against the state”. On March 2, 2019, she was temporarily released on a bail of 150 million Tomans [aprox. $12,500]. Her sentence was upheld by appeals court without a hearing.

In addition, Mohammadreza Fathalizadeh was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Iman Afshari for the charge of “assembly and collusion”. Mohammadreza Fathalizadeh was born on April 20, 1997. He was arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehransar, amid the last November’s protests and was transferred to the Ward 5 of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary after completion of his interrogation.

Mehdi Naghdi is another arrested citizen who was sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Mohammadreza Amouzad for the charge of “assembly and collusion through attending protest rallies”. Mehdi Naghdi, son of Gholamreza, was born in 1973 and is a professor of political science at the University of Tehran. He was arrested on November 23, 2019, by the IRGC’s intelligence department and was transferred to the Ward 5 of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary after completion of his interrogation.

Ali Asghar Khodabandehloo, was sentenced to 3 years suspended imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion” and to 6 months imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state” by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by judge Iman Afshari based on his attendance in the last November’s protest rallies. Mr. Khodabandehloo is a student of architecture at Azad University, South Tehran Campus. He was arrested by the security forces in front of Tehranpars neighborhood’s Basij station on November 18, 2019, and was transferred to the Ward 5 of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary after completion of his interrogation.

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.

An update on the arestees of the November and January protests in Iran

Posted on: February 7th, 2020

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds. In addition, on January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 people onboard. On January 11, 2020, thousands of people took to the streets across the country after General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran officially admitted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian airliner in Tehran. HRANA has earlier published a report about January protests.

Detention Centers

Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary is one of the detention centers that houses many of the last November and January protests’ arrestees. Many of the arrestees (mostly from the southern parts of Tehran and Alborz Province) are placed with other inmates charged with other types of crimes in Ward 5 of this prison. This is against the prisoner classification regulations that requires the prisons to separate inmates according to the nature of the crimes they are charged and found guilty of. The mentioned Ward that eight days ago housed more than 200 political prisoners who were arrested during the recent uprisings has undergone a change in its population after half of those prisoners were released and many other prisoners with other types of crimes were transferred from Evin Prison. By the time this report was compiled (February 3, 2020) the number of political prisoners in this Ward was about 100.

In addition, Among the arrestees, there are people who were injured by a gunshot when they were arrested. These citizens are transferred to this prison while Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary is facing an overload of prisoners, lack of air conditioning and heating facilities, and a shortage of blanket and warm water.

The following report identifies 138 political prisoners and their detention conditions.

Charges

The arrestees are mostly charged with “assembly and collusion against national security”, “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, “vandalism (damaging governmental property)”, “disturbing public order”. “disturbing public opinion”, “propaganda against the state”, and “insulting high-ranking authorities”. Their cases are sent to the Branch One of the Evin Prison’s prosecutor’s office, the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati, the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by judge Iman Afshari, the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, the Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court presided by judge Mohammadreza Amouzad, and the Revolutionary Court of Robat Karim.

Last November Protests

Most of the protesters of the last November’s protests who are kept in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary were arrested between November 15, 2019, to December 15, 2019, by the IRGC (Sarallah Camp). These citizens were beaten and experienced mistreatment at the time of arrest and were briefed on their accusations in Parand and Baharestan’s prosecutor’s offices.

The primary court session for 10 of the arrested has been in session and their imprisonment sentences have been ordered.

Here is a list of 88 detainees (still in prison) who are in a limbo state:

Majid Kharabati, Mohammadreza Esmaeilian Zareian, Ali Bikas, Mohsen Shakouri, Abolfazl Karimi, Seyed Hamidreza Noshai, Hasan Abbasi, Abolfazl Shahabi, Mohammad Moalemian, Jamil Ghahremani, Mehdi Ghalandari, Shahin Motaharzadeh, Danial Bakhshi, Ali Darabi, Farshid Eftekhari, Mehran Jalilvand, Mehdi Hasanpour, Morteza Amirbeigloo, Ali Asghar Karimi, Hosein Reyhani, Mohsen Roshani, Reza Sarvestani, Mohammad Jahani, Masoud Zadkhak, Mehdi Vahidi, Ali Ebadi, Mohammad Adam, Pouria Foroughi, Mohammad Bagher Saadi, Mohammadreza Amiri, Siamak Moghimi, Behnam Bazobandi, Mohammad Kadimani, Tohid Fotouhi, Abolfazl Maghsoudi, Reza Moradian, Ali Mehmandoust, Vahid Mehmandoust, Soheil Alipanah, Matin Ezadi, Mohammadreza Eslami, Ali Kazemi, Mohammad Rashidi, Hamed Karami, Majid Farzad, Behnoud Esmaili, Hossein Nikcheh Farahani, Saeed Asadi, Sajad Salarvand, Seyed Amid Mousavi, Arya Hamedi Rad, Mohammad Eghbali, Saber Rezaei, Hossein Tajik, Farshad Niazi, Ali Akbar Hadipour, Reza Alidoust, Omid Hejazi, Ali Asghar Keramati, Abolfazl Toosi, Javad Adinehvand, Ramin Hosseinpour, Amir Morovati, Saeed Mavedati, Omid Mohammadian, Ali Akbar Moradi, Behnam Nafarieh, Behnam Khakzad, Saeed Golbodaghi, Meisam Khaki, Milad Mahmoudi, Mohammad Rajabi, Ali Nabizadeh, Saeed Tamjidi, Hamid Farahbakhsh, Amir Salman Shirizad, Amir Hossein Keshavarzi, Pouria Mirzaei, Alireza Hosseinzadeh, Iman Daraei, Mohammadreza Doostdar, Mir Mohsen Ghoreishi, Mir Reza Ghoreishi, Masoud Torkpour, Seyed Mohammadreza Mousavi, Ramin Behnoush, Ahmad Ali Hatamian, Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi, Siamak Momeni.

Siamak Momeni, a political prisoner and one of the arrestees of the last November’s protest committed suicide by cutting his hand’s vein on January 25, 2020, and was transferred to the hospital but has not yet been returned to the Ward. Mr. Momeni is 18 years old and committed suicide after his sentence of 10 years imprisonment was ordered by the Revolutionary Court. In addition, Saber Rezaei was wounded by gunshot during the protests.

As mentioned earlier, 23 detained protesters of the last November’s protests were temporarily released on bail who are identified as the following:

Milad Arsanjani, Sina Naimipour, Javad Monafi, Mohsen Tashakori, Ehsan Khazaei, Mohammad Javad Foroughi, Hossein Adam, Mohammadreza Fathalizadeh, Kaveh Asadi, Mohsen Adibzadeh, Iman Abdi, Arash Salari, Mohammad Lotfi, Iraj Deldari, Danial Dadashzadeh, Mohammad Ali Safari, Shahram Kalantari, Rouzbeh Jahangiri, Shervin Beigi, Siamak Paymard, Jafar Dehdari, Reza Allahyari, Vahid Najafi Khuzestani.

Siamak Paymard, Jafar Dehdari, Reza Allahyari, and Vahid Najafi Khuzestani were shot in Qarchak during the last November’s protests. They were transferred to Tharallah Camp after being arrested and then to the hospital. They are charged with “assembly and collusion against national security”.

The inmates of the aforementioned ward are mostly residents of the poor neighborhoods of southern Tehran and were arrested in those areas. They mostly have no college education.

January Protests

During the January 2020 protests, more than 500 people were arrested on January 12 in Tehran of whom 300 were transferred to Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary. Some of them were temporarily released on bail and some others were transferred to Evin Prison. Only a few of them are still in Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary. These citizens who are mostly college students and government/private employees were arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and were briefed in the Branch One of the Evin Prison’s prosecutor’s office. They were beaten, threatened and mistreated at the time of their arrest.

Most of these detainees were released in the past few days. However, there are still two detainees who have not been released. They are identified as Iman Heydari and Pouria Gozarabadi.

The name of 25 citizens who were arrested during the January protests and were released from Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary the last week of January 2020, were identified as the followings:

Bahador Hadizadeh, Mohammad Pakpour, Morteza Hosseini Lavasani, Pouria Foroughi, Pouya Gozarabadi, Iman Poonaki, Siavash Monfared, Mostafa Farahani, Bahram Fardi, Masoud Khaksar, Amir Soleiman Shiralizad, Mohammad Rajabi, Ali Salimi, Ashkan Dehghan, Nima Rajabzadeh, Kamyar Saadati, Behrouz Habibi, Mehrdad Norouzi, Mottaleb Kardarfar, Habib Pashai, Kasra Taghavi, Emad Rashidi, Sahand Babaei, Shahab Reisi, Behnam Zandi.

Injured protesters died due to infections

Posted on: January 30th, 2020

Mohammad Maleki

Mohammad Maleki, born in 1996, was married and a resident of Qaleh Mir in Baharestan County in Tehran Province. He was a peddler and his only child was born two weeks ago. Mr. Maleki, 23-year old, was shot in the waist by the security forces in Saveh road during the last November’s mass protests. He was permanently paralyzed after the bullet passed his lungs and destroyed his spine. He passed away because of the injuries on January 26, 2020, two weeks after the birth of his child. He was buried on January 28 in Tehran.

A source close to Mr. Maleki told HRANA that Mr. Maleki was released from the hospital in December 2019 and died on January 26, 2020, in his residence. The physician who was called to visit him refused to issue a death certificate after learning about his condition claiming that he should inform the police. After the physician called the police, his body was taken to the forensic medicine while four undercover security agents monitored his house. His body was taken to Kahrizak’s medical examiner’s office despite his family’s disapproval. His family was permitted to bury him in Emamzadeh Baqer Golestan Saleh Abad cemetery in Baharestan County in Tehran Province after medical examination a removing the bullet from his body.

According to this source, his family was pressured to permit medical examination and in return, he could be regarded as a martyr and his body would be given back to his family for burial. Otherwise, he should be buried overnight without any ceremony. Eventually, his family got permission to bury him, on the condition that if later authorities find out the bullet that was removed from his body was shot by a police’s weapon, the family should pay for the bullet.

While he was in the hospital, YJC reporter interviewed him and claimed that he is a victim of rioters who shoots ordinary people. During this report that was aired on November 22 on the Iranian state TV (IRIB), Mr. Maleki explains that there are still three bullets left in his abdomen. In this report, it was implied that he was shot by the protester. The source close to him added that Mr. Maleki was in a state of fear and his injuries made him do the interview, but he disagrees that the protesters shot him.

Amir (Shahpour) Ojani

Amir Ojani was 43 years old, married, and father to four children. He owned a sandwich shop in Parand city. Mr. Ojani was shot in the foot by the security forces during the last November’s mass protests in Parand city located in Tehran Province. Several state-owned hospitals refused to admit him claiming that they received an order not to admit the injured protesters. Eventually, Ebnesina private hospital admitted him. Mr. Ojani died on January 9, 2020, because of infection and pulmonary embolism.

A source close to Mr. Ojani told HRANA that Mr. Ojani was shot in foot during the last November’s mass protests in one of the main squares of Parand city, breaking his foot’s bone. He went to a local clinic in the first 3-4 days just to refresh his bondage. After a few days, he was transferred to several hospitals, including Firouzgar Hospital in Tehran but they refused to admit him because of his gunshot wound. Finally, a private hospital accepted him, but he died because of infection and pulmonary embolism. There were only 45 days between his injury and his death.

The source added that the security forces identified him after checking footages from the CCTVs and went to his residence to arrest him when they were informed by his wife that he is hospitalized and in a serious condition. The security forces went to the hospital to monitor him. He was banned from having a visitor in the last ten days of his life.

 

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.

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: