Monthly Report – April 2024: Human Rights Situation in Iran

HRANA – HRA’s Statistics Department has released its monthly report for April 2024, shedding light on a troubling escalation of human rights violations across Iran. The report reveals a disturbing total of 66 executions, a significant increase from previous months, with 56 men and 3 women among the victims. Of particular concern is the fact that 44 individuals were sentenced to death for drug-related offenses, a practice that contravenes international norms.

The case of protest rapper Toomaj Salehi has garnered widespread attention, as he received a death sentence for “spreading corruption on earth.” This decision has sparked outrage both within Iran and internationally, with many condemning the severity of the punishment and advocating for Salehi’s release.

Furthermore, the report highlights ongoing repression of freedom of expression, exemplified by the imprisonment of university students Hasti Amiri and Zia Naboi for their activism. Disruptions during cultural events, such as the Nowruz ceremony, and security confrontations in Kurdish regions underscore the government’s crackdown on dissent.

Women’s rights continue to be a cause for concern, with increased surveillance and arrests for non-compliance with hijab regulations under the Iranian police’s “Operation Noor.” Cases like the arrest of Aida Shakarami, sister of a protester killed in 2022, and the detention of Nafisa Latifian and Negar Abedzadeh further highlight the challenges women face in Iran.


This month in Iran, the execution of 66 individuals took place, comprising 56 men and 3 women. A total of 16 individuals were sentenced to death. Iran persists in executing individuals for offenses falling short of the standards outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Notably, there remains a consistent trend of individuals being executed for drug-related crimes, a practice in clear contravention of the right to life as stipulated by the ICCPR. This month, 44 people faced execution for drug-related offenses.

In a startling development, the Revolutionary Court of Isfahan handed down a death sentence to protest rapper Toomaj Salehi for “spreading corruption on earth.” This decision sparked outcry, prompting over fifty civil and trade union activists in North Khorasan province to issue a statement condemning Salehi’s death sentence. They argued vehemently that composing and performing protest songs should not warrant capital punishment. The sentence has led to more public outcry, protests, and intense reactions on social media. A group of Iranian lawyers, non-Iranian lawyers and artists issued a statement condemning the death sentence issued for Tomaj Salehi, a protesting rapper, to draw global public attention to this “inhuman and unjust” sentence. A group of political prisoners, in an open letter, stated that the sentence was a ‘show of power’ by the government. Lastly, according to Toronto police, more than 8,000 demonstrators demanded the immediate cancellation of Tomaj Salehi’s death sentence and the cessation of enforcement against women regarding the hijab.

Freedom of Thought and Expression 

Iran continues to crackdown on anyone who protests or criticizes the regime, and continues to violate the right to freedom of expression and thought. This month two university students, Hasti Amiri and Zia Naboi, started serving their prison sentences. They were sentenced last year after protesting the serial poisoning of school students, they were both sentenced to a year for “propaganda against the regime”. 

On Friday, April 3rd, the Nowruz ceremony in Kale Jub village, Firozabad district, Kermanshah, encountered interruptions and remained incomplete, under the directive of the governor and in the presence of law enforcement. Simultaneously, media outlets reporting on Kurdish regions conveyed incidents of security confrontations during Nowruz celebrations in western areas of the nation, notably near Mehsa (Gina) Amini’s tomb in Saqez city. The IRGC also detained  Mohsen Ghader-Rash and Omid Ghader-Nejad for participating in the Nowruz celebration gathering.

Lastly, protestors who participated in the Women Life Freedom Protest that started in September 2022, continue to get sentenced for their participation. Ayoub Gheibipour was sentenced to 11 years in prison with the charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” and  “propaganda against the regime.” Additionally, during his detention he was also denied medical care.


This month, the Iranian police announced a plan called ‘Operation Noor’, this plan includes increased surveillance and arrest for non-compliance with hijab rules. Additionally, the IRGC have also implemented a new surveillance body. The implementation of this plan has led to an increase in arrest and violent behavior towards women. Additionally, Aida Shakarami, the sister of Nika Shakarami who was killed by officials during the September 2022 protests, was recently arrested by Tehran’s Morality Police for non-compliance with hijab regulations. Nafisa Latifian and Negar Abedzadeh, the wife and daughter of  Iranian football veteran Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, were arrested in Tehran for not observing the “mandatory hijab”, they were released shortly after.  Lastly, Authorities in Bushehr Province have arrested seven women for sharing social media content related to modeling and photography.Their Instagram posts were removed, and electronic devices were confiscated.

Women continue to be sexually assaulted by officials after being arrested. Journalist Dina Ghalibaf shared on social media that she had been detained by police at a Tehran metro station for allegedly wearing an improper hijab. She described being taken to a room, where she endured electric shocks and sexual assault. This public account led to her arrest the next day by security forces. The whole ordeal was videoed and pictures were taken and published online.


Workers in Iran face ongoing challenges and hazardous workplaces. In a tragic turn of events, this month saw 100 fatalities resulting from work-related accidents, with an additional 49  workers left injured. Moreover, concerning 2000 workers reported unpaid wages spanning 43 months, while 37000 others were denied their insurance rights. Additionally, 11 businesses faced closure due to hijab violations, adding to the economic strain. 

Given the context, HRANA News Agency has recently released three comprehensive reports, each delving into the challenges faced by Iranian workers. The first report presents a Statistical Analysis of Iranian Workers spanning from May 1, 2023, to April 27, 2024. Within this timeframe, a concerning 84,226 workers did not receive their paychecks, alongside witnessing 428 worker protests and 1,448 trade union demonstrations. The other report underscored the grim toll of unsafe working conditions, revealing that over the past year, at least 1,680 workers lost their lives and 8,199 were injured. The last report detailed the rise in casualties among cross-border laborers and fuel carriers, with 15 and 9 fatalities respectively, and a combined 152 injuries, primarily attributed to indiscriminate military shootings. The final report 

International News Update:

This month, significant attention was directed towards the human rights situation in Iran.  On 4 April 2024, the Human Rights Council voted to extend the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Iran’s mandate for an additional year through resolution 55/19. Additionally, this resolution also extends the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran. This resolution also calls for Iran to grant access to the country and provide all necessary information to both bodies. 

The US State Department released its 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for Iran on April 22nd. The report underscores grave human rights violations, such as unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, and instances of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. HRA contributed valuable insights to this report, revealing that authorities executed 37 percent more individuals compared to the previous year and exposing the staggering statistic that over 3,337 workers were owed a cumulative total of more than 262 months of backpay.

Lastly, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jeremy Laurence released a press statement regarding the new body created by the IRGC to enforce hijab regulations.He also expressed concerns regarding the Guardian Council’s near approval of the Supporting the Family by Promoting the Culture of Chastity and Hijab bill, which would impose even more severe punishments for non compliance. Lastly, he also expressed concern regarding the sentence of rapper Toomaj Salehi, urging for the sentences to be overturned. 


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