Monthly Report – An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran for Aban 1396 Iranian Calendar (23 October 2017 – 21 November 2017 Gregorian calendar)
HRANA News Agency – The Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) has published the following monthly report for the Iranian calendar Month of Aban (23 October-21 November) on the human rights situation in Iran. This report cannot be a comprehensive and complete reflection of the human rights situation in Iran, due to limitation and lack of authorization of activities for independent human rights organizations and in Iran.
It should be noted that in addition to the monthly reports, the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) publishes a more comprehensive and analytical annual report on human rights in Iran at the end of each calendar year.
In Aban 1396 (Iranian Calendar), The systematic violation of human rights in Iran continued, exceeding 25 executions, numerous physical and sexual harassment of children, widespread arrest specially of Bahai’ citizens, widespread violation of prisoners’ rights, constant violation of freedom of expression, workers and union protests across the country especially concerned with wage arrears, environmental pollution and draught, and other cases in various provinces.
This month, UN adopted a resolution to criticize Iran’s human rights situation, also the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran condemned the executions, detentions and human rights abuses in Iran.
This report has been gathered based on the information which their authenticity has been verified.
despite all the international and national efforts and pressures, numerous executions in Iran continue. Due to its high numbers and methods used in executions, death penalty is Still of the most important violations of human right in Iran. Even though the reforms regarding the sentencing of drug related charges, might save of 4000 people from being executed, still Iran’s number of execution for drug related offences and other crimes remain one of the highest numbers in the world.
In limiting the death penalty in this month, a new article was added to the existing drug laws.
Swedish media outlets announce the death sentence of Ahmad Reza Jalali a researcher and resident of Sweden. The Sweden’s government condemned Ahmad Reza Jalali’s death sentence. Additionally, Amnesty International and tens of Nobel prize receivers in various fields, in a letter to the representative of Iran at UN, asked for the release and quash of the death sentence of Ahmad Reza Jalali.
Of most important news in regards of the executions in this month is the death sentence of Mohammad Ali Taherie’s being rejected for the second time.
The number of executions carried out in Aban 1396 Exceeded 25 executions, and at least 20 death sentences have been issued in this month. atleast 3 of the executions were carried out in public. Public executions are amongst the most shocking violations of human rights and are prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Freedom of Thought and Expression
Violation of the right to Freedom of Expression and thought continued across Iran during this month. One of the major events in this regard was UN adopting the Third Committee resolution criticizing the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, with 83 votes in favor and 30 votes against the resolution.
This resolution condemns various cases, including high rates of executions and discrimination against women.
Also, this month, BBC complained to the UN regarding harassment of staff at BBC Farsi by the Iranian Authorities.
Regarding the violation of freedom of speech in the Iranian media, the National Security Council passed a directive to the national Broadcasting, preventing any reflection and representation on the depositor’s protests.
There were widespread arrests in this month, most notably the following:
Mahmoud Salehi (a prominent workers’ activist), Hamid Azimi, Mohammad-Mehdi Nekoonam were arrested. At least 4 people were arrested in Maku and Chaldoran. Arrest of 6 Erfan-e Halgheh activists in Karaj. Arrest of another 3 Erfan-e Halgheh activists in Savojbolagh. Arrest of a Telegram page manager in Urmia. and Summon of an activist in Gorgan, 3 people in Andimeshk, one person in Ahvaz, arrest of at least 5 admins of telegram channels regarding Cyrus Day, which was along with attempts to prevent the gathering at the Cyrus Tomb.
There were also, various sentencings in this month, most notably the following:
Mohsen Mahboubian sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment. Majid Azarpey sentenced to imprisonment and fines. Sahnaz Akmali sentenced to imprisonment and restrictions. Afshin, Zabir and Ahmad Hossein-Panahi sentenced to approximately 20 years of imprisonment. Reza akvanian (poet and civil rights activist) sentenced to imprisonment and flogging.
Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Mashai, Baghai and his lawyer, Admins of Telegram Channels in Golestan, and Nasrin Sotoudeh were summoned in this month.
In this month many trials were held, including Nazanin Zagheri’s case who was taken to the court again for a new case. Also, a trial session was held to examine charges against Ahmad Tavakoli administrator of the Alef Website.
Also, in the news this month: Jalal Jalalizadeh was interrogated by the ministry of intelligence. Sasan Aghai’s arrest was extended for the third time. A case was opened against director of Payetakhte kohan Magazine. Aria news agency’s website and other websites related to Ahmadinejad were censored, due to broadcasting video of Ahmadinejad. Iran’s futsal Premier League referee was prevented from working due to his ideologies. Velayati ordered the “immediate dismissal” of a professor from Arak’s Azad University.
Sohrab Bahrami, Naser Kholousi, and Mehdi Khazali’s sentences were carried out in this month.
The situation of prisoners in Iran is intricated due to the increasing number of prisoners. At the conference of “Social Health focused on Family’s Mental Health” Hassan Mousavi Chalak stated that there are currently more than fifteen million and two hundred ongoing judicial cases in Iran of 80 million population, and 49 people in Iran each hour go to prisons, this is while in 1979 this number was only 10 people per hour.
News from inside Iranian prisons indicate illegal deprivation of visitation and lack of medical care and lack of sanitary facilities, and the various other pressures under different titles.
Golrokh Iraee and Arash Sadeghi were illegally deprived of visiting each other, this is while by law prisoners should be allowed family visits and its usually allowed specially in prisons across Tehran and Alborz region.
Among prisoners suffering from illnesses, Mahmoud Salehi is reported to be in critical conditions. To the extend that his son has said that the forensic has stated his father can’t endure imprisonment.
A Prisoner who on behalf of other prisoners protested the closure of the only sport facility at the Sanandaj Prison, faced violence, beating, and injuries by the prison authorities. By the doctor of prison, this prisoner received 25 stiches on the injuries after this incident and received splint for his hand that is said to be likely broken. This prisoner is kept in solitary confinement to eliminate and hide the injuries and evidence of beating.
The lack of medical attention continues to be one of the greatest dangers and injuries prisoners face.
Majid Asadi’s physical condition is critical In Rajai Shahr Prison of Karaj. He has been transferred to court, while he suffers from acute inflammation of his spine and digestive system.
Also, Mohamamd-Mehdi Sajedifar has been reported to be in critical conditions in Evin Prison. Mohammad-Saber Malekraeesi has been deprived of medical treatment. Delay in sentencing of Emaddein Malazehi and keeping this ill prisoner in uncertain situation.
In this month, Sunni prisoners of Kermanshah Prison faced increasing pressures. Six Sunni prisoners of Diselabad Prison of Kermanshah were threatened again to be exiled, these prisoners had taken on hunger strike for being exiled to infectious disease’s ward a while ago. They have stated that the authorities have increased pressures as a result to their reaction to religious slogans they have said.
Another prisoner on death row in Rajai Shahr Prison has taken on hunger strike to protest what he states to be the head of this prison trying to expedite the execution of his death sentence.
5 prisoners have been sent to exile in this month, including Mohammad Nazari, and two Arab prisoners on death to Isfahan Prison.
Regarding medical deprivation and lack of appropriate attention in this month, a prisoner who was uncertain of his sentence and was awaiting court in Markazi Prison of Zahedan, after a few days of being ill did not receive appropriate care from the prison clinic and died.
Other news regarding prisoners in this month includes, women and children who were accused of relation to ISIS were transferred to Evin prison. Tehran’s prosecutor has recently announced many family members of the ISIS group member has been arrested.
Religious and Ethnic Minorities
Ethnic and Minority groups –specially Baha’is—have faced various limitations and arrests in this month.
While the Baha’is were preparing to celebrate the 200th birthday of their prophet Baha-Allah, the security forces increased repressions and oppressions with tens of arrests, summons, and shutting down their businesses across the country.
Baha’Is across the world close their businesses on Saturday and Sunday 20 and 21st October to perform religious ceremonies and prayers. This has become an excuse for the security forces to prevent them from employment and income.
many of the Baha’i’s business places that have been shut down are in Sistan and Balouchestan province. Also, in Karaj another business that belonged to a Baha’i citizen has been shut down.
Preventing business, employment and income of Baha’is is not new, for instance after a year still 96 Baha’i’s business in Mazandaran shut down.
Arrests of Baha’i citizens in this month included, 2 people in Rasht, 2 people in Shiraz and Kermanshah, and another arrest in Rasht.
Human right violations against Baha’is is not limited to economics, the violations continue as before regarding education as well. In this month 3 young baha’is deprived of post secondary education were sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Of other important sentences Baha’I Citizens received this month, is the 18 years sentence for 6 baha’I citizens in Zahedan.
Also, in the news this month, two Christian converts are under unknown circumstances in prison.
Regarding arrests and sentencing of Ethnic groups, 9 citizens in west of the country were summoned, arrested, and sentenced, one citizen form Ahvaz, at least 4 people in Makoo and Chalderan, and 7 others in western parts of the country.
After 4 months without any news, finally Ramin Hosein-Panahi’s family were able to visit this prisoner.
Other news in this area includes restrictions against holding a funeral for a political activist who was assassinated in Netherlands and the sentences of Naser Kholousi –Azari Turk activist—and Reza Aghakhani – member of Council of Nationalist-Religious Activists of Iran—was carried out.
Also, two religious activists in Saravan were arrested.
The news regarding children’s rights violations included sexual abuse and child abuse I various parts of the country. not only children’s rights have not improved in the country, but according to official statistics in the first half of the year there has been an increase in child abuse.
Also, the director of social affairs of the Relief Committee announced that, 120,000 malnourished children are in the country, and in another news, we see that Sistan and balouchestan province alone has 12,000 malnourished children.
Among the violations of children’s rights and laws, we have witnessed the adoption of a law prohibiting the activity of children under the age of 18 in recycling centers in support of children’s rights.
Child marriage is another children’s rights that is widely violated in Iran. it was reported that approximately 43,000 girls under 15 have been married.
In this month, the force marriage of a 16-year-old girl led to her suicide.
The following were among the child abuse news in this month: sexual harassment of skating children under the age of 8. A stepfather continued sexual abuse of his 16-year-old stepdaughter in Mashhad. A child abuse in Rafsanjan sent the child to I.C.U. a student was physically punished in bojnourd.
Also, in this month a child belonging to bad guardians died in Kermanshah, due to delays and neglect of the case by the child services.
Of other important news regarding violations of children’s’ rights: suicide of a 15-year-old boy. A 16-year-old teenager extorted money from children by a knife to support addiction. Custom officers discovered a cargo trafficking child. Maede Shabaninejhad, 15-year-old girl who was arrested was released.
Women’s rights are widely violated in Iran, to the point that neglecting women’s basic rights are lawful in Iran. Of the most important of these violations is the violence against women.
According to recent statistics, 27% of women in Tehran are victims of violence against women.
The continued violation of women’s rights causes social harm and depression among women. Regarding methods of suicide, Harirchi –Sociologist and faculty member of Allameh Tabataba’i University—emphasized that the society is in a way that women and girls are lonelier, and he added suicide is becoming feminized and women attempt suicide 3 times more than men.
Among other harms to women is the prevalence of drug use among them. The head of the Tehran Provincial Forensic Medicine Assessment Agency said that in recent studies, we are witnessing an upward trend in drug use in women.
Another obvious violation of women’s rights is women’s circumcision. The founder of the campaign “Step by step to stop female Genital Mutation(FGM)” said the outbreak of female genital mutilation on Qeshm Island is more than other parts of the country, saying that in Hormozgan Province alone 60 to 80 percent of the girls undergo FGM.
Also, among the news of violations of women’s rights, two girls were arrested for riding motorbikes.
Workers and Union
This month like previous months has been difficult for workers and unions due to the economic situation in Iran and the lack of complete laws protecting workers’ rights.
Widespread union protests took place in various parts of the country during this month, which in some cases led to bans on workers and hunger strikes.
the arrest of Mahmoud Salehi, workers’ rights activist, is of the most important workers news in this month.
also, a group of teachers and civil rights activists in a letter to the president urged to allow Rasoul Bodaghi back to his job.
Workplace safety violation is one of the most important challenges that workers face. With at least 35 deaths and 45 injuries during work this month has been a bad month for workers.
Director General of Forensic in Kermanshah province reported the death of 15 people in the province due to work accidents. He added that 317 people injured in accidents during the same period.
Also, at least 10 people died or were wounded at the Tehran Oil Refinery.
Health and Environment
Environmental news this month included water crisis, drought, and various kinds of pollutions.
Water crisis and drought has reached critical stages in Iran. various reports in this month examined the following: Drying of Hamoun wetland. Drying of one third of the Minab wetland. Water crisis in the village of Rasoul Abad—khash. And lack of drinkable water in 200 villages across Hormozgan.
Regarding drought, the United Nations representative in Iran expressed concern about the condition of Lake Urmia.
Also, in the news, the water pollution in “Aras” has led to Cancer tsunami in Parsabad.
Various kinds of pollution are increasing across the country, of the most important of these pollutions being air pollution. Majid Farahani member of the Islamic council of the city of Tehran stated: weekly 500 people die due to air pollution in Tehran, which equates number of deaths in one airbus crash.
Other important environmental news in this month: Accumulation of waste and contamination in the oil-rich village Sedin in Ahwaz. Loss of 80% of the animals in the country. Electronic warfare, the cause of the death of a group of Gulf dolphins.
It should be noted that the bill prohibiting animal abuse goes to Parliament in the form of amendments to the Islamic Penal Code.
An example of violation of human rights regarding cultural issues in this month, is the efforts to stop the gathering at Cyrus Tomb.
Efforts to prevent the gatherings, ceremonies, and literature in this regard led to various arrests across the country including arrests of Telegram page administrators.
Also, Alia-Ashraf Darvishian’s biography was banned from being published. This research-historical work of the Arash Sanjabi (documentarist, writer, and translator) is about Darvishian, and has been sent to the Ministry of Culture for approval many times since 2007, yet all this years it has been stuck behind censorship.
Other news regarding cultural rights included: arrest of 3 people in Zahedan who were involved with modeling. Reza Ekvanian poet and civil right activist sentenced to imprisonment and lashes. Preventing Mostafa Parvin’s painting exhibition.
Farough Samani, artist from Mahabad, was released after 5 years in prison.
Military and judicial violence against citizens
This month, military and judicial violence continued in Iran. of the most important news in this regard is the indictment of amputation of hand for an accused robber in Mashhad, and another amputation of hand indictment for 3 accused robbers in Tehran.
Also, four Koulbar in Urmia and Chaldron were killed and injured, and 4 Koulbar in Piranshahr were injured.
Land mine blasts continue to injure and take lives in borders and areas effected by war in the country. In this month incidents regarding land mine are as follow: 2 people in border area of Baneh died and were injured, 2 soldiers were injured in Dehlor, 3 deaths and injured in Mehran, Injury to a minesweeper in Dehloran, and a person lost their leg.
Violence of military apparatuses in Iran remains one of the most serious violations of human rights in Iran. In this month: one person died under arrest in a jail in Tehran. Two citizens were injured by the navy in Gorgan. A citizen was injured by shots fired by police. a young citizen from Sarbaz died with the bullet of forces.
Other news included, arrest of 17 men and women in a personal party in Gorgan.
One incident of acid attack in Tehran.
1-The reports in the spot light
In this section of the monthly report, the most controversial cases of violations of human rights and the news that received the most attention of the public are highlighted. The special attention given to following reports does not indicate that the content of these reports is of greater violation of human rights.
In this month, the news of Mohammad Ali Taherie’s death sentence being rejected for the second time, death sentence for Ahmad-Reza Jalali, and prevention of gathering at the Cyrus Tomb received a lot of attention.
2-The reports in the shadow
In contrast to the reports mentioned in the previous section, many human right reports received little or no attention from social media, bloggers, Internet activists, who are considered key contributors of the public opinion. It should be noted that this unintentional or intentional negligence has results in continuation and further spread of human rights violations in Iran.
Amongst the news of this month the following reports deserved more attention: The National Security Council passed a directive to the national Broadcasting, preventing any reflection and representation on the depositor’s protests. The severity of the harassment by the security forces on Baha’i citizens also the 15 year imprisonment sentence for three young Baha’is deprived prevented from education.