Monthly Report – An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran in February – March, 2015

HRANA News Agency – The Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists in Iran has published the following monthly report on the human rights situation in Iran during the period of February- March, 2015 (Persian calendar month of Esfand, 1393). This report cannot perfectly and comprehensively reflect the details of human rights concerns in Iran for obvious reasons including the existing governmental limitations and ban on the free exchange of information. It should be emphasized that in addition to the monthly reports, the Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists Association of Iran publishes a comprehensive and analytical annual report at the end of each year.

An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran of February- March, 2015

The systematic violation of human rights in Iran continued in the month of Esfand (February- March, 2015) of the Persian calendar year, 1393. The first sign of a terrible month from human rights violations perspective appeared by 21 executions in cities of Shiraz , Bam and Bandar Abbas. One of the most significant reports on death sentence pertains the execution of 4 prisoner at Arak , 3 at Rasht Central Prison on the charge of murder , 2 public execution in Kermanshah , 1 female and 7 males where most of these executions carried out in secret and without public media coverage.

The other controversial and important report was about the execution of 10 prisoners in Shiraz, 6 Sunni Prisoners at Karaj Rajaee Shahr Prison and 15 prisoners at Karaj Qezel Hesar Prison. Fortunately, we have seen several death row prisoners have been pardoned such as the suspension of execution of Dena Rangers by the Supreme Court, freedom for two prisoners charged with homicide in Malayer, mercy for a convict on the gallows and freedom of death row prisoners after 24 years from prison.

While on the topic of executions, it is fair to mention the unstable situation at Karaj Rajaee Shahr Prison and the gathering of death row prisoners’ families in fornt f the prison. According to the reports this was after the transfer of “Hamed Ahmadi”, “Kamal Mollaie”, Jamshid Dehghani”, “Jahangir Dehghani”, “Sadigh Mohammadi” and “Seyed Hadi Hosseini” from ward 10 of Karaj Rajaee Shahr Prison to solitary confinement, the doors to all halls were shot and security officers become stationary in the prison central corridors.

This month also continued with the reports about the violation of religious and tribal minorities rights and boldest of them were, 7month uncertainty about a Sunni missionary in custody; arrest of a Sunni religion pupil; arrest of a Nikshahri Citizen by masked security forces; killing of Balouch citizen in the shooting by security forces and the summoning and arrest of several followers of Quran School in Boukan, Saqez and Sanandaj. Other reports which can be mentioned in this domain are the arrest of “Aydin Zakeri” the admin of “Mother tongue” Facebook page in Mehgin Shahr and uncertainty about the condition of “Ali Rezaie” a civil Activist. In addition, on 17 March 2015, during the football match between “Folad Khozestan” and “Alhelal of Saudi Arabia”, Police arrested hundreds of Arab spectators.

With regards the violation of Bahai citizens’ rights, just as before, there have been several reports such as arrest of two Bahai citizens in Yazd; arrest and sentencing three Bahai citizens in Tonkabon and arrest of “Khosroo Dehghani” a Bahai citizen in Isfahan.

One of the boldest reports of the violation of Bahai rights was on the raid and confiscation of the belongings of Bahai citizens in Shiraz. During the last couple of weeks several  houses of Bahai citizens in Shiraz have been systematically and consistently raided by Intelligent Services offices in which books, notes, photos related to their religious believes, personal computers, lap tops and mobiles have been confiscated and they have been asked to be available to be summoned to Intelligent Services office to be interrogated.

With regards to Sufis’ right, just as previous months, there have been reports on the mistreatment of these citizens such as the arrest of “Saleh Moradi” a Sufi from Shiraz and admittance of “Mustafa Daneshjoo” a Sufi prisoner to the hospital CCU ward.

In the domain of violation of Christian rights specially converted Christians, reports about the complaint made by the prison cleric about Priest “ Farshid Fathi” and the hearing of Ebrahim Firouzi have been published in this month.

In the domain of Child rights, Esfand 93 contained several reports such as the death of injured pupils involved in the explosion of a Mine and poisoning of 13 pupils in Saqez by drinking expired milk for the second time during a single month.

Complaints of ShinAbad students for  not receiving the full compensation and their benefits: the lawyer of these pupils said: 12 students from Shin Abad attended the education ministry today in protest to their problems and also 18 students have not received their full compensation.

In the domain of women right, there are still reports of abuse and violation of rights and amongst the boldest of them the following were reflected in the media: women prison with halls full of prisoners; reviewing proposal of the attendance of females in Football stadiums at the National Security High Council; summoning of 6 women’s right activists in Tehran and Kurdistan and summoning of a female singers by the Judiciary Organisation.

During the 30th ceremony of Fajr Music, Ali Janati , the Minister of Culture , reminded that there have been no permit issued for female solo singers by the Ministry of Culture and said : there are some who try to instigate people but the government would not surrender to these abstinent group.

Yousef Tababai , the Supreme Leader Representative said the Iranian Universities should be divided between males and female and females on three days basis. This suggestion is made by him to solve the problem of having males and females at the same space and according to him since there are many universities they can accommodate males and females on different days of the week.

In addition, on Sunday 14 March 2015, Ali Mollazadeh , in a meeting with women in Ardabil said: the Secretary of State emphasised the importance of organising the Monacans in shops and to confiscating the Monacans that are inviting immodesty.

Successor of the Deputy to the Secretary of State said that Monacans that are inviting and promoting immodesty will be collected from the city and the markets.

There have been many reports in the domain of Workers rights just like the previous months and summarising them would be the protest of Koshk Mine workers to the suspension of 16 of their co-workers; Sacking of 100,000 workers in the past 10 years in the Waving Industry and 70% unemployment among the employees of Khorasan Razavi.

Jamil Mohammad , a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Freelance Workers of Iran , was sentenced to 3.5 years imprisonment by Judge Salavati. This workers activist who arranged for the  collection of  40,000  workers signatures was sentenced to 42 month imprisonment on the charges of collude and disturbing the public peace.

On Tuesday , 3 March 2015, after the 5th month of delay in paying the wages to the workers of “Iran Meter Factory” and “ Low Emission Industries of Iranians”  which are both run under the same employer , workers gathered in the restaurant on the site to protest against the delay.

Jafar Azimzadeh , secretary of the Board of Directors of the Union of Freelance Workers of Iran , was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and 2 years bar from “all Cyberspace , publications and media activities” . This workers activist who arranged for the collection of 40,000 workers signatures to increase minimum wage was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment on the charges of acting against national security, collude, propaganda against state, and disturbing the public peace.

In the domain of unions and unions’ rights this month was not without incidents as thousands of teachers gathered in 5 cities of Iran. Thousands of teachers protested at least in 5 cities of Iran to what they call unfair wages and discrimination between themselves and other government employees.

Gathering of nurses in front of the Parliament; on International Nurses Day about 2000 nurses from various locations of the country attended a union protest gathering in front of the Parliament.

34 years-old Khoramshahri citizen called “Younes” set himself on fire in front of the Khoramshahr city Hall in protest to his living condition and shutting down his grocery.

In the domain of cultural rights there have been reports such as confiscation of one of the movies after it was screened in Fajr Film Festival ; cancelation  of Alireza Ghorbani concert in Mashhad ; cancelation of an authorized concert in Bousher on several occasions and  an act because of not following the Islamic regulations in the month of Esfand.

With regards to this domain Ali Jannati said: unfortunately, some consider music as a taboo and even if someone taps a pencil on a table they would religiously consider it a wrong. They even have doubts about Holly Imams. He also added, no Judicial Authority or group have the jurisdiction over the music licenses made by the Cultural Ministry.

A group of musicians gathering in front of the House of Music in the month of Esfand and protested against the recent actions resulting cancelation of concert and limitations imposed on several musicians.

Public and Revolutionary  Prosecutor of Chenaran made an official interview- two weeks after the cancellation of “ Alireza Ghorbani” concert and the massive reflection of this issue in the domestic and foreign media  – and emphasised that based on the orders they have received holding any concert in the Khorasan State is banned until further notice.

In the domain of hygiene and environment, there have been several reports and most of them where about the air and environment pollution. The death of a 2-year-old  child because of air pollution in Ahwaz; abolishment of 95% of Iran animal stock ; Air pollution influence on over 30 million Iranian and 500% increase rate of  cancer in Khozestan are among  these published reports.

During this month and in The Third Session of the National Conference of Caspian Sea, Hasan Sadeghloo said; after many years, Golestan State has been considered as one of the Khazar States and we are very happy for this but we have a massive historical gap with other Khazar States. Issues such as west northerly winds blowing to north east and the sea steep toward our state has added to the pollution and put our state in danger. Governor of Golestan said: because of the pollution level, the Sea of Khazar is in critical state and desperately needs crisis management.

Mehrdad Baooj Lahooti , a member of the Environment Fraction at the Parliament while heavily criticised Masoumeh Ebtekar , mentioned that the country has lost 70 places in terms of environmental care among the world nations . He also talked about the eliminations of environment budget and complained about the head of this organisation within the parliament and said: budget was supposed to be gathered from the added value tax by different councils and it wasn’t the government money. While he heavily criticized the actions of Masoumeh Ebtekar , he also announced the death of 4000 citizens because of the air pollution every year.

Particular attention to the special cases of human rights Violation

This section of report pays specific attention to more sensitive cases of human rights violations which were more of interests for public opinion during the month of Esfand. Obviously, this specific attention does not mean that these kinds of reports reflect the severity and dimension of the human rights violations.

In this domain the arrest of the head of Public Relations of National Trust Party os Tehran and the short detention of three civil activists while they were in Ahmad Abad were the reports which received massive reaction and sensitivity by public opinion. In addition, the imprisonment of a Robat Karim citizen on the charges of insulting the Supreme Leader, detention of civil activists for several hours during the commemoration ceremony of Mostafa Karim Beygi , guilty sentence for th echeif editor of Etemad newspaper and prevention from the Iranian Writers Association Literary Evening were among the boldest of the reports of such kind.


Human rights reports in the shadow of “Little Attention”

In contrast to the previous section of the report, many of the human rights reports faced “little attention” or even no attention by the media including social media activists which are forming a part of public opinion. It is important to note that these neglects are often unintentional but there are also intentional discriminations which could facilitate even further violations of human rights in Iran.

Imprisonment and lashes sentence for Masoumeh Zia, arrest of 5 students of Ayatollah Nekonam in Qom, expelling of a political prisoner’s wife because of attending an interview were among the reports that received little attention.

The other reports which received little attention were: shooting of a Police vehicle by unknown armed individuals at Galogah Village which resulted in the death of a solder (serving his compulsory military service) , the death of the injured pupil involved in the explosion of a Mine, prevention from the representation of a “Tandis Mehr” to Molana Abdulhamid , and the arrest of 4 blogger in Tehran and Ahwaz.

The office of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran

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