Monthly Report – An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran in May-June 2017
HRANA News Agency – The Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists Association of Iran has published the following monthly report on the human rights situation in Iran during the period of May-June, 2017 (Persian calendar month of Khordad, 1396). 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 noted 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 Analytical Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran May-June 2017
The systematic violation of human rights in Iran continued in the month of Khordad of the Persian calendar year, 1396 (May-June, 2017). The violations of human rights continued in this month with 14 executions; the arrest of dozens of individuals in particular members of ethnic minorities; the widespread violations of freedom of speech in particular in cyberspace; workers’ rights and other cases. This report has been created based on the data, the accuracy of which has been highlighted below.
1- The freedom of Thought and Speech
The most important violations of the freedom of thought and speech in this month included the arrest of Reza Malek, Mohammad Mahdavi Far, Abdolreza Davari, Daniel Astakhr, Jawad Giahshenas; and the 7-year prison sentence for two students of Mohammad Ali Taheri; Abbas Lisani’s summon to The trial and filing for Shahrbanu Mansourian, the champion of Wushu.
In the case of violations of freedom of speech in cyberspace, the arrest of eight active members of Telegram in Kermanshah and Gorgan was noted. Also, a 36-year prison sentence was issued for three Telegram activists; this sentence was appealed to the court. The arrest of four people in Abadan, due to the publication of a film about the violation of the police; the exclusion of Mohsen Forouzan (the famous Goalkeeper) due to his wife’s activities; and the exclusion of seven journalists from the parliament, were among other examples of violations of freedom of Thought and of Speech or obstructing the free flow of information in this month.
2- Ethnic Minorities’ Rights
The violations of the religious and ethnic minorities’ rights including Sunnis, Baha’is, and Christians continued in this month. The most notable cases were the arrest of three Baha’I citizens in Shahin Shahr; the trial of four people in Mashhad; imprisonment of 12 people; banning two people from higher education because of their religious belives.
There were several reports regarding the violations of Sunnis’ rights including the arrest many Kurdish Sunnis; shutdown of several Sunni Mosques, which was seriousely criticized by Mowlana Gorgij.
Summoning five Christians to the court in Rasht and destruction of Christian cemetery in Kermanshah are amongst the most notable violations of Christians’ rights in this month.
With respect to the violation of ethnic minorities’ rights, there were several other reports including barring a Kurdish education book because of using Latin alphabet; the arrest of Hana Khersan, the cultural and ethnic minorities’ rights activist in Ahwaz.
Execution is perhaps to most notable form of violation of human rights in Iran. Unfortunately there was significant number of executions, 14 people, in this month. Some of these executions were related to drug trafficking related crimes. Also, 16 individuals were sentenced to death in this month, one of these death sentences was executed in pubic.
In contrast to the executions, there were eleven (11) cases of pardon and forgiveness in this month when the families of victims exonerated the criminals.
4- Prisons and Prisoners’ Conditions
In this month, the prisoners faced numerous forms of violations which resulted in the hunger strike of Habib Sasanian, Siamak Mirzayee, and Adnan Husseini, the Sunni prisoners. Also, some of the prisoners, including Esmail Abdi, Abdullah Shariati, Mohsen and Ahmad Daneshpour, Changiz Ghadam-Kheyri, Alireza Goipour, faced lack of medical attention from prisons’ authorities.
There were three cases of suicides in the prison of Ghezelhesar , one of which was related to a guard who was accused of trafficking drug inside the prison.
In the prison of Orumieh, some of the prisoners who protested against their poor prison conditions were beaten by the local authorities. Also, Maryam Naghash Zargaran, who was beaten by an inmate, did not receive proper medical attention. Moreover, Vahid Nasiri, Maher Kaebi, Mostafa Salimi, Majid Asadi, Peyam Shakiba, and Mohammad Bana-zadeh were exiled to other prsions.
5- Arrested Individuals
There were a lot of arrests this month. The names of many of them are unknown due to bulk detentions conducted this month. The names of some of the detainees who have been verified are: Asal Ismaelzadeh – Salar Abdollahi – Mohammad Moeini – Mostafa Shahroozi – Farideh Abdi – Nooshin Salekian – Mehdi Zarrani – Abdolreza Davari – Danial Astakhri – Borhan Mozaffari – Yousef Bahrami – Yasser Hasanzadeh
Nomerous arrests took place in various cities and provinces this month, with the most prominent being the arrest of 40 to 71 people in the provinces of Kermanshah, Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan and Tehran. Also, 5 people were arrested in Jask on charges of communicating with ISIL and 2 in Karaj with charges of communicating with the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. There were also three people arrested in Bokan and some in Mahabad. Two of them were arrested in Ardebil because of their activity in the Telegram.
In the category of women rights, there were several reports of assaults against Iranian women who have been continuously suppressed and deprived of their rights. One of the most prominent examples was the detention of Transsi on the assumption that he was a girl at the gym, as well as limitations of women to enter the sport complexes, along with restrictions and deprivations for some female volleyball players. In the case of sexual and physical violence, a woman’s rape of 2 races a night and a honor killing in Shiraz were noticeable.
7- Children’s rights
Among the most prominent reports on the rights of children, some families of children with autism sued a rehabilitation Institute in Mashhad after torturing these children. The Office for the Protection of Children and Street was also closed, while this institution has played a valuable role in defending these deprived children.
- Workers and guilds
The events and news of the workers and unions were comparable to many other months. Unfortunately, there was several news about the deaths of at least 23 cadres during work and injuries. There were also at least 20 workers’ gatherings in different places, the most prominent of which was the protest of the workers of Koushk Bafgh to the death of their colleagues.
In the area of guilds and trade union rights, there were some reports including the gathering of the Patulosi and teachers.
- Health and Environment
In the area of the environment, several reports were released this month, most of which were related to air pollution, the environment and water scarcity in the country. But, one of the most important reports of this month was the Anzali Wetland, which is on the blacklist of degraded ecosystems. This wetland has been seriously impacted by the magnitude of the existing destruction and seizure as well as the existence of unauthorized structures on the margins of the lagoon, and a great deal of time is needed to compensate for the damage and to rebuild this national wealth.
- LGBT Community
In the area of LGBT rights in Yazd province, Fatah police chief of the province claimed a 41-year-old girl who was arrested for believing that she had been in relationship with many same-sex actors, although the content of the detention had been sought in connection with another citizen’s complaint. However, the police officer’s remarks make it clear that the detainee’s personal relations have been investigated and his sexual orientation has been used against her.
- Military and judicial violence against citizens
In the month that passed, three defendants were sentenced to cut hands or fingers; five mines were wrecked and injured; reports of 3 cases of acid attack were released, and resulted in 8 wounded in a special case in Tehran, 14 women and children injured; 2 citizens were sentenced to flogging, and 20 citizens of Qazvini were whipped in public because of breaking fast in public.
- Citizens’ security
At least 15 men and women were arrested in a housewarming in Gorgan, accused of holding a mixed party. On the other hand, a senior police official has claimed that the institution does not need permission to enter the private beaches of the sea, which was followed by the reaction of Mahmoud Sadeghi, MP. Mr. Sadeghi disproved this claim and called it violation of the privacy of citizens.
1- Reports that attracted much attention
In this section of this monthly report, we highlight the most controversial and publicly sensitive cases of violations of human rights in Iran in this month. It is obvious that more attention does not necessarily indicate the magnitude of the violations of human rights in that specific category.
Ismail Abdi’s hunger strike and campaign set up by civil and civic activists in this regard attracted much attention. Another report that attracted a lot of attention this month was double rape of a woman, especially when in need of help. This report sparked the anger of Iranian users in cyberspace. Other reports of this month were also in the same context, a man who slammed his wife’s ears or honorary killing of a daughter by his father in public in Shiraz.
The arrest of Daniel Astakhr, a lawyer in Shiraz, was also featured in this month’s high profile news, as well as a video of a lawyer’s beating by law enforcement officers.
- Neglected Reports Despite their importance
In contrast to the reports indicated in the previous section, many human rights reports received little or no attention from social media, bloggers, Internet activists, who are considered key contributors of the public opinion. It should be note that this unintentional or intentional negligence has resulted in further spread of human rights violations in Iran.
The imprisonment of 12 Baha’i citizens in Golestan province as well as the arrest of at least 5 Baha’i citizens in Hormozgan province were amongst the list noted reports. Also, the trial of four Christian citizens in the Revolutionary Courts has also been underappreciated. On the other hand, the arrest of about 70 Sunni Muslim citizens in the western regions of the country was also one of the events that was disregarded by public after the terrorist attacks in Tehran and the stirring up of public opinion. In another part, the arrest of Arab citizens in Khuzestan, including the arrest of Hana (Henna) Khersan, a cultural activist from Ahvaz in connection with the holding of cultural events, should be considered as a public indifference to human rights violations.
The hunger strike of prisoners, including Siamak Mirza’i and Habib Sassanian, was one of the reports that should have received more public attention.