Monthly Report – An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran for Mehr 1396 Iranian Calendar (23 September 2017 – 22 October 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 Mehr (23 September -22 October) 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 Mehr 1396 (Iranian Calendar), The systematic violation of human rights in Iran continued, with less than 10 executions, various gatherings and protests, widespread violation of prisoners’ rights, torture, deprivation from medical treatments and hunger strike in various prisons, constant violation of freedom of expression, workers and union protests across the country especially concerned with wage arrears, and other issues that will be mentioned in the report.
This report has been gathered based on the information which their authenticity has been verified.
The world’s determination to defend the right to life for all human beings continue being defended by various organizations every day and every hour, however the 10th of October is marked as the World Day Against the Death Penalty. On this day, all the institutions, organizations, and individuals fighting against the death penalty joined their voices against death penalty.
Regarding the World Day Against the Death Penalty, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on all countries which have not banned the practice of death penalty to join the 170 countries that have forbidden this practice and put an stop to the executions. Mr. Guterres also emphasized on “The death penalty has no place in the 21st century”.
Yet Iran, which is at the forefront of the death toll in the world, continues to insist on the use of violence and the taking the right to life from offenders.
In this regard, the Center for Statistics of Human Rights Activists In Iran released the annual report on executions in the past year, a brief description of which is given below:
Between October 10, 2016 and early October 2017, at least 508 people were executed by being hanged around Iran.
During this period 381 reports of executions have been noted by the Center for Statistics of Human Rights Activists In Iran, which includes 223 death penalty sentences being issued and 493 execution sentences carried out, 32 of which were executions carried out in public.
Among the victims of death penalties carried out, whose identities has been stablished, 5 were female, and 5 were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.
Based on this report, 57% were executed for charges related to drugs, 36% for murder, 4% for Rape, 2% for political or security charges, 1% for other charges.
However, because the month of Mehr of Iranian Calendar (Solar Calendar) coincided with Muharram of the Arabic Calendar (lunar Calender) the number of execution that were carried out significantly decreased compare to past months. With only 10 executions, month of Mehr had the one of the lowest numbers of executions per month in the past year.
In this month preparations for executing the murderer of Setayesh Ghoreishi the Afghan Girl. Amir Hossein, who was under 18 at the time of the crime, was supposed to be executed on the 18th of October, but with the follow-ups and efforts of human rights organizations, the execution of this child offender was postponed.
The UN Commission also called on the halting of the execution of the Murderer of Setayesh Ghoreishi.
Also, in this month, Gholam Hossein Sadeghi Ghahare, a former judicial judge, mentioned the 5,000 improper executions of drug offenders in the early post-revolution years.
Also, of most important reports this month, is the report of 6 offenders charged with robbery receiving sentences to being executed in public.
Freedom of Thought and Expression
Violation of freedom of thought and expression was prevalent in this month with multiple arrests, summons, and suppression of various strata of the society, a few examples of which follows:
Of the most important news about freedom of speech and thought this month, is the ban on the presence of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami in public for three months. Following this news, security forces were present in front of Mr. Khatami’s house, preventing him from leaving his home.
However, the restrictions imposed on Seyyed Mohammad Khatami had started some time ago, and before the official announcement of the ban on his presence in public events, we witnessed the prevention of the distribution of Khatami’s book in Kashan University of Medical Sciences.
But this month, the restrictions and pressures on the reformist, with six reformist figures receiving sentences from one two years’ imprisonment, reflects the ruling party officially declaring its further isolating the reformist movements.
Also, in the news this month, Faezeh Hashemi announcing there has been travel bans for 5 members of Rafsanjani’s family.
The culmination of confronting non-aligned thoughts, in this month which coincided with the month of Muharram, went so far as the police had to obtain written promises from mourning groups not to promote inconsistent ideas with the regime and not to plot political debates against the government.
This month, while referendum on the independence in the Kurdish region of Iraq was being held, there was multiple arrests made in the western parts of the country, especially in Kurdistan. We were able to confirm identities of 52 of those arrested in a separate report.
Other major arrests this month includes, the arrest of numerous Ayatollah Boroujerdi supporters at a funeral, arrests associated with the intellectual group “Neshat Zendegi”, arrest of Bakhtiar Khoshnam, Arrest of Sedighe Vasmaghi –a former member of the Tehran City Council—uponn her returned to the country, and arrest of a university student at the dormitory of Mashhad university.
The following are among other examples of violations of freedom of expression: “PANA” news agency being found guilty. “Mostaghel” news paper was shutted down. Final verdict of imprisonment and fines for three writers and civil activists in Gorgan. Seizing more than 400 books of “Erfan-e Halghe” and Baha’is in Tehran. Closing the website “Tiny Movies” and arrests related it. Re-Requesting filtration on “Viz”. Mahdieh Golroo banned from education. Exclusion of the Premier League trainer for being at a dance club. Travel ban for Isa Saharkhiz. 5-year prison sentence for Mahmoud Beheshti Langeroudi upheld. Soroush Farhadian sentenced to another 1-year imprisonment.
This month was also associated with prisoners being restricted and subjected to inhuman pressures. Lack of medical attention is one of the most important threats and challenges that prisoners in Iranian prisons face. One of the most important news about prisoners this month, is depriving the political prisoners of Rajai Shahr prison from Medication and meals.
The state of medical care for the prisoners in Hall 10 of this prison has been assessed as concerning and difficult. In general, prisoners who had been on hunger strike for dozens of days did not receive medical attention after the strikes ended, and most of them suffer from medical problems, such as gastrointestinal issues and severe fatigue.
Other news on the lack of medical attention included the transfer of Reza Shahabi to the hospital and his return to prison, despite the order of the doctor, and the continuing impediment by the Prison authorities to the transfer of Reza Shahbi to the hospital.
Also, upon refusal to be shackled and hand cuffed at the hospital Atena daemi was returned to prison from the operation room. However, after a long delay, Ms. Daemi eventually underwent the operation.
Mohammad Ali Shamshirzan’s medical condition is exacerbating in Bandar Abbas Prison, while prison authorities are ignorant towards his conditions.
Physical disability of Nazar Zaka is in critical conditions due to lack of nutrition and medical attention. Despite the doctor’s order two months ago to transfer Mr. Zaka to hospital, and the increasing bleeding and deteriorating conditions, still Haj Moradi, who is known as the prosecutor’s officer, opposes the transfer of Mr. Zaka to the hospital.
Zahedan Prison authorities harassed a prisoner because of financial poverty and inability to pay for treatment costs.
Other news from Iran’s prisons this month, includes the inhuman treatment and physical and mental torture of prisoners in Ardebil and Zahedan.
Ardebil prison officials chained at least two prisoners to the pole of a flag, one of which lasted for an entire day, in another case a prisoner was beaten for protesting not having a place to sleep and was chained to a flag pole in the prison yard for hours in the cold. This inhumane practice has been reported in in other cases previously in Ardebil Prison.
Also, regarding prisoners’ transfer, there ahs been transfer of a tortured prisoner from the Zahedan Intelligence’s detention center to the prison.
The tortures were so severe that this prisoner was unable to walk. In addition to beating him, the prisoner was tortured using a common practice in this detention center known as the “Miracle Bed”.
A political prisoner was treated unlawfully by the prison officials in Zahedan.
Also in the news from prisons this month, Zahedan Sunni prisoners protested against the Sunni religion sanctities being insulted, preventing Soheil Arabi from attending court, new charges against Ali Mazrae, and exile of Arash Sadeghi to Rajai Shahr Prison of Karaj.
Religious and Ethnic Minorities
In this month summons, arrests, and limitations for Religious and Ethnic minorities were widespread.
Of the most important of reports in this regard is the various arrests of Kurdish citizens from Kurdish Areas after the referendum on the independence in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Out of the wide array of arrests and summons, HRANA has been able to Identify 52 of the arrestees in cities of Sardasht, Saghez, Bane, Sanandaj, Boukan, Diwandare, Mahabad, Marivan, Sarvabad, Makou, Ilam, Kamyaran, and Ghouchan.
Widespread summons and arrests of ethnic and religious minorities continued this month. But to confront the religious minorities in the country, there has been classes that were equivalent to 4 courses, against religious groups such as Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Baha’ism.
One of the news that was highly reflected in the country this month, was the announcement of Guardian Council for the temporary suspension of Zoroastrian member of the Yazd city Council.
This was accompanied by many disagreements at the top levels of government, including the head of the Iranian parliament and parliamentarians.
In this regard, Ali Motahari, a representative of the people of Tehran, said, moratorium on the Zoroastrian Yazd city council members is against the law.
Also this month, the child of a Presit in the prison was prevented from enrolling I school.
A number of “Christian converts” in Dezful were summoned. It should be mentioned there remains no information on the Christian Converted Couple that were arrested in Tehran.
Daravish are under greater pressure. An example of violation of rights of these citizens includes the exile sentence of Mohammad Ali Shamshirzan being converted to life in prison.
Violations of the rights of Baha’i citizens were also continued with many arrests and convictions. Violation of the rights of Bahai’ citizens included the following cases: 5 Bahai’ Citizens in Tehran received 25 years in prison. One Bahai Citizen arrested in Rasht. Behnam Rohani—Bahai Singer—was arrested and received multiple charges for singing religious songs in Europe.
The pressure on the Sunni community continued as before, the most important of which was Mamousta Abdi being sent to Excile.
It is conceivable that children’s rights are violated in a society where law has not explicitly defined child harassment and that children do not have clear legal rights. Based on official reports 86% of child harassment are done by the parents of the children, and the law does not specify a specific plan to prevent these shocking statistics.
Meanwhile, The Working children’s situation is more difficult. Based on official reports 90% of working children face sexual harassments and the legislators do not have a comprehensive plan to support these children.
While sexual harassments are of the most important violations of children’s rights; The ineffectiveness of the law in protecting the rights of the child reaches its height when someone accused of raping a child is acquitted by swearing the charges.
But the most important and painful news in this area this month, was the rape and murder of a 3-year-old child by his stepfather, which has been accompanied by many reactions in the cyberspace.
In another case, more than 137 injuries sent a 5-year-old to the hospital, these injuries were due to child harassment caused by her parents.
The following are of other news regarding children’s rights this month: an 8-year-old girl murdered by a 14-year-old boy trying to steal her earrings. Ear drum of an student was raptured due to physical punishment of a school moderator. A teenage girl arrested in Abadan by the security forces.
Of other news that got the attention of the authorities, but no satisfactory solution was proposed includes, the residents of Shahed Ali neighbourhood of Yazd preventing the Afghan refugee school from being opened in their neighbourhood and refusing to enroll foreign students in schools of Kerman.
Most women’s right violations in Iran take place while being completely legal. In such a way that the lawmakers officially and legally permit the violation to the rights of half of the society.
One of the most disturbing violations of women’s rights is the violation to the “right to leave the country”.
While this right has not been fully restored for women, the Cultural Commission agreed with the general plan to allow “women leave the country in exceptional circumstances without the consent of their spouse.”
In this regard, a female member of parliament said: “Women need permission of men, even for going to Fridays public prayer.”
Another indicator of the worsening of the status of women is a 2-fold increase in female prisoners for charges regarding unintentional crimes. Cheques and guarantee, is the reason 95% of these women are in prison.
According to official statistics, 60% of female prisoners have drug addictions.
Other official statistics that assess the status of women include the lack of access to the Internet and Social Media by women in Sistan and Baluchestan.
Also, in the news this month; more than 22,000 women in Tonekabon were warned about their cover and clothing.
Of other important news regarding violence against women are, the murder of a woman by her brother due to remarriage, the burning of a woman by a man in Bojnurd, and a 29-year-old self-immolation in Ahwaz.
Workers and Union
This month like previous months has been difficult for workers and unions, with more than 50 deaths, more than 100 injuries, months of unpaid salaries, and various workers and unions gathering and protests.
Among the most important news alongside the union news and late wages, was the gathering of workers and teachers in support of Reza Shahab, and Mahmoud Beheshti Langeroudi’s 5-year prison sentence being up hold.
Health and Environment
This month, the bill on protecting Park Rangers was on the agenda of the Agricultural committee. Ali Ebrahimi a member of Agricultural committee stated, Park Rangers should be introduced as general judicial bailiffs, he said: the bill to protect the environment is not efficient.
One of the most important environmental news of the month, is the burning of one hundred acres of Golestan needleleaf forest.
Also, the gathering of animal rights advocates faced violence and arrests. In connection with air pollution in the southern provinces, the concentration of suspended particulate matters in the air of Sistan and Baluchistan was 11 times the limit.
Of the most important news on cultural issues this month is Mohammad Rasoulof was accused of “Propaganda against the Regime”. The intelligence services after interrogating this movie maker, have informed him of charges that could lead to up to 6 years of imprisonment.
Other major cultural reports include the issuance of imprisonment and deportation sentences for Mohammad Mahdavifar and the arrest of a missionary and dance teacher in Bandar Abbas.
Also, in this month, Abdullah Alikhani, a current producer of Iranian cinema, and one of the partners of “Pouya Film” at that time, was among the broadcasters of foreign films who was arrested during the array of arrests in this regard in the 1980s. He speaks about his arrest, injuries, and being lashed by the officials of the time, and how the officials of the time had burnt numerous rare movies.
Military and judicial violence against citizens
This month also was filled with border guards shouting citizens, multiple land mine explosions in different regions, amputations in punishment, acid scattering and party arrest.
Of the most important news of military violence were the death of two children in two different cases. The first case, death of a 3-year-old child during police operations in Iranshahr, and the second case was a toddler being shout by law enforcement forces in one of Dezfoul’s districts.
Also, in separate cases, two citizens were killed and injured by police in Khash, three Koulbar and a border businessman in the border regions were wounded, two Koulbars were injured and arrest warrants were issued for three. two Koulbars in the border areas of the Maku and Piranshahr, and a citizen in Saghez, were injured and killed.
Police shouting at a vehicle carrying fuel in Iranshahr, caused the vehicle to catch fire.
Regarding land mine explosions, two were injured and one death in two different cases. One of the mine-clearing forces in Ghasr-e Shirin was injured, a Baane citizen lost its leg by a land mine explosion, a Citize was sent to Hospital in Dehlaran due to land mine explosion.
Also, in the news, father and son attack each other by acid at the center of the Northern Khorasan.
In Mashhad a young robber’s amputation of hand sentence was carried out.
Amputation of hand is an example of violation of principle of human dignity. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights explicitly prohibits the use of this inhuman or degrading punishment.
Other violations of citizens’ rights include, the arrest of 56 girls and boys at a private party in Mashhad and arresting 13 girls and boys in a restaurant being accused of being Satanist!
Charges such as Satanism have been raised in many cases because of the lack of knowledge of judicial authorities, in many cases Metal-Music enthusiasts, followers of some mystical groups, etc., have also been introduced as Satanic by law enforcement or judicial institutions.
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 temporary suspension of Zoroastrian member of the Yazd city Council received great deal of attention from the public. Additionally, the news regarding the ban on the presence of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami in public for three months received a lot of attention by the citizens.
Among the prisoners and victims of the violent human rights violations, Mohammad Nazari and Sohail Arabi’s Voice came to the attention of citizens in various places and was widely reflected in media.
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.
In this month many attempts to stop the death penalty for the murder of Setayesh Ghoreishi, did not attract enough attention of the public.
Also, the extensive arrests made in western parts of the country –especially in Kurdistan– after the referendum on independence in Iraqi Kurdistan, did not receive much attention.
The multiple shouting of military at citizens and the unjust use of weapons has received little attention.
Air pollution in southern provinces, especially in Sistan and Baluchestan, deserved higher public attention this month.