Monthly Report – A Review of the Human Rights Situation in Iran
HRANA News Agency – The following is a monthly report summarizing the human rights status in Iran in December 2014/ January 2015 (Solar calendar month of Dey). This report has been prepared by the Office of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists Association of Iran. Considering the ongoing suppression and ban on independent human rights activist organizations in Iran, this report may not be considered a comprehensive and complete reflection of the current situation of human rights in Iran. It should be noted that the department of Statistics also publishes an annual report about the human rights conditions in Iran in the form of an analytical and statistical report.
An overview of the human rights situation in Iran in December/ January
During months of December 2014/January 2015, systematic Human rights violations in Iran continued with a quick pace just like before. In the first couple of days of this month 12 people were executed in the cities of Qazvin, Mashhad, Shiraz and Zahedan to be the omen sign of this month for the human rights society of Iran.
The most prominent execution in the month of Dey must be the execution of 13 prisoners, including 4 women on Thursday 11 December, three were hanged in public in Torghabeh charged with rape and death of two people in public in Shiraz, noting that most of the executions were carried out in secret and without public coverage.
In his speech Asghar Jahangir , the head of Prisons and Security and Corrective measures of the country said since the first day of year 1392( Solar calendar) , 681 people sentenced to death were pardoned after the victims’ families forgive them.
Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the Head of Judicial system of Iran, in his meeting with the high ranking Judicial officials reacted to the adaptation of the latest resolution by the UN General Assembly which convicted Iran of violating Human Rights and called “group secret executions” and women right violation lies and added that the highest percentage of executions were related to the drug crimes and drug traffickers.
Mir Mohammad Sadeghi, deputy to the head of strategic research of Expediency Discernment Council in his interview with Khabar Online in response to the questions about executions of people on the charge of narcotics and the possibility of abandoning this punishment for such criminals said that executions were not successful in pre-empting this crime.
This month also contained the ongoing violation of national and religious minorities’ rights in Iran; most notably with the arrest of at least 30 people in an attack by the security forces in Nasir Abad and prevention of establishment of Sunnis Friday Prayer by Imam Molana Abdulhamid in Tehran.
Other reports in this category included the arrest of 12 residents of Mahabad by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Intelligence services.
In this category, just like before there were cases involving violations of the rights of Baha’is citizens, such as prevention from participating Baha’is in Iran Optics Fair, preventing the burial of a Bahai two months after his death; deprivation of Mesmy Nora, a Baha’i student and detention of Baha’i resident at Abadeh in connection with Virtual University of Baha’is in Iran were among the published reports in the month of Dey.
In addition, during the last month Leila Karegar, a Baha’i resident of Shiraz was poisoned and killed by an anonymous person with a brass tablet (aluminium phosphide).
With regards to Christian citizens and especially in relation to Christian converts, news of an attack on a church in Tehran, arrest of a number of Christian converts and prevention from celebrating Christmas in Tehran by security officials were among the released reports of this month.
On Tuesday, 6 January 2015, the so-called “open doors” organisation published a list of 50 countries where Christians are persecuted and discriminated against. Iran stood at seventh among the list of countries which are cruel to Christians. This is a summary list of reports and evidence collected, categorized and documented from 01 November 2013 to 31 October 2014. The 2014 Report on the situation of Christians in 50 countries indicated that 100 million Christians are persecuted because of their faith.
Poisoning of 18 pupils at a school in Beshagard and another 14 students in other school in Gachsaran after consuming free milk were among the news in the field of children rights reports.
It is important to mention that, in spite the media coverage on the issue, unfortunately the physical punishment trend of pupils still continues and the latest report was about the punishment of a 12-year-old student in a primary school in Pardis city by his teacher which resulted in student going under operation at hospital.
Dr Khosrow Mansourian, the founder of an association of social support and assist for the social victims, claimed that more than 40% of street children are living with HIV. He added: life is very difficult for children who are infected with HIV, because they have to bear with overwhelming infection, pain, experience of being orphan after death of parents, living alone, social stigma and often poverty as well as the fact that they have to take drugs as long as they live.
Hussein Asadbeygi, the Head of the Emergency Social Welfare Organization claimed: during the first six months of the year they have received about 800 calls with the theme of “Child abuse”.
In the domain of women primary rights and considering the governing policies during the last three decades, we have been observing continues violation of women rights; during this month AthenaFarghdani , an artist and children’s rights activist, was arrested after being beaten in the court; preventing a female artist attending a music concert, were among the reports of this month.
On Monday, 19 January 2015, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Services arrested a number of women rights activists in Tehran. The Intelligence Services has also summoned and threatened many other activists in this domain. It has been rumoured that these actioned are to prevent further complaining plans of activists in this domain for the recent issue of Acid attacks.
Mohammad Ebrahim Tabar, the “political deputy of Hamadan state governor” in “food health and security expert group” in the province, said there is a rise in HIV infection amongst the women.
Events and news about workers domain in December were numerous just like the previous months as follows: massive strike of the workers of Iran Khodro Diesel; 900 striking workers at a factory associated with the Khatamolanbiy camp; gathering of Agh-Darreh gold miners in protest to the dismissal of 350 colleagues and accumulation of 60 workers of Parsilon in front of Social Security office in Khorramabad.
In addition to the above, Pars Wagon workers gathered at the boulevard leading to the factory; the gathering of workers of Iran Tire Factory’s in front of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and 4 month delay of wages for 900 workers of Ahvaz city train were among the reports of workers domain.
There were also reports about the death and injury of workers among the published reports of this month such as the fire in the furniture workshop at Morteza Gard in Tehran which killed a 17-year-old worker. Also the injured worker of the explosion incident at Foroz Factory in the industrial city of Kaveh Jan died. In Addition, Hojjattollah Rahimi died at Shahid Modares Hospital in the city of Saveh due to his injuries caused by explosion.
In addition, on Wednesday evening, 31 December, a 17-year-old construction worker was killed due to falling debris at construction excavation in Tehran.
A new report from the Statistics Centre of Iran has announced the double-digit unemployment rates in the country for the last autumn and rise of the index’s to 10.5 percent. Last summer, the unemployment rate was one percent less compared to the autumn, at 9.5 percent. The number of unemployed in the country during last autumn was announced two million and 520 thousand people.
According to the report published on the official website of the Center for Statistics, on Thursday 01 January 2015, the unemployment rate compare to the summer season shows one percent and to the same quarter of the previous year, shows an increase by two percent.
According to the statistics, the unemployment rate among the population aged 10 years or more by the end of December is at 8.7% for men and 20.3 percent among women.
In the field of trade union rights this month was full of events, as about six thousand teachers across the country signed a petition to “Ali Larijani,” the President of the Parliament, showing their discontent with the political approach toward their living problems and called for the elimination of discrimination of discrimination and establishment of fair justice for teachers and other government workers.
Wages of 140 employees of Telecommunications in Khuzestan province who work in the 118 emergency call centre have not been paid during the last three months.
Reports about the cultural domain such as digging a grave in the historical square of Amir Chakhmagh in the city of Yazd; destruction of Mir Mohammad Khani water storage from Qajar dynasty in Semnan by unknown people and damaging one of the most beautiful tomb of Safavi dynasty were communicated.
Screening of the movie “Khaney Pedari” which was initiated on the pilot basis from 25 December and was supposed to be officially screened by 29 December has been stopped. The reason for the stop on screening this movie was announced as the official decision made by the authorities of Azadi Cinema , Home of Artists and Cinema Soreh of Isfahan to not to screen the movie of “Khaneye Pedari”. Also the concert of Lian group was cancelled in Shiraz although the concert was licenced to take place.
Majid Derakhshani, Iranian composer who intended to travel to Dubai was informed that he is barred to leave the country at the airport.
Tahmineh Milani, Iranian film director, was summoned to court of culture and the media. She explained the reason for her summoning to the press as publishing the script for the movie “Shahrzad, woman of thousand and one nights”.
In the field of health and environmental reports were published this month in the majority of which were associated with air pollution and the environment. A Member of Parliament energy commissioner criticized the air pollution of Khuzestan and the neglect by the environment organisation. He said the government has not taken any acceptable action to deal with the Haze that annually sends more than 22000 people to the hospital.
Iranian Health Ministry warns of harmful counterfeit salts accumulated in the Iranian markets, announced that in Iran about 47 million people consume unhealthy food. A non-standard salt is smuggle and distributed in bulk supplies. Also other types of counterfeit salt such as Darya salt from the Lake Urmia and Qom has entered the market while Darya salt has dangerous effects to the body.
There were reports about 400 individuals sent to emergency services due to the air pollution in Tehran; possibility of contamination of drinking water through acidification in Mligth village and 4600 killed during the last year due to air pollution published in Iran.
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 Dey. 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 second incident of Acid attacks in Tehran similar to the method used in Isfahan; disobeying Tehran Prosecutor office from the Supreme Court in the case of Sohail Arabi; suicide attempt of three workers who have been laid off from Agh Darreh Gold Mine of received a lot of attention and sensitivity from public opinion.
Also sealing the Sunnis chapel in Tehran; summoning the sister of Sattar Beheshti via phone call by the Ministry of Intelligence; civil activists arrest for several hours on the death anniversary of Mustafa Karim Beygi; and charging and releasing Nader Fatourehchi (journalist, translator and writer) on bail, after he was sued by Bahareh Rahnama and Peyman Qasem Khani were among the most noted reports.
Atena Farghdani, a painter and child rights activist was arrested and transported to Shahr-e-Rey Prison; physical assault on Ali Motahari by the other Members of Parliament following his speech in the parliament about the illegal house arrest of Green Movement leaders; and Majid Moghadam detention extension for one month, were among the other cases that received much attention by the public opinion.
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.
Sosan Tabiyanian, a Baha’i citizen started serving her sentence in Semnan; ban of the Roozan daily newspaper; summoning of several activists of Erfane Halgheh to the court; arrest of Yaghma Fashkhami a reformist journalist were some of the reports that received little attention.
In addition , The arrest of the Chief Editor of the monthly magazine of Mehrnameh; arrest of ” Ehsan Akbari ” journalist and social activist; stopping the literary meeting of Iranian Writers Association; summoning of Mohammad Reza Pourshajari relatives to the Ministry of Intelligence were among the reports which received less concern and reaction by public opinion .
The office of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran