Press Release on the Occasion of Teachers’ Week in Iran

The Teachers’ Week ended in Iran, while teachers are still trying to eliminate any discrimination and inequality emphasizing on the pursuit of their demands,

In recent years, despite several promises of the authorities to solve the problems of teachers, including the elimination of discrimination in employment and payments, having health insurance, health care and pensions, we see still continuation of these problems, also, teachers’ union activities, like other areas of their activities, have not been safe from the developing security approach and we can see harsh collisions with the teachers’ associations such as Teachers’ Union and Teachers’ Organization, widespread detention of their members, and heavy judicial sentences. Continue reading “Press Release on the Occasion of Teachers’ Week in Iran”

Press Release on the Occasion of May Day

Press Release
Despite the elapse of two years of Mr. Hassan Rohani’s administration, that the slogan of improving living conditions and the economy was one of his most important campaign promises, no promising improvements has happened in the living conditions of the workers.

We are going to welcome International Workers’ Day, while Iranian labor community is still struggling with too many problems.

Determining the minimum wage of the Supreme Council of the work on the last couple of days, last year, which many scholars and labor activists say, is much lower than the actual inflation rate in the country and also lower than the value of an expenses basket of household, is the other reason of workers’ voices weakness and the continuation of labor community’s’ protests in the country.

Human Rights Activists in Iran believes that job insecurity in the shadow of temporary work contracts, closed workshops and factories and daily unemployment of a large number of workers, lack of safety in workplaces, and increasing incidents’ rate, lack of proper social security insurance for all, lack of timely payment of salaries and also discrimination in wages, especially with the increase in the number of  informal and clandestine workers who are deprived of any legal rights, are just some of the reasons for the workers’ protest in recent years.

However, the privatization of state-owned factories and companies, regardless of the long-term interests of the workers led to the formation of massive protests, the Iron Ore workers protest, last year in Bafg, in Yazd, was one of these widespread protests.

Although the country’s constitution stipulates on freedom of association and forming groups, that have been stressed on also in Conventions 87 and 98 of the Universal Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights of Work, unfortunately because of the existing security attitude, we have been seen summons, detentions, court verdicts and sentences that were issued for labor activists, also  conflict with the any kind of rally and with forming groups and syndicates, which could follow the demands of the workers. So that, up to date a large number of well-known labor activists are held in prison, they have been  dismissed from their job or waiting to endure their suspended heavy judicial sentences, and in some cases, they have had to leave the country.

Human Rights Activists in Iran, along with celebrating the International Workers’ Day and supporting the legitimate demands of the workers, asks the country’s authorities to respect the constitution and international conventions, in particular the International Labor Organization’s Universal Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights of Work, which Iran also has signed, improve employment and living conditions for workers and eliminate security approach in this field.

We also ask the government to release all of imprisoned workers and stop unjust sentences that have been issued by non-transparent procedures, and provide the appropriate conditions for
dismissed workers to go back to their work and provide secure working environment for the workers.
Human Rights Activists in Iran

30.04.2015

36 Human Rights Organizations Urge Member States to Vote YES to Defend Human Rights in Iran

March 12, 2015

To: Member States of the UN Human Rights Council

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned human rights and civil society groups, write to you to urge your government to support the resolution to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran at the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (“the Council”). Continue reading “36 Human Rights Organizations Urge Member States to Vote YES to Defend Human Rights in Iran”

Amnesty International: Last Chance to Spare Lives of 6 Sunni Men on Death Row

Amnesty International – Six Sunni men from Iran’s Kurdish minority could be just hours away from being hanged after the Iranian authorities transferred them this morning to the quarantine section of Rajai’ Shahr Prison in Karaj, Amnesty International said as it renewed its call to spare the men’s lives.

Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani, Kamal Molaee, Hadi Hosseini and Sediq Mohammadi are set to be hanged, possibly as soon as tomorrow, and have gone on hunger strike in protest. The men were sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran after being convicted of the vaguely worded offence of “enmity against God” (moharebeh), even though they all deny involvement in armed or violent activities. Continue reading “Amnesty International: Last Chance to Spare Lives of 6 Sunni Men on Death Row”

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

Letter of 11 Human Rights Organizations to UN Reporters about the Environmental Crisis in Iran

Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran

 

Mr. John Knox, UN Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment,

 

Mr. Dainius Pūras, UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,

 

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned human rights and civil society organizations, write to call your attention to an issue of urgent and serious concern in Iran. We wish to urge you to use your respective mandates to make an urgent appeal to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to environmental crisis in western and southwestern Iran.

The environmental crisis in Ahwaz and other cities in Western and Southwestern Iran is indeed becoming a humanitarian disaster. Dust storms which have existed for years in this part of Iran, have been significantly intensified in the last few days and made local people to breath dust instead of air. For a good portion of year the amount of dust particles in the air reaches dangerous levels, sometimes up to 60 times the permissible level, and the air pollution up to 15 times the permissible level. On some days, the intensity of dust particles has been so high that it has rendered air pollution testing devices dysfunctional.

 

On occasions, the dust has reduced visibility to less than 50 meters, which has resulted in some fatal car accidents with high numbers of casualties. According to official reports, everyday, an average of more than 250 people attend emergency departments in Ahwaz hospitals for respiratory problems while some of them need to be admitted to special care units. So far, official authorities have declined to give any statistics on air pollution related deaths. They also refuse to give any clear, non-contradictory, and accurate explanation and information on the reasons behind the crisis, responsible bodies, and solutions to the problem.

 

It has been announced that the government has an “Executive Package” on the way to battle the dust storms, which sounds promising. However, the only tangible measure taken by the government so far in order to protect the lives of more than one million people of Ahwaz has been ordering schools and government departments closed. In the last two weeks alone, schools in Ahwaz have been closed down for seven days. Further, it was only days after the beginning of the crisis, and following public protests, that the government began distributing free surgical masks. This was however limited only to Ahwaz and in other towns and cities people still have to pay for the masks. The intensity of dust and air pollution is also observed in other cities in Western and Southwestern Iran such as Ilam, Piranshahr, Abadan, Dehloran, Dezful, Hendijan, Mahshahr, Ramshir, Khoramshahr, Bukan, Mianduab, Hoveyzeh, Hamidiyeh, and Dasht-e Azadegan and Urmia (Orumieh) where the majority of population belongs to ethnic minorities who are subjected to discrimination and violation.

 

Multiple reasons have been suggested for this environmental crisis, which has become more problematic since ten years ago and affected the lives and health of millions of Iranians. It has been claimed that drought as a regional problem, excessive use of water resources and the diverting of the Karun river, development plans without taking environmental concerns into account such as excessive construction of water dams in the region including in Iran, oil exploration projects, etc. have resulted in desertification and drying up of marshlands and lagoons, which used to prevent dust from getting into residential areas. Lack of cooperation between Iran and Iraq in preserving the marshlands is another factor contributing to the dust storms originated inside Iraq.

 

Over the past ten years, the government of the IRI has not carried out any effective plan to prevent dust particles getting into the air breathed by people. Now this has turned into an emergency crisis with no short-term solution, if any, in the horizon.

 

In a 2003 report[1], the UNEP had sounded alarm about the disappearance of two of the largest marshlands in the world and the largest ecosystem in southwestern Asia, Hur-ul-azim and Hur-ul-hoveyzeh, located on the Iran-Iraq border. According to this research, by that time 90 percent of this ancient and unique ecosystem had been destroyed. The report described the death of these marshlands as one of humanity’s worst engineered disasters and suggested that the only solution to prevent a major environmental crisis would be urgent measures to preserve these two international marshlands. However, this never materialized, neither by Iran nor Iraq, and dust particles raised from the dried-up marshlands became one of the main reasons of the current disaster that is unfolding in southwestern Iran, particularly the city of Ahwaz.

 

It is evident that short-sighted regional and national development plans and poor environmental policy-making have contributed to this disaster. The governments in the region, including the IRI, have failed to effectively and timely address the environmental problems and control harmful activities within their own terri­tories, which have caused the current disaster.

 

Human rights and environmental protection are interlinked and the rights to life, health, and development undoubtedly depend on a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The government of the IRI owes positive obligations towards its citizens in this regard and we are extremely disturbed by the fact that, the IRI has failed to effectively protect its citizens against environmental harm and to mitigate the consequences.

 

We, therefore, respectfully request that you consider the situation described above and urge the government of the IRI to take the following steps:

 

  • Take effective and tangible measures to prevent and mitigate harm to people.

 

  • Take urgent and special measures to protect those most vulnerable including children, ill people, and older people.

 

  • Carry out a comprehensive inquiry and hold accountable those responsible for causing the problem or failed to take effective and timely measures.

 

  • Provide full access to information about the problem and its impacts on the health and lives of people, as well as the decisions made and plans adopted.

 

  • Take into account in decision-­making process the environmental impact of activities on the right to life and health of people.

 

  • Invite local authorities, independent experts, civil society and rights groups to participate in environmental decision-making.

 

  • Provide effective remedies and access to justice –while ensuring non­-discriminatory treatment– for those individuals or communities who are directly affected by this problem.

 

In conclusion, we request that you watch the situation closely until all required measures by the Islamic Republic of Iran are taken and the problem is solved.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Duman Radmehr, Board Member

Association for the Human Rights of Azerbaijani People in Iran(AHRAZ)

 

Dr Hossein Ladjevardi, President

Association des Chercheurs Iraniens’ (ACI)

 

Karen Parker, President

Association of Humanitarian Lawyers

 

Taimoor Aliassi, UN Representative

Association of Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva

 

Ibrahim Al Arabi, Executive Director

European Ahwazi Human Rights Organisation (EAHRO)

 

Keyvan Rafiee, Director

Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI)

 

Mohammad Nayyeri, Founder and Director

Insight Iran

 

Lydia Brazon, Executive Director

International Educational Development, Inc

 

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, Executive Director

Iran Human Rights

 

Shadi Sadr, Co-Director

Justice for Iran (JFI)

 

Mohammad Mostafaei, Director

Universal Tolerance Organization

 

[1] UNEP, The Mesopotamian Marshlands: Demise of an Eco

Amnesty International: Saman Nassem Beaten, Days from Execution

Amnesty International – Iranian juvenile offender Saman Naseem was beaten to force him to make more TV “confessions” on 15 February. He is scheduled to be executed on 19 February for crimes he is accused of having committed when he was 17 years old.

Saman Naseem called his family on 15 February and told them that earlier that day men in plain clothes had taken him to the security department of the Oroumieh Prison. He said the men, who he believed belonged to the Ministry of Intelligence and were carrying cameras and recording equipment, beat him for several hours to force him into making video-taped “confessions”, but he refused to do so. Continue reading “Amnesty International: Saman Nassem Beaten, Days from Execution”

Human Rights Watch: Halt Execution of Child Offender

Human Rights Watch – Iran’s judiciary immediately should halt plans to execute a man convicted at age 17 of terrorism-related crimes for an armed opposition group and vacate his death sentence.

Iran’s Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence for the man, Saman Nasim, in December 2013. His lawyer and family fear that authorities may carry out the sentence in less than two weeks despite an absolute ban on the execution of child offenders in international law. Iranian media reports indicate that Iran has executed at least eight child offenders since 2010. Reports by Amnesty International and other rights groups, however, suggest as many as 31 child offenders may have been executed during that period, making it one of the countries with the world’s highest number of reported child offender executions. Continue reading “Human Rights Watch: Halt Execution of Child Offender”

Amnesty International: Execution Looms for Saman Naseem

Amnesty International – Iranian juvenile offender, Saman Naseem, could be executed as early as 19 February 2015 for crimes allegedly committed when he was 17 years old. He was sentenced to death after an unfair trial.

The family of Saman Naseem, who is now aged 22, have received reliable information that he will be executed on 19 February. Amnesty International understands that the authorities have prevented Saman Naseem’s lawyer from pursuing the case and have not allowed him to appoint another lawyer. Continue reading “Amnesty International: Execution Looms for Saman Naseem”