Iranians celebrate the Persian New Year Despite yet another Gruesome Year of Abuse at the Hands of the Regime

HRANA– As Iranians celebrate the Persian New Year,  HRANA takes a look back at the year 1400 Hijri (March 21, 2021 – March 16, 2022). 

The regime’s security and judicial authorities continued to systematically violate human rights–including the right of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the right to discrimination. The regime remained steadfast in its commitment to arbitrarily prosecute and torture human rights activists, execute juvenile offenders after disproportionate and lengthy detentions, it failed to meet obligations to protect women and gender minorities against violence, it took dual and foreign nationals hostage, held prisoners in inhuman conditions, failed to meet obligations to protect the right to health, namely with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, it continued notorious torture of prisoners, imposed cruel corporal punishments such as flogging, deprived prisoners of conscience adequate medical treatment, and imposed harsh, disproportionate sentences on political prisoners. The list goes on. 

 

Arrests

Based on data gathered from 6,722 reports registered by the Statistics and Publication Center of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA):

  • 1,734 people were arrested for their political activities or the expression of their beliefs and opinions. 
  • 141 people were arrested for adopting a lifestyle considered by the regime unacceptable–including for hosting or attending private parties that were deemed to be in violation of Islamic principles. 
  • 11 people were arrested for modeling, dancing, playing/listening to inappropriate music, and other cultural activities.

 

Of those arrested:

  • 1,047 people were detained for expressing their opinion and beliefs, including 22 minors, 117 workers’ rights activists, 92 journalists (and social media) activists, 64 religious minorities, 6 womens’ rights defenders, and 370 ethnic minorities.

*From the latter, the charges against 347 arrestees are unknown. However, considering HRA’s knowledge of the security institutions in any given area, these arrests have been included in the category of ethnic minorities.

The above figures exclude hundreds of people who were arrested and dozens who were killed or injured during the July 2021 Khuzestan protests (over water shortage and mismanagement), The figure also excludes at least 214 arrestees (including 13 minors) during the 2021 Isfahan water protests. The Security forces and police brutally cracked down on protestors using batons, tear gas, and pellet guns.

 

Sentencing 

Across the country, Public and Revolutionary Courts handled a total of 310 legal cases amounting to a combined total of 12,760 months in prison and a combined total of  667,250,000 tomans in fines (approx. 22,241 USD). In addition, the courts handed down a combined total of 556 months of suspended imprisonment for charges related to political activities. 

Iran’s judicial system continued imposing “inhuman” punishments which are at odds with fundamental human rights and dignity. In a gruesome example, the courts ruled for the mutilation of eyes –which was carried out. The courts continued to issue flogging sentences contrary to international obligations. In addition, issued a combined total of 4,081 lashes (a combined total of 397 lashes carried out in the given period). 

 

Child Rights 

Given that many child abuse cases are silenced by families and government institutions, the available statistics do not reflect an accurate depiction of the issue. Nonetheless, at least 7,764 child abuse cases, 16 cases of sexual abuse and rape, 16 cases of juvenile homicide, 4 cases of juvenile honor killings, 3 self-immolations, 92 suicide attempts, 3 acid attacks, 29 cases of child trafficking and sales, and more than 20 thousands child marriages. In addition, 3 million children dropped out of school in the given time period. 

Although there is no accurate data on the number of child laborers due to activities of organized crime institutions and the government’s failure to tackle this issue, the Iranian Scientific Association of Social Work (ISASW) estimates at least seven million children are active in the workforce. 

 

Women’s Rights 

At least 21,594 cases of domestic violence against women were recorded. Considering the flaws in the law system and entrenched gender inequality in society, the real figures are likely much higher. During the given period there were a registered 12 acid attacks, 4 rapes and/or sexual assaults, 15 female homicides, 10 female self-immolations, 4 suicides, and 20 honor killings. 

 

Use of Force (Kolbars and Sukhtbars)

In the given period, a total of 203 citizens were shot by the regime’s military forces. In these incidents, 91 people were shot dead including 26 Kolbars (Cross Border Carriers), 13 Sukhtbar (Fuel Border Carriers), and 52 other civilians. 112 people were injured, of the injured, 82 people were Kolbars, 12 Sukhtbar, and 18 other civilians.

Additionally, 34 Kolbars were affected by climate and geographic factors such as freezing temperatures and falling from heights. In these accidents, 21 Kolbars were injured and 13 ultimately died. 

It is of note that landmine blasts took the life of 25 citizens and maimed 65 others during this year. Most of these landmines are the remnants of the Iran-Iraq War. The Regime still shirks its responsibility to clear these landmines and hence endangers the life of its citizens living in the mine-affected areas.

 

Executions  

Iran has been one of the world’s top executioners. In the given time period, at least 333 people were executed, including 12 women and 3 juvenile offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. In addition, the courts sentenced 105 defendants to the death penalty.

 

Prisoners Rights 

Based on HRANA reports, 42 prisoners have been victims of physical assault, 248 prisoners were deprived of adequate medical care, 68 prisoners were held in solitary confinement cells, 193 went on hunger strike as a last resort to achieve urgent demands, 93 inmates were forcefully sent to a prison in exile, 207 inmates were threatened or subjected to regime pressure, 15 inmates were deprived of visitation, 17 inmates were tortured physically or mentally, 21 inmates died in prison by diseases, one inmate committed suicide, one committed self-immolation, 5 inmates were killed by prison guards/officials, 93 prisoners were denied access to a lawyer, 1,889 inmates were held in harsh and inhuman conditions, 34 prisoners were subjected to torture as a means of forced confessions, 203 political prisoners were co-housed with the prisoners of violent crimes, and 88 inmates were denied necessary medical furlough.

There have been 199 incommunicado detentions and 270 cases of detainees kept in an unknown state regarding their sentence.

 

Workers Rights 

During the given period, at least 10,669 workers were laid off or fired, 764 killed and 9,441 injured in workplace accidents. Moreover, 993,726 workers went without work insurance. There were also a reported 68 factory closures. In addition, at least 31,672 workers reported delays in payments.

 

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

In the given period 2,769 protest rallies were held across 24 provinces. 

Of the 2,769 documented rallies:

  • 610 workers’ rallies
  • 1,769 union rallies
  • 80 rallies against the suppression of freedom of expression
  • 48 student rallies
  • 262 rallies held by the victims of financial frauds or other fraudulent acts 

In addition, there were 392 labor strikes and 368 union strikes.

 

Concluding Note

Iran’s regime does not allow independent human rights organizations to report and collect data freely. As a result, these figures reveal merely the tip of the iceberg of the human rights situation in Iran. Therefore, it is noteworthy to mention that the figures provided in this report are merely based on the reports of civil society organizations like HRANA and its Statistics and Publication Center.

 

_________________________

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

Annual Analytical and Statistical Report on Human Rights in Iran for the year 2021

This leaflet contains the Annual Analytical and Statistical Report on Human Rights in Iran for the year 2021. The report, prepared by the Department of Statistics and Publications of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), is the result of daily effort on the part of the organization and its members, and as part of a daily statistic and census project that was started by this organization in 2009.
This annual report on human rights violations in Iran collects, analyzes, and documents 5683 reports concerning human rights, gathered from various news sources during 2021 [January 1st to December 20th]. 38% of reports analyzed came from sources gathered and reported by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), while 38% came from official Iranian government sources or sources close to the government. 24% of reports came from other human rights news agencies.

This is the brief version and the full report is available for download in PDF format. Click here

The following 53-pages include statistical overviews and related charts regarding women’s rights, children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, etc. Despite the 1.5% increase in reports of human rights violations in provinces other than Tehran from last year’s Annual Report, data from this year indicates that smaller cities lack adequate reporting and monitoring of human rights.

This report is the result the work of courageous human rights activists in Iran who pay a very high cost for as they strive to enact their humanitarian beliefs. However, for obvious reasons (i.e. existing governmental limitations, bans on the free exchange of information and government interference with the existence of human rights organizations in the country), this report by no means is free of errors and cannot solely reflect the actual status of human rights in Iran. Having said that, it should be emphasized that this report is considered one of the most accurate, comprehensive, and authentic reports on human rights conditions in Iran. It serves as a very informative resource for human rights activists and organizations working on Iran who seek to better understand the challenges and opportunities that they may face.

MONITORING

The following map illustrates the number of reports per province made by human rights organizations and news agencies. This is a direct reflection of each province’s current capacity for civil rights (2021).

The highest number of reports were published in December, while the lowest number of reports published occurred in April.
38% of reports analyzed came from sources gathered and reported by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), while 38% came from official Iranian government sources or sources close to the government. 24% of reports came from other human rights news agencies.
In 2021, at least 2,300 protest rallies were held across 24 provinces. Of these, 1,261 were union rallies, 618 were workers’ rallies, 301 were rallies related to economic hardship, 77 were rallies against the suppression of freedom of expression, and 43 were student rallies. In addition to the rallies, there were also 339 labor strikes and 192 union strikes.
As indicated in the distribution map, there exists a major discrepancy between the capital Tehran, and other parts of the country in terms of the number of published reports. This is while the census of 2016 reported a population of 13,267,637 in Tehran, compared to a population of 66,658,633 in the rest of the country.

ETHNIC MINORITIES

In the field of violations of rights for national and ethnic minorities, a total of 390 reports were registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) in 2021. According to these reports, at least 445 people were arrested. It should be noted that the charges against 409 of these detainees remain unknown.
A total of 61 people were sentenced to 1348 months in prison, which breaks down to 1171 months of imprisonment and 177 months of suspended imprisonment. A total of 103 individuals were summoned by the security and judicial institutions.
Compared to the previous year there has been a 55% increase in the arrest of ethnic minorities and a 21% decrease in prison sentences.
As the following bar graph illustrates, the highest number of violations occurred in the month of January while the lowest occurred in the month of December.

RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

In this category, 144 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics in 2021. These reports include 57 arrests, 11 cases where religious minorities were prevented from economic activities, 39 summons by judicial and security institutions, 24 cases of deprivation from education, and 60 cases of police home raids.
Judicial authorities have registered 2 cases of desecration, 4 cases of imprisonment, 5 issuances of travel bans (which violate of freedom of movement,) and 6 cases of individuals brought to trial on the basis of religious belief.
81 members of religious minorities were sentenced by judicial institutions to a total of 4174 months of imprisonment. In addition, 4 people were fined one hundred and eighty million tomans (42840 USD), 1 person was sentenced to 74 lashes, and 10 people were deprived of social rights.
The number of citizens arrested in the category of religious minorities has decreased by 25% in 2021 compared to 2020, and the prison sentences issued by the judiciary have decreased by 17%
The highest number of violations have been reported in April, while the lowest occurred in December.
71.77% of human rights reports regarding violations against religious minorities related to violations against Baha’is, 14.29% to Christians, 7.48% to Sunnis 2.04% to Yarsans 1.02% to Dervishes, 0.34% to Jews, and 3.06% to “Others”. Note that reports labeled as “Other” are those that did not belong to a specific group of religious minorities.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

674 reports of violations against freedom of thought and expression have been registered by the Department of Statistics this year. These violations included 1043 individual arrests, 256 summons to judiciary and security authorities, 2 reports of publications banned, and 21 convictions for publications.
111 cases were tried by judicial authorities. 17 cases involved the issuance of travel bans, 64 involved execution of prison sentences, 34 involved house searches, 17 involved internet disruption, 2 involved telecommunication disruptions, 39 involved beatings, 44 involved harassment in the form of threats and intimidation, 77 involved assembly, and 26 involved preventing assembly.
In 2021, 215 arrestees were sentenced to a total of 10140 months of imprisonment. This breaks down to 9541 months in prison and 599 months of suspended prison terms.
Additionally, 24 people were fined a total of 603,575,000 tomans (143,650.85 USD), 16 people were sentenced to a total 998 lashes, and there were 22 cases of deprivation from civil rights.
Compared to 2020, reports regarding violations of freedom of expression have increased by 12%, sentences issued by the judiciary have decreased by 48% based on the number of people tried, and prison sentences decreased by 54%.
Below are charts highlighting violations of the right to freedom of expression.

TRADE UNIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS

1173 reports were registered by the Department of Statistics and Publications related to the rights of trade unions and other associations. 26 members of trade unions were arrested, and 2 individuals were sentenced to a total of 67 months in prison. There were 8 summons to judicial and security institutions, and 23 cases where facilities were closed.
Also reported were instances where 3 people were fined a total 23,500,000 tomans (5593 USD), 3 people received a total of 74 lashes, as well as 2 cases of suicide, 4 cases of houses searched and 5 cases of harassment in the form of beatings. 4 cases were tried by judicial authorities, 405 cases were dismissed, with 147 months of deferral.
In 2021, at least 1261 protests and 192 union strikes were held. There were 4 reported instances of suppression of assembly. Most of these protests were related to salary/wage demands from corporations, bad economic conditions, and lack of proper management of corporations.
It should be noted that due to the compulsory military service for men in Iran and its classification as a job in the annual budget of the country, this group was also examined. In the past year, at least 4 soldiers committed suicide. Various reasons for this are cited, including conscription itself, the high pressure military environment, forced labor, and denial of human dignity.
In reports related to trade unions and associations there has been a 44% decrease in the number of arrests and an 87% decrease in sentences issued compared to the previous year.

ACADEMIA/ RIGHT TO EDUCATION

The Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered 56 reports related to violations of academic rights in 2021. 3 students were arrested, and as, as mentioned in the religious rights section of this report, 24 students were prevented from continuing their education because of their religion.
In the category of academia and the right to education, there has been a 50% decrease in the number of arrests. Per our reports, 7 students were sentenced to 160 months in prison and 74 lashes.
Monthly comparisons of the violation of academic rights based on the number of reports, as the following graph illustrates, reveals the highest number of violations occurred in the month of September while the lowest instance is observed in the month of March.

RIGHT TO LIFE (DEATH PENALTY)

288 reports related to the death penalty were have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran in 2021. This included 85 death sentences and 299 executions. Based on the announced identifications of some of the individuals executed, 259 were male and 15 were female.
In addition, 4 juvenile offenders were executed in 2021, meaning they were under the age of 18 at the time they committed the crime.
According to these reports, 51% of the executions were based on murder charges, while 40% were related to drug-related charges. 4% of individuals executed were charged with “waging war against God” and 3% were charged with rape. For 2% of executions the charges were unknown.
Of those executed in 2021, 5% were female, and 87% were male, while the gender of the other 8% is unknown.
Executions carried out in 2021 compared to 2020 increased by 26%. The number of death sentences issued decreased by 10%.

CULTURAL RIGHTS

23 reports were registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran related to violations of cultural rights in 2021. This included reports of 6 arrests, as well as the report that 2 individuals were sentenced to 84 months of imprisonment. 7 individuals were summoned to judicial and security organizations. 1 license was revoked and 1 person was banned from working.There were also 4 trials by judicial authorities, 1 house search, 4 cases of obstruction and interference with publications, and 1 case of the destruction of a historical site.
In this category, arrests have decreased by 77% compared to the previous year.
In a monthly comparison, the highest number of violations were reported in May, while the lowest were reported in April, October, and December.

WORKERS’ RIGHTS

The Department of Statistics of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran registered 1474 reports of violations of workers’ rights in 2021. This included 64 arrests. 9 workers activists or workers were sentenced to 276 months in prison, 124 lashes and 23,000,000 tomans (5474 USD) in fines. 42 people were summoned to judicial and security organizations.
The Department also registered 7 cases of trials by judicial authorities, 10 cases of suicide, 7 cases of self-immolation, 9 cases of beatings, 3 cases of house searches, 2 cases of curfew imposition, and 2 cases of imprisonment.
During 2021, a total of 1247 months of overdue payment of salaries to workers was reported. 2073 workers were laid off or fired, 3332 people reported unemployment, 6404884 lacked work insurance, 5434 workers were waiting for work-related decisions. There were also a reported 68 factory closures.
In addition, 616 people have lost their lives in work-related accidents, and 5584 workers have been injured while at work. On a global scale amongst other counties, Iran ranks 102nd in work safety.
In a monthly comparison of workers’ rights violations in 2021, the highest number of violations happened May, with the lowest in December.
In 2021, there were at least 618 worker protests, with 9 reported instances of suppression in this regard, and 339 workers strike took place. The majority of these protests were regarding wages. Based on these reports the arrest of workers has increased by 53% compared to 2020.

CHILDREN’S RIGHTS

A total of 186 reports of violations of children’s rights in 2021 were registered by the Department of Statistics. However, it should be mentioned because of secrecy regarding these incidents, leading to underreporting, there is no accurate statistic in this field. Reports included at least 2117 cases of child abuse, 15 cases of rape and sexual abuse of children, 11 murders of children, 1 self-immolation, 54 cases of child suicide, 1 case of honor killing, 2 cases of acid attacks, 29 cases of sale and trafficking of children and 1448 cases of child abuse in economic activity. In addition, there were more than 9000 instances of child marriage.
3 million students are deprived of the right to education.
Many students in Iran have been denied access to education due to lack of access to e-learning facilities, as well as child marriages, poverty, cultural issues.
As mentioned in the section on the death penalty, at least 4 minors were executed for various offenses during 2021.
During the nation-wide protests, 25 children were arrested.
In monthly comparison in this category, the highest number of violations were reported in January and the lowest number in August.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

The Department of Statistics Registered 90 reports of violations of women’s rights in 2021. At least 43 women reported physical and sexual abuse. There were also 24 cases of honor-killings, 8 self-immolations, 3 cases of acid attacks, and 4 cases where women’s rights activists were summoned to judicial and security organizations. In addition, there were 20,187 cases of domestic abuse against women and 13 murders.
Based on this report, 7 women have been detained for reasons related to women’s rights. At least 4 women’s rights activists were sentenced to 282 months in prison.
As the following bar graph illustrates, based on the number of reports per month, the highest number of reports were in November and the lowest in April and May.

PRISONERS’ RIGHTS

575 reports of violations of prisoner’s rights were registered in 2021. 26 of these reports were of physical assault of prisoners, 232 of deprivation of medical care, 136 of illegal transfer to solitary confinement, 131 of attempted hunger strikes, 77 of forced transportation or exile, 246 of threats against prisoners, 26 of banning prisoners from having visitors, 23 of torture, 20 of deaths by diseases. 5 arrestees were killed by prison authorities and 5 prisoners committed suicide. There were also 68 cases where prisoners lacked lawyers, 495 reports of prisoners being held in unsuitable circumstances, and 1 case of self-immolation.
In this category, there have also been 272 cases of prisoners kept in an unsure state regarding their sentence and 172 cases of keeping prisoner in conditions of indecision.
As the following bar graph illustrates, the highest number of reports of violations of prisoner’s rights occurred in June and September and lowest in November.

SECURITY FORCES’ VIOLENCE AND CITIZENS’ SAFETY

Death of civilians

This section is dedicated to the killing or injury of civilians by police or military institutions. In 2021, a total of 242 people were shot by military forces. 94 of the victims lost their life. This includes 23 kolbar, 31 fuel carriers and 40 civilians. 148 people were injured by military fire, including 81 kolbar, 51 civilians, and 16 fuel carriers.
Additionally, 28 kolbar were affected by climate and geographic factors such as freezing and falling from heights. 16 of these kolbar were injured and 12 were killed.

Victims of landmines and explosions

The landmines left from the war threaten the lives of civilians living in border cities each year. The Iranian government continues to manufacture and plant anti-personnel mines against international agreements, arguing that the use of these type of landmines is the only effective way to keep its vast borders safe.
Based on reports, at least 15 civilians in the past year have lost their lives to landmines in border areas, while 30 other civilians have been injured.

Floggings

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has explicitly banned the use of inhuman or degrading punishments such as flogging. However, based on the reports gathered in 2021, flogging sentences were carried out for at least 3 accused. These accused were sentenced to a total of 214 floggings.
It should be noted that the judiciary issued a total of 6982 flogging sentences in the past year.

Intervention in personal affairs of civilians

In 2021, at least 68 civilians were arrested for attending or hosting personal gatherings and parties. This number is based on 5 official reports in the country.
In 2021, at least 301 groups of civilians –mostly consisting of those who have lost money due to poor economic conditions, or those whose rights have been violated– have organized protests. These protests took place in 24 provinces. The provinces with the most protests were Tehran, Eastern Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, and Khorasan Razavi.
As the following bar graph illustrates, the highest number of reports related to violence from security forces and citizens’ safety occurred in January and the lowest in August.

SENTENCES

The judiciary of the Iranian government, including both in initial trial and appeal, issued 16531 months of imprisonment in 2021. These reports included 1348 months of imprisonment for ethnic minorities, 4174 months of imprisonment for religious minorities, 10140 months of imprisonment related to freedom of expression, 67 months of imprisonment related to union activity, 276 months of imprisonment for workers, 84 months of imprisonment related to cultural rights, 282 months of imprisonment in women’ rights category, and 160 months of imprisonment for students.
These statistics only include the court sentences that indicated detailed information or characteristics of the verdicts.
As the following bar graph illustrates, the highest number of reports was in January and the lowest in September.
Courts sentenced defendants to a total of 787,875,000 tomans (187,514.25 USD) in fines and 2900 lashes in 2021.
In 2021, the number of convictions of citizens and activists decreased by 44%. Moreover, the convictions in the following categories decreased: Religious Minorities by 4%, Ethnic Minorities by 25%, Freedom of Expression by 54%, Unions by 87%, and Cultural Rights by 67%. The following categories saw an increase in convictions: Workers by 50%, Women’s Rights by 56%, and Students by 62%.

ARRESTS

In 2021, security forces arrested 1676 individuals due to political or civil rights-related activities.
The statistical analysis exhibited 26 case of arrest in the trade union category, 445 arrests in the category of ethnic minorities, 57 arrests in the category of religious minorities, 1043 arrests in the category of freedom of expression, 25 arrests related to children’s rights, 3 arrests of students related to the right to education, 6 arrests in the field of cultural rights, and 64 arrests in the category of workers’ rights.
6 women were prosecuted for their activities, including the promotion of their desired lifestyle. 5 of these women were arrested for modeling, and 1 for activism in this area.
As the following bar graph illustrates, based on the number of reports per month, the highest number of reports in this category fell in November and the lowest in December.
In 2021, the number of arrests increased by 14% in total. Broken into categories, the number of arrests increased in the Ethnic Minority category by 55%, Culture decreased by 77%, Religious minorities decreased by 25%, Unions decreased by 44%, Students decreased by 50%, Workers’ Rights increased by 53%, and Freedom of Expression increased by 12%.

SEXUAL AND GENDER MINORITIES

The rights of sexual and gender minorities have previously been analyzed in the Annual Report of Human Rights Activists in Iran as a subset of other categories. The main reason for this was that the small handful of reports in the area did not allow analysis.
Creating an independent categorization, even with a small number of reports, is in fact an attempt to increase surveillance of this group.
The rights of sexual and gender minorities in the country are systematically violated in various ways. The criminalization of homosexuality and the non-recognition of transgender identity before gender reassignment procedures are two of many systematic violations that can seen codified into domestic law.
There are many obstacles in reporting on this topic, including open hatred against members of the community, cultural taboos, legal barriers, and the weakness of Iranian civil rights organizations in monitoring and reporting violations. The government’s policy in dealing with sexual minority issues in Iran exacerbates the vulnerability of these groups.
Of the few reports published in this area, it should be noted that HRANA reported 15 prisoners with uncertain judicial status accused of having homosexual relationships in Wards 2 and 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.
The detention of these citizens was directly related to having a homosexual relationship.
In some cases, security and law enforcement agencies acknowledge the detention and harassment of members of this community. For example, in June of this year, Reza Molouki, head of the FATA police in the east of Tehran Province announced the identification and arrest of a citizen on charges of “corruption on earth”, calling his relationship with a homosexual illegitimate.
Trans citizens face legal problems in addition to cultural issues in the process of changing their identity documents or seeking exemption from conscription. In another report, a citizen living in Tehran, after obtaining a military exemption due to his gender identity, lost his employment and was unable to renew his license as an expert of the Food and Drug Administration.
In 2019, the World Health Organization updated its guidelines on disorders related to sexuality and gender identity in the ICD-11. In doing so, transgender identity was no longer recognized as a “disorder” by the WHO.

 

This is the brief version and the full report is available for download in PDF format.

 

_________________________

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

HRA Annual Statistical Report of Human Rights Conditions in Iran – 2020

This report contains the 2020’s analytical and statistical annual report on human rights in Iran, prepared by the Department of Statistics and Publications of Human Rights Activists (HRA). This statistical analysis report presented by HRAI is the result of the daily efforts of this organization and its dedicated members as part of a daily statistic and census project that started in 2009 by this organization.
This annual report on human rights violations in Iran (2020) is the collection, analysis, and documentation of 4472 reports concerning human rights, gathered from various news sources during 2020 [January 1st to December 20th]. Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has gathered and reported 42%, official or close to the Iranian government sources 45% and other human rights news agencies 13% of all the reports analyzed in this Annual Report.
The following 45-pages includes statistical overviews and related charts on various sections regarding women’s rights, children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, etc. Based on this report, despite the 4% decrease in human rights violations reports in provinces other than Tehran, compared to the last year’s annual report, there is still a major concern on lack of proper reporting and monitoring of the human rights by the civil society in the smaller cities.
This report is the result of endeavors made by courageous human rights activists in Iran who pay a very high cost for the realization of their humanitarian beliefs. However, for obvious reasons (i.e. existing governmental limitations and ban on the free exchange of information and government preventing the existence of human right organizations in the country), this report by no means is free of errors and cannot alone be a reflection on the actual status of human right in Iran. Having said that, it should be emphasized that this report is considered as one of the most accurate, comprehensive, and authentic reports on the human rights conditions in Iran and it can serve as a very informative source of information for human rights activists and organizations working on Iran, to better understand the challenges and opportunities that they may face.

Download the full version of the report

Monitoring

The following map illustrates the number of reports per province made by the human rights organizations and news agencies, this is a direct reflection of the capability of the civil society in each province of the country (2020).

As indicated in the distribution map, there exists a major discrepancy between Tehran, the capital, and other parts of the country in terms of the number of published reports. This is while the census of 2016 reported a population of 13,267,637 in Tehran, compared to a population of 66,658,633 in the rest of the country.

 

Ethnic Minorities

In the field of national and ethnic minorities’ rights, a total of 234 reports registered by the department of the statistics and publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) in 2020. According to these reports, at least 286 people were arrested, and 39 people were sentenced to a total of 1721 months of prison term. from the total of 1721 months of prison terms issued, 1699 months were imprisonment sentences for 36 individuals, and 22 months were suspended imprisonment sentences for 3 individuals. And a total of 88 individuals were summoned by the security and judicial institutions.

Compared to the previous year there has been a 16.6% decrease in the arrest of ethnic minorities and a35 % decrease in imprisonment sentences.

Religious Minorities

In this category, 136 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics in 2020. According to these reports, 77 arrests, 49 cases of prevention from economical activities, 126 cases of summon by the judicial and security institutions, and 22 cases of depriving and preventing from education, and 69 cases of police home raids, has taken place.
98 individuals of the religious minorities were sentenced by the judicial institutions to a total of 4351 months of imprisonment. Additionally, the ministry of cultural heritage of Tehran and the Municipality of Tehran demolished the Adventist church of Tehran in the past year.

In the field of religious minorities, the Baha’is constitute the highest of the Human Rights reports on religious minority violations with 45%, Sunnis 26%, Christians 15%, Dervishes 4%, Jews and Yarsans 1%, and others 9%, of the total reports. Note that the reports labeled as “Others” are those that did not belong to a specific group of religious minorities.

The number of citizens arrested in the category of religious minorities has decreased by42 % in 2020 compared to 2019, and the imprisonment sentences issued by the judiciary has increased by28.9 %.

Freedom of Expression

In the category of freedom of thought and expression, in 2020, 883 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics that included 928 arrested individuals; 287 summonses to the judiciary and security authorities; 4 reports of publication banning; 8 cases of conviction for publications.
In 2020, 420 arrestees were sentenced to a total of 22271 months of imprisonment, that includes 386 individuals sentenced to a total 21523 months in prison and 34 individuals received a total of 748 months of suspended prison terms.
34 people to 191 billion and 765 million rials in financial fines, 85 people get 5844 lashes, and 21 cases of deprivation from civil rights have been reported in this category. Additionally, there has been 40 police home raids recorded.

In the field of Freedom of Expression, there has been a decreased of88.8 % in the reports of arrests compared to the previous year. Similarly, sentences issued by the judiciary have increased by46.5 % based on the number of people being tried, and imprisonment sentences were increased by 52.9 % compared to 2019.

Trade Unions and Associations

In the category of the rights of associations and trade unions in 2020, 359 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publications. This includes 47 members of the trade union were reported being arrested. Also, in this category, 10 individuals have been sentenced to a total of 554 months in prison, 51 cases of summoning to the judicial and security institutions, and 3930 cases of closing the facilities have been reported.
In 2020, at least 329 protests and 3 union strikes were held. Most of these protests were related to salary/wage demands from corporations, bad economic conditions, and lack of proper management of corporations.
In the category of Trade Unions and Associations, there has been a 31 % decrease in the number of arrests and there has been an 89 % increase in the issue of sentences compared to the previous year.

Academia/ Right to education

In the category of violations of academic rights in 2020, 24 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran. This includes 6 students arrested, 20 students were suspended, and as it was also mentioned in the religious rights section of this report 22 students were prevented from continuing their education because of their religion.
In the category of academia and the right to education, there has been a a94 % decrease in the number of arrests. And based on these reports 1 student was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Right to Life (Death Penalty)

In the category of right to life, in 2020, 241 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 95 death sentences, 236 death sentences were carried out (including 1 execution in public). Based on the announced identifications of some of the individuals executed, 205 were male and 8 were female.
In addition, 2 juvenile offenders have also been executed in 2020 who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime.
According to these reports, 80% of the executions were based on murder charges. Moreover, 5% charged with rape, another 9% with drug-related charges. 4% were charged with “Waging war against God”, also 1% charged with armed robbery,1% Consumption of alcohol.

The highest number of all death sentences issued are comprised of 80% on murder charges, followed by Drugcharges which make up 9% of the cases.

The province of Alborz ranking first in death sentences in Iranian provinces with 19% of all the death sentences issued, that is due to its two populated and important prisons, followed by Razavi Khorasan province with 12% of all the cases.

The Rajai Shahr prison and Vakil Abad Prison holding the highest number of executions in all prisons in Iran.

According to the statistics, about 0.42% of the executions were carried out in public.

Of those executed in 2020, 3% were female, and 87% were male, while the gender of the other 10% is unknown.
These executions reported by independent sources and human rights associations, indicating that 72% of executions are carried out in secret or without any public notice.

In the category of the death penalty, the execution carried out in comparison to 2019 has decreased by4.8 %. The number of execution sentences issued also has decreased by 12%, and the number of public executions has decreased by 92%.

 

Cultural Rights

In the category of violations of cultural rights in 2020, 21 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included reports on 27 arrests and 4 individuals were sentenced to 257 months of imprisonment, from this number 3 individuals were sentenced to 253 months of imprisonment, while 1 person was sentenced to 4 months of suspended prison term.
1 individual was summoned to the judiciary and security organizations. Moreover, 2 licenses were revoked, 1 person was banned from public speaking or performing, and 1 person was banned from working.
In this category, arrests have increased by51 % compared to the previous year.

Workers’ Rights

In the category of violations of workers’ rights in 2020, 1318 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 30 arrests. 45 workers activists or workers were sentenced to 183 months in prison, and 42 people received 3108 lashes, and 42 people were summoned to judiciary and security organizations.
During 2020, a total of 2011 months of overdue payment of salaries to workers has been reported. 2105 workers were laid off or fired, 2240 cases of unemployment, 18049 lacked work insurance, 3082 workers waiting for work-related decisions. In addition, 1187 people have lost their lives in work-related accidents, and 3259 workers have been injured while at work. On a global scale amongst other counties, Iran ranks 102nd in work safety.
Also, in 2020, at least 473 worker protests and 99 workers strike took place. most of these protests were regarding wages.
Based on these reports the arrest of workers has increased by56 % compared to 2019.

Children’s Rights

In the category of violations of children’s rights in 2020, a total of 176 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics, however, it should be mentioned because of secretly in the matter of reporting these incidents there is no accurate statistic in this field. These reports included at least 2205 cases of child abuse, 9 cases of rape and sexual abuse of children, 9 cases of murder of childre, 2 self-immolation, 94 cases of child suicide, and more than
1 million students are deprived of education.
Lack of access to devices for virtual education, Child marriages, poverty, cultural context, population density, etc. in Khuzestan province has led to the highest number of deprivations from education in the country.
As mentioned in the right to the life section, at least 2 minor offenders have been executed in Iran during 2020. Additionally, 3 teenagers were sentenced to a total of 264 months of imprisonment.

During the nation-wide protests, 19 children and 1 children’s rights activist were arrested.

Women’s Rights

In the category of violations of women’s rights in 2020, a total of 81 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics. These reports reflected. At least 572 women were physically and sexually abused, 13 cases of honor-killings,6 self-immolation, 4 cases of acid attacks, and 1 cases of summoned women’s rights activists to judiciary and security organs.
Based on this report 5 women have been detained for reasons related to women’s rights. At least 2 women’s rights activists were sentenced to 180 months in prison.

Prisoners’ Rights

In the category of violations of prisoners’ rights in 2020, a total of 542 reports have been registered, 53 reports on physical assault of prisoners, 366 reports of deprivation
/neglected of medical care, 109 reports of illegal transfer to solitary confinement, 533 attempted hunger strikes, 289 cases of forced transportation or exile, 228 cases of threatening prisoners, 126 cases of banning prisoners of having visitors, 18 cases of torture, 25 case of deaths by diseases,10 arrestees were killed by prison authorities, and 17 prisoners committed suicide, 40 cases of lack of access to lawyers, 1678 reports of prisoners being held in unsuitable circumstances. Also, in this category, there have been 147 cases of keeping prisoners in an unsure state about their sentence and situation.

Security Forces’ Violence and Citizens’ Safety

Death of civilians

This section is dedicated to the killing or injuring of civilians by the police or military institutions. In 2020, a total of 204 people were shot by the military forces; 74 of the victims lost their life including, 36 Kulbar, 5 fuel-Carriers, 33 civilians. 130 people were also injured by the shots of the military forces, including 109 Kulbar, 16 civilian, 5 Fuel-carriers. Addititonally, 9 Kulbers were affected by climate and geographical factors such as freezing and falling from heights, 4 of whom were injured and 5 Kulber lost his life.

Victims of landmines and explosions

The landmines left from the war threaten the lives of civilians of the border cities each year. Iranian government continues manufacture and planting of the anti-personnel mines, and against the international agreements, it believes that the use of these type of landmines is the only effective way in keeping its vast borders safe.

Based on reports, in the past year at least 10 civilians have lost their lives by landmines in the border areas and 14 other civilians have been injured.

Floggings

The International Covenant on civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has explicitly banned the use of inhuman, or degrading punishments, such as flogging. However, based on the gathered reports in 2020, flogging sentences were carried out for at least 14 accused who were sentenced to a total of 874 floggings. The sentence of 3 of the accused for a total of 222 floggings were carried out in public.

It should be noted that, the judiciary has also issued a total of 23946 flogging sentences in the past year.

Intervention in personal affairs of civilians

In 2020, at least 209 civilians were arrested for attending or hosting personal gatherings and parties. This number is based on 8 official reports of the country.

Additionally, in 2020, at least 180 group of civilians –mostly consist of those who have lost money (exacerbated economically) or those whose civilian rights have been violated– have organize protests for not being able to fulfill their asking and demands. These protests took place in 24 provinces. Tehran, Eastern Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, and Khorasan Razavi were the provinces with most protests.

Sentences

In 2020, the judiciary of the Iranian government, including the initial court and appeal, issued 29841 months of imprisonment. These reports included; 1721 months of imprisonment for the ethnic minorities, 4351 months of imprisonment for religious minorities; 22271 months of imprisonment in the category of freedom of expression, 554 months of imprisonment in the category of Unions, 183 months of imprisonment for workers, 257 months of imprisonment in cultural category, 264 months of imprisonment in children’s rights category, 180 months of imprisonment in women’s rights category, and 60 months of imprisonment for students.
These statistics only include the court sentences that indicated detailed information or characteristics of the verdicts.

A total of One hundred and ninety-four billion and seven hundred and forty-six million rials in fines and 9182 lashes has been issued in 2020.

In 2020, the number of convictions of citizens or activists has increased by35 %. Moreover, the convictions of religious minorities increased by 28.9%, ethnic minorities decreased by 35%, and freedom of expression has been increased by 52.9%, unions increased by 89%, in the cultural field increased by 38%, workers decreased by 73%, women’s rights decreased by 80%, and in the students category decreased by 89%.

Arrests

In 2020, the security forces arrested 1426 individuals because of political or civil rights-related activities.
The statistical analysis exhibited 47 case of arrest in the trade union category, 286 arrests in the category of ethnic minorities, 77 arrests in the category of religious minorities, 928 arrests in the category of freedom of expression, in the children’s rights category 20 arrests, 6 arrests of students in the category of Academia/right to education, 27 arrests in the field of culture, and 30 arrests in the category of workers’ rights.
Moreover, 5 women were prosecuted for their activities, and promotion of their lifestyle; 3 of whom were arrested for modeling, and the other two for participating in sports.

In 2020, the number of arrests decreased by84 %. According to these reports, the number of arrests decreased in ethnic minorities by 16.6%, culture increased by 51%, religion minorities decreased by 42%, unions decreased by 31%, students decreased by 94%, workers’ rights increased by 56%, and in the category of freedom of expression decreased by 88.8%.

 

This is the brief version and the full report is available for download in PDF format.

Human Rights Activists (in Iran)

Department of Statistics and Publications

December 2020

For media inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, [email protected]