Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Posted on: November 18th, 2019

Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.

Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.

The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.

According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:

Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.

Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:

Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests:

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 6, 2019

Posted on: February 6th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 6th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The third court hearing of eight environmentalists on the espionage-related charges will be on February 12. Moreover, five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”.

(2) A prisoner accused of murdering his brother-in-law, was sentenced to death in Tehran. Meanwhile, another prisoner was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Damavand after being imprisoned for five years.

(3) More than three protests were organized across the country on February 6, 2019. The customers of SAIPA, an Iranian automaker in Tehran, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Kermanshah, and the members of Controlsazeh Zayanderud Company who are applicants of the Mehr Affordable Housing project in Fuladshahr in the Isfahan province have held separate protests to request their demands.

(4) Meisam Bahramabadi was arrested by security forces on the charge of “propaganda against the state” by chanting and writing anti-governmental slogans on a wall in Tehran on January 30.

(5) The appeals court hearing of Davoud Razavi, a member of the Syndicate of the Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Drivers was on Tuesday. He is accused of “collusion and assembly to act against national security” by participating in the minimum-wage demonstrations and publishing photos from these demonstrations.

(6) More than 40 workers of Abezhdan municipality, in Andika county in Khuzestan have eight months of unpaid wages. The retired employees of Iran Customs Administration are demanding their lands from the housing corporation since 1991.

(7) The prison officials have denied the transfer of Hamidreza Amini, the detained admin of a telegram channel, to a hospital for his urgent medical care. He was arrested in 2017 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison on the charge of “blasphemy”.

(8) The roof of a high school in Lakan district in Rasht went up in flames on February 5, 2019 and forced students and staff to evacuate.

(9) Two students died after a school bus crashed into a truck in Omidiyeh-Mahshahr highway in Khuzestan province.

(10) The prison officials have denied the transfer of Alireza Lak, a member of the Sufi mystical sect known as the Gonabadi dervishes, to a hospital for his urgent surgical care. Dervishes were shot with pellet guns in February 2018 and have remained in detention ever since. Through all this time, they have not received treatment for their injuries, which left pellets scattered throughout their bodies.

(11) Two workers died and two others were injured in Yazd, Tehran, and Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(12) Kavous Seyed Emami’s family willing to respond to accusations on national television. In a lawsuit filed by them, against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting regarding a program aired which falsely portrayed him.

(13) The attorney of Esmail Bakhshi reported that he is facing new charges of “propaganda against the state”, “spreading lies” , and “insulting the authorities”. He was rearrested after the broadcast of his confessions on the national television.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 5, 2019

Posted on: February 5th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 5th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) At least eight protests were organized on February 5, 2019 in Iran. The municipality workers of Abezhdan city in Khuzestan province and Towhid city in Ilam province, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Kermanshah and Ilam, the workers and employees of Ayson Project in Tabriz, the investors of Sekeh Samen website, the members of the Cooperative Housing Company of the workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, and taxi drivers in Khorramabad have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) A Baha’i citizen, Roya Hasanzadeh, was arrested at her home in Manjil and transferred to Lakan prison in Rasht. She was released on bail on February 4, 2019. Baha’i is Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority and are systematically persecuted by the government.

(3) During the last nine months, 98 child marriages have been registered in Ilam province according to the head of Welfare Organization of this province, Zahra Hemmati.

(4) Tohid Ghoreishi, Sunni prisoner of Rajaee Shahr prison, refused to attend the court session protesting the insufficient period between him being informed and the session date and also not having access to a lawyer.

(5) A student, Aynaz Hatamian, was transferred to the hospital after being beaten by her teacher in Meshginshahr. Her skull is cracked and her eye and forehead are swollen.

(6) Mohammad Hossein Khalil Ardakani, a Karaj councilman, was released on bail. He was arrested on Monday on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(7) Tehran council members, Nahid Khodakarami and Seyed Mahmoud Mirlohi, were summoned to the prosecutor’s office. Khodakarami is charged with “promoting de-veiling” and Mirlohi is charged with “disrupting the public mind” and “spreading lies”.

(8) The Sanandaj Revolutionary Court renewed the detention of 10 arrested citizens for another month. Among the arrested are Kurdistan’s environmental activists. They are identified as Hadi Kamangar, Fazel Gheitasi, Reza Asadi, Rashed Montazeri, Hossein Kamangar, Isa Feizi, Amanj Ghorbani, Zaniyar Zamiran, and Farhad Mohammadi.

(9) Jamal Kermani (Mohammad Mobin Mohabbatian), a resident of Mahshad, is serving his one-year prison term in Vakilabad prison. He was arrested during the mass uprisings of January 2018.

(10) The death sentence of Mohiadin Ebrahimi, a political prisoner of Urmia prison, has been canceled and his lawyer has been informed. He had been sentenced to death on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(11) A man wearing a white shroud (as a symbol of readiness of martyrdom) was arrested while chanting and writing anti-governmental slogans on the wall of Turkish Embassy in Tehran. The target of his slogans were the Supreme leader and other authorities.

(12) Four construction workers were injured in Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace.

(13) Four poachers were arrested in Tarom and Salas-e Babajani. Tarom county is in Zanjan province and Salas-e Babajani is a city of Kermanshah province.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 18, 2019

Posted on: January 18th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 18th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2019 “Iranian authorities carried out arbitrary mass arrests and serious due process violations during 2018 in response to protests across the country over deteriorating economic conditions, perceptions of corruption, and the lack of political and social freedoms. Authorities tightened their grip on peaceful activism, detaining lawyers, human rights defenders, and women’s rights activists.”

(2) Mohammad Dorosti, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, has been tried in absentia and was sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was charged with “propaganda against the state”.

(3) Kurdistan’s appeals court was summoned a trade unionist, Yadollah Samadi on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “membership in the opposition groups”. He is the head of the Syndicate of Workers of Sanandaj Bakers.

(4) Salman Afra was released on bail in Marivan. He was detained for two months on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Moreover, Ata Rahmanzadeh was arrested and transferred to Saqqez prison to serve his three months sentence.

(5) Alireza Tavakoli, a detained cyber activist, was release from Evin prison after finishing his two and a half years prison term. He was suffering from severe diseases during his time in prison and was denied access to medical care.

(6) The prisoners’ fight in Urmia prison which was galvanized by the authorities of prison, was caused multiple injuries. Several Sunni prisoners, Ahmad Ghanbardoust, Mohammad Ghanbardoust, Mohammad Hosseinpour, Adel Salimi, and Pouria Azadtoosi who were sentenced to five years imprisonment, Rasoul Shiri, Mohammad Shiri, and Ebrahim Moradi who were sentenced to three years in prison, and Mohammad Nikzad who was sentenced to one and a half year imprisonment, have been injured in Urmia prison.

(7) Mehdi Khanipour, a political prisoner in Ahvaz Sheiban prison, began his hunger strike to protest the refusal of his request to attend at his father’s funeral. He was arrested in 2014 and was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. He is accused of “Moharebeh” by being a member of Al-Ahwazieh group.

(8) Amir Amirgholi, political prisoner and member of “Gam” editorial board was transferred to Evin prison, section 209. Amir Hossein Mohammadifar and Sanaz Allahyari, the editors of Gam, were arrested on January 9, 2019.

(9) Two Iranian-Americans, Emad Sharghi and Bahareh Amidi, had been arrested in March on the espionage-related charges. They were released on bail after nine months but still under a travel ban. Sharghi is a businessman and the founder of Dubex Company.

(10) After prosecutor general, has called Esmail Bakhshi tortures in prison, ‘the rumors’, Hassan Sadeghi, a political prisoner, wrote about his experience of several years of mistreatment and torture such as Falanga torture (beatings on the foot soles) in prison which caused him severe diseases.

(11) A 33-year-old worker of Dezful Steel Company had a fatal fall in his workplace. Another worker in Bafq died because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace.

(12) Saeed Shirzad, a political prisoner in Rajaee Shahr prison in Karaj, has been refused urgent medical care despite doctors requested his transfer to hospital for his severe kidneys’ failure a month ago. While the prosecutor’s office has assured that he would receive treatment, prison authorities have prevented this transfer.

(13) Kourosh Karampour, a teacher and a poet, was released on bail on Tuesday. He was beaten and arrested in Abadan, because of his interviews in support of teachers’ strikes and protests in the last few months. More than thousand writers and civil rights activists issued a statement expressing concern about his situation earlier.