A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 8, 2019

Posted on: February 8th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 8th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) A number of Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers) have been shot by border patrol in Sardasht and Baneh in West Azerbaijan province. Saman Bakhshi, Mehdi Faroughzadeh, and Arman Felahati were injured. In 2018, 152 Kulbars were killed or injured in Iran.

(2) Two alleged poachers have been arrested in Khomeyn on Thursday, February 7th. The Khomeyn county has 11 natural habitat and is located in Markazi province.

(3) Omran Gholam Khosravi was executed in Maragheh on January 29th. According to Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad’s prison chief, 11 prisoners accused of murder have been spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in this province, in 2018.

(4) Prison guards beat prisoners and used tear gas in the Shahr e-Rey prison (Gharchak). The unrest began when some prisoners protested the fact that their names were not on a list of the pardoned prisoners for the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

(5) Four people were sentenced to prison in Piranshahr and Quchan on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Mansour Farajzadeh, Soleiman Mohammadnejad, Bapir Barzeh, and Ahmad Ghalatehrash were sentenced to two and a half year, combined.

(6) A detained Lebanese citizen, Nazar Zaka, who was held in the solitary confinement of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Detention Center began a hunger strike to protest his illegal arrest. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and paying 200 thousand dollars fine on espionage-related charges.

(7) A labor activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, has been detained for two months, although his family provided his bail bond which has been set for 200 million Toman [approximately 20 thousand USD]. He was apprehended “en route to assist survivors of the Kermanshah earthquake.” He had been released from prison last year after finishing his seven years sentence.

(8) Esmail Bakhshi’s lawyer, Farzaneh Zilabi, was summoned to Shush Revolutionary Court. Bakhshi spoke out about abuse and torture he suffered in detention. He has been rearrested and is at risk of torture.

(9) A Kurdish poet, Hossein Bagheri known as Jakan Baran’s court was in session on Monday, February 4th. He was charged with ‘propaganda against the state and blasphemy’. He is unable to walk and lost his right kidney.

(10) Several residents of Molashiyeh and Shadegan were arrested in Khuzestan province, during the last week. HRANA has been able to obtain the identities of 27 of them: Abdolrahman Shilavi, Habib Badr Mansouri, Malek Jial Heydari, Hamoud Shalibavi, Ghazi Shalibavi, Yousef Shalibavi, Heyar Shalibavi, Rasoul Shalibavi, Ali Shalibavi, Taleb Shalibavi, Hakim Doris, Jasem Khanafri, Syed Khalil Taheri Mousavi, Abdolazim Acharsh, Risan Shalibavi, Abdolnabi Shalibavi, Rasoul Al-bokhanafi, Rasoul Al-bokhazir, Salman Albokhazir, Seyed Ebrahim Taheri Mousavi, Mohammad Jonami, Saad Shadverdi, Taleb Shalibavi, Adel Maniavi, Ali Maniavi, Javad Shouiji, and Kazem Shouiji.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 10, 2018

Posted on: December 10th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 10th,2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists NewsAgency (HRANA).

(1) Four Workers Were Injured or Died in Their Workplaces

(2) An Execution in Urmia

(3) Five Citizens Were Saved from Execution in Shushtar

(4) The Businesses of 17 Baha’i Citizens Were Shut Down

(5) The State’s Welfare Organization has requested to monitor Fashafoyeh prison.

(6) An activist in Adel Abad prison was deprived from getting pharmaceutical drug

(7) Political Prisoners in Ardabil Prison Went on Strike

(8) Child Maltreatments in Mahabad and Harsin

(9) Atena Daemi’s open letter on Human Rights Violations in Gharchak Prison

(10) More from Iran

                                                       

(1) Four Workers Were Injured or Died in Their Workplaces

Inthe last two days, four workers were injured or died in their workplaces in Iran. Two workers who were 35 and 40 years old and citizens of Afghanistan, were injured in a construction incident in Tehran. According to Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA), in Rasht, a 45 years old worker of a dairy company, died by electrical shock in the workplace. Moreover, Baloch activists campaign reported the death of a 35 years old construction worker in his workplace in Iranshahr.

(2) An Execution in Urmia

In the morning of December 10, 2018, a prisoner in Urmia prison was executed.Younes Azizi was transferred to a solitary confinement earlier. He was from Naqadeh a city in West Azerbaijan and was accused of drug crimes.

(3) Five Citizens Were Saved from Execution in Shushtar

Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported that five individuals who were arrested with a murder charge, finally were saved from execution in jail by the help of judicial authorities and victims’ families’ consent. They had spent the last 4 years waiting for the execution in prison. The murder took place in 2014 in a tribal fight. Four people died, and more than 40 people were injured in that incident in second district of Zouyie village which is in Shadravan district in Shushtar County in the Khuzestan province.

(4) The Businesses of 17 Baha’i Citizens Were Shut Down

The businesses of 17 Baha’i citizens were shut down in Kerman. Their appeal was rejected in the Administrative Justice court. They requested to cancel the minutes which was issued by the Governor General of Kerman. Due to the aforementioned minutes of limiting financial activities of Baha’i citizens,their businesses were shut down in 2016 because they closed their businesses temporarily for their religious rituals.

(5) The State’s Welfare Organization has requested to monitor Fashafoyeh prison.

Farid Baratisadeh, Deputy Director of Prevention state’s Welfare Organization has requested to monitor Fashafoyeh prison. He emphasized that although the supervising of the addicted facilities is included in the state’s Welfare Organization’s responsibility, but this organization never got the chance to supervise on Fashafoyeh prison.

(6) An activist in Adel Abad prison was deprived from getting pharmaceutical drug

Majid Azizi, a civil activist from Shiraz who is in Adel Abad prison was deprived from getting pharmaceutical drug by prison officials. His family are concerned about his health. On November 19, 2018 he was transferred to Adel Abad in Shiraz for his one-year imprisonment.

(7) Political Prisoners in Ardabil Prison Went on Strike

Political prisoners in Ardabil prison went on strike from December 9, 2018. They are protesting the transfer of an infected contagious prisoner to their prison without informing the other inmates, and the other limitations such as cutting off the phone in prison.

(8) Child Maltreatments in Mahabad and Harsin

The head of State Welfare Organization’s office of Harsin confirmed that a five-year-old girl who does not have any birth certificate and gathers garbage’s was transferred to the state Welfare office of this city. In another case in Mahabad, a six-year-old who had been abused by her mother and was hospitalized for her injuries, was transferred to the city’s State Welfare office. Mahabad and Harsin are in Azarbaijan and Kermanshah provinces.

(9) Atena Daemi’s open letter on Human Rights Violations in Gharchak Prison

Atena Daemi, an imprisoned activist wrote an open letter for international day of Human Right about human rights violations in Gharchak prison. She wrote about sanitary in this prison “there is not any spot clear from blood and vomit”. She also mentioned that the quality of water is low, there is no dental health, and prisoners’ hands and legs are swollen. Overall, there is a very limited access to the medical care and it would be humiliating and offensive.

(10) More from Iran

Ghasem Shole Sa’adi and Arash Keykhosravi, attorney at laws were sentenced to six years in prison by branch 15 of Islamic Revolutionary Court.

Hamidreza Rahmati,a teacher activist, has ended his sit-in by the Shahreza’s Ministry of Education office. He was protesting the arrest of the teachers during teachers’ strikes since December 1st, 2018.

The 21st day of detention of Ismael Bakhshi, laborer activist and Sepideh Gholian, civil activist.  They were arrested in course of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Business protests.

Arman Ghafouri, the resident of Marivan, was released on bail temporary on December 10, 2018. 

On Sunday, December 9th, the Human Right Committee of Lawyers, organized a conference for the international “Human Rights Day” which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the subject of“celebrating the differences”. Mohammad Hashemi, Afshin Ala, Hatam Ghaderi and Saeed Madani were some of the lecturers of this conference.

Dervish Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike Following Transfer to Solitary Confinement

Posted on: September 3rd, 2018

Update: As of Tuesday, September 4th, five other Dervish prisoners have joined the hunger strike. Their names are Babak Taghian, Ehsan Malekmohammadi, Salemi Salemi, Reza Bavi, and Akbar Dadashi.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Twelve of the Dervish prisoners at Great Tehran Penitentiary who were violently disbanded and sent to solitary confinement on August 29th after staging a sit-in have started a hunger strike, while at least 20 of those attacked are reportedly in poor health.

Prison guards used batons, electrical shock, and tear gas on the prisoners to break up their peaceful protest, which had been in effect in Ward 3 since June 13th. The Twitter account of Majzooban Noor — a news agency publishing a feed on Dervishes, a religious minority — described the prison officials’ plan of attack, which involved filtering non-Dervish detainees from the quarantine area before charging those involved in the protest.

According to Majzooban Noor, prison officials then welded shut the gate of the prison yard to surround a number of Dervishes, using tear gas on those who attempted to come to their aid. The prisoners involved in the sit-in, along with 18 Dervishes from Ward 4, were subsequently taken to solitary confinement.

The August 29th raid occurred during a visit to the prison by Mostafa Mohebbi, the Director General of the organization Prisons of Tehran, who had come to inspect the Great Tehran Penitentiary following reports of deplorable conditions there.

Mohebbi reportedly watched as the heads of the prison — identified only as Director Farzadi and his deputy, “Farrokhnejad” — personally inflicted skull and arm fractures, among other injuries, on the confined Dervish prisoners.

Alireza Roshan, the director of Majzooban Noor, told HRANA that while many Dervishes were transferred to solitary confinement, others were individually dispersed among other Wards of the prison. He identified nine solitary confinement prisoners who started hunger strike upon their transfer: Ali Bolboli, Salehodin Moradi, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Abbas Dehghan, Ali Mohammad Shahi, Mojtaba Biranvand, Ali Karimi, Jafar Ahmadi, and Ibrahim Allahbakhshi.

“Their demands[…]are the reunification of the [Dervish] prisoners to one ward, the release of the female Dervishes [held in Gharchak Prison], and the lifting of the house arrest of Noor Ali Tabandeh, the group’s leader, who has been under house arrest since February 2018,” Roshan revealed.

Three other Dervishes have since followed suit, according to Majzooban Noor, making for a total of twelve Dervishes currently starving themselves in protest. These three were identified as Heydar Teymouri, Majid Yarahmadi, and Saeed Soltanpour.

Roshan said prison regulations stipulate that certain prisoners be kept apart depending on their offenses and beliefs, and that prison officials are responsible for ensuring the collective safety of their detainees.

“Nevertheless,” said Roshan, “Great Tehran Penitentiary officials hold the Dervishes, [who are political prisoners], in a general ward alongside prisoners who have allegedly committed common crimes.”

The following is a bulletin from Majzooban Noor on Dervish prisoners whose health is now at risk:

  1. Kasra Nouri 2. Reza Entesari 3. Pouria Nouri 4. Mehdi Eskandari 5. Saeed Soltanpour 6. Mehrdad Rezaei 7. Alborz Eskandari 8. Ali Abidavi 9. Hasan Shahreza 10. Sekhavat Salimi 11. Amir Nouri 12. Jafar Ahmadi 13. Babak Moradi 14. Majid Moradi 15. Mohammad Reza Darvishi 16. Heydar Teymouri 17. Ali Mohammad Shahi 18. Amin Soleimani 19. Sajjad Baradaran 20. Akbar Dadashi

Prison guards reportedly pulled out some of the Dervishes’ hair, including their facial hair, during the August 29th raid.

Human rights activists and families of the victims have recently raised concerns over a lack of transparency from prison authorities on the current condition of the Dervishes.

The families of the affected Dervishes have written a letter to judicial authorities to demand immediate face-to-face visits with their imprisoned loved ones. The families are reportedly suspicious that authorities have enforced solitary confinement and delays on family visits in order that wounds and traces of violence have ample time to fade from the Dervishes’ bodies.

Six of the dervishes who were beaten – Salehodin Moradi, Ali Bolboli, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Sekhavat Salimi, Ali Karimi, and Ibrahim Allahbakhshi – have been transferred to Ward 1 of the Great Tehran Penitentiary, quarters for those convicted of common crimes.

Others — including Reza Entesari, Sina Entezari, Kasra Nouri, Mehdi Eskandari, Reza Bavi, Amir Nouri, and Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam — are being held in solitary confinement.

*There are various divisions among Dervish religious groups in Iran. The use of Dervish in this article refers to Nematollahi Gonabadis, who in recent years have declared themselves followers of Twelver Shia Islam, Iran’s official state religion.

HRANA previously reported on how the sit-in was violently broken up

Report: New Wave of Mass Protests in Iran

Posted on: August 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) –  A new wave of widespread protests that began on Tuesday, continued across Iran through the week for six days. Protesters included merchants, shopkeepers and other citizens who gathered in objection to the worsening economic conditions in Iran. Their main concerns were centered around the issues of unemployment and the rising of prices and exchange rates. Rising prices, inflation, and unemployment have led to protests since December 2017.


First Day of Protests
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Protests in Isfahan on Shapur Jadid Street began with a strike by merchants and shopkeepers, which led to other citizens joining in on the protest. The gathering quickly turned violent when security forces attempted to disperse the crowd with tear gas and gunshots.

In Karaj, people gathered in Gohardasht Square to hold a protest rally. According to reports, many women participated. Some protesters were reportedly arrested by security and plainclothes forces and are currently held at a Basij-operated center in the Gohardasht neighborhood.

Second Day of Protests
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Protests in Rasht and Shiraz were accompanied by the heavy presence of security forces. Some of the videos from Shiraz indicate that a 7-year-old was shot with tear gas by police forces.

Protesters in these burned tires on the streets to counter the effects of tear gas and chanted slogans including “Our enemy is right here, they are lying claiming it’s the U.S.”, “Guns and tanks are no longer effective, mullahs should get lost,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon — I give my life only for Iran,” “The nation begs while *He acts like he’s God” and “Down with high prices”.

Mass protests also occurred in Isfahan and Karaj.

Third Day of Protests
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Protests were reported in twelve Iranian cities: Isfahan, Shahinshahr, Najafabad, Karaj, Mashhad, Shiraz, Sari, Tehran, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Qahderijan and Arak.

Peaceful protests turned violent in Isfahan and Shiraz when security, plainclothes and Basij forces shot at the protesters with guns and tear gas. In the videos from Thursday, protesters are seen throwing rocks at the Iranian authorities in response to the gunshots. Protesters are also seen starting fires in order to counter the effects of the tear gas.

Many protesters were reportedly arrested in Mashhad and Shiraz.

Fourth Day of Protests 
Friday, August 3, 2018

Protests occurred in five different cities: Karaj, Qahderijan, Tehran, Qazvin and Kermanshah.

Fifth Day of Protests 
Saturday, August 4, 2018

Since the early hours of Saturday, a strong presence of security forces had created an ambience of intimidation in many of the Iranian cities. Reports indicate that large protests were held in the central city of Qom, Karaj and Tehran.

People were heard chanting “Iranians, it is time to demand your rights from this regime”, “Down with the dictator”, “Don’t let fear conquer, we are all together”, “The nation begs while He acts like he’s God”.

Some reports claim that 50 of the female protesters were arrested in recent days and transferred to the quarantine ward in *Varamin’s Garchak Prison.

Many of the state-run media or news agencies with ties to the government have either denied the existence of protests or play them down as rallies incited by opposition or simply gatherings with strictly syndical demands.

The police forces in the cities of Mahdasht and Gohardasht (both located in the Alborz province) imposed restrictions on traffic and banned driving after 6PM in these areas.

Reports from sources close to security institutions, one person was shot dead in Karaj and at least 20 others were wounded.

Ali Hendiani, the director of the seminary in Eshtehard county, said: “Protesters threw stones at the seminary building and broke the prayer room’s windows…These people were dispersed by the anti-riot security forces, and the police have identified them and are on the search for them. Some have been arrested, and the mission to find the other protesters continues.”

Sixth Day of Protests 
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Despite the persistence of security measures and the heavy presence of security forces aimed at intimidating citizens, protests were held in the city of Kazerun (located in the Fars province).

There are reports that protesters attempted to rally in Shiraz (capital of the Fars province), Tehran, Karaj and Qom, but strong police presence prevented these rallies from taking shape.

 

Mobile Services Cut Off

Subscribers of Irancell, an Iranian telecommunication service provider, reported that mobile services in parts of central Tehran and the city of Zanjan were interrupted. Some of the clients of Operator Network, another cell phone service provider, reported that they received a message regarding a temporary and nation-wide interruption to their service. It is not yet clear whether this stoppage is part of the Iranian security apparatus’ attempt to control the protests. In previous protests, there was precedence in taking such measures to curb protests.

Protester Death

Reza Shakarami, General Prosecutor for the Alborz province, denied reports attributed to him about the death of a young man from Karaj during a night protest. “The shooting [leading to the protester’s death] and the circumstances surrounding it are under investigation. Any quote cited from me regarding the murder of the victim by the rioters or any other individual is denied,” he said. The victim referred to by Mr. Shakarami was identified on social media as Reza Otadi.

Salman Samani, the Interior Ministry spokesperson, has reacted to online invitations to assemble. “In the last month, dozens of invitations and calls to protest rising prices, inflation and living conditions have been widely distributed. The source of the majority of such calls is outside Iran, but the invitations have been reposted and shared by people inside Iran,” he said.

Reactions from Iranian Authorities

Ali Motahari, Member of Parliament for Tehran, told a state-run newspaper that the authorities are trying hard to resolve the issues [the protesters have voiced their concerns about], and if the people wait and be patient a few more months, the conditions will improve. He also blamed certain movements who made attempts for the Iran Nuclear Deal to fail and whose actions paved the way for a Trump presidency, the pretext to withdraw from the **Deal.

Meanwhile, Kheirollah Tarkhani, a security official in the Alborz province, stated: “We have been trying to appease the protesters and listen to them. However, we have realized that their protests are not about economic demands and are aimed at the political structure. The small, scattered protests are not the sum of the people’s economic grievances and demands.”

——
* Reference to Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei
** Gharchark is a women’s prison south east of Tehran; reports point to prisoners facing deplorable conditions in this prison (https://www.en-hrana.org/comprehensive-report-womens-ward-evin-prison)
*** Ali Motahari is implicitly referring to the Revolutionary Guards commanders and some hardliners whose interference in neighboring countries coupled with their push for an aggressive missile program created the conditions for Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka Iran Nuclear Deal)