A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 20, 2019

Posted on: January 20th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 20th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Sepideh Gholian was arrested earlier today. She reacted to last night’s broadcast of her forced confessions on the national television and requested a public trial. She is a social rights’ activist and was released on bail on December 18th. She was arrested on November 18th while she was supporting the strike of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers.

(2) A Baha’i citizen, Atousa Ahmadaei, was arrested earlier today in Tehran and was transferred to an unknown place. The intelligent officers also searched her home and confiscated her belongings indicating that her charge is “acting against the national security’.

(3) A Telegram activist, Mohammad Mehdi Zamanzadeh, was released from prison after completing two and a half years sentence for blasphemy-related charges.

(4) Two Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers), Karim Faraji and Masoud Ahmadzadeh, were injured after fell falling off a mountain in Sardasht and Baneh.

(5) Mohammad Saleh Shokri was acquitted of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group” in Saqqez while Majid Tibash was released on bail on the same charge in Urmia. Five other people, Ali Esmaeili, Oman Hasani, Hassan Mousavi, Abdollah Advai, Osman Hosseini, Jamal Mousavi and Arshia Maleki have been arrested on the same charge in Oshnavieh, Sarvabad and Kermanshah.

(6) A 23-year-old resident of Ahvaz, Ali Ayashi, was arrested by the security forces. His whereabouts is still unknown.

(7) Yaser Mohebi and Ghader Zini have been arrested in Kermanshah and Urmia on the charge of “cooperation with Kurdish opposition group”. Mohebi was arrested last year after having a speech in support of Baha’i citizens.

(8) Historian and documentary producer, Hossein Dehbashi, was sentenced to four months imprisonment on the charge of “disturbing the public mind” for the complaint filed by Ministry of Health and Medical Education’s. According to Hrana, Dehbashi rose to modest fame after producing a promotional documentary for 2013 presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani, as well as the documentary “The Royal Court’s Narrative.” In 2015, he directed and launched the Iran Verbal History Project through the National Library and Documentation Center [thousands of YouTube viewers have screened clips of Dehbashi’s work, which features interviews with key political figures from the past four decades.

(9) The families of two detained Arab citizens, Ghasem Beit Abdollah and Abdollah Karmalacheab who received death penalty for ‘acting against the national security’ and were transferred to the Evin prison, have expressed their concern for their execution date approaching.

(10) A prisoner on the death row was saved from execution by the consent of the next of kin in the Fars province. There have been 31 similar cases in the last 11 months. There were seven other savings from execution in the Yazd province in the same period

(11) Workers of Aleshtar city services in Lorestan province have unpaid wages. Also, the Ports and Marine Organization owes the insurance share to its workers.

(12) The release on bail for the two detained labor activists, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Arsham Rezaei is postponed. Also, Rezaei and two others in the same case Mohammad Hosseinzadeh, and Majid Hosseini, were transferred to quarantine in the Evin prison although their bonds were set.

(13) Sunni elites and professors in Sistan and Baluchestan wrote an open letter to the president, Hassan Rouhani, to protest the discrimination and not using Sunni’s elites’ consultation in this province.

(14) A man who assaulted the cashier of a restaurant, has received an alternate sentence to foster street Children for six months by the court of Shiraz.

(15) More than seven protests were organized in Iran on January 20, 2019. The clients of SAIPA and IranKhodro in Tehran, the contractors of Tehran municipality, Ahvaz inter-city rail workers, the workers of city services in Borujerd, the investors in Padideh Shandiz in Tehran, the applicants of Islamic Azad Medical University in Tehran, and the workers of Lowshan municipality held separate protests to demand their requests.

(16) Five foreign exchange market dealers (Forex brokers) were sentenced to 370 lashes, combined, on the charge of “interfering with the interchangeability of the foreign currency value”.Five foreign exchange market dealers (Forex brokers) were sentenced to 370 lashes, combined, on the charge of “interfering with the interchangeability of the foreign currency value”.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 19, 2019

Posted on: January 19th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 19th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Two Baha’i citizens, Kimia Mostafavi and Kiana Rezvani, have been arrested in Kerman. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(2) A landmine explosion injured Hadid Babajani, a 19-year-old Kulbar (Kurdish back carrier), in Ravansar city in the Kermanshah province.

(3) Two workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (NSIG) in Ahvaz, Karim Sayahi and Tarogh Khalafi, were released after two months. More than 43 workers of NSIG have been arrested on December 16, 2018.

(4) A student transporting vehicle crashed leaving four students injured in Tehran. Similar incidents had happened in Qaleh Ganj and Ekhtiarabad in Kerman province on January 15 and 16.

(5) A Baha’i owned-business in Birjand was reopened. Farshid Deymi’s store was sealed off by judicial authorities order last year. Apparently, the Baha’i owned-businesses were shut down because they were closed for Bahai religious holidays.

(6) Two detained labor activists, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Arsham Rezaei have their bonds set at 200 million Toman [approximately 20 thousand USD] each. Ebrahimzadeh was arrested last month and he had been released from prison last year after finishing his seven years sentence.

(7) Masoud Shamsnejad, a lawyer and professor, was arrested and transferred to Urmia prison while the security guards raided his home and confiscated his belongings. He was accused of “propaganda against the state” due to being a lawyer of his clients.

(8) A worker died of electrocution in Tehran and another worker fatally fell in Zahedan, because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(9) Four employees of a news website, Sunni News, were summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Zahedan. Sunni News discusses the Sunni Islam beliefs and rituals with respect to the other religions.

(10) The workers of Khuzestan Pipe Industrial Company have more than 15 months unpaid wages and 11 months unpaid insurance fee owed by the employer.

(11) Two environmentalists have been arrested in Sanandaj city in Kurdistan province. Edris Mohammadi and Avat Karami were arrested for an unknown reason and their whereabouts are still unknown.

(12) More than three protests were organized in Iran on January 19, 2019. Municipality workers in Borujerd, several people in Sistan and Baluchestan, and the workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail, have held separate protests to demand their requests.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 25, 2018

Posted on: December 25th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 25th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Imprisoned teacher, Rouhollah Mardani’s health is deteriorating in Evin Prison after 18 days of hunger strike.The charges brought against Mardani were “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.” He sentenced to six years in prison, two-year ban on political and social activities and two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.

(2) Hadi Khyat Mashhadi, a retired teacher and a teachers’ rights activist, was arrested and transferred to an unknown place.

(3) A British-Iranian academic Abbas Edalat, who was arrested and detained in Iran on security charges has returned to the UK. He was attending an academic workshop in Iran on 15 April before he was detained. He works at Imperial College London.

(4) The businesses of six Baha’i citizens, Behrouz, Hosseinali, and Behnam Habibi, Bahador Ahmadi, Kambiz Azadi, and Kourosh Jaberi, have been shut down by judicial authorities for the last 40 days in Abadan and Khoramshahr.

(5) Rajai-Shahr Prison canceled all the inmate transfers to hospital due to a prisoner’s escape en route to a hospital.

(6) Two prisoners, Rouhollah Mardani and Mahmoud Naji, ended their hunger strikes in Evin prison after the prison authorities promised to fulfill their requests.

(7) An appeal court confirmed the 3-year imprisonment of Amir Ali Moradi. He is accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ and ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’.

(8) Hamed Aynehvand, a detained journalist, was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and was denied access to a lawyer for his trial. He is accused of ‘propaganda against the state’.

(9) The appeal court for nine Baha’i citizens was in session today. Afshin Bolbolan, Saham Armin, Milad Davardan, Farhang Sahba, Anoush Rayne, Bahareh Zeini, Fojan Rashidi, Sepideh Rohani, and Ali Sani were sentenced earlier to 48 years in prison, combined.

(10) Hafeez Junaid, a detained Pakistani citizen in Zahedan prison, has ended his hunger strike. He was striking against the unfavorable conditions and the staff violent behaviors in prison.

(11) In 2015, approximately 5 thousand people died in Tehran due to air pollution. Moreover, 9.3 percent of Tehran residents are suffering from diabetes and 50 percent of them, have type two diabetes. In addition, 50 percent of them are suffering from high cholesterol and 30 percent have high triglyceride. One million and 700 thousand people have high blood pressure of which 36.1 percent are aware of their issue. In 2017, more than one thousand and 400 had heart attack due to high blood pressure.

(12) Afsaneh Rezaee, a graduate student of electrical engineering at Shiraz University, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, She is accused of protesting with a banner on which she was requesting her mother’s release.

(13) Sunni prisoners of Rajai-shahr prison wrote a statement to United Nations Human Rights Council about their detention condition, maltreatment, and abuse in prison.

(14) Azad Salehian was sentenced to two years imprisonment on charge of ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’ and ‘propaganda against the state’.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 21, 2018

Posted on: December 21st, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 21th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) A school bus driver in Bandar-e Mahshahr is facing charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a girl while transporting students. Two other school bus drivers were arrested yesterday.

(2) Two Sunni clerics, Molavi Khodabakhsh Eslamdoust and Molavi Esmail Eslamdoust were summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Chabahar.

(3) An 11-year-old hanged himself in Izeh due to poverty. More than 7% of suicides in Iran are committed by teenagers. Iranian news agencies reported that he committed suicide due to a family conflict, but some news in cyber space noted it happened because of poverty. Izeh is a city in Khuzestan province.

(4) Iranian border patrol shot three Kurdish couriers also known as kulbars, Rahman Shovaneh, Nader Nabizadeh, and AliMamand in Oshnavieh, Piranshahr, and Sardasht. Another kulbar, Salar Tanhaei, was found dead from hypothermia in Javanrud.

(5) Water crisis will cause 20 million people to migrate from the south of Iran. Ali Asadi Karam, a member of the parliament added that this migration which is due to the water scarcity will have so many social consequences.

(6) A prisoner in Nowshahr who was arrested on charge of murder and was sentenced to death, was saved from execution after 10 years in jail with forgiveness and consent of the next of kin. His execution was scheduled the next week.

(7) Three firefighters were injured in an unsafe workplace-related incident in a warehouse in Mashhad.

(8) A Sunni prisoner, Moloud Shaier, was released on parole from Urmia prison. She was arrested in January 2016 and was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on charges of “collaborating with Salafi groups”.

(9) Sam Nasir Moghadam is a political prisoner who was sentenced to two years imprisonment on charge of ‘propaganda against the State’ and ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’.

(10) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had written to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, about the conditions of detained journalists in Iran, which is one of the world’s five biggest jailers of journalist. According to the worldwide round-up on deadly violence and abusive treatment of media personnel that RSF published yesterday. “Imprisoning journalists, denying them medical care while they are detained and denying them the right to a fair trial constitute a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party,” RSF points out.

Authorities Impassive in Sunni Prisoner’s 49th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: November 14th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In Rajai Shahr Prison, the effects of a 49-day-strong hunger strike have begun to take hold on Sunni prisoner Hamzeh Darvish: hypotension, a 29-pound weight loss, and chest and abdominal pains that have left him speechless.

A source close to Darvish’s family told HRANA that he would end his hunger strike on two conditions: that his reconsideration petition is tried in the Supreme Court, and he is granted legal representation. “No action has been taken on those demands yet,” the source said.

According to the source, Rajai Shahr Prosecution Representative Rostami deferred the reconsideration decision to the Ministry of Intelligence. Barring cooperation with them, Rostami reportedly said, Darvish’s sole recourse is “suicide.”

Hamzeh Darvish has not eaten since September 23rd. After announcing his hunger strike that day, he was reportedly held in solitary confinement for three days.

Residing far from Karaj, Darvish’s family is rarely able to afford the transport costs to see him. Meanwhile, Rajai Shahr authorities have placed restrictions on his extra-prison contacts.

In response to a prior hunger strike — protesting a lack of due process in his judicial proceedings — Prison Director Gholamreza Ziaei, Rajai Shahr Deputy Vice President Esmaeili, and Security Director Zolfali beat Darvish black and blue, sent him to the quarantine ward for three weeks, then transferred him to the coroner’s office in handcuffs and shackles.

Hamzeh Darvish was reportedly lured to Syria by ISIS (Daesh) agents in 2014, where he was transferred to the Islamic State’s prison in Raqqa before fleeing to Iran. In hopes of remaining free by posting bail or pledging allegiance to Iran — after which he planned to earn a living as a quail farmer — he turned himself in to the Iranian security forces. A short while later, however, he was back in custody facing an 18-year prison sentence.

Darvish told his story in an open letter published August 2017, in which he asked human rights advocacy groups for help.

He emphasized in his letter that his appeal request was essentially ignored and that Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code permits his release in year 15 of his 18-year sentence.

Rajai Shahr Prisoner Enters 38th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: November 4th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Rajai Shahr Prisoner Hamzeh Darvish, 24, a member of Iran’s Sunni religious minority, has been on hunger strike since September 23rd in protest of the Supreme Court’s denial of his retrial request.

A close source told HRANA that “Darvish is in a bad state. The prison officials are ignoring him in order to send the message that the strike will not get him anywhere. They’re not even acting as a go-between with the judiciary so that he can pursue his rights.”

Rajai Shahr authorities have shown brutal intolerance towards Darvish’s demonstrations of protest. Following the launch of his most recent hunger strike, he was reportedly held in solitary confinement for three days.

In response to a prior hunger strike — protesting a lack of due process in his judicial proceedings — Prison Director Gholamreza Ziaei, Rajai Shahr Deputy Vice President Esmaeili, and Security Director Zolfali beat Darvish black and blue, sent him to the quarantine ward for three weeks, then transferred him to the coroner’s office in handcuffs and shackles.

His family, living far away from Karaj, are rarely able to afford transport for a visit. Meanwhile, prison authorities have restricted his extra-prison contacts.

Hamzeh Darvish was reportedly lured to Syria by ISIS (Daesh) agents in 2014, where he was transferred to the Islamic State’s prison in Raqqa before fleeing to Iran. In hopes of remaining free by posting bail or pledging allegiance to Iran — after which he planned to earn a living as a quail farmer — he turned himself in to Iranian security forces. A short while later, however, he was back in custody facing an 18-year prison sentence.

The circumstances of his trial were criticized for their lack of transparency and due process. With the application of a legal provision that came into effect later, his multiple prison sentences were permitted to run concurrently, reducing his total sentence to 15 years.

Darvish told his story in an open letter published in August 2017, in which he appealed to human rights advocacy groups for help. In it, he describes his ties to ISIS as accidental, claiming he was hailed to Turkey by an ISIS-defecting Iranian friend who needed help returning home due to a wounded leg. When he hitched a ride to meet his friend in Turkey, Darvish said, the story was revealed to be a setup: his drivers instead took him to Syria and handed him over to Daesh.

According to his letter, Darvish spent some time as a forced laborer and was tortured severely after protesting ISIS suicide attacks on civilians. He was finally able to flee amid a transfer between medical facilities in Syria.

Karaj is the capital of Alborz province, located 30 miles west of Tehran.

Iran: An Overview of Human Rights Abuses September – October 2018

Posted on: October 29th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran between September 23rd and October 22, 2018, per information compiled and verified by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI).

Domestic restrictions in Iran on independent human rights reporting make it difficult to capture the full extent of these issues on the ground. The following overview draws on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources, including other human rights associations operating outside Iran’s borders.

Summary

Human rights violations continued all across the country over the past month, and included, but were not limited to: executions, child abuse, mass arrests, violation of prisoners’ rights, violation of freedom of expression, labor abuses, and unchecked environmental pollution.

Death Penalty

Capital punishment remains the most egregious violation of human rights in Iran. On October 10th — the World Day against the Death Penalty — the Center of Statistics at HRAI published its annual report to sensitize the public about the situation of the death penalty in Iran. The report provides statistics about executions carried out in this country between October 10, 2017, and October 9, 2018.

More than 25 citizens, including a juvenile offender, were executed in the last month (between September 23rd and October 22, 2018). More than 20 individuals, including a juvenile offender, were sentenced to death. Four people were executed in public.

HRANA was able to identify or gather details about death row prisoners, including a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Arsalan Khodkam, the ex-spouse of Leila Tajik, Hedayat Abdollahpour and three individuals convicted of financial crimes. New details on the executions of Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi were also reported during this period.

Freedom of Thought and Expression

Freedoms of thought and expression were also widely restricted over the past 30 days.

Arrests: Arrestees in this category included a Shiraz city council member, Ahmad Alinejad and his wife, at least 20 residents of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, writer and Mashad resident Abbas Vahedian, Zahra Majd in Isfahan, and six individuals involved in the Freedom Movement of Iran, arrested in Nain (near Isfahan).

Convictions: Leila Mir-Ghaffari was sentenced to 2 years in prison, Ejlal Ghavami to 8 months, Hassan Abbasi to 35 months (five 7-months prison terms), an Arak resident to 1 year and 30 lashings, Hamidreza Amini to 11 years. Women who protested this past August were sentenced from 6 months to 1 year in prison, Mohammad Mahdavifar was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months, a dual-nationality defendant faces 8 years and 6 months in prison, Soheil Arabi faces 3 years in prison, 3 years in exile, and a fine; the prison sentence of Abdolreza Ghanbari was increased to 15 years, Alireza Moeinian was sentenced to 8 months in prison; a new 6-month sentence extended the prison term of Saeed Shirzad through 2020; six Arak residents arrested amid the January protests were collectively sentenced to a total of 6 years in prison and 444 lashings, and a group of political activists in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province were sentenced to exile and prison terms ranging from 8 to 18 years.

Eleven civil activists, including Mohammad Najafi, Ali Bagheri, and Abbas Safari were sentenced to 3 years in prison and 74 lashings. Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Mohammad Yaghoubi, Yousef Shirilard, Neda Yousefi, Davoud Rahimi, Massoud Ajlou and Mohammad Torabi were sentenced to 1 year in prison and 74 lashings, suspended over five years. Kian Sadeghi faces 3 years in prison and 74 lashings, suspended over five years. Morteza Nazari was sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison, 2 years of exile, and a fine; Zahra Zare Seraji, on the same convictions, to 8 years in prison and a fine. Their co-defendants Ali Kabirmehr and Ali Bazazadeh were both sentenced to 13 years in prison and exile.

Summons: Hamid Farrokhnezhad, Parastoo Salehi, a number of reformist political activists, Tehran city council member Kazem Imanzadeh, Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, and Mohammad Najafi were all summoned by courts and the Ministry of Intelligence.

Censorship: The weekly magazines “Nabze Bazaar” and “Paytakht Kohan,” as well as the website “EntekhabKhabar,” were convicted in press court. Courts also issued indictments for the Chief Executive Officers of “Shargh” and “Shahrvand” newspapers for their reporting on sexual tourism. The National Front of Iran was prevented from holding its Central Council meeting in Tehran, a journalist was beaten by Qazvin municipal agents, and a Kurdish student was barred from education, presumably for his political affiliations.

Prisoners’ Rights
Prisoners are rarely protected from cruel and unusual punishments, and their rights to proper nutrition, hygiene, and medical treatment are systematically violated. A few of these victims are detailed below by category of violation.

Raids and beatings: Prison agents punched Arash Sadeghi on his cancer surgery site; Urmia prison authorities attacked political prisoners and injured them severely, inciting them to hunger strike by the dozens; another Urmia prisoner was assaulted; a prisoner was beaten and injured by Rajai Shahr Prison personnel; Bandar Abbas Prison authorities broke an inmate’s fingers; an Urmia prisoner suffered a TBI after a beating by authorities; and prisoners were forcefully undressed and beaten in Zahedan Prison.

Withholding of medical treatment: A prisoner died after being denied medical care in Zahedan Prison. Farhad Meysami, Arash Sadeghi, and a prisoner in Sanandaj were also denied medical treatment.

Going without: Dozens of Gachsaran prisoners launched protests and hunger strikes in opposition to prison conditions. Six Gonabadi Dervish prisoners continued in an ongoing hunger strike. Reza Sigarchi, also in an act of protest, refused food and medicine in Great Tehran Penitentiary, while 8 Gonabadi Dervishes at the same penitentiary and 8 Baha’i prisoners of Karaj disappeared off of the administrative radar for 30 days. Houshmand Alipour was denied access to an attorney. Three prisoners in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison were blocked from receiving visits, and the fate of sequestered labor activist and Sanandaj resident Zanyar Dabbaghian was still unknown.

Three prisoners attempted suicide in Zahedan, Urmia, and Saravan prisons. Local sources consistently impute prisoner suicides and suicide attempts to the violence and oppression of prison life.

Religious and Ethnic Minorities

Religious and ethnic minorities remained under threat and consistent judicial pressures this past month.

Baha’is: Eight Baha’i citizens were arrested in Baharestan (near Isfahan), four were arrested in Karaj, one of whom had his business forcibly shut down, and three were arrested in Shiraz.
[Some of these arrests reflect coordinated or group arrests, and linked articles will reflect that information overlap].
A Baha’i resident of Yazd who had been blocked from pursuing education was fired from work for their faith, and the parents of a Baha’i prisoner were temporarily detained following a search of the prisoner’s home.

Sunnis: Five Sunni scholars were sequestered for hours in the Zahedan-Khash road patrol office. Three Baluchi citizens, who are scholars of the Ghalamouei seminary, were arrested in Sirik County (southern Iran). Sunni scholars expressed outcry over the public statements of a soccer player they alleged to be disparaging of Sunni sanctities.

Six members of the Yamani Religious Group in Izeh County were also arrested, presumably for their beliefs.

Ethnic minorities: Arab citizens were arrested, and are still being arrested en masse in wake of the Ahvaz Parade Attack. HRANA is still in the process of confirming the identifies of the arrestees, which according to local reports number into the hundreds. Other arrests suspected to be ethnically discriminatory include Nasim Sadeghi, Mohammad Abdolmohammad-Zadeh, Mojtaba Parvin, Ebrahim Divazi, as well as residents of Ilam, Ahvaz, Marivan, Urmia, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Saqqez, Pevah, Oshnavieh, and Sardasht.

News emerged on the convictions of Abbas Lasani, Kiumars Eslami, Eghbal Ahmadpour, Keyvan Olyali, Hossein Ali Mohammadi Alvar, as well as defendants in Sanandaj, Urmia, Kamyaran, and two detainees of the Afrin battles in Syria. Turkic activist Javad Ahmadi Yekanli was summoned by county security police in the city of Khoy.

Children’s Rights

Children are among the most vulnerable to human rights abuses in Iran. Over the past month, four wrongful child deaths were reported in the cities of Tehran, Falavarjan (Isfahan Province), Qaem Shahr (Mazandaran province) and (Isfahan Province).

The national director of Iran’s social emergency hotline said that 30% of reports called into the center are flagging some form of “domestic violence,” 30% of which turn out to be child abuse cases. Of this 30%, 50% were related to educational negligence, 30% to physical abuse, 15% to psychological abuse, and 4% to sexual abuse of children.

Maryam Sedighi, deputy director of the social welfare department of Alborz Province, said that 12% of “123” social emergency calls made in Alborz — i.e. an average of 40 calls per month — are child abuse reports.

Reports indicate the rape of a young girl by her father in Tehran; a boxing coach accused of raping his teenage student; a father pouring boiling water over his 7-year-old daughter in Genaveh, Bushehr Province; and a teacher using corporal punishment on a pupil in Kazeroon, Fars Province.

Three juvenile suicides were also reported: one student in Rigan County, Kerman Province, and two teenage girls, aged 14 and 16, in the cities of Abadan and Sanandaj.

The Iranian education system allocates fewer and fewer resources to its pupils, and educational facilities across the country — particularly in rural or underprivileged areas — can be found in varying states of wear and disrepair. One pupil in Razan, Hamadan province was injured in the chest, neck, and shoulders when he was caught in falling debris of a school wall that suddenly collapsed. The Razan director of education said that he is currently stable, but will require surgery.

Elementary-school student Donya Veisi of Garmash village, Kurdistan Province, fell victim to her own school’s disrepair when one of the walls surrounding her school yard collapsed, killing her. Later — amid allegations that Donya had in fact been raped and killed — the Kurdistan Prosecutor verbally engaged to investigate the matter.

Women

The question of women’s rights at sporting events gained heightened public attention this past month when, under pressure from FIFA to permit their entry into stadiums, a select number of Iranian women (most of them family members of players and federation employees) were finally allowed to witness a kickoff in person (Iran vs. Bolivia). Authorities’ exclusive selection criteria were highly criticized.

Meanwhile, Shiraz-based activist Maryam Azad was arrested by security forces at a Tehran Airport as she was leaving the country for Turkey.

The managing director of the office of forensic medicine in Kohkiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province indicated that, of the 429 domestic violence crimes recorded in his office over the past 6 months, 404 were incidents of violence by husbands against their wives.

Additional cases of violence against women included a man’s murder of his ex-wife when he failed to meet “mehrieh” obligations [a type of alimony settlement], and the circumstances surrounding one woman’s decision to set herself on fire in Mashad.

Two women, long hounded by the judiciary for participating in a rally on International Women’s Day, were recently acquitted of their charges.

Laborers and Guilds

This past month was rythmed by strikes, sit-ins, and rallies organized by guilds and employees across sectors who demanded more secure working conditions.

Commercial Transport: This past month, truck drivers in Iran went on a nationwide strike for the third time [in 12 months]. Over the course of their 20-day strike, at least 261 striking drivers in 19 different provinces were arrested and threatened with heavy sentences, including the death penalty. Strikers’ demands did make significant headway: after years of guild activism, the High Council of Transportation Coordination approved a new freight transport measurement rate known as the tonne-kilometre (tkm) method, which was among the most pressing demands of truck drivers. Despite this partial victory, the fates of the 261 detained protesters are still unknown.

Education: Six Educator-Activists who participated in demonstrations May 10th were sentenced to 9 months in prison and 74 lashings. Also reported was the conviction of schoolteacher and University of Tehran student Ruhollah Mardani, who was arrested earlier this year in connection to nationwide protests. Five teachers were summoned by the Bureau of Public Places in Saqqez.

Following a call to strike by the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI), Iranian teachers staged sit-ins [on October 14th and 15th] to demand more liveable salaries and justice for their persecuted colleagues. Strike activity was recorded across the provinces of Kerman, Lorestan, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Kurdistan, Alborz, Hamadan, Fars, Zanjan, Qom, Mazandaran, Tehran, North Khorasan, Ilam, East and West Azerbaijan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Bushehr, Gilan and Hormozgan.

Merchants: Merchants went on strike against the many interconnected symptoms of Iran’s current recession, including unstable exchange rates, inflation, rising prices, and unemployment. Merchant strikes went on for two consecutive days in the cities of Karaj, Shahreza, Shahriar, Shiraz, Kermanshah, Tabriz and Sarab.

Two street vendors were reportedly beaten by municipal agents in Qazvin and Gorgan.

Health and Environment:

Five environmental activists arrested 8 months ago have been indicted with charges of “corruption on earth,” which can carry the death penalty.

Intelligence agents halted a group of environmental journalists, including Javad Heydarian, before they could board a flight to Germany for work. Their passports were confiscated.

Public concern over pollution and waste issues is ballooning, and [many citizens are critical of the government’s inaction in face of myriad threats to the public health].

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Iranian Ministry of the Interior, Iranians surpass the worldwide average of daily waste production (300 grams) by a whopping 400 grams every day.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency of Miandoab (West Azerbaijan Province) announced that contamination of the Zarrinehroud River from the city’s sugar factory, coupled with poor ecological management of the river and its dam system, has caused thousands of fish to die in the river.

High levels of air pollution were reported this month in the cities of Kerman, Mahshahr, Ramshir, Rigan, and the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan and Kerman.

Cultural Rights and Censorship

A number of photographers from Shiraz faced persecution for their instagram activity this month [which was cited as “improper”].

Two cultural directors from Sistan and Baluchestan province were summoned to the Intelligence office for attempting to host a peaceful community celebration.

Pending content modifications and the resolution of charges against the Home Video Entertainment Network, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance banned distribution of the network’s TV series “13 Shomali” (Northern 13), which previously aired on Saturdays.

Military and Law-Enforcement Power Abuses

Several citizens were killed as a result of power abuses and negligence by security forces this past month.

Police car chases, inappropriate shootings by border authorities, and authorities’ failure to warn civilians of road barriers led to 2 civilian injuries and 5 civilian deaths in Iranshahr (Sistan and Baluchestan Province), Jask (Hormozgan Province) and Azadshahr (Golestan Province) and Razavi Khorasan.

Security forces reportedly assaulted fuel vendors in Saravan (Sistan and Baluchestan Province).

More than a dozen “Kulbars” [laborers who make their living carrying goods across border areas] were wounded and killed across the country, namely in Sardasht (West Azerbaijan Province), Piranshahr (West Azarbaijan Province), Urmia (West Azerbaijan Province) Nowsud (Kermanshah Province), Marivan and Baneh (Kurdistan Province) and Ilam (Ilam province).

A prisoner in Urmia was sentenced to hand amputation, and a robbery convict was dealt 74 lashes in public in the Zeberkhan Rural District (Nishapur County, Razavi Khorasan Province).

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The above-cited reports are only a few examples of dismally more widespread trends. Their mention in this overview by no means implies their significance over those incidents which went unreported, due to tight restrictions on investigative journalists on the ground.

Among available reports of human rights abuses, however, some are more oft-cited due to their sensitive nature or predominating presence in public opinion. It bears mention that all human rights abuses are worthy of the news coverage and social media activism that has come to the aid of so relatively few. Bearing in mind their roles as public opinion influencers, social media activists and human rights reporters must be wary not to underlie existing human rights abuses with unintentional discrimination in their reporting.

Soccer Player Shayan Mosleh Provokes Outcry from Sunni Imams

Posted on: October 2nd, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA)- While moonlighting as a Shia orator, Shayan Mosleh — a soccer player for Tehran’s popular Persepolis club — gave a poetry reading that gained wide circulation on the internet, inciting responses from Sunni scholars, Parliamentary representatives, and the public who found it “insulting [to] Sunni sanctities.”

On September 28th, Mosleh’s name resounded in speeches from Sunni prayer imams (listed below) across the country, who condemned his commentary to the point of asking he be held accountable through the judiciary and state-run news agencies.

Friday Prayer Leaders in Iran who protested against Shayan Mosleh:

Molavi Mohammad Hossein Gargij
Azadshahr, Golestan province

Seyed Abdolbaes Ghatali
Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan province

Molavi Habib al-Rahman Motahari
Head of Ahnaf Khavaf Seminary, Khorasan Razavi Province

Molavi Abdolghafar Sheikh Jami
Kheyrabad village, Taybad County, Khorasan Razavi province

Molavi Khodabakhsh Eslamdoost
Ramin, Chabahar county, Sistan & Baluchestan province

Molavi Abdolsamad Damani
Head of Sunni seminary in Haghanieh, Iranshahr county, Sistan & Baluchestan province

Molavi Abdolrashid Shahbakhs
Zabol, Sistan & Baluchestan province

Molavi Gholam Heyday Farooghi
Birjand, South Khorasan province

Abdolkarim Javar
Gonbad Kavoos, Golestan province

Molavi Abdolahad Sarbazi
Anza, Sistan & Baluchestan province

Molavi Seyed Ahmad Abdollahi
Asadieh, South Khorasan province

Molavi Kheyrallah Nikhoy
Friday prayer speaker in Khaf, Razavi Khorasan province

Molavi Abdolhakim Seyedzade
Friday prayer speaker in Gosht, Sistan & Baluchestan province

Molavi Mohammad Tayeb
Iranshahr, Sistan & Baluchestan province

Molavi Chahani
Friday prayer speaker in Rameshk, Kerman province

Sheikh Mohammad Saleh Kheradnia
Damahi, Bandar Abbas

Sheikh Mostafa Imam
Head of Masjid Jameh in Bandar Abbas’s Khajeh Atta quarter.

While the Iranian constitution recognizes Sunni as a religious minority, it defends a specific school of Shiism as the country’s official religion. As a result, Sunnis are victim to systematic discrimination and persecution.