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 February 1, 2019

Posted on: February 1st, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 1st, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The director of the Department of Environment of Kosar in Ardabil province announced that three poachers were sentenced to three years in prison, two years ban on carrying gun, and to provide nine banners about protecting environment in Ardabil.

(2) Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, the lawyer of the detained environmentalist, Sam Rajabi, reported that his clients’ court will be on session tomorrow but he has not been invited to attend this session.

(3) Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadifar and Sanaz Allahyari ,the members of “Gam” editorial board, have been arrested in January and were transferred to Evin prison, section 209. Gam online news outlet had published news of workers’ protests in Khuzestan.

(4) Reza Salmabadi, the head of the South Khorasan Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation announced that half of the villages of this province had depleted alarmingly over the last 20 years due to the continuous drought and financial hardship.

(5) Iran Bar Association head, Isa Amini, confirmed that more than 40 percent of lawyers are unemployed in Iran.

(6) The security forces attempted to arrest a Baha’i citizen in Yazd on January 31. Mehran Bandi Amirabadi was sentenced to one-year prison term earlier in January 2019. Baha’i is Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority and are systematically persecuted by the government.

(7) The head of National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reza Salehi Amiri, said that attending stadium is women’s right. He added that stadium is not different from the other public places such as movie theater, university, and concert which are women allowed to enter.

(8) Razgar Mohammadi, was transferred from Piranshahr to Urmia prison. He is accused of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. In addition, Asaad Mahmoudi, Bapir Barzeh, Keyvan Nejad Rasoul, and Shirko Ali-Mohammadi are still detained in an unknown place in Piranshahr.

(9) A 34-year old Kulbar (Kurdish back carriers), Akbar Mohammadlou, was killed by the border patrol in Maku.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 30, 2018

Posted on: December 30th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 30th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The 2018 annual overview of Human rights violations in Iran which is compiled by HRANA from 3677 reports is published. This 42-page report contains the details of more than 7442 months of imprisonment sentences, 2694 lashes, and execution of 236 people.

(2) The house of Jalil Behamin, a Baha’i citizen in Isfahan, was thoroughly searched by the security forces and some of his belongings were confiscated. The house of two other Baha’i citizens in Isfahan had been searched by the security forces in the past weeks

(3) Nine Christian converts in Karaj were arrested suspecting their ties to a ‘Zionist Christian sect’. They are accused of trying to convert Muslims and the followers of other religions to their underground house church.

(4) The family of Ali Nejati, a detained member the syndicate of workers of Haft Tappeh Agro-Industry, reported concerns about his health conditions in the prison. He is suffering from heart disease.

(5) Jamshid Derakhshan, a Christian convert, was released on bail on December 16th. He was arrested on November 30th in Karaj.

(6) Four prisoners were transferred to solitary confinements
in preparation for their execution in the Urmia prison. Their charges are murder and narcotic drugs-related crimes.

(7) The appeal court of five Baha’i citizens of Shiraz will be in session on Monday. They were earlier sentenced to one-year imprisonment and one year of exile in the Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court.

(8) Pouya Razavian, a Baha’i student, has been banned from school since 2011. He was barred from graduating from high school because of his faith.

(9) Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist Hengameh Shahidi’s attorney confirmed that he has submitted an appeal request for her sentence of 12-years and nine months of imprisonment.

(10) A school vehicle crash injured five students in Sumay-ye Beradust District in Urmia province. The injured students have been transferred to a local hospital.

(11) A citizen was severely injured in a landmine explosion incident in Dasht-e Abbas village in Dehloran County in Ilam Province.

(12) Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi, a writer and activist, who was arrested in Mashhad at October 11, was released on bail today. He was accused of acting against national security and overthrowing the government.

(13) Marliksan Company in Qazvin laid off 180 workers.

(14) Two citizens were sentenced to death in Tehran. One of them accused of murdering the executive editor of ‘Shomaresh’ magazine. Moreover, in Gonbad-e Kavus three prisoners got the victims’ family’s consent and were saved from execution.

(15) Several employees and the head of Kish Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting were fired due to inefficient censorship of a foreign television show.

(16) Hendijan’s head of health care system confirmed that 33 residents are victims of drinking contaminated water. They have been diagnosed with dysentery.

(17) The director of AIDS Research Center, Dr. Minoo Mohraz, confirmed that the main AIDS transmission method has been changed to sexual contact in the past two years. She added that the number of infected females has grown 10 times.

(18) Two workers in Tehran and Kerman have been injured due to their unsafe workplaces.

(19) Municipal workers of Lowshan, students who have been accepted in Azad University entrance exam, workers of city services in Nishabur, the farmers of Isfahan province, families of detained workers of Iran National Steel Industry Group, workers of city services in Kut-e Abdolla, and students of Science and Technology University held separate protests on December 30, 2018.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 29, 2018

Posted on: December 29th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 29th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) A Ph.D. student of political science, Shapour Reshno, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and two years exile. He along with six other residents of Andimeshk were accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ through cooperation with opposition groups. Ehsan Mirzavand was sentenced three years in prison and two years exile. Hossein Tafi, Darioush Jafarpour, and Iman Mirzavand were sentenced to six months imprisonment and finally, Behzad and Siavash Ghalavand faced four months in prison.

(2) In a letter, Mohammad Habibi, a teacher’s right activist who is detained in the Evin prison, has warned that the political prisoners’ cases are judged outside the judicial system. He is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 74 lashes.

(3) Hamzeh Darvish a Sunni prisoner of Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj had a severe anxiety attack and the left side of his body is paralyzed. He ended his hunger strike after 70 days last month.

(4) Hamidreza Rahmati,a teacher activist,who was protesting the arrest of the teachers during teachers’ strikes, was arrested.He is accused of ‘disturbing public order’ through his nine days sit-in by the Shahreza’s Ministry of Education office.

(5) Farid Pazhoohi a 24-year-old from Marivan, was arrested in October 2018 by the Intelligence Agency. His whereabouts is still unknown.

(6) Two kulbars were injured by the border patrol’s shot in Urmia and Khoy. Another kulbar was drowned in Baneh.

(7) The workers of Paloud Dairy Company reported that at least 180 workers have five months of unpaid wages. Also, Sani Electric Company went out of business and laid off 40 workers.

(8) The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company has shown concerns about incidents similar to the Azad University bus rollover and criticized the government’s policies on transportation. Ten students died in a bus rollover in Tehran on December 25.

(9) Delnia Sabouri and Rojin Ebrahimi were transferred to Kamyaran prison. They are accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ by attending the international Labor Day protest in the Kurdistan ‘s appeal court.

(10) Three workers in Hamadan were injured in an unsafe workplace-related incident.

(11) A citizen of Turkey, Aydin Ojilak, was exiled to Tabriz prison. He was accused of cooperation with opposition groups and had been serving his five years sentence in Urmia prison. After his hunger strike, he faced exile and was transferred to Tabriz prison.

(12) Retired staff of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, and the family of detained workers of the Iran National Steel company were held protests on December 29.

(13) Students and the families of students who died in a bus rollover incident at the Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch were protested on December 29, 2018. The main reason behind the deadly bus crash seems to be the old transport system. University students participated in a demonstration at Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, in Tehran to protest about old transport fleet which led to the death of their peers this week. The family members of the victims also joined the demonstration.

(14) A Baha’i prisoner was denied medical care despite his severe heart disease in Adelabad prison. Hasan Momtaz Sarvestani was accused of tutoring at The Baha’i Institute of Higher Education and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

(15) Several children in Kerman province are suffering from Epidermolysis bullosa which is a group of genetic conditions that cause the skin to be very fragile and to blister easily. They don’t have access to needed health care.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 27, 2018

Posted on: December 27th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 27th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) A stepfather in Qom was jailed over a child’s death. A child died after being transferred to a hospital to care for his severe injuries. His stepfather was accused of physically abusing the child.

(2) Ten workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group were released on bail. At least 15 more are still in prison.

(3) A prisoner in Zahedan prison had been stripped naked, tied up to a metal fence, and beaten after an argument with the prison deputy. Alireza Mohammadi is accused of robbery and was sentenced to six years imprisonment. In addition, A prisoner, Omran Mirakzehi, was beaten in Saravan prison and had been transferred to quarantine.

(4) Salahedin Ranjbar, a cyber activist, who has been previously sentenced to one year in prison, was arrested and transferred to Supermax ward for violent inmates of Urmia prison to serve his sentence on December 23.

(5) In a lawsuit filed by Kavous Seyed Emami’s family, against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting regarding a program aired which falsely portrayed him. His family also requested to lift the travel ban on Seyed-Emami ‘s spouse.

(6) Three protests have been held across the country. Educators and retired teachers protested in Isfahan and Urmia. Police fired tear gas at protestors and several of them have been arrested. Moreover, farmers in Isfahan protested and requested fulfilment of their demands.

(7) A prisoner who was accused of murder was saved from death with forgiveness and consent of the next of kin, after spending five years in the Dezful prison.

(8) More than 78 workers of Kavosh Pressure Vessels Manufacturer were laid off. Although they still have unpaid wages, their names have been sent to get unemployment benefits.

(9) A worker has been injured in a water well in Karaj because of unsafe working conditions.

(10) Mine explosion wounds a Shepherd in Salehabad district in Mehran County, Ilam Province. Land mines are remnants from Iran-Iraq war.

(11) Family and friends of Shahram Farajzadeh Tarani have been prevented from marking the anniversary of his death. The video of his death drew worldwide attention after he was ran over by a police vehicle during the 2009 Iranian election protests.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 24, 2018

Posted on: December 24th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 24th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than five protests were held in Iran; shareholders of the bankrupt financial institute of Caspian, workers of Tabriz Ball Bearing Manufacturer, farmers of Varzaneh in Isfahan, workers of Ahvaz Intercity Railway Company, workers of Andimeshk Arya Steel Company, and families of the detained workers of National Steel Company of Ahvaz.

(2) A teacher’s union activist, Mohammad Habibi ‘s sentence of ten years and a half in prison was confirmed in an appeal court. His sentence also included prohibition of social and political activities for two years, a travel ban for two years, and 74 lashes.

(3) Ebrahim Nouri and Jafar Rostamirad, two Azerbaijani Turkic rights activists were charged with ‘propaganda against the state’. Nouri was sentence to 18 months in prison and two years exile. Rostamirad faced six months imprisonment.

(4) Raheleh Rahemipour’s appeal court will be in session next month. She has been accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ because of writing a letter to the UN, demanding whereabouts of her executed brother and her disappeared nephew.

(5) Houshang Rezaei’s appeal court was on session after he spent 9 years in prison. He has been on the death row for 9 years being accused of Moharabeh through membership in Komele [Kurdish opposition group].

(6) Mohammad Saber Malek Reisi and Shir Ahmad Shirani who had been transferred to an unknown place, returned to the Ardabil prison.

(7) The Iranian parliament has failed to muster enough votes to approve “child bride” bill. This bill aims to set the legal age of marriage at 16 for girls and at 18 for boys.

(8) Ali Nejati, a labor activist, who is a member of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Mill Labor Syndicate, has been transferred to Shush prison. He suffers from heart disease.

(9) Three Kurdish citizens, Amir Barekati, Osman Faraji, and Saber Khoshaiand were arrested in Ilam, Baneh, and Sarpol-e Zahab.

(10) Four detained political activists, Abdollah and Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibian, and Akbar Dalir have been deprived from the right to an attorney in the last seven months.

(11) Iranian border patrol continues to shoot Kurdish couriers. Two kulbars, Ebrahim Mohammad Rahim and Ataollah Mohammadzadeh were shot and injured.

(12) In the last eight months, 291 workers died of work-related incidents which is an increase of 11 percent from last year.

(13) Two detained activists, Musa Mahmoudi and Mohammad Ebrahimi who were charged with ‘cooperation with Kurdish opposition groups’ were sentenced to 4- and 15-years confinement respectively. They are from Piranshahr and Oshnavieh.

(14) A worker was injured in an unsafe factory in Nishabur city in Khorasan Razavi province.

(15) Ahmad Rastegari was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in Urmia prison. He is accused of ‘membership in a Kurdish opposition groups’ and ‘propaganda against the state’ and was sentenced by Branch 2 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court.

(16) A prisoner charged with murder was saved from execution with forgiveness of the next of kin in the Kermanshah province.

(17) In the Mashhad Central Prison, a man was saved from hand amputation after his plaintiff forgave him.

(18) Marivan firefighters and the workers of Karaj municipality have 3 months of unpaid wages.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 9, 2018

Posted on: December 9th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 9th,2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Executions in Urmia, Qazvin and Karaj

(2) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Bail

(3) More Arrests Related to Chabahar Attack

(4) Highest Poverty Rate of the Rural Areas is in Three Provinces

 (5) Jail Time and Lashes for Worker Protesters

(6) Shirin Ebadi Wrote an Open Letter to the “Defender of Human Rights Center”

(7) A Baluch Prisoner Was Transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

(8) 64 Workplace-related Deaths Were Reported in the Last Eight Months

(9) Delayed Paychecks and Layoffs in Three Businesses

(10) Setting the Court Session Date for Aryasb Bavand and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah

    

(1) Executions in Urmia, Qazvin and Karaj

In the morning of December 9, 2018, a prisoner in Urmia prison was transferred to a solitary confinement until his execution. He was accused with drug crimes. Moreover, Qazvin prosecutor confirmed the execution of two prisoners in Karaj and Qazvin. He added that the person who was executed on December 9 was accused of rape and the other person who was accused of murder was executed on December 4th.

(2) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Bail

Two Sunni prisoners were released on bail from Urmia prison on Sunday December 9, 2018. Rasoul Shaier and Abdolvahed Salamat, were released on bail after two-years imprisonment. They were sentenced to five years in prison by the branch 10 appeal court in West Azerbaijan. In addition, two citizens were released on bail in Kermanshah and Salas-e Babajani cities. The other four are still in prison. 30 years old Salar Ahmadi was released on a 300-million-Tomans[$25000] bail. He was arrested in late November. Ali Sohrabilak, a 29 years old physic student, was released on a 280-million-Tomans [$24000] bail. He was arrested by the intelligence department in October 14th and was accused of, “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Moreover, Fahimeh Zandi and Sahar Kazemi who were arrested earlier this month are still in prison.

(3) More Arrests Related to Chabahar Attack

The chief of police announced that 10 more people were arrested in Zahedan, in relation to the Chabahar attack. Baluch’s activists campaign reported that security officers attacked Adham Narani’s house in Kaffe Baluchi village in Sarbaz city and had beaten and arrested him and his guests. In addition, the intelligence officers arrested two citizens separately in their workplace in Sanandaj and transferred them to an unknown place. According to Kurdistan democracy and human right center on December 8th, Vahid Azimi and Habib Ahmadi were beaten and arrested for “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(4) Highest Poverty Rate of the Rural Areas is in Three Provinces

The highest poverty rate in rural areas is in Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad, Ilam, and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces. The parliament research center reported that the caloric intake for 65 percent of the people who live in these provinces is less than 2100. In Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad, nutrition-based poverty is significant. The poverty rate for Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad’s urban area is 2.8 and for rural area is 2.1. The poverty rate in this province is 2.49. Moreover, the lowest poverty rates are in Tehran and Alborz provinces.

 (5) Jail Time and Lashes for Worker Protesters

15 workers of Ilam Petrochemical company were sentenced to imprisonment and lashes. Judiciary Office has sentenced 15 workers of Ilam Petrochemical company to imprisonment and lashes. They were charged with disturbing public order because of their participation in a protest which was organized in April.In addition, a financial criminal, Hamid Bagheri Darmani, was sentenced to death.10 more financially-related criminals were also sentenced to imprisonment and fines. The convicted names are reported as the following: Mohsen Ranjbar for bribery and corruption to seven year and half of imprisonment and 74 lashes, Manuchehr Pourfar and Esmaeil Nasrollahi to 10 years imprisonment, Mehdi Rezaie to three years imprisonment, Naser Habibinasab to one year imprisonment, AsgarBarati to five years imprisonment, Hossein Mansouri Ghiri and Mahmoud Pourmand to eight years imprisonment, Amir Kamali Sarvestani  and Mir Mohammad Akhoundzadeh, an Afghan citizen, to 20 years imprisonment and deportation. All the above were faced to criminal fines. The chairman of Samenolhojaj Financial institute was sentencedto 15 years in prison.

(6) Shirin Ebadi Wrote an Open Letter to the “Defender of Human Rights Center”

Shirin Ebadi who received the Nobel Prize for Peace, wrote an open letter to the “defender of human rights center” on Wednesday, December 5th. She requested Javid Rehman, United Nations special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran, to acquire all possible means to help releasing the workers in Iran.

(7) A Baluch Prisoner Was Transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

MohammadSaleh Shahdadzehi, a Baluch prisoner, was transferred to Rajaie Shahr prison in Karaj. He was arrested by the intelligence officers in in Iranshahr city earlier in June 2017.  A person close to Shahdadzehi told that he was detained in the Intelligence Office’s detention center for 7 months and had been tortured to confess that he had killed a Basij member.

(8) 64 Workplace-related Deaths Were Reported in the Last Eight Months

In the last eight months, 64 workers have died in their workplaces in Mazandaran province. Ali Abbasi, the director of forensic medicine department of Mazandaran province confirmed that Sari with 10 deaths, Amol with 9 and Tonekabon with 8 deaths had the highest number of workplace-related deaths while Savadkuh county, Neka, and Jooybar and Galoogah counties had the lowest with one death. Moreover, a middle-aged worker in Mahabad city was killed because of falling from an elevator while two other workers were injured in a mine in Khorasan Razavi province.

(9) Delayed Paychecks and Layoffs in Three Businesses

55 workers of the social emergency unit of Golestan province Welfare Organization have not received their salaries from June.Also, the workers of Sanandaj municipality announced that their salaries payments are delayed and expressed their concerns. In addition, 30 workers of Sadid factory in Tehran were laid off.

(10) Setting the Court Session Date for Aryasb Bavand and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah

The second hearing session of the accusations of Aryasb Bavand, a political prisoner in ward 4 of Evin prison, and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah was held in the Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati. Bavand’s accusations are “Forming a group to act against the national security, propaganda against the regime and dissemination of falsehood”. He and Poshtpanah were arrestedwhen returning to Iran

Urmia Authorities Turn Deaf Ear to Prisoner Fighting Infection

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- “What do you need an ear for?”, the Urmia Prison director said to Sadroldin Teymourpour, a prisoner complaining of an ear infection secondary to an assault by security agents.

Needless to say, Teymourpour’s request to be transferred to a hospital was not taken seriously.

Initially sentenced to death, Teymourpour is currently serving a commuted sentence of 30 years plus a 200-million toman [approximately $13,500 USD] fine.

Forcing ailing prisoners to make do with the short-staffed, underequipped prison clinic has led to multiple prisoner deaths. HRANA reported on a number of these fatal neglect cases in September 2018.

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.

Urmia Prisoner Dies by Suicide

Posted on: October 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On the night of Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Mohammad Ahoupah, 33, died by suicide in Urmia prison.

Ahoupah was a native of Urmia, northwestern Iran, serving his sixth of a 25-year sentence in Ward 15 of the prison on drug-related offenses. He is survived by his wife and two children.

An informed source related to HRANA the running theory among Ahoupah’s ward mates: that when he took his own life in the showers of Ward 15, he had lost hope of stepping foot outside the prison before his time was up. “Four months ago, he submitted a request to be transferred to Zanjan prison from Urmia, and had requested furlough several times to resolve family problems,” the source said. “His requests were denied every single time.”

Recent months have seen the suicides of several prisoners who, despite family emergencies and lawful eligibility, were repeatedly denied the right to furlough. In Sanandaj, western Iran on August 18th of this year, five prisoners desperate to attend to family problems outside the prison made attempts at their own lives when their furlough requests were denied by the supervising judge. One of the five, 36 -year-old Eghbal Khosravi of Ward 6, did not survive the attempt. In another case just three days earlier in Zahedan, southeastern Iran, a prisoner completed suicide by pill overdose when, racked with exasperation over authorities’ continued neglect of his case, his name was removed from a list of prisoners scheduled for a sit-down with the prison prosecutor.