A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 15, 2019

Posted on: January 15th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 15th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Abbas Lesani, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, was arrested after his court session. He was tried in absentia and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment on the charge of ‘propaganda against the state’.

(2) A car transporting student crashed leaving four students injured in Qaleh Ganj in the Kerman province.

(3) A report of mistreatment in Zahedan prison: Zobeir Hout, a prisoner with severe skin disease, was denied medical care. Alireza Bampouri, Zabihollah Rigi, and Rashid Ahourani have been beaten and transferred to quarantine, punitively.

(4) Mohammad Najafi court was in session today. He is a lawyer and human rights activist who is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 14 more years imprisonment for his new charges of ‘spreading lies and disturbing public opinion’.

(5) The attorney for the plaintiffs in the Social Security Organization case, Mostafa Turk Hamedani, was sentenced to 40 lashes and 6-months imprisonment for the complaint filed by Saeed Mortazavi, the former general prosecutor of Tehran.

(6) Two workers died and eight have been injured in their workplaces in the cities of Karchan and Yazd, because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(7) An accused individual in the city of Salmas received an alternative sentencing to prepare banner and brochures about ‘crime prevention’. Otherwise, he would be sentenced to support two recovering addicts and meet their basic needs.

(8) Saba Kord-Afshar, Yasaman Aryani, and Azar Heydari wrote an open letter from Evin prison about people’s financial and political situation. They were arrested in August 2018 while taking part in a public protest in Tehran.

(9) Amir Hossein Mohammadifar and Sanaz Allahyari who were arrested by the security forces on January 9, have been transferred to Evin Prison, section 209. They were working as editors of “Gam” journal.

(10) More than five protests were organized all over the country: several teachers in Yazd, firefighters in Abadan, workers of inter-city rail in Ahvaz, Nishabur municipality workers, and the shareholders of financial institution of Caspian.

(11) Habib Ahmadi, a labor activist, was released on bail after 40 days detention. He was charged with ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’.

(12) A prisoner was publicly executed in Falavarjan county in Isfahan province. He was accused of murdering a 5-year old girl, Melika. In 2018, at least 236 people have been executed and 195 people have been sentenced to death in Iran.

(13) A landmine explosion injured two army soldiers in Qasr-e Shirin city in the Kermanshah province. More than 42 thousand square kilometers of the lands in the Iran ‘s western provinces contain landmines left from the Iran-Iraq war.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 28, 2018

Posted on: December 28th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 28th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Zahra Abbasi, a 16-year-old pregnant girl, self-immolated and died in Dishmok city in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province. Five other women have self-immolated in Dishmok in the current year.

(2) During the last few days, 24 residents of Hendijan have been transferred to hospital for drinking contaminated water. They have been diagnosed with dysentery.

(3) Two Azerbaijani Turkic rights activists, Reza Jafarlou and Akbar Gholizadeh, who had been arrested on December 10th and detained in Urmia prison were released on bail. Three other activists, Oldouz Ghasemi, Amir Sattari, and Javad Ahmadi Yaekaneli were summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Naqadeh.

(4) Mohammad Saber Malek Reisi and Shir Ahmad Shirani, two political prisoners of Ardabil prison, who were returned to the prison after 12 days of interrogation, have been transferred to quarantine. They also have been barred from having visitors or phone calls.

(5) Seyed Mohammad Mohammadi, a political prisoner in the Evin prison, has served 14 months of his 2-year sentence. He was accused of ‘propaganda against the state’, ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’, and ‘insulting the authorities’.

(6) More than 40 students of an elementary school in Babol have been poisoned. Students with food poisoning symptoms have been hospitalized for treatment. The cause of the poisoning is unknown.

(7) Zahedan prisoners suffer from lack of access to adequate medical and mental health care, mistreatment by prisoners’ staff, malnutrition, quarantined when they complained about their situation, etc.

(8) Six firefighters were injured during an incident in Jey Industrial Zone in the central district of Isfahan

(9) Three protests and strikes have been organized on December 28, 2018. Nishabur public service workers, Farmers of Isfahan province, and staff of Islamic Azad University Meybod branch, requested their demands in separate protests.

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 12, 2018

Posted on: December 12th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 12th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) A Political Prisoner, Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, Died in Prison After 60 Days of Hunger Strike

(2) Esmail Bakhshi and Meisam Al-Mahdi, Detained Labor Activists, Released on Bail

(3) Security Forces Arrested Four Citizens in Urmia, Piranshahr, and Divandarreh

(4) Ali Kamrani Released After Completing his Prison Sentence

(5) Three inmates were beaten and their hands and feet have been tied by a prison officer 

(6) More Than Nine Protests Were Organized All Over the Country

(7) More from Iran

            

(1) A Political Prisoner, Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, Died in Prison After 60 Days of Hunger Strike

Vahid Sayadi Nasiri died in Qom prison after 60 days of hunger strike.He was imprisoned in Langarud prison in Qom, after 60 days hunger strike without access to proper medical care. He was facing with accusations of “blasphemy”and “spreading propaganda against the state”. He went on hunger strike in protest to his legal situation. His family was contacted today and received the news of his death in Shahid Beheshti hospital in Qom.

(2) Esmail Bakhshi and Meisam Al-Mahdi, Detained Labor Activists, Released on Bail

Meisam Al-Mahdi , Iran National Steel Industrial Group activist, who was arrested on December 11th, was released today. Moreover, Esmail Bakhshi, a worker of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Business was released on bail today. The whereabouts of the other labor activists who were arrested in recent protests are still unknown. Also, Ali Kroshat and Hamedi Nargesi, detained teacher’s right activist, were released on bail.He was arrested on November 12, 2018 in teacher’s protest in Khuzestan. The status of Mohammad Ramezanzadeh, and Omid Shahmohammadi, teachers who were arrested, is unknown.

(3) Security Forces Arrested Four Citizens in Urmia, Piranshahr, and Divandarreh

Four citizens were arrested by security forces and intelligence department’s officers in Urmia, Piranshahr and Divandarreh. The Center of Democracy and Human Rights in Kurdistan reported that in this week, Soleiman Mohammadnezhad, Bapir Barzeh, Jamal Mahmoudzadeh, and Homayun Bahmani were arrested in Piranshahr, Urmia, and Divandarreh and were transferred to an unknown place. Moreover, Jamshid Derakhshan, who converted to Christianity and was arrested by security forces on December 2nd, contacted his family today and informed that he has been transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.

(4) Ali Kamrani Released After Completing his Prison Sentence

Ali Kamrani a student of Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University who was arrested on December 31, 2017 and was accused of “insulting the supreme leader” and“spreading propaganda against the state” was released on December 12, 2018 after completing his prison sentence of three months.

(5) Three inmates were beaten and their hands and feet have been tied by a prison officer 

On December 11, 2018, three inmates in Zahedan prison were beaten by the prison officers and have been left in quarantine with tied hands and feet. Aref Kharkouhi, 26 years old inmate who was accused of Moharebeh through armed robbery, Mehrollah Rigi, 24 years old prisoner with a murder charge, and Reza Bameri are inmates who were transferred to quarantine. They were held in wardfive of the Zahedan prison.

(6) More Than Nine Protests Were Organized All Over the Country

Flight attendants of the Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran Air) held a protest by the parliament, Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Business workers, the Iranian University Entrance Exam (Konkour) participants, the workers and employees of Arvandkenar county in Abadan district, 40 people who owned Arvandi cars, the workers of Ahvaz Steel company, the shareholders of the bankrupt Caspian Institution, and Tehran’s municipality’s contractors requested fulfillment of their demands in multiple protests.

(7) More from Iran

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a labor activist, was arrested on December 12, 2018 and transferred to an unknown place. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

Unpaid wages earned within six months owed to workers in two corporations in Talesh and Borujerd

Two Months of Interrogations for Three Citizens, then Zahedan Prison

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On Thursday, November 1, 2018, three prisoners from Sarbaz County in Sistan and Baluchestan Province were transferred from an Intelligence office to Zahedan Prison after two months of interrogations.

During the arrest, security forces reportedly opened fire on the men, injuring one of them who has yet to receive medical treatment. HRANA has identified these prisoners as Atahollah Shahbakhsh, 25, Salem Shahbakhsh, 23, and Javid Shahbakhsh, 27.

An informed source told HRANA that prison authorities transferred the men to different wards on Thursday: Javid Shahbakhsh to Ward 8, Salem Shahbakhsh to Ward 6, and Ataollah Shahbakhsh to Ward 5 and that a bullet wound on Salem Shahbakhsh’s left hand has gone untreated.

“These prisoners were beaten and tortured in the intelligence detention center for about two months,” the source said, adding that they faced charges of “acting against national security” and ” cooperation with opposition groups.”

Zahedan Central Prison: 6 Untimely Deaths in 7 Months

Posted on: October 31st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A 50-year-old man died within a day of his arrival to Zahedan Central Prison on October 27th due to untreated gastrointestinal issues.

He was reportedly suffering from severe diarrhea when he was transferred from quarantine to Ward 6. He received no medical care and died later that night.

HRANA is in the process of confirming the identity of this prisoner, the sixth in the past seven months to die in the custody of authorities at Zahedan Central Prison.

Despite a dearth of medical staff, supplies, and equipment, Zahedan Central has been reluctant to transfer prisoners to outside hospitals, even when that transfer is a matter of life or death.

[Counting from March 2018, the Iranian New Year], this deceased prisoner was preceded in death by the following five Zahedan inmates:

· Abdolnabi Saresi, died September 28th of an untreated illness
· Gholamreza Goul of Ward 6, died September 15
· Ramin Dokaleh of Ward 1, died May 31st
· Gholam Nab Reigi of Ward 5, died May 29th
· Nasir Zoraghi of Ward 8, died in May of untreated cardiac disease

Zahedan is the capital of the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan and home to the Baloch ethnic minority.

Zahedan’s Political Prisoners Suffer Cold, Hunger, Harassment

Posted on: October 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The political prisoners in Zahedan prison continue to endure mistreatment at the hands of personnel, the harassment of their families by authorities, malnutrition, medical negligence, arbitrary restriction on furlough, and the temperature extremes of an overcrowded prison without climate control.

Constructions and repairs on two wards have dragged on since last year and exacerbated overpopulation concerns at the prison, where many inmates spend nights on their floor.

A close source said that visiting-room personnel and the supervising judge’s office are not above disparaging prisoners’ visiting kin, and cited the judge’s secretary as having particularly hostile conduct toward guests. The visiting-room personnel reportedly condone a guest-inspection protocol that is forceful and intrusive enough to have dissuaded a number of family members from returning.

Dejected at the mistreatment of their family members, some prisoners suffer from mood disorders, declaring hunger strike or attempting suicide.

“Some of the prison staff, like Haji Keykhah, get promoted every year despite mistreatment of prisoners and histories of sexual misconduct,” one Zahedan prisoner, recently released after 20 years, told HRANA. “Khalili [former personnel] and Mohsen Khajeh are two authorities who instigate fights between prisoners and staff. Each has their own group of cronies who smuggle narcotics into the prison.”

Many inmates in the political ward are denied furlough despite being lawfully eligible to take it. Inspector Ghouchi, a prison quartermaster, reportedly uses the promise of furlough to extort desperate prisoners.

As winter closes in, a lack of heating equipment has made the life unbearable for prisoners, some of whom went to lengths to purchase their own heating units — only to have them confiscated by prison authorities, who repurposed them for their own use in administrative offices.

Any of Zahedan’s 3,000 inmates desiring medical care must get in line to see a generalist for the 20 minutes they swing by the prison each day. A psychiatrist visits twice monthly for an equally narrow time frame, while dentists or ophthalmologists aren’t brought in at all.

A recently-released prisoner who worked at the cafeteria and prison shop told HRANA that the cafeteria staffs its kitchen with prisoners paid between 100 and 200 tomans [approximately $6 and $12 USD] per month, “resulting in very poor-quality meals.” The prison shop, stocking only laundry detergent and dishwasher liquid, offers nothing to supplement a hungry prisoner’s diet.

Zahedan is the capital of the southeastern province of Sistan & Baluchistan, which borders Pakistan and is home to Iran’s Baloch minority.

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.

Zahedan Prisoner Attempts Pill Overdose

Posted on: October 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On the morning of October 20, 2018, Zahedan prisoner Saeed Baravi, 26, attempted a pill overdose after authorities refused to address alleged mistreatment of his family by Zahedan personnel.

An unconscious Baravi was transferred to the prison clinic after ingesting the pills.

An informed source told HRANA that Baravi’s family had been met with verbal aggression when they pressed the supervising judge for an update on his request for furlough.

“The judge’s secretary Mr. Nouri insulted the family and had them removed from the office,” the source said. “Mr. Baravi then met with Mr. Khosravi, the Zahedan prison director, to deliver a letter objecting to the secretary’s conduct.”

Baravi has been serving a 15-year sentence on drug-related charges since 2016.

Multiple inmate suicides have been attributed to Zahedan prison’s oppressive and unhygienic living conditions, not least of which include patterns of abuse and neglect by prison authorities. Anguished by authorities’ continued neglect of his case, death-row prisoner Saeed Saberi completed suicide by pill overdose in mid-August of this year when he saw his name removed from a list of prisoners scheduled for a sit-down with the prison prosecutor. On August 5th, 42-year-old Mansour Mohammad Zehi, also on death row, took his own life by swallowing razor blades, having claimed that prison personnel had confiscated his dieh, or “blood money” [a price set by families of murder victims by which some defendants can buy their way out of a death sentence]. In May, HRANA reported on the suicide of Mehdi Kouhkan, who had reportedly been distressed by a transfer order to the quarantine section.

Zahedan Prison is located on the southeastern border city of Zahedan.

Zahedan Prisoner Hanged to Death

Posted on: October 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Thirty-one-year-old Mehdi Mirshekar from Zabol, eastern Iran was executed on the morning of Saturday, October 20, 2018.

A prisoner of Zahedan’s Ward 7, Mirshekar had been in prison for six years on a rape charge. Per protocol for prisoners whose execution is imminent, he was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on the evening of Monday, October 15th.

By carrying out this hanging in silence, authorities — particularly the Judiciary — demonstrate a continued pattern of obfuscation on the topic of prisoner sentencing and executions, in spite of their responsibilities of informing the public.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. On the World Day against the Death Penalty (October 10th), the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) published its annual report, indicating that at least 256 citizens were executed in Iran between October 10, 2017, and October 9, 2018, 15 of which were public hangings. Sixty-eight percent of executions, referred to as “secret executions,” are not announced by the state or Judiciary.