The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Khordad 1395 [Iranian month corresponding to 21 May to 20 June 2016]:
Lashes are not the right answer to the workers’ trade union demands
In continuation of its monthly reports, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Khordad 1395 [21 May to 20 June 2016].
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has deplored the lashes sentence of workers, and announced that lashes are not the right answer to the trade union demands of workers.
Therefore, this people-instituted organization has asked the Judiciary to delegate the resolution of workers’ issues at their workplace to the relevant dispute settlement authorities, according to the articles No.142 & No. 157 of Labour Law.
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has referred to the ban on corporal punishments in accordance with international conventions, including the Convention against Torture and has emphasized on the need to reform the penal system of Iran.
Furthermore, in its report, which is published in both Farsi and English languages, this people-instituted organization has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran under the three main headings of: “Civil and political rights”, “social and economic rights”, and “cultural heritage and the environment”.
According to the website of the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, the text of the report by the said center for the month of Khordad 1395, which has been published on 4th of Tir 1395 [23 June 2016], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in May-June 2016
According to Transparency International, Iran has gained the rating 145 among 174 countries in terms of financial transparency. Embezzlements amounting to billions of Rials and the payment of tens of millions of rewards and bonuses for government executives, have brought the economy to the brink of crisis. One of the consequences of this is the closure of factories and workshops. Obviously, in such circumstances, the livelihood of the working class is faced with difficulties and when the workers protest against these problems; the answer they get is prison and lashes. For example, between 30-100 lashes sentences have been issued for 17 workers of Aq Dareh Gold Mine and the sentences of lashes and suspended imprisonment have been issued for nine workers of Bafq Iron Ore during the last days of Ordibehesht (May).
The lashes sentences have been issued by the Judiciary while, corporal punishments have been banned for a long time according to the standards of the human rights. In that connection, one can refer to the Convention against Torture, which has been adapted by the United Nations General Assembly in this regard. In the early eighties, the Islamic Republic of Iran tried to reform the penal system in Iran and revoke such penalties. However, the proposal of “Iran’s accession to the Convention against Torture” that was approved by Parliament, was rejected by Guardian Council in 1383 and has been pending since then after it was referred to the Expediency Council. Therefore, in view of the Judiciary’s abuse of punishments which run counter to human rights, the approval of the bill on “Iran’s accession to the Convention against Torture” could act as an obstacle to those issuing such sentences
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Khordad 1395, as follows. This report is based on information published by various media channels and websites, whose accuracy has been verified. The report is appearing under three separate sections, and in Farsi and English languages.
Human Rights Situation in Iran in May-June 2016
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, more than 51 people were detained and the names of them have been specified, who were Homa Hudfar – a Canadian-Iranian citizen; Shima Babaei – a civil activist; Ali Hossenin Shamaeli – a political activist; Keyvan Pakzadan – a Baha’i citizen – .
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Mostafa Gholamnejad – a civil activist; Leila Abdinejad – a newly converted Christian; Habib Sassanian (Yakamuz), Esmaeil Afkhami, Mehdi Javadzadeh, Hamid Saqati, Babak Avand, Yunes Rahimi, Ahmad Hosseinzadeh, Ali Mavat, Faruq Mavat, Mokhtar Ebrahimu, Yusef Ahmadian, Arsalan Besharat, Yusef Zudi, Khaled Ak, Yunes Zudi, Rasul Salimi (Kabi), Naji Salimi and Omid Feizizadeh – 18 citizens.
In addition, the police have reported the detention of two individuals – without mentioning their names in the town of Fasa due to the publication of cartoons and satirical texts in social media, and the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) has reported the detention of 24 workers in Ahvaz due to taking part in a union rally. Morteza Kamsarei, a labour activist, was also detained for some hours.
It should be noted that some of the detainees were released temporarily on bail after a few days until the date of their trial.
Moreover, Reza Hanash Kabi and Ali Jalali – two citizens from the city of Ahvaz – were detained during the last days of the month of Ordibehesht.
2. Ali Matrudi – a poet – was sent to prison to spend one year imprisonment, Nasrollah Lashani – a political activist – was transferred to jail to spend six years in jail, Mohammad Rashidi – a civil activist – was sent to prison to spend four months in prison, Mehdi Rajabian – a musician – was sent to jail to spend three years imprisonment, Hossein Rajabian – a movie maker – was sent to jail to spend a three year term, Arash Sadeqi – a former university student activist – was sent to prison to spend 19 years imprisonment term and Behnam Musivand – a civil activist – was sent to jail to spend three years imprisonment term. Kamran Ayazi – a cultural activist – was summoned to the prison to spend three months and one day in jail. In addition, the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) has reported the carrying out of 30-100 lashes sentence against 17 workers of Aq Dareh Gold Mine during the last days of Ordibehesht.
3. Mohammadreza Fathi – a blogger – was sentenced to six sentences of 74 lashes each; Reza Heidarpur – a physician – was sentenced to six months in jail; Alireza Darwish – a journalist – was sentenced to six months in prison and 80 lashes; Mehdi Maleki was sentenced to six months in jail; Seyyed Mohammad Ebrahimi – a civil activist – was sentenced to three years imprisonment term and Mohammad Mozafari – a political activist – was sentenced to two years in prison, two million Toman fine and 74 lashes. Moreover, the lawyer of workers in Iron Ore Mine of Bafq has reported the issuance of 11 months of imprisonment and 50 lashes that is suspended for five years against Mohammad Hassan Tashakori, four months of imprisonment that is suspended for five years for the second defendant and seven months of suspended imprisonment and 30 lashes against other seven workers. These are suspended for five years.
4. The court trial sessions of Akbar Azad, Alireza Farshi, Behnam Sheikhi, Hamid Manafi Nazarlu, Mansur Fathi, Mahmud Ojaqlu, Rostam Kazempur, Aziz Farshi, Mohammd Karimi, Abbas Lesani and Roqayeh Alizadeh – 11 civil activists – and Rasul Razavi – a political prisoner – were held.
5. Mostafa Fathizadeh – a reporter; Najibeh Salehzadeh – a civil activist; and Qasem Eksirifard – a university professor – were summoned to the magistrate court and Shole Gudarzi, Delnia Saburi and Rojin Ebrahimi – three citizens of Kamyaran; and Zahed Moradi – a labour activist – were summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence.
6. The relevant officials prevented Zohreh Tonekaboni – a former political prisoner – from leaving the country.
7. Some five university students of Sistan Va Baluchestan were sentenced to two semesters of exclusion from education and two other students were sentenced to one semester of exclusion from education.
8. Some 200 million Toman bail of Solmaz Ikdar – a journalist who has left Iran recently – was seized.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. “Qanun” Daily was banned by a decree issued by the prosecutor, and “Jahan News” Website and “9th of Dey” Weekly were banned by the Press Supervisory Board.
2. The Press Jury has found “Khabar Varzeshi” Daily and “Dana” Website guilty. In addition, the editor in chief of “Keyhan” was briefed in the magistrate court and the editor in chief of “Ramz-e Obur” Weekly was interrogated in the magistrate court and then released on bail.
3. The relevant officials prevented concerts by Salar Aqili, Maziar Fallahi and Majid Derakhshani. Moreover, the relevant officials refused to allow the participation of women orchestra members in the concert of the “Nagofteh” group.
4. The relevant officials did not allow the title song of the movie “Barcode”, which was performed by Yaser Bakhtiary, an Iranian rapper.
5. The Judiciary official prevented the screening of the movie “Adat Nemikonim” [“We will not get used to it”] and also the screening of “50 Kilo Albalu” [“50 kg of sour cherry”].
6. The producers of movies “Abad Va Yek Ruz” (Eternity and a day), “50 Kilo Albalu” and “Kucheh Binam” [“Nameless Alley”] were interrogated in the magistrate court. The producer of “I am Naser Hedjazi” Documentary was summoned to the magistrate court and then was released on bail.
7. The prayer rooms of Sunni citizens in Tajerabad of Mashad and Asadieh Town in Darmian were closed and placed under the official seal by the relevant officials.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 13 individuals were executed in this month. The complete names of some of them are still not clear but judicial authorities or government-controlled media have confirmed their executions. Some of the names are as follows:
The Judiciary officials have reported the execution of one woman and one man in Qazvin due to the crime of storage and transportation of drugs. State-controlled media have reported the execution of three individuals in Mashhad because of storage and transportation of drugs.
“Hamid.B” was executed in Shiraz in public. A Judiciary official has announced that his crime was rape. In addition, a Judiciary official has reported the execution of two individuals in Shiraz in public due to the crime of rape and corruption on Earth.
A Judiciary official has reported the execution of one individual in Nur City and one individual in Yasuj because of murder. State-controlled media have reported the execution of one individual in Mashhad because of first-degree murder.
Moreover, state-controlled media have reported the execution of two Afghan citizens in Tehran due to the crime of rape.
On the other hand, some unofficial news websites have reported some executions in the prisons of Nowshahr, Adel Abad of Shiraz, Rajaei Shahr of Karaj and Qezelhesar. These reports have not been confirmed or rejected by the relevant officials.
2. The Judiciary officials have reported the carrying out of the sentences of 99 lashes against 35 boys and girls for attending in a party.
3. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of death sentences against one individual in Fars Province due to the crimes of robbery and rape, one individual in Esfahan due to hooliganism and one prisoner because of killing his cellmate. Moreover, the Judiciary officials have reported the issuance of death sentences against three individuals in Khuzestan Province and one individual in Ardebil because of murder.
“A-K” and “R-K” were sentenced to death in Razavi Khorasan Province. The state-controlled media announced that their crimes were murder.
In addition, some news websites have reported the issuance of death sentence for Davud Abdollahi, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Anvar Khezri, Khosro Besharat, Qasem Absteh and Ayub Karimi – seven Sunni citizens.
4. State-controlled media has reported the issuance of 74 lashes sentence for a woman due to the crime of illicit sexual relations.
5. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them – such as – Mohammadreza Nekunam, Afshin Sohrabzadeh, Omid Shahmoradi, Roya Saberi Nobakht, and Jaber Sakhravi – are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment.
6. State-controlled media has reported the detention of more than 83 men and women in Tehran, 29 individuals in Mashhad, 62 individuals in Bandarabbas, 21 individuals in Kerma, 70 individuals in Neyshabur and 29 individuals in Alborz Province due to attending in parties.
7. The Judiciary officials have reported the detention of 17 individuals in Tehran due to “immoral activities in virtual networks”. The Revolutionary Guards also has reported the detention of 21 individuals in Fars Province as a part of what it described as “fighting against cultural penetration”. In addition, the Police have reported the detention of one individual in Karaj due to what it called “calling out for water play”. [as written]
8. Police have reported the detention of 37 individuals because of “eating in public during the month of Ramadan”.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
Reports concerning situation regarding social and economic also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas for example: news shows the inappropriateness of employment and rights of workers in phases No.14&20&21 of Asaluyeh, Kamyab Sugar Factory, Adonis Appliance Factory, Polydactyl Factory, Baladeh Coal Mine, Firuz Abad Brick Machine Factory, East Alborz Coal Mine, Arj Factory, Zagros Steel Factory, Persian Gulf Star Refinery, Rahaneh Factory, Tabriz Compressor Factory, Telecommunication of Shiraz, Petro Pars Refinery, Modiran Khodro Factory, Mashinsazi Foundry of Tabriz, Raja Contractor, the coal mines of Kuhbanan and Zarand, Khazar Tile Factory, Pars Carpet Factory, Varaq Karan Factory of Tabriz, Bafq Iron Ore Mine Cooperation, Ardakan Steel, Damash Mineral Water and Copper Complex of Khatun Abad.
1. The wages of 150 workers of Gostaresh Manasaz Factory have not been paid for three months, more than thousands workers of Borujerd Municipality have not received their wages for six months, more than 350 workers of Marand Municipality have not been paid for three months, around 200 workers of Abadan Abfa have not received their salaries for two months, 150 workers of Gachsaran Oil and Gas Company have not received their salaries for two months and around 118 workers of the Old Citadel have not been paid for three months until the preparation date of this report.
2. Some 450 workers of Bonab Steel Complex, 120 workers of Qazvin Steel Factory and 54 workers of Arman Shafaq Steel Factory were laid off. In addition, 170 workers of Nemuneh Mosavar Concrete components Factory of Gilan were unemployed after the closure of these industrial units.
3. Police has reported the sealing of 19 trade units in Tabriz due to distributing unconventional women dresses. Some 27 trade units were sealed due to selling items with Western symbols in Hamedan Province and 50 trade units also were sealed because of violating the fasting rules during Ramadan. In addition, the business locations of Fereydun Aghsani and Fardin Aghsani – two Baha’i citizens – were sealed by the relevant officials.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
1. Reports concerning situation regarding cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas during this month to the extent that, the density of dust in Ilam’s air became 18 times higher than the permitted level during some days of Khordad and air pollution has reached to 17 times more than the safe levels in Lorestan.
2. Ali Shilan and Yaghub Shilan – two citizens – were killed in Sardasht due to mine explosion and Abdollah Shilan – a citizen – was injured. In addition, Hossein Moludkhani – a citizen – was injured in Piranshahr due to mine explosion and Baqer Bastami – an employee of the Demining Centre – was injured in Mehran due to another land mine explosion. One more mine explosion in Shalamcheh cut the left leg of Ali Bakhtiary ¬ – an employee of the Demining Centre.
At the end of the report for the month of Khordad of 1395, The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights expressed regret for the lashes sentences against workers, emphasising its view that lashes are not an appropriate response to the trade union demands of workers.
Therefore, The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has asked the Judiciary to delegate the resolution of workers’ issues at their workplace to the relevant dispute settlement authorities, according to the articles No142 and & No 157 of the Labour Law.
Note: For further information regarding the above reports, please refer to the following news websites: Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), Fars news agency, Mehr news agency, Young Journalists Club news agency, CDHR website, JARAS, Committee of Human Rights Reporters, Nedaye Azadi, Baztab, HRANA, Ghanoon, Kaleme, Mohebbat News, Sunni Online, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Majzooban-e Noor, Melli Mazhabi, Nedaye Sabze Azadi, Radio Zamaneh, Radio Farda and BBC.
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