The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Bahman 1397 [January-February 2019]
Conducting a referendum on the issue of the whole system is the solution for Iran
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 Bahman 1397 [Iranian month corresponding to 21 January 2019 to 19 February 2019].
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has referred to the structural problems of the Islamic Republic, and declared that holding a referendum outside the constitution and around the issue of the entirety of the political system is the solution for Iran.
This people-instituted organisation has added: ”Without a constitutional amendment, there cannot be a democratic state in Iran. The mistake that took place in the hasty and blind passage of the constitution led to some terrible consequences whose results have come to surface today. The referendum that is envisaged in the current constitution only concerns minor issues.”
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has also written in its report: ”Many government officials attribute a lot of the present problems and failures to the United States and foreign enemies but large-scale embezzlement and misplaced economic and political planning and neglect of the environment are purely internal issues, which are not related to external interventions.”
Furthermore, in its report, which is published in both Farsi and English languages, this people-instituted organisation 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 centre for the month of Bahman 1397, which has been published on 1 Esfand 1397 [20 February 2019], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in January-February 2019
The month of Bahman is a reminder of the victory of a revolution that was aimed at establishing justice and spreading freedom. The motto of the revolutionaries was independence and freedom, and they promised that we would reach these two goals in an Islamic Republic system. Unfortunately, after 40 years, we are moving away from the stated ideals day by day. The Islamic Republic has practically become a religious dictatorship because in accordance with Article 72 of the Constitution, all laws and decrees should be in conformity with the Islamic law, and based on Article 96 of the Constitution, the approvals of the Islamic Majlis can be valid and enforceable only after the approval by the jurisprudents of the Guardian Council and their verdict that the legislation conforms with the Shariah of Islam. The jurisprudents of the Guardian Council are directly appointed by the Supreme Leader. Therefore, the will of a single person can be considered as the law of Islam, and as such, it can invalidate the decisions of the Islamic Majlis.
What has been said is only a small part of the structural problems of the Islamic Republic and obviously, there cannot be any progress and development as long as the constitution is not been reformed. This is why we see the level of welfare and prosperity dropping every year, the freedom of expression becoming more limited than ever before, and education quality falling sharply continually. Many factories are closed down and unemployment is rising dramatically. The Judiciary, whose head is appointed by the Supreme Leader, is becoming weaker and more unreliable every day.
Based on the above, without a constitutional amendment, there can be no democratic government in Iran. The mistake that took place in the hasty and blind passage of the constitution led to some terrible consequences whose results and effect have come to surface today. The referendum that is envisaged in the current constitution only concerns minor issues, and the fundamental problems that have been mentioned here are considered as immutable and eternal constants. Therefore, there is no way except to hold a referendum outside the constitution and on the general issue of the entirety of the system. This is a bitter medicine that the state has no choice but to take sooner or later.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Bahman 1397, 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 December January-February 2019
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
Reza Khandan Mahabadi, Bektash Abtin, and Keyvan Bajan – three members of the Iranian Writers Association; Alireza Kafaei, Hossein Rezaei and Mokhtar Asadi – three teachers’ union activists; Parvin Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar, Eqbal Shabani and Jafar Azimzadeh – four labour activists; Mohammad Hossein Khalilardakani – a member of the City Council of Karaj; Yusef Farhadi Babadi, Puria Sepahvand and Sirvan Qorbani – three environment activists; Afsaneh Emami (Naseri), Roya Hosseinzadeh and Farzad Ruhani – three Baha’i citizens – and Mojtaba Dadashi – a university student.
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Arman Vafaei and Shahu Faraji – two environmental activists; Sina Molodian, Esmail Maghrebinejad, Hossein Kadivar, Khalil Purdehqan, Abdolreza Ali Haqnejad, Mohammad Vafadar, Mohammad Eslamdust, Kamal Na’manian – eight newly converted Christians; Saeid Sadeqifar, Shapur Nosratpur, Morteza Sanaei – three citizens from Ardebil; Yusef Shahuzehi – a citizen from Nikshahr; Kiyumars Vaeizi, Jabar Hajimoradi and Hadi Baqeri – three citizens from Sanqar; and Omar Azizi and Isa Azari – two Sunni religious activists.
There are other cases of arrest of citizens in Bahman 1397: the detention of some citizens in Khuzestan Province due to armed attack on police and the detention of some citizens in cities such as Bukan, Sanandaj, Piranshahr, Kamyaran, Oshnavieh and Paveh because of various reasons such as communicating and cooperating with Kurdish opposition parties and the detention of some citizens in Sistan Va Baluchestan Province due to attacking a coach carrying IRGC staff.
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, some news sources have reported the detention of Atsa Ahmadaei Rafsanjani – a Baha’i citizen; Avat Karimi – a environment activist – and Esmaeil Ebrahimi Viniche – a citizen from Mobarakeh – during the last days of the Month of Dey.
In addition, Mehdi Mardani, Abolfazl Sahraei, Mehrdad Rezaei and Mojtaba Shokri – four members of the Gonabadi Darwishes Sect – were transferred to different cities on exile after the end of their prison sentences.
Amin Pishdad – a citizen from Mashhad – was sent to jail for eight months imprisonment during the second half of the month of Dey.
Moreover, the news agencies of the Islamic Republic of Iran have reported the issuance of one year imprisonment for five citizens and six months incarceration for eight individuals who have been participated in the protest gatherings in the Mordad 1397 (Jul-Aug 2018). Leila Mirghafari – a citizen form Tehran – was sentenced to pay a fine of 500,000 IRR in one case from his two cases and Seyyed Mahmud Mirlohi – a member of the City Council of Tehran – was sentenced to six months incarceration and lashes sentences.
On the other hand, the appeal courts confirmed the six months imprisonment of Mehdi Qadari – a member of the City Council of Esfahan; 27 months imprisonment of Mohammad Abdol Mohammadzadeh – a citizen form Azarbaijan; six months in prison of Farhad Sarafraz, Shahram Mansur, Vahid Dana, Saeid Abedi and Adib Haqpajuh – five citizens for Fars Province; four months incarceration of Soheil Haqdust – a Baha’i citizen; two years in jail for Morteza Nazari Sedahi, Zahra Zareseraji, Hamid Kabirmehr and Ali Baz Azordeh – four citizens from Baharestan – and two-year imprisonment of Majidreza Suzanchi Kashani – a newly converted Christian.
One individual in Tabas, one individual in Rajaei Shahr Prison and one individual in Nur were executed. News media in Iran have reported their crime was murder.
On the other hand, some unofficial news websites have reported executions in the prisons of Maragheh, Quchan, Tabriz, Noshahr, Zanjan, Ahvaz, Zahedan and Iranshahr; these reports have not been confirmed or denied by the Judiciary officials or state-controlled media.
Moreover, the Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentences of two individuals in Tehran Province, one individual in Shirvan and individual in Kordestan Province because of the murder.
Moreover, the Supreme Court has confirmed the lashes sentence for one individual in Tehran due to murder.
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 reveals unsatisfactory employment and legal rights of workers in a number of units such as:
“Metallurgy Powder Iran” Factory, Fulad Zagros, Qoflkar Factory in Qazvin, “Saman Kashi Borujerd” Factory, Marivan Municipality, Lushan Municipality, “Carton Iran” Factory and Ahvaz Urban Railroad, sacked workers of “Farsit Dorud” Factory, the personnel of Saham-e Edalat, teachers of Sanandaj and Aromieh and nurses of Azadi Hospital in Tehran.
Workers of Abadan Municipality for two or three months, workers of Sarvabad Municipality for seven months, workers of Tabriz Ball Bearing Factory for seven months, workers of Jahan Edible Oil Factory for five months, workers of “Abjadan Nika” Municipality for eight months, workers of Tohid Municipality for five months, workers of Powder Iran Metallurgical Complex for five months, workers of Zarabad Municipality for seven months, around 40 workers of Daland Municipality for four months, workers of Parsefid Slaughterhouse in Amol for three months, workers of Korayeim Municipality for four months, nurses of Namazi Hospital in Shiraz for seven months.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
One individual was killed due to the explosion of an object suspected to be a mine in Darkhovein. Moreover, two individuals were injured because of two mine explosions in Shush and Dehloran.
Government officials often announce that they are aware of the problems, but they are trying to placate and silence the citizens by telling them they have security instead. Unfortunately, however, the clashes in the border areas as well as all the armed robberies that are happening prove these claims are wrong. In general, domestic security has deteriorated compared to the situation before the revolution. Many government officials attribute many failures to the United States and foreign enemies but large-scale embezzlement and misplaced economic and political planning and neglect of the environment are purely internal issues, which are not related to external interventions.
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