Tuesday- 6th of Tir 1396- 27 June 2017
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 1396 [Iranian month corresponding to 22 May to 21 June 2017]
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has referred to some words that can provide justification for law-evading actions in the society and asked senior officials of Iran to avoid expressing anarchy-inspiring remarks.
This people-instituted organization has complained about the use of some words and phrases such as “firing at will.”
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights criticizes the illegal behaviors in other parts of its report; and has referred to the condition of Zahra Rahnavard, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi who have been under house arrest for several years without any trial and notification of charges and only on the instructions of the Leader.
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 1396, which has been published on 6th of Tir 1396 [27 June 2017], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in May-June 2017
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has delegated a great deal of authority to the Supreme Leader in Article 110. Granting such broad powers to someone who is not elected directly by the people and whose position is for life has undermined democracy. However, it should be noted that the Leader is still acting against the constitution despite having such extensive powers. Some examples of these behaviors include the house arrest of Zahra Rahnavard, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. They have been under house arrest for five years without any trial and notification of charges and only on the instructions of the Leader.
Unfortunately, the Leader is not only disregarding the law himself, but he has also recommended this behavior to his followers. The Leader called his followers “fire at will” last month, and this has given the impression that he is implicitly issued a permit for his supporters to disregard and violate laws. The result of such order was to create turmoil and chaos because each person can act on his own belief and violate the law by acting arbitrarily. An example of such action is disturbing the peaceful gatherings of citizens, acid attacks to deal with an inappropriate dress code and most importantly, the killings of political dissidents – an affair which has been described in the Iranian judicial literature as “chain killings”.
This is while such unlawful and criminal actions were carried out in the past with the lack of judicial process and ignoring the specific rules of justice and some – by relying on the support of the highest officials in the country – allowed themselves to violate the rights of citizens and ignore the laws. Currently, making remarks such as “firing at will” even if it leads to legal action against them, creates the grounds and pretexts for defending the perpetrators, who in turn try to justify their actions and escape from the hands of justice, while declaring their obedience to the commands of the Leader.,
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Khordad 1396, 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 2017
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, more than 29 people were detained and the names of them have been specified, who were: Asal Esmaeilzadeh – a media activist; Mohammad Mahdavifar – an artist and poet; Azadeh Bokaei – a journalist; Emad Karimi – a political and university activist; Sepehr Moradian – a political activist; Nushin Salekian and Farideh Abdi – two Baha’i citizens; Javad Giahshenas – a member of Democratic Party [Hezbe Mardomsalari]; Reza Golestani – a member of Labour Party – and Danial Estakhr – a lawyer.
In addition, police have reported the detention of two managers of a Telegram channel in Golestan Province and a Judiciary official has reported the detention of two managers of a Telegram channel in Ardebil. On the other hand, police have reported the detention of four individuals in Abadan due to the release of a film on how policemen behave in this city in cyberspace, and the state-controlled media have reported of the detention of seven individuals in Kermanshah Province because of what has been called the “production and dissemination of anti-religious and anti-system content”.
The prosecutor of Abadan has reported the detention of one individual due to what has been described as “invitation to rally through the use of virtual networks”, and the prosecutor of Alborz Province has reported the detention of two individuals on charges of communicating with the People’s Mujahedin of Iran [opposition group].
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Mehdi Zargani – a citizen from Ahvaz – and some other residents because of terrorist acts in the building of the Majlis and Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb, which killed a number of citizens.
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 Alim Guri – a university student – during the last days of the month Ordibehest.
2. Abdolreza Davari – a media activist – was detained and sent to prison to serve three years in jail. in addition, 12 Baha’i citizens were detained and sent to jail with different amounts of imprisonment terms such as – Hana Aqiqian to one year and nine months, Sudabeh Mehdinejad to one year and nine months, Behnam Hassani to one year and six months, Parisa Shahidi to one year and nine months, Mitra Nuri to one year and six months, Maryam Dehqanyazdeli to one year and six month, Mojdeh Zohuri to one year and nine months, Farahnaz Tabianian to one year and nine months, Hushmand Dehqanyazdeli to one year and six months, Sheida Qodosi for her imprisonment, Puneh Sanaei for one year and nine months and Nazi Tahqiqi to one year and six months.
On the other hand, another one-year imprisonment sentence of Navid Khanjani – a Baha’i citizen who is currently in prison – was carried out after the end of his last term of imprisonment.
3. Alimohammad Jahangiri, a civil activist, was sentenced to four years in jail in Yazd; Shapur Rashnu – a national-religious activist – was sentenced to one year in jail in Shiraz Prison; Ezatollah Jafari, a civil activist, was sentenced to one year in prison in Kerman; Ashraf Rahimkhani, a civil activist, was sentenced to one year imprisonment; Zeynab Keshvari – a women’s rights activist – was sentenced to three months in jail; Ali Nejati – a labour activist – was sentenced to six months imprisonment; Seyyed Saeid Hashemiebrahimi and Mohammadreza Sediqi – two members of the Mystic Ring sect [Erfaneh Halqeh] – each were sentenced to seven years in prison which are suspended for five years. They were also sentenced to pay fines. Moreover, some news sources have reported the imprisonment sentence for Isa Damani (Hadad), Mojahed Zargani and Hossein (Naji) Heidari – three citiz ens from Ahvaz. Hossein Daneshmand – who is currently serving a term in prison – was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the appeal court. The sentence of six months imprisonment of Zartosht (Esmaeil) Ahmadiragheb was changed to a fine of 2,000,000 Toman [around 600 dollars] by the appeal court.
4. Amin Khaki – a Christian citizen; Hana Khorasan – a cultural activist; Vahed Seyyedeh – a labor activist – were summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The entry of seven parliamentary journalists to the Majlis building for preparing reports was prevented.
2. Relevant officials sealed the praying room of Sunni residents in Yaft Abad Neighbourhood in Tehran.
3. Relevant officials prevented the holding of educational programme performances of Hossein Behruzikia – a musician – in Shiraz and Omid Hajili’s concert in Abadan.
4. Relevant officials prevented the speech of Ali Ayar in Ilam.
5. Relevant officials prevented the further education of Farzad Safaei and Vafa Hoveidaei – two Baha’i citizens.
6. Press Jury found the editor in chief of “Mehrnameh” Monthly guilty.
7. The Judiciary prevented the publication and distribution of the Beirami Weekly following the printing the image of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami – the former president of Iran.
8. Mashhad intelligence office has seized the book “Writing and Reading of Kurmanji Kurdish” due to its use of Latin alphabets.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some five 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:
Hojatollah Tadru was executed in Kermanshah and “A-Kh” was executed in Mashhad. State-controlled media have said their crime was murder.
Some news sources in Iran have reported the execution of one individual in Mashhad and one individual at the central prison of Karaj because of murder.
News media have reported the execution of one individual in Birjand due to the crime of rape.
On the other hand, some unofficial new websites have reported the executions in the prisons of Khorramabad, Bushehr, Zanjan, Ardebil, Orumieh, Kermanshah, Zahedan, Maragheh, and Minab. This news has not been confirmed or rejected by the Judiciary officials or state-controlled media.
2. Some news sources have reported the issuance of death sentences against “Karim”, “Mersad”, “Arash” and “Sh-N” and four other individuals in Tehran Province due to the crime of murder; two individuals in Rudbar because of murder and one individual in Golestan Province in charge with armed robbery.
In addition, the death sentences of “Mostafa” and two individuals in Tehran Province and one individual in Marvdasht – because of murder – were confirmed by the Supreme Court. The death sentences of two individuals due to an armed robbery in Tehran were confirmed in the Supreme Court.
3. Some news sources have reported the issuance of hand amputation sentence against “Taqi” and “Parviz” because of robbery. Also, news media in Iran have reported the issuance of finger amputation sentence against “Ramin” because he had caused the severance of someone’s finger.
4. The prosecutor of Qazvin has reported the execution of lashes sentences for 20 individuals for the offense of not observing the Ramadan fasting rule in public [Eating, smoking, and drinking in public is illegal in Islamic countries]. In addition, some news sources have reported the issuance of lashes sentences for “Amir” in Tehran Province due to robbery, “Hamid” and two individuals in Tehran Province because of liaison; one individual in Tehran Province due to kidnapping and harassment, one individual in Alborz Province because of beating and insult, one individual in Tehran Province because of sexual harassment.
5. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavorable to the extent that some of them – such as Abdullah Shariati, Changiz Qadamkheiri, Ayub Asadi and Alireza Golipur are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment.
6. Vahid Sayadinasiri was transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj; Majid Asadi, Payam Shakiba, and Mohammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi were transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison. It should be noted that this transfer has been carried out without any specific reason and contrary to the regulations and rules of the prisons internal affairs.
7. Siamak Mirzaei, Nima Keshvari, Saeid Naqdi, Sobhan Jafaritash, Javad Jamshidi, Seyyed Mojtaba Baqeri, Ali Ahmadnia, Habib Sasanian, Mostafa Salimi and Adnan Hosseini who were currently in the prison went on hunger strike because of protest against the violation of the legal rights of prisoners.
8. According to a sentence, Mohsen Foruzan – a football player – was banned for playing for three months because of the activities of his wife on social media.
9. The Judiciary officials have reported the detention of 15 individuals in Gorgan because of attending a party. Moreover, The Revolution Guards Corps (Sepah) has reported the detention of 90 girls and boys on a leisure tour in Sepidan.
10. Some news sources have reported the detention of a girl who used boys’ clothes to enter the Azadi Sports Stadium. Also, police have reported the detention of one individual because of what has been called as “management of a social media channel with non-conformist” content.
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: Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory, Azarab Factory, Central Alborz Coal Mine, phase No.13 of Kangan Project, Southern Pabadan Mine, Gostaresh Tose-eh Sanat Azarbaijan Factory, Qu Edible Oil Factor, (Tabas) Cement Factory and Kansaram Factory, Shahab Meybud Granule Factory, workers of Tehran Metro Operations Company, motorists of Raja Railways and teachers of the Literacy Movement.
1. Many workers have not received any payments for several months. The names of the offending units, number of workers affected, and the period of time when they have not paid (at the time of writing this report) are as follows:
Safa Pipe for four months, Folut Glass Factory for six months, some workers of Ahwaz Municipality for three months, some workers of Neyriz Municipality for two months, some workers of Abadan Municipality for five months, some drivers of Nurabad Municipality for four months, workers of Borujerd Municipality for five months, workers of “Pars Food Making” Factory for two months, around 250 workers of “Gonbad” Ajormashini for five months, workers of “Riz Moj” (Zarrin Moj) for four months, 150 workers of Iran Steel (Ahwaz) for two months, workers of “Iran Switch” Factory for five months, workers of Tarzeh Coal Mine for two months, workers of Gilan Refining Oil “Varian” for four months and 108 workers of Dorud Steel Factory for four months.
2. Some 229 workers of Charmshir Dam Project and six workers of Gilan Refining Oil “Varian” were sacked from their jobs.
In addition, 140 workers of Ardakan Wood and Metal Factory were fired by the closure of this factory.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning situation regarding cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavorable conditions in these areas during this month.
1. The level of air pollution reached around 33 times more than the permitted level in Khorramshahr and 22 times more in Abadan during some days of the month Khordad.
2. Historical monuments which were retained from the period of Seljuk Dyasty, were destroyed in Bahmaei City.
3. Some six individuals were injured due to six mine explosions in Mehran, Dehloran, Piranshahr, and Marivan.
At the end of the report for the month of Khordad of 1396, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has referred to some words and statements which can lend justification for illegal and law-evading actions in the society and asked senior officials of Iran to avoid expressing anarchy-inspiring remarks.