A Report on Human Rights Violations from July 11th to July 17th 2011
Last week in a statement, the International Campaign for Human Rights declared that 30 prisoners with drug related convictions were executed in two groups on Wednesday June 29th (12 people) and Sunday July 3rd (18 people) in Vakilabad Prison of Mashhad. None of these executions have been reported by official sources of the Islamic Republic Judiciary (I). Last week General Zolghadr, assistant director of Social Protection and Crime Preemption, declared that Iranian prisons are holding prisoners three times over their capacity (II). Mohammad Javad Larijani , the secretary of the Human Rights Campaign of the Islamic Republic Judiciary called the action of the United Nations to appoint a special reporter for human right in Iran illegal. He called this action a unilateral one, without legal basis, and told the Iranian National News Corporation (IRNA) that “The Islamic Republic has got nothing against the appointee himself, but appointing a reporter for human rights conditions in Iran is unacceptable and we are not going to accept that (III). Following protests against the inaction and silence of authorities on the environmental catastrophe of Orumieh Lake drying out in Western Azerbaijan, the judiciary system of Iran will put 20 citizens and social activists to trial (IV). Also the kidnapping and later detention of actress Pegah Ahangarani is another example of the violation of the Iranian people’s human rights by government institutions. Regardless of international criticism, these authorities continue to oppress and violate the rights of individuals including religious minorities, women and university students. Some of these violations are reflected in the following report.
While it was claimed that in a letter, Mahmud Ahmadinejad had asked for the forced “retirement of university professors” and “sexual segregation of universities” to be stopped, the media reported the on July 12th, only days after the president’s letter was sent to the Minister of Science, Dr.Saeed Moshiri, a professor of Economics at Allameh University was fired. He had taught “Macroeconomics” and “Econometrics” at the Ph.D. level (1). Also last week by the order of General Khalil Helali, the new chief of public places police, all internet cafe owners are demanded to use CCTV and record the personal information of all users (2).
Pressure on religious minorities continued last week. According to the human rights websites Hushang Fadaian, a Baha’i citizen based in Amol has been sentenced to four years of Tazir imprisonment by the appeals court (3). Also four Nematollahi Goabadi dervishes have been sentenced to imprisonment and lashes by the first branch of the General Court of Sarvestan in Fars Province (4). And in the continued confrontation of Baha’i citizens, security agencies have arrested more than ten people in Isfahan and one in Birjand (5). According to HERANA, Nasim Samimi (Noruzian), a Baha’i citizen based in Ghaemshahr (Mazandaran Province), was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on Wednesday morning July 13th (6). And in the news; Sama Nurani, a Baha’i citizen banned from education, has been called to serve a one year sentence of Tazir imprisonment (7).
Last week’s sentences in IR courts were still far cry away from the spirit of law and justice. According to HERANA, Hushang Fadaian, a Baha’i citizen based in Amol, was sentenced to four years of Tazir imprisonment by an appeals court (8). Four dervishes named Farzad Darvish Sarvestani, Mohammad Ali Sadi, Mohammad Jalal Nikbakht Sarvestani and Hojjatollah Saeidi were sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment and 40 lashes for “disturbing public order”(9). Jafar Ghafuri, a citizen from Mahabad, was sentenced to four years of imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court (10). Also in the news; Hadi Hamid Shafigh, a cultural activist from Azerbaijan and expelled university student from Orumieh Azad University. was sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment and 60 lashes by the judge of the 104th branch of general criminal court of Tabriz (11). Lastly, Navid Nezhat, a Sharif Industrial University student, was sentenced to a year of imprisonment by the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court (*14).
Universities and Students
According to a report from the news agency of the Human Rights Activists Association in Iran, the court date of Omid Kokabi, charged with relations with “Warring States”, has been set. He is currently being detained in Evin Prison (12). Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Tabei and Mehdi Saleh Neku, two student activists from Khayyam University, have been suspended for a semester and received a written warning that will be attached to their files (13). Also Navid Nezhat, a student from Sharif Industrial University, has been sentenced to a year of Tazir imprisonment by the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court (14).
Milad Dehghan, a member of the Pan-Iranist political party stood before the court on Sunday July 10th in the 12th branch of the prosecution office for propaganda against the regime and membership in the party (15). Also Ashkan Razavi (16) and Jamal Dorudi, two longtime activists in the Iranian National Front were summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence on Tuesday July 12th (17).
Culture and the Press
Last week in media, there were instances of violations of the professional rights of activists in this arena. For example according to HERANA, Nabiollah Bastan was fired from the Ministry of Education after he was freed from the central prison of Charmahalo Bakhtiari (18). Also two artists who dubbed foreign films and series were arrested by the police (19). And following the imposed internet censorship in Iran, the social network of Google called “Google +” has been blocked since July 12th.
On the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of Dr.Abdolrahman Ghasemlu, the western cities of the country have experience the vast presence of police and security forces in the cities (21). And related to the same event, 3 citizens from Mahabad have been arrested in this city by security forces (22).
By the order of Narges Madanipour, the secretary of women’s affairs in Tehran city hall, starting on Monday July 11th a part of Chitgar Park will be specifically designated for women to facilitate veiling (23). In an rare action which violates citizen’s rights the Tehran police arrested citizens who do not follow Hijab rules (24).
During the past week, Iranian prisons are reported to be in dire condition. According to HERANA, Peyman Karimi Azad has declared a medicine and dry hunger strike after he was beaten by the doctor of the prison clinic (25). Anwar Khezri, a Kurdish political prisoner, is in critical physical condition 40 days into his hunger strike but the authorities of Rajaishahr prison still pay no attention to his demands (26). Among other news concerning political prisoners of the country; Maryam Bahreman, a women’s rights activist and a member of the Pars Women Association, was moved to the rehab center of Shiraz which is used to detain female prisoners (27). Fifteen days after detention of Mahnaz Mohammadi, the documentary filmmaker and women’s rights activist, she has not had the chance to call her family and also Maryam Majd, a photojournalist and women’s rights activist, has not been able to contact her family despite her poor mental condition (28). Rajabali’s (Babak) return to prison and the summons of Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, the advisor to Mir Hosseyn Mousavi, to serve his sentence were among the news of the week (29). Also in the news; a Kurdish prisoner called Jamal Alizadeh in the central prison of Orumieh has been on a hunger strile since July 9th. He began his strike to protest not getting a response as the reasons behind his transfer to Naghade Prison (30). Shiraz University student Ayub Pourfathi is still in an undecided situation nearly five months into his detention (31). Also although Mohammad Hassan Yousef Pourseyfi has been detained for more than 20 days, there is no information available about this human rights activist (32). And the prosecutor of Eastern Azerbaijan, MalekAjdar Sharifi, says that Sakineh Mohammadi’s case has undergone no change and she is serving her term of imprisonment in the Tabriz central prison for assisting in the murder of her husband (33). Hassan Younesi, an attorney and the son of the Minister of Intelligence in the Reform Government, returned to prison to serve his year of imprisonment (34). Shahrokh Zamani, a member of the association of the reopening of the painters’ guild, has been sent to Tabriz prison after 34 days of solitary confinement in the Tabriz intelligence office (35). Nima Pouryaghub and Sasan Vahabivash, two leftist student activists in Azad University of Tabriz, were sent to the central prison of this city on the morning of Wednesday July 13th (36). Although Jafar Eghdami and Reza Sharifi Boukani, two prisoners in Rajaishahr Prison of Karaj, are both in critical health condition, they have not receive any treatment (37). Also Ehsan Mehrabi, a journalist and political prisoner, is being kept alongside some other prisoners in one of the cells of the 350 Section of Evin Prison. Just like other prisoners in this section, he has no right to breaks from prison or telephone contact with his family (38). Lastly, Sahar Haddadi committed suicide in the Women’s Prison of Shahre Rey. Prison authorities refuse to allow treatments for Zaniar Moradi, a Kurdish prisoner sentenced to death (40). And finally Bahareh Hedayat, Mahdieh Golroo and Atefeh Nabav,i three student activists, left prison for a break on the evening of Saturday July 16th for the first time after their arrest (41).
Among the instances of children rights violations in the past week include a child who was molested by its parents. According to reports, two boys were fed crack and crystal by their father in two different incidents. As a result, 11 month old boy Ali Reza and four year old Mohammad Pouya were hospitalized. After the efforts of doctors’ the life of Ali Reza is no longer under threat but Mohammad Pouya is brain dead and his vital signs are weakening as he can only breathe by the help of machines (42). The other news about Iranian children concerns the number of published books for children. Although there are 30 million Iranian children and teens only 15 million books have been published which means that every year, there is only one book available for two children
Last week news about the news of workers’ strikes was continuously published. Among them, the rally of workers of the Mazandaran Textile Unit who protested not getting paid for 13 months. This rally took place on Wednesday July 12th from the factory to the governor’s office of Ghaemshahr (44).
Last week, the antidrug police chief drew attention to the fact that 112 tons of drugs were discovered in the three first months of this Iranian year and 75,000 people were arrested by the police (45). Also on Friday night July 8th, security forces entered a mixed private party in Haftsangan town in Ghazvin and arrested 12 young people (46). Following the implementation of a plan called “increasing social safety” nine people were arrested last week as “gangsters, law breakers and disturbers of order and security” and were shown to public around this religious city (47).
Despite international criticism against irregular executions in Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to kill people on baseless charges such as “gangsters, law breakers or drug dealership”. In a news conference last Monday, Mohammadreza Heydari, the deputy of the Qom Province police declared that during the past two weeks, four people were executed for drug trafficking in the prison of this city (48). Also in the news; a prisoner was executed in the morning of Wednesday July 13th in Banda Abbas prison. IRNA reports that the prisoner identified as “Gh.K” was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a five year old girl in the criminal court of Hormozgan Province (49). Lastly, the Japanese company Tadano, which was one of the few companies which sold cranes to Iran, has stopped its dealings with Iran. The company stated that the reason was Iran’s use of their cranes for public executions by Iranian government (50).
Statistics of Instances of Human Rights Violations in order of being mentioned
A Report on Human Rights Violations from July 11th to July 17th 2011