A Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations in Iran from July 9th to 16th 2012
In the past week, unilateral sanctions by the US and EU moved forward and Iranian authorities reacted in several ways to control the negative effects and prevent the spread of fear in Iranian society. One significant reaction was the warning order by the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance to the Iranian media and press which covers news and analysis regarding the sanctions against the Iranian economy and financial institutions. Mr. Hosseini stated that he would present an ultimatum to the media director in an upcoming meeting. (1)
The inflation rate is still increasing and put significant pressure on the lives of Iranians but the government ignores the problem and accuses the West as the cause of trouble to the Iranian economy. The government has failed to develop an effective and reasonable solution to stop the rise in the price of goods. Also, some authorities address the problem in the wrong way. These baseless and unrelated discussions cause people and outsiders to wonder on the extent of the government’s irresponsibility.
For instance, head of police General Ahamdi Moghaddam stated during the 15th annual gathering of police departments directors, “National state-run TV must not show scenes of people eating chicken! Because some people in society may not be able to purchase chicken and such scenes can increase the gap between the poor and the wealthy in Iran…State-run TV is a window which shows all of the shortcomings and problems in society!” (2)
Kurdish prisoner Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand demanded to receive treatment in a hospital outside of prison after finishing a hunger strike because he suffered from an infection and kidney pain. However, officially deployed forces did not take him because he refused to wear a jail bracelet. Afterward, the head of Evin prison cancelled his transfer to hospital. Finally, Kaboudvand returned to the section 350 in the public side of Evin prison and now his health is in danger due to the deterioration of his physical condition. (3)
In the following sections, other human rights violations in different categories will be briefly described.
On July 13th, Human Rights Watch issued a statement which complained to Iranian authorities about the ill-treatment of prisoners of conscience. (4). Also this well-known human rights organization requested the Iranian judiciary system to halt the execution sentences of five Arab minority rights activists in Khozestan province.(5) The U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the Islamic Republic due to the suppression of minorities rights and asked for the release of priest Anderkhani.(6)
In accordance with a plan to control traditional coffee houses, in the previous week the police shutdown 78 traditional restaurants and coffee shops in the Farahzad district in north-west Tehran. (7) Also the head of the Norhten Khorasan police department informed that they have tried to organize 30 traditional coffee shops and restaurants within the framework of new legal restrictions. (8)
According to the website Harana, 22 restaurants were recently shutdown. (9) Also, this news agency quoted the head of Tehran police who stated that 53 modern coffee shops in the capital were banned from doing business because a lack of compliance with Islamic principles. (10)
Members of a teacher’s union in Kordestan province were summoned to the fifth branch of integration for a final defense over a week ago. Their court date is supposedly July 12th. (11)
Harana reported that the trial of eleven Gonabadi dervishes in Shiraz and Covar was held on July 15th. The trial was held by the 14th branch of revolutionary court in Shiraz county under Judge Khasti. (12)
Also police forces went to the homes of two Baha’is in Mashad city in the north-east Iran and arrested three people. The names of homeowners are Tafazoli and Aghdasizadeh. (13). This human rights organization announced that Farshid Fathi, a Christian leader of a household church in Tehran, received six years of imprisonment by the appeals court of Tehran province. (14) Baha’i student Miaad Afshar was arrested in his home on July 11th in Tehran. (15)
The website Mukrian quoted the director of mine detection and mitigation in Kermanshah province who stated, “600,000 hectares out of 700,000 hectares may have mines and are located in the western cities of this province and this creates a potential fetal danger for their residents.” (16)
This website also reported that a resident in Saghes city was sentenced by the revolutionary court of this city to four years imprisonment for cooperation with the political opposition. (17)
Culture, communication and media
The Minister of Culture and Islamic guidance warned the Iranian media and press which covers news and analysis regarding the sanctions against the Iranian economy and financial institutions. Mr. Hosseini stated that he would present an ultimatum to the media director during an upcoming meeting. (19)
Nasour Naghipour, a local journalist who works in Qhazvin, was arrested to serve his seven year prison sentence. The court rejected his appeal and so his verdict is final. (20)
The press court condemned the director of Iran Jomeh and Chechcheragh (21).
Harana reported that Fata police in Ardabil city arrested a person regarding his activities in the maintenance of a website that sells video films. (22)
Fata police in Kharasan Jonoubi province informed of the arrest of a cyber-activist in the region. (23)
Dr. Mostafa Badkoubehi, a prominent Iranian poet, was sentenced to three years imprisonment by the 15th branch of the revolutionary court of Tehran province (24).
Universities and students
Harana reported that Maoud Hoessinzadeh , a former student activist and secretary of Araman in Tabriz, was detained. (25)
Peyman Aref, a former student activist and political prisoner, was banned from admission to a PhD course. He had earned first place in the brightest talent test (26) but despite this success, he was not permitted to attend studies at the PhD level.
Navid Nezhat went to Evin prison on July 7th after he was summoned to serve his one year prison sentence.
Hashem Mirzadeh also was arrested during the past week by security agents and was taken to an unknown location.
Iran Khabar agency quoted that the vice-president of the Association of State Rice said, “Iranian paddies are out of jobs because the Iranian market is full of imported rice.” (29)
This news agency reported that the Teranoues Company fired 2,143 workers. (30)
Based on the website Iran Kargar, Zagrous Khodro a car producer company, is in a partial shutdown. The reason is the termination of a joint venture with Malesia. (31)
Also, four employees from this company who organized a sit-in at the entrance to the factory to protest a four month deferral in their salaries were expelled. (32)
Harana reported that political activist Assal Ismaeilzadeh was summoned to serve her sentence from the Moghdas prosecutor court of Evin prison. She was sentenced to four months in jail and an eight month suspended sentence in February 2012. (33)
Prisoners of Conscience
Based on the website Mukrian, Osman Ahsani, a prisoner in Boukan city, was admitted to the medical center of Rajayi shar prison because of his poor physical health.(38)
Hara reported that Affif Naeimi, a former leader of the Baha’i association, finally got permission from prison officials to be treated in hospital after three months. (39)
Ismail Barzegari, who is currently on a hunger strike in section 350 of Evin prison, is in a risky situation. (40)
Arshang Davoodi, an old political prisoner, who is more than 13 years continuously in jail, started a hunger strike. He protested his transfer from the public section of Rajayishahr prison to solidarity confinement of the section 209 in Evin prison which is managed by intelligence forces.(42)
The website Daneshjoo on-line announced in the second week of July 4th that prisoners in Shahrkord prison were hanged. (43). Harana reported that the death penalty of two drug traffickers, who are residents of Mahabad city, was executed on July 11th. The Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty of a murderer who killed a candy shop seller for robbing 10 cents in Ghouchan city! (45)
Also, three prisoners charged with drug trafficking were executed in Qhazvin. (46)
As final news, a realtor who was accused of killing one of his customers is supposed to be executed soon because his retribution sentence was approved.
Harana News agency
Iran Khabar agency
Iran Kargar website
Daneshjoo On line
Gooya news website