Search Posts

Monthly Report – An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran in April-May, 2015



The Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists Association of Iran has published the following monthly report on the human rights situation in Iran during the period of April-May, 2015 (Persian calendar month of Ordibehesht, 1394). This report cannot perfectly and comprehensively reflect the details of human rights concerns in Iran for obvious reasons including the existing governmental limitations and ban on the free exchange of information. It should be emphasized that in addition to the monthly reports, the Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists Association of Iran publishes a comprehensive and analytical annual report at the end of each year.

An Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Iran April-May, 2015

The systematic violation of human rights in Iran continued in the month of Ordibehesht (April-May, 2015) of the Persian calendar year, 1394. This month began with the executions of 28 individuals in the cities of Ardebil, Bandar Abbas, Shiraz, Zanjan, Abhar, and Jiroft, indicating a terrible start for the human rights situations in Iran. Some of the most noted cases of executions in this month include the executions of four prisoners in the prison of Orumieh, execution of three individuals in Sari, the executions of five prisoners in Karaj, and execution of one individual in Ghouchan, and the execution of another individual in Minab, most of which were mainly carried out in secret and without public media coverage.

The United Nations report on the increasing number of executions in Iran was one of the most prominent reports regarding the violations of human rights in Iran. This report indicated that according to the judicial experts of the UN the number of executions, in particular unreported executions, have reached an alarming level in Iran.

In another report, the Human Rights Watch of the UN also reported the possibility of the execution of Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of “the Ring of Theosophy” with charges of “profanity”.

The good news of this month was suspension of some of death sentences including the suspension of the execution of one individual in the city of Maragheh after 17 years in prison as well as another 16 individuals sentenced to death in the west Azerbaijan.

On the other hand, the violations of ethnic minorities rights continued in this month, the most significant of these cases were the disturbing high rate of child malnutrition in Baluchistan, shooting and wounding a mother and child by the police force, killing four people and wounding another four people by the border guards, summoning the Master of “Darol-Oloum Maki” by the Special Clerical Court in Zahedan.

In another report issued by the the Human Rights Watch of the UN and Amnesty International on April 29th, there were reports of the detention of dozens of political activists by security and intelligence forces in the Khuzestan province of Iran. These organizations expressed major concerns about the “mass arrest” of the political activists in Khuzestan province. According to these report, there were several children among the detainees.

Additional reports in this category reported eighty thousand people in Zahedan being deprived of safe drinking water, while there exist 304 thousand people living in the suburbs of Zahedan, 80 thousand of whom don’t have access to clean water.

In another notable report, the Amnesty International called for police restraint facing the Kurdish opposition after the clash between the security forces and protesters in the city of Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province on Friday, May 8th.

In the category of violations of Baha’is rights, the human violations continued in this month as usual, and several reports were highlighted in this regard including the arrest of Baha’i citizens in Hamedan, harassment and banning of the Baha’i citizens businesses in the province of Kerman, release of three Baha’i University professors, and the trial of three Baha’i citizens in the city of Gorgan.

In one of the most prominent recent reports about the violations of Baha’i citizens’ rights, it was reported that at least 30 jobs have been banned for the Baha’i minorities in Iran. According to this report, the head of police force has ordered to prohibit employing the Baha’is in about 30 occupations based on a law issued during the presidency of Ahmadinejad. The government used this law to control, monitor activities and prevent Baha’i presence in the society.

Further to the violations of religious minorities rights, there was reports on the violations of Sufi citizens rights including forbidding hospitalization of Reza Entesari, and threatening the Sufi prisoners to cut off their medical treatment.

Regarding the continual harassment of convert Christians, there were reports of the arrest of several individuals including imprisonment sentences issued for 18 new converts during the last two months as well as imprisonment of Farshid Fathi and Alireza Sepidan in Salon #2 of the Rajayee Shahr prison.

In general, the violations of religious freedom in Iran has been significantly deteriorated in 2014. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom issues its sixteenth annual report on April 30th. According to this report, the religious freedom has been worsened in Iran in the year 2014.

Regarding children’s rights, there was a couple of reports, the most notable of which were dismissing a student from school because of kidney transplant, human trafficking and selling the working kids for 400,000 Touman ($120 to $2500), and hospitalizing a student after severe punishment at the school. Moreover, according to another report there are around 200 children living in prison along with there mothers. Only in the prison of Shar-Rey, 20 kids live in the prison with their mothers.

In the category of women rights in Iran, there were several reports of onslaughts against Iranian women; official reports indicated that about 15,000 women have submitted complaints to the police force because of family harassment and torture. According to this report, 15,000 complaints have been submitted to the social correction center of the police force because of emotional and physical harassment at home.

In another report, the extremist group of Ansar Hezbollah threatened the government of Rouhani regarding issuing permission for Iranian women to enter the sports complexes to watch sport matches. This was a clear violations of basic rights of Iranian women.

In the last month, there were several reports related to the labor rights movements or violations of labor rights including the gathering of rural telecommunication employees in front of the office of the telecommunication company in Tehran, the criticism and protest of Ali Cheraghi’s family regarding the negligence of the authorities about his situation, arrest of Mahmoud Salehi and Othman Esmaili – two labor rights activists – in the anniversary of Universal Labor Day, the arrest of Ebrahim Madadi and Davoud Rezvani, and some of the members of the Transportation Syndicate of Tehran during the labor day ceremony.

Twenty one days after a strike by the subway workers in Ahvaz, about six hundred workers continued to protest against the ongoing projects. Also Kaysoun Company, the contracting company of the project dismissed 60 non-native workers of the digging division of the subway of Ahvaz in response to this strike on Thursday,May14th.

There were also a couple of reports about fatal work accidents including the death of two workers due to poisoning gas leak at the Phase 17 and 18 projects. Moreover, 433 loss of lives have been reported in Tehran due to the safety issues at work.

In the field of trade union and union rights, there were a few incidents in this month including the nationwide demonstrations of thousands of teachers, protesting unfair salary and discriminations with respect to other governmental employees. It should be noted that many teachers and trade union activists were arrested in the verge of teachers’ gatherings.

One of the notable reports was the ban on male makeup and closure of the division #29 and exclusion of a number of books from the international book fair in Tehran.

In the field of cultural activities and incidents, there were several reports concerning the inspection of the international book fair by the security forces, limitations on the use of specific names for newborns in the state of Kermanshah, cancelation of music concerts in the city of Mahshahr based on a recommendation from the Imam of the Friday Prayers, and also exclusion of around 116 publishers from participating the international book fair of Tehran.

The deputy head of Basij force, Seyyed Masoud Jazayer who is in charge of the so-called Defense Cultural Affairs of the Basij force called on the police force to seriously deal with the individuals who cooperated with the pro-western, UK and US supported oppositions during the 2009 uprisings to prevent further challenges and social uprisings that could lead to serious thereat to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In the field of health and environmental protection, there were several reports, mainly involving the air pollution, environmental problems, insufficient water resources, infected larva supplied to the people of Gorgan by the mayor of the city, and presence of more than 15,000 homeless only in the city of Tehran.

Specific Attention to the Violation of Human Rights

In this section of this monthly report, it is necessary to highlight the most controversial and publicly sensitive cases of violations of human rights in Iran. It is obvious that more attention does not necessarily mean that it is a measure of the magnitude of the violations of human rights in that specific category.

Some of the most noted reports in this month include the attack on the citizens life-style such as condemning waxing; Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s talk about the ban on his music in the country; the arrest of human rights activist Narges Mohammadi; and sending the journalist and political activist Ahmad Zeydabadi to exile in the City of Gonabad. These reports created significant public reaction and sensitivity in this month.

Similarly, some other reports draw significant public attention: the execution sentence of Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of “the Ring of Theosophy” with the charges of “profanity”; exclusion of two books from the International Book Fair in Tehran; the statements made by Mohammad Javad Zarif regarding the implausibility of imprisonment of the people in Iran because of express of opinion and religious background; the attack of fundamentalists militias in Tehran and cutting off the former minister of Information, Ali Younesi’s speech in Tehran.

The least underlined human rights violations

In contrast to the reports indicated in the previous section, many human rights reports received little or no attention from social media, bloggers, internet activists, who are considered key contributors of the public opinion. It should be note that some of these unintentional or intentional negligence has resulted in further spread of human rights violations in Iran.

Some of these reports include cancelation of a seminar concerning cooperation and collaboration at the University of Isfahan by the extremist forces; taking away the defense opportunity from the lawyers of Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Irayee; the ban on the Today Women magazine; inconsistent answers from the religious leaders in response to the questions on the forms of death sentence. Moreover, the “Baharnews” website was hacked; two individuals were arrested with charges of publishing unreliable news in the internet; and one of the members of the Writers Association of Iran, Reza Khandan Mahbadi was charged with accusations of propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The association of “House of Freedom” has recently published a report and named Iran one of the ten most suppressed countries in the world. In the most recent report of this association, Iran has been ranked number 190 of the free countries in the world and only Belorussia, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and North Korea are ranked after Iran.