Monday 1st Ordibehesht 1393 - 21 April 2014
In continuation of its monthly reports, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Farvardin 1393 [Iranian month corresponding to 21 March to 20 April 2014].
In its report, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) has referred to the events on 28 Farvardin 1393 in Ward 350 of Evin Prison, and demanded the prosecution of the assailants who severely assaulted the prisoners held there.
Furthermore, this people-instituted organization stated that the adopted method of treatment of prisoners is against the Iranian legal system, and it can therefore be seen as a clear example of the abuse of administrative and law enforcement powers. On that basis, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) has demanded the dismissal of the assailants from government services.
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 Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), the text of the report by the said centre for the month of Farvardin 1393, which has been published on 1st Ordibehesht 1393 [21 April 2014], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in March-April 2014
Many unpleasant incidents have occurred in the field of human rights during the first month of 1393, and these represent the lack of wisdom among the relevant officials. The cancelation of leave for political prisoners because of the resolution issued by the European Parliament which condemned Iran for its violations of human rights, hesitations in securing the release of Iranian border guards [held by Pakistani rebel group], and the series of executions that have been carried out all indicate the systematic and uninterrupted process of violations of human rights in Iran.
But the most painful event recently was the incident that happened in Ward 350 of Evin Prison (the ward for keeping political prisoners and also the prisoners of conscience) on 28 Farvardin. On that day, more than 100 personnel - who, according to the prisoners, were made up from the prison guards, the Ministry of Intelligence employees and the members of the Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps - attacked the prisoners in an unusual and unconventional way, under the pretext of conducting a search of the halls of Ward 350. They then assaulted the prisoners and as a result, more than 30 inmates were beaten up and injured in the process.
Political prisoners, who were witnessing the event, started to sing a song to protest against the illegal actions of the officials. The prison officials, in an attempt to calm the situation, transferred 32 prisoners of Ward 350 to solitary cells. Guards holding truncheons made a tunnel in the corridor which led to the exit door of Ward 350, and beat the prisoners with their truncheons, especially on their faces and heads, while they were been transferred to their solitary cells, and as a result, more of them were injured.
The entire incident has happened in the presence of both Colonel Amanian, the official responsible for security in all Tehran prisons, and Qobadi, the official in charge of security at the Evin Prison. According to the political prisoners there, such a violent and unexplained action has not been carried out against the prisoners during the last 20 years. The transfer of some of the prisoners to hospitals outside the prison shows the severity of their injuries. Nevertheless, the officials at first refused to transfer the prisoners to the prison clinic and only distributed some first aid bandages among them.
The issue of treatment of prisoners is completely clear and defined in Iran’s legal system. However, the behaviour of the officials on 28 Farvardin 1393 was a clear example of the abuse of administrative and law-enforcement powers, and those responsible should therefore be dismissed from government services and put on trial for criminal actions. Otherwise, we are going to witness more illegal actions and behaviours in the future.
While emphasizing the points made above, what follows now is a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month starting 21 March 2014. 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 March-April 2014
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about 21 people were detained, whose names were: Roya Saberinejad Nobakht, a British citizen of Iranian origin, Ammar Abayat, Mahmud Obeydavi, Abdolkarim Zargani, Jaber Sakhravi, Jasem Zargani, Mohammad Zargani, Hossein Zargani, Aref Sarakhi, Mehdi Halafi, Ali Dabbeh Hoveyzeh and Reza Zargani, 11 Ahvazi citizens; and Saber Sheikh Abdollah, a university student and Mas’ud Javadi, Nameq Deldel, Mahmud Rasulizadeh, Mohammad Mohammadi, Ebrahim Rasuli, Abdolrahim Chaneh and Suran Fatehi, seven Sunni citizens. Also an official in the police force of the Kerman Province announced the detention of an unnamed university student who was charged with selling anti-proxy software.
It should be noted that some of the detainees were released temporarily on bail after a few days until the date of trial.
2. Mohsen Qashqayizadeh, a civil activist, has been sent to prison to serve his six months’ imprisonment term. Nava Kholusi, a Baha’i citizen, has been sent to prison to receive her four years and a half imprisonment term. Nika Kholusi, a Baha’i citizen, has been transferred to jail to serve her six-year term.
3. Nasrollah Lashani, a civil activist, was sentenced to six years imprisonment and two years of ban on his activities; labour activists Jamal Minashiri and Hadi Tanomand were sentenced to three and half years in jail; three other labour activists, Qasem Mostafapur, Ebrahim Mostafapur and Mohammad Karimi, were sentenced to two years in jail. Mohsen Rahmani, another civil activist, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and Amir Mirza Hekmati, an Iranian-American, was sentenced to ten years in jail by the Supreme Appeal Court.
4. Mostafa Tajzadeh, who is currently serving his jail sentence, faces a new charge and has been summoned to the court. Mohammad Nuri, a religious activist, was summoned to the Special Clergy Court of Mazandaran Province and was then released on bail. Some seven labour activists (who were Hassan Saeidi, Morteza Kamsari, Ali Rezapur, Mostafa Gholami, Hossein Zandash, Hamzeh Mozzafari and Mohammadreza Zaynabi) were summoned to the magistrate court for interrogation. Anvar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh and Khosro Besharat, three Sunni prisoners, were tried in the court. Shahin Dadkhah, a political prisoner, has been briefed formally about his new charge. Nasrin Sotudeh was summoned to the Intelligence General Office of Dezful city.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. Hossein Zaman, a singer, has said that the release and distribution of his works are not being licensed by the relevant institutions because of his affection and respect for Mir Hossein Musavi.
2. The Head of the Renovation and Equipment Department at of the Education Ministry has announced that the country needs 30,000 new classrooms. He also mentioned that there are 6,000 unfinished education projects nationwide.
3. The deputy of Education Office at the Iranian Literacy Movement Organization has reported that some 9,700,000 people in Iran are completely illiterate.
4. The deputy of Education Department of the Health Ministry has spoken about the limitations imposed on the acceptance of female students to medical science subjects in the current academic year.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some five individuals have been executed in this month. The complete names of some of them are still not clear but judicial authorities or government-controlled media (and their news websites) have confirmed their executions. Some of the names are as follows:
1. Samku Khorshidi was executed in Kermanshah. “Ebrahim” was executed in the Vakilabad prison in Mashad. News web sites said that his crime was first degree murder. “Q-Sh” has been executed in Saveh. IRNA News Agency said he was guilty of the crime of murder. The Justice Department of Ardabil Province reported the execution of an individual for the crime of possession and transportation of drugs. In addition, the Justice Department of Hormozgan Province reported the execution of “A-M” in Bandar Abbas because of the crime of murder.
2. The death sentences of Mohammad Abdollahi and Mostafa Salimi –two political activists – have been confirmed. The Public and Revolution Prosecutor of Zahedan reported that the Supreme Appeal Court has confirmed the death sentences issued against the three perpetrators of the assassination of the Prosecutor of Zabol. Also ISNA News Agency reported the issuance of the Qisas sentence [punishment in Islamic laws based on the "an eye for an eye" principle] against two individuals who were convicted of assault with acid.
3. The situation of political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as – Mir Hossein Musavi, Zahra Rahnavard, Ali Moradi, Maryam Shafipur, Ya'qub Maleki and Asghar Qotan - are sick but no serious action has been taken for their medical treatment.
4. Ali Mo’azamifard, a member of the Darwishes sect, has been fired from his place of work. Seyyed Javad Mortazavi, another Darwishes sect member, was prevented from signing a construction contract. The work place of Afrasiab Sobhani, a Baha’i prisoner, has been closed down and officially sealed. Also Maziar Melaki, a Baha’i citizen, has been expelled from university.
5. The planned public gathering outside the Pakistani Embassy in Tehran to protest against the kidnapping of Iranian border guards by the Jaysh al-Adl group was not held due to the opposition of the relevant institutions and the police force. Nonetheless, a number of individuals were arrested.
6. The families of five prisoners who are sentenced to death have said the prisoners' lawyers are not allowed access to the case files of their clients. The names of these prisoners are: Barzan Sagharallah Zadeh, Teymur Naderizadeh, Vurya Qaderifard, Farshid Naseri, and Keyvan Mo’menifard.
7. After some dissident students attended the public speech of Saeed Jalili - the Leader's representative in the Supreme National Security Council - at the Amir Kabir University, and the chanting of some protest slogans demanding the release of political prisoners, a number of students have been summoned to that university's Disciplinary Committee. These students included: Alireza Mohseni Guya, Ehsan Hamidi, Amir Hossein Ali Bakhshi, Vahid Dowlatabadi, Samaneh Zarkub, Sajjad Zare'zadeh and Puya Arbabi.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
1. The economic conditions in the country are still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that the payment of salaries of 80 workers of the “Fulad Sazan Farayand” Factory has been delayed for two months. Other delayed payments include: the salary and insurance payments of 80 workers at the “Farsh Pars” Factory for four months; 127 workers of the “Nopush” Factory have wage arrears for nine months; the salary of workers of the Abdaran Cooperative for nine months and finally the wages of some 148 workers at the “Kashi Gilana” Factory have not been paid for more than 13 months.
2. Some 50 workers of the “Nik Nakh” Spinning Factory lost their jobs due to the temporary closure of the Factory. Also, 20 workers of the “Mahtab Dasht” construction company were adjusted and nearly 500 employees of the GLX mobile phone manufacturing company were fired from their jobs. Moreover, the employment contracts of Mahmud Namdar, Abdolreza Nottaq, Eslam Ekhlasi, Amed Vafapur and Zeynolabedin Khorramdarreh – five skilled workers at the Larestan Cement Factory- have not been renewed for the [current Iranian] year 1393. This was because these employees had refused to change their job titles to “simple labourers”.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning cultural heritage and the environment also point to the continued presence of adverse conditions in these areas during the month of Farvardin.
1. The findings of an investigation by the Sharif Industrial University into the "quality of petrol and diesel fuel in Tehran" has pointed to the presence of a major gap between the accepted international standards and the level of sulphur present in the samples of petrol, diesel fuel and another fuel introduced under the name of "Euro 4", which were all taken from 10 different fuel distribution stations in Tehran. Accordingly, compared to the international standards, the Iranian ordinary petrol and the "Euro 4" fuel contained anything from 4 to 20 times more sulphur, while the diesel fuel samples from Tehran had over 800 times more sulphur.
2. The Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Commission of the Majlis announced that the 40 wetlands of the country have dried up by anything between 20 and 80 per cent according to the study of the conditions of these wetlands until the end of 1392.
3. The Director General for the Crisis Management Department of Lorestan Province has spoken about the possibility of water supplies being cut off in some towns of the province during the hot season.
4. Some parts of the Golbaf historical castle in Kerman have collapsed and also, there has been damage to some parts of the Hamam Safavieh [old public bath] – the national heritage monument in Kashan - and also to some parts of the garden and mansion of the Badi-ol-Hokama residence in Hamedan.
5. The tracks for Route No 6 of Tehran Metro will pass under four historical heritage sites which may be damaged as a result, because their foundations are deep underground, and the traffic of metro trains are likely to cause structural damage to them. The endangered sites are: Rashkan Castle; Cheshmeh Ali; Toghrol Tower and Ebn Babviyeh.
6. The house of Sadeq Hedayat – a famous Iranian author- which is currently occupied by the Amir A’lam Hospital of Tehran - has been turned into a rubbish heap and stands on the verge of imminent collapse.
In conclusion, we would like to emphasize again that the behaviour of the Iranian officials towards political and ideological prisoners is not only against the principles of human rights, but it also contravenes the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran. On that basis, in relation to the behaviours and actions similar to what happened on 28 Farvardin 1393 in Ward 350 of Evin Prison, we would like to ask the relevant officials who were witness to such inhuman behaviour, to remain committed at least to their own laws.