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 Ordibehesht 1393 [Iranian month corresponding to 21 April to 21 May 2014].
In its report, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) refers to the presentation of the Korean Gwangju Award for Human Rights in 2014 to the "Mothers of Khavaran" and considers it as a reward for the endurance of the mothers, wives and children of individuals who were executed in the 1360s [1980s] decade.
This people-instituted organization congratulated the "Mothers of Khavaran" for the said award, and once again stressed the need for uncovering the truth and holding fair trials.
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 Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), the text of the report by the said centre for the month of Ordibehesht 1393, which has been published on 1st Khordad 1393 [22 May 2014], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in April- May 2014
The presentation of the Gwangju 2014 Human Rights Award to the "Mothers of Khavaran" is a reward for all the years of resistance by the mothers, wives and children of the individuals who were executed in Iran during the 1360s decade. Although, no award can take away the pain of a mother who has lost her child, this award nonetheless pays homage to their courage and perseverance.
Therefore, the Centre for the Supporters of Human Rights, which is always seeking truth and justice, congratulates this award to all of the Mothers of Khavaran and hopes the Iranian government constructs a remembrance monument at the tombs of the individuals buried in Khavaran, as a first step towards making up for the past.
The route that has been chosen by the Mothers of Khavaran and their persistence and perseverance in reporting a number of issues that the Iranian government had tried to hide for many years, is an example for all the oppressed people to follow.
Many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience were executed during the 1360’s decade after a short trial and while they had no access to a defence lawyer. Most of the individuals executed were buried in mass graves in an area in south of Tehran known as Khavaran.
Most of the country's citizens did not know anything about this horrible incident due to the extreme censorship of the government. Ever since incident, the families of the individuals who were executed have been gathering together in Khavaran twice a year in the months of Esfand (February-March) and Shahrivar (August-September) to cherish the memory of their young ones. Of course, this event was always disrupted by the security guards and some of the participants have been arrested or even physically assaulted as well.
However, the arrests and intimidations never weakened the resolve of the families for staging protests and rallies, and the mothers who had lost their children had a huge role in these meeting. For many years, they told everyone the painful stories of the young people who had lost their lives merely because of their ideas and opinions. On the other hand, their most important effort was aimed at constructing a monument in Khavaran, but due to the government opposition, so far, they have not been given such permission. The persistence of this condition led to the formation of the Committee of Mothers of Khavaran which was responsible for information dissemination and staging regular annual meetings. The perseverance of the mothers began to show its social impact gradually and led to a wide range of information dissemination campaigns on the national and international arenas. These patient mothers asked for uncovering the truth, so that by revealing the effects of such behaviours, their recurrence in the future can be prevented. They also stressed on fair trials for those responsible for ordering, perpetrating and carrying out the executions in the 1360s decade.
While emphasizing the points made above, what follows now is a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month starting 22 April 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 April-May 2014
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about 75 people were detained whose names are : Hossein Nuraninejad, political activist; Seyyed Serajoddin Mirdamadi, journalist; Ahmadreza Heyeri, Kaveh Darolshafa, Setareh Davari, Nada Saburi, Sohrab Salehin, Milad Purisa, Behzad Foruzesh, Mohammad Safa, and Hashem Khubyari, nine civil activists; Jafar Azimzadeh, Jamil Mohammadi, Maziar Gilan Nejad, Mohsen Gudarzi Dana, Mohsen Hashemi, Parvin Mohammadi, Shahpur Ehsani, Ebrahim Madadi, Hassan Saeedi, Naser Moharramzadeh, Vahid Fereyduni, Morteza Kamsari, Rasul Taleb Moghaddam, Ali Purkarimi, Reza Nematipur, Mohsen Hosseinitabar, Bahram Akbari, Alireza Tavassoli, Aliakbar Nazari, Mohammad Salari, Kiumars Olfati, Mohammad Qasemi, Naqi Karimi and Seyyed Davud Fatemi, 24 labour activists; Amin Daris, a Gonabadi sect Darwish; Mohammad Nurizad, movie maker; and Puria Nuri, Farshad Hatami, Hashem Parhizkar and his wife, four Gonabadi sect Darwishes. Also, the police of Iran reported the detention of six young boys and girls due to their appearance in a [Western style pop] video clip.
On the other hand, there are some reports about the detention of Ehsan Sadeqi, Nazi, Maryam Asadi, Vahid Safi and Amin Mazlumi, five newly converted Christians; Suran Fatehi, Abdolrahim Chana, Abdolhadi Azaram, Mehdi Azaram, Abdolsalam Azaram, Nuraqa Vakili, Mohammad Nikzad, Mohammad Bigdeli, Hassan Dashteh, Mohammad Ranjbar, Ahmad Akrami, Naser Zareye, Adel Mojarrad and Jafar Ghafuri, 14 Sunni religious activists; Hatam Dehimi, Ebrahim Dehimi, Shokrollah Sakhravi (who is known as Shaker) Ayyub Ahmadi, Saeed Khezri Hamadi, Ahmad Afravi, Ali Ravanbakhsh, Khalaf Zobeydi, Abdolreza Jalali (who is known as Abdolvahhab), Naser Jalali, Seyyed Jafar Musavi, Ghazi Handali, and Seyyed Ahmad Nazari, 14 Ahvazi citizens; and Zahra Zahtabchi, a social researcher.
It should be noted that after a few days, some of the detainees were released temporarily on bail until the date of their trial.
2. Nasim Ashrafi was sent to prison to serve her one year imprisonment term, Elham Farahani was sent to prison to serve her four years sentence in jail, while Shamim Na'imi was also dispatched to jail to serve her three years imprisonment term and Nasim Baqeri was sent to prison to serve her sentence of four years in jail . All of them are Baha'i citizens. Jamal Agushi was detained and sent to prison to serve his four year imprisonment term. Also, Parvin Zandi, Arash Kamancheh, Kaveh Rahimi, and Behzad Asiya'i, who are faced with one year imprisonment terms, and also Babak Asiya'i, who is facing a four year jail sentence, have been summoned so that they can start to serve their sentences. All these five individuals are cultural activists.
3. Mohammad Mataji, a civil activist, was sentenced to one and half year in jail; Mahin Alviri, a civil activist and Mohammad Mataji’s mother, was sentenced to two year of suspended imprisonment and 30 million Rials fine; Akbar Amini who is currently serving his imprisonment term in jail has been sentenced to five years in jail and five years exclusion from membership in political parties and groups, and activities in the media and the cyberspace; Hamid Baba'i, a university student, was sentenced by the Appeal Court to six years in jail and four years of suspended imprisonment ; and Ali Karami, a Gonabadi sect Darwish, was sentenced to three years in prison; Abdolghafur Qalandarinejad, another Gonabadi sect Darwish, was sentenced to two years imprisonment and Mas’ud Shamsnejad, a lawyer, was sentenced to four months in jail.
In addition, Ali Sayyahi was sentenced to three years imprisonment in the Karun Prison; Emad Monabi was sentenced to three years imprisonment in the Dezful Prison; Habib Silahuh, Hossein Chabishat, Karim Chayan and Salahoddin Chabishat were sentenced to six months imprisonment. All of these seven individuals are civil activists in Ahvaz. Saba Golshan was sentenced to four years in jail and one year suspended imprisonment; Shahram Eshraqi, Engineer Khosro Dehqani, Shahram Fallah, Navid Haqiqi and Iman Rashidi were sentenced to three years in jail and one year of suspended imprisonment; Fariborz Baghi, Nateqeh Na'imi, Shabnam Mottahed, Fariba Ashtari and Naghmeh Farabi were sentenced to two years in prison and one year of suspended imprisonment; Farah Baghi, Mehran Eslami, Azam Motahhari, Farahnaz Misaqian, Sohrab Naqipur, Azar Purkhorsand, Sasan Haqiri, Tahereh Ruhani and Vida Haqiqi were sentenced to one year in jail and one year of suspended imprisonment. All of these 20 individuals are Baha'i citizens.
4. Ahmad Tavakoli, the director manager of Alef web site, was summoned to the magistrate court. Also the Special Clergy Court issued a writ of indictment against Mohammad Nuri due to his activities for the Gonabadi sect Darawishes.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. Some books have been removed from the Tehran Book Fair. The names of these books and their authors are as follows: "Haqolnas" by Mohsen Kadivar, “Forgotten Women” by Mansur Kushan, “We Are Taller than Guns” by Shahrokh Tondro Saleh, “Coup d'etat ” by Ervand Abrahamian, and translated by Naser Zarafshan from Negah Publication, and “Why Nations fail?” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, translated by Hassan Mirdamadi and Mohammad Hossein Na'imipur, “Hiss” [Hush] by Mohammadreza Kateb, three plays by Gholamhossein Sa'edi, some books by Ali Ashraf Darwishian, the “White Tiger” novel, translated by Mojdeh Haqiqi, “Gamasiab Has No Fish”,the third novel of Hamed Esma'ilion from Sales Publications.
2. Qanun and Ebtekar newspapers were banned by the Judiciary. Also, Dana Web Site and Qanun Online Web Site were blocked on the basis of the order of the Prosecutor of Tehran.
3. The concert of [Iranian pop singer] Vahid Taj and the Masiha Band was not allowed to be performed on the stage in the city of Yazd.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 46 individuals have been executed in this month. The complete names of some of them are still not clear but the judicial authorities or government-controlled media have confirmed their executions. Some of the names and the places of their execution are as follows:
“L-B”, “M-T”, “A-A”, “H-R-K”, “A-Kh”, “M-J”, “A-Gh”, “M-Gh” and “M-Gh” in the prison of Ahwaz; “M-D” and “M-K” in the city of Qom and “H-A”, “K-Sh”, “Y-A”, “Y-A”, “M-S”, “M-K”, “A-M”, “B-S”, “A-Ch”, “K-H” and “V-H” has been executed in Kerman city. State-controlled media reported that they had all been found guilty of the crime of possession and transportation of drugs. “A-D” has been executed in Qom and “S-A” has been executed in the Saveh city. State media said their crime was first degree murder. Omid Piri, Iman Geloy and Alireza Dahmardeh were executed in the city of Zabol and in public. State-controlled media announced that they were found guilty of the crime of assassination and murder. “T-R” has been executed in Semnan. The Justice Department of Semnan said his crime was rape. Furthermore, the Khorasan daily newspaper has reported the execution of three individuals in Mashhad for the crime of first degree murder and the Public Prosecutor of Qazvin Province has reported the execution of three individuals in Qazvin for the crime of possession and transportation of drugs.
In addition, some news web sites have reported the execution of Majid Jalili Ayan, Vahid Pajoohandeh, Qader Anbari and Aslan Amu'i Milan in Orumiyeh for the crime of murder; Yaqub Eshaq Zahi and Khodanur Darun Parvar in Zahedan for the crime of possession and transportation of drugs, and Seyyed Farhad Mollahassani, Akbar Nobakhtsaran, Davudi Sahra'i, Ali Asghar Kavakebi, Hormoz Reza'i and Mrs Behjat in the Raja'i Shahr Prison in the city of Karaj because of the crime of first degree murder.
2. The sentence of 40 lashes was carried out against “M-A” in Birjand. His crime was sexual harassment.
3. “Abolfazl” was charged for kidnapping and raping little girls and was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court confirmed the verdict of Qisas [an article of Islamic laws similar to the “an eye for an eye” principle] against Hossein Karami because of the crime of homicide. On the other hand, the Consultant of the Chief of Environment Organization has said the death sentences for four environment protection guards have been confirmed in the Appeal Court. These four environment guards are currently in jail in the cities of Yasuj, Behbahan and Kerman. Also, news web sites have reported that the Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentences against Ali Chabishat and Seyyed Khaled Musavi - two Ahvazi prisoners - and death sentences have been issued against Mohammad Keyvan Karimi, Amjad Salehi and Omid Peyvand - three Sunni prisoners.
4. The conference titled “University, Government: Critical Interaction”, the conference of reformists in Fars Province, the student conference titled “Government, University and Difficult Decisions”, the conference for studying the ideas of Dr. Ali Shariati with the presence of [his son] Ehsan Shariati in the Khorramabad University, and finally a speech by Mostafa Malekian in the Shahid Beheshti University were all cancelled by the officials of the government. Also, the graduation ceremony of the Sunni clerics was cancelled by the state officials in the religious seminary school of “Imam Shafe'i”. The government authorities also prevented a planned speech by Seyyed Hassan Khomeyni to a conference on the analysis of the scientific characteristics of Ayatollah Khomeyni, held at the Ayatollah Borujerdi University. On the other hand, the officials of the government did not issue an official permit for rallies to mark the Labour Day.
5. The situation of political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Jafar Ganji, Mohammad Bannazadeh Amirkhizi, Arash Sharifi, Seyyed Hadi Hosseini, Sediq Mohammadi and Ali Moradi- are sick but no serious action has been taken to provide them with medical treatment.
6. The destruction process of the cemetery of the Baha'is in Shiraz - which is popularly known as Golestan-e Javid [the Eternal Flower Orchard] - has got under way. Also, the tombstone of Hekmat Safari, a soldier belonging to the Yaresani sect who had committed suicide in protest against the insults to his faith, has been confiscated and his family have been told to procure a new tombstone which should be different to the last one. [The Yaresani sect, which is also known as "Ahl al-Haq" - the "people of righteousness" - is an Islamic Shi'a sect of mystics, whose eclectic belief system has borrowed elements from Shi'a Islam, Hinduism, and some ancient per-Islamic Persian religions]
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
The economic conditions in the country are still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that 20 thousand individuals are looking for jobs in Kermnashah every day, and 60,034 official and contract labourers in the Qazvin Province have not been paid for periods of time ranging from one to 62 months. Furthermore, 20 stonecutting workshops were closed and 200 stonecutter workers became unemployed as a result. This is while 70 per cent of all workers in the country are contract and fixed term employees.
1. The White Flour (Ard-e Sefid) factory of Jahrom was closed and 150 workers became unemployed. Also, 26 contract workers of the Agahan Niru and 45 workers of the Nakh-e Alvand factory were sacked.
2. The workers of “Pushineh Baft” [textile factory] have not been paid their salaries for periods between five and 62 months; 120 workers of the soap making factory of Khorramshahr have not been paid for 20 months; the payment of salaries of 60 workers at the “Aftab-e Orumiyeh” factory have been delayed for ten months, and in addition, some 300 workers of “Ghuti Iran” have not been paid their wages for two and half months.
3. Mohammad Esma'il Mohammadsalehi and Mohammad Zarghamdust were sacked from the Cement Factory of Dashtestan.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas in month of Ordibehesht.
1. The Environmental Protection Organization has issued a statement and officially confirmed that the gasoline which is being produced by the [Iranian] Petrochemical Industry is “carcinogenic”. In addition, the Deputy Oil Minister has also stressed that the gasoline produced domestically is a pollutant and a contributing factor to the increase in the rate of cancers in the major metropolitan centres of the country. This is while according to a member of the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) 310 individuals die every day in Tehran due to the consequences of air pollution.
2. A Majlis member has criticized the relevant state organizations for not paying due attention to the import of non-standard pesticides from East Asian countries, and also to the fact that sewage water has now infiltrated agriculture lands in southern fringes of Tehran.
3. The Minister of Energy has confirmed the slow death of a number of lakes in the country, such as Hamun, Orumiyeh, Gavkhuni and Bakhtegan lakes, and said the renewable water resources of the country had decreased from 130 billion cubic meters to 120 billion cubic meters. He also announced that the renewable water sources available to every Iranian individual has now reached 1600 cubic meters while, this per capita number was 4,000 cubic meters during the early of the [Islamic] Revolution.
4. More than 30 tonnes of fish have died due to non-compliance with some essential standards in Fashafuyeh dam in Eslamshahr. Furthermore, there are some reports about the death of many Kafal fish in Allahrud in Rudsar [town near the Caspian Sea].
5. The establishment of a handicraft exhibition in a complex under the management of the UNESCO has prompted the protests of Ms Irina Georgieva Bokova, the director general of the said international institution. In addition, the construction of skyscraper hotels adjacent to the Zandiyeh historic site [in Shiraz] (which includes the Vakil Bazar, the Vakil public bath, and the Karimkhani Arg) has hampered any progress in the process of registering the site in the international register of the UNESCO.
In conclusion, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) emphasizes the need for fair and just legal proceedings for prisoners, and calls for due attention to the objections voiced by the political and ideological prisoners about the violations of the principles of justice in the way their cases are dealt with. The Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) also urges the state officials to take steps in connection with the demands of the mothers, spouses and children of people who were prosecuted and then executed in the 1360s decade after attending a series of brief trials without the presence of any defence lawyers - trials which lasted only a few minutes.
Note: For further information regarding the above reports, please refer to the following news websites: Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), Fars news agency, Mehr news agency, Young Journalists Club news agency, CDHR website, JARAS, Committee of Human Rights Reporters, Nedaye Azadi, Baztab, HRANA, Ghanoon, Kaleme, Mohebbat News, Sunni Online, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Majzooban-e Noor, Melli Mazhabi, Nedaye Sabze Azadi, Radio Zamaneh, Radio Farda and BBC.