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 Mordad 1393 [Iranian month from 21 July to 21 August 2014].
In its report, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) refers to the youths who are banned from education at higher levels due to their political and ideological beliefs, and calls for an end to educational discrimination.
This people-instituted organization has also referred to the impeachment of the Minister of Science, Research and Technology, and to the disclosures about the illegal behavior of some government’s officials for providing facilities from public funds for their supporters, when it became clear that a large numbers of people without academic qualifications had entered to the graduate studies courses outside the regulations in the past years. The Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) and announced that higher educations must not be monopolizing by power bands.
In its report, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) has mentioned the names of some youths and students such as Bahareh Hedayat, Emad Bahavar, Majid Tavakoli, Zia Nabavi, Iqan Shahidi and Yashar Darolshafa, who are serving their prison terms and has recommended to the government’s officials to remove any kind of obstacles in university education, including the decisions of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution - which deprive the opponents of the regime from the opportunity to continue their education - and to allow the expelled or deprived students to study in the universities. The Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) once again called for the freedom of students who are serving their prison terms in its report.
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 center for the month of Mordad 1393, which has been published on 1st Shahrivar 1393 [23 August 2014], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in July-August 2014
Use of public facilities should be regulated with regard to equity and social justice. The right to benefit from the advantage of these features could not be influenced by political processes. The government is required to provide the necessary facilities for higher education for all citizens according to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran but, we see that some citizens are banned from higher education due to their political and ideological beliefs. In this connection, one can mention the expelled students and those who have been deprived from education due to the writing of an essay, delivering a speech or attending a peaceful rally.
Also, studying for masters and PhD requires political authentication and universities are forced to send the names of the individuals who are accepted in the entrance exam to the Ministry of Intelligence, and the students can continue their studies only if the security officials endorse them. Such legislation has led to difficulties for a number of young people seeking entry into higher education, such as political and ideological monitoring. Many youths go to foreign universities due to this improper regulation and are absorbed by the markets of those countries. Iran has the highest rate of brain drain in the world according to the statistics of the UNESCO.
In addition, the situation is made worse when the illegal behaviour of some government officials reserve the better facilities for their supporters while using the public funds. For example, during the impeachment of the Minister of Science and Technology, it became clear that many individuals have entered higher education by violation of law and without the required academic qualifications. This is while some students such as Bahareh Hedayat, Majid Tavakoli, Iqan Shahidi, Yashar Darolshafa, Zia Nabavi and Emad Bahavar not only are banned from studying due to the expression of their beliefs, but also they have been in prison for some years now.
This is while making use of the youths and educated individuals is the most important step for economic development in any country. So, these incorrect laws and the government’s discriminatory action is in contrast with achieving this goal. Development occurs when the unemployment rate decreases and the young people can use the facilities and resources in order to become specialists and experts, and then, use their knowledge and expertise inside the country.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Mordad [starting 23 August 2014], as follows. This report is based on information published by various media channels and websites, whose accuracy has been verified. The said report is appearing under three separate sections, and in Farsi and English languages.
Human Rights Situation in Iran in July-August 2014
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about 57 people were detained and the names of them have been specified as follows:
Amirhossein Kargaran and Ali Sabri, two labour activists; Jason Rezaeian, Yeganeh Salehi and Maryam Rahmanian, three journalists; Vahid Nejadhosseinian (Maryam Rahmanian’s husband), Amir Salehi, a weblog writer; Adib Haghpazhuh, Saeid Abedi, Vahid Dana, Behiye Manavipur, Alaoddin Khanjani, Babak Mobsher, Naser Arshimoqaddam, Ataollah Ashrafi, Rohollah Monzavi, Rohieh Qavaminik, Saeed Qaeimi, Parviz Gudarzian, Azita Homayuni, Nushin Salekian, Rashin Shahbazi, 15 Baha'i citizens; Javad Salehi-Alaoddin Khanjani’s clerk-, Rahim Gholami, Aydin Zakeri, Meysam Julani, Jafar Rostami, Saeed Hosseini, Hamid Qovvati, Habib Negahban, Isa Azizi, Hassan Julani, Reza Qomi, Mohammad Batrani with his two brothers, Abbas Savari, Mohammad Sayyahi and Asad Salehi, 16 civil activists; Hamid Hekmati, Esmaeil Izadi, Farid Saremi, Ali Chinisaz, Zahra Ka’bi and Farjad Salehi, six cyber activists; Eynollah Yari, Pegah Yari, Amirhossein Yari, Mojtaba Noruzi, Bahrali Farhadi and Saharnaz Afruzi, six Yarsan’s followers; Naser Piri, Abdolhadi Salehi and Seyyed Jalaloddin Rahimi, three Sunni religious activists; Mohammad Milani and Tajoddin Mamakani, two political activists and Saeed Heydari, a newly converted Sunni.
It should be noted that some of the detainees were released temporarily on bail after a few days until the date of their trial.
2. Mohammad Shafi'i, a member of the Islamic Iran Participation Party [Jebheye Mosharekat]was transferred to the prison to serve his four months imprisonment term; Ghaleb Hosseini , a labour activist was sent to prison to serve his sentence of six months; and Alireza Keramatirad, a civil activist was sent to jail to serve his three-month imprisonment term.
3. The six months imprisonment term of Aliasghar Gharavi, a religious researcher and a member of the Iran Freedom Movement Party [Nehzat-e Azadi],has been confirmed. The 10 millionToman fine of the member of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution [Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami] Organization, Behzad Navabi (which is in lieu of his one year prison sentence) has also been confirmed. Also, Seyyed Hashem Aqajari, a university professor and member of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization was sentenced to one year imprisonment; Seyyed Serajoddin Mirdamadi, a journalist and political activist was sentenced to six years imprisonment in addition to five years deprivation from the journalistic activity and two years of prohibition from leaving the country after his imprisonment sentence; Mohammadreza Alipayam, a poet and comedy writer was sentenced to one year,three months and one day in jail; Mohsen Rahmani, a student activist was sentenced to seven years imprisonment; Ebrahim Farabadfallahiyeh, a civil activist was sentenced to six years imprisonment, and four political activists were also sentenced as follows: Hassan Abiat sentenced to life imprisonment, Eydan Beytsayyah (Shakhi) 10 years imprisonment, Khaled Abidavi five years imprisonment and Jasem Saeedi (Savaedi) received five years imprisonment.
On the other hand, the Judiciary Spokesman announced the confirmation of the sentences of 14 individuals without mentioning their names, whose sentences are from one year up to 13 years. Accordingly, these defendants had all been involved in activities after the events of the 1388 [June 2009] presidential election.
4. The trial sessions of Mehdi Hashemi, a political activist; Qasem Absteh, Anvar Khezri, Khosro Besharat, Kamran Sheikeh and Farhad Salimi, five Sunni religious activists were held. Omid Zarrinejad who is serving his imprisonment term in jail was briefed about the allegations against him in the magistrate court again. Also, Ali Mohammad Eslampur, the editor of the Navaye Vaqt Publication and Farzad Purmoradi, the manager of the Kermanshah Post News Website, weresummoned to the magistrate court.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The six month suspension sentence of Bahar daily and, and the 91 day imprisonment sentence (suspended for two years) of Saeed Purazizi - the editor of that daily - were confirmed.
2. The Press Jury found the editors of the “Aseman Daily”, Neshat Daily”, “Tehran Emruz” and “Qanun Daily” and also the “Bahar News” website guilty.
3. The officials have prevented of the republication books by Mohsen Kadivar - a religious researcher.
4. The officials have prevented the staging of concerts by [singers] Shahram Nazeri and Mohsen Yeganeh.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 25 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 have confirmed their executions. Some of the names are as follows: “Y-H”, “Y-R” and “M-T” were executed in Bandar Abbas. . The Chief of the Justice Department in Hormozgan Province has announced the crime of two of them was kidnapping and rape and the crime of the third one was first-degree murder. “Hamid-M” and “Hassan-Ch” were executed in public in Kermanshah. The Public and Revolution Court's Prosecutor of the Kermanshah said their crime was murder. “A-H”, “H-T”, “S-Q”, “A-Q”, “M-Q”, “B-K” and “P-R” have been executed in public in Shiraz. State-controlled media have announced that they had been found guilty of the crimes of abduction, armed robbery and rape. “A-N” has been executed in public in Qazvin. State-controlled media have announced that he has found guilty of the crime of murdering a child. Mehr News Agency has reported the execution of individual because of the crime of "Corruption on Earth" [Mofsed fel Arz; a major political crime] in public in Mianeh City and the execution of “Reza-F” in public in Karaj because of the crime of rape. In addition, one individual has been executed in public in Khoy City because of the crime of rape.
On the other hand, some news websites have reported the execution of Mohsen Sarani in Birjand, Mohammad Hanif Mirbaluchzahi and Aziz Nutizahi in Saravan, Haj Abdol Shahbakhsh and Nabi Shahbakhsh in the Prison of Shiraz and Hamid Arsalani and Sadeq Ahmadi in Kermanshah. The news websites also have announced that the crime of the first five of them was possession and transportation of drugs and the last two individuals for the crime of murder. These news websites also reported the execution of Abdoljabbar Rigi, Osman Zahi and Abdolkarim Zahuki in Chabahar.
2. The Sharq daily newspaper has reported the death sentence for a woman who is guilty of killing her husband when she was a juvenile and four men who have been found guilty for the crime of rape. The Mehr News Agency has reported the death sentence against an individual who is found guilty of murdering the former Deputy Minister of Industry.
3. Four fingers of the right hand of a person known as “M-N” were cut off with guillotine in public, after he was found guilty of robbery in the town of Abarkuh.
4. The Public Persecutor of Qazvin has reported the lashes sentences of 200 individuals in this city, the Chief of the Judiciary in Kermanshah Province has reported lashes sentences against five individuals in public and the Police of Shahr-e Qods has reported sentence of lashing for “M-Y” and “A-T” in this city. Also, news websites have reported the lashing sentence against “V-Sh” in public in the city of Landeh.
5. The officials prevented the burial of Simin Behbahani- a poet- in Emamzadeh Taher. Also, the first clinic that has been established by the elders of the Gonabadi Darwishes Sect has been destroyed. The Hosseinieh (a place for religious ceremonies) and the Beytolabbas Cultural Complex in Esfahan were closed down and officially sealed by the officials.
6. Some 12 prisoners were killed due to a fire in the prison of Shahr-e Kord, and the lack of facilities for fire fighting there.
7. The situation of political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Nader Jani, Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyniborojerdi, omid Behruzi, Mostafa Faqih, Jamal Qadernejad and Qasem Absteh are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment. In addition, Bahareh Hedayat, Amanollah Mostaqim, Afif Naeimi and Afshin Karampur were sent to prison from hospital despite the fact that the course of their treatment had not been completed.
8. The police has reported the detention of 722 individuals due to what has been described as "norm-breaking" in a scheme on creating a healthy environment on the seashores. (This refers to a series of restrictions - such as gender segregation - which aim to make the sea suitable for swimming according to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s laws].
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
1. The economic conditions in the country are still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that the Chairman of the Labour Fraction in the Iranian Parliament said the 90 per cent of the working class people are living under the poverty line and the other 10 per cent are not too far away from the poverty line. This is while the Minister of Health, Hygiene and Medical Training has announced that every year, 700,000 Iranian people will fall below the poverty line due to the high costs of the treatment.
1. The salaries of 82 workers of “Farsh Pars” have not been paid for five months. Some 25 workers of Azad Rah Karbala Construction and Operation Corporation have not been paid for three months and the salaries of 300 workers of Qazvin's Shisheh Abgineh Factory have not been paid for four months.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas during the month of Mordad.
1. The Ministry of Health, Hygiene and Medical Training has reported the presence of palm oil in dairy products such as milk, and a substantial proportion of fat in them is because of palm oil not the natural milk’s fat.
2. The Chairman of the Health Utilities and Urban Services Commission of the Tehran City Council announced that one of the most serious obstacles for the completion of the city's sewage network is the Nitrate substances present in the sewage have leaked into the potable water network.
3. Some thousands of fish have died in the rivers of Gilan and Ardebil Provinces due to unknown reasons. In addition, the Director of the Environmental Protection Organization in Gilan Province has reported the death of 900,000 Caspian Sea seals due to the pollution of that sea.
4. About 300 hectares of forest is burnt due to the fire in the Golestan National Park.
5. The National Director of the Wetland Conservation Plan has said 70 per cent of the wetland areas and lagoons are in a critical condition or are at serious risk.
In view of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Government's commitment to the implementation of human rights standards, all obstacles for higher education, such as the decisions of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, that deny the possibility of studying for the critics of the government , should be removed, and the expelled students or those who are deprived of education should be allowed to continue their education in universities.
Therefore, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) stresses that higher education must not be monopolizing by power bands and again calls for the speedy release of the students who are serving their time in prisons.