In continuation of its monthly reports, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Azar 1393 [November-December 2014].
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 Azar 1393, which has been published on 5st dey 1393 [26 December 2014], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in November-December 2014
Islamic Republic of Iran's Constitution emphasizes on the equality of all citizens; such as the Article No.19 of the Constitution which requires: “The Iranian citizens from every nation and tribe enjoy equal rights, and factors such as colour, race, language, and similar factors will not give some groups advantage over others". The equality of humans is so important that the last part of Article 107 of the Constitution, in an effort to remove all of doubts and uncertainties, states: “The Supreme Leader is equal to other citizens before the law”.
Despite such emphases, unfortunately Iranian ethnic groups, especially the Baluchi citizens, have suffered from discrimination for several years. They are deprived of their cultural rights, which are recognized in Article 15 of the Constitution, and their religious rights – most of them are Sunni – also are not respected. Another case of discrimination is the issue of education. For example, according to the Mehr News Agency – a state-affiliated media source – the shortage of 800,000 meters of educational space and more than 8,000 teachers, lack of adequate access, lack of health services in many rural and nomadic schools, transporting students with pick-up vans and traveling long distances of more than three kilometers to get to the school are just some of the educational difficulties of Sistan va Baluchestan Province. Also, the children in Sistan va Baluchestan Province are suffering from malnutrition according to the Health Affairs Deputy of the Medical University in Zahedan.
This is while the positive activities of local and indigenous organizations in the areas inhabited by ethnic groups, have been restricted under the pretext of security charges. An obvious example of government’s behavior can be found in the treatment with Baluchi Sunni cleric - Mulawi Abdulhamid - and his relatives. But, Mulawi Abdulhamid has tolerated these hardships in order to keep this area calm; a behavior that can be seen as a blueprint for the Baluchi people.
In addition, lack of trust in the indigenous forces in regions where Iranian ethnic groups live is another problem of these Iranian citizens.
Although, in recent years we have witnessed some elected mayors and governors in these regions, ignoring the demands and aspirations of the Iranian ethnic groups - which mostly live in the border areas - and disregarding their wishes to improve their living standards, have led to the growth of "non-civil" groups, who have used the opportunity to realize their goals.
Therefore, the Defenders for Human Rights Centre invites the Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials to respect the rights of Iranian ethnic groups. It expresses its appreciation for the efforts of people like Mulawi Abdulhamid, and urges everyone to unity and cohesion. God forbid if the flames of hostility that has been ignited in a part of the Middle East, should spread to Iran too and burn everyone, guilty or innocent, indiscriminately.
Furthermore, in its report, a brief account of human rights situation in Iran in the month of Azar [November-December 2014] has been given, as follows. This report is based information that have been published in the websites and various media and their validity has been verified. The report is in three parts, and is published in both Farsi and English languages.
Human Rights Situation in Iran in November-December 2014
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about 30 people were detained and the names of them have been specified as follows: Ali Ghazali – a media activist; Ali Tabarzadi – a civil activist; Mohammadreza Jusheshan – a religious activist; Mohsen Biglarbeigi, Javid Fakharian, Sina Rahimpur – three political activists; Ribvar Abdollahi, Farzad Moradinia, Fardin Miraki and Manijeh Sadeqi – four labour activists.
In addition, five individuals were arrested due to the charge of following the “Erfan-e Halqeh” group (Mystical Ring) , whose founder – Mohammad Ali Taheri – is in prison since 1390 . The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has announced that Mahtab Afshari and two other men and two women (all unnamed) are the five individuals who have been arrested in Kish Island.
On the other hand, some news have reported the detention of Yalda Pajuhesh – a women’s rights activist ; Hassan Ahmadi – a political activist; Majid Moqadam, Mostafa Rahpish , Shahin Kabi, Khaled Mahavi, Naji Abiat, Abdollah Abiat, Mehdi Beitsayah, Hamadi, Amir Amirqoli, Saeid Hassani – 10 civil activists; Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, Shahram Dinaruei and Mohammadreza Vahedi – three newly converted Christians.
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. Naser Hashemirad – a national-religious activist – was sent to prison to serve his 11 years imprisonment term; Fardin Aghsani, Farahnaz Moqadam – two Baha'i citizens – were sent to prison to serve three years in jail; Nushin Misaqi, Soheila Aqdasi, Adib Shoaei, Neda Forsatipur – four Baha'i citizens – were sent to prison to serve their six months imprisonment term and Mohsen Rahmani – a civil activist – was transferred to prison to serve his seven-year term.
In addition, Salehodin Moradi – a Darwishes Sect’s rights activist - was summoned to the Department of Implementation of Sentences to carry out his sentence of two years in exile and 30 lashes. The following individuals were also summoned to the same Department: Mokhtar Asadi – a trade union activist – to receive his sentence of one year in jail; and Mohammad Parsi – a blogger - in relation to his three-year prison sentence.
3. Seyyed Serajodin (Seyyed Amirmohammad) Mirdamadi – a jailed journalist – was sentenced by the Appeal Court to three years imprisonment, two years of ban from leaving Iran and two years ban from journalist activities; Hassan Momtazsarvestani – a Baha'i citizen – was sentenced to five years in jail in the Appeal Court and Mohammadreza Alipayam – a poet and satirist – was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment term in the Appeal Court.
Also, Ghoncheh Qavami – a civil activist – was sentenced to one year in jail and prohibited to leave Iran for two years; and Ebrahim Firuzi – a newly converted Christian currently in prison – was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and two years exile to Sarbaz City. Seyyed Masud Seyyedtalebi – a jailed cyber-activist– was tried once again and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
4. The court trial sessions of Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Musavi – two poets; Mashalah Shamsolvaeizin – a journalist; Nima Hassani, Mohammad Mohammadi, Ata Karimi, Milad Mokhtari, Rohollah Mazaheripur, Amir Ebrahimlu, Yasin Hajizadeh, Ehsan Badrmilan, Yaser Akbari, Mostafa Hashemi, Mohammad Emamalipur, Soheil Daeiri, Reza Shahnazi Goljavan, Yunes Arshad, Ali Halavatnegar, Homayun Rahimi, Amin Khodaparast, Salar Khalilpur, Reza Heidari, Reza Chamak, Ramin Khalili, Mohammad Tamadon – 22 civil activist; Meikholusi, Dori Amri, Saqi Fadaei and Shayan Tafazoli – 4 Baha’i citizens – were held. Also, Saeid Razavi Faqih – an imprisoned political activist – was briefed again in the magistrate court and Behnam Ebrahimzadeh – a jailed labour activist – was tried again in the court.
5. Nasrin Sotudeh – a lawyer – and her husband, Reza Khandan, were arrested on 10 December in the street and were detained for some hours.
6. Salahedin Adabi, Saeid Tekiehkhah, Masud Jafari, Amjad Meinuei and Mohammad Habibi – five religious activists and members of Maktab-e Qoran; Ali Rostami – a Darwish Sect member; Negar Nadafi, Afshin Nikaein, Parvaneh Rafiei, Setareh Fadaei – four Bahae’i citizens; and Emadedin Molazahi – a Baluch activist – were summoned to intelligence office.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The Jury of the Press has announced that “Entekhab” News Website is guilty of the charges against it.
2. The owner and the editor in chief of the student newspaper “Jahesh” was banned from any press activity for seven months.
3. Faezeh Hashemi – political activist – was prevented from delivering her public speech by the members of the Basij in the Islamic Azad University of Mashhad.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 13 individuals were 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: “M-Q” in the town of Joghatay, executed in public; “Valiollah”, “A-Bakhshizadeh”and “M” were executed in Qazvin. The Judiciary’s officials said they have been found guilty of the crime of murder. “S-E-F” was executed in Qom, while “Morteza” and ‘Mansur” and an “Afghan citizen” were executed in the Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj. State-controlled media announced that they had been convicted for the crime of first-degree murder. “Ali-M” and “Ali-Q” were executed in public in the City of Mashhad. The Judiciary officials said their crime was rape. Lady “F-Gh”, “Majid-R” and “M-Sh” were executed in Qazvin. Officials said they had been found guilty of the crime of possession and transportation of drugs.
2. A Judiciary official has reported the issuance of a death sentence for an individual in Yazd, within the framework of Qisas ["an eye for an eye" principle in the Islamic penal code]. Also, the Spokesman of the Judiciary has reported the issuing amputation sentences for two people convicted of carrying out acid attacks in Tehran.
3. The 40 lashes sentences of “K-A” and “M-M” were issued in Mazandaran Province and 74 lashes of four individuals in the town of Charam have been carried out. State media said their crime was disruption of public order and hooliganism.
4. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Adnan Rahmatpanah and Sajedeh Arabsorkhi - are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment. In addition, Asghar Qatan, Mohammadali Taheri, Seyyed Qasem Abesteh, Jamshid Dehqani, Ali Salanpur and Jafar Eqdami were returned to the prison before the course of their medical treatment was completed.
5. Some 26 jailed Kurd activists have started a hunger strike to protest against the prison conditions and the failure to hold political and ordinary prisoners in separate wards. These activists are: Ebrahim Rezapur, Ahmad Tamuei, Behzad Alkhani, Jafar Afshari, Jafar Mirzaei, Habib Afshari, Khezr Rasulirad, Saman Nasim, Seyyed Jamal Mahmudi, Seyyed Sami Hosseini, Sirvan Najavi, Shuresh Afshari, Shirku Hassanpur, Abdolrahman Soleiman, Abdollah Asghari, Abdollah Amuei, Abdollah Mahmudi, Osman Mostafapur, Ali Afshari, Alireza Rasuli, Mohammad Abdollahi, Mostafa Davudi, Mostafa Rahman, Vali Afshari, Yusef Kakehmemi and Mansur Arvand.
6. Some individuals, who wanted to attend a ceremony marking the 16th anniversary of murder of [political activists] Dariush Foruhar and Parvaneh Foruhar, were prevented by police and the forces of security institutions.
7. Fariba Kamalabadi – a Baha'i citizen – who is currently in prison - was prevented from attending her daughter's wedding ceremony after the authorities rejected her request.
8. Hakimeh Shokri was transferred from Evin Prison to Qarchak Prison and Salman Khalilpur was transferred from Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj to Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah.
9. The officials did not allow female students of the Nushiravani University in Babol to enter the sport halls of this university.
10. The houses of Foad Yazdani, Peyman Yazdani, Navid Yazdani and Nima Najafi – four Baha’i citizens – were searched.
11. Hossein Eblis – an underground rapper – was detained.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
The economic conditions in the country are still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs has reported the identification of 12 million poor until now.
1. The salaries of 150 workers of Steel and Iron Factory of Durud have been delayed for three months, 170 mine workers of “Aqa Darband Mine” have not been paid for three months, 1400 workers of East Alborz’s Mines have not been paid for two months and the salaries of more than 150 workers of Kushk Bafq’s Mine have been delayed for three months. In addition, around 350 current workers and 550 retired workers of Nasaji [Textile] Mazandaran are owed about 15 billion Toman, and the retirees’ share is approximately 11 billion Toman. Around 160 workers of Azmayesh Factory, who have been retired since 1391 [year beginning 21 March 2012], have still not been able to receive the compensation due to them based on the number of years of their employment at the factory.
2. Mohammad Sadeq Naderi – the representative of the contract workers of Siman Sepahan; Feisal Hamid, Reza Mansuri – two workers of Kisun Contracting Company; 20 painter workers of the Special Zone in Asaluyeh and 300 workers of “Rak Ceramic”, were sacked from their jobs. In addition, 70 workers of Azad Dam Project were sacked from their jobs and 20 other workers were sent on leave without pay and benefits. On the other hand, 280 workers of the Qand-e Qahestan Factory – Qahestan Sugar – are now unemployed due to the closure of this factory. Their salaries have not been paid for eight months. Around 150 municipal workers of Marivan were made jobless after their contracts expired.
3. Mohammad Sharifimoqadam – a union activist – was exiled from his job to another place according to a disciplinary order.
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 Azar.
1. The Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism in Dezful has reported 30 historic houses in the old parts of the city have been destroyed or are on the verge of destruction. Also, the historic Market of Orumiyeh is on the verge of destruction due to the lack of sewage and surface water disposal system.
2. Many trees in the Dena Forest have been cut due to the work on natural gas distribution network.
3. The explosion of a mortar shell that was left over from the Iran-Iraq war in Dastak Olia Village caused the death of Nazar Azizi – the mother of the family – and Hossein Azizi – one of the children – and the injury of Kurosh Azizi – another child. Also, Mohammad Qanbarzehi – a conscript soldier – was injured due to the mine explosion.
4. The residents of Qasemabad Village in Iranshahr City are deprived from access to hygienic drinking water.
At the end of the report on the month of Azar 1393, the Defenders for Human Rights notes that the rejection of any kind of discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity and religion is the foundation of human rights standards. Since the Iranian government has joined the international conventions on human rights and constantly speaks of its commitment to the convention, it should take prompt steps to eliminate the discriminations against the ethnic groups, who guard our country's borders too. The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran should note that the development of Iran is not possible without the elimination of discriminations against ethnic groups. Therefore, a prerequisite for the realization of the government’s slogans is the elimination of discriminations against the country's ethnic groups.
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.