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 Bahman 1393 [January-February 2015].
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 bahman 1393, which has been published on 30st Bahman 1393 [19 february 2015], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in January-February 2015
The Judiciary’s spokesperson said at a press conference on 27 Bahman 1393 (16th February 2015), media are not allowed to publish any picture or subject from Seyyed Mohammad Khatami according to Tehran Prosecutor’s order and any case of violation would be punished.
The above statement demonstrates that the Judiciary is not impartial and proves that the Judiciary is like a gimcrack in the hand of the totalitarian minority.
The remarks of Tehran Prosecutor are contrary to the Article 24 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran that says: ”The press and all publications have freedom of expression, unless they violate the principles of Islam or the rights of the public.” It is also against Article 6 of the Press Law that enshrines the freedom of press.
Now, the question is how is it possible to consider as contrary to the national security the publication or republication of the image of someone who has been the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran for eight years, and all official publications and media have placed his position and rank as being equal to the Supreme Leader of Iran's? Is the security of a country – which is called the most powerful country of the Middle East by its leaders – so vulnerable that the publication of a lecture or the republication of a picture can lead to indiscriminate street riots or to attacks by a hypothetical enemy?
Therefore, the Tehran Prosecutor’s remarks can only be considered as an attempt to safeguard the interests of a minority, who consider their own factional and political interests and objectives to be the one and the same as the national security of the country, and as such, they feel the Judiciary is duty bound to respect and ensure those interests.
This is certainly an incorrect interpretation of the concept of national security and a sign of the interference of politics in the realm of the Judiciary, and this process leads to the public’s distrust in the Judiciary.
Furthermore, in its report, a brief account of human rights situation in Iran in the month of Bahman [January-February 2015] 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 January-February 2015
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about 50 people were detained and the names of them have been specified as follows: Mohammad Mozafari – a political activist – Shahab Dehvari – a university student – Hatam Samadi, Zanyar Baghian – two labour activists – Ali Shariati, Ali Rezaei – two civil activits – and Qasem Abyat – a religious activist.
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Seyyed Jalil Badavi, Mohsen Daryanush, Mansur Naderi, Shahab Zarin, Majid Khakdan, Reza Soltaniazar, Kamel Nejati, Reza Mokri, Nader Rasuli, Mansur Hosseinzadeh, Sediq Kakehmemi, Jalil Badavi and Ahmad Dahnad – 13 locals from Mahabad – Naser Abdolhoseinzadeh, Eslam Aliakbarlu, Araz Khasetarash and Amin Hajilu – four civil activists – Elham Karampisheh, Mona Mehrabi, Ms.Akbari, Safa Forqani, Mehrdad Forqani, Nika Rajabi, Mona Aqdasi, Shiva Aghsani, Negar Sobhanian, Kavian Dehqan, Aref Dehqan, Shayan Kosar, Peyman Atefi and Kusha Rahimi – 14 Baha’I citizens.
In addition, Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Sepah) has reported the detention of 12 individuals and the summons of 24 individuals without mentioning their names due to managing a number of Facebook’s pages.
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. Mohammadreza Roeinotufat – a national-religious activist – was sent to prison to serve his ten years imprisonment, Farah Baghi – a Baha’i citizen – was sent to prison to serve one year in jail, Navid Haqiqi – a Baha’i citizen – was transferred to jail to serve his three years imprisonment term, Shahram Fallah – a Baha’i citizen – was transferred to jail to serve three years imprisonment term and Ramin Rezaei – a civil activist – was sent to prison to serve 91 days in jail.
3. The lifelong banishments from their birthplace imposed against Kazem Dehqan, Hamidreza Arayesh and Mohammadali Shamshirzan – three members of the Gonabadi Darwishes Sect – were confirmed in the Supreme Court and the seven-year exile of Mohammadali Dehqan, Mohammadali Sadeqi, Ebrahim Bahrami, and Mohsen Esmaeili – four members of the Gonabadi Darwishes Sect – also were upheld at the Supreme Court. In addition, the Appeal Court has sentenced Fariborz Kardar to seven years imprisonment, Mehdi Reyshahri to five years in jail, and Masud Talebi to seven years in prison. All three convicted individuals were cyber activists.
On the other hand, Ribvar Abdollahi – a labour activist – was sentenced to one year imprisonment, Seyyed Ahmadreza Haeiri – a political activist – was sentenced to three and half years in prison and Manuchehr Kholusi – a Baha’i citizen – was sentenced to six years in jail. Furthermore, Mehdi Farahi Shandiz who was serving his imprisonment term, has been sentenced to three years in jail again and Albar Amini Armaki, who is also serving his imprisonment term, has been sentenced to five years in prison.
4. The court trial sessions of Reza Shahabi, Kamran Ayazi and Omid Zareinejad - all of whom are serving their imprisonment terms; and Jamil Mohamamdi – a labour activist – were held. Mozafar Salehnia – a labour activist – was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence and was interrogated. In addition, Jafar Azimzadeh, Mehrdad Aminvaziri – two labour activists – and Mohammadayub Kazemi – a religious activist – were summoned to the court.
5. Security officials detained Narges Mohammadi – the vice head of the Centre for Supporters of Human Rights – for four hours and prevented her from meeting the vice president of Germany’s Parliament.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The internet newspaper ‘Homa”, the weekly “Setareh ye Sobh” , the “Ramz-e Obur” publication were banned by decree issued by the Tehran Prosecutor, and the “9th Dey” weekly was also banned by the order of the Press Supervisory Board. Moreover, the website of Ali Motahari – the representative of Tehran in the Islamic Majlis – has been blocked.
2. Foruzandeh Adibi, the editor in chief of “Mehrnameh” Publication was sentenced to two years ban from press activities plus a fine of three million Tomans. In addition, the Press Jury found Ali Salehabadi – the editor in chief of “Setarey-e Sobh” weekly – guilty.
3. Abbas Salimi Namin – a cultural activist – was sentenced to six months in jail. In addition, Ahmad Sattari – the editor in chief of “Mardom-e Emruz” Newspaper was released by a bail of 100 million Tomans after undergoing interrogation in the magistrate court.
4. The religious school “Sonnat-e Nabavi” – which belongs to the Sunnis – was closed down by the officials and its teachers were banned from teaching. Furthermore, the Court of Administrative Justice refused to study the documents of some Baha’i citizens who wanted to study in the state universities of Iran.
5. The passport of Hassan Damirchi – a music teacher – was confiscated after he returned to Iran from a foreign trip.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 22 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: “Milad-Z” and “Alireza-A” were executed in Arak; “A-M”, “Y-Q”, “H-T”, “S-Q’ and “M-B” were executed in Rasht. State-controlled media announced that they had been convicted of the crime of possession and transportation of drugs. “Mohammadreza-P” was executed in Shiraz and Mansur Mirlohi was executed in Golpayegan. State-controlled media announced that they had been found guilty of the crime of armed robbery and murder. Three individuals were executed in Bonab. The Judiciary’s officials said their crimes were kidnapping and first-degree murder. “Shayan (Arash)” was executed in Karaj, “M-P” in Rasht and one individual was executed in Mashhad. State-controlled media announced that they have been convicted for the crime of murder. Ali Kamalvand was executed in Tehran and three individuals were executed in Hamedan. The Judiciary’s officials said that their crime was rape.
In addition, some news sources have reported the execution of Hamed Kahrazhi and Mirbaluch Zahi in Chabahar and Reza Bigham in Bam due to the crime of possession and transportation of drugs.
2. The Judiciary’s spokesperson has reported the issuance of a death sentence against a clergy with the abbreviation name of “M-J-T”.
3. Media sources affiliated to the Iranian state have reported that three unnamed defendants, who had engaged in acts of thuggery and insurgency were paraded around the city of Mashhad in order to be shamed publically.
4. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Aliasghar Mahmudian and Seyyed Serajodin Mirdamadi - are sick but no serious action has been taken to provide them with treatment. In addition, Sajedeh Arabsorkhi, Saeed Razavi Faqih, Afshin Karampur, Mostafa Daneshju, Hamidreza Moradi and Fakhrodin Faraji were returned to the prison before the course of their medical treatment was completed. It should be noted that some prisoners, such as Saeed Razavi Faqih, were handcuffed to their hospital beds despite their severe illnesses.
5. The commemoration conference planned for Mehdi Bazargan – the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government after 1357  Revolution – was canceled by the order of the officials.
6. A planned rally by the supporters of the “mysticism ring” – Erfan-e Halqeh – was prevented by law-enforcement and security officials.
7. Peyman Mirzaei was transferred to the Raja'i Shahr Prison in Karaj, Ali Ahmad Soleymani – a prisoner who is sentenced to death – was transferred to the Central Prison of Tabriz, Roham Barakizadeh, Ali Nuri and Mohammad Saeed Hosseinzadeh Movahed were transferred to Ward No.7 of Evin Prison and Zeinab Jalalian was transferred to the Central Prison of Khoy. It should be noted these transfers have taken place without any specific reason and contrary to the regulations of the prison's internal affairs.
8. Behfar Khanjani – a Baha’i prisoner – was deprived from the right of visitation in punishment for a letter he had written to some state officials.
9. Aliasghar Mahmudian – a political prisoner – was not allowed to attend his mother’s funeral. It should be noted the said prevention is against the law.
10. The Advisor of the Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade in Women and Family Affairs has reported the dropout of some 35,000 female students from education.
11. Some 46 girls and boys were arrested in the town of Nazarabad due to attending a party.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
The economic conditions in the country are still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that the advisor of the Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare has said that 10 per cent of the population live substantially below the poverty line in the country and the Secretary General of the Supreme Institute of Islamic Councils for Labour has reported that more than 70 per cent of workers are currently living below poverty line.
1. The payments of the wages of workers in “Tarzeh Mine” has been delayed for three months and the workers of “Dorud” steel and iron plant, have not been paid for four months.
2. Some 80 workers lost their jobs due to the closure of “Meskaran” [copper processing] Factory in Semnan and 400 workers of “Qand-e Varamin” – Sugar factory – have lost their jobs due to the closure of the factory. Finally, 100 workers of the Dorbaal Company in Mazandaran Province, and 112 workers at the Pars Seram Factory at the district of Qarchak in the town of Varamin, have lost their jobs.
3. The court trial sessions of nine workers have been held, namely: Amirhossein Kargaran, Ali Sabri, Reza Khajehzadeh, Mohammadreza Irani, Alimohammad Tashakori, Reza Dehestani, Kazem Kargaran, Jalil Kamali and Mohammad Hassan Tashakori.
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 Bahman.
1. The worsening of the phenomenon of dust storms in Khuzestan Province and spreading to other western provinces, southern provinces and even central parts of Iran has created many problems for the local inhabitants of these regions. .
2. The Ministry of Health has reported the possibility of water contamination in some surrounding areas of Tehran due to the lack of connection to the national water supply system.
3. The secretary of the staff for Lake Orumiyeh’s restoration has announced that 600 ground and underground lakes are drying in the country. In addition, an official in the Department of the Environment has reported the drying of 67 per cent of the wetlands’ surface.
4. Nurali Safari – an individual form Qasr-e Shirin City – was killed due to impact with a landmine, and Ali Sagari – an individual from Khoramshahr City - and Ali Molaei – a citizen og the town of Mehran – were injured due to coming into contact with landmines.
5. The additional wall of “Qajar-Pahlavi” at the shrine of Daniel Shrine in the ancient city of Shush [Susa] has collapsed.
6. Municipal and hospital wastes have become pastures for sheep, and one million kilograms of meat from animals that have been fed from such waste material are produced and marketed every year. The fact that the waste material are not fenced off, as well as the lack of compliance with health and hygiene standards in waste disposal are among the main reasons for the said problem.
At the end of its report for the month of Bahman 1393, the Defenders for Human Rights Centre emphasizes once again the independence of the Judiciary, as enshrined and protected in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, because it ensures democracy in the country. Therefore, those who try to infect the Judiciary with their political objectives and interests, are delivering a serious blow to democracy and the sovereignty of people, and as such, they are destroying the last remaining hope of the people for the fulfilment of justice.
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.