In continuation of its monthly reports, the Centre for the Defender of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Tir 1394 [Iranian month corresponding to 22 June to 22 July 2015].
The Centre for the Defender of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has referred to the latest nuclear agreement and declared that it is the time for Mr Rouhani to embark on making changes in the political environment of the country, releasing political and ideological prisoners and those who are under house arrest.
Therefore, the Centre for the Defender of Human Rights has stressed that Mr Rouhani should use all of his power – as he has done in the nuclear energy case – to eliminate the legal obstacles for the releasing of the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience and those who are under the siege of house arrests. The Centre has also called for a national dialogue to resolve internal issues according to Mr Presidnet’s election promises.
This human rights defender institution has announced its objection to the approval of an additional clause for Article 48 according to which political prisoners and prisoners of conscience have the right to use only the lawyers who are approved by the Judiciary during the most crucial phase of their judicial process, namely the phase of preliminary interrogation.
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 Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, the text of the report by the said centre for the month of Tir 1394, which has been published on 31th Tir 1394 [22 July 2015], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in June-July 2015
Last month, following several long hours of talks and discussions, the 5+1 group and Iran finally reached an agreement that will gradually relieve economic sanctions if it wins final approved and is put to implementation. This means this agreement could be the first step towards the resolution of the economic problems of the people, especially the low-income strata of society.
In addition, this agreement which was made by possible through the efforts of Rouhani’s government to create consensus within the ranks of the Iranian decision about the need to resolve the country’s crisis, was able to open a window of hope for the citizens.
Therefore, it is now time for Mr Rouhani to bring about changes in the political atmosphere of the country, and release the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience and those enduring restrictions and house arrests. Moreover, Mr Rouhani should use all of his power – as he did in the nuclear energy case – to eliminate the legal obstacles for the releasing of the political and ideological prisoners and those who are under the siege of house arrests. This is because it is now time for national dialogue to solve internal problems based on Mr President’s election promises.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Tir [starting from June and July 2015], as follows. 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 June-July 2015
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about15 people were detained, whose names have been given as: Abbas Purazhari and Mohammad Dadizadeh – two national-religious activists; Esmaeil Abdi – a trade union activist; Ali Asghar Gharavi – a member of Iran Freedom Movement [Nehzat-e Azadi Iran]; Sorush Fereyduni and Mehrzad Fereyduni – two civil activists; and Esmaeil Gerami Moqadam – the spokesman of the National Trust Party [Hezb-e Etemad-e Meli], who was arrested at the airport upon his return to the country. On the other hand, some news reports have spoken of the detention of Ebrahim Nuri, Milad Azimi, Rasul Razavi, Hossein Rakhshanikia, Sanvindik Lotfi, Mohammad Mehdi Nekunam, Jafar Rostami Rad and Hamid Jalilvand.
Moreover, a large number of teachers who had gathered in front of the Majlis building to voice their demands, have been assaulted physically and insulted verbally by the police and security forces and some of them have also been detained.
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. Ziba Purhabib – a member of the Mystic Ring Group (Goruh-e Erfan-e Halqeh) – was sent to prison to serve her three year imprisonment; Ardeshir Shahnavaz – a member of the Mystic Ring Group– was sent to prison to serve his five year term; Shokrollah Qahremanifard – a civil activist – was transferred to prison to serve his six month imprisonment; Omid Abdolvahabi – a media activist – has been dispatched to jail to serve his sentence of six months in jail; Abbas Sadeqpur – a civil activist – was transferred to prison to serve his six month imprisonment; Mohammadreza Afshar, a member of the Mystic Ring Group, was sent to prison to serve two years in jail; Reza Amjadi – a labour activist – was transferred to jail to serve his prison sentence of three months and one day; and Fardin Miraki – a labour activist – was sent to prison to serve nine months in jail.
3. Amin Anvari Rostami – a university student – was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment that is suspended for five years; Maryam Sadat Yahyavi – a civil activist – was sentenced to seven years and six months imprisonment term; Aram Zandi and Foad Zandi – two labour activists – were sentenced to four months in jail each; Faeq Chireh – a civil activist – was sentenced to two years in jail; Milad Isapur – a journalist – was sentenced to six years and three months imprisonment term; Atila Seifi (Musa) – a civil activist – was sentenced to six months in prison and Mehdi Farahi Shandiz – a political activist who is currently in prison – was sentenced to three years imprisonment term again. In addition, Farzad Moradinia – a labour activist – was sentenced to two years in jail in the Appeal Court.
On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Judiciary has reported the issuance of imprisonment sentences for five individual without mentioning their names.
4. Molavi Fathi Mohammad Naqshbandi – a Sunni religious activist; Ghaleb Hosseini – a labour activist; and Ghaleb Hosseini’s wife (Godarz Shafieian) – a union activist – were summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence and Zartosht (Esmaeil) Ahmadi Ragheb – a civil activist – was summoned to the Security Police.
5. The fourth court trial session of Rufia Pakzadan, Shohreh Samimi, Parivash Shojaei and Tina Mohebati – four Baha’i citizens – and the second court trial session of Arash Sadeqi and Golrokh Ebrahimi – two civil activists – were held.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The Press Jury has issued a guilty verdict against the editors in chief of “Sharq” daily newspaper, “Nursing Society” monthly and “Ensaf News” Website.
2. Reza Yazdani’s concert was cancelled by the relevant officials in the city of Abadan.
3. The relevant officials have prevented the releasing of the movie “Rastakhiz” [Resurrection] in the cinema halls of the country.
4. The security officials prevented the holding of religious rituals in “Zeynab Kobra” Foundation and the gathering of the supporters of “the Movement of the Militant Muslims” [Jonbesh-e Mosalmanan-e Mobarez] in Tabriz, and also the holding of Eid al Fitr Prayers in the residence of Seyyed Ali Asghar Gharavi –an innovationist religious intellectual – in Esfehan.
5. The relevant officials have not allowed Kamand Agahi – a Baha’i citizen – to register as a student at a high school.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. “M-A-Q” was executed in Khorasan Razavi Province. The Judiciary’s official said he had been convicted for the crime of rape.
2. State-controlled media reported the confirmation of the death sentence against “M-H-T”. In addition, the daily newspaper, Farhikhtehgan, has reported the issuance of death sentence against an individual who was been found guilty for the crime of first-degree murder without mentioning his name. Furthermore, the Head of the State General Inspectorate Organization has announced the issuance of death sentences for four individuals in an economic criminal case. The official did not specify the names of the four convicts.
3. Media sources affiliated to the Iranian government have reported the execution of hand amputation sentences against two individuals in the city of Mashhad in public for the crime of theft, without mentioning their names.
4. State-controlled media announced the carrying out of sentences of 74 lashes against four individuals in Khorasan Razavi Province for the crime of not observing the fasting rules in public [eating, drinking and smoking in public are not allowed from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan].
5. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them – such as Asu Rostami – are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment. Moreover, Asadollah Hadi was returned to the prison after his surgery.
6. The relevant officials did not allow Hamidreza Yazdani – a political prisoner – to attend his brother’s funeral ceremony. Previously, the relevant officials did not permit Seyyed Ahmad Hashemi – a political prisoner – to attend ceremonies marking the 40th day after his wife’s death.
7. The relevant officials prevented the burial of Ms Mohammadifar – a Baha’i citizen – in the burial place of Baha’i citizens in Sanandaj.
8. The relevant officials have reported the detention of 692 individuals in some cities such as Shiraz, Hamedan and Tabriz due to the crime of breaking their fasts in public. Furthermore, state-controlled media announced the detention of 50 individuals in Dezful on the charges of attending in a night-time party.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
1. Reports concerning the country’s social and economic situation also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas during this month to the extent that according to the statistics that are provided by the Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, seven millions workers employed by the non-governmental sector receive salaries that are lower than 712 thousand Tomans per month. This salary shows that they live under the poverty line. He has also reported that out of the total of 22 million workers in the country, around 7 million are not enjoying any kind of insurance, and this clearly means the presence of a serious threat to the future welfare and living standards of some 7 million workers.
2. The salaries and benefits of 100 day labours of Neyshekar Haft Tapeh Complex [sugar mill] have not been paid for five months and contract workers and day labours of Karun Cement Factory have not received their salaries for three months. Furthermore, of contract workers in phases 15 and 16 of the Factory are still owed the outstanding wage arrears for 1393 [ended March 2015] and also the unpaid wages for the current year 1394.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
1. Hayat Rashidian – a citizen of Saqez – was injured due to land mine explosion.
2. Bakhtegan Lake and some parts of Kashkan River in Lorestan Province have dried up.
3. The density of floating particles in the air above Sistan Va Baluchestan Province reached six times more from the permissible limit during several days of June.
At the end of the report for the month of Tir of 1394, the Centre for the Defender of Human Rights has stressed that the treatment of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience has not been changed and many of them are still deprived of the rights that are set forth in the Regulations on Administration of Prison Affairs; and has called for an end to the restrictions imposed on women political and ideological prisoners having access to telephone in order to contact their children.
Moreover, the Centre for the Defender of Human Rights announces its objection to the approval of the additional clause of Article 48, on the basis of which, political prisoners and prisoners of conscience have the right to use only the lawyers who have been approved by the Judiciary during the most crucial phase of their judicial process, namely the phase of preliminary interrogations. Therefore, we demand a halt to the implementation of the said addition to the Article, which has been approved without respect for the principles envisaged in the Constitution.