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 Azar 1394 [Iranian month corresponding to 22 November to 21 December 2015].
The Centre for the Defender of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has stated that in the absence of independent courts, intelligence forces have left no security for anyone by their personal and subjective decisions and illegal activities. She announced that “It is noteworthy that the President frequently speaks about safeguarding civil rights and respecting human dignity. However, fulfilling this aspiration is not going to be possible without making changes in the management structures of the Ministry of Intelligence.”
On this basis, this people-instituted organization urged the President to stand up against arbitrary and wilful actions of the security and intelligence forces, in line with his promises and undertakings.
The Centre for the Defender of Human Rights has continued its report and referred to the point that the independence of the Judiciary guarantees the rights of citizens in every country, and has written: “Unfortunately, based on available evidence, the independence of the Judiciary in Iran, particularly in cases involving political and ideology allegations, has been undermined.”
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 Supporters of Human Rights, the text of the report by the said center for the month of Azar 1394, which has been published on 2nd of Dey 1394 [23 December 2015], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in November-December 2015
The independence of the Judiciary guarantees the rights of citizens in every country and can prevent the misuse of power by the state officials. Unfortunately, according to the available evidence, the independence of the Judiciary in Iran, particularly in the way it deals with cases involving allegations of political and ideological nature, has been undermined. Therefore, “Justice” has been subjected to political games and manoeuvres for years and we have not witnessed the materialisation of justice in many cases, even in those which were related to the national security of the country. An example which can be mentioned is the court trial sessions of 18 Tir 1378 (9 Jul 1999) incidents in Koy-e Daneshgah [Tehran University dormitory] in Tehran or the case of Serial Murders [of dissidents and intellectuals by rogue intelligence ministry agents] during the same year.
A while ago, Ali Motahari, the Representative of Tehran in the Majlis, announced that, the Minister of Intelligence has replied to his question about the death of Haleh Sahabi. Accordingly, the minister acknowledged ”the case showed our officers had committed offences”. Despite this acceptance, the lawsuit filed by Haleh Sahabi’s family has not produced any results, just in the same way that similar legal actions have not yielded any results.
Instances of illegal interference, and attempts to settle political scores by proxy, which are usually initiated under the pretext of "safeguarding national security", by the Intelligence Ministry agents and employees or at times, by the security departments of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps , have undermined the security of citizens. This is to such an extent that sometimes, just reciting an anthem or a song, composing a poem, or taking part in friendly meetings can lead to the arrest and imprisonment of individuals.
With the election of a new president and the changes that took place as a result in the executive branch, and in view of the legal authority that the Constitution has bestowed on the President to supervise the proper implementation of the Constitution, as well as the President's custodianship and authority over the Ministry of Intelligence (which is one of the ministries under the direct authority of the executive branch), it was expected that some major changes would take place in the management structure and performance of the Ministry of Intelligence and its security agents and officers. However, all the news and information indicate that the situation remains almost exactly the same as before in the Ministry of Intelligence.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Azar [starting from 22 November to 21 December 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 November-December 2015
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, about 29 people were detained and the names of them have been specified, who were Ruzbeh Gilasian and Elaheh Sorushnia – two authors; Farhad Jahanbeigi (Miran Bazani) – a journalist; Obeidolah Baluch – a Sunni religious activist; Hamid Rahmati – a trade union activist; and Yaghma Golruye and Mohammad Reza Hajrostam Beglu – two poets -. In addition, a Judiciary official has reported the detention of three individuals in Sarab City due to efforts for promoting Yamanieh Cult. The prosecutor of Dezful has also reported the detention of “Q-K” and two other individuals – without mentioning their names – and according to him, they were involved in shooting at mourners of Ashura Day in Safiabad. A Judiciary official has reported the detention of another nine individuals in Shush and Shavur – without mentioning their names – as well as several other un-named individuals in the city of Dezful.
On the other hand, some news media have reported the detention of Sarveh Abdi, Ali Abdi and Saman Ebrahimpur – three citizens of the town of Sardasht – Kaveh Salimi and Bahman Moludi – two citizens of Bukan – and Abdolhamid Mirbaluchzehi and Mohammad Afra – two citizens of Iran Shahr -.
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. Amin Hajilu, Araz Khasetarash and Eslam Aliakbarlu – three civil activists – were sent to prison to serve one month terms in jail and Mehdi Deyhimi – a civil activist – was detained and transferred to prison to serve a one-year imprisonment term.
3. Majid Azarpey – a political prisoner who is currently in jail – has been sentenced to six and half years imprisonment term, Afsaneh Bayazidi – a university student who is currently in prison – was sentenced to two years in jail, Mehdi Rajabian – a musician; Hossein Rajabian – a movie maker; and Yusef Emadi – a musician – were sentenced to six years in jail and Hafez Tohid Qoreishi – a Sunni religious activist who is currently serving a prison term – were sentenced to seven years imprisonment each. In addition, the imprisonment sentence of Mohammadreza Nekunam – a religious activist who is currently in prison – has been increased to five years.
4. The court trial sessions of Mohammad Mahdavifar – a poet – and the appeal court of Atena Faraqdani – a cartoonist who is currently serving in prison – were held. Moreover, Hossein Musavian – a member of the Iranian National Front (Jebhey-e Melli-e Iran) – was briefed about the charges against him and then released temporarily on bail until the date set for his trial. Ali Nejati – a labour activist – was summoned to the magistrate court.
5. Seyyed Mohammad Khatami – the former President of Iran – is still barred from any kind appearance on public TV channels, without there being a court decree to that effect.
6. The Police have prevented the members of Central Council of Iran National Front from attending the meeting of the Front's central council.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The Judiciary has summoned Seyyed Mahmud Doayei – the managing editor of Etela’at Newspaper – and he was ordered to sign an undertaking.
2. The concert of Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled due to the presence of some female instrument players among its membership.
3. The advertisement of the movie “Hekayat-e Asheqi” [The Narrative of Falling in Love] was banned from being shown on televisions due to the appearance of Bahram Radan and Qotbeddin Sadeqi in it, and in addition, the screening of a piece called "Under the Siege" on television has been banned, due to the presence of Mohammad Motamedi in it. Moreover, the broadcasting supervisor of “Haft Eqlim” [Seven Continents] radio programme has been reprimand and the programme itself has been suspended because one of its special editions dealt with Ghomahossein Saedi – an author [and playwright who died in exile in Paris not long after the Islamic Revolution].
4. The license of “Aydin” student magazine was revoked in the Orumieh Industrial University.
5. Some individuals prevented the lectures of Rasul Montajabnia, Hadi Ghafari, Hossein Mar’ashi, Mostafa Kavakebian and Azar Mansuri – five political activists – by provoking violence and clashes in various cities. The security forced did not intervene to stop them. In addition, relevant officials banned the reading of a message from Seyyed Mohammad Khatami - the former President of Iran – and the presence of Ebrahim Yazdi – a member of Iran Freedom Movement (Nehzat-e Azadi-e Iran) – in the Student Day celebrations at Tehran University. On the other hand, police and security forces prevented a group of people who wanted to attend ceremonies marking the anniversary of the murder of [political activists] Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar at their home.
6. A relevant official in the Education Department of Sistan Va Baluchestan Province has reported that some 149,395 children in the province who have not been able to continue their schooling.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 24 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:
“A-B” was executed in Kerman, “M-Kh” was executed in Nowshahr in public, “A-B” was executed in Bandarabbas, “Abbas-A” in Amol and “A-Fallah” was executed in Qazvin. Judiciary officials said that they were convicted to the crime of murder. In addition, the judiciary official has reported the execution of an Afghan citizen in Qazvin due to the crime of first-degree murder.
“F-Zanjanian” was executed in Qazvin. Judiciary official said she was found guilty for the crime of adultery and murder.
Judiciary officials have reported the execution of five individuals – without mentioning their names – in Minab, two individuals in Rasht – without mentioning their names, and five un-named individuals in Bandarabbas due to the crime of possession and transportation of drugs.
“A-M” was executed in Miamy City in public. State-controlled media announced that his crime was rape. In addition, state-controlled media reported the execution of one individual in Nurabad Mamasani due to the crime of rape.
“Mojtaba-R” and “Nemat-J” were executed in Shiraz in public. State-controlled media announced that their crime was armed robbery.
Moreover, some news media reported the execution of Alireza Shahi in Karaj after he was convicted of the crime of murder.
2. State-controlled media have reported the sentences of lashing and death against “Saeid” and “Milad” in Tehran Province due to the crime of rape. Moreover, some news websites reported the issuance of death penalty for “R-A” due to murder, and the stoning sentence against “A-Kh” due to adultery in Gilan Province. Furthermore, a Judiciary official has reported the issuance of death sentence for one individual in Qazvin due to the crime of murder.
3. The Police have reported the public parading and humiliation of two individuals due to the crime of hooliganism and thuggery in the town of Pakdasht.
4. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Bahman Rahimi, Roya Saberinejad Nobakht, Masud Arabchobdar and Zeynab Jalalian – are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment. Mehdi Karubi, whose leg was broken, was returned to home after surgery despite the need of care.
5. Qader Abdollahzadeh who was detained during the middle of Mehr (Sep-Oct), was sent to Orumieh Prison after around 50 days of interrogation.
6. The Police have announced that more than 40,000 citizens have been confronted during the previous eight months due to inappropriate Hijab. The actions taken by the Police involved the confiscation of the offenders' vehicles and referring their cases to the Judiciary.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
Reports concerning situation regarding social and economic also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas during this month. For example: the salaries of 700 workers of Negin Mineral Cooperation have not been paid for two-three months; 400 workers of phases 20 and 21 of Asaluyeh have not been paid for four months; 500 workers of Pars paper-making Factory have not been paid for two months, thousand workers of Alborz Sharqi Mines have not received their salaries for one and half month, 150 workers of Iran Sadra Marine Industry have not received their wages for five months, 190 workers of Sardasht Municipality have not been paid for three months, 300 workers of “Zemestan Yurt” Coal Mines have not received their salaries for 1o months, around 400 workers of Pars Carpet have not been paid for seven months, around 200 workers of “Yasuj Steel” have not received their payments for seven months and 15 workers of Tazareh Coal Mine have not been paid for five months until the preparation day of this report. The insurance premiums of 160 workers of Gilana Tile also been postponed for three months.
Moreover, the deferred wages of 49 retired workers of “Rangin Nakh” have not been paid, the salaries of around 80 retires workers of “Parsilun Nakh” have not been paid and 120 workers of “Gipur Mashad” have not received their wages until the preparation day of this report.
1. Some 800 workers of Kerman Automobile Manufacturing factory, 61 workers of Sorush Goldiran Production Unit and around 320 workers of phases 12-13-19 of Asaluyeh Drilling and 250 workers of “Taj” Factory and 30 workers of “Golgohar” Mine were have been sacked from their jobs. In addition, 67 contract workers of “Shisheh Abgineh” Factory with eight months deferred wages, were sacked from their jobs due to the closure of the factory.
2. Some seven workers of “Lushan Cement” were sacked from their job due to their involvement in workers' protests.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning situation regarding cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas during the month of Azar. To the extent that “M-Sh-M” was killed due to land mine explosion in Marivan and the hand of Yasin Obeydavi – a child – had to be amputated due to mine explosion in Ahvaz. Police has reported two individuals have been wounded due to land mine explosion in Qasr-e Shirin.
The Centre for the Defender of Human Rights has stated that in the absence of independent courts, the intelligence organs and agents have left no security for anyone in the country by their subjective and personal decisions and illegal activities. The Centre, furthermore, stated that although the topic of respecting civil rights and human integrity was among the favourite topics of the Iranian President, the actual materialization of these aspirations was not going to be possible without making changes in the management structures of the Ministry of Intelligence. Therefore, it is essential that, in accordance with the promises he has given to the nation, the President should stand up against the willful and arbitrary actions of the intelligence and security forces.