In continuation of its monthly reports, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Mordad 1395 [22 July to 21 August 2016].
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, referring to the way the legal cases of defendants facing political or ideological charges are being handled in the Revolution Courts, has announced that there is not, and there has never been, a fair trial for the dissidents and non-conformists in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Therefore, this people-instituted organization has referred to the first demand of the people during the Constitutional Movement [in 1905] that was “The Establishment of the House of Justice”, and has written that: “Iran has no house of justice”.
The Center for the Defenders of Human Rights continues with referring to the executions in Iran’s prisons in 1367  - which it has labeled as “the tragedy of mass extermination of political prisoners and prisoners of consciences in the year 1367” - and has announced that even now, the cases of political dissidents are still being referred to a handful of judges who are trusted by the Ministry of Intelligence and the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
This people-instituted organization has added that having an independent and fair Judiciary is the most important means for achieving democracy and has announced that the existence of independent courts and impartial and efficient judges are can help resolve many social and political problems.
Furthermore, in its report, which is published in both Farsi and English languages, this people-instituted organisation 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 center for the month of Mordad 1395, which has been published on 2nd of Shahrivar 1395 [23 August 2016], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in July-August 2016
The release of an audio tape containing Ayatollah Montazeri protesting against the wave of executions in the summer of 1367 [1988, shortly before the end of the Iran-Iraq war] has once again revived the memory of the execution of the dissident prisoners in that year. This reminder is important because not only in the early years of the revolution, but even until the present time, the dissidents have been deprived of a fair trial, to the extent that all trials of the Revolution Courts have been conducted in the closed chambers and not only journalists, but also the family of the accused, have not been allowed to watch and monitor these sessions. In all cases, political prisoners and prisoners of conscience have been deprived of access to a lawyer during the investigation phase and have been held in solitary confinement for a long time. In most cases, the defendants were tortured physically and mentally, to be forced to put down on paper what the security interrogators wanted them to write. In many trials, the security investigators have played the role of the prosecutor in the courts and had a devastating impact on the trial's outcome.
This is while some individuals who defended “Revolutionary" and summary courts of only a few minutes duration in the first few months and years after the Islamic Revolution, themselves became victims of the same kind of injustice in later years.
Unfortunately, the situation remains similar to past and the dissidents are deprived of a fair trial once again, and as a result, they are arrested, tried and sentenced and a number of them even die over their beliefs. Today as in the past, protecting national security and preserving the gains of the revolution is an excuse for ignoring justice.
After the passage of several years since “the tragedy of mass extermination of political prisoners and prisoners of consciences in the year 1367”, the cases of political dissidents are still being referred to a handful of judges who are trusted by the Ministry of Intelligence and the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, rather than by the Judiciary, so that in that manner, the verdict they favour is issued at the end of the proceedings. The Special Clerical Court, whose legal basis is still questionable, still refuses to accept defence lawyers who are the choice of the defendants.
All these painful experiences are indicative of the lack of independence of the judiciary. This is while the first demand of the people during the Constitutional Movement was “The Establishment of the House of Justice” that has not been achieved yet and this is a painful return to the situation before the establishment of a constitutional political system in Iran, to the extent that it could be said that “Iran has no house of justice”.
The report also provides a summary of human rights situation in Iran during the month of Mordad 1395, 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 July-August 2016
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, more than 33 people were detained and the names of them have been specified, who were:
The Revolution Court has reported the detention of a woman in Golestan Province (without mentioning her name) due to “management of five anti-religious channels” in Telegram. In addition, police has reported the detention of three individuals in northern cities (without mentioning their names) due to what has been called “blasphemy”. The persecutor of Tehran has reported the detention of one Iranian with dual citizenship (without mentioning his/her name) due to having “connections with the British Intelligence Service”.
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Jafar Rostamirad – a citizens from Ardebil; Amin Ahanin, Mohammad Malak Khataei, Mohammad Elyasi, Edmond Khachaturian, Samaneh Shahbazifar, Arash Qodsi, Fatemeh Amini, Maryam Zonubi, Mohsen Khubyari, Hamed Sepidkar and Naser Navard Goltapeh – 11 newly converted Christians; Jalal Shishvani and Shahnaz Tusi – two citizens form Maragheh City; Behzad Qanbari – a citizen from Tabriz; Vahid Purtahmasb and Yusef Eyvaz Zadeh – two fans of the Mystic Ring (Erfan-e Halqeh); Yashar Rezavani – a Baha’i citizen; Rahim Bakhsh – a citizen from Sarbaz; Riaz Botrani and Walid Obeydavi – two citizens from Ahvaz; Seyyed Mohammad Miri and Qasem Qanbari – two citizens from Gachsaran; Ali Mobin, Arash Kamyab, Shahab Sharifi and Milad Yazdi – four artists – and Abdolrahman Siryazehi – a Sunni religious activist -.
Moreover, some individuals were detained in different provinces such as West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan and Ardebil due to attending in protest rallies.
It should be noted that some of the detainees were released temporarily on bail after a few days until the date of their trial.
In addition, Siavash Kaliaei – a follower of Yarsan Religion – and Hassan Bozorgzadeh – a citizen from Gachsaran – were detained for some hours.
2. Payman Mirzaei – a supporter of the Mystic Ring grouping – was detained and transferred to prison to serve five years and three months imprisonment.
3. Ebrahim Madadi – a labour activist – was sentenced to five years and three months in jail, Isa Saharkhiz – a journalist who is currently in jail – was sentenced to three years imprisonment in a new case, Afsaneh Bayazidi – a university student activist who is currently serving in prison – was sentenced to four years in jail and exile to Kerman’s Prison, Suma Bazargan – a university student – was sentenced to two years in prison, Misaq Yazdan Nejad – a previous political prisoner – was sentenced to five years in jail in a new case and Mojtaba Purhassan, Abbas Mohammad Sadeqpur, Mohammadreza Mobaraki, Abdollah Alireza Nejad, Mehran Zaki and Ehsan Arshadi – six citizens of Gachsaran – were sentenced to two years imprisonment and one year suspended imprisonment and two years ban from membership in political parties and groups for two years. In addition, Mohammad Mahdavifar – a poet – was sentenced to 30,000,000 IRR in the Appeal Court and Saman Safarzaei – a journalist – was sentenced to two years imprisonment.
4. The court trial session of Najibeh Salehzadeh – a citizen; Nazanin Zaghari Ratklif – an Iranian-Brittish citizen who is currently serving a sentence in prison – and Matin Khezri and Hossein Ahmadpur – two citizens of Bukan who are currently in prison - were held.
Moreover, the appeal trials of Amir (Ali) Amirqoli – a civil activist who is currently in jail – and Athena Daeimi, Omid Alishaneas, Tasu Rostami, Ali Nuri – four civil activists; Mohammad Hossein Daeimi – a citizen; Ali Khanafareh, Esmaeil Rahimian (Dahimi), Rasul Dahimavi (Dahmimi), Ebrahim Dahimavi (Dahimi), Ali Beitsayah, Mehdi Khanipur (Halafi), Jaber Sakhravi, Aref Sarakhi, ABdolkazem Heidari, Shokrollah Sakhravi, Mohammad Khanipur (Halafi) – 11 citizens of Khuzestan Province – were held.
5. Mohamamdreza Khatami – a political activist – was summoned to the magistrate court and Ahmad Montazeri – the son of the late Ayatollah Montazeri – was summoned to the Special Clerical Court and Akbar Jahangiri – a citizen from Ahar ; Amir Hossein Maqsudlu – an art activist; Mozaffar Salehnia – a labour activist – and Saeid Jamebozorgi – the president of the Islamic Azad University in Hamdean – were summoned to the magistrate court due to organizing a vulgar party. Akbar Alipur – a labour activist – was summoned to the appeal court. Also, Sharif Saeid Panah – a labour activist – was summoned to the Office of Intelligence of the city of Sanandaj and was interrogated.
6. The prosecutor of Tehran has prevented Seyyed Mohammad Khatami – Iran’s former President – from attending a venue where a play was being staged.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. Press Jury has found the editors in chief of Entekhab Website and “Mehrnameh” Monthly guilty.
2. The Judiciary officials have prevented the holding of different concerts in Khorasan Razavi Province such as Salar Aghili’s concert in Sabzevar.
3. The relevant officials prevented a planned speech by Lotfollah Meisami – a political activist and the editor in chief of Cheshmandaz Iran Website – in the town of Malayer.
4. The relevant officials prevented the screening of documentary movie “Mr. Prime Minister “.
5. The relevant officials prevented the presence of people at the grave side of [famous contemporary poet] Ahmad Shamlu on his death anniversary.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 50 individuals were executed during 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:
The Judiciary officials have reported the execution of around 20 individuals in Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj due to has been called “links with the Takfiri terrorist groups”.
“Shahram Amiri” was executed in Tehran. News media have reported that his crime was spying.
“M-P” and “A-A” were executed in public in Banadar Abbas. A Judiciary official has reported that their crimes were rape and kidnapping. In addition, a Judiciary official has reported the execution of three individuals in Gorgan because of rape.
“M-R” was executed in public in Saveh. News media have said that he was found guilty for the crime of armed robbery.
The Judiciary of the West Azarbaijan Province has reported the execution of “Mohammad Abdollahi” and the Judiciary of Khuzestan province has announced the execution of three individuals in Ahvaz due to Moharebeh [Declaring War against God].
News media have reported the execution of one individual in public in Jahrom due to the crime of Moharebeh [waging war against God and Islam].
News media have reported the execution of one individual in Mashhad, two individuals in Rajaei Shahr Prison, one individual in public in Ravansar, one individual in public in Sonqor and one individual in Rasht due to the crime of murder.
“H-R” was executed in Rasht. News media have said that his crime was transporting and possession of drugs. “Mojtaba-N” and “Majid-H” were executed in Qazvin. The persecutor of Qazvin has reported that their crime was transporting and possession of drugs. In addition, the Judiciary of West Azarbaijan Province has reported the execution of four individuals in this province, the Judiciary of Fars has reported the execution of one individual in public in Kazerun and the Judiciary of Gilan has reported the execution of four individuals in Rasht because of transporting and possession of drugs.
On the other hand, some unofficial News websites have reported some executions in the prisons of Saqez, Taybad, Salmas, Miandoab, Gorgan and Oromieh. These reports have not been confirmed or denied by the Judiciary officials or state-controlled media.
2. The lashes sentence of “A-B” was carried out in public in Bandar Abbas. News media said he was convicted of the crime of robbery.
3. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of death sentence for four individuals due to the crime of murder. In addition, news media have reported the issuance of a death sentence against an Afghan citizen because of the crime of first-degree murder.
4. According to some news media, a number of child labourers in Kermanshah have had their heads shaved as a form of punishment.
5. The relevant official have not returned the dead body of Mohammad Abdollahi to his family after he was executed for the crime of Moharebeh. Moreover, the relevant officials buried the body of “Purandokht Misaqi” – a Baha’i citizen - without the permission of her family.
6. A Judiciary official has reported the detention of 20 Sufi individuals; the Judiciary of Damavand reported the detention of 50 individuals in Absard City; the persecutor of Amol has reported the detention of 30 individuals in the city, News media have reported the detention of 29 individuals in Karaj and 60 individuals in Sorkheh Hesar Forest Park and police has announced the detention of 150 individuals in Tehran and 63 people in Shiraz due to attending in a party.
7. Police has reported the blocking of 20 modeling websites and web logs.
8. Police prevented females from riding bicycles in the town of Marivan.
Section 2: Social and Economic Rights
Reports concerning the situation regarding social and economic also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas, for example: news reports reveal the unacceptable employment rights and pay levels of workers in a number of industrial units, including the Raja Electricity Contract Company, “Ravanshir Steel” industrial company, Damash Mineral Water Factory, Khoramabbad Municipality, Azadi Sport Complex, Yasuj Sugar Factory, Tehran Expressway Project, “Qofl Kar” Factory, Ahvaz Municipality, “Mashin Sazi” Factory in Tabriz, The Rail Track Company of Tehran-Varamin Subway Train, Mahabad Agroindustrial Complex, Azadshahr Municipality, Setareh Khalej-e Fars Refinery, Adonis Factory, Ahvaz Sugar and Refined Sugar Factory, Farsh-e Pars Factory in Qazvin, “Iran Compressor Making” Factory, “Subway Train Project of Shiraz”, Khazar Tile Factory, “Manganese and Narch Mine in Qom, “East Alborz” Coal Mine, Ahvaz Subway Train, Hafez Tile Factory, Bafq Iron-ore Factory, Golris in Abhar, “Farayand Steel Making” Factory and former workers of Rah-e Dur Iran telecommunication, around 200 teachers of the Literacy Movement, the workers of Agricultural Insurance Fund and the sacked employees of the Majlis Library.
1. The payments of 120 workers of “Bam Old Castle” have been delayed for four months; around 45 workers of Hozian Aligudarz Dam Project have not received their salaries for six months; some workers of Alborz Steel have not been paid for seven months; 208 workers of “Sardasht” Municipality have not received any wages for three months; around 300 workers of POLYACRYL Company have not been paid their wages for three months and around 100 workers of Tangeh Bijar Gas Field have not been paid for five months, at the time of compilation of this report.
2. Some 80 workers of Zagros Khodro, 10 workers of “Moqasami Glass and Mirror” Factory and 20 workers of Fulad Gaz Zarrin were made jobless after the closure of these commercial units.
In addition, 15 workers of farming and livestock pesticide factory “Shimi Keshavarz National Company” and five workers of Abyek Municipality were fired.
3. The Police of Tehran Province have reported the official closure and sealing of 92 trade units in this province and the relevant officials have reported the closure of 15 trade units because what was described as supplying "unconventional clothing articles".
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
1. Reports concerning situation regarding cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these areas during this month to the extent that Bakhtehgan Lake is the second salt lake of Iran that has gone dry.
At the end of the report for the month of Mordad of 1395, The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has emphasized that having an independent and fair Judiciary is the most important means for achieving democracy. It has announced that the existence of independent courts and impartial and efficient judges can help resolve many social and political problems.