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 Shahrivar 1395 [Iranian month starting 22 August 2016].
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has referred to the beginning of the 1395-96 academic year and said, according to government and public institutions, a large number of schools in the country are in a dilapidated state and badly in need of major repairs, but these have been delayed for various reasons including the inadequate share of the education sector from the state’s total development budget.
Therefore, this people-instituted organization has noted that the Fourth Development Plan has provided guarantees for equitable access to educational opportunities, the elimination of educational deprivation, and the payment of various costs – such as health and hygiene. The Centre has then emphasized the need for changes in the budget that the education sector is earmarked to receive from the state’s development budget.
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights pointed to the report by the Majlis Research Centre regarding the provisions made by the Fourth Development Plan to have approved funds available for retrofitting and strengthening the school buildings. It then criticized the inattention to providing an adequate budget for education.
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 Supporters of Human Rights, the text of the report by the said center for the month of Shahrivar 1395, which has been published on 4th of Mehr 1395 [25 September 2016], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in August-September 2016
The academic year of 1395-96 has got under way while according to government and public institutions, a large number of schools in the country are in a poor state and in need of major repairs, but these have been delayed for various reasons including the inadequate share of the education sector from the state’s total development budget. Of course, this is something which can expose our children to serious risks in several different arneas.
According to published reports, some schools in some provinces such as Lorestan, Sistan Va Baluchestan and Khuzaestan are without appropriate buildings for the education of students in a way that sometimes pre-fabricated hangars and large tents or sheds are being used as schools. In addition, the shortage and inadequacy of schools is not only confined to deprived and remote areas of the country but, some schools in Tehran and Khorasan Razavi Provinces also need reconstruction and renovation.
This is while the Majlis Research Centre has published a report regarding the provisions made by the Fourth Development Plan to have approved funds for strengthening the school buildings, declaring that the proportion of the 1395 Budget that has been allocated to that area is far below the base set by the law.
School shortages has forced schools to operate two or three shifts every day, and these arrangements have had devastating impact on the education of children. A government official has reported that in 1392, there were around 141,000 pupils who had been deprived from education. However, unofficial statistics suggests a much higher figure.
This is while the huge extent of financial abuse and government waste resulting from the lack of transparency and the immunity from prosecution granted to some officials have significantly harmed the budget. Nevertheless, we are witnessing continuing inattention to the cost of education. For example, the share of education is equal to 63.1 per cent of development budget. However, the market share has improved 32.17 percent but this digit has been decreased 7.2 per cent in comparison to 1394.
In addition to the above issues, the lack of attention to the demands of the teachers has made them disheartened and frustrated. Because not only their gatherings and protests have been ignored with no answer, but some of them have experienced prison terms due to their trade union activities.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Shahrivar 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 August-September 2016
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, more than 38 people were detained and the names of them have been specified. They were: Sadra Mohaqeq, Foad Sadeqi – two journalists; Yashar Soltani – a media activist; Mohammad Mahdavifar, Mostafa Khalilirad – two civil activists; Sahar Behehsti – Sattar Beheshti’s sister (a blogger who died in detention); Obeidollah Shihaki and Amin Shihaki – two Sunni religious activists - .
On the other hand, some news media have reported the detention of Jasem Korushat, Andolrahman Gharbavi, Seyyed Abdolhakim Musavi, Reza Obeidavi, Mohammad Heidari, Yunes Abiat, Jabbar Abiat, Saddam Abiat, Karim Achrash, Ashur Khasraji, Karim Saedi, Jamil Savari, Hamid Savari, Ali chanani, Qasem Chanani, Kamal Savari, Saeid Oceidavi, Ahmad Heidari, Mokhtar Seilavi, Mohammad Savari, Jasem Gharbavi, Qasem Gharbavi, Fazel Obeidavi, Seyyed Musa Musavi and Saeid Heidari – 25 citizens of Khuzestan; Rameil Bet Tamarz, Amin Afshar Naderi, Hadi Asgari, Mohammad Dehnavi and Amir Saman Dashti – five newly converted Christians and Christian citizens -.
It should be noted that some of the detainees were released temporarily on bail after a few days until the date of their trial.
Moreover, Jila Shahriari – a Baha’i citizen who was detained during the last days of Mordad – was released on a bail of 200,000,000 Toman.
2. Isa Saharkhiz – a journalist and political prisoner – was sentenced to 21 months in jail in one case, Hedayat Aqaei – a member of the Executives of Construction Party [Hezb-e Kargozaran-e Sazandegi] and previous political prisoner – was sentenced to two years imprisonment; Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe – an Iranian-British dual citizen who is currently serving a term in prison – was sentenced to five years imprisonment; Jahad Asakereh – a poet – was sentenced to two years in jail and Hassan Rastegari Majd – and Iranian-Turkish citizen – was sentenced to one year imprisonment term once more. In addition, Mohammad Reza Fathi – a blogger and journalist – was sentenced to 495 lashes in the appeal court.
On the other hand, the sentence of 19 years and six months imprisonment term of Amir (Ali) Amirqoli – a political prisoner – was reduced to eight years in the appeal court and the sentence of one year imprisonment term of Mahdieh Golru – a former political prisoner – was changed to fine.
3. The court trial session of Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, a political prisoner; and Jafar Azimzadeh and Shapur Ehsanirad – two labour activists - were held. In addition, the appeal court of Narges Mohammadi - Vice President of the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights – was held. On the other hand, the Revolutionary Court has issued the indictment for Mohammadreza Khatami, Ali Shakurirad, Mohsen Safaei Farahani, Hossein Kashefi, Azar Mansuri, Mohammad Naeimipur and Hamid Reza Jalaeipur – seven political activists of Islamic Iran Participation Party [Hezb-e Mosharaket-e Iran-e Eslami].
4. Ahmad Montazeri – the son of Ayatollah Montazeri – was released temporarily on a bail of 70 million Toman.
5. The relevant officials prevented Mansureh Behkish – a civil activist – from leaving the country.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. The Press Jury has found the monthly publication “Bist Saleha” [the 20 years olds] guilty.
2. The relevant officials have prevented the holding of concerts by Hafez Nazeri in Yazd and Hamid Asgari in Behshahr.
3. The relevant officials prevented the delivery of a public lecture in the city of Yazd by Mohammas Taqi Fazel Meybodi – a religious seminary professor.
4. The Judiciary officials have banned “Ana”, “Mowj” and “Borna” new agencies and “Persian Khodro”, “9 Sobh”, “Memari News” and “System Online” publications. Moreover, the police in the city of Esfahan have reported that 50 internet channels, pages and groups have been blocked due to activities against morality, security and religion.
5. Reza Roygari – a cinema actor – has reported that he has been barred from his professional activity during the past four years. In addition, Jahangir Kosari – a TV presenter and producer – has reported that Rakhshan Bani Etemad – a female film director – and Baran Kosari – an actress – have also been banned from working in cinema.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some 18 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 and other details are as follows:
“H-Gh”, “M-A”, “H-J”, “A-S” and “A-M” were executed in Hormozgan Province and “A-B” and “J-P” were executed in Rasht. The Judiciary officials have reported that they had been executed due to the crime of possession and transportation of drugs. In addition, news media have reported the execution of five individuals in Yazd due to storage and transportation of drugs.
“Sajjad-A” and “Gudarz-A” were executed in Shiraz. State-controlled media have reported that their crime was armed robbery. “Khosro-H” was executed in Shiraz. State-controlled media have reported that his crime was rape and murder. In addition, a Judiciary official has reported the execution of one individual in Ardebil and news me dia have reported the execution of two individuals in Yazd due to the crime of murder.
On the other hand, some unofficial news websites have reported the execution of death penalties in Karaj Prison. The news have not been confirmed or rejected by the Judiciary officials or state-controlled media.
2. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of death sentence for “Reza”, “Parviz” and “Mohammad” in Tehran due to the crime of first-degree murder; one individual in Tehran because of kidnapping and rape; one individual in Varamin because of murder and three individuals because of murder.
3. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of lashes sentence for a woman because of sexual relationship without marriage, one actor because of sexual affair without marriage and a man due to the charges of harassing a girl. An Afghan citizen was sentenced to lashes due to “entrance with force, harassment and threating”. Moreover, state-controlled media have reported the issuance of suspended lashes sentence in Rasht because of harassing and eating a snake. On the other hand, state-controlled media have reported the confirmation of lashes sentence for one individual because of lure women and girls.
4. The Judiciary official has reported the issuance of sentences to amputate four fingers of several individuals in Tehran for the crime of theft. No further details have been given.
5. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as – Mohammadreza Nekunam, Afshin Baymani and Kamal Forughi – are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment. Also, Maryam (Nasim) Naqash Zargaran is returned to the prison without finishing her treatment process.
6. The relevant officials prevented the holding of a memorial ceremony for Shahrokh Zamani – a labour activist who died in the prison. In addition, the officials prevented the participation of some individuals who wanted to attend in a gathering to mark Sattar Beheshti’s birthday – a blogger who died in the prison.
7. Ali Moezi was transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison. It should be noted that this transfer has been carried out without any specific reason and contrary to the regulations and rules of the prisons internal affairs.
8. State-controlled media have reported the detention of 26 individuals in Tehran and 30 individuals in Rasht; the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has reported the detention of 20 individuals in Shiraz, a Judiciary official has reported the detention of 40 individuals in Gorgan and 34 in Kerman. All these detentions were due attending parties. This is while an official in the Revolution Guards has reported the detention of 400 citizens during the first five months of this year because of “breaking the accepted norms” in the promenades of Dezful.
9. Police have reported the detention of three people involved in “modeling activists” in Zahedan; the Judiciary officials have reported the detention and summons of 20 modeling activists and the closure of six atelier and four women’s beauty salons in Ardebil and the closure of eight complexes that were dealing with modeling and detention of 30 individuals in Mashhad. State-controlled media have reported the detention or summons of 170 admins of groups or social channels in Fars Province because of “anti-morality, criminal modeling cycle and insulting religious beliefs and sanctities”, as well as the detention of the managers and administrators of some virtual groups in Semnan Province without mentioning their names and numbers.
This is while news media have reported the detention or summons of the administrators of some 450 internet pages, groups or channels in social media – without mentioning any details – which were active in the fields of politics, religious or modeling and fashion.
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 for example: news reveals the inadequacy of the salaries and benefits of many workers, including the employees of Haft Tapeh Agro-Industry Complex, the operational units of Parsian Zoone; Cyber Birangan Contracting Company; Mahabad Agro-Industry Complex; Farnakh and Naznakh Factories in Qazvin; Qoflkar Lock Making Factory; Navard Pipe Factory in Ahvaz; Polydactyl; Iran Chuka Factory; Golnar Edible Oil Factory; Pelletizing Factory of Ardakan; Persian Gulf Star Refinery; PVC Factory of Semnan; Razi Petrochemical Complex; Mehr Iran Heater Making Factory; DMT Company, which is related to the Polydactyl Company of Esfahan; Raja Railway Company; Karin Ahvaz Production Complex; Zagros Steel; Alborz Steel; Imam Khomeini Port Authority; Tus Tile Factory; Sadid Rikhtehgar Factory; Rashtkhar Municipality; Ahvaz Municipality; Rasht Municipality, Borujerd Municipality; Sisakht Municipality; Drainage part of Shiraz Subway Train Company; the Urban Train Project of Ahvaz; Dehloran Cement Plant; Sugar Loaf Factory of Varamin; the Tax Administration Centre of Tehran and the contractual teachers of Kolaleh and a group of preschool and nursery teachers and educators working for the Literacy Movement.
1. At the time of compilation of this report, the wages of 78 workers of Loshan Municipality have not been paid for four months, 126 workers of “Hamil Food Industry” have not received their salaries for four months, more than 300 workers of Tarzeh Coal Mine have not been paid for four months, more than 20 workers of Azarit Company in Tabriz have not been paid for nine months, around 300 workers of Shustar Municipality have not received their wages for four months, around 300 workers of “Manganese and Narch” in Qom have not been paid for three months.
2. Around 450 workers of Karun Cement Factory were made unemployed after the closure of that industrial unit.
On the other hand, 20 workers of Rahaneh Factory, 30 workers of “Shadgol” Oil Factory, and four contract workers of Jam Petrochemical were unemployed. In addition, Court of Administrative Justice has confirmed the sentence of dismissal of 39 workers of Karun Cement.
3. ILNA News Agency has reported the detention of 10 workers in Imam Khomeini Special Economic Zone due to the complaints lodged against them by their employer.
4. The police has reported the closure of 825 shops nationwide because they were selling sweatshirts and apparel that were deemed to be "unconventional".
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning the situation in cultural heritage and environment areas also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these fields during this month.
1. A large part of Lashgarabad Historical Hill in Savojbolagh – with the antiquity of 5,000 years – have been destroyed.
2. Mohammad Elyasi – a child – was killed in Sardasht due to land mine explosion. Moreover, three teenagers were injured in Sarvabad, while Fazel Hafez Tarafi has lost his leg in Dasht-e Azadegan because of mine explosion. In addition, two individuals are suffering from post-explosion shock syndrome in the wake of mine explosion in the border town of Qasr-e Shirin.
At the end of the report for the month of Shahrivar of 1395, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights voiced its dismay that while different governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran have always remained committed to ensuring sufficient budget for armament and military expenses, they have tended to ignore the necessity of providing the adequate budget required by the education sector.
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has noted that the Fourth Development Plan has provided guarantees for equitable access to educational opportunities, the elimination of educational deprivation, and the payment of various costs – such as health and hygiene. The Centre has then emphasized the need for changes in education sector’s share of the state’s development budget.