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 Azar 1395.
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has emphasized in its report that “the comprehensive social security system” as a right for the public has been neglected for several years. It has stated that the deterioration of the welfare situation in society in the absence of a comprehensive social security system, as well as the experience of double-digit inflation rates during several consecutive years and also the implementation of “targeted subsidies policy”, have led to a decline in the levels of social welfare.
This people-instituted organization has referred to the signing of the Citizens Rights Charter by the president of Iran, and has called on the relevant officials to make an effort in order to realize the rights of all people of Iran to enjoy health, have a higher quality of life, and benefit from social security.
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 center for the month of Azar 1395, which has been published on 5th of Dey 1395 [25 December 2016], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in November-December 2016
Reviewing the social and economic condition of Iran in Azar 1395 shows that, “the comprehensive social security system” has been neglected as a right for the people during the past few years.
This is while the deterioration of the welfare situation in society in the absence of a comprehensive social security system, as well as the experience of double-digit inflation rates during several consecutive years, and the implementation of “targeted subsidies policy”, have contributed to a fall in the levels of social welfare.
According to a report by the Majlis Research Centre, the erosion of public welfare was more intense for the low income groups in the society after the implementation of “the targeted subsidies policy”. This situation has made the living conditions of the lower income sections of society more critical than at any other juncture.
In addition to the above, the social crises present in society are indicative of the inability to settle and resolve these problems. As the news published in the month of Azar suggests , on average, two newborn babies are abandoned in the city of Mashhad every day.
However, according to Article No.29 of the Constitution, which states that every member of society has a right to enjoy social security and welfare, with respect to retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, the absence of parents or guardians [for children], homelessness, accidents, the provisions of health services, hygiene and medical care - through the means of insurance or other similar provisions. Therefore, governments are duty bound to provide the above mentioned services and the appropriate financial support for all of citizens, out of the national revenues and funds or revenues that are obtained through public contributions. Unfortunately, however, these have not been accomplished properly, as indicated by the available news and information.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Azar1395, 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 2016
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, more than 41 people were detained and the names of them have been specified, who were: Alieh Motalebzadeh – a photographer and a women’s rights activist; Mazdak Zarafshan and Baktash Abtin – two citizens from Tehran; and Seyyed Hassan Musavi and Rauf Dalafi – two cultural activists.
The prosecutor of Qazvin has reported the detention of the public relations director of one of the government offices in Qazvin due to what has been called as support for the “seditionists” on the cyberspace. The commander of the Revolution Guard Corps (Sepah) in Lanjan has reported the detention of 18 members of the Mystic Ring (Efan-e Halqeh) group and the prosecutor of Tehran has reported the detention of Anke Leweke - the representative of the Berlin Film Festival.
Moreover, news media have reported the detention of protesting bus drivers of the Vahed Bus Company in front of the Tehran municipality HQ.
Gholamreza Abarkar, Masud Majdinasab, Hassan Diapur, Qasem Mangari and Behnam Maleki – five members of the Gonabadi Darwishes Sect – were detained after they rejected the terms of their bails.
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Rahil Musavi, a photographer; Ahmad Bozorgzadeh , a Sunni cleric student; Mohadeseh Qasemi – a university student - Roqayeh Jafari – an environmental activist; Aram Fathi – a citizen from Marivan; Saber Naderi – a citizen from Qarveh; Javad Ahmadi Yakaneli and Rostam Naderali – two citizens from Khoy; Mehdi Kukhian and Karim Chaychian – two citizens from Malekan; Heyman Hosseini – a cyber-activist – and a group of protesters against the continued detention of Morteza Moradpur and Mohammad Ali Taheri.
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. Keyvan Karimi – a moviemaker – was sent to prison to serve one year in jail; Omid Alishenas – a civil activist – was sent to prison to serve his seven years imprisonment sentence; Asu Rostami – a civil activist – was sent to jail to serve 2 years imprisonment; Athena Daemi – a civil activist - was transferred to the prison to serve seven years in jail.
3. Teymur Naderizadeh, Farshid Naseri and Farzad Shahnazari – three Sunni prisoners – were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in the Appeal Court and Seyyed Mohammad Ebrahimi – a civil activist - was sentenced to one year imprisonment in the court of first instance. In addition, Ahmad Montazeri – the son of [late] Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri – was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment and defrocked. He will serve six years of his imprisonment, but the defrocking sentence will be suspended for three years.
4. Relevant officials prevented Molavi Naqshbandi – a Sunni religious activist – from travelling to Tehran in order to meet the President.
5. New legal cases have been opened up for Mehdi Farahi Shandiz and Athena Daemi, who are currently serving prison sentences.
6. Relevant officials prevented Nushafarin Dasturi – the interpreter and consultant of the representative of Berlin Film Festival – from leaving the country.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. Relevant officials prevented a live performance by the “Avaye Moj” Music Band
2. The Press Jury found “Borna News” and “9 Sobh” websites guilty.
3. Relevant officials prevented the speeches of Fatemeh Sadeqi – a women issues researcher – in Kashan University, Hojat Sharifi and Ali Kamfiruzi – two civil activists – in Sharif University, Mohammad Javad Haqshenas – a member of the National Trust Party [Etemad-e Meli] – in Islamic Azad University of Bushehr and Mohammad Mojtahedi Shabestari – a religious researcher and scholar – in Allameh Tabatabaei University. In addition, the persecutor of Qazvin has prevented a speech by university professor Sadeq Zibakalam in the Islamic Azad University unit in Qazvin.
4. The movie “Movajeheh” [the Encounter] has been removed from the list of art and experiment films that are to receive screening.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some seven 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 details are as follows:
State-controlled media have reported the execution in Mashhad and two individuals in Gilan due to the crime of murder. Moreover, state-controlled media have reported the detention of four individuals in Qeshm [island in Persian Gulf] because of the crime of rape.
On the other hand, some unofficial news websites have reported executions in the prisons of Kermanshah, Karaj, Bandarabbas, Qezelhesar, Maraghe, Salmas, Ardabil, Rasht, Shiraz and Mahabad. These news reports have not been confirmed or rejected by the Judiciary officials or the state-controlled media.
2. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of death sentences against “Faruq” – a citizen from Afghanistan – one individual in Siahkal and two individuals in Tehran because of the crime of murder and one individual in Tehran due to the crime of rape. In addition, state-controlled media have reported the Appeal Court’s confirmation of death sentences for one individual in Shiraz and two individuals in Tehran because of first-degree murder. A Judiciary official also has reported the confirmation of death sentence for Babak Zanjani in the Supreme Court.
3. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of lashes sentences for one individual in Siahkal, one individual in Tehran and one individual in Gilan because of sexual relationship outside marriage.
4. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Habib Sassanian, Soleyman Piruti, Navid Kamran, Navid Khanjani, Behnam Musivand, Mohammadreza Nekunam and Hossein Rajabian – are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment.
5. Some media have reported that Morteza Moradpur, Vahid Sayyadi Nasiri, Hossein Rajabian, Ali Shariati, Arash Sadeqi, Ami (Ali) Amirqoli, Nazar Raka, Saeid Shirzad and Jamal Qaderi have started a hunger strike in protest at what they called their living conditions in the prison.
6. The elections for the members of the advisory council of reformists of Rasht was canceled by the order of a Judiciary official.
7. Relevant officials prevented the holding of death anniversary ceremony for Dariush Foruhar, Parvaneh Eskandari, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Puyandeh who were killed 18 years ago by some employees of the Ministry of Intelligence.
8. The Revolution Guard of Chenaran have reported the detention of 41 individuals, the prosecutor of Tehran has reported the detention of 120 individuals, Tehran’s police have reported the detention of more than 30 individuals, and state-controlled media have reported the detention of 54 individuals in Abadan and 24 others in Shandiz of Mashhad because of attending in parties.
9. A court in the city of Shiraz has sentenced 12 individuals to five to six month’s imprisonment because of activity in the field of modelling.
10. The Garden of Sharon, which belongs to the Council of Assemblies of God church, has been seized after allegations were made about its organisers seeking to infiltrate Iran, and also having contacts and relations with the American espionage agency.
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 unsatisfactory employment and wage terms and conditions for workers at several establishments, including workers in Ardakan factories and workshops of wood and iron, Marun Petrochemical Complex, POLYACRYL, Meymeh dam constructing project, Borujerd Textile, Loshan Municipality, Mashhad alloy wheel making factory, Kavir Yazd Tile, Golnar edible oil, Mahabad Agro-industrial Complex, reconstruction project of Old Citadel of Bam, Tabriz lift truck manufacturing, contracting of Persian Gulf Star Refinery, Bafq Sechahun Mine, Pars Carpet, Qoflkar, Bojnurd Municipality, Oxin Luleh, Almehdi Aluminum Complex in Hormozgan, Steel Bueir Sanat of Yasuj, Pars Qu, Saman Tile, retired workers of Imam Khomeini Agro-Industrial Complex, Haft Tapeh Sugar cane Factory and the workers of Rural Water and Wastewater Company in Kohkiloyeh Va Boyer Ahmad Province.
1. At the time of preparation date of this report, the salaries of some workers in Lumar Municipality have not been paid for four months, the workers of “Shirkuh Taft” Tile Factory have not received their salaries for five months, the workers of Jahan Electric production unit have not been paid for four months, 60 workers of Machine Manufacturing (Mashinsazi) of Tabriz have not received their wages for four months, 1400 workers of Tarzeh Coal Mine have not been paid for four months, 100 workers of Rural Water and Wastewater Company in Shadegan Village have not received their salaries for six months, 150 workers of Sayyad Shirazi Hospital in Gorgan have had to live without any wages for four months, workers of Roads and Urban Development Office of Zabol have not received their wages for four months and the workers of Sisakht Municipality have not been paid for seven months.
2. Some 130 workers of Iran Fiber Factory were made unemployed after the closure of this industrial unit.
On the other hand, some workers of Nilu Tile Factory, two workers of Tehran-North Expressway project and three workers of Dorud Steel and Iron and Car Manufacturing were fired from their jobs.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning the area of cultural heritage and environment also point to the continued presence of unfavourable conditions in these spheres during this month to the extent that the head of Environmental Protection Organization has reported the drying up of 12 wetlands in Fars Province, while the governor of Bonab has reported the drying up of Qareh Qeshlaq Wetland, and the head of Environmental Protection Organization of Poldokhtar [western Iran] has reported the drying up of two wetlands in Poldokhtar.
1. During some days of the month of Azar, the density of dust particles in the city of Bandarabbas exceeded the 300 PSI level well outside the standards of healthy air, and entered the “dangerous” category.
2. A farmer was injured in Dehloran and another citizen was wounded in Qasre Shirin because of land mine explosions.
At the end of the report for the month of Azar of 1395, The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has referred to the signing of the Bill of the Citizens Rights by the President of Iran, and asked the relevant officials to do their best in order to realize the rights of every member of the Iranian nation to enjoy health and better living standards, as well as the privilege of social security and welfare.