Iran Human Rights Monitor – Monthly Report, April 2018

 

introduction

There were a number of important issues in the month of April. This bulletin makes brief references to some and focuses on executions, arbitrary murders, persecution of peaceful protests and beating women for loose hijab.

One of the most conspicuous examples was brutalizing of a young woman in Tehran by agents of the so-called Guidance Patrol (Gasht-e Ershad) under the pretext of improper hijab.

A shocking footage was posted online on April 18, showing the young woman being wrestled to the ground by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. The young woman is heard screaming repeatedly: “Let me go, let me go.” While the video went viral within hours sparking outrage among the nation, Iran’s Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani defended the actions of the guidance patrol who had violently beaten the woman.

In remarks published on April 23, Larijani said, “No one should be allowed to resist a lawful action by the police, or to insult a law enforcement officer.” (The state-run ISNA news agency, April 23, 2018)

“The police should not take even one step back, otherwise, the society’s order, the police’s authority, and the country’s security would be compromised,” he added.

Responding to the vast majority of commenters outraged by the brutality, Hossein Shariatmadari, Editor-in-Chief of the state-run Keyhan Daily (affiliated with Khamenei) called fot a “worthy appreciation” of the morality police saying, the State Security Force Commander must praise the female police officer and officially announce this.”

Although the state media reported that the officer had been suspended for brutality and using foul language against the young woman, Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi, later backtracked the news stating, “further investigations suggest that the officer had not committed any wrong doing.”

Regime officials have repeatedly declared that they rely on the compulsory veil to preserve their rule. If women resist the harsh misogynistic rules and challenge the atmosphere of terror, this can lead to a wider resistance against the whole system.

A high-ranking clerical regime’s scholar had previously declared, “Dealing with those who oppose the Hijab (veil) must be different from others.” In a meeting on March 24, 2018, with the State Security Force Commander, Hossein Ashtari, Nasser Makarem Shirazi had pointed out that Hijab is not a secondary Islamic decree but has turned into a sign of Islam.

Makarem Shirazi had said, “Dealing with this issue if undermined will deal a blow to the Islamic nature of the regime and undercut the Islamic aspect of the Islamic Republic; then the country will turn into a republic without Islam.”

Ahmad Alam-ol Hoda, the Friday prayer leader of Mashhad, reiterated, “The issue of Hijab is not some ordinary thing like other obligations. Not wearing the Hijab is not an ordinary vice. Hijab is a central issue and a source of identity. Not wearing the veil is a fight against our social identity. This is why the enemy tries to promote not wearing the veil so that it could realize its war on our society. It might seem childish when an abnormal, indecent girl takes off her veil and puts it on a stick at an intersection or in a square, but in fact she has been recruited according to a plan. She is a soldier of the enemy’s soft war on our identity.” (The state-run Fararu website – March 9, 2018)

It seems that the fate of the mullahs ruling Iran is most likely tied to the veil (Hijab) of women.

 

Executions, arbitrary murders, deaths in custody

 

      a.  Executions

Iran Human Rights Monitor registered 31 executions in April, only four if which were made public by the state media.

  • The Iranian regime’s criminal judiciary hanged Bahman Varmazyar, a sports coach, in the central prison of Hamadan on Wednesday morning April 18. There was no private plaintiff in his dossier who was accused of armed robbery of a jewelry store. Following the efforts of Bahman’s family to save their son from execution, the mullahs’ regime falsely reported on Tuesday that his death sentence had been stopped, but he was executed on Wednesday early morning.
  • One of the victims Mohammad Saleh Dolatabadi was executed in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj while there is no information available on the identities of the other six.
    Mohammad Saleh Dolatabadi was sentenced to death for a murder allegedly he committed 11 years ago. However, a few years after his arrest in 2007, investigations uncovered evidence that shows Dolatabadi was likely innocent. The body of the victim has not yet been found. Furthermore, eyewitnesses say that after Dolatabadi was imprisoned and sentenced to death, they saw the victim alive.
    It is said the state security forces arrested Dolatabadi’s mother and sister to pressure him to confess the crime.

 

According to reports 406 inmates in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, 1000 in Ghezelhesar Prison, 166 in Urmia Prison and 134 in Zahedan Prison are on death row which totals 1706, 120 of whom are under the age of 25.

The names and identities of those executed in April are as follows;

 

2018 Executions carried out in April
Name Age Date of execution Place of execution Official source
M Gh April 10, 2018 Lakan Prison of Rasht
Omid Damani 33 April 10, 2018 Kerman Prison
Hossin Tal’ati April 17, 2018 Tabriz Prison
Bahman Varmazyar 26 April 18, 2018 Hamedan Prison
Mehdi Cheraghi April 18, 2018 Hamedan Prison
Mohammad Saleh Dowlatabadi April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Akbar Eftekhari April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Azim Fathi April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Farhad 25 April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Unnamed April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Unnamed April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
An Afghan man April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
An Afghan man April 18, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Sabah Amani April 20, 2018 Zanjan Central Prison
Tayeb Sheikh Nejad April 23, 2018 Urmia Prison
Ghader Mohammad Hassan April 23, 2018 Urmia Prison
Yadullah Samadi April 23, 2018 Urmia Prison
Islam Rashidi April 23, 2018 Urmia Prison
Soltan April 23, 2018 Urmia Prison
Unnamed April 23, 2018 Kermanshah Prison
Unnamed April 23, 2018 Kermanshah Prison
Unnamed April 23, 2018 Kermanshah Prison
Mohammad Jafar Shirzad April 24, 2018 Bandar Abbas Prison
Reza Sheykh 40 April 25, 2018 Zahedan Prison
Mohammad Reza Gharat April 25, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Samadullah Ayani April 25, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Amir Khalili April 25, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj
Unnamed April 25, 2018 Ilam Prison
Kiumars Nasouhi April 30, 2018 Isfahan Prison
Reza Salehi 33 April 30, 2018 Saveh Prison
Iman Hosseini Mighaddam 35 April 30, 2018 Gohardasht Prison of Karaj

 

    b.  Arbitrary murders

The state security forces shot and killed at least 15 porters and tradesmen.

In a shocking case after agents of the Dalgan Base opened fire on a car, four people were killed including a 3-year-old child.

According to reports, on Thursday April 12, security forces opened fire on the car of a suspect in Dalgan. The deceased people have been identified as 27-year-old Moslem Bameri known as Riazi, 18-year-old Hamzeh Bameri (Moslem’s brother), 19-year-old Yaghoub and 3-year-old Hasana Bameri.

According to informed sources, Moslem Bameri known as Riazi was among those who attacked the Dalgan Base with rocks and stones in February after anger erupted over the death of a number of people including two Baluch women who were wounded.

The state-run Dalgan Press which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps, introduced Riazi as a person who had disrupted security without mentioning the others who were killed in the incident. “M.B known as Riazi, who was a disrupter of security, was killed by brave fighters of the Disciplinary Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Dalagan,” the website wrote.

    c.  Deaths in custody

Two prisoners lost their lives due to harsh prison conditions under severe physical and psychological pressures.

  • A prisoner by the name of Mohammad Beygi who had been kept in a state of limbo for four months, lost his life on April 16, due to being denied medical access. He had suffered lung disease but prison officials refused to authorize him hospital transfer.
  • A 50-year-old prisoner Mohsen Parvas committed suicide and passed away on April 21 in protest at the harsh pressures imposed on him.

 

Inhuman treatment and cruel punishments

Five individuals including a woman were sentenced to flogging in the month of April.

Arrests

Iran Human Rights Monitor registered 1711 arrests across the country, 579 politically motivated arrests, 1123 arbitrary arrests, 3 arrests on religious and ethnic grounds, and 6 social arrests.

At least 500 Ahwazi Arab protesters were arrested during the peaceful protests which followed the state TV insults, ethnic discrimination and slurs by officials against Iran’s Arab community.

At least 15 children between 11 to 15 years old are amongst those arrested. A number of parents and family members were also arrested when they referred to the IRGC intelligence office to pursue the situation of their loved ones.

General strike has continued in the cities of Marivan, Baneh, and Saghes. The state security forces arrested at least 22 people, attempting to force storeowners and bazaar merchants to end their strike.

On April 12, 11 men and women were arrested in a mixed gender party in Abadan, southwestern Iran.

Prisoners

  • Political prisoner Golrokh Iraee ended her hunger strike after 81 days on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Ms. Iraee was transferred to hospital from Qarchak Prison as she was no longer able to stand up or walk. She refused to take IV serum injections. Ms. Iraee’s mother said when they met her at the hospital, “her eyes’ cornea did not stop in one place. She staggered at us with wonder and could not remember us in the first moments.”
  • The physical condition of Kurdish woman, political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian has deteriorated due to gastrointestinal problems. Her medical strike is said to have contributed to the problem. According to reports on Thursday, April 5, 2018, Ms. Jalalian has not been able to eat anything in recent days due to gastrointestinal problems.
  • Political prisoner Soheil Arabi, who has recently ended his 55-day hunger strike, is reportedly in dire conditions. Authorities have shaved his head the political prisoner’s mother says. He is deprived of a shower and his body is full of lice, reports indicate. His family is not allowed to wire him money to buy food items. He is being held in solitary confinement and not allowed to phone his family.
  • prison authorities and the warden of Gohardasht Prison have refused to transfer hunger striking prisoner Hamzeh Darvish to a hospital on March 5 and 6. According to reliably informed sources Hamzeh Darvish is in critical conditions, suffering from abdominal and chest pain due to his hunger strike. He fell unconscious for two times on his 18th day of strike but prison authorities refused to transfer him to a hospital.
  • Political prisoner Changiz Ghadam Kheiri held in Masjed Soleyman Prison in Khuzestan Province has staged a hunger strike since April 21, protesting the authorities depriving him medical treatment and hospital transfer.
  • Political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi, recently held in Central Zahedan Prison, south east of Iran, has staged hunger strike and refused his medications since March 3, 2017 in the quarantine section of this jail.
  • Prominent teachers’ rights advocate Esmail Abdi staged a hunger strike on April 24, protesting what he calls the Iranian Judiciary’s “arbitrary and illegal rulings” and “widespread violation of the rights of teachers and workers in Iran.”

Prison condition

Deplorable conditions in Gorgan’s Amir Abad Prison:

A number of political prisoners including Ruzbeh Gilasian and Nima Saffar are serving their prison terms in Amir Abad prison in Gorgan, northern Iran. The quarantine of Amir Abad prison has 20 rooms facing each other. The rooms lack entrance doors and each room has four bunk beds. According to the number of beds, it can hold 160 prisoners. One room has been allocated to clerics who are detained for political and nonpolitical reasons…

The hygiene of the quarantine has been reported as unsuitable. Reports indicate that the drinking water for prisoners is provided from unsanitary well water which has led to gastrointestinal and kidney diseases among prisoners. The quarantine also lacks medical professionals and cases of prescribing wrong medicines have led to serious health threats for prisoners. There are only two showers, with very cold water, for all the prisoners in the quarantine. The section does not have a kitchen or refrigerator and prisoners are fed unhealthy food and do not have access to dairy products and meat… Reports also indicate that there is only one phone booth, which is out of service most of the time, which limits prisoners’ access to their families and loved ones.

The guards’ treatment of prisoners has also been described as very violent and reports indicate that prison officials do not hesitate to use violence and beat prisoners. The ventilation system is faulty and prisoners usually breathe in dusty air.

 

Persecution of religious and ethnic minorities

  • According to reports, Baha’i father Nematollah Bangaleh and his daughter Nazanin, who were detained in September 2016 and then released on bail, were each sentenced to five years of prison on Tuesday April 24 by the 1st Branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court.

The home of the Baha’i family was violently searched upon their arrest to the extent that their home appliances were severely damaged by agents.

It came just days after Iran’s Foreign Minister ignored how Iran mistreats ethnic minorities and claimed that no one is imprisoned for his or her faith.

Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Being a Baha’i is not a crime. We do not recognize somebody as a Baha’i, as a religion, but that’s a belief. Somebody can be agnostic; somebody can be an atheist. We don’t go—take them to prison because they are an atheist. So this is the difference that you need to make. But being—also, being a Baha’i does not immunize somebody from being prosecuted for offenses that people may commit.”

  • Despite passage of more than 40 days since her arrest, Mitra Badr-nejad Zohdi is still held in detention. The Baha’ii woman residing in Ahwaz, capital of Khuzistan Province in southwestern Iran, is deprived of contacting her family or receiving any visits. She is presently under interrogation. She has not been informed of her charges.
  • Amnesty International issued an Urgent Actionon March 29, 2018, condemning the arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of 11 women from Gonabadi Dervish religious minority. AI wrote: At least 11 women from Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish religious minority have been arbitrarily detained in inhumane conditions, without access to their lawyers, since 20 February following the violent dispersal of a protest held by Gonabadi Dervishes in Tehran. Some urgently need medical care for injuries sustained from beatings at the time of their arrest.

 

Violation of basic rights

  • According to a new directive issued by the National Cyberspace Center to the Infrastructure Communications Company, the license for the deployment of telegraph servers in Iran has been revoked. “Last night, a notice was received from the secretary-general of the Cyberspace Supreme Council and the head of the National Cyberspace, according to which, the license issued by the center in 2016 in connection with the establishment of the Telegram Messenger distribution servers (CDN) in Iran were revoked”, the company announced. (Mehr state-run News Agency – Apr. 26, 2018)
  • A statement issued by Culture and Media Court, announced the filtering of Telegram from Monday, April 30, 2018. The statement mentioned the usage of Telegram by the regime’s dissidents during national protests in January and added that several cases have been opened against this social network. The statement also said Telegram has acted against the monetary and bank rules and regulations of Islamic Republic of Iran. The court also said that Telegram has not complied with the rules of Islamic Republic.

Recent violent encounters have highlighted the ongoing mistreatment of poor street vendors in Iran by municipality agents.

  • The municipality authorities beat up an innocent young child labour, leaving him with serious injuries in the street. This boy is just one more victim of the state-sponsored brutality in Iran under the mullahs.
  • Municipality authorities confiscated an old vendor’s goods who was selling lettuce to make ends meet.
2 Comments
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