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 Bahman 1395.
The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which is presided over by Shirin Ebadi, has referred to the anniversary of house arrest of Zahra Rahnavard, Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karubi on 25th of Bahman (14th Feb) and announced that, this date reminds the “lack of independence in the Judiciary” and “the lack of rule of law in Iran”.
This people-instituted organization has said that, no charges and no indictment have been issued for Mrs. Rahnavarad, Karubi and Musavi and announced that: ”their demands for litigation and the complains of their family have been left without any answer; because in the absence of an independent Judiciary, there is no authority answerable for illegal activities by officials.”
Therefore, The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has considered the house arrest of Rahnavard, Musavi and Karubi as the clear violation of human rights standards and urged the quick release of these three individuals and the punishment of the masterminds and perpetrators of this house arrest due to the abuse of their authority.
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 Bahman 1395, which has been published on 1st of Esfand 1395 [19 February 2017], is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in January-February 2017
Introduction:
The anniversary of house arrest of Zahra Rahnavard, Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karubi in 25th of Bahman (14th Feb) reminds us of the “lack of independence in the Judiciary” and “the absence of rule of the law in Iran”. Because, according to the Article 37 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the bases is the people are innocent and no one is guilty unless his crime is proved by a competent court. This is while no charges and no indictments have been issued against these three individuals.
It has been said in some news that, the supreme national security council is responsible for issuing the sentence of house arrest for Rahnavard, Musavi and Karubi. According to the founding rules of this council, it is clear that no arrest sentence or conviction is at the authority of the council. Therefore, this council could only demand the arrest or the punishment of those people from the judicial authorities by providing reasons; if the council recognizes actions of someone as detrimental to national security. The Article 36 of Constitution stipulates that: “Sentence and its execution must only be issued by a competent court and in accordance with law”.
Some believes that these three individuals are under house arrest by the order of the Leader. It is also incompatible with the Article 110 of the Constitution that clearly defines the duties and powers of the Supreme Leader. Some defenders of house arrest say that the sentence is the rule by decree from the Leader, but no evidence suggests that such decree has been issued. This is regardless of the debates about the remit and legal validity of the leader’s decree by law, according to the constitution.
According to what has been mentioned above, this house arrest is contrary to the law. This is while there has been no response to their demands for litigation and the complaints of their families because there is no authority to be responsible for illegal activities of the officials while there is the lack of independence in the Judiciary. It seems, the rule of the law has been disappeared in Iran. This is the reason that we have many cases that never lead to justice since several years ago such as cases of murdering Zahra Kazemi, embezzlement of billions and torture during the interrogations.
The report also provides a summary of the human rights situation in Iran during the month of Bahman 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 January-February 2017
Section 1: Civil, Cultural and Political Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political and Social Activists
1. During this month, more than 16 people were detained and the names of them have been specified, who were: Mohammad Najafi , a lawyer; Mehdi Khazali – a political activist; Mona Moafi, Shahnaz Akmali and Naser Ashjari – three civil activists; Amir Zargani – a citizen from Ahvaz; Zeynab Karimian – a reporter; Saleh Deldam – a cinema director – and Faruq Izadi, a Baha’i citizen .
In addition, the Ministry of Intelligence has reported the detention of some managers of Telegram Channels – without mentioning their names and number – due to what has been called as “their associations with counter-revolutionary movements abroad”.
On the other hand, some news sources have reported the detention of Shahab Karimaqaei, Jafar Pajuheshpur and Hossein Esmaeili – three labour activists; Ali Ka’b Amir, Saeid Wqbali, Parvaneh Hossein Panahi and Eqbal Hosseinpanah, three civil activist.
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, some reports say the detention of Abdolaziz Azimi Qadim, Ali Baqeri and Kianush Sanjari during the days before the month of Bahman.
2. Mojtaba Purhassan, Abbas Mohammadsadeqpur, Mehran Zakinejad, Ehsan Arshadi, Mohammadreza Mobaraki and Abdollah Alinejad – six civil activists – were sent to prison to serve two years in jail; Seyyed Bijan Farokhpur Haqiqi – a newly converted Christian – was transferred to jail to spend two years and six months imprisonment. In addition, Soheil Babadi was exiled to Bandarabbas for two years after releasing from the prison.
3. Mostafa Barari and Arash Shoa Sharq – two journalists – was sentenced to 114 and 40 lashes respectively. Moreover, Somayeh Alidust, Morteza Zarrini, Meysam Azadi, Vahid Nasibi, Vahid Faezpur and Gholamali Hosseinqolizadeh – six civil activists – were sentenced to eight months imprisonment; Naser Rahimi, Heiman Hosseini and Kamel Sharifzadeh – three citizens from Saqez – were sentenced to six months imprisonment for each; Gharib Sharifzadeh – a citizen from Saqez – was sentenced to one year in jail; Abdolghafur Asvar, Yaqub Nureh, Kamal Aliaqdam and Hojar Fareqi – four citizens from Bukan – were sentenced to five years imprisonment for each of them; Seyyed Mohamamd Miri and Qasem Qanbari – two citizens from Gachsaran – were sentenced to two years in jail for each of them, 30 lashes, two million Rilas fine and two-year ban from the membership in political groups; Hassan Bozorgzadeh – a citizen from Gachsaran – was sentenced to six months imprisonment, 30 lashes, two million Rilas fine and two-year ban from the membership in political groups; Isa Ahvarani, Anvar Baluchi and Abdolvahab Hakimi – three citizens from Zahedan – were sentenced to six months in jail for each of them and Siamak Mirzaei – a civil activist – was sentenced to 10 years in prison and two years of mandatory life in Tabas. Moreover, news media have reported the issuance of four-year imprisonment sentence and 75 lashes for a university faculty member of Zabol University.
On the other hand, the one-year imprisonment sentence of Bahman Darolshafaei – a translator – was changed to a fine of 5,000,000 Toman in the appeal court. Raheleh Rahamipur – a citizen from Tehran – was sentenced to two years in jail according to her own statement.
On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Judiciary has reported the definitive imprisonment sentences of Nazanin Zaghari, Farhad Abesaleh, Foad Sadeqi and Ali Ghazali. Therefore, Nazanin Zaghari and Farhad Abdesaleh were sentenced to five years in prison.
4. Mahmud Masumi – a civil activist – and Baktash Abtin – a member of the Iranian Writers' Association – were briefed in the magistrate court. Hamid Rahmani – a cultural activist – was summoned to the Intelligence Organisation of the Revolutionary Guards.
5. Molavi Abdolhamid – a Sunni prominent cleric – announced that he is not permitted to travel to other provinces of Iran.
6. Police prevented a trade union gathering of workers of Polyacryl Industrial Complex.
B) Situation Regarding Cultural Rights
1. Press Jury has found “Iran Daily, “Saba Publication”, “Daneshju News Agency” and “Ruze No” and “Tabnak” websites guilty.
2. Some two websites “Gilan Novin” and “Gilan No” stopped their activities due to the order of a Judiciary official. The general prosecutor also has reported the blocking of 20,000 channels and networks of Telegram per week.
3. Relevant officials prevented the speeches of Gholamhossein Karbaschi – General Secretary of Executives of Construction Party [Hezbeh Kargozaran Sazandegi] – in Noshahr, Ahmad Mazani – a representative of the parliament - in Bandar Gaz, Ali Motahari – the Vice-Speaker of the parliament – in Hamedan and Ali Shakurirad – the General Secretary of Nation Trust Party [Hezbeh Etemad-e Mellat] – in Golestan.
4. Relevant officials prevented Sogol Kazemi Bahnamiri and Sapna Shadabi – two Baha’i citizens – from continuing their education at the university.
C) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
1. Some eight 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:
Two individuals were executed in Mashhad. Their crime was murder according to state-controlled media.
Two individuals were executed in Bandar Abbas in public. A Judiciary official said their crimes were rape and kidnapping.
“M-A” and “R-Z” were executed in Rasht. They have been found guilty for the crime of possession and traffic of drugs, according to state-controlled media.
Two individuals were executed in Mashhad in public. State-controlled media have reported that their crime was “Moharebeh” [declaring war against God] through “armed robbery”.
On the other hand, some unofficial news websites have reported of executions in the prisons of Oromieh, Hamedan, Maku, Khorramabad, Qezelhesar in Karaj, Rajaei Shahr, Birjand, Arak, Shiraz, Zahedan, Zabol, Qom, Minab, Semnan and Maragheh. This news has not been confirmed or rejected by the Judiciary officials or state-controlled media.
2. State-controlled media have reported the issuance of death sentences for “Mohammad” in Brujerd due to murder, two individuals in Tehran because of the crime of murder, one individual in Tehran because of robbery and one individual in Mashhad due to murder. In addition, state-controlled media have reported the Supreme Court’s confirmation of death sentences for one individual in Yasuj because of rape and one individual in Gorgan for murder. Moreover, Ahmadreza Jalali’s wife has reported the issuance of death sentence for her husband who is currently serving imprisonment.
3. “Kh-A” and “S-M” were sentenced to death by stoning for the charge of adultery.
4. Some three individuals were sentenced to hand amputation because of robbery in Tehran. Also, one individual was sentenced to death due to acid attack.
5. Some 11 individuals were sentenced to lashes due to the crime of adultery.
6. The health situation of some political prisoners is still reported to be unfavourable to the extent that some of them - such as Nazanin Zaghari, Navid Kamran, Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian, Soheil Arabi, Sabri Hassanpur, Hamzeh Darvish and Afshin Baymani are sick but no serious action has been taken for their treatment.
7. Some news sources have reported that Hadi Asgari, Amin Afsharnaderi, Omid Shahmoradi, Vahid Sayyadinasiri and Mehdi Kukhian went on hunger strike in protest at what they called their living conditions.
8. Moslem Dehvari and Shahab Dehvari were transferred to Zabol Prison and Marjan Davari was transferred to Women Prison of Rey. 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. In addition, Hamid Babaei – a prisoner university student – was transferred to the ward No.209 of Evin Prison.
9. A Judiciary official has reported the detention of 13 individuals in Anzali due to attending a party.
10. Police has reported the detention of 16 individuals because of modeling activities and the sealing of five trade units that were active in this field in Azarbaijan Sharqi Province.
11. A Judiciary official has reported the detention of four individuals in Pakdasht and state-controlled media have reported the detention of 10 individuals in Tehran due to activities in the field of satellite equipment.
12. Dorsa Derakhshani – a chess player – was barred from participating in intrastate competitions and representing Iran in other competitions because of what has been called as failure to comply with the Islamic dress code. In addition, Borna Derakhshani – a chess player - was barred from participating in intrastate competitions and representing Iran in other competitions because of what has been called as competing with a player from Israel. Moreover, state-controlled media has reported the detention of eight girls who planned to watch a football match in the stadium.
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 unsatisfactory employment and legal rights of workers in a number of units such as: “Apadana Saram” Tile Making Factory; Dashtestan Cement; Khuzestan Water and Sewage Company; “Masjed Soleyman Cement” Factory; Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Complex; Khayam Electric Factory in Neyshabur; Nilu Tile Factory; Zob Ahan Factory (Iron Foundry) in Ardebil: Ring Making Factory of Mashhad; Shirkuh Yazd Tile Making Factory; Nozohur Papermaking Industry; Esfehan POLYACRYL; Kosar Pharmacy Company; Shushtar and Neyriz municipalities; retired workers of three factories Farnakh, Nakhnaz and Mahnakh; fired workers of Anzali Fiber Iran and Behnush Factory in Gachsaran; previous workers of Ofoq Korush outlets in Shiraz; employees of Samenolhojaj Institution and firefighters of the private sector in Mashhad.
1. The payments of workers in water transmission plan in Sistan Project have not been paid for six months, 700 workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz have not been paid for four months, the workers of road constructs in Gorgan for six months, 1700 workers of Azarab Industry in Arak have not received their salaries for three months, Road Construction workers in Ramian City have not been paid for one year, workers of “Shahrud Granit” Coal Mine have not received their payments for three months, 1000 workers of “Persian Gulf Star” Refinery have not been received their wages for three months, workers of Mahabad Agro-Industry have not been paid for 16 months, “Hor” Municipality have not received their benefits for three months, workers of “Tarzeh” Coal Mine have not been paid for four months, around 150 workers of “Bandar Mahshahr” Municipality have not received their wages for five months, seasonal workers of Khanqah Boqrajerd Dam have not been paid for four months, workers of “Pars Carpet” Factory have not received their salaries for five to eight months, construction workers of Raja have not received their payments for more than two months, 50 workers of Sardab Dam in Fereydunshahr have not been paid for six months, workers of Esfahan Tile Factory have not received their wages for six months, 260 workers of Qazvin Glass Factory have not received for five months, workers of Ahvaz Navard Pipe Factory have not been paid for four months and 50 workers of Baba Heidar Dam have not received their salaries for four months, until the preparation date of this report.
2. Around 200 construction workers of two textile production units were sacked due to the closure of these units.
On the other hand, 70 workers of Nakh Alborz Factory, 23 workers of Birjand Water and Sewage Company, around 160 workers of Zarfam Yazd Rolling Mill, 51 workers of Deniz Petro-Industry and around 200 workers of Jahan Edible Oil were dismissed from their jobs. In addition, around 350 workers of Electric Meter Device Making and “Iranian energy-saving industry” were sacked because of the closure of these factories by the order of relevant officials.
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 this month.
1. Air pollution in the city of Ahvaz reached to 66 times more than the permitted level. Moreover, the density of dust reached to 9985 micrograms per cubic meter in Ahvaz, 285 in Khoramshahr, 73 in Shadegan, 68 in Behbahan, 50 in Shush and 44 in Shushtar.
2. Abbas Arbab – a minesweeper – was injured in Chazabeh of Khuzestan, Javad Sa’adati – a minesweeper – was injured in Meymak due to mine explosion, and one individual was injured in Qasreh Shirin because of mine explosion.
Conclusion:
At the end of the report for the month of Bahman of 1395, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has emphasized the point that, in addition to domestic legislation, Iranian government has joined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is committed to its implementation. It announces that, according to the principles of this Convention, any penalty should be the result of a fair trial and compatible with all international standards after briefing the victims about their charges.
Therefore, The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has considered the house arrest of Rahnavard, Musavi and Karubi as the clear violation of human rights standards and urged the quick release of these three individuals and the punishment of the masterminds and perpetrators of this house arrest due to the abuse of their authority.