Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Defender and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, in continuation of her monthly reports, has reviewed the human rights situation in Iran in Bahman 1391 [January-February 2013]. Dr. Ebadi started her Bahman report by addressing the issue of harassment of families of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience including daughters of Mir-Hossein Moosavi and son of Mehdi Karubi, two opposing candidate for presidential elections in 1388, who are now living under house arrest. The human rights defender in her report objected to the Iranian government's disregard for the media coverage of illegal acts committed by the security forces.
The human rights activist has continued her report by examining the human rights situation under three categories: “civil and political rights”, economic and social rights”, “cultural heritage and environment”.
She pointed out to the arrest of 17 journalists and requested their immediate release. The report also addressed the execution of 17 individuals.
According to the website of the Centre for Defenders of Human Rights, the text of Dr. Ebadi’s report for January-February which has published on 19 February is as follows:
A Brief Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in Bahman 1391[January- February]
Iranian people in February like past months have witnessed the harassment and persecution of relatives of prisoners of conscience. Security agents raided the homes of two daughters of Mir-Hossein Moosavi and one of the sons of Mehdi Karubi (Competitors of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 presidential elections). The security forces have seized their computers and many of their personal belongings and interrogated them for hours and at the end threatened them with serious treatment should they continue to inform the public and interview with the media. One of the daughters of Mir-Hossein Moosavi said that her husband divorced her because of the pressure imposed upon him by the security forces.
Harassment of families of political and civil rights activists is not limited to the above and many journalists who are working with Persian-language media including the BBC have not been safe from such harassment.
Iranian Government does not tolerate dissenting voices and responds to critics of the current situation in the harshest possible manner. Nor does it accept any domestic and international media reports that highlight illegal acts committed by the security forces. Therefore, security officials and the Courts consider the interview with the media as an attempt to overthrow the regime and dealt with this matter strictly. They try to create an atmosphere of intimidation in an attempt to keep citizens silent.
In addition to the above, the report on human rights situation in Iran in Bahman 1391, which has been based on material taken from various newspapers and websites, will appear in both English and Persian in three sections, upon verification of the sources.
Human Rights Situation in Iran in Bahman 1391
Section 1: Political and Civil Rights
A) Situation of Nonconformist Political-Social Activists
1. Arash Shaltuki, a Gonabadi dervish and Suran Daneshvar, Zana Moeini, Davod Ghasimi, Mohamad Kohneh Pushi and Saman Mahmudi, all civil and student’s rights activists from the city of Marivan were arrested. Taher Faghih and four other clerics’ supporters of Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheyb, a cleric critical of Iran’s regime, were also arrested.
2. Mehdi Tajik, students’ rights activist reported to the Evin Prison to serve his two -year imprisonments.
3. The five-year imprisonment’s sentence of Jamal Ghadernejad, a university student was upheld by the Court of Appeal. Ali Moazami, a Gonabadi dervish was sentenced to two years in prison. Saeid Abedini, an Iranian-American citizen was also convicted to an eight-year in prison term. Hesamodin Ghorbani, a students’ rights activist was convicted to 20 lashes punishment and 3,500,000 Riyals cash fine.
4. The condition of several prisoners of conscience continues to be reported as poor. For instance, prison authorities have failed to send Saleh Kohandel and Misagh Yazdan Nejad to the health centre. Feyzollah Arab Sorkhi, an imprisoned member of Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization, was returned to the prison before the completion of his medical treatment. Mehdi Khazali despite being at risk because of his 50 days of hunger strike was refused medical treatment.
5. Massoud Pedram a member of the Council of nationalists-religious activists, who is currently serving his sentences in the Ward 350 of Evin Prison, was summoned to Evin Court and interrogated for a new charge filed against him.
6. Security officials refused to allow the body of Yahya Sadegh Vaziri, the last Minister of Justice during Pahlavi, to be buried in the family tomb in the city of Sanandaj. Holding any memorial ceremony for him was also banned in Sanandaj.
7. Arjang Davudi, a political prisoner who had been banished to Bandarabas Prison was transferred to solitary confinement.
8. Safai Moghadam, Mehdi Ghomeyshi, Hassan Dadkhah and Iraj Zare, all political activists were summoned to Ministry of intelligence in Khuzestan Province and interrogated. Shirudi was also summoned to the security department of Shahid Chamran University in Ahvaz and interrogated.
9. Family of political and civil rights activists and dissidents have not been protected from the harassment by the security officials. For instance, Zahra and Nargess Moosavi, both daughters of Mir-Hossein Moosavi and Hossein Karroubi, son of Mehdi Karroubi were detained and interrogated for several hours and their computers and personal belongings were confiscated. Kokab Moosavi, another daughter of Mir -Hossein Moosavi was also summoned to the Revolutionary Court and interrogated. Seyyed Hossein Shirazi, son of Ayatollah Sayed Sadeq Shirazi was also summoned to the Special Clerical Court and interrogated. The parents and brother of Anwar Hossein Panahi and Mohammad Rostam Nejad, both political prisoners were summoned to the Intelligence office in the city of Gharveh. The father of two young men namely Hoshyar and Hossein, who were killed in Mahabad were summoned to the Intelligence office in the city of Mahabad and interrogated. Maryam Shirini, a Gonabadi dervish and wife of Amir Islami was summoned by the Intelligence office in Tehran.
10. The fifth congress of the “will of the nation" party was interrupted by the security forces.
11. Amir Mohammad Someh Moghadam was expelled from the university.
B) Situation Regarding Books, Media, Writers and Journalists
1. Seventeen journalists were arrested this month. Only four were release on bail after several days of detention. Those who were arrested are: Fatemeh Sagharchi, Reyhaneh Tabatabaei, Motahareh Shafie, Amili Amrai, Nasrin Takhayori, Saba Azarpeyk, Nargess Judaki, Ali Dehghan, Sasan Aghai, Akbar Montajebi, Javad Daliri, Milad Fadai Asl, Keyvan Mehregan, Hossein Yaghchi, Soleiman Mohammadi, Pejman Moosavi and Poriya Alami.
2. Roein Otofat, an activist in the field of publication was arrested.
3. The website of “Tabnak” was blocked.
4. Mosayeb Naimi, a former editor-in-chief of Iran newspaper was pronounced guilty by jury of the press Court.
c) Other Instances of Human Rights Abuse
In a month of Bahman 19 individuals were executed. The public prosecutor of the city of Orumiyeh reported the execution of a person in public. According to this judicial authority, the offender was charged with murder. “Yaser. K” was hanged in the city of Kerman and “A. B” was executed in public in the city of Shiraz. According to governmental news agencies, they were charged with rape. “K. Kh”, “A. N”, and “A. H” were executed in Ghazvin Province. “A. M”, “R. M” were hanged in the city of Arak. “Alahnazar. Sh”, “Rahmatolah. Sh”, “ Abdollah. Sh”, “S. H” and “Nematolah. SH” were hanged in the city of Kerman. “Ch. B. Gh” and “Mohsen K” were executed respectively in the city of Shahrud and Isfahan. Government news agencies declared their charges as possession of drugs. A person called Ali was executed in Tehran. Government news agencies reported his charge as robbery and murder. “H. A”, “M. V” and “Y. F” were executed in the city of Shiraz in public. Government news agencies including ISNA reported their charges as rape a 14 years old boy.
2. The head of the branch two of Kerman Revolutionary Court declared the death sentenced of eight people in the city of Kerman who were charged with the production and distribution of drugs. Gholam Hossein Khaledi protector of Dena protected area was sentenced to death for murdering a hunter. Jamshid, Morteza, Ebrahim, Fatemeh and Morteza were sentenced to death. Iranian state media have reported their charges as murder. "Ali. Sh" and Karim were sentenced to death. According to Iranian state media they were charged with rape. The death sentence of Mahafarid Khosravi, Behzad Behzadi, Iraj Shojaei and Saeid Kiani was upheld by the Supreme Court. Government news agencies reported their charges as Efsad-e Fel Arz [Corruption on Earth].
3. The public prosecutor of Sari Province announced chopping hand of an offender a person who was convicted of robbery.
Section 2: Economic and Social Rights
1.The economic situation in Iran continues to be adverse. Iran's Central Bank predicted that the inflation rate will reach 32% in 1391. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran, has said that people cannot afford the medication.
2. In relation to the situation of the workers the following instances could be mentioned: One hundred and eighty workers of “Foro Alyaj Azna” factory, 53 workers of “Motaghin” Complex , and all workers of “Jahad Nasr” company have lost their jobs. Some1800 workers of [Khorramshahr's] railway [bridge] construction have only received their salaries for the first four months of the year; 87,000 pensioners of the steel industry have not received their pension entitlements for three months; About 200 workers and contractors of the General Department of Roads and Urban Development of Kohkoliyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province have not been paid for six months; Some 5000 workers of “Giti Pasand” factory have not received their salaries, and workers of “Gharch-e Sina” factory who had been made redundant, have not received their overdue wages for over two years..
3. Sharif Saed Panah and Mozafar Saleh Niya, board members of the Free Union of Iranian Workers were summoned to the court in the city of Sanandaj. Jafar Azim zadeh and Parvin Mohammadi, two labour rights activists were summoned to the Intelligence Ministry.
Section 3: Cultural Heritage and Environment
Reports concerning cultural heritage and environment in the month of Bahman also serve to indicate the unfavourable situation in those sectors.
1. Ecology Garden of Noshahr was exposed to destruction. The oil pipelines going through the Bamu National Park, has increased the risk of destruction of this park.
2. Repairs the stones of Korush’s mausoleum with cement, has led to the growth of lichens. The lichens can damage the stone.
In conclusion of this monthly report, I would like to draw the attention of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the fact that the imposition of limitation on broadcasting the information and communication with the media, even those outside Iran, is in violation of international human rights standards.
Respect for freedom of speech requires that all journalists who have been arrested this month on the charge of collaborating with the media outside Iran, and their names were mentioned in this report, to be released immediately and unconditionally.
Human Rights Defendant and 2003 Nobel Laureate
19 February 2013
Note: For further information regarding the above reports, please refer to the following news websites: Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), Fars news agency, Mehr news agency, Young Journalists Club news agency, CDHR website, JARAS, Committee of Human Rights Reporters, Nedaye Azadi, Baztab, HRANA, Ghanoon, Kaleme, Mohebbat News, Sunni Online, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Majzooban-e Noor, Melli Mazhabi, Nedaye Sabze Azadi, Radio Zamaneh, Radio Farda and BBC.