Tuesday, May 26th

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You are here: Home Human Rights

Pipe workers fired in Saveh after protesting unpaid wages

ILNA - After more than 30 days of strikes, a number of workers at the Safa Pipe and Rolling Company in Saveh have been terminated. 

ILNA reported on Saturday May 23 that the number of fired workers has not yet been confirmed but it is somewhere around 10.

Workers report that most of them are on a “firing” list because they took part in organized labour activities.

The workers went on strike to back up their demand for four months’ worth of unpaid wages and 16 months of insurance premiums that were not paid on the workers’ behalf.

The workers had previously asserted, on a petition bearing 300 signatures, that the employer has held their unpaid wages hostage, forcing them to work like slaves.

Last year, 10 other workers at Safa factory were fired during labour strikes

Writer Prosecuted for Facebook Posts Critical of State Censorship

Reza Khandan Mahabadi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Writers' AssociationIranhumanrights.org - Authorities in Iran are prosecuting another writer on national security charges for signing statements and writing posts that criticized state censorship on the Facebook page of the Iranian Writers' Association.


Reza Khandan Mahabadi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Writers' Association, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Intelligence Ministry agents who appeared at his home on April 29, 2015, had a search warrant for his home and a notice from the Tehran Media Court, in which he was accused of "propaganda against the state," and "publishing an illegal publication."

After a thorough search of the premises and Mr. Khandan's personal belongings, some of his hand-written notes, archives, and books, and his cell phone and computer hard disk were confiscated. The agents told him he had to appear at the Intelligence Ministry for interrogations. Mr. Khandan subsequently attended three interrogation sessions. He is currently waiting for his court summons.

Another member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Writers' Association, the poet Baktash Abtin, [Link: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/05/baktash-abtin-poet/] received similar treatment.

"Most of the interrogations were about the Writers' Association's statements and Facebook page posts. They said these are examples of 'propaganda against the state.' The [Writers'] Association's Facebook page is no longer accessible by its members, and we are unable to post content to it," Reza Khandan told the Campaign.

"As one of the most important goals of the Association is to defend freedom of expression and to oppose censorship, whenever something happens where freedom of expression is questioned, the Association issues a statement in reaction. For example, when newspapers are banned, or when individuals are prosecuted and imprisoned for their different opinions. The interrogators determined such statements as examples of 'propaganda against the state,'" he added.

Regarding his second charge, "publishing an illegal publication," Reza Khandan told the Campaign, "'Andisheh Azad' is an internal publication with very limited circulation among members of the Association, and it has no public distribution. It was first published in 1979 and about 10 issues of it were published between 1979 and 1981, before it stopped publication. It resumed publication four years ago, and since then, only nine issues have been published. Now the interrogators say this internal publication which is intended for members only, is a manifestation of 'an illegal publication.'"

"They told me to promise that the Association's publication and statements will stop. But I don't consider myself a criminal, and I don't believe I have done anything wrong, therefore I didn't promise. I said that I am a writer and I oppose censorship. But it appears that I would have faced lighter charges, or I would have been released had I made the promise. I don't know," he added.

"Why should a cultural and civil activity expose individuals and their families to such worry and hardship? What is the reason for such threats against cultural and civil activities? Every individual must be free to think and work however he/she wants within civil society's frameworks," Reza Khandan told the Campaign. "I was interrogated, my hand-written notes and archives that had taken me years to collect were all taken away and it is not clear whether they will be returned to me, and that if they are returned to me, whether it would be all the notes or only a part of them. Such behavior disrupts people's lives and it is an example of persecution," he added.

Reza Khandan Mahabadi, a writer and literary critic, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Iran Writers' Association in September 2014, along with Hassan Asghari, Ali Ashraf Darvishian, Baktash Abtin, and Mehdi Ghebrai.

Baktash Abtin was also interrogated in April and May, and is now awaiting his trial date and summons to the Evin Prison Courts. [Link: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/05/baktash-abtin-poet/]

Journalist banished to exile after completing prison term

Ahmad Zeidabadi (left)Radiozamaneh - Ahmad Zeidabadi, a jailed Iranian journalist who reached the end of his prison term on Thursday May 21, was immediately transferred to Gonabad to serve out the exile portion of his sentence.


The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that the cost of traveling to Gonabad and living there must be paid by Zeidabadi. Gonabad is located in Khorasan Razavi Province in northeastern Iran.

Zeidabadi was head of the Iranian alumni activist group Tahkim-e Vahdat and was arrested in June of 2009 during the crackdown on progressive figures that followed that year's controversial presidential election, which was challenged by reformist candidates and mass protests.

Zeidabadi was sentenced to six years in jail, five years in exile to Gonabad and a lifetime ban from political and media activities.

Seven People Executed- Two in Public- and Public Flogging in Iran

shalagh-karaj-may2015Radiozamaneh - At least 12 executions, three of them in public, have taken place in the last three days in Iran.


Iran Human Rights, May 21, 2015: Seven people were hanged in Iran on Wednesday (May 20) and Tuesday, according to the Iranian state media.

Five people were hanged in the Rajaishahr prison of Karaj, Wednesday morning May 20, reported Iranian state broadcasting. The prisoners were identified as "Ardalan", "Ali", "Morteza", "Meysam" and "Behrouz" and were all convicted of murder, said the report. Iran Human Rights (IHR) has received unconfirmed reports about the execution of three other prisoners in the Rajaishahr prison. These reports are being investigated.

One prisoner was hanged in public in the city of Ghochan in northern Iran today. The prisoner who was identified as "A. Kh." was convicted of murder four years ago. He was a drug addict since his childhood, said the report.

Another prisoner was hanged publicly in the city of Minab (Southern Iran) on Tuesday May 19. According to Jomhuri-e-Eslami newspaper, the prisoner was identified as "Ayoub Torkamani", who was charged with possesshalagh-karaj-may2015sion and trafficking of 10 kilograms and 800 grams of crack, said the report. He was arrested seven years ago.

Iranian state media also reported that the flogging sentence of a man identified as "Kamran" was implemented Monday morning May 18 (picture). He was convicted of theft. On Sunday the Iranian media reported about amputation sentence of another prisoner in Khuzestan province (southwestern Iran).

Critic of Iran's Supreme Leader to spend another year in solitary

Radiozamaneh - Mostafa Tajzadeh, a prominent political prisoner and former deputy interior minister, was not released at the end of his six-year sentence and has to serve another sentence. The Human Rights Activists News Agency reported on Monday that Tajzadeh's six-year prison sentence has ended.

Mostafa Tajzadeh with his wife Fakhrolsaadat Mohtashamipour




Fakhrosadat Mohtashamipour, Tajzadeh's wife, wrote on her Facebook page that while her husband's six-year sentence has ended, he will have to endure another year of solitary confinement.

Tajzadeh has written on several occasions to Iran's Supreme Leader to criticize his policies and decisions. The letters triggered complaints filed by the Revolutionary Guards and charges were brought against him for propaganda against the regime. He was then sentenced in absentia in a closed court to another year in jail.

Tajzadeh, an executive member of two reformist organizations, the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mujahedin of the Revolution, was arrested during the election protests of 2009 and sentenced to six years in jail. He has spent his term in isolation without any contact with other prisoners.

At leat Five People Executed in Iran - One Hanged in Public

shiraz190515Iranhr.net - Besides the five executions that were officially announced, five other unannounced executions have been reported by unofficial sources.


Iran Human Rights, May 19, 2015: Five prisoners were hanged in two Iranian cities Tuesday morning May 19, reported Iranian state media. shiraz190515

According to the official website of the Iranian Judiciary in Fars province (Southern Iran), one man was hanged publicly in the city of Shiraz this morning. The man who was identified as "Hossein A" was sentenced to death convicted of rape, said the report which also mentioned that he was sentenced to 37 years in prison and 111 lashes for kidnapping and robbery.

Four prisoners were hanged in the prison of Arak (Central Iran) this morning, reported the official website of Judiciary in Markazi province. These prisoners were identified as "Abdolrahman Sh.", "Isa B." and "Alireza B." for participation in trafficking of 111 kilograms of heroin, and "Ahmadreza M." for selling 11 grams of the narcotic substance "crystal", possession of 601 grams of heroin and 79 grams of crystal.

The above mentioned charges have not been confirmed by independent sources.

The website of the "Human Rights Activists News Agency" (HRANA) reported about execution of five prisoners in the Adelabad prison of Shiraz. One of the prisoners was identified as "Mehdi Keshavarz" and all of them were convicted of murder, said the report. These executions have not been announced by the official sources yet.

Basij Militia Unveils Messaging App that Gives State Access to All Conversations

salamIranhumanrights.org - The Basij paramilitary organization, a subsidiary of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), announced the launch of its new messaging service for mobile phones, "Salam," which will give state officials full access to any content flowing across the service.


The new messaging application, now available for download free of charge, will use servers owned and controlled by the Basij, thus allowing easy access to and monitoring of all user conversations by the paramilitary group and intelligence agents.

Officials hope Salam will lure users away from applications such as Viber and WhatsApp that are hugely popular in Iran, and which state organizations have tried to block in the past in their efforts to control all online and mobile phone communications.

The new application represents another step in the authorities' continuing efforts to replicate all international online applications and services with state-issued ones, so that user content can be accessed and monitored by state officials.

National search engines, email services, browsers, operating systems, and SSL certificates have all been introduced as part of this effort to implement a state-controlled National Internet, separate from the global Internet and thus accessible to state authorities and censorship.

In an interview with the Basij Press, Hamid Jafari, Head of Iran Basij's Information Center announced the Salam messaging application on May 5. Jafari said that Salam will serve as an alternative to Viber, WhatsApp, and Telegram, with "more trust, stability, and security," as compared to the Western options.

Jafari also advised users to save their "valuable time and life, by staying away from [social] networks" such as Viber, WhatsApp and Telegram. "If you take a look at the history of social networks, you will reach the conclusion that the so-called social networks are based on Western philosophy, where humanism and human-centered philosophy is their deciding factor. In other words, none of the principles and fundamentals of Islamic philosophy can be seen in these networks," Jafari told Basij Press.

Labour activist arrested in Saveh

bazdashtRadiozamaneh - Shapour Ehsanirad, an executive member of the Free of Iranian Workers, was arrested by Islamic Republic security forces on Saturday May 16.


 

A report on the 's site says the labour activist was arrested on an order from the Saveh Prosecutor and charged with "inciting workers of the Safa Pipe and Rolling factory".

Ehsanirad, who had been terminated from his job at Saveh's Profil Factory, spent the past week taking part in the Safa Pipe and Rolling factory workers strikes.

The strikes at Safa Pipe and Rolling began on April 22 and still continue.

The website reports that the strikes have not been incited by Ehsanirad; they have been triggered by management's failure to pay the workers over the past five months or their insurance premiums for the past 17 months.

The Free of Iranian Workers further adds that management has refused to even pay at least one month of the workers' back wages as a step in the negotiations to end the strikes, ILNA quoted one of the workers last week.

The states that Ehsanirad's arrest is "an effort on behalf of the government and the company to defeat the purpose of the Safa Pipe and Rolling factory strikes and to force workers to return to work with hungry bellies".

Iran Juvenile offender faces imminent execution despite ongoing review of case

amnestyAmnesty.org - A 24-year-old man is at imminent risk of execution, for a crime which took place while he was below 18 years of age, despite the fact that his case is currently under judicial review, said Amnesty International, urging the Iranian authorities to halt all plans to implement the sentence.


The organization has been warned that the execution of Hamid Ahmadi, who was convicted of fatally stabbing a man during a group fight that took place when he was 16 years old, could be imminent even though the Supreme Court has confirmed that an application for a review of his case is currently being processed.

"The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, but it is particularly troubling that in this case Iran is again set to violate the clear prohibition in international law of executing those who were children at the time of the alleged crime. If the execution goes ahead while the case is under review at Iran's highest court, it would also be an appalling miscarriage of justice," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"The Iranian authorities should halt all plans to carry out this execution immediately. They must allow justice to run its course without resorting to the death penalty."

If the execution goes ahead while the case is under review at Iran's highest court, it would also be an appalling miscarriage of justice
Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International's Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme
Hamid Ahamdi was sentenced to death in March 2010 by Branch 11 of the Criminal Court of Appeal in Gilan Province. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in November 2010. A provision on juvenile sentencing in Iran's 2013 Penal Code has, however, allowed Hamid Ahmadi's lawyer to submit an application for a judicial review based on his young age at the time of the alleged crime.

Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to commute Hamid Ahmadi's death sentence. If he is found guilty after a re-trial, in proceedings that ensure the strictest compliance with international fair trial standards (including the specific safeguards and principles of juvenile justice) he should face a punishment consistent with Iran's international human rights obligations which exclude resort to the death penalty.

Iran is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which strictly prohibits the imposition of the death penalty against persons who were below 18 years of age at the time of the crime. However, Iran continues to impose the death penalty against juvenile offenders and execute them after they pass the age of 18.

"Hamid Ahmadi's death sentence contradicts, once again, Iran's repeated claims that it does not execute juvenile offenders and displays the authorities' blatant disregard for one of the clearest prohibitions on the use of the death penalty," said Said Boumedouha.

Hamid Ahmadi was initially sentenced to death in August 2009. Later that year the sentence was overturned by Iran's Supreme Court and sent back for re-trial because of doubts over testimony of key witnesses.

During his retrial Hamid Ahmadi retracted a "confession" he had made while in police custody that he had stabbed the deceased victim to his chest. He stated that he had made that statement as officials had threatened to send him back to the notorious Police Investigation Unit (Agahi) if he did not admit to the crime.

However, the court rejected this complaint and does not appear to have investigated the allegations of coercion, including the threat of torture or other ill-treatment, which are widely used in the Iranian police investigation units. Nor did the court raise concerns that a minor was interrogated without having access to a lawyer - which is another violation of international standards for a fair trial and juvenile justice.

Hamid Ahmadi was convicted of "intentional murder" on the basis of the principle of "knowledge of the judge". This is a provision in Iranian law that allows judges to make their own subjective and possibly arbitrary determination of guilt based on circumstantial rather than conclusive evidence.

"Instead of sending another young man to the gallows after a flawed judicial process, the Iranian authorities should be launching an independent investigation into the allegation that Hamid Ahmadi was forced to "confess" and incriminate himself," said Said Boumedouha.

Instead of sending another young man to the gallows after a flawed judicial process, the Iranian authorities should be launching an independent investigation into the allegation that Hamid Ahmadi was forced to "confess" and incriminate himself,
Said Boumedouha
Iran is among a handful of countries that still execute juvenile offenders. Amnesty International has received reports of at least 72 executions of juvenile offenders in Iran since 2005, including in 2014 alone, at least 14 executions of people who were under 18 at the time of the crime. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is scheduled to review Iran's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in a Working Group press-session in June 2015 followed by a review session in January 2016.

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