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You are here: Home Human Rights

8 prisoners hanged in Kerman and Shiraz

 

Kerman

HRANA News Agency – 6 prisoners in Adelabad, Shiraz prison, and 2 prisoners in Shahab, Kerman prison were executed by hanging on 23rd October.  According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), at dawn of 23rd October, six inmates in Adelabad, Shiraz prison, were executed by hanging.  These 6 inmates that 3 of them were charged with drug trafficking and the other 3 were charged with armed robbery, were taken to solitary confinement the day before execution.  Also, 2 prisoners who were sentenced with drug related charges were executed in Kerman prison, Shahab.  Another prisoner named Saeed Ashayeri, was taken to solitary confinement along with these two inmates the day before of execution, but his execution sentence was delayed for unknown reasons.

Sotoudeh: Acid Attacks on Women Show “Plan to Promote Virtue” Must Stop

 

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran -Following a spate of violent attacks on women in Iran, in which unidentified perpetrators have thrown acid in the faces of women in the city of Isfahan for their alleged improper hijab (the Islamic dress code for women), prominent human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the Iranian Parliament’s “Plan on Protection of Promoters of Virtue and Preventers of Vice” must be immediately suspended.

“Dispatching unidentified and untrained individuals to promote virtue among the citizens is completely against the law, legal principles, and legal rationale, and is a menace to the citizens which must be stopped right here,” Sotoudeh said.

“I hope the horrific incidents in Isfahan serve as alarm bells for the officials, and for this Plan to be eliminated…. The officials must think to themselves whether their own daughters, wives, and sisters would match the principles of [those who consider themselves] ‘preventers of vice,’ and if not, should they be forced to pay this high price?” Sotoudeh continued.

ISNA News Agency first published news of an acid attack on October 16, 2014. In subsequent news reports, it was gradually revealed that the acid attacks had begun several weeks back. Official news media have so far only reported four acid victims in Isfahan, but unofficial reports suggest there have been as many as eleven victims, and that one of the victims died due to her injuries.

Over the past few days, Iran’s Interior Minister has asked the Head of the Judiciary in a letter to review the “Plan on Protection of Promoters of Virtue and Preventers of Vice.” Yet Mohammad Dehghan, member of the Iranian Parliament’s Executive Board, said on October 20, “The review of this Plan cannot be stopped because of an executive’s letter. The Government can announce its agreement or disagreement with the articles [of the Plan] and its reasons during a public session.”  The Plan received preliminary approval in the Iranian Parliament on October 21, but still needs to go through additional procedural steps and approval by official bodies before it can become law.

In a recent speech about confronting poor Islamic hijab in society, Isfahan’s Friday Imam Mohammad Taghi Rahbar said that that “promoting virtue and preventing vice” must go beyond a verbal notice. Four days after news about the acid attacks was made public, however, he denied his previous statements and said, “I didn’t say the warnings should go beyond verbal notice.”

Although in earlier reports the connection between the acid attacks and poor Islamic covering was underplayed, in a report on the attack of Soheila Jorkesh, one of the victims, Farhikhtegan Newspaper wrote on October 20 that “families of Isfahan victims have claimed that before throwing the acid on the victims, the perpetrators said, ‘We confront women who have poor hijab.’”

Nevertheless, the Iranian Judiciary’s Spokesperson, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, rejected any connection between the acid attacks and poor hijab. “Contrary to the allegations made by certain websites, such claims have not been confirmed yet,” he told reporters on October 20, according to ISNA.

Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said that the acid attacks are probably the work of “foreign intelligence services.” He added, “Some are trying to connect this issue to the discussion about hijab, chastity, and promoting the religious duty of promoting virtue and preventing vice. This is exactly what ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria, acting against Sharia in order to provide a violent portrayal of Islam.”

Radio Farda quoted a source on October 16 who said that during recent weeks, at least six young women who were victims of acid attacks had been hospitalized at Isfahan’s Feiz Hospital. The source said that all six victims were “beautiful, young women who did not wear the chador [the long black veil].”

ISNA wrote on October 16, that unidentified bikers had thrown acid on a young woman driving a car the previous night. This was in fact the first news article about the acid attacks published by a government news agency.

Five days after news about the acid attacks became public, Deputy Interior Minister Morteza Mirbagheri claimed that the acid attacks are not a serial act, and that according to a report by the Isfahan Governor, “throughout the Isfahan Province, there is absolutely no concern about acid attacks,” despite the fact that newspapers reported that Isfahan citizens believe their security has been compromised.

“The horrific news about Isfahan acid attacks has disrupted the city residents’ security. The city’s women and girls are now providing security for themselves by appearing less on public roads and locking themselves up at home,” wrote Etemad Newspaper on October 20, adding “And those who do come out, roll down their windows with fear and trepidations, finish what they have to do on the streets quickly, so that they can confine themselves inside their cars with the windows rolled up again.”

Isfahan Police had said earlier that the acid attacks had been carried out by one person but the scenes described in the reports indicated that two bikers had carried out the attacks. The Deputy Interior Minister said later that “three to four people” had been arrested as suspects. The official did not provide any further explanation as to why there is no concrete information available on whether there were three or four detainees in the case.

Lawyer Farideh Gheirat told the Campaign that Iran’s Islamic Penal Code fails to define a clear punishment for acid attacks. “In the Islamic Penal Code, the punishment for acid throwing is not explicitly defined. In order to determine the punishment for such a crime, similar laws have been used which include payment of Diyah (blood money) for bodily injury. If the victim does not accept the Diyah, the convict’s punishment will be Qisas, (retribution). It means that in retribution for each lost body part of the victim, the convict’s similar body part will be removed,” Gheirat told the Campaign.

In an interview with Farhikhtegan Newspaper, Bahman Keshavarz, a prominent Tehran lawyer, said, “Perhaps the most important similar case was what happened in Kerman more than ten years ago. A group in Kerman committed a series of murders of individuals they had determined amongst themselves [to deserve to die], in order to improve the moral conditions of the society. They were sentenced to Qisas, retribution, and Diyah rulings were issued in the case.”

DESPITE EVIDENCE, IRAN DENIES HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND REGIONAL INTEFERENCE

human_rightsINU - On Friday, Turkish Weekly reported that Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, had taken to Iranian television to deny the country's various human rights abuses.


This came shortly after Iran denied entry into the country for Ahmed Shaheed, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Though providing no specific evidence of fabrications or faulty methods, Larijani accused Shaheed of bias in his reporting on Iran's human rights abuses, and suggested that the former Maldivian foreign minister had been appointed by Western nations to carry out an anti-Iranian agenda. Larijani insisted that the many instances of human rights abuses highlighted by Shaheed in several reports – including unlawful executions, press repression, political imprisonment, and torture – were based on anonymous and anti-Iranian sources.

Shaheed's conclusions have been repeated by Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations, as well as several groups focused exclusively on the situation of human rights in Iran. The latter groups may reasonably be categorized as anti-Iranian, but this is of course to be expected of any group that finds Iran to be a repeat human rights violator. A stance against these abuses does not make reports of such abuses questionable, as Larijani seems to suggest. Conversely, Shaheed would certainly be biased if his information came only from pro-Iranian sources and those approved by Iranian officials.

Turkish Weekly also indicated on Friday that Iran had made similar denials of its interference in the affairs of other nations in the Middle East region. These denials came in response to recent accusations of such interference levied by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which consists of Saudi Arabia and other regional Arab states. Again without citing specific evidence or responding to specific allegations, the Iranian Foreign Ministry declared that it maintains a policy of non-interference and that it has contributed to regional stability.

Additionally, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami used Friday prayers in Tehran in order to defray responsibility for regional instability onto Saudi Arabia. This sermon also appeared to function as a direct response to Saudi efforts to highlight Iran's damaging influence in the region. The content of the sermon even spat back at Saudi Arabian the words of its own foreign minister, and upped the ante on recent accusations. Saud al-Faisal this week described Iran as part of the problem rather than part of the solution in the Middle East. Khatami's sermon asserted that Saudi Arabia is "not part of the problem but the whole problem."

Iran's English language propaganda network, Press TV quoted Khatami's speech and separately addressed Saudi Arabia's references to Iranian military occupation of Syria by saying that Iran had "firmly dismissed reports about its military involvement in Syria and Iraq." But just as with Iran's denials of its poor human rights record, these denials also are falsifiable. To some extent they are falsified by Iran's own propaganda efforts, which include the release of photographs emphasizing the presence of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force in Iraq.

Furthermore, the National Council of Resistance of Iran this week reported that Iran had held funeral services for at least 16 fighters killed in Syria in the last four weeks. Indeed, Iranian support in the form of arms shipments, air support, and fighters from the Quds Force and Shiite militias have been credited with almost single-handedly preserving the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad against the threat from moderate rebel groups.

The Iranian regime is widely credited with providing many of the conditions leading to the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq as well. This contradicts Khatami's assertion in his sermon that it is solely Saudi petrodollars that have led to the creation of that group. Previously, Iranian officials have also accused the United States and Israel of deliberately creating IS, despite the fact that the Sunni militants are threats to their security as well.

In fact, while individuals in Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states have been accused of financially supporting IS, there has been no evidence to support Khatami's assertion that Sunni governments themselves are supporting it. Indeed, Western analysts generally agree that the IS extremists are recognized as a threat to the traditional monarchies of those more moderate states. By contrast, many of the same analysts observe that so long as IS remains outside of Iran's borders, Iran profits from the resulting increase in recruitment for Shiite militias and extremist groups.

What's more that recruitment contributes to the proliferation of Sunni extremists in a sort of feedback loop. This is why Iran is recognized as a major source of the IS rise to power. Iran's pre-existing presence in Iraq contributed to the consolidation of Iraqi power into a small set of Shiite hands, thus driving disenfranchised Sunnis towards a comparable alternative power structure.

This alone falsifies Ayatollah Khatami's claim that Saudi Arabia is the "whole problem" in the Middle East. But once again, Iran's own statements do the same. That is, at the same time that it is reducing the problem to one of Saudi influence, Iran is simultaneously blaming other countries for terrorist incidents inside its own borders.

Iran News Digest pointed out on Thursday that Iran had used terrorist incidents near the Iran-Pakistan border to threaten the possibility of Iranian military incursions across that border. On Friday, the Daily Times added new context to that story by saying that Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam had issued a statement indicating that Iran had taken no measures to prove that recent incidents had originated in Pakistan before issuing the threat.

In fact, the World Bulletin indicates that at least one recent incident, the kidnapping of five Iranian border guards, was the work of a local Iranian group in the region of the Pakistani border. Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack and kidnapping, and World Bulletin describes the group as an Iranian Sunni Muslim rebel group from Sistan-Baluchistan province.

This seems to indicate that despite Iran's efforts to focus blame on other areas, at least a portion of the region's terrorist activity is home-grown. But in itself this does not address Iran's general denial of its regional interference. Yet one does not need to look much further to see that those denials are plainly disingenuous.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Thursday that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had issued new public statements encouraging the renewal of war between Israel and Palestine, and promising support for that conflict through arms shipments to Gaza and the West Bank. This is unmistakably an instance of Iranian interference in the affairs of other Middle Eastern powers. And furthermore, it involves clear support for regional terrorist groups including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in clear contradiction to Ayatollah Khatami's assertion that all Middle Easter terrorism originates with Saudi Arabia.

Four people hanged in Iran on drug related charges

hanging3en.trend.az.com - Four men were hanged in Iran's northern Rasht city on Oct. 19, due to drug related charges, the official IRIB news agency reported.


By Umid Niayesh - Trend:


One of the hanged men was previously arrested for heroin possession, while another 46-year old man was arrested and charged for carrying and selling opium.

The other two hanged men were hanged upon charges for buying methamphetamine and heroin.

Drug trafficking as well as murder, rape and armed robbery are among the crimes that are punishable by death in Iran.

Iran ranks second, after China, in terms of the number of executions in the world.

At least 852 people were executed in Iran from July 2013 to June 2014, according to the latest report of the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

Iran exists on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometers of a common border with Afghanistan, through which about 74 percent of opium is smuggled.

According to official estimates, fight against drugs annually cost Iran about $1 billion. The statistics also say that there are about 2 million of drug users in Iran.

Iran Bans Human Rights Lawyer From Practicing Law

nasrin-sotoudeh7RFL/RE - A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer says she has been banned from practicing her profession for three years.


Nasrin Sotoudeh said October 19 that a Tehran court made the decision based on the demand of a court based at Evin Prison, where she was released last year after serving half of a six-year sentence for "actions against national security and committing propaganda against the regime."

Sotoudeh told AFP that she would not try to appeal the decision but will conduct a sit-down protest outside the Iran Bar Association's headquarters in Tehran, starting October 21.

A court last month authorized Sotoudeh -- who won the European parliament's Sakharov human rights prize in 2012 -- to resume her practice.

She has defended journalists and rights activists including Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

Human Rights Official: Ahmad Shaheed Not Allowed to Visit Iran for Biased Reports

javad_larijaniFarsnews.com - Secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani said Tehran has banned visits by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Ahmed Shaheed, because he has only parroted the allegations made by Iran's enemies, but Tehran will welcome independent rapporteurs if they prove no to be pursuing a biased attitude towards the Islamic Republic.



"Tehran is opposed to any visit by Ahmed Shaheed due to his invalid reports against the Islamic Republic," Larijani said on Thursday.

Larijani, however, welcomed visit of the independent rapporteurs to Iran.

"Ahmed Shaheed has become a puppet at the hands of Iran's enemies to spread anti-Iranian accusations," he added.

Earlier this month, Larijani blasted Ahmed Shaheed for his support for the terrorist groups acting against Tehran, and said the UN rapporteur has turned into an actor providing service for the opposition media.

"Unfortunately, Ahmed Shaheed has become a media actor who acts for those media which air propaganda against the Islamic Republic, while this is against the approved protocols," Larijani told FNA at the time.

"Ahmed Shaheed supports terrorism extensively," he said, explaining that he has provided Iran with the name of four people claiming that they are due to be executed for their human rights activities.

"This is while these four individuals have been sentenced to death or other penalties for their membership in PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan), they have killed people and their houses had turned into place for storing weapons," Larijani said.

"It is a shame for the human rights rapporteur to label terrorists as human rights advocates," he underlined.

PJAK, a militant Kurdish separatist group with bases in the mountainous regions of Northern Iraq, has been carrying out numerous attacks in Western Iran, Southern Turkey and the Northeastern parts of Syria where Kurdish populations live.

The separatist group has been fighting to establish an autonomous state, or possibly a new world country, in the area after separating Kurdish regions from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria.

Iranian intelligence and security officials have repeatedly complained that Washington provides military support and logistical aids for such anti-Iran terrorist groups.

Lawyer Says Jason Rezaian Not Allowed Legal Representation

jason-rezaian-and-wife2iranhumanrights.org - Prominent Iranian lawyer Mohammad Saleh Nikbakht told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his request to represent Jason Rezaian, the imprisoned Washington Post correspondent, has not been accepted.


Nikbakht said that he had asked for permission to represent Rezaian a few weeks ago, but that "They did not accept my request to represent him as a lawyer."

Nikbakht told the Campaign that Rezaian's case is a security case and as such legal representation is not allowed before the case is transferred to court for trial. The lawyer told the Campaign that he has no knowledge about the specific charges leveled against Rezaian, and that he does not know whether the interrogations of Rezaian are complete or still ongoing.

When Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was in New York in September, he responded to a National Public Radio question regarding the charges against Rezaian by stating that Iran's judiciary had "no obligation to explain" any charges to the United States, and that "His lawyers know [his charge]. He knows his charge." Evidently, not only are the charges not known by any lawyer, but Rezaian has no lawyer as well.

Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested in Tehran on July 22, 2014. Since their arrest, Iranian Judiciary officials have refused to announce their charges.

In an email to the Washington Post, Jason Rezaian's brother, Ali Rezaian, announced on October 6 that Yeganeh Salehi had been released on bail.

Ali Rezaian said in the email that Salehi had been able to visit with her husband prior to her release, and that Jason's physical condition was good, despite 2.5 months of imprisonment. The family continues to be concerned about Rezaian's health, however, as he suffers from high blood pressure and is in need of prescription medicine for the ailment. On September 22, 2014, the Campaign learned that family members were shocked with the couple's weight loss, after they were finally allowed to visit with them.

Lawyer Says Jason Rezaian Not Allowed Legal Representation

jason-rezaian-and-wife2iranhumanrights.org - Prominent Iranian lawyer Mohammad Saleh Nikbakht told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his request to represent Jason Rezaian, the imprisoned Washington Post correspondent, has not been accepted.


Nikbakht said that he had asked for permission to represent Rezaian a few weeks ago, but that "They did not accept my request to represent him as a lawyer."

Nikbakht told the Campaign that Rezaian's case is a security case and as such legal representation is not allowed before the case is transferred to court for trial. The lawyer told the Campaign that he has no knowledge about the specific charges leveled against Rezaian, and that he does not know whether the interrogations of Rezaian are complete or still ongoing.

When Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was in New York in September, he responded to a National Public Radio question regarding the charges against Rezaian by stating that Iran's judiciary had "no obligation to explain" any charges to the United States, and that "His lawyers know [his charge]. He knows his charge." Evidently, not only are the charges not known by any lawyer, but Rezaian has no lawyer as well.

Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested in Tehran on July 22, 2014. Since their arrest, Iranian Judiciary officials have refused to announce their charges.

In an email to the Washington Post, Jason Rezaian's brother, Ali Rezaian, announced on October 6 that Yeganeh Salehi had been released on bail.

Ali Rezaian said in the email that Salehi had been able to visit with her husband prior to her release, and that Jason's physical condition was good, despite 2.5 months of imprisonment. The family continues to be concerned about Rezaian's health, however, as he suffers from high blood pressure and is in need of prescription medicine for the ailment. On September 22, 2014, the Campaign learned that family members were shocked with the couple's weight loss, after they were finally allowed to visit with them.

Rights Group Says Shi'ite Militias Killing With Impunity In Iraq

amnestyRFL/RE - In a new report, Amnesty International says Shi'ite militias in Iraq have "abducted and killed scores" of Sunni Muslim civilians in recent months and enjoyed "total impunity" for these "war crimes."


The report, published on October 14 and entitled "Absolute Impunity: Militia Rule in Iraq," is based on interviews conducted in August and September.

It provides details of what Amnesty says were sectarian attacks carried out by militia members in the cities of Baghdad, Samarra, and Kirkuk.

The London-based group said scores of unidentified bodies have been found, many still handcuffed and with gunshot wounds to the head, suggesting execution-style killings.

It said many others who disappeared remain unaccounted for.

Amnesty said the killings were in apparent revenge for attacks by Islamic State militants.

It said the "increasingly powerful" Shi'ite militias were "supported and armed" by Iraq's government.

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