Nabz News Review - July 10, 2015

2015/07/10
Theme: 

This week in human rights in Iran

LGBT rights

After television actor Behram Radan was attacked by Kayhan for posting a tweet approving of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, he released a statement in which he apologized to the newspaper and to the Iranian people. The issue of Radan’s tweet and his subsequent apology has led to active discussion of LGBT rights on social networks and Persian-language media. In his apology, Radan differentiated between the American and Iranian-Islamic cultures, and labeled homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage in Iran as obscene and unacceptable.

Women’s rights

On July 1, Vice President for Women’s and Family Affairs #احترام_مراجع (“respect for clerics”), through which they expressed their at times tongue-in-cheek reactions to this statement. Nabz-Iran also asked its followers on social media: Respect for clerics has its place, but what about respect for women?

Landmines

On July 6, a young man from Marivan by the name of Laveh Rashidi was killed by a landmine. Annually, dozens are killed by landmines In Iran. In the west of the country, landmines from the Iran-Iraq War have not been cleared entirely. At the same time, military forces have also laid landmines in the desert regions of the east in order to combat smugglers, but sometimes tourists and local residents are killed.

Trials

With the implementation of the new criminal procedure law, the Iranian Bar Association announced that a clause to Article 47 of the law is unconstitutional. According to this clause, in case of crimes against national security or organized crime, the defendant is only permitted to select a lawyer approved by the judiciary. Observers see this article as contrary to the accused’s right for defense.

On July 5, it was reported that Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki, father of the political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, has been sentenced in absentia to four months in prison on the charge of providing information regarding his son’s condition and conducting interviews with the media.

On July 7, it was reported that the Intelligence Ministry has accused defense attorney and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi of collaborating with Daesh. It seems that the reason for this accusation is Mohammadi’s protest against the unjust trial of two individuals convicted of collaborating with Daesh and sentenced to death.

On July 8, in a letter to the Tehran attorney general, Mohammadi protested the lack of telephone access in the women’s ward of Evin Prison. In the letter, she asked the attorney general whether hearing the voice of her child threatens national security.

Prisoners’ rights

On July 7, journalist and human rights activist Madyar Saminejad, in continuing to use Twitter to count the number of days spent behind bars by political prisoners, announced the tallies for some of them as such:

2,463 days in prison #SaeedMalekpour

575 [days] in prison #SoheilArabi

2,213 [days] in prison #ZiaNabavi

2,014 [days] in prison #BaharehHedayat

The same day, in a meeting with judiciary officials, the Supreme Leader expressed concern over the high number of prisoners in Iran. However, he was referring to the high number of financial and drug-related prisoners, not political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

On July 4, civic activist Atena Daemi, who was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison, suffered a heart attack as a result of nervous stress and mistreatment in prison.

On July 7, the Iranian Women’s Association published a letter from a female prisoner in Gharchak Prison, written in December. Maryam Rabiei, who has spent the last 17 years behind bars, writes of the terrible prison conditions that she has experienced.

The same day, a group of families of political prisoners in Iran released an open letter to the “Iranian people”, in which they protested the conduct of security officials toward these families. According to this letter, security officials threaten the parents, children, and spouses of political prisoners, and encourage young women to divorce and separate from their husbands.

Arbitrary arrests

On June 29, security forces in Ahvaz raided the homes of several local civic activists, beat them, and took them into custody. The reason for their arrest has not been announced yet.

On July 10, a group of demonstrators were arrested by security forces at the Ghods Day ceremony after calling for support for the Uighur Muslim minority in China. Every year, on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, government demonstrations are organized in Iran in support of the Palestinian people. In recent years, reformist and Green Movement forces have used this opportunity to express themselves.

Infographic

The website Meidaan published an infographic called “If there were no corruption”. This infographic shows the extent to which developmental activities could be undertaken for improving education and people’s welfare and for reducing the poverty level using the amount of money that is lost through graft and corruption, according to official announcements.