Nabz News Review - July 24, 2015

2015/07/24
Theme: 

This week in human rights in Iran

Children’s rights

On July 19, Amnesty International and a number of other human rights groups and organizations released a statement calling on the Iranian government to enact over 20 years of unfulfilled promises. This statement, published around the 21st anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, points to Iranian authorities’ disregard toward the widespread violation of children’s rights in Iran and calls on officials to respond to over 30 concerns of the international community regarding children’s rights in Iran.

Arbitrary arrests

Esmaeil Gerami-Moghaddam, adviser to Mehdi Karroubi and spokesperson for the National Trust Party, was arrested on July 17 at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport after returning from self-exile in Malaysia. Afterwards he was transported to Evin Prison by the Ministry of Intelligence.

On July 22, at least 33 teachers who had partaken in the silent march in front of the Majles were arrested. These teachers had been protesting the arrests of teachers’ union activists.

Prisoners’ rights

On July 19, Akram Naghabi, mother of Saeed Zeynali, said in an interview with Rooz Online that the complaint she has filed on the Supreme Leader with the Assembly of Experts has been filed away. Zeynali, who holds a graduate degree in computer science from the University of Tehran, was arrested at his home five days after plainclothesmen attacked the university dormitories on July 8, 1999. There has been no news of him for the last 16 years, and all responses to his mother’s efforts have pointed her to the Office of the Supreme Leader, which has not responded to her. As a result, Naghabi filed a complaint against Khamenei with the Assembly of Experts, which is tasked with oversight of the Supreme Leader’s activities; her complaint was filed away without any action.

On July 20, the website Kaleme published a detailed report on the situation of the various wards of Evin Prison, in particular Ward 8. This ward has come to be known as the exile of Evin due to the very bad state in which prisoners are held, the severe congestion of cells, and the presence of dangerous prisoners. Prison officials sometimes punish political prisoners and prisoners of conscience by transferring them to Ward 8.

On July 22, the deputy attorney general of Tehran stopped the transfer of Reza Entezari, one of the Dervishes held in Ward 8 of Evin Prison, to the hospital. Entezari suffers from heart problems and according to the prison’s medical mandate should be transferred to a well-equipped hospital. The reason for stopping his transfer to the hospital has been announced as his refusal to don prison garb.

Trials

On July 13, the third session of the trial of imprisoned Washington Post Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian took place, once again behind closed doors. The head of the judiciary of Tehran Province had earlier cited the lack of free space at the Revolutionary Court as the reason for the lengthy gap between the sessions.

Women’s participation

On July 13, President Hassan Rouhani spoke of the importance of the role of women in social life and the creation of equal opportunities for them. He emphasized that the discrepancies between women and men are not indicative of the superiority of one over the other, and that the differences are only relative.

Executions

On July 13, Amnesty International reported on the whereabouts of Ahmad Naseem, who had purportedly been executed five months earlier. However, Naseem spoke over the telephone with his family a few weeks ago. His case is an example of the issuance of the death penalty for minors in Iran. Naseem, who is now 21 years old, was arrested and condemned for a crime he committed as a 17-year-old.

On July 23, Amnesty released another statement in which it expressed concern over the unprecedented increase in executions in Iran. According to this statement, in the last six months, around 700 individuals were executed in Iran, meaning on average three people a day were executed in Iran.