Nabz News Review - September 18, 2015

2015/09/18
Theme: 

This week in human rights in Iran

Freedom of expression

On September 14, concerts by traditional singer Shahram Nazeri and pop singer Reza Sadeghi were canceled in Tabriz and Kerman, respectively. In recent months, many concerts have been canceled in various cities, and the controversy over the denial of permits for concerts has led to tensions at the highests levels of decisionmaking in Iran.

Trials

On September 14, the Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced reformist activist Ali Shariati to 12 years and 9 months in prison. Shariati has been behind bars since February and was charged with propaganda against the regime, insulting the Supreme Leader, and illegal assembly and collusion.

Prisoners’ rights

On September 8, political prisoner Nargess Mohammadi’s brother Mehdi Mohammadi sent an open letter to the head of the judiciary, asking him to personally issue the order to hospitalize Nargess. Defense attorney Nargess Mohammadi, who is active in the human rights sphere, has been suffering for some time from pulmonary and respiratory problems, but prison authorities have not allowed her to be transferred to a hospital.

On September 13, labor activist and political prisoner Shahrokh Zamani passed away in Rajaei Shahr Prison. The announced cause of death was stroke, but Zamani’s family has called for an autopsy to ascertain the real cause. Zamani had been in prison since 2011, serving an 11-year sentence for the charge of trying to establish labor syndicates.

On September 14, Hassan Rouhani’s advisor Akbar Torkan gave an interview to the newspaper Shargh in which he warned that the life of Babak Zanjani is in danger. He stated that Zanjani has powerful financial backers who may want to eliminate him in order to protect their own network.

On September 17, Rasoul Badaghi was not released after the completion of his sentence but was instead sentenced to another three years in prison. Badaghi, who is among the activists working for the union rights of teachers, has been behind bars since the arrests following the post-election events of 2009.

Human rights

On September 6, the RAHA Human Rights Award was bestowed upon Atena Daemi. The NGO Südwind awards this prize to celebrate those who play a part in improving human rights in Iran. Children’s rights activist Daemi has been in prison for months now for the charges of blasphemy and propaganda against the regime.

On September 16, the Crime Prevention Committtee announced that the penalty for improperly veiled women has been raised to 900,000 tomans. In recent years, the mandatory hijab has been challenged multiple times in Iran, and many Iranian women see it as contrary to their primary rights.

Executions

On September 8, 11 prisoner were executed for various narcotics-related charges in Ghezel Hesar Prison. Mahmoud Barati, one of these prisoners, was a teacher who was sentenced to death based on the false testimony of a fellow inmate, even though that inmate withdrew his testimony before the execution.

On September 16, a prisoner was executed in Sanandaj Prison through a retributive sentence of qisas.