Nabz Weekly - November 29, 2013

This week in human rights in Iran

MINORITY RIGHTS

On November 21, over 3,000 people used social media to call for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been imprisoned in Iran since September 2012.

PRISON RIGHTS

This week, 1,800 prisoners at Karaj's Qezel Hessar Prison went on a hunger strike to protest the execution of 11 prisoners convicted of drug charges. HRANA reports that the prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement at Qezel Hessar Prison from Qarchak Prison in Varamin and were hanged early Tuesday morning. Human rights and labor children rights activist and political prison at Evin Prison, began a hunger strike this week demanding authorities pay attention to his critical health condition.

INTERNET FREEDOM

Despite statements of removing Internet restrictions and increasing Internet freedom, this week Iran blocked the encrypted chat service Cryptocat. The chat service is a tool that allows for secure and encrypted chat, and is popular with human rights activists and journalists around the world. This appears to be the first time that Iran blocks a secure chat service like Cryptocat, since 2009 elections.
On November 25, presidential aide Mohammadreza Sadegh met with the representatives of the six ministers who are members of the High Council of Cyberspace to discuss ending the blocking of Facebook for web users in Iran.

CITIZEN RIGHTS

This week, Hassan Rouhani announced the release of the draft of citizen rights charter. The charter is supposed to become a guideline for all the government sections in regard to the Iranians basic rights. The draft, is based on the constitution, however it goes further in issues like Internet freedom and the right to have access to information, specially it acknowledge the right of individuals to have access to their personal information that government collect of them. Some critics believe that the current law is clear enough to protect citizen rights and the problem is in law enforcement and true will to fulfill that. In their views, Rouhani also needs to find ways to enforce his citizen rights charter.

EXECUTIONS

This week, two Arab activists in Ahwaz received death sentences from revolutionary court in the city of Ahwaz. According to their families, the judge had asked about one and half million dollars to ease the sentence before his final verdict.

Other executions of the week are:

  • One prisoner in the city of Zahedan, charge:murder.

  • Six prisoner in the prison of Yazd city, charge:drug trafficking.

  • One prisoner in the city of Khonj, charge:murder.

  • Eleven prisoners in the Ghezel hesar prison of the city of Karaj, charge:drug trafficking.

  • Four prisoners in the city of Bandar Abbas, three charged for drug trafficking and one for murder.

  • One prisoner in the city of Kermanshah, charge: murder.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

This week, the Amnesty International reminded Hassan Rouhani in a statement his election campaign promises and asked him to put human rights in Iran a priority of his agenda.

In the mean time, Canada’s human rights award went to Abdolfattah Soltani, an Iranian human rights lawyer who is in prison because of accepting political activists cases.