Weekly Pulse

This week in human rights in Iran

On January 6, Iran's parliament released a report calling for an investigation into the death of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who died in cyber police custody in early November. In addition to the investigation, the report recommended prison reforms including mandatory police training programs, video surveillance of interrogations and detention center inspections. Meanwhile, Iranian prisoners and human rights groups continued to criticize the lack of access to adequate health care for prisoners. Twenty prominent political prisoners wrote a letter to the head of Evin prison demanding improvements in medical treatment for 26 inmates suffering from serious health problems. Labor activist Reza Shahabi ended his 23-day hunger strike when prison authorities granted him a five-day furlough to receive treatment for a spinal condition which could lead to paralysis.

Also this week, a court sentenced the son of jailed opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi to six months in prison for speaking to foreign media outlets about prisoner abuse in Kahrizak prison following the 2009 presidential election. Additionally, family and friends of Kurdish prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi protested what they called short and biased trial proceedings against the young men who were sentenced to death in December 2009. In a move that drew considerable attention on social media sites, Iranian journalist and political prisoner Jila Baniyaghoob published an emotional letter she wrote to her husband, Bahman Amoee. The two are serving lengthy prison terms for reporting on the 2009 disputed election and ensuing protests and are forbidden to visit each other in prison. Finally, the Iranian Penal Code began implementing an amendment to ensure that the family members of male and female murder victims receive equal victim's compensation, or diyya.