Nabz Weekly - December 13, 2013

This week in human rights in Iran

MINORITY RIGHTS

Three Baha’i citizens, Fariba Ashtari, Shabnam Motahhed and Iman Rashidi, were recently sentenced to a collective total of ten years in prison by the Yazd Revolutionary court. Ashtari and Motahhed were sentenced to three years and Rashidi was sentenced to four years.

Following the release of a report by Kalameh website, regarding the pressures put on the Zoroastrians minority in Iran, security forces summoned a group of active members of the community and asked them to limit their activities to cultural centers. Meanwhile, security forces raided the office of Alireza Darvish, a freelance Zoroastrian journalist in Tehran, confiscated his computer, CD’s and books, and transferred him to an unknown location.

On December 10, Amnesty International released a statement expressing concern about the execution of two Ahwazi Arab activists.

PRISONERS RIGHTS

During a speech to mark the anniversary of Students’ Day on December 7, President Rouhani, in reaction to students at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran chanting slogans for the release of political prisoners, including opposition leaders Hussain Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi said, “We need tolerance and patience…Reason and moderation can resolve the issues.”

Twenty-three political prisoners and prisoners of conscience  at Ghezelhesar, Rajaeishahr and Uremia prison went on hunger strike in response to the increase in executions since the new administration came to power.

INTERNET FREEDOM

Iran's Cyber Police are actively monitoring Iranians' activity on the internet, Colonel Massoud Zahedian, Commander of the Morality Police, told ISNA today. "The Police are present on the Internet and are monitoring environments such as Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, etc.,"

EXECUTIONS

This week:

  • Seven prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr prison this week. According to HRANA, nine prisoners were transferred from Ghezel Hesar and Rajai Shahr prisons to the solitary confinements ward of Rajai Shahr prison on December 10, and seven of them have been hanged soon after.

  • Fifteen prisoners were executed in Diesel Abad prison of Kermanshah.

  • Eight prisoners were hanged in the central prison of Ilam.

  • Two prisoners were hanged in the central prison of Zahedan city.

In other news this week, Saleh Nikbakht, an advocate for Habib Lotfi’s, said that Lotfi’s death sentence has not been overturned. Rumors have been circulating about a pardon for Lotfi, a Kurdish political activists arrested in November 2007.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, Ahmed Shaheed, special UN Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, released a note on his website expressing his concern on situation of human rights in Iran.