Summary of Repression and Human Rights Violations in Iran
The following is a roundup of the human rights situation in Iran for the month of November 2020, based on information from activists and state media, collected by Iran News Update.
1. Executions in Iran—November 2020:
In November 2020, at least eight prisoners were executed in various Iran’s prisons on charges of murder and drug transportation and storage. Among those executed was a 62-year-old man.
Also, Iranian authorities executed Fakhreddin Dastiyar on drug charges on Sunday, November 8, in Taybad in Razavi Khorasan Province, northeast Iran.
All known executions took place in prisons. According to reports, the age of those executed was between 26 and 62 years.
Executions were carried out in the Central prisons of Yazd Central, Rasht Central (Lakan), Mashhad Central, Brujerd, Taybad, Qom Central prisons.
2. Arrests in Iran—November 2020:
In November 2020, some 260 people were arrested with various charges.
Some 50 people were arrested under the pretext of participating in protests, supporting the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), as well as calling for protesting rallies, participating in labor gatherings, cooperating with Kurdish parties, executing prison sentences, social media activities, and spreading ‘rumor and insult’ against judicial officials, which have been carried out by law enforcement, security and intelligence agents, cyber-police, and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) forces.
Iranian authorities also arrested at least three groups of hunters under security accusations. Meanwhile, security forces detained several Kurdish citizens for cultural activities.
In Razavi Khorasan, security forces detained a bodybuilding champion and coach Reza Tabrizi in Mashhad city for criticizing authorities. On his Instagram page, Tabrizi posted a story blaming officials for shutting down gyms while they did not prohibit Moharram crowding mourning.
In Tehran, security forces arrested Mrs. Shahla Jahanbin due to his letter to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, asking him to resign.
Notably, many detainees have been transferred to unknown places, and their families have no information about their fate. Regarding the Iranian authorities’ notorious background, they are exposed to severe human rights violations such as deprivation of access to their families and lawyers and a fair trial.
3. Torture in Iran—November 2020:
According to various reports obtained through formal and informal prisons and detention centers, here is a small part of torture and ill-treatment exercised on prisoners under the mullahs’ rule:
On November 2, the guards of Greater Tehran Penitentiary transferred political prisoner Zardosht Ahmadi-Ragheb from Ward 2 to the penitentiary clinic due to his health condition caused by a prolonged hunger strike.
On November 3, a female inmate, who had been hired by the Qarchak Prison warden, went the ward of political prisoners despite the guards severely restricted other prisoners’ commuting. Afterward, she assaulted female political prisoners, insulted them, and threatened them with murder. She also clashed with political prisoners Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and Zahra Safaee. However, other prisoners interfered and ended the conflict.
In Urmia Central Prison, the guards pressure political prisoner Ali Mohammadi-Moghaddam by not dispatching him to a hospital and depriving him of medical care. On November 4, this political prisoner launched an unlimited hunger strike, protesting the guards’ ill-treatment and inhuman pressure.
In Karaj Rajaeishahr Prison, Alborz province, authorities deprived Abdulrahman Sangani of medical care. He is on the verge of losing his eyesight.
On November 6, without any prior notice, oppressors withdrew 260,000 rials [$1] from bank accounts of prisoners in Isfahan Prison, according to the warden’s order. They drew this amount from labor prisoners’ accounts under the name of “aiding needy prisoners.”
Iranian authorities transferred Maryam Ebrahimvand, cinema writer, director, and producer, to the notorious Qarchak Prison in Varamin district, a suburb of Tehran, on November 7. The Government Employees Court sentenced her to ten years and six months in prison.
In Mashhad Vakilabad Prison, authorities violently beat two prisoners of conscience Ali and Hassan Hamid and transferred them to solitary confinements on November 7. In September, the regime detained them for religious conversion.
On November 8, Evin Prison officials transferred Mohammad Khani, interpreter, scholar, and Ph.D. student at Allameh Tabatabai University of Tehran to the quarantine section of Ward 4. In early October, security forces arrested him at his home, and he was kept in Ward 209—controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents—until his recent transfer.
On November 10, in a phone call with her family, female Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian told them the authorities had transferred her to Yazd Prison. She added that security agents beat, threatened, and insulted her on the new prison route.
On November 10, the guards killed a 27-year-old inmate Farhad Vosoughi under cruel torture in Khorramabad Central Prison. Farhad’s brother confirmed the news and acknowledged that he had seen Farhad’s tortured corpse in the local forensic center.
Officials of Bandar Abbas Prison, southern Iran, denied giving furlough to political prisoner Tahsin Pirouzi. They also deprived him of access to the lawyer.
Around one month ago, security forces detained former political prisoner Majid Sadeghi at his home in Mashhad city, northeastern Iran, and transferred him to an unknown place. Since his arrest, the Sadeghi family is unaware of Majid’s condition, which severely worried them.
After over two months, Vahid and Habib Afkari, brothers of the late wrestling champion Navid Afkari, are held and exposed to torture in Ward Ebrat of Shiraz Adilabad Prison. Authorities deprived them of calling or visiting their family members. The regime also bans the Afkari brothers from attending the grave of their late brother Navid.
Female political prisoner Sakineh Parvaneh was on a hunger strike for more than a week. On day-eight of her hunger strike, she sewed her lips, protesting the likelihood of her re-transfer to Isfahan Prison and the continuation of pressure on behalf of security institutions and the prison officials. She was previously kept in a psychiatric hospital for a long time before transferring to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran and Quchan Prison in northeastern Iran.
On November 15, authorities executed the inhuman sentence of 80 flogs against a Christian proselytist Saheb Fadaei in Evin Prison.
According to reports, criminal interrogators tortured a 19-year-old inmate Mohammad Davaji to death in Amirabad Prison in Gorgan city, northern Iran. Additional reports acknowledged that the prison guards severely beat and tortured two other inmates Teymour Maktoubi and Mehran Ghoreishi caused dispatching both to a hospital and hospitalizing them in ICU.
In Shiraz Adilabad Prison, Fars province, a 22-year-old young man was exposed to a group rape by three inmates hired by the prison’s intelligence bureau.
In Ahvaz Sheiban Prison, a 30-year-old Ahvazi inmate Ali Batrani lost his life due to the guards’ delay in dispatching him to a hospital.
According to reports, many prisoners got sick due to extremely cold temperatures in Ward 4 of Evin Prison. Furthermore, the coronavirus has spread in this ward. The guards hold four patients whose tests turned out positive, besides other prisoners who had not tested. There is no quarantine.
Authorities deprived female political prisoner Monireh Arabshahi of her regular family visit because of her protest against compulsory chador during her visit.
In Karaj Kachuei Prison, Alborz province, Yasaman Aryani has contracted coronavirus. Prison officials have transferred her alongside five other prisoners to a cell that lacks necessary facilities.
In the notorious Rajaeishahr Prison in Karaj, Alborz province, authorities beat and insulted political prisoner Reza Mohammad Hosseini due to his protests against wearing the prison uniform, handcuff, and shackle.
In Ardabil Prison, northwestern Iran, authorities transferred two civil activists Reza and Ali Vaseghi, from Ward 16 to Wards 5 and 2. To exert more pressure, prison officials denied observing the common law of divided crimes about Vaseghi brothers.
Ardabil Prison officials also deprived Kurdish political prisoner Seyed Saman Hosseini of his furlough right. He is from Sardasht, West Azarbaijan province; however, authorities held him in exile since March 2018.
In Urmia Central Prison, authorities refused to free 30-year-old inmate Hojjat Kazamnejad despite the end of his sentence. He launched a hunger strike and closed his lips with liquid glue, protesting the authorities’ inhuman behavior.
On November 19, a special unit of Urmia Central Prison inspected and confiscated a massive amount of political prisoners’ belongings. Afterward, the unit transferred all of 51 prisoners to a new super-security ward named bedchamber-10 or Hedayat to pressure them.
Since November 20, these prisoners suffer from headaches, vertigo, and nausea. Around 48 prisoners went to the prison clinic on November 21. Prisoners believe that jamming devices equipped in the super-security ward are the reason for their health difficulties.
On the other hand, four Kurdish political prisoners Ali Mohammadi-Moghaddam, Keyvan Rashouzadeh, Kamran Qassemi, and Omid Saeedi, are held in solitary confinements of Urmia Central Prison. Authorities deprived them of the right to visit or call their families, which prompted them to launch a hunger strike.
The Urmia Revolutionary Court rejected the appeal of Aran (Majid) Tibash for conditional release.
In Tehran, officials of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary denied allowing Abolfazl Shahbazi, a detainee of the nationwide gas protests in November 2019, in his brother’s funeral and commemorative ceremony. “[Authorities] did not permit my son to attend his brother’s commemoration,” said Zahra Fallah, his mother.
Meanwhile, in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, officials deny receiving warm clothes from prisoners’ families. Regarding the beginning of cold seasons, oppressors intend to push prisoners to purchase their necessities, including clothes and heaters from Hami financial institution, at multiple prices. Hami dominated foods and clothes stories in this prison.
On November 26, Hojjat Kazamnejad self-immolated, protesting the vile conditions in Urmia Central Prison. Notably, authorities had denied releasing Kazemnejad despite the end of his prison term.
Following the self-immolation, nearly 900 inmates in Wards 1, 2, 3, and 4 staged a riot. The guards injured around 35 prisoners with shot and beat. Furthermore, prison officials transferred 20 inmates to solitary confinement. On the same night, interrogators took six prisoners for torture and prosecution.
In Evin Prison, political prisoner Saeed Eghbali, who serves his five-year imprisonment, is at risk of losing his right ear’s hearing. Authorities intentionally sabotaged his health treatment and prevented him from appropriate medical care.
4. Arbitrary Murder in Iran—November 2020:
In November 2020, borders guards, SSF, and intelligence agents targeted and murdered Kurdish porters Kolbars, merchants, and other citizens in various provinces, including:
In Kurdish regions, border guards dead shot Kolbar Siavosh Kureh Seni in Khoy county and Hassan Delaei Milan and Kamal Alam Holavi in Chaldoran district. All these murders happened in West Azarbaijan province. Meanwhile, border guards targeted several porters and injured them.
On November 7, Khosro Sharifi, a taxi driver, lost his life in a hospital in Baneh county due to severe injuries. Ten days advance, an anti-trafficking unit stopped his taxi and shot on his head while his taxi was unmoved.
On November 17, border guards gunned down Saadi Rostamzadeh, married and father of a girl, in Oraman Takht district, Kurdistan province.
On November 18, military forces in Oshnavieh borders, West Azarbaijan province, targeted a group of porters caused to death of Hakan Mohammadzadeh and Vasim Fardinzadeh.
On November 21, security forces targeted muezzin of Ashab-e Rasoul mosque Abdollah Gargij. Locals transferred him to Khatam al-Anbiya hospital. However, he lost his life due to severe injuries two days later.
Also, on November 23, border guards dead shot a Baluch citizen Mehdi Alizehi from Saeedabad village at the Iran-Pakistan border’s zero point.
5. Coronavirus in Iran’s Prisons—November 2020:
In November 2020, several prisoners lost their lives to the novel coronavirus. Given the authorities’ indifference and negligence, the deadly virus rapidly spread among prisoners and more inmates fall victim to the disease every day. A number of rights activists believe that the authorities are involved in the spread of the virus among prisoners by depriving them of essential health and hygienic equipment and unobserving pre-emptive measures.
According to reports, there are over 120 prisoners with coronavirus-like symptoms in Urmia Central Prison. However, the guards do nothing to prevent more infection and offer proper medical care to patients.
In Salon 9 of Ward 2 in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, there are around 20 detainees of November gas protests whose health conditions are worsening every hour. They have contracted the coronavirus. However, the guards try to conceal this scandal by closing the doors, cutting the free air times, prisoners’ communications, and phone services.
According to reports obtained on November 19, the Covid-19 has massively spread in Sanandaj Prison while clinic staff and prison officials have been infected with the virus. Authorities have deprived inmates of proper health facilities.
In Evin Prison, the coronavirus has spread among ordinary and political prisoners. Evin Prison’s condition is critical. According to reports, at least seven prisoners have lost their lives to the Covid-19 as of this report. The deceased were from Wards 7 and 8.
In Mashhad Prison, many inmates in Wards 1 and 2 have contracted the coronavirus. However, they are deprived of primary medical care. The prison clinic only prescribes medicine for severe headache and high fever. Prisoners suffer from a lack of adequate food and meal.
Harrowing Report About Torture and Ill-Treatment in Southwestern Iran Prison
What you are reading is a horrific report by eyewitnesses about the torture in Ward 1 of Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz city, in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan province. Details provided by activists have been tallied by the human rights association No to Prison – No to Execution.
According to the report, the ward contains a solitary confinement section, set up to punish, harass, and torture inmates. Based on the prison officials’ request, prisoners who must endure more torture are transferred to this ward. Interrogators and guards practice physical and sexual torture against inmates in solitary confinement. Ward 1 is known as “prisoners’ exile” among inmates.
Eyewitnesses say the dimensions of these solitary cells are two meters by three meters. In Ward 1, authorities deprive new prisoners of appropriate food, shower, and clothes for a long time. The guards hold several prisoners in each cell and deal with them inhumanely.
Notably, since the novel coronavirus began in Iran, inmates have suffered from a lack of health and hygienic equipment, which caused a rapid spread of the virus in the prison. Prisoners time and again protested to the authorities, demanding necessary items to contain the virus. However, they received nothing.
Authorities’ negligence prompted inmates to try to release themselves and rescue their lives. Prisoners launched riots across the country and several fled. However, many others were targeted by live ammunition and several lost their lives. “Those oppressors, who beat and killed prisoners in April, have been appointed the chiefs of solitary confinements to harass and torture prisoners,” a prisoner who wants to remain anonymous in fear of more torture said.
“Torturers such as Lalehzar, Abdeveis, Zare, and Zolfaghari trample prisoners’ dignity with beatings, insults, and humiliating acts,” the prisoner added. Also, another prisoner said Abdol Hossein Gholam-Nejad, then-chief of Ahvaz Central Prison Protection and current chief of Sheiban Prison Protection, had directly targeted prisoners in April and injured several inmates.
Prison officials intentionally held inmates accused of murder and rape crimes with other prisoners in these solitary confinements. Moradi is one of the prison officials. One prisoner said that Moradi had personally raped an inmate in solitary confinement. Another report states that a prisoner with the acronym “A.A.” was subjected to sexual abuse in this ward.
Prisoner “H.S.,” who was held in solitary confinement for 45 days, narrates harrowing stories. “These cells are called ‘dog kennels.’ Authorities treat prisoners inhumanely. Keeping the people in these solitary confinements is a kind of torture. Moreover, given the lack of hygienic facilities, the awful smell and stench of prisoners make even healthy people sick,” H.S. said.
Prisoner “M.A.,” who was held in solitary confinement for two months, provided moving details about these cells’ conditions. “In Ahvaz’s overwhelming summer, several prisoners died of lack of food, illness, thirst, and heat. Authorities give high-dose methadone to inmates. Clinic officials prescribed methadone for even some prisoners suffering from chronic diseases. They do not care about prisoners’ illness and do not provide their medicine,” M.A. said.
In their reports, many of the released prisoners pointed out that some healthy people became aggressive and nervous and even attempted suicide after receiving their prescription. Prisoners portray the clinic as a place for torturing, insulting, and humiliating prisoners because of the guards’ violence and embarrassing behavior.
“Every so often, an inmate loses his life in these cells. In the summer, the guards keep several prisoners in these cells. They give methadone to prisoners, leading to prisoners’ convulsion and death due to the high temperature. In fact, methadone is the medicine of death in solitary confinements,” another prisoner said.
Prisoners urged all human rights organizations and international bodies to pressure the Iranian government and judiciary system to end systematic crimes in Sheiban Prison, mainly in solitary confinement cells of Ward 1.
List of women killed during Iran protests in November 2019
On December 15, 2019, the Iranian Resistance announced that the number of those killed by security forces during Iran protests exceeded 1,500. At least 4,000 were wounded and at least 12,000 detained.
Then on December 23, 2019, citing sources within the clerical regime, Reuters confirmed that 1,500 people had been killed in Iran during less than two weeks of unrest that started on November 15. Reuters was told that about 400 women and 17 teenagers were among those killed. The Iranian officials who provided the figures to Reuters, said they were based on information gathered from security forces, morgues, hospitals and coroner’s offices.
Reuters said Khamenei’s order to “do whatever it takes to stop them (the protesters),” had been confirmed by three sources close to the supreme leader’s inner circle and a fourth official.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran has compiled the names and reports on the list of women killed by security forces during the Iran uprising in November 2019.