August Is Marked by Arrests and Harsh Sentences of Activists in Iran
Written by Shamsi Saadati
Iran Human Rights Monitor has issued their monthly report into human rights abuses in Iran and, as always, it makes for disturbing reading. The August report is filled with examples of a brutal clampdown on Iranian society, in the midst of various economic, social, and political crises, in an attempt to silence dissent.
At least 41 people were executed in Iran in August 2019, with two executions taking place in public.
Over 30 activists, workers, and journalists have been sentenced to flogging and prison; 21 of them for participating in protests.
Several of them were charged with attending Labour Day demonstrations on May 1, including:
• Researcher Atefeh Rangiz, who was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison and 74 lashes
• Journalist Marzieh Amiri, who was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison and 148 lashes
• Nasrin Javadi, who was sentenced to seven years in prison and 74 lashes
• Labour Activist Azarm Khezri (Nasrin Javadi), who was sentenced to seven years of prison and 74 lashes
• Labour activist Farhad Sheikhi, who was sentenced to four months of prison (suspended) and five lashes
• Member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, who was sentenced to two years of prison, 74 lashes, two years of exile, and a two-year ban on using smartphones
While other activists, including Parvin Mohammadi, vice president of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, was sentenced to one year in prison for attending a Labour Day gathering in Karaj on April 26.
Others sentenced include:
• Mohammad Taghi Falahi, the head of the Tehran Teachers’ Association, who was sentenced to eight months of prison and ten lashes for participating in a protest on National Teachers’ Day
• 16 workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory were sentenced to eight months of prison and 30 lashes for their 20-day long protest last month over unpaid wages
• Saba Kord Afshari, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for protesting the forced veil
• Satirist Keyomars Marzban, who was sentenced to 23.3 years in prison for working for foreign media outlets
• Nine civil activists, who sentenced to a total of 54 years in prison
While many other activists have been arrested, including at least 14 of the people who signed open letters calling on the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to resign and a number of female journalists, as reported by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
The United Nation’s special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran criticized the regime for its treatment of human rights defenders, members of minority communities, lawyers, journalists, labour and trade union activists and women protesting the forced hijab in a report to the General Assembly earlier this year.