2018 Annual Report 0f the Iran Human Rights Monitor

By Staff Writer

The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be celebrated on Human Rights Day this year. This document proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being. In contrast, the Iran Human Rights Monitor has published its annual report for 2018.

What follows is some of the data obtained about the situation in Iran. The figures cited in the report are compiled from official sources, or from reliable non-governmental sources inside Iran who risked their lives for the information.

The report alleges that there were at least 285 executions as of December 2017, including the execution of four women and six individuals who were sentenced to death for crimes they appear to have committed as children. During the month-long protests in January, the report estimates that 8,000 arbitrary arrests were made, at least 58 were killed, and 12 jailed protesters murdered under torture.

The Iran Human Rights Monitor urges the international community to hold the regime accountable for their crimes against humanity, and stand by the Iranian people in their struggle to achieve their basic human rights.

Recently, the Judiciary of Arak condemned 15 HEPCO workers to 74 lashes, one to two years in prison, and five-year suspended sentences for their protest in June over non-payment of their salaries and benefits, and the government’s failure to delivers on its promises. They were charged with “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda against the regime.”

The nationwide trucker’s strike over high prices and non-paid wages, resulted in a judiciary official warning them of “harsh penalties” if they continued their protests, according to state media. State broadcaster IRIB reported that general prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that protesting drivers may face death sentences under stern laws against highway robbery. At least 264 of striking drivers were arrested.

As well, a number of cruel punishments were handed down in 2018, including hand amputations and floggings.

• At least 110 people received flogging sentences

• At least one instance of hand amputation was reported

• At least 11 people were flogged

Iranian courts allegedly used confessions obtained under torture as evidence in courts including in cases which ended with death penalties.

In June, Iran’s judiciary approved a list of 20 lawyers to represent people accused of national security crimes —many of them human rights activists — in Tehran’s courts during the investigative stage, despite more than 20,000 lawyers registered with its bar association.

Iranian courts are controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. There are concerns that judges, particularly those presiding over Revolutionary Courts, are appointed on the basis of their political opinions and affiliations.

Iran is the world’s leading executioner per capita, with many hangings carried out in public.

• At least 285 people were executed

• At least 11 people were executed in public

• At least 10 political prisoners were executed

• At least 4 women were executed

• At least 6 individuals were executed for crimes they allegedly committed as minors.

Religious minorities continue to suffer systematic attacks, particularly Baha’is and Christian converts from Islam. As well, ethnic minorities including Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, Lors and Arabs have been subjected to oppression for years at the hands of the Iranian authorities.

In law and in practice, women face discrimination, in access to divorce, employment, equal inheritance and political office, and in family and criminal law.

Iran is ranked 140th out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap 2017 report. Women’s participation in City Councils amounts to 1.7 per cent. “Women almost disappear in senior management positions.” Women were the first victims of Iran’s bankrupt economy, as numerous restrictions were imposed on their employment and education.

The report also addressed Iran’s deplorable prison system.

Inhumane and unsanitary conditions at the notorious Evin Prison were described, such as the overcrowding, limited hot water, poor ventilation, and infestations of cockroaches and mice. There is a shortage of beds, forcing prisoners to sleep on the floor during cold winter months. Meals are reportedly “barely edible.”

Also in the report is Raja’i Shahr Prison, where dangerous criminals are house, and clashes between prisoners are common incidents. Violent criminals may be detained in the cell alongside political prisoners. Due to water issues, prisoners can use the bathroom for limited hours. Warm water is available for just one hour each day, so many prisoners must shower with cold water. Prisoners are reportedly also denied medical care. During visits, inmates and their families face degrading treatment through invasive and abusive body searches.