Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

Human Rights,Ilam Petrochemical,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Ilam Petrochemical plant workers protest

Ilam Petrochemical Plant Workers Sentenced to Prison and Lashes for Protesting

Ilam Petrochemical plant workers protest

Petrochemical Plant Workers who had protested laying off colleagues and unemployment have been arrested and sentenced to long-term prisons.

On October 14th, the workers of the Ilam Petrochemical Plant were arrested and charged with “disrupting public order and peace” by the 104th Branch of the Ilam Penal Court.

Fifteen of the workers were sentenced to six months in prison and 74 lashes, according to human rights advocates with information about the situation. One additional worker, identified as Milad Dousti, was sentenced to two years in prison and 74 lashes.

The workers were punished for staging a sit-in outside of the factory this spring that lasted for several days and closed all roads leading to the factory. The factory workers were protesting unemployment of local workers and the recent layoffs of 11 experienced workers from the Ilam Petrochemical Plant.

The Ilam Petrochemical Company was founded in 2003 in order to market petrochemical and chemical products, including ethylene, propylene, and polypropylene.

Flogging sentences have become more common in Iran as the regime struggles to repress the growing protest and strike movement. In October, the state-run ILNA news agency reported that the 106th Branch of the Arak Penal Court sentenced 15 HEPCO workers to one to two years of prison and 74 lashes for “disrupting public order” and “instigating workers via the internet to demonstrate and riot” in a preliminary hearing.

The workers were arrested for protesting for their unpaid wages and against the unclear future of their company in May.

Many of the recent workers’ strikes in Iran have been caused by unpaid wages. The MEK has supported these workers’ strikes, including the most recent strikes by the Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill workers and the Ahvaz Steel factory workers. The workers believe that the regime’s corruption is responsible for the workers’ problems.

According to Iran’s Labor Code, citizens do not have the rights to form independent unions, even though Iran ratified the United Nations’ International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and membership in the International Labor Organization.

Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned Iran’s labor practices and its human rights record, saying, “Independent unions in Iran are banned, workers have few legal rights or protections, and union activists are regularly beaten, arrested, jailed and tortured.”

Workers in Iran are increasingly demanding their rights, and they are placing the blame for the lack of rights at the feet of the regime. The problems faced by Iranian workers will not be solved until the regime is toppled and democracy is restored to the country.

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Iran HRM's Annual report on human rights in Iran

Iran Human Rights Monitor Releases Damning Assessment of Iranian Human Rights in its 2018 Report

Iran HRM's Annual report on human rights in Iran

Iran Human Rights Monitor published its annual report on the violations of human rights in Iran

ran Human Rights Monitor has released its annual report on the domestic situation within Iran. This year’s 24-page report is of particular importance as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The report outlines how the people of Iran are systematically having their basic human rights violated by the brutal and bloody clerical regime. Public hangings, floggings, and forced amputations have become commonplace. Those that are arrested suffer intolerable and inhumane conditions in the Iranian prison system.

The regime’s judiciary institutions have been used to promote the regime’s aims, including arresting and imprisoning political dissidents, including members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), civil rights activists, students, journalists, with no regard for international law and basic human rights.

The Report’s Findings

Iran Human Rights Monitor found the regime’s 2018 record to be particularly concerning. The group reported that last year there were 285 executions, 8,000 arbitrary arrests, and cases of 12 jailed protesters killed while enduring torture in Iran’s prisons.

Among those arrested were four women, and six individuals who had committed the crimes they were convicted of when they were under the age of 18.

Limited Freedom of Expression

The report found that Iranian freedom of expression has deteriorated in 2018. The national uprising at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 was met with violence. More than 58 protestors died while exercising their right to express their opinions publicly, and 8,000 others were arrested and thrown in jail.

Protesters in Europe Condemn Regime’s Terrorism and Surge in Executions

Those that were arrested were denied access to legal representation, the Iran Human Rights Monitor found. There were also verifiable reports of the regime administering methadone to protestors in regime custody to depict them as drug addicts.

Torture

Once arrested, many of Iran’s prisoners are subjected to torture during interrogations. At least 20 people were tortured to death across Iran in 2018, with a variety of torture methods being employed against prisoners including, mock executions, beatings, burnings, electric shocks, sleep deprivation, and solitary confinement.

Taymour Khaledian, a civic activist who was held at a State Security Force base last winter, reported being severely beaten and “sexually tortured” while in regime custody. His injuries were so extensive he was unable to sit afterward. The majority of Iran’s prisoners do not receive medical care for their injuries.

Kangaroo Courts

The report found that the Iranian judiciary system consistently failed to hold fair trials to those accused of crimes. Confessions used to convict those on trial were often obtained during torture, even in cases which resulted in death sentences.

For those accused of national security crime, including political crimes and civil disobedience, the regime will only allow legal representation for the defense if they use one of 20 regime-affiliated lawyers. Therefore, these trials are never fair or independent.

Freedom of Religion

In addition, the regime frequently violates the rights of religious minorities in Iran. They face reduced education and employment opportunities, harassment, lengthy prison sentences, and restrictions on their ability to practice their religions.

In a particularly high-profile case this year, two Christians, Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakherti, who had converted from Islam, were sentenced to over a year in prison for “spreading propaganda against the regime”. Many other Christians are often imprisoned on similar charges.

Gender Discrimination

Women and young females receive some of the worst treatment in the country. The Global Gender Gap in 2017 ranked Iran among the bottom four countries on earth for its treatment of women.

Women’s wages are lower than their male counterparts. They are also not permitted the same access to divorce, employment opportunities, political representation, and representation in both criminal and family lawsuits as men are.

The unemployment rate among women stands at double the rate among men. As a result, many women holding college degrees are forced to accept employment that pays less than one-third of the minimum wage in Iran.

Child Soldiers

The Iranian regime also engages in one of the most deplorable crimes in existence in the modern world. It uses children as soldiers in combat situations.

Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the UN publicly revealed that the US had evidence of the regime using children in combat roles since early 2015. The children were sent to fight in Syria in support of the violent Assad regime. Some of the children were just 14 years old.

Holding the Barbaric Regime to Account

In its report, Human Rights Monitor also urged the international community and supporters of democracy around the world to hold the mullahs to account for their crimes against the Iranian people.

The downtrodden and oppressed citizens of Iran are routinely silenced and ignored. They need their international supporters to be their voice and assist them in fighting the regime and bringing justice against those committing crimes against humanity.

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Amnesty International's report on the 1988 massacre

Amnesty International Holds Press Conference Following its Landmark Report on 1988 Massacre

Amnesty International's report on the 1988 massacre

Amnesty International published its report on the crime against humanity, the massacre of the political prisoners in Iran during the summer of 1988.

Amnesty International held a news conference today following the release of its new landmark report on the 1988 massacre in Iran.

The report, entitled “Blood-Soaked Secrets: Why Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacres are Ongoing Crimes Against Humanity”, compiled testimonies, documentary evidence, and audio-visual evidence to illustrate the Iranian regime’s barbaric and systematic slaughter of tens of th members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

A Carefully Planned and Systematically Executed Mass Murder Operation

The report found that the regime targeted members of the Iranian opposition, including the MEK and groups, keeping their families in the dark about their whereabouts and ultimate execution.

 

The regime then falsified death certificates and carried out secret burials to hide its atrocities and absolve itself of any blame or scrutiny. Amnesty International found the regime guilty of several crimes under international law, including enforced disappearance, torture, and crimes against humanity.

A Lingering Injustice

For the families of the victims of the 1988 massacre, the report marks a landmark moment in the fight for justice.

They have suffered 30-years of distorted truth and lies about the fate of their loved ones. “To this day, their families are denied [the] truth,” said Amnesty International’s David Griffiths. “[The] new Amnesty International report demands truth and justice now”.

For a long time, the authorities treated the killings as state secrets, the Amnesty report found. Any time the wall of secrecy was penetrated, the regime responded with harsh reprisals and levied charges against those accused of “disclosing state secrets”.

In a press conference following the report’s release, Amnesty International’s Iran researcher, Raha Bahreini said, “authorities have never acknowledged even one of [the] mass grave sites where they dumped bodies”.

The regime has actually hailed those responsible for the 1988 killings as heroes. Alireza Avaei, the regime’s current Minister for Justice was part of the “death commission” for Dezful and oversaw executions in that city.

The current Head of the Supreme Court for Judges, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, was also part of a “death commission” in 1988, as was Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, who was a representative for the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

In a statement, Amnesty International said, “families and survivors have been grossly failed by the UN and the international community. The lack of condemnation from the UN Commission of Human Rights at the time and the failure of the UN General Assembly to refer the situation to the Security Council emboldened Iran’s authorities to continue to deny the truth and inflict torture and ill-treatment on the families.”

The ongoing lack of accountability and justice means that families still do not know where their loved ones’ bodies are located. The regime will not acknowledge the existence of mass grave sites, let alone disclose their locations.

Holding Those to Account

In the report, Amnesty International recommended that the UN establish an independent and impartial international mechanism to hold those responsible within the regime to account for their crimes.

This sentiment was echoed by its Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf who said on Twitter, “Amnesty International considers the extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances to be crimes against humanity”.

The MEK and other campaigners for democracy and justice across the globe will welcome Amnesty International’s investigation of one of the bloodiest and most evil chapters in Iran’s history.

However, it is only effective if international legal mechanisms and the UN can work to pressure Iran into investigating the matter and putting those responsible for these heinous crimes on trial. Those responsible must be made to answer for their crimes before civilian courts. Only then will justice have been served for the families of the 1988 victims.

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Isfahan Farmers' protest continues

Iran Protests Continue

Isfahan Farmers' protest continues

Demonstrations and sit-in of poor farmers of the cities and villages of East and West of Isfahan are continuing for the third month

Strikes and protests are still raging across Iran and show no sign of abating as workers continue to express their dissatisfaction with labor conditions and the ever-worsening economic crisis in the country.

Update (7:30 AM Thursday, November 29th): On Thursday morning, MEK sources inside Iran reported that security forces raided the home of Ali Nejati, one of the striking workers from the Haft Tappeh sugar mill. Nejati was arrested, and when his family asked to see the arrest warrant, they were beaten by police.

The factory workers marched to the mayor’s office, chanting, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!” and “Nationalize the company!”

Iranian drivers from across the country have expressed their solidarity with the striking factory workers through video messages. One driver said, “I understand your situation. I am a driver and we too are facing harsh conditions. I stand with you and wish you the best of luck in achieving your demands.”

Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory Workers’ Strikes

Thursday was the 25th consecutive day of strikes for the factory workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugar mill in Shush. The workers are striking in protest of months of unpaid wages and the privatization of the company.

The workers published a list of their demands on their Telegram channel and in a written statement. Their demands include basic labor rights such as regular payment of salaries, employer payment of insurance fees, job security for contract workers, and provision of work tools and materials.

Protests Continue to Rage in Ahvaz and Shush

Most of the workers’ demands are already guaranteed under the Iranian regime’s labor laws, but these laws are not being enforced. For example, Iranian labor law dictates that employers are responsible for providing transportation or compensation for transportation for their employees’ commute to and from work. Haft Tappeh has ignored this regulation altogether. Employers are also required by law to provide one hot meal per shift. This law has also been disregarded by Haft Tappeh’s owners.

The regime has responded to the workers’ demands by sending suppressive forces to arrest the striking workers and by dispatching the head of the regime’s judiciary to threaten the strikers and accuse them of sedition.

The Haft Tappeh factory workers have also asked for the release of their colleague, Esmail Bakhshi, as part of their demands. Bakhshi is a spokesperson for the protesters who was arrested with several others as part of a crackdown by suppressive forces last week. After the striking workers and a growing number of supporters rallied for their release, the regime relented and released the other jailed protesters, but Bakhshi remains in custody.

Farmers’ protests enter the third month

The farmers of Isfahan are entering their third consecutive month of protests over the lack of access to water, which has wreaked havoc on agriculture in the province. Agriculture is the primary source on income in Isfahan, so virtually everyone in the region has been affected by the scarcity of water due to the drying of the Zayanderud River.

Isfahan’s farmers blame the water crisis on the regime’s corruption and mismanagement of the country’s water resources. Over the past two decades, the regime has diverted the Zayanderud River, which supplies water to the Isfahan region, to its factories upstream of Isfahan, leaving the once-prosperous farmers without water to irrigate their crops. This, combined with droughts, has left the farmers without a source of income.

The Isfahan farmers have protested by blocking streets with their tractors and machinery and camping in intersections of cities and towns.

On November 25th, farmers in the village of Qarnah destroyed water pipes to prevent the transfer of water from their village to other regions. Special Guard mercenaries responded by attacking the farmers with tear gas, injuring several of the protesters. The farmers chanted: “Zayandeh Rood water is our absolute right!” “We die, we do not accept humiliation!” and “The farmer is awake, he hates (empty) promises!”

Also on November 25th, farmers in Qarnah staged a sit-in at the Qarnah mosque. State security forces attacked the protesters there and broke the mosque’s windows in the process.

The striking farmers at that sit-in held banners proclaiming: “We want our water rights!” “Do not split our Zayandeh Rood!” “Is there any helper?” “Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation!”  “Until when false promises?”

The water crisis has reached such epic proportions that regime has been forced to acknowledge it, at least in part. Hasan Kamran, a member of the regime’s parliament who represents Isfahan, admitted that the Ministry of Energy has given 1,592 million cubic meters of water to Isfahan Steel, Iron and Steel and military industries, leaving the people of Isfahan to survive on wastewater. “The law of water right goes back to 1964, and the Ministry of Energy had no legal right to change it and sell the water,” he said in an October 21st interview with a state-run media outlet.

In an earlier interview with Radio Farhang, Kamran said: “For a decade, water right of the farmers of Isfahan has been plundered… We have lied to them for 10 years… On the one hand, the bank brings an arrest warrant because he (the farmer) was unable to pay his debt. On the other hand, we give his wheat money late, we don’t give him compensation, we steal his water right; who is stealing from him? The same Ministry of Energy.”

Nasser Mousavi Largani, another member of the regime’s parliament, described the current agricultural conditions of Isfahan’s farmers in dire terms. “The farmers of Ghahderijan – their land has turned into desert. They do not have bread to eat. Likewise, the farmers of Pirbakon,” he said.

Ali Bakhtiar, another member of the regime’s parliament, told the Parliament News Agency that

the number of dairy cattle has dwindled from 50-60 thousand to less than 30 thousand. “Livestock is really disappearing … 70-80% of poultry farms in the region are not used,” said Bakhtiar.

The MEK salutes Isfahan’s striking farmers and calls upon all Iranians, particularly the youth, to join in solidarity with their protests and to support them in their demands for water rights.

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Ambassador Ken Blackwell Speaking at Nowrouz ceremony in Washington D.C

Former US Ambassador to the UN Calls for a UN Response to Iranian Human Rights Abuses and Terrorism

Ambassador Ken Blackwell Speaking at Nowrouz ceremony in Washington D.C

Former U.S, Ambassador to the U.N, Mr. Ken Blackwell speaking at a conference in support of the Iranian opposition (NCRI), on the occasion of the Iranian New Year in Washington D.C-March 2018

On November 20th, 2018, Townhall published a piece from Kenneth Blackwell, the former US ambassador to the UN. In his piece, Blackwell called for an international response to Iranian aggression.

Blackwell began his article by drawing attention to the UN General Assembly’s resolution on November 15th which denounced the Iranian regime for its systematic widespread human rights abuses. The resolution means that the General Assembly will vote on a censure next month.

The “summer of blood”

The Iranian regime’s human rights abuses have been well-documented. The mullahs and their Supreme Leader Khamenei launched a vicious campaign to eliminate the regime’s political opposition.

First on their list of political opponents was the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its members. This cumulated in the “summer of blood” of 1988. In just one summer, a period of fewer than five months, the regime and its death squad systematically executed more than 30,000 MEK members in regime custody.

Today, the regime continues to run roughshod over the human rights of the Iranian population. Politically motivated arrests are common- and the conditions many prisoners are subject to in prison, which include routine torture sessions and beatings from guards, has prompted many prisoners to go on hunger strike in protest.

Executions are also commonplace in Iran, including in cases where the alleged perpetrator committed their crime as a minor, under the age of 18. Between January and June 2018, the regime executed 176 executions. Among them were prisoners held on drug charges, politically motivated charges, and juvenile offenders.

Blackwell went on to condemn the regime’s harsh treatment of protestors. He cited the regime’s arrests of truck drivers, teachers, merchants, students and nurses as particularly concerning examples where citizens found themselves imprisoned for exercising their right to protest.

A Terrorist Machine

In addition to the regime’s campaign of repression and violent suppression at home, the Iranian regime has launched an international terror campaign. In 2018, the MEK reported that the regime leadership was involved in the planning and execution of terrorist plots in Albania, France, and the US.

Iranian Embassies: A Tumour in the Heart of Europe

The most severe of these attacks was the regime’s attempt to detonate a car bomb at the annual gathering of the MEK and its supporters in Paris. An Iranian diplomat named Assadollah Assadi provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material to attack the gathering, where delegations of high-profile politicians gathered from around the world, including former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.

The Demonization Campaign

Blackwell also condemned the regime’s systematic and deliberate demonization campaign against the MEK. Blackwell writes, “in lockstep with its terrorist plots, the regime has also stepped up its demonization campaign and vilification campaigns”.

Twitter closed 770 regime-affiliated accounts in September for deliberately attempting to manipulate public opinion against the MEK abroad. Many of the accounts posed as foreign journalists or American citizens in an attempt to appear more legitimate, however, they spewed regime-created propaganda attacking the MEK with lies and falsehoods.

Blackwell continues, “data released by Twitter shows that anti-MEK tweets by the regime’s intelligence agents in 2018 jumped to a total that was six times higher than the previous six years combined.”

He also pointed at the regime of employing “pseudo-journalists”, like Arron Merat who recently wrote a hit piece on the MEK for the Guardian. These are regime-affiliated agents who work as journalists for foreign media outlets, spreading lies and misinformation to further the regime’s interests.

The Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers Issue a Statement on the Guardian’s MEK Hit Piece

Despite the Regime’s Best Efforts, the MEK Grows Stronger

Despite these underhanded methods, Blackwell writes, “the movement’s [the Iranian opposition] organizational prowess is growing”. He describes the MEK’s resistance units of young men and women who coordinate protests across Iran and mobilize the Iranian population.

“Iran’s people are demanding democratic freedoms and an end to the extremism, corruption, and mismanagement that has devastated their living conditions”, Blackwell writes. “The international community cannot remain nonaligned. It is time to side with the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and a brighter future.”

Blackwell concludes by stating that the regime’s human rights abuses must be referred to the UN Security Council for urgent action because it “would be the clearest sign yet that the international community supports the Iranian people’s right to resist a tyrannical regime that systematically violates their human rights.”

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Monthly report by Iran HRM on Iranian regime's violations of Human Rights

22 Executed, 60 Flogged and 543 Politically-Motivated Arrests in the Month of October

Monthly report by Iran HRM on Iranian regime's violations of Human Rights

Photo Credit: Iran HRM: Iran Human Rights Monitor, Monthly Report for October 2018

On Saturday, November 3rd, Iran Human Rights Monitor published its monthly report of human rights violations taking place across Iran.

The report showcased the regime’s “dismal report card”, which featured 22 executions, among them a woman executed for a crime she allegedly committed aged 17.

The Persecution of the Iranian People

Iran Human Rights Monitor’s report indicated that the regime has continued its crackdown on the Ahvazi Arab population in Khuzestan province. Regime agents made numerous arrests in the month of October. Reports from MEK network inside Iran indicate that women and children were among those arrested.

Following October’s truck drivers’ strike, the regime arrested large numbers of protesting truck drivers across Iran’s provinces.

The nation’s environmental activists have also been the target of a sustained and bloody crackdown. In October, eight prominent activists were detained on charges of “sowing corruption on earth”. If convicted, the eight could face execution.

The regime has also targeted activists in more nefarious ways. Farshid Hakki was murdered near his home on October 17th.

Iran Human Rights Monitor called on the Iranian regime to release the activists unless it can “produce evidence to justify the charges against them and guarantee a fair trial”.

A String of Executions

The regime executed 22 Iranians in October. One of the most alarming cases was that of Zeinab Sekaanvand. She was hanged in Urmieh central prison in West Azerbaijan province for murdering her husband.

Sekaanvand was forced to marry her abusive husband aged just 15. She killed him in 2012, at aged 17. She was detained and tortured into providing a full confession. On October 2nd, she was hanged for her crime, aged 24.

The case drew criticism from international human rights organisations. Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director, Phillip Luther, said, “her execution is profoundly unjust”, adding, “the fact that her death sentence followed a grossly unfair trial makes her execution more outrageous.”

Sekaanvand sought help several times from the authorities after her husband became violent. She also asserted that her brother-in-law had repeatedly raped her. Luther said, “instead of investigating these allegations… the authorities consistently ignored her and failed to provide her with any support as a victim of domestic and sexual violence”.

Brutal Punishments

In October, Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 60 cases of flogging, including 15 workers at the HEPCO manufacturing company who received lashing sentences and jail time for striking over their unpaid wages. Among the 15 were labour representatives engaged in negotiations with their employers.

A graduate student named Pedram Pazireh received 74 lashings and a 7-year prison sentence for organising a ceremony to mark the country’s National Student Day.

A court in Arak also handed out lashings to 11 people arrested during the December and January protests. They faced a litany of charges including “disrupting the public order and peace by taking part in illegal rallies”.

Politically Motivated Arrests

Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 543 politically motivated arrests across Iran in the month of October. There were also 11 arrests made on the religious and ethnic basis.

Many of these ethnic arrests were made against the Ahwazi Arab minority in Khuzestan following the attack on a military parade in Ahvaz. Amnesty International questioned the timing of the arrests and accused the regime of using the attack as an excuse to repress the Ahwazi population.

The regime also abducted and imprisoned Hashem Khastar, a leading advocate for teachers’ rights. Khastar disappeared from his family’s farm in north-eastern Iran. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital in Mashad, despite having no history of mental illness. His family has not been permitted to see him.

Khastar was not the only teachers’ advocate to face the regime’s repression. Four teachers were also arrested over their participation in a two-day sit-in protest. The head of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) secretariat, Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, was also arrested following the protest.

Several other ITTA members were also arrested in Mashhad and Aligoudarz. Teachers across several Iranian cities were protesting poor living and working conditions.

Poor Prison Conditions

Iran Human Rights Monitor reported over 70 political prisoners went on hunger strike at Urmia prison following a brutal attack on inmates from the prison’s guards.

Prison guards beat inmates in ward 12, the ward which houses the regime’s political prisoners.

Elsewhere, prisoners who have been on hunger strike are suffering deteriorating health. Farhad Meysami went on hunger strike on August 1st. The women’s rights defender detained in Evin Prison has reportedly lost 18 kilograms despite being force-fed intravenously.

Prisoners housed in the women’s section of Evin Prison were denied their visiting rights. Three female political prisoners, Golrokh Iraee, Atena Daemi, and Maryam Akbari Monfared were unable to receive visitors for three weeks.

The regime agents reported that the visitation rights were withheld following a verbal altercation between the women and several prison guards. The women allegedly chanted protest slogans in the visitation hall.

The report shines further light on the appalling conduct and behavior of the regime’s agents. It underscores the extent that the regime is carrying out a systematic and brutal campaign of repression against the Iranian population.

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Iranian regime court will be charging 5 arrested environmentalists for "heavy charges:

The Iranian Regime Targets Environmental Activists in a String of Arrests and Suspicious Deaths

Iranian regime court will be charging 5 arrested environmentalists for "heavy charges:

Five environmental activists arrested nine months ago will be facing charges of “corruption on earth”. This is while Farshid Hakki another environmentalist was murdered outside his home last week.

The clerical regime in Iran has brought charges against five environmental activists arrested nine months ago. The five will appear in court on charges of “corruption on earth”, although the regime previously charged them with espionage charges.

Environmental activists have been the target of the clerical regime in recent months. On October 17th, environmental activist Farshid Hakki died in suspicious circumstances near his home in Tehran.

The state-run news networks and IRGC media outlets reported that the cause of Hakki’s death was self-immolation. However, the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) remains skeptical.

Suspicious Deaths of Activists

Environmental activists have been subject to extreme violence and physical abuse at the hands of the regime. In January, IRGC intelligence officers arrested several activists, among them was Dr. Kavous Seyyed Emami, a former director of the Wildlife Agency.

Iran says prominent environmentalist committed suicide in a Tehran prison

Emami died shortly after his arrest while he was in regime custody in Evin Prison. The regime absolved itself of responsibility and claimed that the Emami had committed suicide.

In the wake of the national uprising at the start of the year, the regime claimed that at least 14 prisoners that died in custody committed suicide or died due to drug use. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) asserts that in reality, the prisoners died due to the regime’s violent and brutal use of torture.

Mohammad Reza, the head of the parliamentary environmental faction voiced his concerns. “The arrest of a number of environmental activists… is suspicious”, he said, “and the death of Dr. Seyyed Emami in prison is unfortunate and increases the ambiguity regarding the charges against the detainees”.

The MEK has previously reported the dangers of arbitrary arrests and fabricated charges. The regime’s increased weaponization of the judicial system to silence critics is an indication of its vulnerability.

In an attempt to preserve its weakening grip on power, the regime is locking up activists and political opponents.

The Iranian resistance movement and the MEK remains vehemently opposed to the regime’s misuse of justice and crimes against humanity. The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, have repeatedly called on the international community to stand with the abused Iranian people and condemn the regime’s actions.

The MEK and NCRI have urged international NGOs and governments to establish a delegation tasked with investigating the abuse of political and environmental activists in Iranian prisons and the 14 suspicious deaths that occurred in custody.

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Widespread child malnutrition as a result of poverty in Iran

Regime Official Acknowledges Widespread Child Malnutrition, Extreme Poverty is to Blame

Widespread child malnutrition as a result of poverty in Iran

While the Iranian regime spends billions to prop up the Syrian dictatorship, millions of Iranians are living under absolute poverty line.

An official linked to the Iranian regime has acknowledged the devastating effect that extreme poverty is having on the Iranian population. The Deputy of Health and Support of the Hamedan Provincial Relief Committee revealed to the state-run ISA that the province was suffering from a crisis as cases of malnutrition in children have exploded.

Ali Bahiraei said, “3,083 children under the age of six in Hamadan province suffer from malnutrition”. He was of no doubt that extreme poverty was behind the worrying figures.

A Crippling Economic Crisis

Iran is in the midst of a devastating economic crisis brought on by decades of economic mismanagement and pandemic corruption. In the last six months, the rial has lost approximately half its value against the dollar, crippling Iranians purchasing power and leaving many in the grips of extreme poverty.

More than 75% of the Iranian population in Sistan and Baluchistan provinces live in conditions of poverty. Many struggles to purchase enough food to feed their families.

The Chairman of Tehran’s Council, Mohsen Hashemi, said that the mullahs’ “quick and careless formation of policies” has taken its toll on the economy, prompting a wave of inflation that shows no sign of letting up.

Alarm Bells are Ringing

Bahiraei is not the first regime official to raise their concerns over rising food shortages. Two MPs, one from Sistan and Baluchistan and another from Zahedan, also highlighted the problem in interviews.

Mohammad Amini Fard, the representative for Sistan and Baluchistan said the province “ranks as the worst such province” for food shortages. He also commented that the province “ranks very low regarding development and unjust wealth distribution, and unfortunately due to the lack of natural resources and an 18-year drought, the province is facing an enormous food shortage”. As a result, many villagers are leaving the province and heading to nearby cities.

Amini Fard’s comments are supported by University studies which show the province’s population has a smaller height and lighter weight than the rest of the Iranian population.

The parliamentary representative for Zahedan, Alim Yar Mohammadi told a similar story. “The people of this province’s villages don’t have adequate drinking water or even bread. By any standards they are living in very poor conditions”, he said.

The malnourished population are also at risk of disease, exacerbated by their emaciated conditions. Diseases and illnesses are spreading in the worst affected areas.

The conditions are also forcing rural villagers to fight for their survival. Mohammadi said, “when the people of the province don’t enjoy adequate food supplies, it is highly likely people will start eating the meats of animals such as cats and crows.” The villages in the south of the province are the worst affected.

A Humanitarian Crisis?

What began as an economic crisis, is quickly becoming a humanitarian one. Villagers from rural communities are heading to the outskirts of cities in search of work and food. These people are homeless, jobless, and in a desperate state. But the cities are offering little in the way of salvation.

Those that are able to earn a living as street vendors, face harassment and violence at the hands of regime officials.

These victims of malnourishment need help. Not beatings. But under this bloody and violent regime, they will find only further economic distress, repression, and violence.

 

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Iranians protest against regime's expansion of terrorism in Europe.

Protesters in Europe Condemn Regime’s Terrorism and Surge in Executions

 

Iranians protest against regime's expansion of terrorism in Europe.

MEK supporters (main body of the National Council of Resistance of Iran-NCRI) protest the recent surge in executions in Iran and the spread of regime terrorist activities in Europe-Brussels, October 2018

MEK supporters in Europe have joined the Iranian people in their protests against the mullahs’ regime by staging demonstrations in London and Belgium.

MEK Supporters’ Demonstration in London

On Sunday, protesters demonstrated outside of 10 Downing Street in London to protest the recent surge in executions and human rights violations by the Iranian regime, particularly those that are occurring in Iranian prisons, as well as their terrorist acts against the MEK. The protesters also showed their support for the protests and strikes currently taking place in Iran.

The demonstrators also hope to draw attention to the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the Iranian regime. The executions, which occurred over the course of a single summer, have never been investigated, and their perpetrators have never been brought to justice.

The MEK supporters hoped that bringing these issues to light would cause British Prime Minister Theresa May to apply pressure to the regime

Protesters at the rally chanted: “Down with Rouhani! Down with Khamenei!”

“Change! Change! Change! Regime change in Iran!”

A group of British dignitaries and representatives of the Iranian diaspora in the U.K. were present at the demonstration and gave speeches. The speakers called on the international community to hold the Iranian regime responsible for its acts of terrorism against the MEK, for its violent suppression of the popular uprising currently taking place in Iran, and for its exportation of terror.

In her speech, NCRI supporter Naghmeh Rajabi said: “There needs to be more pressure to bring a halt to all of these executions, especially the public hangings that are happening.

Children, people, normal people are walking in the streets and they see bodies hanging from cranes. That’s kind of becoming a normality in Iran and it is completely unacceptable in the twenty-first century.”

The speakers also emphasized the need to blacklist the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), especially after the foiled terrorist attack on the Iranian opposition gathering in Paris on June 30th of this year.

Demonstration in Brussels

On Monday, MEK supporters in Brussels demonstrated outside of the European Union headquarters to protest executions, human rights violations, repression of women, and terrorist acts against the MEK in Europe by the Iranian regime.

The protesters called upon the E.U. to end the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs’ regime and to blacklist the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and to expel all regime diplomats.

The Belgian news agency Belga, Dubai TV, and Al Arabiya all covered the rally. Reports from each news outlet included coverage of the June 30th foiled attack on the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gathering in Paris and the regime’s culpability in the terrorist plot.

The Belga report read, “The demonstrators accused Tehran of blueprinting this plot.”

Al Arabiya published a report summarizing the plot to attack the NCRI gathering and the arrest of regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi for allegedly masterminding the plot. In October, a report by French intelligence concluded that there was “no doubt” that the Iranian regime ordered the terrorist attack. Assadi is currently in Belgium awaiting trial on terrorism charges resulting from the terrorist plot.

Former MEP Paulo Casaca was one of many dignitaries to speak at the rally. In his speech, he said, “I was among the people who were there on June 30. So I can say that, even personally, I have a case here to the European External Action Service (EEAS) and there has not been a single word from the EEAS on the issue.”

The protesters condemned the European Union for not speaking out against the regime’s human rights abuses.

We expect EU today to break the silence. We want EU to be active and to be on the side of Iranian people,” said NCRI member Firouz Mahvi

Staff Writer

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Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

Five Young Women Receive Prison Sentences for Publicly Protesting in Iran

Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

The Iranian youth participating in protests receive long sentences.

This week, the Iranian regime sentenced several protestors arrested in August protests. Iran Human Rights Monitor (HRM) reported on October 22nd reported that five young women arrested during the protests had received prison sentences of between 6 and 12 months.

Yasamin Ariani, aged 23, and 19-year-old Saba Kordafshani, will both serve one year behind bars at Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Azer Heydari will also serve one year in prison. The other two, Mozhdeh Rajabi and Niloufar Homafar, both received six-month sentences from the Iranian regime Judiciary.

The circumstances under which Yasamin Ariani was arrested prompted outrage from the Iranian public and drew condemnation from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian opposition groups.

Yasamin was arrested and taken to Quarchak Prison after helping an elderly woman who was pushed to the ground by the regime’s anti-riot police.

Harsh Sentences

The sentences appear to be part of a coordinated effort from the clerical regime to administer particularly harsh sentences on those involved in protests. Last week, the regime sentenced six supporters of MEK to between 8 and 18 years in prison. They were charged for burning the images of the regime Supreme Leader Khamenei during last year’s protests.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released a list of 18 protestors that had been arrested and sentenced for participating in the December and January protests. The protestors, all of whom are serving their prison sentences at the Great Tehran Penitentiary, were administered exceptionally harsh sentences and subject to cruel and immoral punishments.

Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was charged with three “crimes”, “spreading propaganda against the establishment”, “insulting Ali Khamenei” and “disrupting public opinion”. He received a five-year sentence and 200 lashes.

Barzan Mohammadi, a Kurdish prisoner, is serving a six-year sentence for similar crimes. He was also lashed a total of 100 times.

The full extent of the regime’s crimes against its population becomes clear when confronted with the figures of those arrested. Agents of the clerical regime arrested more than 8,000 protestors during the December and January uprisings.

Of these 8,000, at least 14 have died in custody, likely due to extensive torture and beatings at the hands of guards. Further reports emerged this month of guards using electric cattle prods, sticks, and batons to beat inmates into submission.

Several inmates have reported fractured bones and concussion.

Condemnation from International Human Rights Organisations

Amnesty International called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested during the protests. They also urged the international community to call for an “impartial and independent” investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 26-year-old Reza Otadi, who died during a protest in Karaj.

So far, the international community has remained silent and Amnesty International’s pleas have not been heard. These young women, as well as the thousands of more Iranians sitting behind bars, and their families in Iran need the international community to be their voice. How many more innocent people have to be flogged, beaten and imprisoned before Europe and the West say enough is enough?

Staff Writer

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