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Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Haft-Tappeh,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Iran protests in Haft-Tappeh

MEK: Haft Tappeh and Ahavaz Steel Workers Take to the Streets in Protest

Iran protests in Haft-Tappeh

The people of the city of Shush (SouthWest Iran) take it to the street to object the Iranian regime’s repressive measures against Haft-Tappeh workers.

On Saturday, November 17th, people gathered for a demonstration outside the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Mill in Shush. Amongst the crowd was students, workers, women, and families, as they marched from the mill to the governorate office.

The protestors showed defiance in the face of extreme suppression and violent threats from the regime. The mullahs had deployed riot police and other security measures across the city, reminding protestors of the constant dangers of living under one of the world’s most repressive regimes.

As they walked, the protestors came together in chants of, “we are workers of the Haft Tappeh, we are hungry, hungry”. Some of their other chants were directed at the regime itself. Many shouted, “down with the oppressor”, “the betrayal of the authorities must be announced”, and, “we do not want incompetent officials”.

A Population Racked with Poverty

The workers from Haft Tappeh, like so many other segments of the Iranian workforce, are facing unemployment, poverty and widespread hunger.

When the crowd reached the governate office, they put up empty tables, symbolic of the tables in their homes which lie empty when the workers cannot afford to feed their families.

The Haft Tappeh workers have been on strike in protest over unpaid wages and the unnecessary privatization of the company.

Reports by the MEK network inside Iran indicate that the sugar workers of Haft Tappeh were not alone in their protests of Saturday. At the same time, steelworkers in Ahvaz also gathered in front of their governorate offices in protest at four months’ worth of unpaid wages.

They called for payment of their wages, better working conditions, and occupational safety. Their slogans also attacked the regime and expressed solidarity for their brothers and sisters striking outside Haft Tappeh.

They read, “steel, Haft Tappeh, unity, unity”, and, “down with this deceiver government”.

Support from the Iranian Resistance

Both of the strikes drew support from the Iranian opposition movement.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, issued a statement of support for the demonstrators, particularly the women who had braved the regime’s threats and turned out anyway.

Rajavi said, “leadership of women in the strikes of Iranian teachers and workers is a pride and flares up the flames of uprising and justice”. She added that the workers in Haft Tappeh and Ahvaz Steel were a voice for freedom and justice in Iran.

Finally, Ms. Rajavi and the MEK called on Iran’s youth to rise up in support of these brave men and women at Haft Tappeh and Ahvaz Steel. She also called on international human rights organizations and trade unions to lend their support.

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Teacher's protest in Iran

Iran: 12 Teachers Arrested and 30 Interrogated Following Two-day Strike

Teacher's protest in Iran

Nationwide teacher’s strike in Iran to protest the low pay, and the arrest of fellow colleagues for protesting regime’s repressive measure against teachers

Twelve teachers were arrested and another thirty were summoned and interrogated by police following the two-day nationwide strike by Iranian teachers.

The Teachers’ Trade Organizations’ Coordination Council released a statement on Thursday about the arrests. The statement, which was published on the trade union’s Telegram account, read:

“Activists were summoned to the Intelligence Agency, Revolutionary Guards Corps Intelligence Department, Protection Agencies and Security Police in almost all the provinces that participated in the strikes. At least 30 activists, including Eskandar Lotfi, a member of the Iran Teachers’ Coordination Council, were summoned and interrogated, while more than 50 threatening messages were received by activists.”

According to the Council, the November strikes were intended to pressure the regime to implement promised reforms and end mismanagement of the educational system. The teachers went on strike in spite of the regime’s threats and its history of arresting and imprisoning teacher activists.

The Teachers’ Trade Organizations’ Coordination Council condemned the crackdown on activists and the arrests of teachers, warning that the regime could face consequences for these arrests. They then called for the release of the arrested teachers and an end to its practice of arbitrarily. arresting union members.

Their statement read: “It is obvious that if the suppression continues, the Coordination Council deems necessary the right hold legal protests based on the constitution.”

The nationwide strikes by Iran’s teachers took place on November 13th and November 14th to protest low pay, the regime’s failure to implement policy changes, and poor benefits. The teachers also demanded the release of their colleagues who were arrested during the previous round of strikes in October.

The nationwide strikes spread quickly, with 40 cities taking part in the protest on the second day. Since the popular uprising began in Iran last December, the MEK has mobilized protests across the country. MEK’s resistance units, have allowed protests to grow and spread before the regime can suppress them. It has also allowed activists to gets news of the Resistance outside of the country to supporters.

The following is a list of those who have been arrested, according to reports from the Teachers’ Trade Organizations’ Coordination Council and other activist groups:

  • Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, Secretary of the Iran Teachers’ Trade Association in North Khorasan Province, was arrested on Monday after his home was raided.
  • Saied Hagh Parast, Ali Forotan, Hamidreza Rajaie, and Hossein Ramezanpour were arrested. They are board members of the North Khorasan Teachers’ Association.
  • Pirouz Nami and Ali Korushat were detained in Khuzestan Province. They are both activists.
  • Mohammad Robati and Ms. Vaezi were arrested in Shirvan.
  • Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Mohammad Kord and Fatemeh Bahmani were arrested in Fars and Arak.

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Human rights record in Iran

Nobody is Exempt from the Regime’s Violent Punishments

Human rights record in Iran

Archive Photo: The crude scene of a public hanging in Iran.

The clerical regime in Iran remains among the most and violent dictatorships on earth. Only China carries out more executions per year than Iran, and the country has a population 17 times larger than Iran’s.

The mullahs execute more people per capita than any other country in the planet and according to figures released by Amnesty International, more than half of all the executions that take place each year take place in Iran.

Nobody is exempt

The regime in Tehran is ruthless in its application of the death penalty. Nobody is spared including juvenile offenders and women.

Among the worst targeted are ethnic and religious minorities and political dissidents. Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 3,602 executions carried out under current President Hassan Rouhani. Among them were 34 juvenile offenders, 84 women, and 86 political dissidents.

Iran is among a handful of countries on earth that executes young offenders. There are currently 85 individuals on death row for crimes they committed as a minor. The regime detains young offenders until they reach the age of 18. Then they execute them.

In one recent case, the regime executed Mahboubeh Mofidi, a 20-year-old accused of murdering her abusive husband when she was 17. She had been forced to marry the man when she was just 13.

In 2018 alone, 223 people have met their end at the hands of the regime, including 6 individuals who were executed for crimes they committed under the age of 18.

Many of the executions were carried out in prisons or behind closed doors. However, 35 were carried out in front of the public.

The death penalty is a tool for the regime

The regime uses the death penalty as a political tool to cement its position in power. When anti-regime protests and strikes occur, the mullahs are quick to remind the public that they are not just risking their liberty in protesting, they are risking their lives.

Most recently, when truck driver protests erupted across Iran’s towns and cities, the regime threatened the striking drivers with the death penalty. According to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the regime’s Chief Prosecutor, General Montazeri, personally threatened the striking drivers.

Silencing the Opposition

The death penalty is widely employed against members of the political opposition. In 2018, 10 political prisoners have been executed, several of which were denied a fair trial.

Ramin Hossein Panahi was executed in early September over allegations he pulled a gun on Iranian security agents. He confessed to his crimes, but his family suggested that in court he showed signs of torture on his body. He subsequently went on hunger strike in Rahaei Shahr prison in protest at his circumstances.

Three Condemned for Corruption after Bloody Month of Executions

A similar story occurred in the case of Mohammad Salas. The 51-year-old was accused of killing three police officers. The only piece of evidence connecting him with the murder was a confession he allegedly made from his hospital bed. He was denied access to a lawyer throughout the proceedings and was sentenced to death last March.

Prisoner’s on death row also report horrifying and brutal conditions. Many report prolonged periods of solitary confinement and tortures akin to those used in Medieval Europe, including scalding with boiling water, pushing needles into their genitals, hanging prisoners by their wrists and ankles, pulling out prisoners’ fingernails, and floggings.

When prisoners are finally taken to the gallows, often their families are not informed, giving them any opportunity to say goodbye.

To add insult, the families are often billed for the noose used in the hanging, or the bullet used to shoot them. They are often prevented from retrieving the victim’s body until the debt has been paid in full.

Iran Human Rights Monitor, as well as the MEK and other Iranian opposition groups, call on human rights advocates around the world to use their position to pressure the Iranian regime to abandon this barbaric and outdated form of punishment.

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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.

Staff Writer

 

 

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College students protest in Iran

Multiple Groups Protest Regime in Cities across Iran

College students protest in Iran

Protests in Iran on the surge-College students protest across in Iran

Protests are spreading across Iran, with multiple groups taking to the streets to protest against the corrupt regime, based reports from the MEK network inside Iran. Iran’s economy is in free fall, due to the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, as well as crippling U.S. sanctions.

Students’ Protests

On Sunday, students from Tehran’s Teachers University marched in protest of the University’s privatization policies.

The students held signs with a list of their demands:

  • Changing the current administrative norms.
  • Eliminate temporary extensions;
  • Present full and free courses for fifth term students based on orders issued by the Ministry of Sciences.
  • Cancel all plans aimed at forcing students to evacuate the dormitory and provide necessities.
  • Close all disciplinary dossiers launched against students.
    Guarantee the implementation of Ministry of Sciences’ orders.
  • Station inspectors on campus to guarantee adequate dormitory conditions.
  • Sack the Student Department officials.
  • Create transparent measures to provide adequate food at the campus’ self-service branch.
  • Launch Q&A sessions with students for college officials to respond to their demands and issues raised.

Students at Tehran’s Open University protested the “Guidance Police” on their campus. The protesting students blocked the units from their patrols. Four students were arrested and many others had their cameras confiscated for recording the protest. According to reports, one unit almost ran over a female student during the protest.

Retired Bank Employees’ Protests

On Saturday, retired bank employees from across Iran gathered outside of the Banks Retiree Fund office in Tehran to protest against their low pensions. The retired employees chanted: “Our pensions are far below the poverty line!”

One protester said, “We retired bank employees, in our senior ages, are facing many difficulties. Seeking answers to our demands of having our pensions increased is now added to that.”

The bank retirees say that they do not make enough money to cover their basic needs and that their pensions place them below the poverty line.

Credit Firm Clients’ Protests

On Thursday, clients of the Padideh credit firm protested outside of the provincial office in Mashhad to demand the return of their stolen savings. The authorities feared that the protest would spread and attempted to suppress the rally. They attacked the protesters and arrested a number of them. People at the scene protested these repressive measures.

On Saturday, clients of the Talaye Thamen credit company protested in Tehran for the return of their stolen savings. One banner demanded the prosecution of figures in the Gold Union and Ministry of Industry.

Farmers’ Protest

On Friday, farmers in Jozdan, near Najaf Abad, central Iran, protested authorities not responding to their earlier demands by parking their tractors and blocking the town’s main road.

Street Vendors’ Protest

On Thursday, street vendors in Karaj marched in protest of police brutality and confiscation of their goods by authorities. The vendors chanted, “Death to IRGC Basij members!”

Security forces attacked anyone who recorded the march, arrested them, and confiscated some of their phones in order to erase photos and videos.

With Iran’s economy in free fall, the people have become restless and angry. The mullahs have no viable plan to address the many problems facing the country and are struggling to hold onto their power with acts of intimidation and suppression. The Iranian people will no longer be intimidated.

Staff Writer

 

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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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Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Regime Officials Predict Riots and Revolt on State Media

 

Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Photo Credit: The Media Express- Iranian-Americans gathered in New York protest against the Iranian regime president invitation to the United Nations, calling for regime change in Iran-September 2018

A recent analysis published at the official website of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that regime officials fear that the people will revolt and overthrow the regime. Iran’s economy has taken a nose-dive, while the Iranian Resistance movement, led by the MEK, has gained momentum. Regime officials are terrified that these two factors will lead to the end of the mullahs’ regime.

The MEK came to this conclusion through close scrutiny of recent comments by regime officials in state media. A large number of the comments made contained dire warnings about the future of the regime, using words such as “enemy,” “mistrust,” “dangerous times,” and “current conditions.”

Regime Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi openly discussed the ramifications of the “social gap” and the “trust gap” caused by his own regime. In an October 12th interview on state-run TV, he said:

“What will become even more transparent these days is the social gap between various classes. We are facing a reality that there is a trust gap, with people knowing officials will not live up to their pledges. We shouldn’t deny this. Why should we? The reason is that they see our actions differ from our words, and this is seen in different fields of work.”

Regime economic expert Hossein Raghfar spoke of his concern that the economic crisis in Iran will lead to food shortages, further uprisings, and an eventual revolt by the people.

Raghfar said:

“Those who are living on subsidies, they have nothing. We are heading towards riots. These riots are due to economic insecurity. Workers who haven’t been paid, how are they supposed to provide for themselves…and this leads to riots. All these riots will be taking shape.”

Raghfar is right to worry about a revolt. The economic crisis is due to decades of corruption and mismanagement by the regime. U.S. sanctions have aggravated a problem that was ongoing when the current uprising began last December. The people are angry, and they are ready to overthrow the mullahs.

Raghfar expressed concern that the pressure from the economic crisis might manifest as mental health issues, such as depression. This has been true for many years under the repressive Iranian regime. He also worried that petty crime would increase as a result of economic insecurity.

“A worker that doesn’t get paid has no solution but to revolt,” he commented.

Raghfar also fretted about the so-called “brain drain,” which is a process in which the country’s most talented citizens leave Iran to find better opportunities elsewhere, leaving the already-struggling regime with few people with the ability to address its problems.

He went on: “There will be other riots, seen in the country’s brain drain. There will also be riots against themselves, such as suicides. Other people will be suffering from psychological damage, such as depression. This is another kind of riot in and of itself. And yet another riot is the rise in crime.”

Finally, Raghfar predicted that Iran’s inflation rate could rise to 80-90% by the end of the year, which would likely signal the end of the regime.

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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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Urumia prison

Political Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike Following A Brutal Attack from Guards

Urumia prison

Urumia Prison, one of the Iranian regime’s most notorious prisons in Iran

On Tuesday the 16th of October, dozens of political prisoners in Urmia Central Prison’s wards 12 and 13 suffered a brutal and bloody attack at the hands of the prison guards.

Reports from MEK network inside Iran indicate that the prisoners’ captors beat them with batons, electrocuted them with cattle prods, and deployed tear gas against the political dissidents. At least one prisoner suffered a broken nose in the altercation. It is believed that none of the prisoners received medical attention following the incident.

The guards also attacked at least eight prisoners in the prison’s youth ward.

Meeting Violence with Stoicism

Following the violence on Tuesday, at least 60 prisoners from ward 12 have gone on hunger strike. They were joined by 12 of their peers the following day, bringing the total number of prisoners on hunger strike up to 72.

Senior prisoners have been spotted at Urmia prison. It is believed they are attempting to negotiate with the prisoners to end their hunger strike.

A judge also summoned three inmates to discuss the hunger strike. The prisoners have confirmed they have nothing to say and instead urged the judge to come to the prison to hold discussions there.

Appalling Living Conditions

The inmates in Urmia Central Prison are routinely subjected to horrifying and appalling living conditions. They are deprived of even basic medical attention. In the last month alone, three political prisoners have perished inside the prison.

Dozens of political prisoners go on hunger strike after prison guards’ attack

They are also routinely exposed to beatings like the one which occurred on Tuesday. On October 8th, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) reported that one inmate, Morteza Zohr-Ali, was beaten so badly he fractured his hand.

A few months previously, Javad Shirazi, a young offender housed in the prison’s youth ward, was hospitalized after suffering a concussion.

It is worth noting that these beatings are not the result of a handful of rogue and corrupt guards but stem from a malicious and concerted effort from the prison and regime leadership to instill fear and repression among the inmates.

In April, a prisoner named Safeed Nouri was severely beaten by two guards while he stood in the office of the prison’s internal manager.

The international community cannot continue to endorse and do business with a regime that so blatantly abuses its prison population with so little regard for their basic human rights. It is up to international human rights groups, along with the governments of the West to apply pressure on Hassan Rouhani and his tyrannical regime to end its bloody campaign of violence against its own population.

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Iran uses child-soldiers vastly in Syrian fronts

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Financial Institutions, Regime’s Use of Child Soldiers

Iran uses child-soldiers vastly in Syrian fronts

Child – Soldiers are being used by the Iranian regime on Syria’s war fronts.

Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, recently tweeted about some of the new sanctions targeting the Iranian regime’s financial institutions. In an October 16th tweet from her official State Department account, she wrote:

“U.S. Treasury sanctioned a vast financial network supporting the Iran regime’s despicable practice of using child soldiers —as young as 12. The regime uses Afghan children as the ‘first wave’ in Syria, resulting in higher casualty rates.”

The United States imposed sanctions on a network of financial institutions and companies who do business with or otherwise provide support to the Iranian regime’s paramilitary Basij force, citing gross human rights abuses and criminal acts.

The sanctions, which were imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department, encompass twenty regime banks and companies. According to a report from Agence France-Presse, all of these banks and businesses were sanctioned for their support of the regime’s militias.

A Far-reaching Web

Among the list of sanctioned institutions is Mehr Eqtesad Bank, which used to operate under the name of Gharz-al Hasana Mehr Basijian. Mehr Eqtesad Bank is associated with Bonyad-e Taavon Basij, which translates to Basij Cooperative Foundation. This bank’s ties to the Basij Forces can literally be found in the names of its associates.

Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company also faces sanctions from the U.S. It owns shares in Mobarakeh Steel Company in Esfahan, which is the largest steelmaker in the Middle East and North Africa. The company also owns shares in Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMC), which is also a target of the new sanctions.

Mehr Eqtesad may harm other Iranian regime-affiliated companies as well. It owns shares in a number of other companies, including Iralco, Sadra, Jaber Ebne Hayyan Pharmaceutical Company. U.S. sanctions could affect any company associated with an institution that is targeted, meaning that a wide network of Iranian companies will likely face harsh economic penalties for their association with those who are under direct sanctions. Sanctions on Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company are likely to further damage Iran’s already struggling economy.

The U.S. Won’t Fund Recruitment of Child Soldiers

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says that sanctions are necessary to cut off financial support for institutions that fund the Basij in their recruitment of child soldiers.

“The Bonyad Taavon Basij network is an example of how the IRGC and Iranian military forces have expanded their economic involvement in major industries and infiltrated seemingly legitimate businesses to fund terrorism and other malign activities.  This vast network provides financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction,” Mnuchin explained.

Protests among many sectors of Iranian society have been taking place since last December as dissatisfaction with the corrupt and brutal regime rises. Economic ruin has driven thousands of Iranians into the streets to protest even before sanctions were announced earlier this year with the help of the MEK’s Resistance Units and a growing sense of outrage over the regime’s failure to address human rights, poverty, or foreign meddling, the people are close to reclaiming Iran.

Companies Under Sanction

The following is a list of companies that have been subjected to new sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department:

  • Andisheh Mehvaran Investment Company
  • Bahman Group
  • Bandar Abbas Zinc Production Company
  • Mellat Bank
  • Bonyad Taavon Basij,
  • Calcimine company
  • Isfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company
  • Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMC)
  • Iran’s Zinc Mines Development Company (IZMDC)
  • Mehr Eghtesad Bank
  • Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company
  • Negin Sahel Royal Company
  • Parsian Bank
  • Parsian Catalyst Chemical Company
  • Qeshm Zinc Smelting and Reduction Company
  • Sina Bank
  • Tadbirgaran Atiyeh Investment Company
  • Taktar Investment Company
  • Technostar Engineering Company
  • Zanjan Acid Production Company

Staff Writer

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