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Ten political prisoners were executed in Iran during 2018

International Human Rights Groups Condemn the Regime’s Unlawful Executions and Ill-Treatment of Prisoners in Iran

Ten political prisoners were executed in Iran during 2018

Photo credit Iran HRM: At least 10 political prisoners were executed by the Iranian regime under Hassan Rouhani in 2018.

Wednesday, October 10th was the World Day Against the Death Penalty and given the mullahs execute more of their own citizens per capita than any other country on earth, many human rights groups took the opportunity to turn their attention towards Iran.

From January to June 2018, the clerical regime has carried out 176 executions. Among them were political prisoners, prisoners detained on drug-re`lated charges, women, and juvenile offenders that committed their crimes under the age of 18.

The political climate in Iran is such that anyone voicing their dissent or publicly decrying the Iranian regime’s brutal campaign of violence becomes a target themselves.

During the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime executed over 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Their only crime was holding a political belief in the strength of democracy and a hope for a brighter future for Iran.

Prisoners Live in Appalling Conditions

It isn’t just the executions that concern human rights groups. Reports of prisoners living in appalling conditions are commonplace.

Many are subjected to torture. Reports of nails being ripped out, prisoners being suspended by their hands or feet, the denial of medical care, floggings, beatings, limited food and water, and denied use of a shower and toilet have emerged from Iranian prisons.

Speaking Out

Prisoners have explored avenues of drawing attention to their plight. There have been cases of hunger strikes, where in some cases prisoners have sewn their mouths shut.

One prisoner eager to share her story is Atena Daemi, currently imprisoned in Evin prison in Tehran. She is a human rights defender and recently got a letter to friends and family on the outside outlining her ill-treatment.

International human rights groups have condemned Iran’s use of the death penalty. Many are calling for an end of executions in Iran.

Others are also drawing international attention to Iran’s “grossly unfair” legal system, whereby many prisoners are tortured into signing confessions, are restricted access to their lawyers, and are often found guilty in short show trials lasting mere minutes.

Many of Iran’s prisoners do not deserve to be behind bars. But even worse, many of those heading to the gallows do not deserve to have their lives ended so prematurely, particularly the juvenile offenders who were teenagers or children at the time their crimes were committed.

A director of Amnesty International commented on the situation. They said, “by carrying out this unlawful execution, Iran is effectively declaring that it wishes to maintain the country’s shameful status as one of the world’s leading executors of those who were children at the time of their crime”.

It will rely on pressure from the international community and public outcry from Iranians to save the country’s prisoners from their plight. Only by freeing the country from the yoke of the mullahs can conditions for everyone improve.

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Truck drivers' protest continue in Iran

Iran: Truck Drivers Continue Their Strike for 18th Day, Defying Regime’s Threats of Execution

Truck drivers' protest continue in Iran

Truck Drivers’ strike continues into the third week, despite regime’s threat to punish the protesting drivers and even executing them

Wednesday marked the 18th day of the latest round of strikes by Iran’s truck drivers. The truckers are protesting the high price of replacement tires and spare parts, low pay, rising prices, corruption among officials, and increasing fees.

On Wednesday, the striking drivers gathered in front of the Governate’s office in Isfahan to protest the price of spare parts. They held signs that read, “We want lower tire and spare parts prices!”

This is the third round of strikes since May by Iran’s hardworking truck drivers. Despite earlier promises by the regime, the truckers’ demands have gone unmet, forcing the drivers to park their trucks once again.

Truck drivers play an essential role in Iran’s infrastructure, but they are not valued by the country’s corrupt regime, leaving half of Iran’s transportation workers living below the poverty line.

A video shared on social media from Fars Province showed factories loading goods onto pickup trucks because there are no trucks to take the deliveries.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, commended the truck drivers and encouraged Iran’s youth to support them in their strike.

Reports from MEK network inside Iran shows that factories are forced to load their goods into pickup trucks as a result of the ongoing strike. A video taken in Doroud, in Lorestan Province, shows parked trucks in loading terminals.

The regime’s judiciary has arrested more than 200 truck drivers since the last round of strikes began. Regime officials have threatened to use the death penalty against those who “disrupt” road regulations, calling the striking truckers “bandits.”

A court in Qazvin followed through on this threat, requesting the death penalty for 17 detained truck drivers.

The truckers’ strike has deeply impacted the lives of the truckers and their families, who were already struggling to survive on their meager salaries. With each strike, the truck drivers go without income for weeks, making their already precarious financial situations even direr. The striking truckers now also face arrest and the possibility of execution by the brutal regime. Nevertheless, the strikes continue because the drivers see no other way to protest conditions that make their jobs unsustainable.

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Gérard Deprez MEP, speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty

Friends of a Free Iran Releases Statement on World Day Against the Death Penalty

Gérard Deprez MEP, speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty

MEP Gérard Deprez, Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran Inter-Parliamentary group speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty, October 10, 2018

The 10th of October was the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty. To mark the occasion, Friends of a Free Iran issued a press statement expressing their concern over the current use of capital punishment in Iran.

A Violent and Barbaric Regime

The clerical regime carries out more executions per capita than any other regime or government on earth. The mullahs’ regime accounted for more than half of all the executions in the world in 2017.

In 2018 so far, the regime has executed more than 230 Iranian citizens, among them, were political prisoners, women, and juvenile offenders.

In just a month of September alone, Friends of a Free Iran report, 33 Iranians were hanged, including nine political prisoners, whose only crime was disagreeing with the hard-line, dogmatic ideology of the clerical regime.

Remembering 1988 Massacre of MEK Activists

2018’s World Day Against the Death Penalty holds a special significance. It marks the 30th anniversary of one of the darkest chapters of Iran’s history.

In the summer of 1988, the regime rounded up more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition, the majority of which came from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The men and women were detained, then executed on the orders of the regime’s leadership.

The most difficult part for the families of the victims, as well as MEK members today, is that those responsible for the crimes have escaped punishment. Many hold senior positions in Rouhani’s cabinet today.

The Friends of a Free Iran press release mentions Rouhani’s Justice Minister, Alireza Avaei. Avaei played a central role in the 1988 massacre. He was a member of the “death squad” that ordered and carried out many of the arrests and executions that summer.

State-Sponsored Terrorism

Friends of a Free Iran also took the opportunity to denounce the Iranian regime’s engagement in state-sponsored terrorism. 2018 has seen the clerical regime plot two plots on European soil against the MEK, both of which were foiled in the late stages.

In June, an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material. The pair were going to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris with an explosive-laden vehicle.

The terrorist plots, according to Friends of a Free Iran, represent the violent nature of the clerical regime. Its statement condemned the regime for “attacking its own people inside Iran and… planning terrorism on the [sic] European soil”.

Friends of a Free Iran lamented the silence from the European community. It urged the European heads of state to take a harder approach towards Iran.

The statement read, “we must tell Iran that any acts of terror in Europe is absolutely unacceptable and will have serious consequences”, adding, “we are disappointed that our European governments and the EU [are] still trying to be nice with this brutal regime”.

Finally, the statement implored the international community to “be on the side of the people of Iran and not with the mullahs”. Only then can Iran make progress on human rights.

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Resistance units in Iran, organized by the MEK

MEK Resistance Units Are Organizing a Revolution

Resistance units in Iran, organized by the MEK

MEK the main engine behind the protests in Iran

An article published in Mojahedin.org on Tuesday described how the  MEK and its resistance units created the foundation upon which the ongoing uprising was built. The article, written by Dr. Behrouz Puyan, political science expert from Tehran, further explains how the MEK’s resistance units will lead to a revolution that will topple the corrupt regime.
Dr. Puyan believes that the Iranian Resistance is close to toppling the mullahs’ regime and that revolution is imminent. According to Puyan, the Resistance stands so close to victory because of the work that has been done over the past four decades by the MEK.

In Dr. Puyan’s article, he wrote that Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the MEK, called for the creation of the resistance units in Iran. With these resistance units, Rajavi established bonds between people working on the revolution from within society and those revolutionaries from the core of the MEK.

This time-tested strategy has proved to be effective in the current uprising that began last December and has continued for the last ten months. The MEK’s resistance units have successfully organized and led protests and strikes across Iran, despite massive efforts by the regime to suppress the uprising. Now, according to Puyan, the MEK, has become the target of a demonization campaign by the regime and its affiliates both inside Iran and abroad.

Dr. Puyan concludes from Iran’s state-run media and quotes from regime officials that the mullahs are concerned about the MEK’s resistance units and their ability to affect the stability of the regime. Puyan notes that the regime has gone so far as to emphasize the importance of other resistance groups, hoping to downplay the influence of the
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the MEK.

Of course, though many other so-called opposition groups have now surfaced, the MEK has spent the last forty years opposing the mullahs. According to Dr. Puyan’s article, the MEK is best equipped to plan and direct the country towards a true revolution.

Dr. Puyan writes that the MEK’s organized structure allows it to influence events on the ground. He emphasizes that the regime has resorted to intimidation tactics, such as an increase in the use of torture and executions. Puyan stresses that these brutal efforts at suppression inevitably accelerate revolution.

As a result, writes Dr. Puyan, resistance units are essential in directing and organizing the revolution and breaking the atmosphere of intimidation at critical junctures.

Over the ten months of the uprising, the MEK has developed and implemented their resistance units. These teams, which now form a large network, are in direct contact with the Iranian people.

Resistance units, concluded Dr. Puyan, are injecting new life into Iranian society and propelling the uprising forward by organizing and leading the movement.

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Annual report on violations of human rights in Iran

Iran Human Rights Monitor’s Harrowing Annual Report on the Use of the Death Penalty in Iran

Annual report on violations of human rights in Iran

Photo Credit to Iran HRM: More than 3600 people have been executed under Hassan Rouhani-Zarif tenure in Iran.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released its annual report on the use of the death penalty in Iran on October 9th, 2018. The report denounced the clerical regime’s use of such brutal and barbaric punishments, which has put them among the most violent regimes in the world.

The World Leaders in Executions

The mullahs’ regime executes more people per capita than any other country on the planet. It executes a similar number of its citizens to China each year, but China’s population is more than 17 times larger than Iran’s.

What separates the clerical regime in Iran from other violent government is the ease at which it hands out capital punishment sentences. In Iran, political dissidents, religious minorities and juvenile offenders are commonly executed, with many of their crimes nothing more than political resistance.

The annual report from Iran Human Rights Monitor puts the total number of death sentences carried out under current President Hassan Rouhani at around 3,602. Of these, 34 were juvenile offenders.

Killing Iran’s Youth

Only four countries have executed juveniles since 2013. Unfortunately, Iran is one of them.

As well as the 34 juvenile offenders executed, a further 85 men and women are currently on death row for crimes they allegedly committed as a minor.

This is a clear breach of international law, which states that the death sentence “shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below 18 years of age”.

To get around this law, the Iranian regime detains the juvenile offenders until their 18th birthday, after which they are summarily executed. This year, five juvenile offenders were executed in this manner, including Mahboubeh Mofidi.

Mofidi was 20 when the regime executed her at Nowshahr prison in January. She was married at 13 and murdered her husband three years later when she was 17. Despite committing the crime as a juvenile, the regime executed her.

2018: A Bloody Year

Since January, 223 people have been executed. 35 of these were executed in public. Iran Human Rights Monitor was quick to assert that these were conservative estimates. Given many executions take place behind closed doors, it is difficult to gather an exact figure.

For the mullahs, the death penalty is not a punishment but a way of controlling the population and preserving their grip on power.

Political Dissidents

As protests spread across Iran, affecting Iran’s key trades and industries, the mullahs are increasingly awarding the death penalty to suppress the Iranian opposition. Many are arrested on the charge of being affiliated with the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

This was most recently on display in the Iranian truck drivers’ strike. After protests broke out across Iran’s major towns and cities, the mullahs were quick to threaten the strikers with execution.

Since January 2018, 10 political prisoners have been executed, despite intense pressure from international human rights groups calling for their release.

In the case of Ramin Hossein Panahi. He was executed after little more than a show trial over charges that he allegedly drew a weapon on agents of Iran’s security forces.

He was denied visitation from his lawyer and family. There was evidence that he had been tortured into signing a “confession” and was subsequently awarded the death penalty. In protest at his unfair treatment, Panahi went on hunger strike, even sewing his lips together in protest. He was executed on September 8th.

No Due Process

What makes Iran Human Rights Monitor’s findings all the more concerning is that many, as in Panahi’s case, are executed without a fair trial.

Short trials supported by confessions obtained under torture rob young Iranians of the opportunity to defend themselves. Without due process, many are convicted and sentenced to death in a matter of hours.

The conditions prisoners are held in are also inhumane and grossly unethical. Iranian death row wards are comparable to medieval scenes of torture. Many prisoners are subjected to solitary confinement for long periods at a time and are routinely tortured.

Those on death row are frequently restricted to bathing once every two months an using a toilet once every 24 hours. They are fed rations no larger than the size of the palm of a hand.

Iran Human Rights Monitor verified reports of guards pouring boiling water on prisoners, poking their genitalia with needles, pulling out prisoners’ nails, leaving prisoners in absolute darkness for up to 40 days, and hanging prisoners from their wrists or ankles.

Prisoners can spend up to a decade living in these conditions.

For the families, they hear little of the fate of their loved one. In many cases, they are only informed of the execution after it has taken place, robbing them of the opportunity to say their goodbyes.

To add insult, the regime often forces the families to pay for the noose or bullet involved in the execution of their loved one. If they do not pay, they do not receive the victim’s body.

Iran Human Rights Monitor took the opportunity to urge international human rights groups and advocates, to apply pressure to the Iranian regime to compel it to stop employing this cruel and barbaric use of the death penalty.

For a more detailed report, please refer to: https://iran-hrm.com/index.php/2018/10/08/cruel-and-inhuman-executions-in-iran/

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National Merchants strike in Iran

Merchants in Tehran and Dozens of Cities in Iran Answer the Call to Protest and Close Their Shops

National Merchants strike in Iran

Merchants in more than 50 cities in Iran go on strike to protest the sky rising prices and the plunge in rial’s value.

On Monday morning, merchants in Tehran and dozens of other cities in Iran answered last week’s call to strike and refused to open their shops. Tehran’s merchants announced last week that they were planning a strike in solidarity with Iran’s striking truck drivers. They are also protesting economic issues, including the latest plunge in the value of the rial, the increase in foreign exchange rates, rising prices, and the spread of poverty.

Iran Bazaar merchants join nationwide strike

The strike is taking place despite the regime’s days-long efforts to suppress the protests in advance.

Tehran’ carpet and gold coin markets are closed, as are the shopping centers in western Tehran and the shops on Kargar Avenue. As of 10:30 AM Monday morning in Tehran, merchants in Mashhad, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Zahedan, Orumieh (Urmia), Karaj, Gorgan, Zanjan, Arak, Baneh, Marivan, Saqqez, Paveh, Borazjan, Kazerun, Kenarak, Chabahar, Hirmand, Miandoab, Sardasht, Piranshahr, Iranshahr and Saravan have joined the strike.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council is Resistance of Iran (NCRI), applauded the striking merchants and said that the strike shows that the Iranian people want a change in regime.

Mrs. Rajavi said that the strike is part of the nationwide uprising by the people of Iran that has the goal of overthrowing the corrupt regime and restoring democratic rule to the country.

The Iranian regime authorities blame MEK and its resistance units for the popular protests that have been taking place throughout Iran.

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Truck driver's strike continues in to third week

Iran’s Truck Driver Strike Enters its Third Week

Truck driver's strike continues in to third week

Iran’s truck drivers strike enters its third week, despite regime’s repressive measures including the arrest of dozens of drivers.

Despite threats to their liberty and lives, the truck drivers of Iran have continued their strike into its third week. The strike has spread rapidly across the country, now engulfing 310 towns and cities across the country, including Tehran, and towns in Fars province, Isfahan, Lorestan, West Azerbaijan, and Hamedan, amongst others, reports by MEK‘s network inside Iran.

Significant numbers of striking drivers have been detained by regime officials. The Fars province Judiciary announced that 35 drivers had been arrested. In Isfahan, the figure was 13. At least a further 168 drivers have been arrested in other parts of the country, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

The drivers are being charged with crimes such as “disrupting the flow of transportation” and “provoking drivers to strike”.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

The regime’s Chief Prosecutor, Montazeri, threatened the striking drivers with execution two weeks ago. Mullah Larijani echoed his comments, asserting that those involved would be severely punished.

But still, in a remarkable display of courage, the striking drivers have turned out in force, with far-reaching results. Because around 90% of Iran’s goods are transported via the country’s elaborate network of roads, the truck drivers’ strike has been crippling for the Iranian economy.

Iran’s Truck Driver’s Strike Continues to Cripple Iran

The state-run news agency has used the success of the strike to attack the strikers. Fars News Agency accused the drivers of “causing dissatisfaction in the population”, and of harming the country’s economy.

But it is not the drivers harming the economy, it is the mullahs themselves. The strikers are protesting exorbitant insurance premiums and logistics costs, rampant corruption among regime officials, arbitrary tolls and taxes, and ever decreasing wages. If the mullahs took steps to end this rampant abuse of power, the striking truck drivers would return to work and the Iranian economy could continue to turn over.

The price of spare parts for trucks has increased by more than 600% in recent times. Many truckers cannot afford to replace tires, putting them out of work. Even when they do earn, the plummeting value of the rial means few are able to earn a livable wage.

When the truckers are working, road conditions have deteriorated to the point that many are unsafe and cause further damage to the trucks. Which means more expensive repairs, keeping truck drivers in a perpetual spiral of poverty.

In an attempt to break the strike, the regime made false promises. In footage released from Bandar Abbas Terminal, plainclothes regime agents can be seen disseminating falsehoods in an attempt to get the striking drivers to return to work.

Maryam Rajavi’s Message of Support

The President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, pledged her support for the striking drivers. She urged the general public to stand with them in a gesture of solidarity.

The leader of Iran’s main opposition also condemned the regime’s repressive and violent response to the strikes. She cited the arrests and violence as a sign of the regime’s vulnerability.

Maryam Rajavi also reminded the public that the mullahs are to blame for Iran’s plunder and economic demise. Their thieving and mismanagement created this situation, not the brave Iranians taking to the streets in protest.

Finally, she urged human rights organizations to pressure the regime to free those arrested. She also implored the international community to reject Hassan Rouhani and his violent and criminal regime from the international community. There should be no place for barbarians and human rights abusers among the international heads of state.

Staff Writer

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French authorities confirm the Iranian regime's responsibility over the foiled terror attempt in Paris

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

French authorities confirm the Iranian regime's responsibility over the foiled terror attempt in Paris

Three months after the foiled terror France confirms the Iranian Regime was Behind the attack.

In response to the Iranian regime’s involvement in a terror plot against the Iranian opposition at a rally in Paris, French authorities froze assets held by several suspects. The plot, due to be carried out in late June, involved a Belgian-Iranian couple using an explosive-laden vehicle to attack the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering.

The French government was unambiguous in its condemnation of the Iranian regime. A diplomatic source told Reuters that the assets were frozen after a “long, meticulous and detailed investigation by our [intelligence] services”.

Following the investigation, Paris concluded, “without any doubt, that responsibility fell on the Iranian Intelligence Ministry”.

The French government’s investigation has been collaborated by separate investigations undertaken in Vienna, Brussels, and Berlin.

Who are the suspects?

Among the Iranians with assets frozen is a diplomat, Assadollah Assadi. He was working in the Iranian embassy in Vienna, Austria, at the time of the attack, and is allegedly responsible for providing the Belgian-Iranian couple with the explosives. Assadi was later arrested by German authorities and extradited to Belgium, where he could face trial.

The other frozen assets belonging to the Internal Security Department in Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence including, the Deputy Minister of Intelligence, Saeed Hashemi Muqaddam.

Along with freezing assets, French anti-terrorism units raided a Shia center in the town of Dunkirk. The anti-terror unit believed the center was in “clear support for several terrorist organizations”.

The mullahs’ response has been odd

Following the French authorities’ crackdown on Iranian-linked accounts and outspoken accusations against the Iranian clerical regime, the mullahs appeared unphased.

Iranian regime’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bahram Ghasemi, said, “if there is a misunderstanding… about a thing that does not exist, be it a conspiracy by others or a mistake, we can sit down and talk about it”.

The “misunderstanding” he is referring to could be incredibly costly. France was among one of Europe’s biggest advocates for salvaging the Iranian nuclear deal, a deal Tehran is fighting to keep alive.

The French Government Seizes Iranian Assets Over This Summer’s Foiled Terror Attack

The evidence linking the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence to the failed terror attack in Paris could have grave consequences to Iranian-French relations, and in turn, cause the nuclear deal to slip through Khamenei and Rouhani’s grasp.

International Condemnation

The French government have not been the only ones condemning the actions of the Iranian leadership. British MPs, former Italian ministers, and former members of the US Senate have also condemned the actions of the Iranian regime as a clear violation of international law.

Speaking at a conference last week, the men urged the European heads of state to take a tougher stance against Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism both in the Middle East and in Europe.

The regime’s state-sponsored terrorism is even undermining its own objectives. It is further isolating Iran at a time when Iran needs all the economic support it can get following the reintroduction of US sanctions.

The mullahs are on a dangerous path. Continuing to involve themselves in terror plots on European soil will only leave them in a more precarious situation. The nuclear agreement will be the worst of their worries when the heads of Europe side with the US and leave Rouhani without a lifeline in the economic wilderness.

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Teacher's imprisonment in Iran

Iran: Jailed Teachers Criticize Regime in Open Letter on World Teachers Day

Teacher's imprisonment in Iran

Teachers in Iran are being suppressed and denied their rights, including a fair pay. Many teachers have been arrested and are imprisoned as a result.

October 5th marked the 70th anniversary of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that established education as a fundamental right. It was also World Teachers Day, a day set aside to honor teachers and their valuable contributions to the future of society.

On this occasion, imprisoned Iranian teachers Esmail Abdi and Mahmoud Beheshti Langeroudi, both of whom are currently detained in Evin Prison, penned an open letter to Iran’s teachers.

The two educators wished Iranian teachers a happy World Teachers Day and then described the ways that teachers’ rights have been trampled by the Iranian regime. They wrote that “the right to independent unions, separated from the government and political parties, the right to protest and go on strike and practice freedom of speech which is the minimum rights of teachers and wage earners have been violated for years by all the administrations of the Islamic Republic.”

Esmail Abdi, a 44-year-old high school teacher, and Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi were both members of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA). Abdi was Secretary General of the organization before he began his six year prison term. Langroudi was the ITTA’s spokesperson. He was given a five-year prison sentence for “assembling and colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the state.”

MEK sources inside Iran report that teachers live under the poverty line and that those who form unions to stand up for their rights are jailed and prosecuted. According to human rights advocates, a number of teachers are currently imprisoned for exercising their right to protest.

On World Teachers Day, activists held a protest to help draw attention to the plight of these imprisoned teachers. A video on social media shows a female teacher with a sign saying, “Esmail Abdi must be released.” Other protesters can be seen in the video holding pictures of jailed Iranian teachers.

“Every year, the budget ratified for education only suffices to pay for basic expenses and the teachers’ salaries, which are already half the poverty line,” said teachers’ activist Mojgan Bagheri in a September 26th interview with the state-run Salamat News website.

Seyed Mohammad Javad Abtahi, member of the regime’s Parliament’s Education and Research Committee agreed, adding, “The livelihood of teachers hired by the Education Ministry is also far from decent. Teachers are struggling to earn their living and at the same time fulfill their professional obligations… In a good educational system, teachers must enjoy the most value and importance… However, this has not happened for Iranian teachers and they face a plethora of problems, particularly economic problems.”

Teachers in Iran are paid poverty wages, and most work on temporary contracts. Teachers do not receive benefits, and they frequently go for months without receiving their salaries.

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The new UN human rights commissioner condemns the execution of a Juvenile offender

U.N. High Commissioner Condemns Execution of Iranian Juvenile Offender/Domestic Violence Victim

The new UN human rights commissioner condemns the execution of a Juvenile offender

Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemns the execution of Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran. She called for an end to the execution of the juveniles.

On Friday, Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the execution of Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran and called for an end to the execution of juvenile offenders. The 24-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman was executed on October 2, 2018. She was only 17 when she was arrested for the murder of her husband.

In a statement about the execution, High Commissioner Bachelet said, “The sheer injustice in the case of Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran is deeply distressing. The serious question marks over her conviction appear not to have been adequately addressed before she was executed.”

 

Lokran was executed despite pleas from Amnesty International to halt her execution, as well as appeals from the U.N. Special Rapporteurs and the U.N. Secretary-General dating back to her conviction in October 2014.

 

Lokran was arrested in February 2012 and tortured by police over a 20 day period before confessing to the murder of her husband. She later recanted her confession and said that her husband’s brother, whom she said raped her repeatedly, committed the murder and promised to pardon her if she took the blame for his crime. Lokran, who was forced into marriage at the age of 15, further said that she had endured months of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her husband and he had refused to grant her a divorce.

Lokran was refused access to an attorney until her trial, and authorities refused to investigate her claims of domestic abuse and rape. The court also refused to investigate her claim that she was coerced into a confession.

High Commissioner Bachelet condemned the execution of Lokran and spoke out about Iran’s use of the death penalty against juveniles in general. “As a State party to both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has an obligation to abide by their provisions and to end the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders,”

Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran is the 84th woman to be executed under regime President Rouhani. She is an example of the poor treatment of women under the regime, particularly those in rural villages, many of whom were forced into marriage before the age of 18. She is also an example of the way religious and ethnic minorities are treated in Iran’s legal system. It is common for Iranian Kurdish citizens as well as other ethnicities in Iran to be denied legal representation and coerced into false confessions.

The MEK is organizing the Iranian Resistance movement to fight for an alternative to the existing regime. Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran should not have had to marry at age 15. She should not have been abused or raped. She should not have been tortured or coerced into a false confession. She should not have been denied an attorney, and she should not have been executed.

High Commissioner Bachelet summed up her statement with these words: “The bottom line is that she was a juvenile at the time the offense was committed and international law clearly prohibits the execution of juvenile offenders.”

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