Posts Tagged ‘Iran human rights’

Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Political Prisoners,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

A session of the Iranian regime's parliament

Regime Drafts Amendment to Deny Detainees Legal Representation

A session of the Iranian regime's parliament

Iranian regime’s parliament building in Tehran

Last week the Iranian regime’s legal and judicial parliamentary commission finalized a draft amendment that would make it legal to deny detainees charged with certain crimes access to legal representation while their cases are being investigated. The amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure will be voted on in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) in the near future.

The amendment denies attorneys to those charged with “national security” offenses, a term that encompasses a variety of activities the regime perceived as a threat to its rule. Political dissidents, journalists, human rights activists, and lawyers are among those who are often charged with national security crimes. MEK supporters are often charged with national security offenses for peaceful resistance activities.

 

The amendment would effectively deny these detainees the right to counsel, adding to the list of grave human rights violations perpetrated by the clerical regime.

Amnesty International’s Response

Amnesty International stated that the “regressive piece of draft legislation,” if passed, would put Iran in violation of its obligations under international law because it would legally deny defendants the right to a lawyer in a number of different criminal investigations.

Amnesty International also expressed concern that passage of the bill would serve to justify the regime’s use of torture and abuse of detainees.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, was grim in his assessment of the effects of the amendment. He said: “If passed by MPs it would be a crushing blow to Iran’s already deeply defective justice system and could further consolidate patterns of torture and other ill-treatment against detainees to extract forced confessions during interrogations.”

Luther added that the denial of legal counsel is particularly disturbing when the individual affected faces an irreversible punishment such as amputation or execution.

2015 Provision

The current amendment is the latest effort by the regime to deny its citizens basic rights while they are in custody. In 2015, Majlis passed a provision to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which forced detainees charged with certain crimes to choose their lawyers from a list approved by the judiciary chief. The regime has neglected to even allow detainees this limited right, and many prisoners have been denied any legal representation at all.

 

The regime has no problem ignoring its own laws, but by creating an amendment that openly flouts international law, it opens itself to scrutiny. The international community must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its human rights violations and demand that it comply with international law.

 

The denial of legal representation to political prisoners is yet another attempt by the repressive regime to prevent a widespread rebellion. These suppressive tactics have not worked in the past and have only served to remind the Iranian people of why it is so necessary to continue to fight for regime change. The mullahs fail to understand that the tactics that have caused the people to rise up will not work to suppress them. The only thing that will end the protests and unrest in the country is the end of the clerical regime.

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Mostafa PourMohammadi's criminal record

Regime Official Claims Iranian People Are “Better off than Europe”

Mostafa PourMohammadi's criminal record

Photo credit to Iran-HRM.com, briefly explains the criminal record of Pour Mohammadi, former “Justice” Minister of the regime.

Last week, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the regime’s  Secretary-General of the Combatant Clergy Association denied the suffering of the Iranian people, saying,” Today, our people are better off than Europe in terms of welfare.”

“Iran’s poverty is not out of hunger. It is rather a deficiency of welfare and desirable employment because expectations are based on new demands,” Pourmohammadi added.

The shocking statement came during a May 15th meeting with clerical leaders and was intended to counter growing unrest in the country over skyrocketing inflation and widespread poverty. Pourmohammadi’s claims were based on the false premise that Iranians feel poor not because they have been deprived of basic necessities, but because they have unreasonable expectations.

Pourmohammadi, who served as the regime Minister of Interior from 2005 to 2008 and also headed the General Inspectorate Office, is either willfully ignorant of the regime’s own statistics on Iran’s current economic state or he is choosing to ignore them. According to figures from regime officials, 80% of the Iranian population live below the poverty line.

The economic crisis in Iran has caused massive unrest across the country, and the regime has done nothing to address it. Labor activists say that the minimum wage in Iran is half of the line of poverty. For example, in Tehran, the poverty line for a family of four is four million Tomans (currently about 260 USD). The minimum wage is 1.8 million Tomans (about 170 USD), less than half of the poverty line.

Compounding the issue is the fact that many workers do not receive their paychecks for months at a time. Factory workers, teachers, railway workers, construction workers, healthcare workers, and municipal workers have all protested for payment of their overdue wages over the past year. The regime has responded to these strikes and protests with violent suppression, conducting midnight raids of workers’ homes and arresting peaceful protesters.

Faced with no other options, some Iranians have been forced to sell their organs to make ends meet. Others have been driven to suicide. If Pourmohammadi’s definition of “new demands” are the expectations that a job will pay its employees for their work and that the wages from that job will cover basic needs, then he is correct that the Iranian people have expectations that are not being met.

Who is Mostafa Pourmohammadi?

Pourmohammadi’s remarks are best understood in the context of his past actions. In 2013, the cleric was appointed to the position of Minister of Justice. Pourmohammadi said that he hoped “to promote justice” at the Ministry.

Pourmohammadi’s appointment to Minister of Justice was a slap in the face to the family members of thousands of political prisoners who were executed on his orders.

In the summer of 1988, Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, issued a fatwa ordering the executions of all imprisoned MEK members. He formed three-person “death committees” to carry out trials that lasted only minutes. Each committee consisted of an Islamic judge, a Ministry of Intelligence Representative, and a state prosecutor.

Pourmohammadi was the Ministry of Intelligence Representative on Tehran’s death committee. Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri stated that Pourmohammadi was “the representative of the Ministry of Intelligence in charge of questioning prisoners in Evin Prison.”

Montazeri, who later expressed remorse for his role in the massacre, said that Pourmohammadi was a “central figure” in the mass executions of 1988.

Pourmohammadi has expressed no such remorse. In 2016, he said that he was “proud to have carried out God’s commandment concerning the People’s Mojahedin of Iran.”

“I am at peace and have not lost any sleep all these years because I acted in accordance with law and Islam,” he added.

30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members, were executed during a single summer in 1988. None of the perpetrators have ever faced justice for their roles in the massacre.

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23 Prisoners on row in Fashafoyeh Prison for hand amputation

23 Prisoners Languish in Prisons Awaiting Hand Amputations

23 Prisoners on row in Fashafoyeh Prison for hand amputation

Fashafoyeh Prison, one of the most horrific prisons in Iran.

In Greater Tehran’s Fashafoyeh Prison, twenty-three prisoners convicted of theft are awaiting hand amputations, with one prisoner expected to undergo the procedure in the next few days.

Alireza Khan Baluchi, convicted of theft seven years ago, has had his case sent to the Sentence Implementation Department, which will carry out the forced amputation. Baluchi has already returned the stolen property to the victim.

Brutal Punishments for Petty Crimes

Baluchi is not alone. Across Iran, every year convicted criminals receive harsh sentences of lashing and amputation for petty crimes. Between 2007 and 2011, the Iranian regime sentences 215 thieves to amputation sentences. It carried out around 125 of those sentences, six of which took place in public. Most of those who receive amputation sentences have been convicted on charges of stealing property worth 10 million tomans or less (US$600).

The regime’s attorney general is a fierce supporter of the barbaric practice. Following the regime’s decreased use of amputation as a punishment in the wake of the heavy international backlash, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri called the decline “unfortunate”.

“One of the mistakes that we make is that we are afraid of human rights (propaganda) and that they say that you treat thieves violently,” the attorney general said in a meeting with police commanders in January.

He cited this reluctance to administer amputations as punishment as an underlying reason why theft had increased on the previous year’s levels. “According to the statistics of the judiciary and the police, unfortunately, robbery is second in terms of crimes in the society,” Montarezi claimed, asserting that theft now accounted for 28% of all crimes committed in Iran.

Unemployment is a Far Greater Driver

While the attorney general would prefer to blame an increase in crime on softer punishments, the country’s economic decline is a far greater driver of theft. With inflation skyrocketing, the purchasing power of Iranians plummeting and unemployment on the up, many parents are resorting to extreme measures to keep food on the table.

In the same interview, Montarezi seemed to acknowledge the role economic hardship has within Iran’s increasing crime rates. He cited the countries rising unemployment and widespread factory closures as areas of concern.

International Condemnation

The Iranian regime last removed someone’s hand as a punishment for theft in January 2018. The victim, identified only as Ali, was sentenced to amputation by guillotine for the crimes of stealing livestock and other items from villages in Northeastern Iran.

International human rights’ groups, including Amnesty International, were quick to condemn the sentence. Magdalena Mughrabi, the Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty said: “Meeting out such unspeakably cruel punishments is not justice and serves to highlight the Iranian authorities’ complete disregard for human dignity. There is no place for such brutality in a robust criminal justice system.

The internal population within Iran also responded to the forced amputation with public outcry. People took to the streets to protest the injustice, which the head of the Khorasan Razavi judiciary defended as a “divine punishment”.

When challenged in the UN Human Rights Council on the issue in 2010, Mohammad Javad Larijani also defended the practice as “culturally and religiously justified.”

There is no justification for the Iranian regime and its abhorrent acts of violence. Forced amputations are a barbaric practice whenever they occur.

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UK travel advisory to dual British-Iranians not to travel to Iran

UK Foreign Office Issues Advisory Warning British-Iranian Citizens Not to Travel to Iran

 

UK travel advisory to dual British-Iranians not to travel to Iran

UK Foreign Office issued a warning to British-Iranian dual nationals advising them not to travel to Iran-Friday, May 17, 2019

On Friday, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office (FCO) issued a warning to British-Iranian dual nationals advising them not to travel to Iran.

The Foreign Office said that the change in travel advice was due to the regime’s “continued arbitrary detention and mistreatment of dual nationals.”

British nationals, particularly those with dual citizenship, face an “unacceptably higher risk” of arbitrary detention and mistreatment at the hands of the Iranian regime than citizens of other countries, added the FCO.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt explained the reasoning for the change in travel advice, noting the Iranian regime’s refusal to take steps to remedy the problem. He said: “Dual nationals face an intolerable risk of mistreatment if they visit Iran. Despite the UK providing repeated opportunities to resolve this issue, the Iranian regime’s conduct has worsened.

“Having exhausted all other options, I must now advise all British-Iranian dual nationals against traveling to Iran.

“The dangers they face include arbitrary detention and lack of access to basic legal rights, as we have seen in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been separated from her family since 2016.

“Regrettably, I must also offer a message of caution to Iranian nationals resident in the UK – but who return to visit family and friends – especially where the Iranian government may perceive them to have personal links to UK institutions or the British government.”

Sky News reported that the change in travel advice was partially due to concerns that the Iranian regime would take punitive action against British-Iranian dual citizens with links to UK institutions.

The Iranian regime does not recognize dual citizenship.

Unrest in Iran

The travel warning follows a series of brutal crackdowns by the clerical regime intended to quell the rising tide of dissent in the country and stave off widespread rebellion. The designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and the tightening of U.S. oil sanctions have deepened both domestic and international economic and political tensions for the regime at a time when the mullahs’ grasp on power was already tenuous.

Last month’s devastating floods took hundreds of lives and caused billions of dollars in damages. It also exposed decades of incompetence and corruption by the regime. Poorly built bridges and dams collapsed, drainage systems that had been paved over caused massive flooding, and years of deforestation intensified the destruction.

The regime’s heartless response during and after the floods caused widespread outrage. While flood victims waited on rooftops for help that did not come, state-run television minimized the number of casualties and damage due to the disaster. Volunteers who provided food and other assistance to their friends and neighbors were arrested. Regime officials who visited flood-stricken areas were greeted by angry protesters who demanded to know when they would receive tents. The regime responded by sending tanks to suppress the protests.

Regime Crackdown

It is in this environment that the mullahs have attempted to crack down on further dissent. The regime recently announced the launch of the Razavion Patrol, a new suppressive force that will police neighborhoods to prevent MEK Resistance Units and other political dissidents from gathering. It is also working to pass an amendment that will make it legal to deny some detainees legal representation while they are being investigated.

The regime is acting out of fear, and it is while it is in this state of fear that it is most dangerous. A bear is at its most deadly when it is gravely wounded. The international community would do well to recognize the threat posed by the regime.

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NCRI Releases Statement Calling for Release of Political Prisoners

Excerpts from the leader of the Iranian opposition, president-elect Maryam Rajavi asking the human rights organizations to take immediate action to save the lives of the political prisoners, recently arrested during Iran Protests

On Friday, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a statement concerning the arrests of eleven people for supporting MEK following the regime’s recent crackdown on protests and political dissent within the country.

According to the statement, the crackdown is the most recent desperate attempt by the mullahs to quell the rising outrage in the country due to the dire state of the economy, the regime’s bungled response to the catastrophic floods last month, and the growing influence of MEK Resistance Units, resistance councils, and the nation’s rebellious in organizing protests. These fears have been intensified by the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and the strengthening of U.S. oil sanctions in the past months.

 

Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has taken a number of hardline measures to try to prevent the overthrow of the clerical regime. In March, Khamenei appointed notorious Death Committee member Ebrahim Raisi to the position of Judiciary Chief. Raisi was personally responsible for sending thousands of MEK supporters to their executions during the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Khamenei then appointed Salami, Fadavi, and Naghdi as Commander, Deputy Commander, and Coordinator of the IRGC. All three men are known for their cruelty, according to the NCRI statement.

 

The regime has now launched a new wave of suppressive measures to prevent the spread of popular uprisings. Hashd al-Shabi forces were transferred from Iraq to flood-stricken areas in Iran, where victims of the disaster are protesting the lack of government aid. Last week, the regime announced the widespread launch of the Razavion, which it has described as “neighborhood-based security patrols.” Security forces have stepped up arrests of political dissidents, particularly MEK supporters.

Arrests of MEK Activists

 

The NCRI obtained the names of eleven people that have been arrested in late April 2019, for supporting MEK:

 

  • Nematollah Hakimi Kiasarai, 46, Tehran
  • Salar Eskandarzadeh, 29, Tehran
  • Hamid Reza Haddadi, 36, Kermanshah
  • Dariush Hosseini, 65, Mahshahr
  • Mohammad Khatibnia, 28, Khorramabad
  • Reza Nabavi, 24, Semnan
  • Mohsen Hosseini, 23, along with his two brothers, Neyshabur
  • Mahmoud Salami, 25, Neyshabur
  • Shokouh Majd, 55, Neyshabur

 

 

On April 23rd, the MEK released a list of 28 people who were arrested prior to that date for the similar charges.

 

On April 19, 2019, Mullah Alavi, the regime’s Minister of Intelligence, said in a speech that 116 teams associated with the MEK had been arrested over the past Iranian calendar year. On April 24th, the Director General of Intelligence in East Azarbaijan Province followed that statement with his own numbers, reporting 60 arrests and 50 additional encounters with MEK supporters over the past year.

 

These numbers do not take into account arrests made by the regime’s other suppressive organs, including the IRGC and local law enforcement. Actual arrest numbers are much higher.

Statement by Maryam Rajavi

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, once again called on the United Nations Secretary-General, High Commissioner and Human Rights Council, as well as international human rights organizations,  to take urgent action to secure the release of imprisoned people. She also called for the appointment of delegations to visit the regime’s prisons in order to meet with political prisoners. Mrs. Rajavi stresses that political prisoners in Iran are subject to torture and execution.

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Who wrote the book of terror

Why Should International Community Hold Regime Accountable?

Who wrote the book of terror

IRGC is the main force behind Iranian regime’s terror and executions both at home and abroad.

Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated rapidly over the course of the past few weeks as the U.S. has toughened its stance against the regime. The escalating hostilities have left the mullahs in an untenable position. The regime is currently on the verge of collapse due to widespread domestic unrest, the catastrophic floods that recently devastated the country, and a failing economy that has driven 80% of the population below the poverty line. Iran has no money for additional conflict, but the mullahs will not stand down in the face of a challenge to their authority, and they will take the country down with them if they are not checked.

 

IRGC Terrorist Designation

In April, the United States designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), creating an economic and political disaster for the mullahs’ regime. The regime responded by immediately labeling the United States military as a terrorist organization and publicly threatening U.S. forces stationed in the region.

 

Two weeks later, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States was canceling waivers to countries still importing Iranian oil, meaning that they would have to stop purchasing oil from Iran or face U.S. sanctions. Early this month, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani retaliated by announcing that Iran would partially withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. The United States withdrew from the JCPOA last May, but the European Union has struggled to keep the deal alive in the absence of the U.S.

 

In the last two weeks, the United States has responded to intelligence indicating that regime military forces and their proxies are planning an attack on U.S. military forces in the Middle East with the deployment of additional troops, an aircraft carrier, and B-52 jets into the Persian Gulf. U.S. Secretary of State denied that the deployment was an act of aggression, saying that the move was necessary to defend forces in the region. He added that any threat to U.S. interests would be dealt with in a “swift and decisive” manner.

President Trump has expressed willingness to drop sanctions if the Iranian regime would enter into negotiations about the terms of the nuclear deal, but regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei refused to consider this offer. The regime appears to be determined to continue escalating the conflict with the United States, no matter the cost.

 

The Trump administration says that it does not want a direct confrontation with Iran, but it is impossible to avoid appeasement of the Iranian regime without a firm position in response to its destructive behavior in the region.

The Iranian regime sows discord across the Middle East through its military forces and proxies. It props up dictators and funds terrorist groups. Over the forty years of the mullahs’ rule, the Iranian regime has been responsible for terrorist attacks that killed thousands of people.

The Regime’s Attacks on the MEK

The current target of the regime is the opposition MEK. Last year alone, the regime attempted to carry out terrorist plots in Albania, France, the United States, and Denmark. All of these plots were foiled by law enforcement, leading to sanctions, arrests, prosecutions, and expulsion of MOIS agents and regime diplomats from the European Union.

The regime’s relentless attacks on the MEK show two things. First, the regime is dangerously unstable and is willing to do anything to destroy its enemies. Second, the regime sees the MEK as a viable alternative that could realistically overthrow the mullahs and replace them.

The MEK has widespread support in Iran and has a ten-point plan for establishing democracy in Iran after the fall of the regime. The MEK’s Resistance Units are established inside the country and work with citizens from all sectors of Iranian society to organize protests and demonstrations. They know the needs of the people. They are the people.

The international community is threatened by the Iranian regime and therefore it’s necessary to take efforts to end the horrific and brutal human rights crimes, the Iranian regime is responsible for.

Staff writer

 

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Akram Nasirian,Iran Flood,Iran human rights,PMOI

Charity worker arrested in Iran

Charity Worker Arrested in Tehran

Charity worker arrested in Iran

Photo credit to Iran HRM- Charity worker, Akram Nasirian, has been arrested by regime security forces on unknown charges- April 2019

Regime security agents have arrested Akram Nasirian, a charity worker who has been working in the country’s flood-stricken regions.

According to ‘The Voice of Iranian Women’, a charity organization providing assistance to flood victims, Nasirian disappeared on April 29, 2019, in Tehran. A detective bureau agency in the capital traced her cell phone signal to the Evin region of Tehran, an indication that she was likely being detained in Evin Prison.

Scattered Information

Nasirian phoned her family, briefly informing them that she had been detained and held for questioning. She told them her case was being referred to the Second Branch of the Prosecutors office in Evin.

Nasirian’s son took to Instagram to share his mother’s story with the world. “My mother Akram Nasirian was arrested on the street on Monday, April 29 [2019] and taken to Evin Prison without anyone informing us,” he said.

He asked, “For what crime have you arrested my mother? For teaching Afghan refugees to read and write and helping flood victims in the south of the country?” He ended the video message with an appeal to “social activists and human rights groups to work for her immediate and unconditional release.”

A String of Detained Charity Workers

Nasirian is the latest arrest in the regime’s crackdown on charity workers and others providing assistance to victims of flooding across the country. In April, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) arrested dozens of Iranian-Arabs in Ahvaz who were active in providing assistance to victims in Khuzestan province.

The effort is part of a wider regime strategy to downplay the impact of flooding and its inaction in supporting flood victims. The regime arrested reporters revealing the full death toll and investigating the regime’s role in exacerbating the issue.

At least 2 million citizens are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Flooding cut off food and clean water supplies, left more than 300,000 families without shelter, clothing, and medicine. It also claimed more than 200 Iranian lives.

Estimates suggest that the damage caused by the floods was equal to or greater than the damage caused by the entire eight-year war with Iraq. Many sources have accurately suggested the 2019 flooding was the country’s worst national disaster in fifteen years.

Instead of mobilizing the country’s resources to assist in the rescue and humanitarian efforts, the regime channeled its energies on stifling dissent, arresting reporters and employing mercenaries to help crush dissent. Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani mercenaries roved the affected areas, outraging residents and highlighting the regime’s utter inadequacy to respond to a national crisis.

The arrest of Nasirian is the latest proof that this regime is totally unfit to govern. It clearly demonstrates its lack of empathy for the Iranian people and selfish determination to maintain its grip on power at all costs.

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Execution of women in Iran continues.

The Regime’s Misogynist and Inhumane Use of the Death Penalty

MEK supporters during a rally ask for an end to executions in Iran

On October 26, 2018, Iranian state news reported that the regime had executed the 88th woman under President Hassan Rouhani. The woman, identified only as Soudabeh, had been imprisoned for 12 years after standing accused of murder. It is still unclear where the execution took place.

The execution came just a few weeks after the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet criticized the regime for the high volume of executions. Bachelet reiterated that the UN opposes executions in all circumstances. It reminded the regime that no jury in the world is immune from making mistakes.

Women Facing the Death Penalty

Across Iran, dozens of women are on death row. Many are accused of political crimes, including for supporting opposition group the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Others are facing charges for murder in self-defense or during episodes of domestic violence. Under the extreme laws of the Iranian regime, in cases of murder carried out for self-defense, the victim must face charges and retribution for the killing.

Eight women are on death row in Iran’s infamous Urmia Grand Central Prison. Their names are:

  1. Chenar Salehi,
  2. Yasna Sadeqi,
  3. Arasteh Ranjbar,
  4. Nazdar Vatankhah,
  5. Tahmineh Danesh,
  6. Farideh Hassanpour,
  7. Shelir Khosravi,
  8. Somayeh Ebrahimzadeh.

A further eleven women face the death penalty in Varamin’s Qarchak Prison. Their names and charges are as follows:

Azam Maleki has been detained for eight years, charged with the murder of her brother-in-law and nephew-in-law.

Narjes Tabaii has been detained for three years, charged with the murder of her husband’s second wife.

Fereshteh Shirazi has been imprisoned for five years, charged with the murder of her mother-in-law (the victim was the sister of Assadollah Lajevardi, the infamous warden at Evin Prison known as ‘the Butcher’).

Tahereh Noori has been detained for 12 years, charged with the murder of her husband.

Roya Amirian has been detained for 14 years after allegedly murdering a man harassing her in the street.

Mahtab Shafii has been detained for three years, charged with her husband and mother-in-law’s murders.

Mahboubeh Rasoul, has been detained for seven years, charged with the alleged killing of her mother-in-law.

Mahnaz Agahi, has been imprisoned for seven years, charged with murdering her husband.

Soghra Eftekhari, has been imprisoned for ten years, charged with murder during a conflict.

Eshrat Nazari, has been imprisoned for six years for allegedly killing her husband; Samira Sabziyan.

Misogyny has been enshrined and institutionalized in the regime’s laws. Many other countries, even those with capital punishment laws, protect women from receiving the death penalty when they are acting in self-defense against an abusive family member. However, the Iranian regime affords the victims no such protection.

The names of these women in Qarchak should be a beacon for human rights groups around the world. They illustrate inhumane and unjust laws employed by the Iranian regime and highlight the growing need for penal reform and the abolishment of the death penalty across Iran.

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The oppressive Razavion Patrol.

Regime Rolls out New Suppressive Force as Part of Crackdown on Protests and Dissent

The oppressive Razavion Patrol.

The new oppressive patrol-Razavion- is setup to add on to various regime security forces-as fear of a surge in uprisings in Iran grows among regime officials.

On Wednesday, the Iranian regime’s Chief of Police announced the nationwide launch of new patrols as part of its continued efforts to suppress political dissent and protests.

 

In an interview with the IRNA news agency, Hossein Ashtari said, “An agreement has been reached between the police and the Basij Organization in the context of further engagement and cooperation on the launch of the Razavion Patrol.”

The Razavion Patrol is massive in scope and will have sizable resources and power at its disposal. The Chief of Police in the city of Qom described the patrol as “a plan on the national level which has been coordinated with the IRGC, Judiciary, and the police and will use the infinite power of the Basij.”

Evolution of the Razavion Patrol

 

The Basij Force began patrolling Iranian neighborhoods in early 2018 in response to the nationwide uprising in December 2017 and subsequent anti-regime protests. In September 2018, the Basij Force stepped up its patrols, set up checkpoints in neighborhoods where MEK supporters were known to reside, and began conducting drills. This was due to increased activity by MEK Resistance Units.

 

In September, Gholam-Hossein Gheibparvar, a commander of the Basij Force, commented on the crackdown, saying, ““We have begun a series of plans to upgrade the IRGC Basij. We have not rounded up our patrols and we believe our patrols are more effective than checkpoints. More recently, these Basij patrols have been dubbed as the Razavion network.”

 

The Razavion Patrol was partially rolled out in November 2018, coinciding with Iran’s Week of Basij. Patrols were launched in several cities, including Bukan, western Iran, and Yazd, central Iran. Patrols were also rolled out in a number of cities in  Alborz Province.

 

On May 5th, Iranian state-run news agencies reported that Razavion Patrols were also launched in Qom in order to prevent “theft and crime.” The commander of the regime’s police force claimed that the patrols were launched in Qom for the purpose of “promoting the people’s security”, read regime security.

Past Uses of Suppressive Patrols

 

The use of suppressive patrols is not a new idea. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Basij Force have used their expansive authority in the past to set up similar patrols intended to intimidate people under the guise of “providing security.” Previous iterations were called “Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice” patrols and “Revolution Committee” patrols.

 

Ashtari described the Razavion Patrol as “neighborhood security patrols,” but those who have been subject to the patrols have compared them to the “Revolution Committee” patrols of the early years of the regime. The Revolution Committee patrols suppressed dissent and prevented an uprising during the first decade after the mullahs stole the 1979 Revolution, and its members went on to form the IRGC and establish its core values of violent suppression of dissent.

 

The Razavion Force is a new version of an old strategy by the regime. The mullahs are terrified of a widespread rebellion and will do anything to suppress it short of actually listening to the people’s demands. At this point, people have only one demand: regime change.

 

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Iranian regime's executions during the month of April 2019

Iran Human Rights Monitor Outlines Human Rights Abuses in its Monthly Report for April

Iranian regime's executions during the month of April 2019

The chart shows the Iranian regime’s executions during the month of April 2019

Iran Human Rights Monitor released its monthly report on the regime’s human rights abuses for the month of April 2019. The document makes for grim reading as the regime continues to run roughshod over the rights of Iran’s citizens on a near-daily basis.

The report revealed that in the month of April, the regime carried out arbitrary arrests and killings, tortured prisoners in its custody, violated the rights of ethnic minorities, and carried out several executions.

The Execution of Two Juvenile Offenders

Perhaps the most abhorrent act undertaken by the regime in April was the unlawful execution of two juveniles. Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, two 17-year-old cousins, were executed in Shiraz on April 25.

In a statement issued two days after their execution, international human rights group Amnesty International condemned the regime for carrying out an unfair trial and breaking international law prohibiting the execution of prisoners under the age of 18.

In a statement, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director, said: “It seems they cruelly kept these two boys in the dark about their death sentences for two years, flogged them in the final moments of their lives, and then carried out their executions in secret.”

Their families were able to visit them shortly before their death but were not informed of their impending execution, robbing them of their goodbyes.

The act also prompted outrage from the UN human rights chief who reminded the regime that the execution of children is banned under international law.

The Global Leader in Juvenile Executions

The Iranian regime executed more juvenile offenders than any other nation on earth. Between 1990 and 2018, the regime executed 97 inmates convicted of crimes as minors. Just last year it executed seven prisoners who committed the alleged crimes as minors.

More than 90 remain on death row in prisons across Iran according to Amnesty International.

Torture and Arbitrary Arrest

April also saw the prominent human rights defender Nader Afshari sentenced to 74 lashes and a year in prison on charges of “disrupting public order” and carrying out “propaganda against the state.”

A further 63 volunteers were arrested after carrying out community rescue operations and providing assistance to victims affected by recent flooding in Khuzestan. Also, 25 internet activists were detained for reporting on the flooding online.

The regime has attempted to stifle any information regarding the full death toll of the flooding out of fear it will inflame public anger. At least 250 people died after heavy rains brought widespread flooding to Khuzestan and the surrounding areas. The regime’s inaction compounded the destruction and loss of life as the mullahs refused to make boats, helicopters, and shelters available for public use in the rescue efforts. MEK sources in Iran reported widely on the damage the floods created, also the Iranian regime’s inaction during and in the aftermath of the floods.

On April 16, the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran also issued an indictment for the arrest of Amir Salar Davoudi on charges of “cooperating with hostile governments” and “establishing a group to overthrow the system” after he participated in an interview with VOA and partook in a Telegram messaging group sharing information about news and events pertaining to the Iranian judicial system.

Inhumane Conditions in Iranian Prisons

Iran Human Rights Monitor also describes the despicable and abhorrent treatment of prisoners in Iranian prisons. It reported the withholding of medical treatment for Alireza Shirmohammad-Ali in Great Tehran Penitentiary. Shirmohammad-Ali was beaten by guards and has been suffering from acute abdominal pain. He has received no treatment for his condition.

Mojtaba Dadashi, an imprisoned university student also went on hunger strike after being denied treatment for his respiratory tract infection he contracted last week.

In another incident, an inmate was encouraged to assault another inmate by the prison agents. An inmate convicted of drug offenses was promised a case review if she assaulted her fellow inmate, Sima Entesari.

The Fate of Ethnic Minorites

Ethnic minorities continue to suffer under the clerical regime. State security forces arrested 88 Ahwazi Arabs, 12 Kurds, and three Baluchi people. They also killed nine Kurdish porters

Staff writer

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