May 5, 2021
At the end of every month, Iran Human Rights Monitor puts together a report on the human rights situation in Iran. We’ve condensed the findings into this article, but the full report is always important to read, even if it’s hard.
Over April, the officials have continued executions, torture, corporal punishment, the suppression of marginalised groups, and the cover-up surrounding the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Let’s look at those in more detail.
At least 25 people were executed in Iran in April; 14 for drug-related offences, even though that isn’t a capital crime under international law, and two for charges unknown, which raises speculation about their crimes.
Meanwhile, two prisoners – Yusef Mehrdad and Seyyed Sadrollah Fazeli Zare – were sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet”.
On a related note, at least five people were killed by the police without arrest or trial, while 11 were injured. The security forces have a long history of this and there are daily reports of border porters being killed or injured.
Torture and cruel and unusual punishment
The Iranian Judiciary handed out 15 or more flogging sentences, mainly to ethnic minorities and student activists. Meanwhile, two women, including cyber activist Zohreh Sarv, were lashed.
Additionally, state security forces punished 34 men for attending the fire festival by parading them through the streets to humiliate them.
The authorities increased pressure on religious minorities throughout April, including:
- Arresting three Christian converts – Esmael Narimanpour, Mohammad Ali Torabi, and Alireza Varak Shah –and searching their homes
- Sentencing Christian convert Hamed Ashouri to 10 months of prison
- Arresting over 36 Baha’i citizens
- Expelling Isfahan University student Sina Shakib for his Baha’i faith
- Raiding the homes of many Baha’i citizens
- Denying the Baha’i community the ability to bury their dead in Khavaran cemetery unless they bury them on top of the mass grave of political prisoners from 1988
The 1988 Massacre
On that note, officials attempted to destroy the mass grave in order to hide the evidence of the massacre. This is the latest in a long line of mass grave sites that have been destroyed by the ruling theocracy to evade justice.
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “As well as causing further pain and anguish to the already persecuted Baha’i minority by depriving them of their rights to give their loves ones a dignified burial in line with their religious beliefs, Iran’s authorities are wilfully destroying a crime scene.”