By Jubin Katiraie
The month of September has been terrible in terms of human rights in Iran. There have been a number of incidences that show that the human rights situation in the country is continuing to deteriorate.
The story of 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari is one that shocked the entire nation. Ms. Khodayari died at the beginning of September after setting herself on fire after hearing that she could be imprisoned. In March, all she wanted to do was enter the Azadi stadium in the country’s capital where she wanted to see her favorite sports team play.
Ms. Khodayari was arrested and released after spending three nights in jail.
Women’s rights in Iran are appalling. They are targeted by authorities and are limited in many areas of life including in education and marriage. They are subject to strict dress codes that oblige women to be properly veiled and they are targeted by agents that are sent out specifically to ensure women comply with the repressive regulations.
Amnesty International expressed its grave concern about the rights of women in Iran and mentioned the case of Ms. Khodayari. In a statement, the organization said: “What happened to Sahar Khodayari is heart-breaking and exposes the impact of the Iranian authorities’ appalling contempt for women’s rights in the country. Her only ‘crime’ was being a woman in a country where women face discrimination that is entrenched in law and plays out in the most horrific ways imaginable in every area of their lives, even sports.”
During the month of September, numerous reports about the inhumane treatment of prisoners have emerged. There are a number of political prisoners that need urgent and essential medical care but are still being refused.
One such prisoner is political prisoner Arash Sadeghi who needs treatment for cancer. His last visit to an outside medical facility was a year ago and there are concerns about the state of his health. He should have been given several rounds of chemotherapy during the past 12 months and should undergo tests to see if his cancer is spread. The regime’s punishment for this high-profile activist for his past activism is deeply concerning.
The Iranian authorities are also continuing to torture prisoners and there have been reports that prison guards are beating inmates with truncheons and using electric shocks.
A prisoner named Javad Khosravanian was tortured to death in the Fars province in recent days.
Flogging sentences are being handed out at an increased rate and it is clearly an attempt by the regime to silence the dissent that is so prevalent across the country.