By Jubin Katiraie
At the end of every month, the Iran Human Rights Monitor (HRM) produces a report into the human rights abuses in Iran over that month and then we produce a summary.
In May, the main human rights concerns were the heightened persecution of political activists, the use of cruel and unusual punishments, and the arresting and detaining of those accused of non-violent crimes during the Coronavirus pandemic, which is more deadly in prisons due to a lack of hygiene and medical care.
Some non-violent prisoners were temporarily released at the beginning of the pandemic but were rearrested in May, even though the disease is still not under control. Meanwhile, there have been several cases of coronavirus infections and deaths in Iran’s prisons, including the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, Qarchak Prison, Sheiban Prison, Evin Prison, Urmia Central Prison, and Vakilabad Prison.
Numerous activists, lawyers and peaceful protesters were given heavy sentences during May, including:
- Nasrin Javadi, who was arrested at a peaceful International Workers’ Day on May 1, 2019, and sentenced to five years in prison.
- Political prisoner Sakineh Parvaneh was sentenced to five years in prison and a two-year ban on membership in political groups
- Civil activist Jila Makvandi, who was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison.
- Lawyers Payam Derafshan and Farokh Foruzan, who were each sentenced to one year in prison and a two-year ban on practising law
- Political activists Mehdi Sakhi Sakha, Afshin Barzegar Jamshidi, and Majid Zabihi were each sentenced to 4 years and two months in prison
- Political prisoner Rezvaneh Ahmad Khan Beigi was sentenced to six years in prison for participating in the November 2019 protests
Over 20 people have been given flogging and prison sentences following peaceful protests against the Iranian regime’s downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January or even for attending memorials of the victims.
Arrests and Summons
There has been a new wave of arbitrary arrests in Iran with the regime’s forces cracking down on the Iranian resistance, as well as anyone criticising the regime. They also arrested people who had been given prison sentences, even though sentences should have been suspended until after the pandemic.
- Somayeh Ramooz, a 37-year-old hairdresser, was arrested for her activities on social media and taken to the Bushehr Intelligence Detention Centre
- Award-winning Sharif University of Technology students Ali Younesi and Amir-Hossein Moradi were arrested and held without a word for 26 days, along with 18 other activists
- Kurdish author Mojgan Kavousi was arrested to serve her six years and four months prison sentence for taking part in the November 2019 protests
- Civil rights activist Soheila Hejab was violently arrested after attending her appeals court hearing and taken to Qarchak prison
- Labour activist Hirad Pirbodaghi was summoned to serve a 6-month prison sentence
- Akram Rahimpour, the wife of imprisoned labour rights activist Jafar Azimzadeh, received a summons to appear at the Ministry of Intelligence