Iran Human RightsIran's Human Rights Abuses in 2020

Iran’s Human Rights Abuses in 2020

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Iran Human Rights Monitor has just produced its annual report on human rights abuses in Iran in 2020, pulling together these atrocious violations into a single, harrowing document.

Key themes include:

  • Executions, especially of political prisoners
  • Corporal punishment, including floggings and amputations
  • Prisoner mistreatment, including inhumane sanitary conditions and torture
  • Crackdowns on those who support and defend human rights, including lawyers, activists, teachers, journalists, students, and more, which has included arbitrary arrest and extrajudicial killings

Executions in Iran in 2020

Iran executed at least 255 people in 2020, upholding its place as one of the world’s top executioners, with around 57 of these people killed for crimes other than murder, including political actions, drug offenses, sexual offenses, drinking alcohol, robbery, and the vague “waging war on God.”

Those executed included at least six juvenile offenders, eight women, and 12 political prisoners, including champion wrestler Navid Afkari.

Of course, given the secrecy of the regime, these figures were reported by human rights activists inside Iran who risked their lives. We can assume that all of the figures in this report are a minimum.

Iran: Seven Silent Executions at the End of 2020

Corporeal Punishment Against Offenders in 2020

At least 19 people were flogged in 2020 for “crimes” including peaceful protest, criticizing government officials, demanding their rights, and drinking alcohol. This included protesters Ali Azizi, Elyar Hosseinzadeh, Foad Enayati, Ahmadreza Haeri, and Mohammad Baqer Souri.

Meanwhile, the regime continued to issue lashing or amputation sentences in violation of the United Nations’ International Convention Against Torture, and eight people are at imminent risk of having their fingers amputated.

The increase in issuing and carrying out these sorts of punishments, especially against political activists, is an attempt to intimidate the public and prevent further protests that could spur the overthrow of the regime, as very nearly happened in 2019.

Iranian Authorities Ban Prisoners from Treatment

Torture is common in Iranian prisons and is the favored method for extracting false confessions, with the most common forms being sleep deprivation, flogging, beating death threats, and threats against loved ones.

The vivid descriptions of these are available in the report and in a separate Amnesty International report, but reading them is highly disturbing.

Amnesty International: Iran Uses Torture as Punishment

In addition to torture, prisoners are deprived of medical treatment and kept in unsanitary conditions, which makes them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Iran Human Rights Monitor called on the international community to hold the regime to account for crimes against humanity and stand with the Iranian people in their fight for justice, freedom, and human rights.

Their full report can be downloaded here.

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