Arrest of Baha'is in Iran

Iran Focus

London, 17 Oct - Over the past two months, Iranian intelligence officials have increased arrests of the Baha’i religious minority with no clear charges, according to Human Rights Watch.

During August and September, Iranian agents arrested over 20 Baha’i citizens, as well as a city council member who had reportedly offered support for those arrested. This includes 12 people arrested in Shiraz, 4 of whom are still being held in an Intelligence Ministry detention centre, 11 from Isfahan and Karaj provinces, who were transferred to the Shiraz detention centre, and Mehdi Hajati, a member of Shiraz City Council who was trying to secure their release.

Hedayat Abdollahpour

Iran Focus

London, 16 Oct - The highest court in Iran has upheld the death sentence for an imprisoned Kurdish man, who faced an unfair trial and was tortured in custody, which has increased the number of Kurdish prisoner on death row in Iran to 100.

Hedayat Abdollahpour, 25, was arrested on June 15, 2016, in Oshnouyeh after clashes broke out between the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces and members of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), but has always maintained his innocence. He has now exhausted all of his appeals.


Iran Focus

London, 4 Oct - Every month, Iran Human Rights Monitor releases a report in the situation of human rights in Iran and it always makes for uncomfortable reading. The September version was no different, with an unprecedented crackdown on human rights advocates, several official reports of cruel and inhumane punishments, and at least 33 executions.

We’ve produced a summary of the report here, but, as always, we encourage you to download the full PDF and learn more. When reading either piece, please remember that because of the closed and insular nature of the Iranian government, the figures given may be much smaller than in reality.

Iranian Environmentalists

Iran Focus

London, 14 Oct - In January and February 2018, eight environmental activists were detained in Iran without clear charges. Human Rights Watch reports that Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, have all been in detention for eight months, and have not yet been charged. Human Rights Watch says that Iranian authorities should either immediately release them, or charge them with recognizable crimes and produce evidence to justify their continued detention.


Iran Focus

London, 1 Oct - Over 2,200 doctors and civil rights activists have sent a letter to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the chairs of the Iranian Parliament’s Health and Cultural Commissions, voicing their concerns over the deteriorating health of Farhad Maysami, a prominent publisher, physician and cultural activist currently held behind bars.

The letter reads: “The way Mr. Maysami is treated is not only inappropriate for a teacher, publisher and physician, but it’s also unbecoming for any of the dissidents in the Shi’ite country [Iran].”

Political Prisoners in Iran

Iran Focus

London, 14 Oct - Political prisoners in Hall 10, Ward 4 of Gohardasht Prison in Karaj are experiencing increased pressure as their medical records are destroyed, which prevents them from being transferred to a hospital or even prison clinic. This is both physical and psychological torture.

- Political prisoner Majid Asadi suffers several diseases, especially an unbearably painful acute digestive disease.

Mohammad Ostadghader and Houshmand Alipour

Iran Focus

London, 24 Sep - On 3rd August, Mohammad Ostadghader and Houshmand Alipour were arrested by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Four days later, the country’s national television broadcast a recording of the men confessing to their participation on an attack on a security base in Saghez.

The men have not been allowed to contact their families bar one brief call on 1st September in which Alipour told his family that he was forced to confess under duress. The prisoners are being held in an unknown location.

Alipour’s brother, Hejar Alipour, has spoken out about the arrest of the two men. He wrote an open letter in which he calls out for access to family visitation and the access to a lawyer. In his letter it appears that the two men may imminently be sentenced to death.

Maryam Akbari Monfared, Golrokh Irayee, and Atena Daemi Three Iranian political prisoners

Iran Focus

London, 13 Oct - Three Iranian political prisoners have penned a letter to United Nations Special Rapporteur Javaid Rehman on the World Day Against the Death Penalty (October 10), urging him to visit Iran and see the human rights violations for himself.

Maryam Akbari Monfared, Golrokh Irayee, and Atena Daemi, all held in the Women’s ward of the notorious Evin prison, gave him a brief, but chilling summary of the countless human rights violations that have taken place in Iran in just the last decade.

This includes the use of the death penalty for non-violent crimes like drug offences or political activism and against juvenile offenders, despite it being in violation of international law. Many of these people are subject to unfair trials, without legal representation, and forced to give “confessions” under torture.

Prison abuse in Iran musb be tackled

Iran Focus

London, 14 Sep - An exiled member of a minority religious order in Iran accused Iran of violating its own prison regulations by allowing seven women of the Dervish religion to suffer “appalling” conditions in jail.

Alireza Roshan, a Dervish activist, said: “The Dervish women are weak physically after having been beaten before and after their transfer to the prison. But prison officials are not allowing them to receive needed medical treatment.”

This is consistent with systematic abuse of prisoners, particularly prisoners of conscience, in Iranian prisons, particularly under the rule of Asghar Jahangir, director of Iran’s Prisons Organization, and the US should place sanctions against Iranian prisons for their well-documented history of repression.


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