IRAN: Human Rights Abuses OCTOBER2005

Death sentences, executions

Young man sentenced to death
ISNA (state-run news agency), Oct. 03 – A young man who had killed his friend while he was drunk was sentenced to death and 80 lashes. The sentence for ‘Esmael’ who is 22-years-old was upheld by the Supreme Court.

19-years-old sentenced to execution
Iran daily (state-run), Oct. 05 – A 19-years-old man who had stabbed a car seller to death was sentenced to execution. He said that he had a dispute over money with the victim and told the court he was sorry and regretted his act.

Man sentenced to death
Hamshahri daily (state-controlled), Oct. 05 – A man who had committed murder during a dispute over a car deal was sentenced to death. The 20-years-old man admitted in his defense to have stabbed the victim but said that he did not intend to kill him.

17-year-old boy sentenced to death
Daily Iran (state-run), Oct. 09 – A 17-year-old boy was sentenced to death by hanging, Daily Iran reported. The boy, only identified by his first name Hamid, was accused of murder after a scuffle with several individuals, according to the daily. A Tehran court found him guilty and sentenced him to execution. No details were provided on when and where the execution would take place.

Iran sentences woman to death by stoning for adultery
Etemaad daily, Oct. 15, Tehran – A court in Iran sentenced a woman to death by stoning for adultery and an Afghan man to execution and 100 lashes on charges of murder, Etemaad daily reported. The woman, identified by her first name Soqra, was accused of adultery and aiding the Afghan man, identified as Alireza, in the murder of her husband, also from Afghanistan. Soqra maintained her innocence throughout the trial, the daily wrote. A Tehran court sentenced Soqra to be stoned to death for adultery and she also received a 15-year jail sentence for her part in the murder, while, Alireza was sentenced to death for the murder and to 100 lashes for adultery, while, Etemaad reported. Her son testified that he had witnessed the Afghan man commit the murder. Soqra had said that her parents had forced her to marry an Afghan man against her will. The pair had two children and Soqra said that her husband beat her repeatedly.

Death sentence for young man
Etemaad daily (state-run), Oct. 15 – Death sentence for a 22-years-old youth who had killed his friend in a street fight was upheld today, Etemaad wrote. The man is hoping to try to delay the sentence being carried out, the daily reported without giving any more details.

Man sentenced to death
Etemaad daily, Oct. 16 – The death sentence for a young man who had killed his wife in a domestic dispute was upheld by the Supreme Court.

22-years-old shot dead by police for eating during Ramadan
AFP, Oct 17, TEHRAN - Iranian police have been accused of shooting and killing a motorist after he failed to stop when spotted eating during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a press report said Monday. The victim, identified as 22-year-old Seyed Mostafa, was shot dead in Tehran on Saturday. He was also playing loud music with his car stereo, the state-run Iran newspaper said. "Even if the police claim is right, is eating during the fasting month punishable by death?" the victim's brother was quoted as saying.

Iran sentences woman to execution
Daily Javan (state-controlled) Oct. 18 – An Iranian woman was sentenced to execution in the Iranian capital on Monday, daily Javan reported on Tuesday. The woman, only identified by her first name Raheleh, was found guilty of murdering her husband, whom she had accused of having an affair with a younger woman, the paper wrote. Raheleh had said that she was threatened by her abusive husband each time she asked him to end his affair. She said that she had never meant to kill her husband, but just “teach him a lesson”. Hojjatoleslam Kouh Kamarei, the Islamic cleric who presided over the case, sentenced Raheleh to execution on Monday.

Twice the execution
Daily Javan, Oct. 19 – Judges in Tehran’s criminal court sentenced a young man to twice the execution. He had killed two young men with the aid of his wife.

Iran’s Supreme Court gives go-ahead for execution of woman
Daily Iran, Oct. 26 - Iran’s State Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against a 35-year-old woman, the Iran daily reported on Wednesday. The woman, identified only by her first name Shahla, was accused of killing Leila Saharkhizan, the wife of Iran’s football star Nasser Mohammad-Khani in Tehran in October 2002. According to the prosecutors, Shahla befriended Mohammad-Khani and the footballer took her as his second wife. The prosecutors said Shahla was so jealous of Mohammad-Khani’s other wife that she eventually killed her. Shahla denied the accusation and proclaimed her innocence throughout the trial.

Arrests, Tortures and inhumane punishments

Men flogged in public in Iran capital
Kayhan daily (state-run), Oct. 02 – A group of Iranian men were flogged in public in the Iranian capital and sentenced to several years in prison, a Kayhan daily reported. The men were each flogged 74 times and sentenced to between two to seven years in prison for armed robbery, Kayhan daily wrote. The daily did not state the number of people in the group, but added that they were also sentenced to pay a fine.

Police street-parade young man near Iran capital
Iran focus(website), Oct. 14, Karaj – An Iranian youth from the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, was publicly paraded by State Security Forces (SSF) in the city centre for several hours on Tuesday. The SSF tied the hands of Akbar Samavat to a stick in the shape of a cross and hanged several waterpots around his neck. They also put a pacifier in his mouth. Police injected him with a high dosage of the drug morphine so that he would not resist. In a bid to mock and disgrace him, Samavat was paraded between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm in Ferdis district in Karaj. He had been accused of “causing trouble”. The Iranian authorities frequently parade youths, forced to sit backwards on donkeys, in their local neighborhood so as to embarrass and humiliate them.

Iran’s Judiciary Chief orders harsher prison terms
Kayhan daily, Oct. 20 – Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi ordered a ban on prison leave for “enemies of the Islamic Republic”, including political prisoners and “trouble-makers”, Kayhan daily reported. Under the new order prisoners can no longer be granted temporary prison leave for various reasons, the daily wrote. The daily quoted Mohammad-Reza Foulad-Amoli, the chief prosecutor in the northern province of Mazandaran, as saying, “This decree will be carried out in order to prevent new corruption in society”.

Iran street-parades 22-year-old man
Kayhan daily, Oct. 25 – A 22-year-old man from the town of Varamin, southern Tehran, was streetparaded and sentenced to lashes for instigating trouble, Kayhan daily wrote on Monday. The young man, only identified as Hashem M. (a.k.a. Hashem Sagi), was accused of “causing trouble”, drinking alcohol, disrupting national security, and taking part in scuffles, the daily wrote. It quoted the Varamin Police’s intelligence deputy as saying, “In accordance with the urgent plan to increase national security, which is going on from October 10 to November 9, seditious elements in this town are being rounded up”. The individuals are ordered by a court to be paraded in streets by police so that it “teaches a lesson to other such trouble-makers”. Hashem was also sentenced to 74 lashes, three years in prison, and five years in exile by a Varamin court, the town’s police intelligence chief said. His body was full of “vulgar tattoos”, the daily added.

Freedom of Expression

Female journalist stabbed
Tabriz news (website), Oct. 05 - A female journalist, was found severely injured under a bridge in Zabriz, North West of Iran. Masoumeh Babapour was stabbed 9 times before being thrown under an abandoned bridge south of Tabriz. Her husband, Hassan Zadeh Bagher, told Tabriz news in a phone interview that his wife had been receiving threatening phone calls from strangers. She was then kidnapped on the street by four men two days before she was found stabbed.

Foreign Movies to be banned in Iran
BBC Farsi (website), Oct. 20 – The Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution chaired by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has adopted a policy for allowance of foreign movies and music to be shown in Iran. According to this motion, movies that promote ideas such as secularism, liberalism, nihilism or feminism are destroying the culture of religious societies and are therefore forbidden.

Media watchdog blasts Iran as worst violator in region
RFS, Oct. 21 – The international media watchdog, Reporters without Borders (RSF), in a report ranked Iran as the worst violator of press freedoms rights in the Middle East. RSF ranked Iran at 164 out of 167 in its 2005 annual Press Freedom Index. “Iran (164th) once again has the region’s worst record of press freedom, with seven journalists in prison and four others provisionally free and in danger of being returned to jail at any moment”, the top media watchdog said. It highlighted the cases of dissident journalist Akbar Ganji and cyber-dissident Mojtaba Saminejad, who are both currently serving prison terms. The international press freedoms group frequently criticised media censorship and violation of journalists’ rights in Iran.


Senior Iran cleric: Prostitutes must be hanged
Jomhouri Islami (state-run daily), Oct. 10 – A senior Iranian cleric in the city of Qom called for death sentences to be handed down to prostitutes, Jomhouri Islami daily reported. “Those who try to spread prostitution, corruption, and sins in society must be dealt with”, Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi, one of the highest-ranking clerics in the holy city, said. Shirazi said that drug dealers were among those who were spreading corruption in society, according to Jomhouri Islami. “These people are ‘corruptors on earth’ and must be dealt with under Islamic law”, the senior Ayatollah said. “If everyone feels responsibility for the orders of Islam, no one will dare to spread prostitution”, he was quoted.

MP urges greater crackdown on women
Iran Focus (website), Oct. 10, Tehran – A Majlis (Parliament) deputy from the central city of Isfahan told reporters that there was an urgent need to act against “corruption and mal-veiling” by women in society, state media reported on Monday. “In recent years we have seen a great number of violations [of the dress code]. How longer do we have to witness such behaviour?”, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Taghi Rahbar said. He said authorities should immediately deal with violators of the dress-code starting in the holy Muslim month of Ramadan which began last Tuesday.

Get home by dusk, Iran tells female civil servants
Reuters, Oct. 11, TEHRAN - Female civil servants at Iran's Culture Ministry and female journalists at the state newspaper and news agency must be out of the office by dusk to be with their families, a directive said on Tuesday. The directive was issued by Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi, one of a batch of hard line cabinet ministers brought in by President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad who won a landslide election in June. "Owing to the sensitive role of women in the family and in raising children, women employees are banned from staying at the office after 6 p.m.," the Tosea newspaper quoted the directive as saying.

Female students clash with police in Iran capital
Jomhouri Islami, Oct. 18 – Students from a female dormitory of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran started a protest against lack of water supply, Jomhouri Islami reported on Tuesday. The students started their demonstration outside the dormitory late Sunday night, the daily reported. They set paper and several tyres on fire, while also chanting for the resignation of the university dean. They threw stones at security officials at the scene who were trying to prevent an escalation of the crisis. Several hit-and-run skirmishes erupted in the process. The daily did not say if any of the students were arrested. Parts of the female dormitory have had no water supply for the past two days, according to the report.

Two-thirds of Iran women victims of domestic abuse: official
AFP, Oct 31, TEHRAN - Two thirds of Iranian women have suffered domestic violence and a quarter are unhappy with their gender, a social welfare official said Monday. Sociologist Jaleh Shaditalab of Iran's National Welfare Organisation said most of the victims were in forced marriages and that abuses also included mental torment, humiliation and being prevented from working. She said the figures were drawn from a national survey of the problem.

Iran police confiscate mannequins in new crackdown
IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), Oct. 31 – Police in the north-eastern town of Bojnourd have launched a new crackdown on alluring mannequins in clothes stores and the main bazaar, the town’s prosecutor-general told IRNA on Monday. Moussa-al-Reza Pirgazi announced that thus far 262 clothes stores had been inspected and 65 feminine mannequins had been rounded up. He said that in accordance with the country’s Islamic trade laws, stores found to be violating the dress code on mannequins would be shut down for a period of 10 to 90 days. “The use of vulgar mannequin – whether male or female – is an affront to public moral and is considered to be a crime”, Pirgazi said, adding that the display of properly veiled mannequins which adhere to the national dress code would not be considered a crime.

Other news

Canada to put forward UN resolution on Iran rights
Reuters, Oct. 05, OTTAWA - Canada will put forward a resolution at the United Nations for the third year in a row accusing Iran of human rights violations, Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew said on Wednesday. "Iran has not lived up to its international human rights obligations and has not conformed with past U.N. resolutions on this matter. We believe this must change," Pettigrew said. Canada presented similar resolutions to the United Nations in both 2003 and 2004. The U.N.'s General Assembly adopted the 2004 resolution with 71 votes in favour, 54 against and 55 abstentions. The previous resolutions accused Iran of human rights abuses, including torture, suppression of free speech and discrimination against women and minorities. "It is very important that the international community ... keeps the pressure on Iran at this stage for them to really, really acknowledge the situation of human rights abuses in the country and really try to change the situation."

Amnesty International rips Iran for child executions
Amnesty International, Oct. 20 – Amnesty International condemned Iran on Thursday for handing down death sentences to minors and said it was “outraged” at the sentences. “Iran has executed at least seven juvenile offenders in 2005 including two minors who were under 18 at the time of their execution”, Amnesty said in a statement. Amnesty said that a draft law currently under consideration fell “far short” of the measures which Iran had to fulfil to meet its international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Amnesty International also expressed concern at a stoning to death sentence recently handed down to a woman called Soghra.




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