Iran: 660 registered executions in 2013, with two thirds during Rouhani’s office, discredit any illusion of moderation
Sixty public executions, twenty-five women are executed, and five execution of minors at time of their arrests
· Fanning illusion of moderation in the barbaric regime of Iran is solely to mislead international community and justify deals and appeasement of henchmen ruling Iran
In 2013, subsistence of Velayat-e faqih regime continued on gallows, group executions in prisons and city streets throughout the country, and torture and tormenting to death of the political prisoners. The ruling mullahs employed at least 60 suppressive organs, including the revolutionary guards, the anti-popular Basij force, plainclothes, variety of intelligence organs to suppressive institutions such as district police, dormitory police, intangible police, metro police, women’s police, etc., and not one day went by without suppression and slaughter. Some angles of this all encompassing suppression may be recounted as follows:
1. Since the beginning of 2013 till December 31, execution of at least 660 prisoners was registered in Iran with 430 of them executed after the June 14 election show. This is while news on many executions never finds its way out of the prisons. Twenty-five of those executed were women. Public execution of two young men of 20 and 23 years old for stealing the equivalent of 35 Euros, execution of three youngsters who were 12, 15 and 17 years old at the time of their arrests, hanging a bleeding 28 year old who a few hours prior to his execution had committed suicide, hanging the body of a 23 year old in Zahedan who had already died a few hours back of a heart attack, hanging of Ms. Geitei Marami, 34, whose body was bleeding due to 100 lashes she received prior to her execution, emphasizing on the execution of a wretched prisoner who had come alive after his execution in the mortuary, are but a minute segment of mullahs’ regime record replete with crimes in 2013. On December 11, head of regime’s judiciary system Mullah Sadeq Larijani called reports by international bodies on degrading condition of human rights in Iran as fabricated and prejudiced and said: “Opposing the death sentence is opposing Islam’s orders.”
2. Meanwhile thousands of prisoners throughout the country are on the death row. As an example, just in Ghezel Hessar prison, there are 3000 prisoners who are sentenced to death. To facilitate group executions, the clerical regime has put up three platforms each capable of concurrently hanging 12 people. In protest to these executions, it is now two months that a number of political prisoners who are sentenced to death have gone on a hunger strike in Ghezel Hessar. In the last weeks of 2013, several thousand other prisoners went on a 10-day hunger strike.
3. Staging horrific public group executions to intensify atmosphere of terror and fright in the society increased in 2013. Cities such as Noshahr, Babol, Ghemshahr, Tonkabon, Shiraz, Jahrom, Fasa, Ahvaz, Dehdasht, Hendijan, Shahrkord, Ilam and Karaj were witness to these horrific scenes. State-run media published horrific pictures of these executions to deepen the atmosphere of terror and fright. On many occasions, including in Lakan prison in Rasht, prisoners are forced by henchmen to participate in the dreadful scenes of hanging of their co-inmates or friends and those who refuse to participate in this anti-human action are sent to solitary confinement.
B. Execution of political prisoners
4. Execution of political prisoners, especially the ethnic and religious minorities, showed an increase last year. On October 26, sixteen Baluchi political prisoners were collectively hanged in Zahedan prison. Regime’ officials confessed that these people who had been in prison for a long time, were executed in revenge for a number of revolutionary guards killed in Saravan. On that same day, another Baluchi political prisoner in the prison in Hamedan, and two Kurdish political prisoners Habibollah Golparipour, 29, and Reza Esmaeili (Mamedi), 34, in the central prison of Urumia and Salmas respectively, were hanged. On the next day, a Baluchi political prisoner was executed in Barsilon prison in Khorramabad. On November 3, four Arab prisoners from Shadegan were executed. On November 4, Shirkoo Ma’arefi, a Kurdish political prisoner was executed in city of Saghez. There is no news on a number of political prisoners who in recent months have been transferred from their cells to unknown locations. Meanwhile, execution of political prisoners as ordinary or narcotic trafficking prisoners is a known routine in the mullahs’ regime. Apprehensive of social tumult, regime has refrained from handing over bodies of political prisoners to their families and secretly buried them.
C. Murder, secretly killing, and tormenting to death of prisoners
5. A number of prisoners lost their lives under torture or were secretly disposed of by employing various methods. Amir Moussai was killed under torture in Borazjan prison on February 1. On June 24, Alireza Shahbakhsh, a Baluchi prisoner, after spending seven years in prison and following his vindication in regime’s court, suspiciously lost his life in ward one of Zahedan prison only one day before he was to be released. On June 20, Afshin Ossanlou, a forty-two year old labor activist, suspiciously and suddenly died in hall 12 of ward 4 of Gohardasht prison. He too had only a few months remaining from his 5-year prison term. On October 24, body of Ali Marashi from Ahvaz was handed over to his family with broken rib and skull.
6. This year, a number of prisoners lost their lives due to lack of medical treatment. In the early days of the year, Abdolrahman Rahnavard, 30, was transferred from Roudan prison in Hormozgan province to Bandar Abbas central prison for medical treatment; however, head of the prison prevented his hospitalization that led to his death. On July 15, Ahmad Bajlani, 44, and suffering from hepatitis and tuberculosis, lost his life in this same prison after tolerating one week of excruciating pain, in absence of least medical treatment. Political prisoner Alireza Karami, an employee of Oil Company, who had acute heart problem, lost his life on April 6 because of lack of medical treatment. During his sixteen years in prison due to terrible conditions of regime’s dungeons, and suffering most severe tortures, he had many diseases.
7. Condition of a great number of prisoners has deteriorated because they were deprived of medical services. In reply to protests from prisoners who are supporters of PMOI and many of them are political prisoners of the 1980s who suffer from many ailments due to many years and prison and the tortures they have endured, henchmen say: “You are Monafeq. The sentence for all of you is death.” Four members of Daneshpour Moghaddam family are in critical condition. Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam, 72, is suffering from acute cardiac and digestive system ailments and his forty-one year old son Ahmad has acute digestive system malady. Both Mohsen and Ahmad Daneshpour are condemned to death. Ms. Motahareh Bahrami, 62, suffers of acute disc prolapse and Ms. Rayhaneh Haj Ebrahim Dabbagh has severe pain in the leg and back plus acute problem of the digestive system.
Ms. Sedigeh Moradi has neck disc prolapse; Ali Moezi, 63, has cancer and severe renal problem; Mashallah Haeri, 62, has acute cardiac problem with a record of several cardiac arrests in prison as well as respiratory problems and brain hemorrhage; Mohammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi, 67, suffers from acute pain in his bones and recently experienced a cardiac arrest; Saleh Kohandel, has acute blood problem; Meisaq Yazdan Nejad, a 27 year old student, is in critical condition due to tortures and prison conditions. Ali Asghar Mahmoudian, has been sent to exile to Semnan prison and is held in the ward for ordinary dangerous prisoners that was previously a stable and has various ailments due to terrible hygienic conditions. Gholamreza Khossravi has acute pain of the vertebra, Dr. Asghar Qatan, 60, has numerous ailments such as hypertension, severe diabetics, high cholesterol, has lost vision of one eye, and suffered a cardiac arrest last month. Mohammad Saemi, 64, is suffering from various diseases, including cardiac and renal problems, arthritis, disc prolapse, and damage to the ear drum. Saeid Massouri is suffering from all kinds of diseases, including acute problem with his digestive system. Assadollah Hadi, Mohammad Davari and Mohammadali Mansouri are amongst prisoners who are in critical condition because they are deprived of medical care.
Zaniar Moradi, a Kurdish prisoner on death row, is suffering from acute disc prolapsed, Khaled Hardani, has severe heart problem, Mehdi Sajedifar, 35, has cancer of esophagus, Mohammadreza Pourshajari (Siamak Mehr) is suffering from diabetics and heart problem, Reza Shahabi, needs surgery on his neck vertebra, but he has not been allowed to have this operation. Mohammad Sediq Kaboudvand, is suffering of various diseases, but officials do not allow him to receive medical treatment outside the prison. Kayvan Samimi, a journalist, is being kept in prison despite his old age and various ailments, including arthritis of knees and back. Salaheddin Moradi, from Gonabadi Darvishes, suffers from renal pain and internal bleeding; Kassra Nouri has acute disc prolapsed; Mostafa Daneshjou, lawyer of Daravish has respiratory problems. Mohammad Saifzadeh, 66 year old lawyer, has had a brain stroke. He has numbness of hand and foot, back and neck disc prolapse, and severe chest pains. Hassan Fatali Ashtiyani, Abdolfattah Soltani, Hamidreza Moradi, Ali Saedi, Iraj Mohammadi, Ayatollah Kazemi Boroujerdi, Argjang Davoudi, Shahram and Farhang Pourmansouri, Ebrahim Babadi, Nameq Mahmoudi, Adel Naimi, Mehdi Khodaii, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Assadollah Assadi and Farhad Rouhi Arash Sharifi and Mohammad Nazari are some of the other patients that their ailments have intensified due to deprivation of medical treatment.
8. Meanwhile, along with the rocket attacks and massacre of PMOI members in Ashraf and Camp Liberty, arbitrary arrests and increasing pressure on PMOI supporters and their families continued on a larger scale in 2013, especially during the months before the election. Some of these people are still in prisons. On January 13, Mr. Reza Akbari Monfared and his son Ali were apprehended. His sister, Maryam Akbari Monfared, mother of three small children, has been imprisoned for the last three years on the mullahs’ invented charge of Moharebeh. Four of the brothers and sisters of Mr. Akbari have been executed by the clerical regime. Mr. Hassan Sadeqi, his wife Fatema Mossana were arrested on charge of making arrangements for holding memorial ceremony for Gholamhossein Sadeqi, a PMOI member in Camp Liberty, Baghdad who died of a heart attack because he was deprived of medical treatment.
9. Arbitrary arrest of prisoners and their conditional release on heavy bails is one of the methods used by the regime to impose pressure on political prisoners and their families.
D. Harsh prison conditions
10. As confessed by regime’s head of prisons organization, the official capacity of Ghezel Hessar prison is 5000, but right now there are over 22000 prisoners piled up there. Prisoners even lack enough space to sit. They rest in turns and are even compelled to use the space inside restrooms to rest. Sanitary conditions are deplorable, water is contaminated, and lack of minimum facilities to bathe has given rise to dermal and epidemic diseases among inmates. Prison’s infirmary is void of minimum medical equipment and facilities; moreover, prison’ henchmen deprive prisoners that most of them are suffering of various ailments from access to specialist physicians and medical services. The very limited food ration causes malnutrition and lack of heating devices in the cold season adds to prison’s catastrophic conditions.
11. Bandar Abbas prison can contain 400 prisoners, but it is now keeping 4000 prisoners that 300 of them are condemned to death. Prisoners are deprived of the least medical attention in this prison. The only medicine in this prison are Methadone and Hallucinatory pills despite outbreak of hepatitis, nothing is done to contain this disease and even medical treatment is withheld. Instead of isolating prisoners with hepatitis, prison guards intentionally distribute them in other wards. Breathing is difficult in the cells of this prison, especially during the hot season. Water is repugnant, contaminated and has a bad taste. Prison’s market sells expired-date food to prisoners at very high prices. Wards contaminated with sewage, with a repugnant smell, and thrive of insidious insects are part of the catastrophic condition of this medieval prison. Mullahs’ regime sends political prisoners on exile to this prison and compels them to spend their sentence amongst ordinary prisoners. The condition of solitary cells in this prison is even deadlier. The cells are so small that one cannot rest. Prisoner is kept in these cells of cement floor and wall without any blanket or floor covering. There is no natural light in these cells, food is just enough to keep the prisoner alive, and there is no sign of hygiene provisions or medical services.
12. Qerchak prison in Varamin that is known to people as the second Kahrizak, is a women’s prison. To place added pressure on female political prisoners, mullahs’ regime exiles them to this prison. This prison is composed of seven buildings to house 2000 prisoners and dozens of children who are under two years old. These buildings are very old and they have the appearance of a rudimentary storage. Gangs within the prison freely distribute drugs to addicted prisoners. Lacking a sewage system, toilets are constantly contaminated. Water in this prison is contaminated as well and the food ration is adequate just for subsistence.
13. In Isfahan’s Dastgerd prison with a capacity of 4000, over 10000 prisoners are dumped. Because of scarcity of space, the corridors leading to toilets are full of prisoners.
14. In Mashhad’s Vakilabad prison over 25000 prisoners are held. The number of prisoners condemned to death in this prison is reported to be over 4000. On many occasions during 2013, regime has secretly hanged prisoners in large groups.
15. Broadcasting noise in Gohardasht is yet another method to torture political prisoners in this prison. This anti-human measure that is also cancerous has seriously endangered the health of prisoners and they have dryness of mucus, muscular pains, severe headaches, blurred vision, nausea and continuous numbness. Prisoners staged a strike to protest this anti-human measure.
E. Medieval punishments
16. Barbaric punishments such as stoning, amputations, blinding, cutting off the ear… help complete the cycle of atrocity and terror in mullahs’ regime. In the past year, four stoning sentences, including two women in city of Tabriz, gouging out of the eye and cutting off the ear of an imprisoned worker in Tehran, and cutting off the hand of eight prisoners in Shiraz, Sari and Abadan were issued. Assadollah Jafari, regime’s deputy of the judiciary, called “carrying out amputation of hand and foot as one of the honors of [mullahs’] judiciary system” (regime’s news agencies – 30 January 2013). Public prosecutor of Shiraz said that amputation of hand is a “serious warning” to all those that “create insecurity”. And regime’s Guardian Council once again reiterated on punishment of stoning in mullahs’ “new penal code” of 2013 (Spokesman for Majlis Judiciary Commission – 21 January 2013).
F. Murdering people, especially in border areas
17. While thieves and smugglers with their several billion dollar embezzlements are holding the highest state offices, suppressive forces, on a daily basis and on various pretexts, shot and killed, plundered the property, set fire on vehicles, or killed porter animals of the defenseless and deprived citizens and petty businessmen who are working in border areas or port cities such as Bandar Abbas to support their families’ livelihood.
G. Arbitrary detentions
18. Arbitrary and blind arrests were conducted in different cities under pretext of suppressive projects such as “increasing social security”. In Sanadaj alone, in just four days, 193 people were arrested. In Tehran, just on December 15, the arrestees numbered 123. In Bandar Abbas dozens were arrested in nightly assaults on the houses where young people lived.
19. Humiliating and insulting the arrestees, especially the young, by putting women’s dress on them and taking them around in city streets met wide abhorrence on part of the Iranian people.
20. In the universities, suppressive measures aimed at thwarting eruption of student protests continued. Through issuing hundreds of suspension sentences, the regime deprived students on various pretexts from their right to education or sent them to its medieval prisons after least protests or student activities. Karamatollah Zaerian, a 27 year old student in Tehran University, was arrested three times and after his sudden disappearance was suspiciously found dead. Nonetheless, students shouted their rage and abhorrence of this anti-human regime on different occasions with slogans such as “death to dictator” or “student dies, but refuses to be humiliated” and on many occasions they disrupted speeches by regime’s elements.
21. Imposing pressure and prejudice against women which has become institutionalized continued in 2013 on various arenas. Suppressive patrols, using the mullahs’ fabricated excuse of “mal-veiling” harassed women especially during the summer. In order to broaden suppression of women, the clerical regime presented “national plan for veiling special to the schools” for children and girl students. Firouzabadi, Commander in Chief of regime’s Armed Forces, said: to preserve “veiling and sanctity” elements of the security forces and mullahs’ judiciary system ought to “confront” women. He added: “If mal-veiling and unchastity… are used to mar the revolution then they become a security matter and security organs ought to confront them.” (Tasnim news agency, affiliated with IRGC – 22 November 2013)
H. Suppression of followers of religions
22. In 2013, the clerical regime added new dimension to the arrest and oppression of pastors and Christians. A number of them were arrested in Tehran, Fars, Isfahan and Azerbaijan on charges of “acting against the national security” or “evangelizing and propaganda in favor of Christianity” and participation in religious rituals. Apprehension of priest Robert Asserian, a leader of Assemblies of God Church of Iran in Tehran who was later released because of international pressures; condemnation of pastor Verveer Avanessian to 3.5 years in prison and pastor Saeid Abedini to 8 years in prison; condemning four Christian compatriots who were arrested in a church-house to 80 lashes in November; imposing pressure on a number of Armenian pastors to end their activities or to leave the country; closing down of many church-houses plus the principal church of Armenians in Taleghani Street in Tehran is but part of regime’s crimes against Christians. In a suppressive measure on December 15, as Christmas was nearing, entry of Farsi-speaking members of the Saint Petrous Church in Tehran to this church was barred and conducting sermons and religious rituals in Persian was declared prohibited.
23. Imposing pressures and apprehension of Zoroastrians, Gonabadi Darvishes, and followers of Yarsan faith continued. In February, seven lawyers of and Daravish prisoners in ward 350 of Evin prison refused to attend regime’s court. Subsequently, they were tortured and transferred to solitary confinement in ward 209. Two of the Daravish prisoners in Adelabad prison in Shiraz staged a hunger strike for 90 days in protest to suppressive measures against Daravish and their lawyers. Suppressive and insulting steps against Daravish of Yarsan met a wave of protest from these compatriots.
24. The clerical regime continued imposition of pressures on and apprehension of Baha’is last year. On August 24, Ataollah Rezvani, a 52 year old merchant, was finally assassinated in Bandar Abbas after he was numerously threatened by the intelligence ministry and the Office of Friday prayer Imam of the city to stop selling water pumps. In Semnan prison’s women’s ward, a number of Baha’i women are living in harsh conditions beside ordinary criminals. Three of these women have their infants with them. On December 12, suppressive elements destroyed Baha’is cemetery in Sanandaj. This is the third Baha’i cemetery that is being destroyed by mullahs.
I. Suppression of freedom of expression
25. Reporters without Borders reported on December 18: Iran is one of the five large prisons for reporters in the world. The number of Iranian reporters imprisoned in Iran until the June sham elections was 71. This organization announced that since Rouhani’s election, 42 more reporters or journalists have been arrested and 12 publications had to cease their activities.
26. Unable to confront the popularity of prohibited televisions, in particular Simaye Azadi (INTV) that is a dependable source for accessing information and news, the clerical regime acts with severity to limit access of people to satellite channels. Mullah Mohammad Saeidi, Qom’s Friday prayer Imam, said on September 25: “Today, through a cultural assault, the enemy is targeting the core of our homes and our families.” Hossein Zolfaqari, commander of border patrols of regime’s security forces, reported of a 99% increase in discovery of satellite equipment (ISNA state news agency – September 26). In a suppressive act on September 26, the revolutionary guards crushed 800 satellite “antennas and receivers” under the wheels of armored personnel carriers. The regime called this act “an act of value to confront the cultural assault of enemies of revolution and the system”. In a span of six months in Hamedan, 32000 satellite dishes were gathered (Mehr news agency, affiliated with the Intelligence Ministry – 8 October 2013). Moreover, 5000 satellite receivers were confiscated in Bandar Abbas customs (state media – December 13).
J. Rigorous suppression of cyber space
26. In 2013, the clerical regime increased the extent of suppression of cyber space netizens. Filtering, control of the internet and sites and emails of netizens was implemented using at least 12 organs of spying and suppression. In the first weeks of 2013, in order to intensify suppression of internet, by orders from Khamenei, a new organ called “Base for Soft War” was formed in the headquarters of the armed forces. Mohammad Ali Assoudi, cultural and propaganda deputy of IRGC, said: “20000 forces of the revolutionary guards are active in different cultural areas to confront the Soft War.” He added that this measure “was taken to implement commands by the supreme leader regarding confronting soft war” (Bahar state-run newspaper – 2 January 2013).
Just in the last week of July, the security forces closed down and sealed 67 coffee nets in the greater Tehran and issued warnings to more. Sajedinia, Commander of security forces in greater Tehran, stressed that offenders “would be punished without tolerance” (ISNA news agency – July 27). Previously, secretariat of regime’s Supreme Council of Cyber Space had called “getting around filtering to access social networks in the internet a crime”.
Access to cyber space is solely possible through IPs registered by communications company that belongs to IRGC. The suppressive FTA (Iran’s space for creation and exchange of information) Police of internet conditioned any use of the internet to presenting one’s national code and password. For owners of coffee nets various restrictions and prohibitions were imposed that led to closing down of a large number of coffee nets in different cities because these restrictions were not observed.
Similarly last year, a number of compatriots were arrested and tortured and underwent all kinds of pressures simply for writing articles in the internet. The arrest of eight bloggers, including a woman in Rafsanjan, on charge of “insulting the sanctities” of the system, are among these arrests (20 November 2013).
27. This year, music studios were closed down under the pretext of “prohibited recording” and some members of musical groups were arrested on charge of “un-cultural underground activities, including production of forbidden songs and music”.
What was covered in this report was but a small portion of the dreadful condition that the Iranian people are living in day in and day out. Infants are raised in death camps for sins their mothers never committed, elderly fathers and mothers are taken hostage on mullahs’ fabricated-charges brought against their children and are deprived of the most rudimentary rights in regime’s dungeons, and the Iranian youth and women are condemned to gradual death in torture centers and safe houses.
660 registered executions in 2013, with two thirds during Rouhani’s office, vividly shows that fanning the mirage of moderation in this regime is solely a means to deceive the international community and justify deals with and appeasement of the henchmen ruling Iran. Therefore, once again, the Iranian Resistance calls for referral of the dossier of barbaric and systematic violation of human rights in Iran to the UN Security Council and for leaders of this regime to be brought to justice. Moreover, it underscores that any continuation or expansion of economic and political relations with the mullahs should have as requisite improvement of human rights situation in Iran.