Sunday, February 12, 2017


In a press briefing note regarding Iran, the office of the UN human rights High Commissioner said it remains concerned regarding a juvenile, Hamid Ahmadi, who was 17 years old when he was sentenced to death for the fatal stabbing in 2008 of a young man during a fight. The court relied on confessions allegedly obtained under torture while Mr Ahmadi was at a police station and denied access to a lawyer and his family, in violation of international guarantees of fair trial and due process.
Mr. Ahmadi’s execution had been set for this Saturday 11 February but we now have reports that it has been delayed for 10 days.  This is the latest occasion that Mr Ahmadi’s sentence has been postponed. A group of Special Rapporteurs and the Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child earlier this month appealed to Iran to halt his execution, then scheduled for 4 February.
We renew our call for Iran to halt the application of the death penalty to people who committed crimes when they were children. The High Commissioner will be contacting the Iranian authorities regarding Mr Ahmadi, who reportedly remains in solitary confinement.
We also once again urge Iran to immediately institute a moratorium on the death penalty, amid serious concerns about the high number of executions since the beginning of the year.

The Guards are the main force behind Iran’s nuclear program, lethal meddling across the Middle East, ballistic missile drive and domestic crackdown. Heshmat Alavi wrote on "The Clarion" wrote on Feb. 11, that Iran has been dubbed a “de facto Islamic Caliphate” due to increasing domestic crackdown and lethal meddling across the region, especially through the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Acting as Iran’s main armed force and sidelining the classic army, the IRGC has earned its reputation as an “Iranian expeditionary force for invading strategic Arab spaces.” According to reports the Trumps administration is looking into listing IRGC Islamic Revolutionary Guards corps as terrorist organization. It has the support of republican senators as well.

Officials of the Women's Prison in Yasouj-Iran have been imposing various restrictions on prisoners since October 2016. Recent reports indicate that they have closed down the ward's kitchen, the quality of food is very bad, the prisoners do not have telephone contact with their families, and there is no heating or sanitary facilities in the ward. One informed source has said, "Prison officials have restricted the prisoners' telephone contacts with their families. They can presently call their families for only a few minutes every week under close control of the Prison's protection sector." Yasouj is the capital of the southwestern Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province in Iran.

Civil rights activist Shima Babaii has been summoned by telephone to present her last defense to the Third Branch of Evin's Prosecutor's Office. She has already been summoned and interrogated several times by the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). She is accused of "disseminating anti-government propaganda" and "association and collaboration against national security".
Shima is a student of Construction Engineering. She participated in several peaceful gatherings in Tehran in front of the Dena Tire Company and Evin Prison calling for the freedom of political prisoners.

The Iranian judiciary extended the detention verdict of civil rights activist Massoumeh Zia for another month on February 8, 2017. Ms. Zia has been held in Ward 209 of notorious Evin Prison since January 6, when she was arrested by MOIS agents -Ministry of Intelligence- at Tehran's airport upon arrival from a family visit abroad.

Vice patrols called to help bring down the number of mal-veiled women in Iran. Majid Souri, Commander of the Revolutionary Guards of Boroujerd, told a gathering on February 7, "We call on those who enjoin good and forbid from evil, to take action in the framework of local guidance patrols to bring down the number of mal-veiled women." He stressed, "By activating the guidance patrols in every neighborhood in Boroujerd, we can first identify the problems in every neighborhood and in the next stage, we would form a council to decide on who should give the warning."
Boroujerd is one of the major cities of Lorestan Province in western Iran.

Mona Mo'afi, a social activist and employee of the Psychology Organization, was arrested on January 25, 2017, at her work place by agents of the Intelligence Ministry (MOIS). Her family have no news of her. A close confidant said, "Mona's father has been told that their only daughter has been taken to the station of the Security Police to answer some questions and you can deposit a bail bond to have her released. After 11 days, however, no authority is accountable on this situation."

Women top the list of those deprived of education in the southwestern province of Khuzistan in Iran. Khuzistan's Provincial Governor, Gholamreza Shariati, told a gathering on February 6, 2017, "We still have children in Khuzistan who are deprived of education. The largest number of those deprived of education belongs to women." (The state-run Mehr news agency – February 6, 2017) Earlier, in September 2016, head of the Department of Education in the 4th District of Ahwaz, Fazel Khamisi, announced, "In some parts of Ahwaz, one out of every four girls can earn a high school diploma."
At the same time, Leili Nazarpour, expert in charge of women's affairs in the Department of Education, said, "The number of girls deprived of education doubles the number of deprived boys." (The state-run Mehr news agency – September 17, 2016)

The latest official statistics show that one woman is addicted in Iran for every 9 male addicts. The figure was announced on February 5, 2017, by Hamidreza Fat'hi, head of the Department for Prevention of Drug Addiction in the Ministry of Health. Fat'hi said there are 1.325.000 people addicted to drugs, while "women's share of drug addiction is rapidly on the rise." (The state-run IRNA news agency, February 5, 2017)The figure must be considered tremendously understated since drug addiction is a prevalent problem under the repressive conditions in Iran where people are desperate in earning their living and the country's economic foundations are crumbling adding more and more people to the army of unemployed.
In the meantime, the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the main sponsor of drug trafficking in the country as a great source of revenue, providing cheap drugs which are easily available to anyone.

A young woman was stabbed to death by her husband on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Her body was dumped into a well.
The 25-year-old man, called Hessam, said the only reason for killing his wife was that he was suspicious of some of her behavior.
A considerable number of honor killings take place in Iran but there are no accurate figures available on them. In 2015, there were at least 94 headlines which dealt with honor killings.