Front Page: The Iranian military published a flimsy and unsubstantiated 28-page report this week criticizing human rights in the United States. Intriguingly, the report was supported by the Basij, a militia governmental group that is a leader in human rights violations.
Front Page Magazine
By Majid Rafizadeh
The Iranian military published a flimsy and unsubstantiated 28-page report this week criticizing human rights in the United States. Intriguingly, the report was supported by the Basij, a militia governmental group that is a leader in human rights violations, according to numerous international organizations. Several of its leaders have been convicted of crimes against humanity, and cannot leave the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ahmed Esfandiyari, the lieutenant commander of the Basij force, was quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying that similar reports on the human rights situation about other Western countries would be released on a regular and quarterly basis.
Iranian military leaders were excited about the ceremony for the publication of the 28-page report on human rights and the US held Monday in Tehran. The reports lacks any statistical data for supporting its conclusions, and it fails to provide any credible arguments to back its thesis. It draws on cases arbitrarily, such as the case of George Zimmerman.
Speaking of Iran’s record, Esfandiyari mentioned that human rights issues are at the foundation of the Iranian government and that Iran’s emphasis on human rights is “extensive.”
It is ironic that Iranian Ayatollahs, Mullahs and leaders are boasting about their human rights records while the nation is carrying out egregious human rights abuses, according to various international organizations.
These facts are documented by credible international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, rather than by a militia group that itself carries out crimes against humanity. It is worth noting that these facts are the official ones, there are many covert human rights violations being carried out in Iran and other Islamic countries that are not recorded by human rights organizations or Amnesty International since they cannot be adequately verified.
Iran tops many credible lists compiled about human rights violations, lack of democracy, and constriction of rights including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and political participation of the citizenry. Iran tops the rank in arbitrary arrests and detentions, capital punishment, stoning, unequal rights for women and men, widespread abuses against members of recognized and unrecognized religious and ethnic minorities— this groups includes Christians and Baha’is who have been discriminated against and continue to encounter arbitrary detention and unfair trials, and be denied educational opportunities and jobs.
In addition, according to Human Rights Watch, Iran also engages in systematic discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. According to the organization, “Iran is one of only seven countries with laws allowing executions for consensual same-sex conduct.”
Several branches of the Iranian regime have been accused by international organizations of human rights abuses, including the volunteer paramilitary force, the Basij, the judiciary, as well as security forces like the elite Islamist Revolutionary Guards Corps.
According to Amnesty International, just since the beginning of 2014, the Islamist state of Iran has carried out a total of 40 executions. According to reports, at least 33 of these executions were carried out in the past week alone. These executions are officially acknowledged by the Iranian regime. Public executions were also carried out this month, on January 14th in a city called Saveh, Markazi Province, in the northern part of Iran.
“The spike in the number of executions carried out so far this month in Iran is alarming. The Iranian authorities’ attempts to change their international image are meaningless if at the same time executions continue to increase,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Iran’s Islamist authoritarian rulers have abused their own people for decades, since 1979.
In 2013, thousands of students, political activists, human rights activists, filmmakers, lawyers, advocates for gender equality, Iranians with ties to Western countries, journalists, ethnic and religious minorities, and religious dissidents have been arrested, jailed and executed by the Iranian regime. Many of these victims did not receive due process. Many are tried in the military courts of Iran’s notorious Revolutionary Guards Corps.
According to Sahraoui, “Revolutionary Courts which routinely fall far short of international fair trial standards. The reality in Iran is that people are being ruthlessly sentenced to death after unfair trials, and this is unacceptable.”
Iran’s constitution legitimizes these human rights abuses by adding Sharia or Islamic laws to almost every article. For example, when it comes to arresting bloggers and torturing those who exercise free speech or press, a certain article states, “publications and the press are free to express their ideas unless these contravene the precepts of Islam or harm public rights. These conditions will be defined by laws.” This gives the Islamist regime the legal apparatuses to arrest, torture, jail, kill and execute people.
These recent happenings are only the tip of the iceberg of human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Unlike Iran’s 28 page unsubstantiated report collected by an institution accused of crimes against humanity, the aforementioned reports about Iran’s human rights abuses are collected by credible international organizations that do not record anything until it is completely verified by the concrete evidence.