As the coronavirus death toll in Iran surpasses 210,000, the regime has still not bought any of the approved vaccines, following a ban on the import of vaccines from the US or UK by supreme leader Ali Khamenei last month.
Khamenei claimed that the vaccines were “completely untrustworthy” and suggested that they were being tested on Iranians, even though most Western countries already have their vaccination efforts well underway.
At the same time, the regime has increased repression against the people, with Deputy Police Chief Qasem Rezaei ordering officers not to leave so-called “troublemakers” unharmed during arrests last month and MP Nasser Mousavi Laregani calling for “petty thieves” to be punished with amputations.
Iran Human Rights Monitor said, in their report for human rights violations in January, that the regime is using repressive measures to prevent escalation of popular uprisings. Here, we will look at the violations in January, but we recommend that you look at the full report here.
There were at least 27 executions in Iran in January, including:
- 16 for murder
- Six for drug offenses
- Four for political activism
- One for rape
Iranian Authorities Secretly Bury Executed Political Prisoners in Ahvaz
Importantly, 11 of those people did not commit crimes that are punishable by death under international law and there is severe problems with how Iran handles murder cases, including failing to categorise murder by degree.
The regime tortured 35-year-old Bahman Oghabi to death at an Islamabad police station, but told his family that he died of an overdose.
Meanwhile, seven Turkic minority rights activists were given a total of 380 lashes, with five of them facing prison time.
Denial of prisoners’ rights
Several prisoners of conscience have gone on hunger strike over mistreatment at their prisons and the authorities’ failure to address demands. These are Abolfazl Ghasali, Yousef Kari, Abbas Lesani, Siamak Mirzaei, Ali and Reza Vaseqi, Jasem Heydari, Ali Khasraji, Hossein Seilavi, Ali Motiri, and Ali Mojaddam.
While many prisoners, especially political prisoners, have been denied medical treatment for existing conditions, injuries sustained under torture and COVID-19. These include Khaled Pirzadeh, Ali Nouri, Raheleh Ahmadi, Monireh Arabshahi, Seyed Tabib Taghizadeh, Reza Khandan and Fatemeh Mosanna.
Labour activist Shapour Ehsani Rad, held at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, was also banned from family visits because he protested poor prison conditions. While the Marivan Intelligence Service revoked the temporary leave for political prisoner Tahsin Dadres.
The regime also added another 11 months onto the imprisonment of political prisoner Saeed Sangar, who has spent 20 years behind bars.