Iran Human RightsWhat Were Human Rights Like in Iran Last Month?

What Were Human Rights Like in Iran Last Month?


The May 2021 report by Iran Human Rights Monitor into the situation of human rights abuses in Iran is now out and, as always, it makes for disturbing and horrific reading, specifically relating to executions, suppression, and arrests. We’re going to look at the report here, but we recommend looking at the full thing.

Executions and Arbitrary murders

Some 21 people were executed in Iran during May, including 15 on drug charges and two on rape charges, which are not death penalty crimes under global law. Of course, it’s not surprising when you consider that Iran is the biggest executioner in the world in terms of its population.

One of these cases was of Behzad Adl, 25, who was executed in Shiraz’s Adelabad Prison for rape. But he’d only confessed under torture, was denied access to a lawyer, and retracted the confession in court. Another is Baluchi citizen Mehran Naroui who was tortured into confessing, according to Amnesty International, and executed despite a social media campaign to save his life.

There were 16 people killed and 15 injured by the Iranian police without arrest or trial, which is something that the security forces often do to border porters.

Arrests and Abuse of Prisoners

More than 540 people were arrested, with many of them detained for their religious or political activities.

Meanwhile, the following prisoners went on hunger strike to protest the denial of medical treatment for themselves or others. This includes journalist Reza Taleshian Jalodarzadeh, filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad, and political prisoner Saba Kord Afshari.

Discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities

There were many instances of discrimination against people who are from minority groups last month. Here are just a few instances:

  • Sentencing of nine Baha’i citizens to prison on bogus charges of “acting against national security” and one woman for trying to empower women
  • Sentencing of three Azerbaijani Turk activists to prison and one to a 5 million Tomans fine on trumped-up political charges
  • Arbitrary arrest of 26 young men and one elderly woman for political activism

Internet censorship

A prominent internet freedom activist cited leaked confidential letters that showed the deputy head of Tehran’s Justice Department ordering that Google Play, Instagram, and VPNs be filtered by May 22. These letters, which said that the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) would be dealing with companies that didn’t comply, perhaps by closing the company or by prosecuting the manager, were confirmed by Mehr News in Iran.

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