|"There have been over 2,000 executions in Iran in|
the two years Rouhani has been in office."
Who is Hassan Rouhani and what does he stand for? And more importantly what has been the conduct of the Iranian regime during his tenure?
The following review on some of the key issues is telling.
The human rights situation in Iran has been dreadful.
• There have been over 2,000 executions in Iran in the two years that Rouhani has been in office, more than in any similar period in the past 25 years. The victims include political dissidents like Gholamreza Khosravi, an activist of Iran’s principal opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) who was hanged solely for providing financial assistance to a satellite television station supporting the opposition.
• On April 20, 2014 Rouhani described these executions as “God’s commandments” and “laws of the parliament that belongs to the people.”
• Iran holds the record of having the most executions per capita in the world, and is the biggest executioner of juvenile offenders. On October 14, 2015, Amnesty International announced: “Execution of two juvenile offenders in just a few days makes a mockery of Iran’s juvenile justice system.” On October 19, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the execution of the two minors and voiced his concern about the rise in executions in Iran. Ban's press office said in a statement that he was concerned the executions "reflect a worrying trend in Iran." "Over 700 executions are reported to have taken place so far this year, including at least 40 public, marking the highest total recorded in the past 12 years," it said.
• On July 23, Amnesty International provided a shocking report, “Iran’s staggering execution spree”. It said nearly 700 were put to death in Iran by the regime in just over six months. This is equivalent to executing more than three people per day. It added, “Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale.”
• Iranian political prisoner Shahrokh Zamani was found dead in his prison cell on September 13 with his mouth full of blood and a bruised head. A 51-year-old labor activist and painter, Mr. Zamani was arrested in June 2011 and was being held Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran. He defended the rights of Iranian workers. The regime’s henchmen had repeatedly threatened to kill him.
• Executions of ethnic and religious minorities have increased dramatically. According to Amnesty International on August 26, Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority, was executed despite the fact that he was awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal. On August 9, Kurdish political prisoner Sirvan Najavi was hanged in Tabriz Central Prison. The henchmen did not notify his lawyer about the execution and deprived his family from having a last visit with their son. Sirvan Najavi, a Sardasht resident, was arrested in July 2011 in the city of Karaj and sentenced to death on the mullahs-fabricated charge of ‘Moharebeh’ (enmity with God)
• Authorities in a prison in Mashhad, northeast Iran, on August 4 amputated the right hand and left foot of Mehdi R. as other prisoners were forced to watch. The sentenced was carried out one day after another man, identified only as Rahman K., had his right hand and left foot severed by the authorities in the same prison, the state-run daily Shahr Ara wrote on August 5. Both men were accused by the regime of committing a bank heist and were pronounced by the authorities to be “moharebeh,” or “waging war on God.” According to the state-run daily Khorasan both men will continue to serve an extended prison sentence as well.
• On August 1, the regime sentenced a 27-year-old man, Hamed, to be blinded. Hamed had told the regime's court that in March 2011, when he was 23 years old, he unintentionally caused an eye injury to another young man in a street fight, according to the official state-run Iran newspaper.
• On June 28, the regime amputated the fingers of two prisoners in Mashhad.
• Iran is the largest prison for journalists in the Middle East; dozens of journalists are being detained today.
• Iran is one of the 10 countries in which the greatest crackdown is applied to Christians. There are several cases of Christian priests who are imprisoned solely for their practices. Saeed Abedini, an Iranian American Christian pastor, has been detained in Iran since the summer of 2012 for practicing his faith.
• The Iranian regime arrested a group of practicing Iranian Christians on Christmas Day at an in-house church in the city of Shiraz, southern Iran. The group of Iranian Christians had gathered together on December 25, to celebrate Christmas when plain-clothes agents of the regime's notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) raided the in-house church.
• On December 30, it was revealed that authorities in Tehran are planning to transform illegally-confiscated church grounds into an ‘Islamic prayer center.’ The land belonging to the Iranian Assyrian community’s Chaldean Catholic Church in Tehran’s Patrice Lumumba Street (in Western Tehran) was illegally confiscated two years ago under the pretext of constructing an Islamic prayer hall and the authorities have refused to hand it back.
• Iran is one of the largest customers of Internet censoring and filtering equipment. It also blocks around five million websites dedicated to arts, social issues, and news, and works hard to filter the content of blogs and social media.
• Misogyny is at the heart of Iranian regime’s theocratic rule. In October 2014, organized gangs affiliated with the regime committed acid attacks on Iranian women and girls with total impunity. Criminal gangs affiliated to the Iranian regime subjected at least 25 women to acid attacks in cities of Isfahan, Kermanshah and Tehran.
• In October 2014, In defiance of international appeals, the Iranian regime executed Rayhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old woman whose crime was defending herself against an intelligence agent who had attempted to rape her. Amnesty International called the execution “another bloody stain on Iran’s human rights record.”
• Ms. Atena Farghadani, a 28- year-old artist, was tried on May 19, 2015 for drawing a cartoon. She was put on trial on charges including ‘spreading propaganda against the system’ and ‘insulting members of parliament through paintings’. She was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison. It is hard to imagine that a young woman be put in jail for 12 years for drawing a cartoon. But this is the reality of the theocracy ruling Iran.
Source: NCRI, January 8, 2016