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Iran: Unprecedented Repression of Civil Society in August 2019

24 Aug 19
Iran: Unprecedented Repression of Civil Society in August 2019

Iran Human Rights (IHR); August 24, 2019: While the world's attention is drawn to the events in the Persian Gulf, civil activists face a new wave of repression, arrest and long-term prison verdicts in Iran.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) urges the international community to react to the recent vast violation of human rights in Iran. “It seems the Islamic Republic are taking disadvantage of the tension in Persian Gulf and Hormuz Strait to increase their oppression of Iranian people who are seeking fundamental changes in Iran,” IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said, “once again, we urge the international community, especially European countries, to put the human rights of the Iranian people on top of the agenda in their talks with Iranian authorities.”

According to IHR statistic department, during the first three weeks of August 2019, tens of civil activists were arrested in Iran and prison sentences were issued for those who were previously detained. 
In this month:
At least six Bahai citizens were arrested. Abolfazl Ansari, Rouhollah Zibaei and Farid Moghaddam (all on August 3). Monireh Bavil Soflaei, Minou Zamanipour and Gholamhossein Mazloumi (all on August 10).
Animal rights activists demonstration in front of Tehran City Hall was cracked down by police on August 19. Several people who were protested against dog slaughter by Tehran city officials were arrested. So far we don’t know the exact number of detainees.
Several members of the group of 14 who have called on Ali Khamenei (Supreme leader) to resign were also arrested:  La’l Mohammadi, Hashem Khastar, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, Hourieh Farajzadeh, Mohammad Nourizad, Fatemeh Sepehri, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi and Pouran Nazami were arrested in a peaceful demonstration in front of Mashhad City’s Justice Organization on August 11. In relation to the arrested demonstrators, the injured veteran in the Iran-Iraq war, Reza Sharafkhani, was arrested three days later.
So far in August, several worker activists were detained. Members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Hossein Karimi Sabzevar and Narges Mansouri were arrested respectively on August 4 and August 12. Asal Mohammadi was arrested in relation with Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Mill Labor Syndicate on August 4. 
Moreover, the following civil activists were also arrested: anti- compulsory hijab activist Raha Mohammadi (August 4), Turk minorities activist Aydin Zakeri (August 1), civil activists Asou Garmini and Majid Daryaei (August 4), Kurdish Writer and researcher Kamil Ahmadi (August 11), political activist Amirhossein Yousefi (August 8), photographer Noushin Jafari (August 4), political activist Ali Ghaderi (August 21), political activist Hiwa Jalili (August 20), other Kurdish activists Seifollah Jalili, Bashir Hatami and Ghafour Yari (August 19), writer and civil activist Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi (August 18), activist Shahla Jahanbin (August 21), Sunni cleric Abdolghani Gahramzehi (August 17), Sunni religious school student Javad Karimzaei (August 8), activist Sirous Abbasi (August 9), and political activist Jamal Goudarzi (August 7).
Farangis Mazloum, mother of political prisoner Soheil Arabi was arrested on August 22. 
Moreover, long-term prison sentences have been issued for previously detained activists in August. 
Iranian civil activists Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi and Mojan Keshavarz, have been sentenced to 55 years of imprisonment in sum. 
Retired university lecturer Kamal Jafari Yazi’s 13 years of imprisonment has been upheld by a court of appeal. 
Civil rights activist and physician Dr Farhad Meysami’s 6 years of imprisonment has been upheld by a court of appeal.
30 years of imprisonment for human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi has been upheld in August.
10 Years of imprisonment for British Council employee Aras Amiri Larijani has been upheld. 

Nevertheless, so far in August 2019, at least 23 prisoners have been executed in Iranian prisons. Iranian authorities only announced 8 executions and the rest was confirmed by IHR sources. Of note, Iran Human Rights (IHR) only reports the unannounced executions if it could confirm those with two separate credible sources. Therefore, the actual number of executions may be even higher than reported.