Iranian authorities executed a woman on Thursday morning, 26 September, 2019, in Sanandaj Prison. She was identified as Leila Zarafshan and was in prison since five years ago on murder charges.
Leila Zarafshan is the 95th woman to be executed in Iran during Rouhani’s term in office since 2013. Iran is the only country that executes juveniles and holds the highest number of female executions in the world.
On25 August, 2019, a woman was executed in Mashhad Central Prison.
Another woman identified as Maliheh Salehian from Miandoab was hanged on July 16, 2019, in the Central Prison of Mahabad, in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan.
Zahra Safari Moghaddam, 43, was hanged in the Prison of Nowshahr, northern Iran, on 17 July, 2019.
According to reports from inside Iran, prison authorities tortured Iranian political prisoner Mehdi Farahi Shandiz in Karaj Central Prison. Prison guards transferred Farahi Shandiz to the prison’s medical center after he lost consciousness under torture.
The Iranian regime’s repressive forces tortured Mehdi Farahi Shandiz while he was on hunger strike.
After transferring the political prisoner to the medical center, the prison guards did not allow him to receive full treatment and immediately returned him to solitary confinement after he received minimum care.
Farahi Shandiz suffered from a heart attack in July and was transferred to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with diabetes and heart failure.
In the past eight years, Farahi Shandiz has suffered from impairment to his sight and hearing and fractured ribs under torture.
Two political prisoners, Soheil Arabi and Haj Jaffar Kashani held in Evin prison, went on hunger strike to protest continued detention and situation of Farangis Mazloum, Arabi’s mother.
The two politcal prisoners started their hunger strike on Friday, 20 September.
In an open letter the political prisoners said, “Hear the sound of our protest. We heard your protests from inside this prison. We don’t want a tyrannical regime.”
“By going on hunger strike, we political prisoners incarcerated in Evin prison will join the opponents of the dictators and we demand the overthrow of this tyrannical regime. Wherever we look, we see poverty, economic divide, and tyranny. Silence is complicity with the tyrants,” the Iranian political prisoners wrote in their letter.
Iranian Sunni prisoners of conscience were attacked and beaten by Raja’i Shahr Prison guards in Karaj after protesting prison conditions and denial of medical treatment. Many were injured but are still in solitary confinement.
Reports indicate that the prison guards beat the prisoners on 27 August, 2019, using electric shock and truncheons.
The prisoners had previously staged hunger strike in July to protest the authorities’ abuse of the prisoners and ignoring their problems such as lack of space, not being allowed to telephone their families and loved ones, deprivation of light and clean air, and being locked up inside their cells without being allowed to go outside for fresh air.
A peaceful gathering of HEPCO workers was violently repressed Monday, September 16, after the state security forces attacked the protesters. Reports indicate that 15 workers were injured while 30 to 40 were arrested.
Workers from the Heavy Equipment Production Company (HEPCO) in the central city of Arak held their gathering for the second consecutive day, protesting months of unpaid wages and the privatization of the company which has left the once productive company in shambles.
The protesting workers were holding a banner reading, “We HEPCO workers are making it crystal clear: Our main demand is the clarification of the company shareholding and ownership status following five years of being left in limbo. We will no longer accept merely a new company director.”
Torture and corporal punishment are common practices in Iran’s prisons and also mandated by law.
Iran denies use of torture in prisons despite thousands of reports since the early 80’s that prove torture has been used to extract forced confessions from prisoners or to break the morale of political prisoners.
Article 38 of Iran’s Constitution states, “All forms of torture …are forbidden,” and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a State Party, states in Article 7: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Nonetheless, accounts from former prisoners reveal common practice of rape, beatings, mock executions and other forms of torture in Iran’s prisons, especially against dissidents. Prisoners frequently reported to have died under torture.
According to reports, Gholamreza Ziaei, the new chief of the Iranian regime’s notorious Evin prison in Tehran, has been mounting repression against prisoners.
Gholamreza Ziaei has adopted new rules which put more pressure on prisoners. One of these rules is the removal of health insurance plans for prisoners. This means that prisoners and their families are responsible to cover all the health and treatment costs of prisoners. Those who don’t have the money are deprived of medical treatment. Even if a prisoner is dying, they won’t be transferred to the medical center before paying for their treatment out of their own pockets.
This is while Iran’s State Prisons Organization and the judiciary to which it responds, as well as prison officials, are responsible for the health and wellbeing of detainees. However, prison authorities have little accountability to any independent body, especially when it comes to cases of political detainees.
"Iran: The Power of the Alternative" is a Special Report prepared by The Washington Times Special Sections Department.
The Washington Times had a report about the annual gathering of Iranian in exile, which took place at Ashraf 3 in Albania, organised by the Iran’s largest opposition group.
Ashraf 3 is the city built by more than 3,000 Iranian dissidents who used to be in Iraq.
In this report you can read: “Under the plan, Maryam Rajavi would step in as president-elect until elections are held. Mrs. Rajavi — the wife of MEK co-founder Massoud Rajavi, who disappeared in 2003 — was the star of Saturday’s event. Her remarks were interrupted repeatedly by loud chants of “Iran! Maryam! Freedom!” and “From Ashraf to Tehran, we will fight to the end!”