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Executions and Deaths in Custody Continue Unabated in Iran

Although the UN, world leaders and other international organizations have encouraged Iran to put a moratorium the executions and death sentences, they continue unabated. Since the 17th of March, a young man was hanged in Semnan Prison for a drug-related offense. On the 18th, three men who were charged with rape, were hanged in Shiraz’s Vakil Abad Prison. Their death sentences were confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court.

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Additionally, the inhuman treatment and cruel punishments have not ceased either. A labor activist was sentenced to 30 lashes and an 18 million rial fine on charges of disrupting public order, although the sentence of the lashes was to be suspended for two years.

For those sentenced to prison terms, the conditions can still be classified as inhumane. For example, a prisoner named Parviz Moradi, who was detained in Khorin Prison in Varamin, died on March 17, because he was not transferred to a hospital. He suffered from severe stomach aches, but was not transferred to a medical clinic prior to his death.

Other prisoners suffer from beatings and are denied access to legal representation. A prisoner detained in Zahedan Prison was beaten and insulted by a prison official for protesting not being able to visit with some of his family members. Another political prisoner has been denied any legal representation and been sentenced to five years for “cooperating with Kurd parties”.

Human rights activists who finish their prisoner term are not necessarily guaranteed that they will be released. Saied Jokar, who was sentenced to 24 months in prison, has not received prison leave after completing 20 months. His activities centered around his opposition to the death penalty and his protests included blogs, posters and publishing these things on the internet.

Detained internet activist Saied Malekpour, who was charged with cyber-crimes, was denied a leave for Nowruz because of opposition by the IRGC. According to his sister, he has been classified as a security prisoner, making him ineligible for such a leave.

The arbitrary arrests have also continued unabated, as more than 20 environmentalists were arrested due to their protests against the location of a waste burial in Marivan. The individuals were invited by the Governor to a meeting and arrested there. All of them were transported to an unknown location. The area under debate is a tourist attraction, which the locals would like to preserve.

The police and IRGC also have no restraint during these arrests, as is evident by the IRGC beating and breaking the leg of a student at a Nowruz celebration and then arresting him. Ariz Danesh, the student, was taken to a hospital, where they placed a platinum piece in his leg. Currently, he is under surveillance by the Intelligence Agency and has been denied visits by his family.

In Semnan, Norwuz celebrations supposedly got out of hand, with 25 people being arrested for disturbing the peace. According to the Chief of Police, seven people were jailed and the others will be charged and brought to court. The detainees used firecrackers to signal the New Year, and the Chief of Police said, “Unfortunately, these actions that break the norms have negative consequences in terms of people feeling secure and therefore, the police will deal with these elements without any tolerance.”

However, it appears that the tolerance level of the Iranian police and the IRGC have gotten significantly lower as the Iranian people protest the oppression they deal with on a daily basis under the regime.

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