The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was seen as a way to stop Iran from becoming capable of creating a nuclear weapon. However, the plan did not address human rights or the ballistic missile program of the mullahs. Now, with U.S. President Trump pulling his country out of the JCPOA for multiple reasons, there are those in the international community who see this as an opportunity to address the issue of human rights violations.
Every day the Iranian people have to live with violations of their human rights and the ones guaranteed by international law. However, the international community seems hesitant to actually hold the Iranian regime to account. One of the greatest issues is the number of executions, many of which are done without basic legal due process. Prisoners are sentenced and rarely given a fair trial with legal representation.
For example, two human rights activists in Iran, Khalil Agush, and Soheil Mirbakhsh were executed on Monday, May 14. The two were jailed in 2014 in the youths’ ward of the Orumieh Central Prison, where they were executed. Those who speak out against the regime or stand up to call for change often meet with long prison sentences or even execution.
Ramin Hossein Panahi, a political prisoner, is one step closer to the gallows. After being shot and arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in June 2017, he was sentenced to be executed. His execution was approved in early April by Branch 39 of the Iranian Supreme Court.
These are just two examples of how Iranians are suffering, as any disagreement with the fundamentalism of the regime and the mullahs can bring intense suffering. While not everyone ends up being executed, there are plenty that spends years in prison, dealing with inhumane treatment and cruel punishments.
These punishments and torture can become so intense that individuals die in the process. At that point, the regime generally tells their families and the public that these individuals committed suicide to cover up their own crimes. Sina Ghanbari was found with a garbage bag around his neck, but during his burial, his family found evidence of a broken skull and smashed left eye. Other prisoners indicated that two days before he died, Ghanbari was taken for interrogation and physical abuse.
Since the protests began in January 2018, about 5,000 people have been arrested. Others have also been reported as having died in the custody of the regime. While these arrests are meant to be a warning to others, there is clear evidence that the Iranian people are not taking that warning to heart. Protests are continuing to increase, as the Iranian people voice their displeasure over the corruption and economic conditions throughout the country.
In light of the moves by the U.S., the Iranian regime could find that it is finally going to be held accountable for its human rights violations and its treatment of the Iranian people.