For the Iranian people, the sanctions that were imposed over the summer have already caused the rial to decline in value and inflation to rise. Unemployment has remained high in Iran, particularly among the younger generations, despite the lifting of sanctions due to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The increasing number of protests and demonstrations reflect the social and economic unrest throughout the country. In order to stamp out any attempt at an uprising, the regime is clamping down even harder on the Iranian people. Human rights violations continue to rise, including executions, corporal punishment, torture, and the persecution of religious minorities.
Executions Continue and Activists Targeted
In the month of October, Iran executed 22 people in its prisons. Environmental activists have also been sentenced to be executed, after being charged as spies for using cameras to document wildlife.
Another execution was of a woman, Zeinab Sekaanvand, who was convicted of killing her abusive husband when she was a minor.
“Her execution is profoundly unjust. The fact that her death sentence followed a grossly unfair trial makes her execution even more outrageous,” said Philip Luther, the Middle East Research and Advocacy Director of Amnesty International. The regime also committed 11 arbitrary murders of Kurdish porters and Balichi men.
Floggings and Threats of Arrest Continue
The regime also uses threats of arrest and torture to keep members of the Iranian people from speaking out against the regime or joining cultural celebrations, such as the celebration of the life of Cyrus the Great.
Truck drivers who are protesting in Iran are facing arrest and threats of execution if they continue to participate. Despite this, the drivers continue their efforts and have called for change from the regime. Activists can also be detained by the regime and thrown into psychiatric hospitals, where they can be kept isolated.
Hunger strikes are used by political prisoners to protest the attacks on prisoners, but these hunger strikes lead to solitary confinement and a denial of medical treatment. Many prisoners are also denied access to their loved ones for minor infractions.
The conditions within the prisons are horrific, as prisoners often go without their basic needs being met and limited access to medical care. Medications are also denied prisoners with serious health conditions, in an attempt to repress them from speaking out. These types of punishments are only going to increase as the regime attempts to maintain its hold on power as economic pressures from U.S. sanctions continue to mount.