The Iran Human Rights Monitor released its 2018 Iran Human Rights Monitor Annual Report on the Human Rights Day on December 10. The report includes a discussion of the cruel and degrading punishments used by the regime, as well as the increasingly unfair judicial system that is currently in place. Leaders from around the world have expressed concern about the increasing number of death penalty executions in Iran. As of December 2017, there were at least 2985 executions, including four women and six individuals who were sentenced to death for crime committed as individuals.
These executions appear to be part of a larger effort to repress the freedom of protest and speech of the Iranian people to ensure the survival of the regime.
“The people in Ian, however, are deprived of their most basic rights due to the horrendous violations of human rights committed by the clerical regime ruling the country,” stated the authors. They also noted that Iran’s judicial and security operations are systematically waging a crackdown on anyone associated with defending human rights, including lawyers, teachers, journalists, and more. Public hangings are common in Iran, as well as other vicious punishments including flogging and limb amputations.
Crushing freedom of expression
For the Iranian people, freedom of expression has been severely curtailed. Peaceful assembly is also being prohibited. Those who participate in protests and demonstrations risk arrest and even worse punishments. The Iranian Judiciary has convicted protesters on vague charges of national security or crimes against God, thereby justifying the heavy sentences.
For instance, the Judiciary of Arak sentenced 15 HEPCO workers to 74 lashes, up to two years in prison, and five-year suspended sentences for their protests in June. They were charged with disrupting public order and spreading propaganda. Harsh penalties were also threatened against truck drivers who participated in the nationwide strikes over high prices and unpaid wages.
Standing up and speaking out against the corruption of the regime can have tragic consequences, yet it is clear that the regime has been unable to silence the Iranian people.
Unfair trials lead to harsh sentences
The Iranian courts, although agreeing with the international rule of law regarding fair trials, rarely conducts such trials. The accused are often denied legal counsel and trials can last mere minutes. Those lawyers that do speak out and defend the accused risk arrest themselves.
Courts are appointed based on political opinions and affiliations, thus legal qualifications are often ignored. Despite the efforts of the regime, however, it is clear that the Iranian people refuse to give up.
As international pressure continues to grow against the regime, these human rights violations and abuses only strengthen the case for regime change.