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August 2020: Human Rights Report on Iran

Every month, Iran Human Rights Monitor writes a report on human rights violations in Iran, and we produce a condensed summary.

August 2020 saw a huge growth in the pressures on political prisoners and the increases imposition of harsh sentences for protesters, like executions, floggings, and lengthy prison terms. Repression has escalated and the regime seems determined to silence any dissent.

This is in addition to the pressure caused by the coronavirus, which is running rampant in Iran’s prisons with barely any access to medical care for inmates. On August 21, Reporters Without Borders wrote that concern over the coronavirus is high and that the regime has not published figures about Covid-19 infections and deaths in prison.

At the same time, these political prisoners are also forced to contend with the routine threats that they’ve always suffered, like attacks by violent inmates paid by guards. With regime crackdowns on peaceful protesters, journalists, ethnic and religious minorities, and women, there will soon be more ideological prisoners.


The regime executed at least 28 people in August, part of an attempt to dissuade further protests, including at least one political prisoner and one juvenile offender, although it is likely the true figure is higher.

Mostafa Salehi, a protester arrested in January 2018, was executed at dawn on August 5 in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan. The 33-year-old had two children, Nazanin, 4, and Amir Hossein, 6. Since his execution, his wife was told to pay a fine of 425 million tomans or surrender the family home.

The following ideological prisoners are on death row: Hadi Kiani, Mehdi Salehi Ghaleh Shahrokhi, Mohammad Bastami, Majid Nazari Kondari, Abbas Mohammadi, Mohammad Keshvari, Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, Hamid Rast Bala, Farhad Shakeri, Kabir Saadat Jahani, Mohammad Ali Arayesh, Issa Eid Mohammadi, Taj Mohammad Khormali, Hakim Azim Gargij, Abdolrahman Gargij, Hossein Varasteh Soleimani, Haidar Ghorbani, Hossein Osmani, and Mohieddin Ebrahimi.

Iran HRM wrote: “This report covers only part of the reality of gross human rights violations in Iran. Naturally, the real dimensions of repression and censorship are much broader. [We call] for the immediate abolition of executions in Iran, especially the execution of political prisoners and detained protesters… We call on the Security Council, the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner and the United Nations Human Rights Council to take immediate action to secure the release of those sentenced to death in Iran.”

For more details, read the full report here.

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