As the world acknowledged International Human Rights Day last Friday, their attentions turned to the human rights situation in Iran. For the past four decades, under the rule of the Iranian regime, Iran has suffered from chronic human rights abuses, and with Ebrahim Raisi being selected as their new president by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, this trend has no sign of letting up.
Khamenei also had a hand in appointing a number of officials in Raisi’s administration. Currently, Ebrahim Raisi, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf are the heads of the regime’s three branches of government, and all three men are serious violators of human rights across Iran, including their involvements in crimes against humanity.
The Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM) said, “Their appointment to positions at the helm of the government demonstrates the regime’s ‘new arrangement for war and repression’. It further speaks of a determination to intensify the atmosphere of terror and repression of every form of dissent.”
Khamenei’s decision to appoint these men was due to their previous roles within the regime’s judiciary and security forces, and their experiences in creating terror and oppression to suppress society.
Iran has seen its fair share of protests ever since the mullahs and their regime came to power in 1979, but these have increased significantly over the past few years, owing to the public frustration over the mullahs’ crimes and corruption which has brought society to the boiling point.
Iran HRM said, “At present, the people of Iran are deprived of the most necessities of life, such as water, bread, and electricity. At the same time, they are grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, fearing the death of their loved ones.”
The regime’s penchant for cracking down heavily on peaceful protests escalated in recent weeks when security forces and anti-riot guards raided a sit–in demonstration in Isfahan held by farmers who were protesting water shortages in the region. Around 100 protesters were wounded as a result of an attack with pellet guns, with up to 40 being blinded by direct hits to their eyes. A further 300 protesters were arrested.
Also witnessed this year was the systematic abuse of prisoners’ rights. In August, a leaked video containing hacked footage from Evin prison highlighted the dire conditions inside the prison and how prisoners were being mistreated and beaten by officers and prison guards.
The most shocking revelation of this year was the sharp increase in the numbers of Iranian prisoners executed in comparison to last year.
Iran HRM found that at least 255 executions took place last year, while as of December 10, 330 prisoners have been executed in Iran this year alone. However, the actual figure is believed to be higher as many death penalties are carried out in secret by the regime.
Iran HRM said, “Execution is an inhuman punishment and a crime under any pretext. The ruling regime in Iran has been committing this crime and legally justifying it for more than 40 years. Iran has the highest per-capita execution rate in the world.”
The most outrageous execution this year was that of Arman Abdolali, who was a juvenile at the time of his arrest. The regime carried out his execution by hanging in Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj on November 24, despite international and domestic appeals to spare his life due to ambiguities in his case.
Abdolali was 17 at the time the crime was committed and prior to his execution, he had been taken to solitary confinement a total of seven times in preparation for his death sentence to be carried out, although on previous occasions, his life was spared at the eleventh hour.
Along with the rise in executions, this year has seen a large number of arbitrary killings at the hands of the regime’s Security forces. Reports have indicated that at least 77 Iranian citizens have lost their lives because of indiscriminate shootings.
Iran HRM said, “At least 107 people were injured because of security forces’ indiscriminate shootings. The number of victims of indiscriminate shootings and arbitrary killings is higher as their fate remains unknown and their stories are not published.”