Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU - Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, has been called upon by several international human rights groups to follow up on the situation of detainees in Iranian prisons.

Several scientific figures also stated they are concerned about the students that had been arrested during the protests. Iran’s Education Minister announced that President Rouhani issued an order to release all detained students.

In separate statements issued by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both groups asked the Iranian authorities to release the detainees. Both organizations condemned the death under “unknown circumstances” of a man in Evin prison in Tehran.

President Rouhani has also asked Minister of Interior Abdulreza Rahmani Fazli to prepare a detailed report on recent incidents and detained citizens.

“The main approach of the government in the budget bill of the year 1397 is boosting employment and eliminating poverty,” Rouhani said during the weekly ministerial meeting. He told the government that the current economic problems have not happened overnight.

Meanwhile, thirty-five members of the Iranian parliament submitted a request to the Intelligence Ministry to visit Evin prison, according to a quote from Reformist Bloc spokesman Mohammed Reza Aref, reported by Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency.

Reports claiming that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Basij and the police used violence and weapons against the protesters were denied by Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of Iran Mohammad Bagheri, who added that the laws of armed forces ban any member from carrying weapons on the streets. Bagheri stated that no demonstrator had been shot. However, he said, “All over the world, when a military group is attacked, it should defend itself,” according to Tasnim news agency.

The resolution recently adopted by the US House of Representatives regarding the recent riots in Iran has been denounced by Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi, who said in a statement on Wednesday, “The interventionist resolution passed by the US Congress is rejected, and is completely reprehensible and unacceptable.”

The resolution was passed on Tuesday by the US House of Representatives. It supports the Iranian people’s right to free expression, and condemns the country’s leadership for crackdowns on recent protests. It passed by 415 votes, reiterating the US support to Iranian people, and condemned the government’s “serious human rights abuses against the Iranian people.” The resolution also called on US President Trump’s administration to issue new sanctions punishing human rights violators in Iran.

“In standing with the Iranian people, we must explain that they are not the target of our sanctions,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said, and added,
“US sanctions target the oppressive, destabilizing regime, not the people of Iran,” according to the Agence France-Presse.

Reports of deaths of detainees in detention raised grave concerns and caused Human Rights Watch (HRW) Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson to announce, “Iranian authorities should ensure that all deaths in detention and allegations of ill-treatment are swiftly and independently investigated and that anyone responsible is brought to justice.” She added, “The legacy of Kahrizak prison, where the 2009 protesters were tortured and killed, and persistent impunity for these crimes, casts a dark shadow on the situation for people arrested since these protests began.”

Shirin Ebadi, head of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, sent a letter to UN officials asking them to oblige Iranian officials to the laws and principles of human rights in any way possible that ensure the safety of the detainees.

Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi has stated that the number of detained persons since the beginning of protests on December 28, 2017, had reached 3,700 citizens. Sadeghi reported that 90 students had been arrested in Tehran universities. Tehran university announced that 41 of its students had been detained, but other universities have not issued statements. Ilna news agency reported that 16 students were released, and that the remaining are expected to be released in the coming days.

On Wednesday, Minister of Science, Research, and Technology, Mansour Gholami, said that President Rouhani had ordered the release of all students.

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