As with the start of every month, Iran Human Rights Monitor has produced a report on the situation of human rights in Iran for March and it does not make for comfortable reading, involving at least 16 executions and the forced exile of several political prisoners intended to increase pressure on them by making it harder for their families to visit.
Of the 16 executions, four were not for the crime of murder, which violates international law, and two were of women who had killed abusive husbands. The problem with the Iranian murder charge is that there is no way to try for the lesser crime of manslaughter or killing in self-defence, so many domestic abuse victims are charged with killing their husbands when they had no legal way to escape him.
Some 400 people were arrested, mainly for peaceful activities, like modelling, taking part in Nowruz celebrations, or protesting, as was the case for those rallying in response to the murder of fuel traders in Saravan.
Speaking of which, at least eight civilians were killed by regime forces, including Mohammad Sadeghi, who was killed in Khorramabad after police began shooting at his car because they thought he might be smuggling goods. In addition, 17 civilians were injured by the security forces, including Nader Chakeri, 29, Mehdi Kolahizadeh, 16, and Ali Ahmadi, 70.
The regime has also been exerting pressure on prisoners by putting them in exile and denying them medical care.
Those exiled recently, include:
- Saeed Eqbali
- Atena Daemi
- Maryam Akbari Monfared
- Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi
Some 18 jailed dissidents wrote a March 21 open letter condemning this, saying that “despite all the claims by the highest judiciary authorities about complying with the rights of the political prisoner… they have intensified suppression by making the prisoners conditions even more inhumane. Their aim is to intimidate people of Iran and political activists to comply with their suppressive policies”.
Meanwhile, the regime’s judicial system is preventing the following political detainees from getting adequate medical treatment:
- Mohammad Nourizad
- Mostafa Fallah Kheirandish
- Nasser Fahimi
- Afshin Bayemani,
- Fatemeh Mosanna
- Hamzeh Darvish
- Abolhassan Montazer
- Omid Amjadkhah
In March 2021, dozens of prisoners went on hunger strike to protest the “exile and harassment of political prisoners” as well as the violation of prisoners’ basic rights to life, edible food, and a clean living area.