The following is a roundup of the human rights situation in Iran for the month of October 2020, based on information from activists and state media, collected by Iran News Update.

1. Executions in Iran—October 2020:

In October 2020, at least 19 prisoners were executed in various Iran’s prisons on charges of armed robbery, murder, and drugs. Among those executed was a female prisoner named Razieh, 32.

Summary of Repression and Human Rights Violations in Iran – July 2020

All known executions took place in prisons. According to reports, the age of those executed was between 28 and 41 years.

In Urmia Central Prison, northwestern Iran, a death-row prisoner had committed suicide by cutting his artery in solidarity confinement the day before his execution. However, authorities took him to the gallows while his neck was bandaged and executed him along with three other prisoners.

Executions were carried out in the Central prisons of Qazvin, Sari, Central Karaj, Central Mashhad, Qa’en, Gohardasht, Central Sanandaj, Central Ardabil, Central Aligudarz, and Central Urmia. Most executions took place in Gohardasht and Central Urmia prisons.

2. Arrests in Iran—October 2020:

In October 2020, some 322 people were arrested with various charges.

Political Arrests:

Some 120 people were arrested under the pretext of participating in protests and gatherings related to the conflict between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan in the cities of the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan and other Turkic-speaking regions, supporting the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), as well as calling for protesting rallies, participating in labor gatherings, cooperating with Kurdish parties, executing prison sentences, social media activities, and spreading ‘rumor and insult’ against judicial officials, which have been carried out by law enforcement, security and intelligence agents, cyber-police, and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) forces.

Arbitrary Arrests:

At least 113 people were arrested under various excuses, including managing the Instagram band of tattooists, the plan of arresting thugs, membership in the gay community, interview about the coronavirus, publishing immoral contents, advertising satanism, and Illegal hunting. All were carried out by cyber-police, State Security Forces (SSF), environmental patrols, Basij paramilitary forces, anti-drug police, borders guards, and intelligence agents.

Religious Arrests:

In September 2020, the SSF arrested ten Baha’i worshippers to serve their prison sentences.

Social Arrests:

Intelligence agents arrested some 79 people under the guise of fraud and brokerage of foreign exchange currencies.

3. Torture in Iran—October 2020:

According to various reports obtained through formal and informal prisons and detention centers, here is a small part of torture and ill-treatment exercised on prisoners under the mullahs’ rule:

Physical Torture:

In Tabriz Central Prison, Northwestern Iran

The guards compelled Shahin Solhjoo, a 60-year-old ordinary prisoner, to sleep in the yard at night despite the cold weather and the pain caused by her infection with Herpes zoster.

In Sheiban Prison of Ahvaz, Southwestern Iran

Political prisoners Hossein Seilavi, Ali Khasraji, Ali Mojaddam, and two other inmates were put under torture.

In Isfahan Central Prison, Central Iran

The guards beat and tortured Mokhtar Bakhshandeh, an ordinary prisoner, causing to the unconscious.

In Urmia Central Prison, Northwestern Iran

Following prisoners’ protests, the guards raided them and beat them. Four ordinary prisoners, including Tohid Ghaznavi, Babak Soufi, Hojjat Del-Aram, and Milad, were transferred to solitary confinement. Protesting the execution of their cellmate, these prisoners committed suicide in solitary confinement. However, they met the guards’ severe torture and ill-treatment.

Furthermore, the guards severely beat ordinary prisoners Davoud Qassem-Zadeh, Bahaeddin Qassem-Zadeh, and Arash Alizadeh in front of the director-general of Western Azarbaijan province’s prisons. Afterward, authorities transferred them to solitary confinement.

Political prisoners Habib and Vahid Afkari, two brothers of the late wrestling champion Navid Afkari, were exposed to torture in solitary confinement for more than a month.

Iran Regime Systematically Getting Detained Protesters Addicted to Drugs

Psychological Torture:

In Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, West of Tehran

For a long while, the authorities have held political prisoner Soheil Arabi in solitary confinement.

In Urmia Central Prison, Northwestern Iran

Adel Mokarrami launched his second term of hunger strike, protesting his unclear legal status and non-providing his urges. In response, the guards transferred him to solitary confinement.

Four prisoners, who committed suicide, are deprived of medical care despite the bleeding.

In Mashhad Central Prison, Northeastern Iran

Political prisoner Hashem Khastar was put under excessive restrictions. He is a former teacher at the Agriculture Technical High School in his hometown Mashhad. Mr. Khastar is also the head of the outlawed Mashhad Teachers Union.

In November 2017, in an open letter, he criticized the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “The people’s cries have been raised everywhere. You have turned the world to hell for the people of Iran and the Middle East,” Khastar addressed Khamenei and called on him to resign.

In Tehran Notorious Evin Prison

Female political prisoner Samaneh Nowruz Moradi has been deprived of medical care despite her dire health condition.

Also, Female civil activist Saba Kord-Afshari has been deprived of medical services despite her ankle injury.

In Ahvaz Sheiban Prison, Southwestern Iran

For a long while, the guards have held political prisoners Hossein Seilavi, Ali Khasraji, Ali Mojaddam, and two death-row inmates in solitary confinement.

Political prisoner Gholam-Hossein Kalbi has been deprived of medical care despite his ears infection. He has also been exposed to the novel coronavirus in Ward 7. According to reports, several prisoners in this ward have contracted Covid-19, and the virus has prevalent there.

Based on the warden Abdul-Hossein Gholam-Nejad’s order, in January, Kalbi was transferred to Ward 7, allocated to drug-related offenders. To exert more pressure on this political prisoner, the guards still refrain from transferring him to the ward allocated to political prisoners.

Political Prisoner Massoud Massoudi has also been deprived of medical care. During the April prison riots, Massoudi was injured by ball projectiles (BBs). Due to his non-access to proper medical care, his wound has been infected, and he tolerates severe pain.

In April, given the authorities’ negligence about the prisons’ conditions and the coronavirus outbreak in many prisons, inmates tried to release themselves. However, the guards harsh suppressed riots, killing dozens of rioters.

Iran Prison Riots Over Coronavirus 

However, in several prisons, such as Saqqez Prison in Kurdistan province, western Iran, inmates fled and took refuge in Iraq’s Kurdistan. However, local authorities handed over fugitives, and the judiciary executed several of them for prison break.

Political prisoner Ayyub Porkar has been deprived of medical care despite his stroke.

In Tehran Greater Penitentiary

Mohammad Habibi has been deprived of medical furlough despite a bone tumor in his left arm. Habibi is a member of the Managing Board of Iran Teachers Union and responsible for the union’s organization.

Following his protest against monetizing and commodifying education, Habibi was arrested. In February, he was transferred from Evin Prison to Tehran Greater Penitentiary (Fashafuyeh).

Torture by Deprivation of Remedy

In Tehran Notorious Evin Prison

Following worsening her health condition, political prisoner Fatemeh Mosanna was transferred to the prison’s medical ward and returned to her cell instead of being sent to the hospital.

Previously, she had been sent to Tehran Taleghani hospital due to severe intestinal bleeding. However, Amin Vaziri, assistant superintendent of political prisoners, ordered her return to the prison despite physicians’ objection and concern.

Social activist Saeed Eghbali has been deprived of medical care despite the 70-percent rupture of his right eardrum. Given the authorities’ denial of dispatching him to a hospital, his ear has been infected, and he has to tolerate severe pain.

Behnam Mahjoubi, a Gonabadi Darvish, has been prevented from going to an outside hospital despite his dire physical condition.

In Tehran Greater Penitentiary

Despite his severe toothache, political prisoner Pouya Ghobadi has been deprived of access to a dentist. For two months, the guards refuse to send him to a medical center outside the prison.

Moreover, authorities have deprived several political prisoners of medical care despite their coronavirus-like symptoms. Mohammad Rajabi, Amir-Hossein Moradi, Mohammad Adam, Khaled Pirzadeh, Amir-Hossein Keshavarzi, Iman Marzan-Bakhsh, Mohammad-Bagher Souri, Saeed Assadi, and Hamid Jahangiri are among these prisoners.

The Coronavirus at the Service of Torture and Crime in Iran’s Prisons

Issuing and Executing Lash Sentences

At the attorney bureau of Rasht, capital of Gilan province in northern Iran, authorities executed the 80-lash sentence of proselytism Mohammad-Reza (Johan) Omidi. In a Christian ceremony, he had drunk some wine.

Back in July, Iranian authorities captured and executed a man in Mashhad for possessing and drinking alcohol. Morteza Jamali was the father of two children and had tolerated several years in prison and was flogged.

Iran’s Ayatollahs Execute Man for Drinking Alcohol


4. Arbitrary Murder in Iran—October 2020:

In October 2020, borders guards, SSF, and intelligence agents targeted and murdered Kurdish porters Kolbars, merchants, and other citizens in various provinces, including:

In Kurdistan province, borders guards dead shot Kolbar Mehdi Zarei and Amin Shams in Baneh and Chaldoran regions, respectively.

Also, the SSF chased Hiva Vakili, a Kurd merchant, in the road from Saqqez to DIvandarreh. In the police’s pursuit, Hive lost his car’s control, the car overturned, and he died.

In Tehran, the SSF detained Gazhvan Almasi, 30, and deadly shot him.

In Sistan and Baluchastan province, intelligence officers targeted Mohammad Khaki-Zaehi’s car in Hiz-Abad, Mehrestan district. In this accident, Mohammad’s car was ablaze, and he lost his life to fire.

Following the SSF chase of 17-year-old Mohammad-Amin Raisi, he lost his motorcycle’s control and died due to striking a hard object on his head.

Borders guards and the SSF deadly shot Davoud Rakhshani and Nazar Dehghani in the Mirjaveh boundary region and Jakigour village, respectively.

In Hormozgan province, navy forces targeted Mohammad Rostamzadeh in Sirik district and injured him severely. Eventually, he died of bleeding due to a delay in transferring him to the hospital.

In Kermanshah province, the SSF also targeted 17-year-old Ashkan Azizi’s car and killed him.

Murder by the Authorities

In October, two citizens were killed by the SSF’s beat and torture in the streets.

In Mashhad, the SSF tortured Mehrdad Sepehri with pepper spray and electric shock while he was tied to a pole by a metal handcuff. In a video obtained from forensic, there are clear signs of torture on his body.

In North Khorasan province, the SSF beat and dead shot Mohsen Min-Bashi, 37, on the street in Esfarayen city.

In Khuzestan province, an oil company CEO called the SSF to beat a poor woman to cover-up his moral scandal. The woman intended to expose the corrupt CEO’s story. However, police officers trampled her while she was pregnant.

Death of the Novel Coronavirus and Suicide

In Karaj Gohardasht Prison, Alborz province, Zoghali Abbassi, 80, and a security prison Abdul-Vahid Rahmani died of the Covid-19.

Also, ordinary prisoner Saeed Sarmasti was killed by two other prisoners’ knife blows.

Also, in Mashhad Central Prison, Razavi Khorasan province, four prisoners lost their lives to the novel coronavirus.

In Urmia Central Prison, Ali Maleki committed suicide in solitary confinement the day before his execution. However, the guards executed him with an injured and bounded neck.

Also, underage death-row prisoner Bahaeddin Qassemi committed suicide, protesting his unclear status.

Given his unclear status, Adel Mokarrami committed suicide for the second time. He previously set himself ablaze. For a while, he was on a hunger strike. Finally, he ate glass-crumbs and cut his leg’s vein.

Karim Khajehpour, Tohid Ghaznavi, Babak Soufi, Hojjat Del-Aram, and Milad committed suicide, protesting the prison’s dire condition and being held in solitary confinement. Khajehpour lost his life. The other four prisoners are under 30 years old.

Summary of Repression and Human Rights Violations in Iran – July 2020