By INU Staff
INU - Expressing their culture through the arts has been severely limited for the Iranian people by the regime, who has cracked down on anything it deems immoral or against strict fundamentalist principles. This includes acting, painting, writing, songs, and dance.
Concerts and other events have been cancelled, denying Iranians the right to gather and celebrate art. The artistic community has been forced underground. However, the regime actively tracks down these underground events. Constant monitoring of social media and cyberspace is one of the key ways they do this.
In the town of Bandar Abbas, on January 11th, 21 underground singers, including nine women, were arrested. Six unauthorized studios were also closed by police. Head of the Hormozgan Public Security Police, Ali Asghar Ebadi-Nik said, “Agents monitored cyberspace and social networks and identified a number of people with pseudonyms who carried out underground singing activities.” He continued, “During two separate operations, 21 unauthorized underground singers, including nine women, were arrested.”
Modeling has also been banned by the regime, with six people being arrested on January 7th. Their modeling activities included posing for pictures and posting them on the internet. The individuals arrested were referred to as a “gang”.
Attacks on freedom of expression are continuously being carried out by the regime. When the international community speaks out in support of the Iranian people’s rights, stricter rules and potential punishments for those who attempt to defy them are the regime’s response.
Recently, a UN General Assembly resolution expressed “serious concern at the alarmingly high frequency of the imposition and carrying out of the death penalty…including the imposition of the death penalty against minors and persons who at the time of their offense were under the age of 18, and executions undertaken for crimes that do not qualify as the most serious crimes, on the basis of forced confessions.” The resolution called for the abolition of these executions by the regime, “in law and in practice.”
The regime retaliated with the hanging of at least ten prisoners from December 19th to the 20th. Often, these executions are held in public, with multiple individuals being executed. Prisoners have reported being tortured and held in solitary confinement to pressure them into confessions.
In a report released by Amnesty International last year, entitled “Caught in a web of repression: Iran’s human rights defenders under attack,” the regime’s human rights violations were detail, with a focus on the high number of executions.
In a security forum last year, U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said, “What the Iranians have done across the broader Middle East is fuel and accelerate these cycles of violence so that they can take advantage of these chaotic environments, take advantage of weak states, to make them dependent on them for support.”
Some 36 people were arrested recently, for attending a mixed gender party. The Birjand prosecutor stated that those that encourage young people to carry out immoral conduct or lay the groundwork for it will be sentenced to one to 10 years of prison and flogging.