During the first two weeks of February, reports from Iran confirm ongoing human rights violations and the regime’s crackdown on basic freedoms.
On February 9, a 25-year-old political prisoner, Mehran Alipoor, died in a hospital in the city of Isfahan due to skull, nose and abdominal trauma. He was arrested among thousands of other during the nationwide Iran protests in mid-November and had gone through severe torture ever since. As the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and human rights groups such as Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM) reported, the Iranian regime’s security forces have used various forms of torture against those arrested during the Iran protests. These tortures include beating, flogging, scalding with hot water and sexual assaults. During the nationwide Iran protests over 12,000 people were arrested. Thousands of those arrested were detained at the notorious Great Tehran Penitentiary or Fashafoye Prison.
Mehran Alipour, a young protester detained during Nov. 2019 #IranProtests, died after two months of torture on Feb. 9 in Isfahan, central #Iran. He died as a result of severe blows to his head and other body parts. #Iranians will neither forget nor forgive. pic.twitter.com/J41ccrhaSp
— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) February 12, 2020
This prison lacks the minimum facilities, and security forces use torture to break prisoners’ spirit. New reports confirm that due to the lack of sanitation, tuberculosis has spread among prisoner, and over 40 of them are infected. Yet prison authorities have refused to take the necessary measures.
On February 12, Iran HRM reported that two prisoners were hanged at dawn in Adelabad Prison of Shiraz. They were identified as Hadi Mahi and Sadeq Akbarpour. They were arrested in 2016 and subsequently sentenced to death.
According to the NCRI, simultaneous with the anniversary of the anti-monarchic revolution and in the run-up to the regime’s sham parliamentary elections, the security forces have rearrested former political prisoners and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Tehran and other cities en masse.
An NCRI statement on February 11 stated: “On February 8, the Intelligence Ministry arrested former political prisoners, Majid Mowtab, 59, Majid Zabihi, 55, Hassan Tarvardian, 61, Reza Qoli Shirmohammadi, 65, and his 25-year-old son, Yasser Shirmohammadi, and took them to the Ministry’s prison in Tabriz, northwest Iran. The first four were imprisoned for several years in the 1980s.”
“In Zanjan, Ali Osanlou, 57, and his two sons, Morteza, 30, and Hamid, 24, were arrested on January 28. Last week, Mahmoud Yousefi and Mohammad Ali Karnama were arrested in Behshahr and Rostamkolah respectively. Both were political prisoners in the 1980s,” read the statement.
#Iran: Mass Arrest of #MEK Supporters, Former Political Prisoners on Anniversary of the 1979 Anti-Monarchic Revolution, on Eve of Sham Election https://t.co/VShyAMgEiS#BoycottIranShamElections#FreeAllProtesters #FreeIran#MEK
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) February 11, 2020
In a similar development and as the Iran HRM reported on February 12, an activist teacher, Eskandar Lotfi, was sentenced to two years in prison by the Penal Court of Sanandaj. The court examining Eskandar Lotfi’s charges convened on January 27, 2020.
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) February 13, 2020
According to Iran HRM, three other activist teachers, members of the board of directors of the Teachers’ Union in Qazvin Province, were ordered to pay fines.
As human rights violations continue in Iran, there is an urgent need for the International community to take immediate action by sending a fact-finding mission to Iran, particularly to the Iranian prisons, in order to prevent further human rights abuses of the Iranian regime against political prisoners. European countries should also condition their relationship with the regime to it immediately halting execution and use of violence.