“While the Coronavirus has been ravaging in various provinces across Iran, the regime’s security and judicial apparatus have heightened their persecution of minorities and political and civil rights activists,” says leading rights group Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM) in its monthly report for the month of May 2020.
While the #Coronavirus has been ravaging in various provinces across #Iran, the regime’s security and judicial apparatus have heightened their persecution of minorities and political and civil rights activists.https://t.co/T0kop3BbRC
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) June 1, 2020
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the Iranian regime, in tandem with its deceit and downplaying of the extent of this crisis, has been increasing security measures, since the mullahs consider this crisis to be a security threat to their regime’s existence and a possible chance for the Iranian restive society to explode.
Due to the regime’s inhumane approach in dealing with this crisis, so far nearly 49,000 people have lost their lives, according to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK).
The regime has refused to release political prisoners, who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Those few prisoners who were released have now been returned to prisons, which according to Iran HRM will be “aggravating the already horrid conditions in Iran’s notorious prisons.”
“This is while there have been several cases of COVID-19 contagions, and even deaths from the virus in various Iranian prisons including Qarchak Prison, Urmia Central Prison, Sheiban Prison, Tehran’s Evin Prison, the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, and Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison in northeastern Iran,” read the report.
In a part of its monthly report, Iran HRM pointed to the new wave of arbitrary arrests of dissidents amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“In a new wave of crackdown in Iran, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the IRGC Intelligence Organization have begun arresting and summoning large numbers of young activists, especially the families and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Many have been sent to prisons, and some have been temporarily released on bail while signing a form pledging not to participate in any anti-regime activities,” read the report.
Referring to the arrest of two elite students, Ali Younesi and Amir Hossain Moradi, and threats they are facing, Iran HRM wrote: Among those arrested were Ali Younesi and Amir-Hossein Moradi, award-winning students at Sharif University of Technology, who have been arrested and detained on trumped up charges of having ties with the PMOI/MEK.
In another part of its monthly report, Iran HRM referred to the ongoing crackdown on religious and ethnic minorities by the mullahs’ regime and wrote: “The Iranian regime has increased its persecution of Iranian religious minorities. Human rights groups have reported that despite the raging coronavirus crisis, several members of Iran’s religious minorities have been summoned, interrogated, and arrested.”
While referring to the regime’s ongoing use of torture, particularly flogging, in dealing with those protesters detained during the Iran protests in January against the regime’s shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner, Iran HRM wrote: “The Iranian regime has sentenced several people to prison and lashes for protesting Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane.”
“So far more than 16 protesters have been handed prison and flogging sentences in Amol alone. They had been arrested by the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization on January 12, 2020, in the city’s main square where they had gathered to commemorate the victim,” read the report.
The ongoing human rights violations by the Iranian regime even amid the coronavirus outbreak once again underlines the need for the international community to intervene to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, particularly regarding the political prisoners. The United Nations should visit all Iranian prisons and secure the release of all prisoners.