NCRI – The human rights situation in Iran under Hassan Rouhani has deteriorated, while the number of executions has sharply increased, an official of the Iranian Resistance who deals with international NGOs has said.
Elaheh Azimfar, a representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) for international organizations made the remarks on Tuesday in an online Q&A session about the state of human rights in Iran.
“The crimes committed by the Iranian regime over the past two years under Rouhani’s tenure have reached a climax,” Ms. Azimfar said.
“Iran is the world’s number one executioner per capita. Under Rouhani more than 1,800 executions have occurred in a matter of less than two years, and this is the President of the regime who was supposed to be a moderate. Some 600 of these executions have been carried out since the beginning of the current year,” she said.
“Just a week ago last Tuesday there were a group of 22 prisoners who were killed in a mass execution in Gohardasht prison in Karaj. A day before that, four other prisoners were executed in another prison in Karaj.”
Ms. Azimfar pointed out that while a delegation from the European Parliament was visiting Tehran on June 8, the regime hanged a group of 35 prisoners. “This trend goes on and on, and it does not end anywhere. This goes on in all the prisons of Iran; in the capital Tehran, in Karaj, in Tabriz, in Orumieh, in Mahabad, in Shiraz, and it doesn’t stop.”
Ms. Azimfar added that there are large numbers of “arbitrary arrests” and “prisoners of conscience” in Iran, adding that the situation in Iran, in particular for young people, is unbearable.
“Young men and women are dragged out of their homes and sent to prison with sentences of 10-14 years” for writing articles, drawing cartoons, and other activities expressing their opinions about the regime. “The regime throws people in prison for basic peaceful activities.”
Iranian society is in an explosive state, she said. The people are starving, they are demanding a decent job and standard of living, and, for this reason, Hassan Rouhani has intensified the crackdown because he is fearful of an uprising.
Speaking about the plight of women, Ms. Azimfar said women were the first victims of the Iranian regime. Women are attacked with acid in the streets. This, she said, is because the regime recognizes women as a significant part of the population who want change. Just as the regime is afraid of women, it also fears the members of the main opposition group People’s Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK) in Camp Liberty, Iraq, who are living witnesses to the regime’s crimes. These two groups invoke fear within the regime and are thus forced further into repression, she said.
Asked about the current nuclear talks between the world powers and the Iranian regime, she said that the regime faces an “impasse”.
“These mullahs are masters of deception.” Ms. Azimfar said. The mullahs are hiding behind the nuclear deal and using it as an opportunity to mask the human rights violations that are ongoing in Iran. They are trying to keep the people from gathering together in an open atmosphere, in order to limit the opportunity for protests, and this is manifested in ways such as the recent case where they prevented women from attending a volleyball match, she said.
Saluting the political prisoners in Iran for their courage and perseverance, Ms. Azimfar urged international human rights activists to spread the message about the atrocities in Iran and to be the voice of the suffering population.