US State Dept. annual report on human rights in Iran
Systematic violation of human rights continues in Iran
The US State Dept. on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 issued its 2015 Global Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. A part of the report focuses on the gross violation of human rights in Iran including increasing number of executions particularly the execution of youth and juveniles. The report also focuses on the violation of social freedoms including freedom of assembly, associations, freedom of religion and press.
The US State Dept. Annual Rights’ Report says in part:
Authorities carried out many executions in public; according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, observers confirmed at least 33 of the more than 900 executions during the year as conducted publicly. NGO reports suggested that the actual figure was significantly higher.
There were also deaths in custody. Multiple NGOs, including Iran Human Rights, reported on the September 14 death of labor activist Shahrokh Zamani at Rajai Shahr [Gohardasht] Prison. Zamani was serving an 11-year sentence for attempting to form a painters’ labor union. His body allegedly showed signs of bruising.
In his October 6 report, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran noted that the updated penal code allowed for the execution of juvenile offenders starting at age nine for girls and age 13 for boys. According to Amnesty International (AI), the government executed at least four juvenile offenders during the year, including Javad Saberi, Vazir Amroddin, Samad Zahabi, and Fatemeh Salbehi; authorities resentenced two others, Sajad Sanjari and Hamid Ahmadi, to death for crimes committed when they were under 18 years of age.
Another part of the report emphasizes on prisons conditions in Iran. It says 'Some prison facilities, including Evin Prison in Tehran and Rajai Shahr [Gohardasht] Prison in Karaj, were notorious for the use of cruel and prolonged torture of political opponents of the government, particularly Wards 209 and 2A of Evin Prison, which news organizations and human rights groups reported the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controlled. Authorities also allegedly maintained unofficial secret prisons and detention centers outside the national prison system where abuse reportedly occurred.
'Imprisoned cartoonist and activist Atena Farghadani is serving a 12-year sentence for “spreading propaganda,” “insulting members of parliament,” and “insulting the supreme leader.” She went on a hunger strike to protest abuse by prison officials.
On December 30, according to Human Rights Activists News Agency, prison authorities at Rajai Shahr [Gohardasht] Prison placed several political prisoners into criminal wards of the prison where authorities held nonpolitical prisoners, and forced the nonpolitical prisoners to beat the political prisoners as punishment for holding hunger strikes. The beatings reportedly severely injured them.
Velayt-e faqih and its role in country’s governing system
The US State Dept. Human Rights Report also emphasizes on the effect of the “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship of the jurist” or “rule by the jurisprudent”) on the systematic violation of human rights in Iran and says; 'the Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship of the jurist” or “rule by the jurisprudent”). Shia clergy, most notably the “supreme jurisprudent” (or supreme leader), and political leaders vetted by the clergy dominated key power structures… The supreme leader holds significant influence over the legislative and executive branches of government (through various unelected councils under his authority) and also holds constitutional authority over the judiciary, the government-run media, and the armed forces.
The supreme leader also indirectly controls the internal security forces and other key institutions.