Regime ramps up violence against Iranian women – More arrests, detentions, and executions
The clerical regime ramped up pressure on political prisoners. It carried out more death sentences in October on the eve of the second anniversary of the November 2019 uprising. In the meantime, the regime stepped up persecution of women under the pretext of enforcing the mandatory Hijab.
Women political prisoners are under more pressure from prison authorities. Denial of medical treatment, violent transfers to exile, denial of prison leave, and restrictions on phone calls are among the restrictions women political prisoners endure in prison.
Only three months after taking office, Ebrahim Raisi, a mass murder, has added another 200 executions to his record. His sole mission is to prolong the mullahs’ illegitimate rule through a ruthless clampdown on the Iranian public.
One of the regime’s officials admitted in October that at least 240,000 detainees were held in all Iranian prisons. Hassan Nowrouzi, vice president of the parliamentary Judicial Committee, told the parliament, “We used to have 16,000 detainees before the (1979) revolution, and today, we have 240,000.”
According to the (standard) ratio between prisoners and the total population, the number of prisoners in Iran with a population of more than 80,000,000 should not have reached 30,000. However, the number of prisoners in the country is eight times greater. (The state-run Hamdeli newspaper – October 10, 2021)
The Iranian Resistance has repeatedly urged the UN Secretary-General, High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, the special rapporteurs, and relevant international human rights organizations to send a delegation to Iran to visit the clerical regime’s prisons and meet the prisoners, especially those detained on political grounds.
Added restrictions and pressure on women political prisoners
In October, there have been numerous reports of women political prisoners going on hunger strike and facing ever more restrictions in various prisons.
Hunger strike by Mahin Akbari
Political prisoner Mahin Akbari started a hunger strike in Lakan Prison of Rasht on October 18, 2021. She is protesting the extension of her sentence for another year. She should have been released on October 7, when her sentence expired. However, the warden of Lakan Prison told her to ask for pardon; otherwise, they would keep her in jail. Mahin Akbari rejected this option, maintaining that she was innocent, and she should be released without conditions.
Mahin Akbari, 59, is among the political prisoners of the 1980s.
Agents of the Intelligence Department of Rasht broke into her residence in mid-February 2020. They arrested and took her for lengthy interrogations under physical and psychological torture. Then they transferred her to the women’s ward of Lakan Prison.
She was among supporters of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) arrested and detained last summer.
Imprisoned teacher Nosrat Beheshti goes on hunger strike
Imprisoned teacher Nosrat Beheshti started a hunger strike in Vakilabad Prison of Mashhad on October 24, 2021. She is protesting her detention without trial and other pressures on her.
Security forces arrested Nosrat Beheshti on August 4, 2021. She has a large kidney stone and is presently under mental stress and duress.
Nosrat Beheshti is one of the 14 signatories of a letter demanding the resignation of the clerical regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
She is a retired teacher and mother of six. Security forces arrested her for participating in the teachers’ protests and calling for balancing their salaries with other government employees. The authorities have detained her for the past three months in the detention center of the Intelligence Department and Vakilabad Prison of Mashhad, the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province.
Nejat Anvar Hamidi at imminent risk of blindness
Political prisoner Nejat Anvar Hamidi is at imminent risk of blindness in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz. She is presently in a severe physical condition and bleeding from both eyes.
An informed source said Nejat Anvar Hamidi, and her family repeatedly followed up to have an optometrist finally examine her in prison. The specialist doctor diagnosed her with pterygium. He also said that Ms. Anvar Hamidi’s eye pressure was high. She needed to be examined, operated on, and treated at a civic hospital.
Nejat Anvar Hamidi, 63, supports the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). She was arrested for supporting the organization in March 2019 and transferred to Sepidar Prison. In addition to her eye condition, she has suffered from chronic headaches since her time in prison in the 1980s.
Monireh Arabshahri deprived of medical treatment
Women’s rights activist Monireh Arabshahi returned to the Kachouii Prison in Karaj without completing her medical treatment on October 5, 2021.
Monireh Arabshahi was granted a medical leave on a heavy bail of 500 million Tomans on May 3, 2021. She returned to Kachouii Prison on July 23, 2021, after undergoing a thyroid gland operation. Then, her health deteriorated in prison. On July 31, she was sent to hospital but was returned to jail after one day without receiving medical treatment.
On August 4, she was sent on medical leave until October 5, when she was called to prison again without completing her treatment.
Monireh Arabshahi and her daughter, Yasaman Aryani, must serve 5.5 years in prison for opposition to the mandatory Hijab. They were sent from Evin Prison in Tehran to exile in Kachouii Prison of Karaj on October 22, 2020.
Exile and degrading treatment of Mojgan Kavousi
A Kurdish political prisoner and a writer, Mojgan Kavousi, was sent to exile from Tehran’s Evin Prison to Kachouii Prison in Karaj on October 6, 2021.
Again, on October 13, prison authorities sent her to the Intelligence Courthouse without written notification and arranged for her return to Evin. The judge in Evin, however, refused to admit her and returned her to Kachouii Prison.
During these relocations, Mojgan Kavousi spent three days, from October 6-9, in a Police detention center in Karaj under inhuman conditions and alongside addicts.
Agents of the detention center mistreated the detainees, reminding Ms. Kavousi of the Nazi forced labor camps. They did not answer her repeated requests for water and food. Her hands and feet were cuffed throughout her detention. The cuffs were not standard and hurt her feet. The agents in the detention center yelled at the detainees and verbally insulted and humiliated them.
In a telephone call to her family, Ms. Kavousi said she had repeatedly been ordered to undress for body search in the Prison of Noshahr, the Inspector’s Office of Shahr-e-Rey Prison (Qarchak), the Moral Security Police of Tehran, the Detective Police of Karaj, and in Kachouii Prison. She protested this humiliating treatment, to no avail.
She told her family, “This treatment is a vivid example of psychological torture and transgression of the most private and personal life of a human being.”
Atena Daemi denied making phone calls
Prison authorities have confiscated her phone card, and she is deprived of calling home.
A cabin visit with her family was done in the presence of a prison agent. The cabin had been specified beforehand and set up for eavesdropping.
Earlier reports indicated that prison authorities had pressured ordinary prisoners to make false testimonies against Atena.
In a Farsi post on October 21, Amnesty International called for “the immediate and unconditional release of human rights activist Atena Daemi.” AI declared that Atena had been unfairly imprisoned for condemning human rights violations in Iran.
Atena Daemi, 32, began serving her five-year sentence in November 2016 in the women’s ward of Evin Prison.
In 2018, Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced her to another jail sentence of 2 years and one month. Again, in July 2020, she received another sentence of 2 years and 74 lashes.
Political prisoner Mahboubeh Rezaii sent to exile
Mahboubeh Rezaii was sent to exile to the notorious Adelabad Prison of Shiraz in the early days of October. Her banishment was a reaction by the authorities of Bushehr Prison to Ms. Rezaii’s exposing the prison’s appalling conditions. She made an audio recording in which she talked about violence against Iranian women in jail and proposals of temporary marriages to inmates.
Bushehr Prison authorities enticed and hired common criminals to harass and brutalize her. The Categorization Council deprived her of prison leave and other benefits for six months and sent her into exile in Adelabad Prison of Shiraz, the capital of the southern Fars Province.
Agents of the Intelligence Ministry arrested Mahboubeh Rezaii in Borazjan, in Bushehr province, on May 16, 2017. The Revolutionary Court of Shiraz had sentenced her to 13 years in prison.
On January 19, 2021, the authorities transferred Ms. Rezaii to the Prison of Bushehr to serve her sentence. In July, violent crimes convicts brutalized her severely in the presence of prison authorities.
Prison sentences for civil rights activists
The Evin Courthouse summoned Mrs. Farangis Mazloum to instruct her about implementing her sentence. Mrs. Mazloum is the mother of political prisoner Soheil Arabi and a civil rights activist. Tehran’s Revolutionary Court previously sentenced her to 18 months in prison.
The Revision Court of Khuzestan Province sentenced media activist Mehrnoush Tafian to six months and 11 days in prison. Mrs. Tafian is a graduate of the School of News and has a teenage son. They live in Ahvaz, the province’s capital.
The Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj has sentenced Roya Jalali, a women’s rights activist, to a suspended two-year prison sentence. A mother of two, Mrs. Jalali had Multiple Sclerosis.
Arrest and detention of opponents and civil activists
Agents of the Intelligence Ministry in Rasht arrested a group of former political prisoners and supporters of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on October 27, 2021. Those arrested include Narges Shirbacheh, Simrokh Bozorg Ziabari, Zahra Haghgoo, and Ozra Taheri.
Tehran’s Revolutionary Court issued a ruling on October 12, 2021, according to which Mahboubeh Farahzadi was fined 1.5 million Tomans. Her mobile phone will be confiscated, and she will be banned from participating in gatherings and meetings for two years.
On October 14, 2021, security forces arrested Saada Khedira, who is from Piranshahr. The security forces transferred Ms. Khedira, pregnant, to the Detention Center of the Intelligence Department in Urmia, the capital of West Azerbaijan Province. Despite being pregnant, this woman is being denied access to medical services and family visits.
Mitra Taghipour and her 4-year-old son were arrested at the border of Mehran city in the western border province of Ilam one month ago. As of October 4, 2021, after Mitra Taghipour and her son Mehrsam were transferred to the Isfahan Revolutionary Guards’ detention center, no information is available on their fate. Ms. Taghipour’s family has been trying to obtain custody of the child but has not received any answers yet.
The security forces of Ilam also arrested civil rights activist Khadijeh Mehdipour, 34, from Ivan-e Gharb, who lives in Ilam. They had arrested her once before, on October 3, 2020, for her activities in social media but released her temporarily on bail.
Security forces in Sanandaj arrested labor activist Maryam Sadeqi at her home on October 23, 2021. There is no information available on the charges against this labor activist and her place of detention.
At the same time, Gelaleh Moradi continued to remain in detention without standing trial since her arrest six months ago. The Kurdish activist from Piranshahr has been under pressure to make false confessions against her will.
Another woman executed in October
Susan Rezaiipour was hanged in the Central Prison of Qazvin at dawn on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. This is the 122nd woman executed since the summer of 2013.
Susan Rezaiipour, 31, had murdered her husband in self-defense six years ago. She was the 122nd woman executed in Iran since the summer of 2013.
Susan Rezaiipour had been forcibly married to her cousin, whom she did not love. In her confessions, Susan said her husband was an alcoholic who was drunk from 3 p.m. He battered her every day, something that forced her to commit murder.
The month of October also saw Soheila Abedi sentenced to death for the murder of her husband in 2014. She has been told that if she does not obtain the consent of the victim’s family, she will be executed within a month.
Soheila Abedi was married at age 15. She is presently detained in the Reform and Rehabilitation Center (women’s ward) of the Prison of Sanandaj.
Born in 1989, she killed her husband on January 23, 2015. The Supreme Court has upheld the death decree for Soheila Abedi. She has been told that if she cannot obtain the consent of the victim’s family, she will be executed in a month.
Born in 1989, she killed her husband on January 23, 2015. The Supreme Court has upheld the death decree for Soheila Abedi, a victim of child marriages, sent it for implementation.
Iran holds the world record for the execution of women and the per capita execution rate among all countries. An average of 15 women per year is executed in Iran. These executions are incredibly unfair.
Stepped-up violence against Iranian women to impose the mandatory Hijab
In step with increased pressure on political prisoners and civil activists, the clerical regime has also ramped up its crackdown on women under the pretext of enforcing the mandatory Hijab.
In October, a video clip circulated in social media outraged the Iranian public over the brutal apprehension of a young woman and treating her like a criminal.
Plainclothes agents in Tehran dragged the woman by her neck. They pulled her inside a van belonging to the Greater Tehran’s State Security Force. At the same time, a female agent was pulling her hair, and a male agent was forcing her inside the van.
To justify his agents’ conduct and quell the public’s outrage, Hossein Ashtari, the general commander of the State Security Force, said, “The arrest of that woman was not related to Hijab, and the agents had an arrest warrant!” (The state-run Setareh Sobh newspaper – October 18, 2021)
While such a treatment is not acceptable even for criminals.
In line with the institutionalization of the savage treatment of women under the pretext of the mandatory Hijab, the clerical regime has opened a new school giving licenses to revive the promotion of virtue and prohibition of evil. Mehran Samadi, the commander of the Vice Promotion and Evil Prohibition Garrison, said, “Those who wish to be among the groups who give warnings (on the streets) can choose their major and issue of concern and enroll via a website called “meidan-e motalebeh.” Within ten days, they can receive legal and official licenses to warn the public officially.” (The state-run Jomhouri newspaper – October 18, 2021)
A mullah by the name of Khan-Mohammadi, a social deputy to the Staff of Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice, declared, “We are seriously endeavoring to remove and legally deal with unconventional dresses and clothing rapidly.” (The state-run Fars news agency – October 27, 2021)
Ardeshir Geravand, a sociologist, questioned the success of the regime’s moral patrols in imposing the mandatory Hijab on Iranian women. He said, “The question we must answer is whether we have been able to achieve our goal in promoting the Hijab and chastity?” (The state-run Entekhab.com – October 17, 2021)