Iran Human Rights
Iran's latest presidential election on June 12, 2009, took place against a backdrop of discrimination, worsening repression of dissent and violent unrest. Amnesty International continues to document serious human rights violations including detention of human rights defenders and other prisoners of conscience, unfair trials, torture and mistreatment in detention, deaths in custody and the application of the death penalty. Iran has one of the highest number of recorded executions of any country in the world.
Human Rights Concerns
Even before the post-June 12 elections crackdown, Amnesty International had serious concerns about massive human rights violations in Iran. For the past several years, Iranian authorities have been engaged in the brutal repression of Iranian civil society. Targets include labor activists who seek to form independent trade unions, women's rights activists, in particular those involved with the Campaign for Equality who work for equitable treatment under family law, students, journalists, bloggers, and those who advocate for cultural rights for Iran's ethnic and linguistic minorities. Hundreds of people are in detention; many of those serving prison terms have been convicted in unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts on vague charges including "propaganda against the state" or "endangering the security of the state. "Iranian authorities have used these vague charges to suppress the right of its citizens to peaceful expression and association.
Amnesty International is also greatly concerned about the use of violence by Basij paramilitary and other government agents who break up peaceful demonstrations, as well as the use of torture in detention facilities. Many people have reported having been tortured in order to force them to make public confessions that can be used against them in legal proceedings. Furthermore, Iran executes more people than any other country in the world except for China. Iran executed at least 388 people in 2009. Iran is also the only country in the world that continues to execute juvenile offenders.
2009 Elections - One Year Later
One year after the disputed June 12 presidential elections, large numbers of prisoners of conscience are suffering in prison; many have been given harsh sentences imposed after unfair trials before revolutionary courts. Maziar Bahari, the detained Canadian-Iranian Newsweek journalist said that the worst nightmare of the prisoner of conscience is to be forgotten. We will never forget them.
Women In Iran
Women in Iran have been at the forefront of the human rights movement in that country, advocating on a broad spectrum of uses. Although their advocacy has consisted of peaceful activities, they have been met with harsh repression from Iranian authorities as part of a recent pervasive crackdown on a wide range of activism. Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Prize winner and women's rights advocate, has been subjected to increased persecution in recent months, raising concerns for her safety. Click below for more information and to take action on behalf of Ms Ebadi and other courageous human rights defenders.
Iran is one of the only countries left in the world today that still executes children and child offenders (those accused of committing an offense when they were under 18 years of age). At least 137 juvenile offenders face execution, but the total number could be much higher as many death penalty cases in Iran are believed to go unreported. At least eight child offenders were executed in 2008 and five in 2009. Iran is the only country in the world known to have executed a juvenile offender in 2008. On May 1, 2009 Delara Darabi was executed by hanging. She was 17 at the time her alleged crime took place. She was the second juvenile offender known to have been executed in Iran in 2009. Behnam Zare was executed on 26 August 2008. He was only 15 at the time the alleged crime took place.
The Persian holiday Nowruz ("new day") is an ancient holiday celebrated on the first day of spring to welcome in the new year. On this Nowruz we want to remember several courageous prisoners of conscience in Iran with Nowruz greetings. Please send cards with Nowruz greetings to let our imprisoned friends know we are thinking of them at this time.
Baha'i Community Leaders
The seven Baha'is were sentenced to twenty years in prison on 7 August 2010, reduced to ten years in September. They are prisoners of conscience, persecuted solely for exercising their right to freedom of religion