By SIA RAJABI
The Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM) recently published their overview of the events that they reported on during August, heading their report with the leaked footage of Iran’s Evin Prison that went viral on social media.
The hacked security camera footage, published online by the hacker group ‘Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice), showed guards beating prisoners and suicide attempts, as well as scenes of the terrible conditions that inmates have to live in and endure.
In a tweet from the head of Iran’s Prisons, Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, he accepted responsibility for the prison conditions and asked for ‘forgiveness’ from God, showcasing a rare admission of the abuses caused by authorities.
Iran HRM said, “In July, at least 26 death sentences were carried out in Iranian prisons. At least 15 executions were carried out for drug-related offenses and 10 were carried out for murder. The details and reason for the execution of another prisoner are not known.”
Amnesty International raised concern over the condition and treatment of political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared. They said that she was held in inhumane conditions in Semnan prison and ‘ill-treated for seeking truth and justice’ for her siblings who were forcibly disappeared and executed in 1988.
Iran HRM said, “The 104th branch of a criminal court in western Iran sentenced a media activist to prison and lashes for “defaming” local officials. The Sanandaj court sentenced Morteza Haghbayan to two years and six months of prison, 90 lashes, and a 10 million toman fine (around 390 USD) for defaming officials in Kurdistan Province and publishing government documents.”
During protests in Naqadeh on August 7, 27-year-old Mohammad Alizadeh was fatally shot by a man who believed him to be affiliated with security forces as he walked behind a group of riot police. Not realizing the extent of his injuries, he refused to seek medical attention for fear of being arrested but he soon fell unconscious and ultimately succumbed to internal bleeding.
Religious persecution was another feature during August. Ali Ahmadi, an Iranian Bahai from Qaemshahr was summoned to serve his prison sentence for following the banned faith. As he suffers from diabetes, heart problems, and thyroid illnesses, they transferred him to the COVID-19 infected prisons which is a severe threat to his health.
Iran HRM said, “Three Christian converts, Milad Goudarzi, Ameen Khaki, and Alireza Nourmohammadi, were sentenced to prison in Karaj near Tehran on August 22.”
The three men were charged with “spreading propaganda and deviant educational activities opposing Islam” and given a fine of 40 million tomans (about $1,412) each. They were sentenced to five years of prison each, which was later reduced to three years.
In terms of civilian deaths at the hand of the regime’s military and armed forces, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), at least six Iranians were killed in August, and a further nine were injured during indiscriminate shootings by security forces.
As the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus ravages through cities across Iran, the daily death toll reached 390 in Tehran as of September 1.
Iran HRM said, “State-run media report of hospitals and ICUs brimming with COVID-19 infected patients. At the same time, cemeteries are filled, and provinces report not having enough room to bury the bodies.”
Iranians are angry and blaming Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the thousands of deaths in Iran due to the virus, many of whom could have been saved if Khamenei and the regime had not banned the U.S. and UK made vaccines at the beginning of the year.