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Wednesday, 19 January, 2022

Human Rights Watch: Issuance of Imprisonment and flogging sentences for demanding Iranian citizens

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Human Rights in Iran – In the continuation of international reactions to the crackdown of Freedom of Expression in Iran, on Friday, May 8th 2020, Human Rights Watch announced that at least 13 citizens protesting the IRGC’S Air Defense shooting down a Ukrainian PS 752, which caused the death of 176 passengers and the crew of the plane were faced judicial convictions.

According to Human Rights in Iran, on Friday, May 8th 2020, Human Rights Watch Organization released a report on the sentencing and other criminal convictions for 13 Iranian citizens who were detained during the protests in January 2020 for the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Air Defense, and considered the convictions of these citizens solely because of their peaceful protests.

According to the International Human Rights Defenders: ” The IRGC shit down a Ukrainian passenger aircraft on January 8th 2020, killing 176 passengers and the crew. After the initial denials, on January 11th (2020), the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran admitted that following Iran’s vengeful attacks on a US military base in Iraq, the IRGC fired inadvertently at the passenger aircraft. Then the protests took place throughout Iran. Michael Page, deputy director in the Middle East division at Human Rights Watch said: ” The Iranian authorities follow the usual escape of their responsibilities “.

He added: ” At the same time as refusing to provide details on research and deficit the failure for this deadly mistake, the judicial authorities do not waste time for convicting those who protest the killing of 176 lives “.

On April 27th (2020), Mostafa Hashemi Zadeh, a student of civil engineering at Tehran University, one of the detainees during the protests in January 2020, was sentenced by branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, presided over Iman Afshar to 5 years in prison, 74 lashes, 3 months compulsory service in Niayesh Hospital and 2 years deprivation of using the students’ dormitory on charges of ” gathering and conspiracy to disturb national security and to disrupt the public order “. This citizen was acquitted of the charge of insulting the leadership.

On April 28th 2020, also Amir Mohammad Sharifi, a student at University of Tehran, detained in November 2019, was sentenced by branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Iman Afshar to 3 months in prison on the charge of ” propaganda against the government “.

On April 27th 2020, Ali Shokri, Azadeh Javani, Ali-Reza Mohammad-Nejad, Aidin Javani, Fereshteh Mahmoudi, Hossein Mostafa Nia, Mostafa Khoda Bandehloo, Hamid Mohammadi Irani, Amin Forouhi, Mohammadreza Shojaei and Aida Javani, 11 persons detained in protesting rallies in November 2019, each one was sentenced in absentia by branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Amol, presided over Morteza Mahdavi to serve 8 months in prison. According to the lawsuit issued against these 11 citizens on April 26th, they were charged with ” propaganda against the government ” which the sentence was announced to them on April 27th.

On January 14th 2020, the Iranian authorities pledged to investigate the attack, but have not provided details so far. They also barred other affected countries from accessing key evidences.

Also on March 11th 2020, the head of Iranian delegation in the International Civil Aviation Organization told Reuters: ” Iran has agreed to send the black boxes of crashed planes to Kiev for inspection but it has not yet delivered them “.

After a member of Parliament said on April 6th 2020: ” Military Forces has done a good job in this regard and there will be no reprimand or arrest “, Shokrollah Bahrami, the head of Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces, denied this claim and said: ” Someone is still in custody “.

On several occasions, officials in Canada, most of whom were victims, and other countries that had passengers have called on Iran to cooperate with multilateral schemes. The victims’ families have said that they are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic will slow any move toward justice for their loved ones.

Page concluded: ” Instead of pursuing those who have exercised their right to Freedom of Expression and assembly, Iranian officials should conduct a transparent investigation and cooperate with international institutions to determine what really happened in this tragedy “.

Flight 752 of Ukrainian International Airlines departed from Tehran’s Khomeini International Airport at 6:12 a.m local time on Wednesday, January 8th 2020, and a few minutes later was shot down by the IRGC Air Defense.

The incident occurred just some hours after Iran’s missile attack on 2 US air bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of a senior Iranian commander by the United States.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran admitted after 3 days that the IRGC had shot down the Ukrainian plane. Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani also announced on Twitter on Saturday, January 11th 2020 that the mistake of the IRGC had caused the crash of a Ukrainian plane and the death of 176 people.

Also on January 15th 2020, Amnesty International issued a statement on the illegal conduct of Iranian security forces in dealing with protesters during the protest rallies related to the shooting down of the PS 752 passenger plane belonging to the Ukrainian Airlines, which resulted in the death of 176 passengers and the crew of the plane.

Holding protest rallies without carrying weapons is one of the rights accentuated in Article 27 of Iran’s Constitution, which the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran claims enforcing it, however the security organizations offer different interpretations on their own behalf in the line of restriction and suppression the citizens in Iran.

The suppression of the citizens and the imposition of restrictions on their civil rights are among the most flagrant human rights violations of freedom of expression illustrated in UDHR article 19.

Individuals have the right to access a fair trial by an impartial tribunal, as enshrined in international human rights instruments, as well as article 10 of the UDHR and article 14 of ICCPR.

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