An Iranian human rights monitoring group based abroad has reported over 2,300 protest rallies in the country in 2021, with most events related to labor issues.
Unofficial labor unions organized 1,261 rallies across the country from January 1-December 20, and workers in specific workplaces or sectors held 618 protest gatherings, Human Rights Activists News Agency said in an annual report published on Monday, December 27.
Iran executed 299 individuals in 2021, including four juvenile offenders - a 26-percent increase compared with 2020. Courts issued 85 death sentences until December 20.
Military forces shot 242 people, killing 94 individuals, some during protests and others who were small-time cross border traders essentially smuggling consumer goods between Iraq and Iran or fuel to Pakistan.
Security agent shooting at protesters in Esfahan on November 26, 2021
The report also covers ethnic and religious minorities, freedom of expression, the death penalty, women’s rights and other areas of human rights violations.
A lot of the information comes from sources inside Iran who cooperate with human rights monitors abroad and from government-controlled media that reports on labor protests but is mostly silent on prisoners and detentions. This kind of news comes from family members, lawyers and activists in Iran, often via social media.
The report also details the geographic location of reports in Iran, categorizing provinces with the number of human rights violation or protests that are often met with the forceful intervention of security forces.
Based on various types of reports, there were 390 violations of ethnic minority rights in 2021 registered by the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA). For religious minorities 144 cases were registered, including 57 arrests and 60 cases of police raiding homes. Still arrests of members of religious minorities decreased by 25 percent in 2021 compared with the previous year.
Members of the Baha’i faith suffered most with 72 percent of violations directed at the persecuted group. Persecution of newly c
CCTV image obtained by hackers in prison showing guards attacking an inmate.
onverted Christians constituted 14 percent of all violations.
Muslims are not allowed to convert to another religion. Most cases of conversion in Iran involve Muslims adopting Christianity and holding secret congregations at homes, which are raided if security forces get tipped off.
There were 674 reports of violations against freedom of expression in 2021, including the arrest of 1,043 individuals, with 111 trials held. In 2021, prison terms were issued for 215 people, totaling 10,140 months on accusations of “propaganda against the regime” and similar charges that would be incomprehensible in a modern society. Criticism of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the military and the clergy usually trigger arrest and heavy punishment including lashing. This year, 16 people received a total of 998 lashes.
Authorities arrested 1,676 individuals because of political or civil-rights advocacy activities. “The statistical analysis exhibited 26 cases of arrest in the trade union category, 445 arrests in the category of ethnic minorities, 57 arrests in the category of religious minorities, 1043 arrests in the category of freedom of expression, 25 arrests related to children’s rights, 3 arrests of students related to the right to education, 6 arrests in the field of cultural rights, and 64 arrests in the category of workers’ rights,” the report said.
The report says that 575 cases of prisoner abuse were registered, including 232 cases of officials denying prisoners medical care and 68 cases of prisoners being deprived of lawyers.