Human Rights Watch: Iran Continues to Violate Rights of Kurds / No significant improvements in human rights in the first full year of President Rouhani

Basnews – 30.01.2015 – HRW – NEW YORK – In the 656-page world report, its 25th edition, Human Rights Watch, concludes there have been no significant improvements in human rights in the first full year of President Hassan Rouhani, the reformist president.

“Repressive elements within the security and intelligence forces and the judiciary retained wide powers and continued to be the main perpetrators of rights abuses” the report said.“Executions, especially for drug-related offenses, continued at a high rate. Security and intelligence forces arrested journalists, bloggers, and social media activists, and revolutionary courts handed down heavy sentences against them,” the report added.

According to Human Rights Watch the Iranian government also still restricts cultural as well as political activities among the country’s Azeri, Kurdish, Arab, and Baluch minorities. “Dozens of others sentenced on terrorism-related charges, including many Iranian Kurds and Baluch, were on death row following trials rife with due process violations,” the report said about the death sentences carried out against Iran’s minorities such as the Kurds. Bas News reported that just in the month of December, Iran hanged 64 people, of which 11 were Kurds. Kurds have suggested the number of executions have increased under the new government of president Rouhani. The Human Rights Watch report suggests that the judiciary continued to allow the execution of prisoners convicted of moharebeh (enmity with god) despite penal code changes requiring that it review and commute death sentences unless there is proof that the alleged perpetrator resorted to the use of arms.