Department of Statistics and Publications of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA)— 2022, has been an eventful year in Iran, with at least 3046 protests being held across all provinces of Iran, and at least 22655 individuals arrested in violation of their right to freedom of expression. More so in an extremely alarming rate the executions carried out in 2022 compared to the previous year, increased by 88%, and the number of death sentences issued has also increased by 8%.
This annual report on human rights violations in Iran is the result of collection, analysis, and documentation of 13342 reports concerning human rights, gathered from 267 news sources during 2022. The report is divided into sections based on the categories of human rights areas of concern such as women rights, ethnic rights, religious rights, death penalty, etc. In each section charts, graphs, and illustrations in addition to analysis discusses the human rights concerns and emerging trends compared to the previous year.
This report is the result of the work of courageous human rights activists in Iran who pay a very high cost for striving to enact their humanitarian beliefs. However, for obvious reasons (i.e. existing governmental limitations, bans on the free exchange of information and government interference with the existence of human rights organizations in the country), this report by no means is free of errors and cannot solely reflect the actual status of human rights in Iran. Having said that, it should be emphasized that this report is considered one of the most accurate, comprehensive, and authentic reports on human rights conditions in Iran. It serves as an informative resource for human rights activists and organizations working on Iran who seek to better understand the challenges and opportunities that they may face.
Article by The Guardian, Kate Connolly, published on Dec, 20 2022
Irmgard Furchner, 97, who worked at Stutthof concentration camp during the second world war, is given a two-year suspended sentence
A 97-year-old former secretary at a Nazi concentration camp has been found guilty of complicity in the murder of more than 10,500 people imprisoned there, and handed a two-year suspended sentence.
Irmgard Furchner, who has been on trial in the northern German town of Itzehoe for more than a year, spoke to the court on one occasion earlier this month to say she was sorry for what had happened, but stopped short of admitting her guilt.
The start of her trial was delayed in September 2021 when she briefly went on the run. Having failed to turn up at court, she was found by police hours later on the outskirts of Hamburg, after which she was held in custody for five days and fitted with an electronic wrist tag.
Furchner had worked at the Stutthof camp between 1943 and 1945 as a secretary to the camp commandant, Paul-Werner Hoppe, when she was 18 and 19. She was tried in a juvenile court owing to her age at the time the crimes were committed.
She is the first civilian woman in Germany to have been held responsible for crimes committed in a Nazi concentration camp.
The judge, Dominik Gross, said the trial would be “one of the worldwide last criminal trials related to crimes of the Nazi era” and took the unusual step of allowing the proceedings to be recorded for “historical purposes”.
The trial, which took place over 40 days of sessions of about two hours’ duration due to the accused’s advanced age, heard from 30 survivors and relatives of prisoners of Stutthof from the US, France, Austria and the Baltic states.
It also heard from historical experts who gave details of the daily life at Stutthof and the role Furchner played in assisting the bureaucratic processing of prisoners, as well as information about the treatment of prisoners, including torture methods and the procedures involved in the systematic murder of thousands of them, to which they said she had been privy.
Many prisoners were left to starve and freeze in the open air. An estimated 63,000 to 65,000 people, about 28,000 of whom were Jewish, were murdered at Stutthof, mostly in gas chambers, some by a shot to the back of the neck, for which the prison had a specially built facility.
One of the most memorable testimonies was that of 84-year-old Josef Salomonovic, who survived Stutthof and gave evidence in December 2021 after travelling to the court from his home in the Czech Republic. His father, Erich, had been executed in Stutthof.
Salomonovic held up a photograph of his father and addressed Furchner directly. Outside the courtroom, he said he had wanted to confront her with the image of his father. “She is indirectly guilty, even if she was only sitting in the office,” he said.
During the trial, court officials including the judge visited the preserved site of Stutthof, near Gdansk, Poland, in what was then territory that had been annexed by Germany. There they saw for themselves the proximity of Furchner’s desk – in the office she shared with other secretaries – to the workings of the camp’s death machinery, including gas chambers, a crematorium and a gallows.
They concluded that the view she had from her window, her walk to and from the office, along with the orders she was instructed to process on her typewriter and via telephone, were enough for her to have had sufficient insight into and have therefore actively participated in what was going on in the camp.
During the trial, Furchner conversed regularly with the judge through her lawyer, but said little. She typically was brought to court in an ambulance flanked by doctors, wearing sunglasses and a face mask and in a wheelchair.
Her lawyer, Wolfgang Molkentin, said his client did not deny the crimes that had taken place in Stutthof, but denied having been guilty of them herself.
Reacting to the verdict, Manfred Goldberg, 92, who was deported to Stutthof in August 1944 and spent more than eight months there as a slave worker before being sent on a death march just days before the war ended, and finally being liberated in Germany in May 1945, said he could not believe that Furchner did not know what was happening where she worked.
“It is my belief that it would have been impossible for Furchner not to have known what was going on there, as she claims. Everything was documented and progress reports, including how much human hair had been harvested, sent to her office,” he said.
Goldberg, who later settled in the UK where he married and had children, said the importance of the trial was in letting the world know “that there is no limitation of time for crimes of such cruelty or magnitude”, but he was disappointed at the two-year suspended sentence.
“This appears to me to be a mistake. No one in their right mind would send a 97-year-old to prison, but the sentence should reflect the severity of the crimes. If a shoplifter is sentenced to two years, how can it be that someone convicted for complicity in 10,000 murders is given the same sentence?”
Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said the trial had shown that the passage of time was “no barrier to justice when it comes to those involved in perpetrating the worst crimes mankind has ever seen.
“Stutthof was infamous for its cruelty and suffering … the testimony shared by survivors during this trial has been harrowing and their bravery in reliving such horrific memories must be commended.”
HRANA – Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old young woman, was arrested by the morality police for the crime of improper hijab. Her arrest and death in detention fueled nationwide protests in Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. The following 486-page report is dedicated to the statistical review, analysis, and summary of the first eighty-two days of the ongoing protests (September 17 to December 7, 2022). In this report, in addition to the geographic analysis and the presentation of maps and charts, the identity of 481 deceased, including 68 children and teenagers, an estimated of 18,242 arrested along with the identity of 3,670 arrested citizens, 605 students and 61 journalists or activists in the field of information is compiled. In addition, the report includes a complete collection of 1988 verified video reports by date and topic. The report examines protests across 1115 documented gatherings in all 31 provinces of the country, including 160 cities and 143 universities.
Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a young 22-year-old woman from Saqqez, Kurdistan was visiting Tehran, when she was taken into custody on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, by the Morality Police officers at the Haqqani metro station in Tehran. The reason for her arrest: not properly observing the strict Islamic dress code. Mahsa/Zhina was taken to the infamous detention center of Moral Security Police known as Vozara. Shortly after Mahsa’s arrest, she went into a coma with level three concussion, and her partially alive body was transferred to the intensive care unit of Kasra Hospital. Given the track record of the police and Guidance Patrols in mistreating the arrestees and similar previous incidents, with the believe that Mahsa was beaten during the arrest people were outraged. Unpersuasive explanations given by the Central Command of the Islamic Republic Police Force (FARAJA) in defense of its actions regarding the death of Mahsa, the past performance of the police force, along with widespread dissatisfaction with the existence of a body called the Moral Security Police, fueled widespread protests in Iran. The widespread protests sparked at the time Mahsa Amini was announced dead in front of Kasra Hospital on Argentina Street in Tehran, and then quickly spread to the streets despite the intimidating presence of Iran’s security forces. The protests intensified after Mahsa’s burial in a Saqqez cemetery. To the extent that after eighty-two days of nationwide protests between September 17, 2022, to December 7, 2022, they have spread to Iran’s all 31 provinces, 160 cities, and 143 major universities. The protests did not stay limited to Mahsa’s death, it rather, quickly targeted the Iranian government’s political and ideological foundations. These protests were violently quashed by the anti-riot police and Iran’s militia force (Basij). teargas, pellets, and live ammunition were used in the repression of protestors. This widespread crackdown has led to the death of dozens of people and the wounding of hundreds of protestors. Despite sever communication restrictions imposed by the Islamic Republic, this report attempts to give a clearer picture of the first 82 days of the protests between September 17, to December 7, 2022. It’s worth mentioning at the time of this report the protests are still ongoing in various forms.