Iran Human Right News

Iran Focus - Iran announced on Tuesday that it had located the passenger jet that disappeared from radar signal over the weekend and confirmed that it had crashed into a mountain.

According to Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif, the wreckage was spotted by a military drone and Russia helped Iran to locate the crash site.

He told the state-run news: “Two helicopters were sent to the coordinates that the drone had located, and found the wreckage. The plane had hit the top of the mountain before crashing 30 meters (yards) further down.”

The news programme that broadcast footage of the search for survivors at the crash site on Mount Dena, but harsh weather conditions and mountainous terrain heavily affected the search and rescue efforts, and only exacerbated the anger felt by the victim’s families and the people of Iran as a whole.

The Aseman Airlines flight from Tehran lost contact just 50 minutes into its journey on Sunday and a representative from the airline reported that all 59 passengers and six crew members had been killed.

Over 100 protesters gathered outside a local government office in Dena Kooh county on Monday to demand the resignation of officials involved in the handling of the disaster.

So what caused the crash?

The plane, a twin-engined turboprop ATR 72, was nearly 25 years old and had sat in storage for over six years before being moved back into the fleet three months ago.

There is a video circulating on the internet of an angry man asking Abbas Akhoundi, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development, if he would have flown on that plane.

The answer to this is, of course, no. Iran’s leaders fly on safer planes, while the people of Iran are relegated to dangerous planes.

These older planes are often outdated and do not meet modern safety restrictions, but Iranstill classifies them as safe to fly.

Iran has blamed their lack of modern flight craft on US and international sanctions for many, many years, but considering that sanctions were lifted in 2015, the problem seems to be more with Iran than anyone else.

In fact, Iran has suffered many plane crashes in the past few years but does not seem to be doing anything about them.

There are many routes that Iran could take to ensure the safety of its people from only allowing airlines to fly their most modern planes to allowing foreign airlines with modern fleets to take over the aviation sector, but they have not.

In actual fact, Iran should be held responsible for any deaths and injuries that occur because of their refusal to update their aviation laws in line with international standards.

A French delegation is expected to arrive in Iran this week to investigate the cause of the crash.

New York Times - A commercial plane crashed on Sunday in a foggy, mountainous region of Iran, most likely killing all 66 people on board, the state news media reported.

The Iran Aseman Airlines plane went down near its destination, the city of Yasuj, about 485 miles south of the capital, Tehran.

Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai, a spokesman for Aseman Airlines, initially told state television that everyone aboard the ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flights, had been killed.

The airline later issued a statement saying it could not reach the crash site and could not “accurately and definitely confirm” everyone had died.

The plane was carrying 60 passengers, including one child, and six crew members, according to The Associated Press. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

The Iranian Red Crescent said it had sent people to the area, and the authorities said they would be investigating.

But fog prevented rescue helicopters from reaching the site in the Zagros Mountains, state TV reported. Mr. Tabatabai said the plane had crashed into Mount Dena, which has an elevation of about 14,500 feet.

News reports said the plane disappeared from radar screens 50 minutes after taking off from Mehrabad International Airport, in western Tehran, which mainly serves domestic flights but has some international routes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/world/middleeast/iran-plane-crash.html

Iran HRM - Changiz Ghadamkheiri, a political prisoner exiled to Masjed Suleiman Prison in Khuzestan Province, has been denied medical treatment outside of prison despite a severe foot infection and doctors’ opinion on treatment and surgery in hospital. The political prisoner has also been told that he is not entitled to a medical leave upon orders of the Ministry of Intelligence.  Changiz Ghadamkheiri, 29, was sentenced to 40 years of prison for his six-month membership in a Kurdish opposition party.

Iran HRM - Zeinab Taheri, lawyer of detained leader of mysticism group Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of the mysticism Erfan Halgheh group, confirmed that her client was on hunger strike as of February 7, in protest to “the court not accepting his chosen lawyer and his ongoing illegal detention.”  Taheri has not been released from prison despite having served his five-year prison term. Therefore, his ongoing detention does not have any legal basis.

RadioLiberty - Four UN human rights experts have called on Iran to ensure “a fair and transparent final hearing” for three Iranian Christians who are due to appear before the Revolutionary Court in Tehran this weekend.

Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, Amin Afshar Naderi, and Hadi Asgari were sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison last year for a number of charges including “conducting evangelism" and "illegal house church activities," the independent experts said in a February 2 statement.

The men are due to appear on February 4 before Iran's Revolutionary Court, which has the power to end the case, confirm the sentences, or refer the case to the Supreme Court.

The UN expert on the human rights situation in Iran, alongside the experts on freedom of religion, on minority issues, and on the right to health said the charges and sentences were "completely contrary" to Iran's obligations under international law.

"We are additionally concerned about the lack of health care made available to them while in detention and, in particular, about the current health condition of Mr. Asgari, who remains in prison," they said.

The UN experts said they’re also concerned that the prosecution of the three men was not an isolated case.

"Members of the Christian minority in Iran, particularly those who have converted to the faith, are facing severe discrimination and religious persecution," they said.

The experts called on the Islamic republic to "ensure fair trials for all, including the religious minorities in the country."

"We also urge the government to immediately and unconditionally release all those who have been arrested and detained for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief," they said.

The U.S. said in its 2017 International Religious Freedom Report that Tehran “regulated Christian religious practices closely to enforce the prohibition on proselytizing.”