UN Blasts Iran on Human Rights as Islamic State Grapples With COVID-19

The U.N. released a damming report on human rights in Iran at the beginning of March. The report, released by the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said, “Individuals who have called for the alleviation of economic hardships, and those who peacefully exercise their civil and political rights in defense of human rights have faced a harsh response.” The Rapporteur also said he “remain[ed] deeply concerned at the arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders and lawyers. I received reports that imprisoned human rights defender, Arash Sadeghi, has been denied treatment for bone cancer and a serious arm infection.” The report chronicles Iran’s savage crackdown on protesters against Tehran’s mismanagement of the economy and rising gas prices. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Meanwhile, COVID-19 is crippling the country and spreading rapidly. Although coronavirus numbers in Iran have escalated every day, analysts believe Tehran is fudging them, and that the true numbers may be even higher. An unnamed professional in Mazandaran, Iran’s third most impacted province, said “The situation is very difficult; the authorities do not provide the exact figures of the dead.” He also stated that “They have even arrested a staff member who shot film inside a hospital, where you could see it was filled with dead people inside a cellar.” Continuing, he said, “And the situation is much worse now. Hospitals (everywhere) are at capacity. No one is reporting the real death toll.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

In fact, coronavirus cases in the Middle East had pushed well past 10,000 by mid-March, with many of the cases linked to Iran. Iran has reported around 360 deaths and 9,000 cases, although critics believe the number is far higher. Matthew Schmidt, a national security and political science expert at the University of New Haven, says that “Nobody believes the numbers coming out of Tehran.” He also said that it could well be that Iran is now the epicenter of the virus. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

More shocking, satellite imagery shows that Iran has dug two 100-yard long trenches at the Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery in Qom, which is about 80 miles south of Tehran. The trenches appear to be for the purpose of burying coronavirus dead, confirming fears that the virus outbreak in Iran is far worse than officials are reporting. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

More Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

In a desperate effort to stem the spread of the virus through Iran’s prisons, Iranian officials have released some 85,000 prisoners. Reported by Fox News.Read more…

Not all news from Iran is bleak. A 103-year old woman has survived the virus. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

On Friday, March 20, Tehran finally admitted the seriousness of the virus in Iran when Kianush Jahanpur, a spokesperson for the health ministry, tweeted that “Based on our information, every ten minutes one person dies from the coronavirus and some 50 people become infected with the virus every hour in Iran.” As of Friday morning, however, Iran had officially documented only 11,500 active cases saying that all were mild or non-critical—despite a spiraling death toll that places the country in third place behind Italy and China. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

In an open letter to Americans, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called upon them to urge the U.S. government to end the “dark chapter” of sanctions against Iran. “Even under the circumstances of the pandemic, the U.S. government has failed to abandon its malicious policy of maximum pressure; and is thus in practice aiding the spread of this virus with its sanctions,” Rouhani’s statement was made apparently in response to new U.S. sanctions being placed on Iran the previous week, where the U.S. blacklisted five international companies for doing business with Iran. Rouhani said that the war could only be “won” if all countries worked together. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Contributing to its woes, many Iranians ignored government requests to stay home to celebrate the country’s new year. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…