Iran’s oppressive regime has a history of clamping down on parties. With authorities shutting down get-togethers and arresting those in attendance, this brutal practice continued throughout the month of March and has in fact heightened during recent months.
120 young men and women were arrested in the eastern part of the capital Tehran. One reason for the arrests was because it was a mixed-gender gathering. According to the regime’s public prosecutor, another reason was because it was said to be a disturbance to peace.
Eight were arrested during an all-women’s party in the western part of the capital. 30 youths were arrested in the city of Ahvaz (southern Iran) by security forces.
The aforementioned are among some of the raids that took place solely in the month of March.
Many other instances of citizens arrested for participating in a party have been reported in recent months. For example, on Jan. 28 a report emerged about the arrest of 13 youths who attended a party in the Gilan Province (northern Iran). In another case in December 2016, 40 youths were arrested in a night party in Orumieh (Northwest Iran). Hundreds have been arrested in 2016 alone.
During some instances, citizens have also been brutally attacked or punished as well.
On March 2, 2017, police attacked and opened fire on a group of Sunni students in Baluchistan. These youths were just hanging out and having a good time. As result of the attack, two students were shot and three were beaten. Photos of the injured and bloodied students were published on Iranian news outlets.
In May 2016, 35 students in Qazvin (northern Iran) who were celebrating their graduation were arrested and lashed 99 times each within a span of just 24 hours. This sparked strong condemnation from the United Nations.
Clamping down on private parties is an extension of the government’s policy of repression. By targeting celebrations, the regime attempts to further spread fear in the society, as it is constantly worried of a national uprising similar to the massive demonstrations that occurred 2009. Suppression has long been used as a tool to prevent protests from occurring.
As the unemployment rate is in the double digits and millions live under the poverty line, Iran faces scores of domestic problems. In recent weeks and months, widespread protests have been reported across the country by thousands of workers and teachers demanding their unpaid salaries. With the economic situation consistently worsening due to years and decades of the regime’s disastrous policies, the government has proven it’s incapable of solving the economic crisis. The government is aware of its unstable nature and is trying to prevent an uprising by all means.
President Hassan Rouhani made promises of moderation and reform, but has failed in all aspects even more so pertaining to human rights. In addition to the economic crisis, since Rouhani came into power, thousands of prisoners have been executed and the crackdown on society has only intensified. The United Nations has also confirmed that human rights have deteriorated under his rule. The fact that the government has increasingly grown intolerable towards get-togethers further shows how human rights have declined.
Suppression of those just wanting to have a good time continues by Iran’s repressive government. The month of March alone saw the arrests of over 100 people. The government can’t even tolerate an innocent get-together and in some occasions has resorted to using violence. This shows of the worsening state of human rights in the country.