Twelve essential Qualities to Work for HRANA

Peace Line Monthly / Behrouz Javid Tehrani – From long years in prison till this day, I have always, at any time and place, tried to use any small opportunity in order to achieve my humanitarian goals. When the security apparatus by imprisoning people like myself was trying to limit our platform for activism, and limit our resources and our communications in order to stop us, I used the smallest available windows of communication and tried to voice the human rights violations that were happening in the prison and my surroundings. Maybe this was the most effective activism I could possibly do from the prison.

Human Right Activists in Iran (HRAI) which later Human Right Activist News Agency (HRANA) was added to it, has been my main partner in human rights activism from the very beginning; especially that I knew Keyvan Rafiee personally and had worked with him outside the prison, I also have kept in contact with Jamal Hosseini and other members during all these years. Continue reading “Twelve essential Qualities to Work for HRANA”

HRANA; Anonymous Rapporteur of Darkrooms of Human Rights Violations

Peace Line Monthly / Ali Ajami – on  May 1, 2006, we – the radical students who became later “Freedom & Equality Seeking Students” and finally dismantled – had decided to join the fired workers who were  protesting in front of  the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company.

We were with placards and slogans which had been selected by voting and we thought that nothing was going to happen. Aggregation was performed and we along with the workers started raising the placards and chanting slogans. The police officers were careful and the IRGC intelligence agents took photos regularly, but there were no particular problems, and we believed that the aggregation was going to end with no problem. Continue reading “HRANA; Anonymous Rapporteur of Darkrooms of Human Rights Violations”

Historic Role of Human Rights Activists in Addressing the Violations of Baha’is Rights in Iran

Peace Line Monthly / Kayvan Sadaghzadeh Milani – In  August of 1980, the first national spiritual assembly of the Baha’is of Iran and two colleagues were arrested and taken to a secret location by the undercover agents and then were executed. No news about the arrests, harassment and subsequent execution of the Baha’i community manager was published and credible and verified news was leaked and the details of the event remained veiled and hidden in the security layers of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The author’s father, Doctor Kambiz Sadeghzadeh Millani, who was then 42 years old, was a member of that assembly and I was 13 years old. More than two hundred other Baha’i citizens, plus these citizens were executed in Iran in the first decade after the revolution. Continue reading “Historic Role of Human Rights Activists in Addressing the Violations of Baha’is Rights in Iran”

To Act against the Discrimination in Reporting about the Ethnic Minorities

Peace Line Monthly / Karim Khalaf Dahimi – In the absence of impartial and free news media, human rights activists, by covering violations of human rights against Arab people and other ethnic and religious minorities, corrected the failure of the Persian-language media abroad and we have seen that the news agency was as a source for some human rights organizations and even the media which is admirable.

Communication with human rights activists of different ethnicities and documenting the news and violations of human rights in different regions are not easy tasks and require a lot of personnel and features but the activists and its news agency HRANA have been able to some extent to cover the news.

Karim Khalaf Dahimi
Karim Khalaf Dahimi

It is expected that the human rights activists and its news agency HRANA expand their activities so that the discrimination at the informing of ethnic minorities will be reduced and the violations of human rights in different areas will be cleared by not considering the red lines for their activities and regardless of their political believes, especially about the prisoners by defending them and publishing their news.

Iran’s Forgotten Prisoners

Huffingtonpost / Hamid Panah – As the world applauds the release of prisoners by Iran, political dissidents within the country continue to suffer unjust persecution, repression and death. The truth surrounding their charges, arrests and the breadth of their continued struggle continues to be lost in the mainstream narrative on Iran.

This past week, Iranian blogger and activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was forced to return to Tehran’s Evin Prison to resume serving his 13-year sentence. Maleki, who was out on medical leave, provides a compelling example of Iran’s defiant dissidents who remain forgotten in the discourse surrounding Iran.

Maleki, 29, became known to many Iranians during the 2009 uprising and protests that followed. Maleki was an active blogger and joined others in the movement of underground cyber activism in Iran. He was the founder of Iran Proxy, a group focused on the maintenance of proxies that allow activists and journalists to circumvent internet censorship inside Iran.. He also authored a number of blogs that were critical of the current regime.

Arrested on December 13, 2009, Maleki was reportedly held in solitary confinement for 10 months. The charges against him alleged membership in an illegal organization, posing a threat to national security and other vaguely worded charges about insulting the Supreme Leader and distributing propaganda against the regime.

He received a 15-year sentence for these accusations. In 2012, Maleki was granted a temporary leave from prison, but was again arrested for his involvement in organizing relief for earthquake victims in his home province of East Azerbaijan. He successfully appealed the sentence that would have convicted him for supposedly gathering and colluding to harm national security.

During his term in the notorious Evin Prison, Maleki was subjected to torture and inhumane treatment. As a result of the torture and severe medical negligence, Maleki developed a kidney condition and continues to suffer from related complications. Maleki staged hunger strikes based on the denial of medical leave for his condition and his ongoing mistreatment while in custody.

His arrest and trial not only hardened his resolve, but also earned Maleki respect and support among Iranians. For the younger generation, he serves as a symbol for today’s activists — one who utilizes technology and the internet to bolster the struggle for free expression in Iran and throughout the world. For activists abroad, he was a source of inspiration and commitment to those who are seeking forward-thinking political change.

In June of 2015, Maleki was finally granted medical leave after posting bail. However, despite his deteriorating medical condition and his eligibility for parole, Maleki was ordered to return to Evin prison this month. Throughout this ordeal Maleki has refused to remain silent. In a series of defiant posts on Twitter, Maleki has criticized the regime and his mistreatment before turning himself into authorities.


His Tweets included:
“Might be last post but I’m determined to gain my freedom bec I’m innocent. The response to opinions is not prison.”

“My main charge is defending freedom of speech (against censorship) for which I was handed an unjust 10-yr prison term. @proxyiran”

“Mr. Zarif, it is wrong of you to deny the truth and ignore issues. Look at political prisoners and imprisoned journalists with open eyes.”

“Pressured by IRGC Intelligence unit to return me to prison, the Tehran Prosecutor issued an official order to confiscate my bail collateral.”

“I will not bow down to the baseless & groundless charges of the judiciary nor will I accept the unjust verdict.”

Maleki’s words are particularly haunting as he prepares himself to reenter a place he may never leave alive. The conditions in Iran’s prisons, particularly for those charged with political crimes remain horrid – part of a concerted effort under the regime to torture those who have committed crimes against the state while attempting to spread fear among the population. Medical negligence is routinely cited as a means by which the regime has tortured and murdered dissidents while refusing to acknowledge responsibility or improve conditions.

Amnesty International designated Maleki a prisoner of conscience, illustrating that, despite all the talks of moderation and political change in Iran, there remains little room for free expression within the country. In 2012, Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti was arrested and murdered while in custody for online comments he made against the regime. Maleki’s father has gone on record stating, “They want to turn him into another Sattar Beheshti”. While much of the Western world hails a supposed new era and relationship with Iran, little appears to have changed for Iran’s dissidents.

The threat to Maleki exists not only within the prisons of Iran, but also perpetuates in discourse surrounding the issue. At a time in which our attention is focused on the release of few prisoners and Javad Zarif is allowed to deny imprisonment of dissidents on American television outlets, a larger issue has evolved for Iranian activists. As dissidents are systematically silenced, and exiled from the narrative on Iran, the challenge becomes to remind the world of their fight, and the hope for real change in Iran. The responsibility to be their voice then must shift to us, and we must carry on their spirit of defiance and hope.

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Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

The Silent Murder of Iranian Imprisoned Activists/ By Moustafa Rahmani

The execution is not the only way that Iranian government uses to remove its opponents. “Banned to be sent to hospital” is their secondary and more commonly used way for imprisoned political and civil rights activists by its judiciary system, with less cost in the international aspects, in that, even these kind of news are mostly being ignored by human rights organizations in translation, due to their secondary priority.

A solid example of this silent murdering by Iranian judiciary system was imprisoned labor activist, Afshin Osanlou who died in Rajaie Shahr prison in June 2013. “The nurses told us that he was brought to the hospital at around 8 PM on Thursday but he had passed away hours before that. They said my brother could not even have died on the way to hospital and he must have passed away long before that.” His sister, Fereshteh Osanlou, told in an interview.

But, it was not the end and the silent murdering by Iranian regime continues. Just read the following reports I have monitored only in the recent days:

* 86 years old political prisoner, Hassan Fattah who suffers blood cancer is being held in prison in spite that “the lack of imprisonment tolerance” has been issued for him, since one year ago. He is even banned to be sent to hospital.

*Imprisoned Human Rights activist, Narges Mohammadi who suffers neurological paralysis, in spite of the requests by physicians, is still banned to be sent to hospital.

*Afshin Baymani, political prisoner who was sentenced to death and after six years in prison his sentence became life sentence, suffers severe heart disease but until now he is banned for furlough or being sent to hospital. He is serving his 16th year of imprisonment.

*Political prisoner, Saeed Razavi Faghih who suffers heart disease was not sent to hospital by prison authorities with the excuse of weekend holidays.

*Imprisoned activist, Asou Rostami had a partial brain strike, but was not transferred to hospital.

*Imprisoned activist, Saeed Hosseinzadeh Movahed was sentenced to seven year in prison in appeal court. He suffers respiratory disease, arthritis and digestive problems and just once was sent to hospital.

*Imprisoned activist, Atena Daemi who has the symptoms of MS and breast cancer and her gums and jaw are infected, is banned to be sent to hospital. She is sentenced to 14 year in prison.

As an Iranian human rights activist, I monitor several reports like these, every day. It’s necessary to put pressure on Iran’s government to improve the conditions for all of its prisoners and urgently for its political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Otherwise, the silent murdering method by Iranian judiciary system will take more lives.

Mehdi Khodaei, A True Narrator / A Note from Prison

HRANA News Agency – A prisoner wrote a letter based on his observations from ward 350 to stress on the need of a better identification of the prisoners and the political activist and to introduce the Seyed Mehdi Khodaei, the human rights activist who recently was released from the prison.

A copy of this letter was delivered to HRANA. The full text of this letter is as follows: Continue reading “Mehdi Khodaei, A True Narrator / A Note from Prison”

For Omid’s Birthday, a Letter from Saeed Shirzad

HRANA News Agency – July 19th was the birthday Omid Alishenas, the civil Activist of ward 8 of Evin prison. For this reason, Saeed Shirzad the political prisoner of Rajaee Shahr prison wrote a short letter to him which has been delivered to HRANA.

The full text of the letter is as following: Continue reading “For Omid’s Birthday, a Letter from Saeed Shirzad”

The Life and Death of Iranian Activist Jamal Hosseini / Hamid Yazdan Panah

On the evening of August 4th 2014, Seyed Jamal Hosseini was at his desk in his small apartment in Turkey. Living in exile as a refugee Jamal spent long solitary days in front of his computer, directing an underground network of human rights activists in Iran. His tireless efforts earned him respect among Iranians everywhere while making him a target of the authorities in Iran. Jamal never left his desk that night, and his lifeless body was discovered by police the next day.

As the world focuses on the impact of a nuclear deal with Iran, little attention is paid to the situation of Iranian dissidents and human rights activists. The Iranian regime leads the world in per capita executions, and has one of the worst human rights records in the world. It also has a long standing policy of using extrajudicial killings to silence dissidents. Continue reading “The Life and Death of Iranian Activist Jamal Hosseini / Hamid Yazdan Panah”

A Short Description of Seyed Jamal Hosseini’s Life and Death / Keyvan Rafiee

One year ago, on a dire morning “Jamal is not breathing anymore” was the sentence being communicated through the telephone lines. Since then we have faced a sad contradiction, the contradiction of presenting somebody who always refused to be public.

What we never doubted about was the necessity of presenting Seyed Jamal Hosseini comprehensively and throwing light on different aspects of his activities. We believe that presenting the devoted, diligent, creative character of Seyed Jamal Hosseini and his faithfulness in his ideals would help the other activists to learn from the previous experiences and their empowerment. All those who knew Jamal confirm that he was a great man with a short life, however, his activities in accordance with his creativity, perseverance, and faith have had effects which go beyond a single organization. Continue reading “A Short Description of Seyed Jamal Hosseini’s Life and Death / Keyvan Rafiee”