Security Forces Arrest More Citizens in Ahvaz

Posted on: August 18th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Several citizens in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz were arrested by security forces in the aftermath of a football match between Esteghlal Ahvaz and Tehran’s Persepolis that took place on August 9th. After the match, fans chanted slogans against the Iranian authorities.

The arrestees, who are among the Arab citizens of Ahvaz, were reportedly arrested by security forces of the Intelligence Department of Ahvaz’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

HRANA was able to identify two of the arrestees as Imen Beit Sayah, 16, and Bashir Sorkhi. Mr Sorkhi was reportedly arrested on August 15th and taken to an unidentified location. Mr Sayah was arrested on August 9th and taken to an unidentified location.

Bashir Sorkhi (left) and 16-year-old Imen Beit Sayah (right)

After a week, the family of the arrestees still have no information about the whereabouts of their children.

On August 16th, HRANA had reported on the arrest of another Ahvazi citizen by security forces.

Azerbaijani Turkish Activists Arrested After Ceremony in Mount Sabalan

Posted on: August 16th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Security forces in Meshginshahr (northwestern Iran) reportedly arrested several Azerbaijani Turkish minority activists on Friday, August 10th after attacking their camp in Mount Sabalan.

The activists, who had reportedly planned to climb Mount Sabalan, were arrested while reading poetry in their camp. There is no information available at this time about their condition or the charges issued against them.

HRANA was able to confirm some of their names: Aidin Zakeri, Tohid Amir Amini, Saleh Pichganloo, Reza Ebrahimi, Rahim Nowrouzi, Mojtaba Parvin, Mostafa Parvin, Yousef Kari, Mehdi Houshmand, Babak Nikzad, Younes Shokri, Javad Shokri, Hossein Salavan, Mohammad Ghohoumzadeh, Rasoul Ghohoumzadeh, Ealman Mohammadpour, Aisouda Mohammadpour and Ahmad Mohammadpour.

According to eyewitnesses, some of the activists were beaten for resisting arrest. One of the detained activists informed his family in a phone call that they were all transferred to a detention center in Lahroud (near Meshginshahr).

Azerbaijani Activist Released While Another Remains in Prison

Posted on: August 14th, 2018

Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRANA) – Ebrahim Noori, an Azerbaijani activist from the city of Ahar who was arrested during the Babak Fort gatherings on July 2 and sent to Ward 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison continues to be held after almost 40 days. Mr Noori is reportedly banned from contacting his family.

A source close to Mr Noori told HRANA that Mr Noori was only allowed to speak to his brother on the phone “for a few seconds”.

Born in 1991 in the city of Ahar, Mr Noori was previously convicted twice of “Acting against national security by waging propaganda against the regime.” He had received a combined suspended sentence of 16 months.

Babak Fort, a monument built during the pre-Islamic Sassanian period, is named after Babak Khorramdin, known for leading an uprising against the Abbasid caliphate in 893. In recent years, it has become a place of symbolic gatherings for Azerbaijani activists, especially during the annual commemorations in the first week of July.

Kiyomars Eslami, another Azerbaijani activist, was also arrested during the same annual gatherings. He was reportedly released on bail on August 9th.

Mr Eslami, who hails from the city of Moqan, was released on Thursday after a month in Moqan Prison. He posted a bail worth 120 million rials. He was arrested on July 4 and suffered bleeding in the head after he was beaten by Iranian authorities during interrogations. Mr Eslami had gone on a nine-day hunger strike which he began on July 28 in protest to the prison conditions and his unclear situation.

Ebrahim Noori is the only individual who remains detained from those who were arrested in connection to the Babak Fort gatherings.

Prisoner of Conscience on Hunger Strike in Urmia

Posted on: August 10th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Ali Badrkhani, a prisoner of conscience detained in Urmia’s central prison (northwestern Iran), has been on hunger strike since Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Mr Badrkhani is protesting his transfer to a ward in the prison where 400 narcotics prisoners are held. Mr Badrkhani deems the transfer a violation of the principle of classification of the inmates based on the type of the offences.

A source told HRANA: “[Mr Badrkhani] launched the hunger strike right after his arrest to demand his transfer to the ward of political prisoners. Subsequently, the guards took him to the Prison Director’s office under the pretext of discussing his demands. However, once in the director’s office, he was handcuffed and forcibly transferred to the narcotics ward where he is currently held.” Consequently, Mr Badrkhani went on hunger strike again. Harassment due to the political nature of his charges by a prison official called Gharebaghi is reportedly another reason for his hunger strike.

Mr Badrkhani was previously arrested in winter 2015 and later released on bail. However, he was barred from continuing his education while in his last semester of completing his master’s program at the University of Tehran. He was sentenced to three years in prison for “Acting against national security”. Mr Badrkhani began srving his sentence in spring 2017.

Mr Badrkhani is a member of the Kurdish ethnic minority and has Irani-Iraqi citizenship. Among his publications are “Turkey, Democracy and Kurds”, ”Discussion of Idea”, ”Refugee of Love”, ”Kurdish Tales and Myths”

Summary Report: Recent Arrests, Imprisonment and Executions

Posted on: August 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A summary report on the most recent news of arrests, imprisonment, and executions in Iran from the the last week of July 2018 to August 7, 2018.

Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi Released from Tabriz Prison

Iraj Mohammadi (left) and Mohammad Amin Agoushi (right)

Political prisoners Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi were released from Tabriz Prison on Sunday, August 5, 2018, following the end of their judicial sentence. In September 2007, Mr Mohammadi and Mr Amin Agoushi were sentenced to a 10-year prison exile term each on the charge of “Acting against national security”.

Last week, HRANA reported on a hunger strike launched by Iraj Mohammadi in objection to the Iranian authorities preventing his release from prison despite reaching the end of his conviction.

Iranian authorities arrested Mohammad Amin Agoushi on September 23, 2007, on the charges of “Espionage” and “Cooperation with Iraqi Kurdistan”. In May 2008, branch 2 of the military court in Urmia charged him with “Moharebeh” (enmity against God) and transferred him to Urmia’s central prison. Four months later, Judge Hafiz Ghaffari sentenced him to death by a firing squad.

In 2010 the retrial request was approved and the case was sent to branch 31 of Iran’s Supreme Court where the sentence was reduced to ten years in prison exile. Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi were transferred to Tabriz Prison from Zahedan in March.

In February 2017 Iraj Mohammadi explained some points in an open letter about rejecting his request for amnesty. Mr Mohammadi emphasized that the mentioned reasons were false, stating that he suffered from nervous and mental illnesses as a result of being held in solitary confinement for eight months and tortured at the onset of his arrest.

Sunni Prisoner Yasser Sharafipour Suffers from Medical Neglect

On Friday, August 3, 2018, the chest, abdomen and back of Yaser Sharafipoor, a Sunni prisoner in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison, was burned with hot water.

An informed source told HRANA: “The burn was so severe that he had difficulty breathing. Prison authorities transferred him to the clinic but they only used burn ointment and returned him to the ward. When the prisoner protested, they sent him to the hospital with handcuffs and shackles. Despite the recommendation of the doctors to hospitalize him, he was returned to the prison.

Arraignment of Kamal Abdollahi in Urmia Court

Kamal Abdollahi, a citizen from Piranshahr who is held in Urmia’s central prison, was charged with “Acting against national security” by branch 6 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. No information was given to Mr Abdollahi regarding the reason for the charge.

Iranian authorities arrested Mr Abdollahi on May 5, 2018, and held him for three months in a detention center operated by the Ministry of Intelligence in Urmia.

Five members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Arrested

On the morning of August 5, 2018, drivers of the United Bus Company of Tehran went to the company’s offices to track their housing situation in connection with issues such as the lack of delivery of housing to members despite paying all the agreed amounts in the contract. When they arrived, they were not allowed to enter, which sparked a protest that was cracked down by police forces. During the crackdown, five members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested. The individuals are Hassan Saeedi, Davood Razavi, Atta Babakhani, Ali Ghorbanian and an unidentified person.

A close source tells HRANA: “Their detention was a result of a request by Mr Sanandaji, the President of the company. Members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company gathered in front of branch 4 of Tehran’s security offices to support their detained colleagues until their release.”

The five workers were reportedly released hours after they were detained.

Intelligence Agents Arrest Young Man from Zarabad

According to HRANA’s sources and the Baloch Activists Campaign, a 35-year-old man by the name of Abdul Latif Miran Zehi was arrested by Intelligence agents on August 2, 2018, and transferred to Chabahar Prison.

An informed source said: “Abdul Latif Miran Zehi was getting his hair cut at a salon in Zarabad when he was arrested, handcuffed and taken by Intelligence agents who did not present an arrest warrant.”

No information about the reason for his arrest is available at this time and Mr Miran Zehi’s family is unaware of his condition following his arrest.

On May 25, 2018, a 23-year-old man by the name of Abdul Ghani Miran Zehi was arrested by Intelligence agents.

Gonabadi Dervish Maryam Farsiyabi Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

According to close sources and the Sufi news website Majzooban-e Noor, Maryam Farsiyabi, a Gonabadi Dervish, who is detained in Charchak Prison in Varamin, was sentenced to six months in prison and a two-year travel ban by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Ms Farsiyabi was arrested on February 20, 2018, during the “Golestan 7th Avenue Event” which she attended with her husband, Mohammad Karimayee, and hundreds of other Gonabadi Dervishes.

Ms Farsiyabi was beaten by Iranian authorities to the point that she suffered from a fracture to her hand and her jaw was dislocated.

Mr Karimayee was recently sentenced to seven years in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Maryam Farsiyabi, along with other women Dervish prisoners, launched a hunger strike on June 15, 2018, in protest of a violent attack by the guards. They ended their hunger strike on June 30, 2018.

Mohammad Mozaffari lashed 74 times in Evin Prison

The 74 lashings sentence for Mohammad Mozaffari was reportedly carried out in Evin Prison on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Mr Mozaffari is a political activist who was sentenced to two years in prison, 74 lashes and a 20,000,000 Rial [approximately $200 USD] fine on the charge of “Propaganda against the regime”. The sentence was issued by Abolqasem Salavati, a judge in branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

On June 18, 2018, Mohammad Mozaffari was sent to Evin Prison to serve his two-year sentence.

Mr Mozaffari’s lawyers objected to his judicial sentence and the case was referred to the appeals court. Mr Mozaffari’s sentence was upheld by branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court.

Four prisoners were executed in Minab and Bandar Abbas

Iranian official sources have reported on the execution of three prisoners in Minab Prison on rape charges. The executions were reportedly carried out on the morning of Wednesday, August 8, 2018. According to an Iranian state-run news agency, the unidentified prisoners were accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in 2016 in the city of Minab.

Minab is one of the eastern cities of the Hormozgan province in southern Iran.

Prisoner at Bandar Abbas Central Prison Executed

On the morning of Tuesday, August 7, 2018, a prisoner convicted of “Murder” was reportedly executed in Bandar Abbas’s central prison. The prisoner, who has been identified as 46-year-old Amir Ali Kolivand, was arrested in June 2014.

Mr Kolivand was transferred from Haji Abad Prison to Bandar Abbas’s central prison on Monday, August 6. Haji Abad is the northernmost city of the Hormozgan province and is located near the Kerman province.

Regarding Mr Kolivand’s case, an informed told HRANA: “Amir Ali Kolivand was also charged with trafficking 5 kilograms of crystal meth, but he was executed on the charge of killing a bus driver.”

Mr Kolivand’s execution has not been announced by Iranian official sources.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran, in proportion to population per capita and executions, ranks first in the world in executions.

An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are considered “secret executions”.

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018), at least 322 citizens were executed and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these, there was the execution of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.

Baha’i Citizen in Yazd Arrested

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi, a Bahai citizen, was arrested without a warrant by security forces on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in the city of Yazd (conservative religious capital of the Yazd province).

A close source confirmed the news and told HRANA: “At noon, security forces arrested Mehran Bandi Amirabadi at his workplace.”

Mr Amirabadi was tried with six other Bahai citizens in branch 3 of the Yazd Appeals Court. Mr Amirabadi was sentenced to one and a half years in prison and one year in exile in Divandareh (a remote city in the Kurdistan province).

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice either individually, in public or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. However, Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and denies recognizing the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Political Activist Mokhtar Zarei Temporarily Released from Prison

According to close sources and the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, political prisoner Mokhtar Zarei was temporarily released on bail from Sanandaj Prison on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, after 17 days of detention.

Mr Zarei was reportedly arrested on Saturday, July 23, 2018, and summoned to court.

A few days before his arrest, Mr Zarei claimed the reason for his arrest is his criticisms against Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, and the human rights violations in Iran.

Environmental Activist Yousef Farhadi Babadi Summoned to Court

Environmental activist Yousef Farhadi Babadi was reportedly summoned to branch 118 of the Isfahan Criminal Court regarding Dr Abedi’s (parliament representative of Isfahan) lawsuit. Mr Babadi was released on bail from Isfahan prison on March 12, 2018.

On March 5, 2018, Mr Babadi received a subpoena and a call from the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province’s prosecutor’s office regarding his publication in a social media channel called “Sound of Water”, which mainly criticized the water situation in Iran. This subpoena was issued to him based on the charge of “Disseminating lies and disturbing public opinion in cyberspace”.

A Civil Rights Activist in Marivan and Two Others in Oshnavieh Arrested by Intelligence Agents, Transferred to Unknown Location

According to close sources and the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, in the last week of July 2018, Marivan intelligence agents arrested Arman Ghafouri, civil rights and environmental activist, and transferred him to an undisclosed location. Mr Ghafouri’s family has not been able to obtain any precise information about the reason for his arrest or the location where he is being held.

Previously, Armin Ghafouri and eight other civil rights activists were arrested on March 12, 2018, and interrogated by Iranian authorities regarding their participation in a gathering condemning the “Turkish military operation of Afrin”. army’s attack on the Afrin city”. They were subsequently released on bail.

During the past few days, Kamel Ahmadi and Tayyeb Bamorovat were arrested by Intelligence agents for the charge of “Cooperation with a Kurdish opposition party” and transferred to an unknown location. A total of seven citizens from Oshnavieh have been arrested for the same charge and the identity of only five of them has been identified thus far.

Four Arab Civilians Arrested in Ramshir

Posted on: May 10th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Four people from the city of Ramshir were arrested by the Khuzestan Intelligence Office’s agents and were transferred to the central prison of Ahvaz after two weeks of being held in the detention center of this Office.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), the security forces have arrested four Arab citizens in Ramshir by raiding their house. (more…)

Sakhi Rigi’s Sentence Reduced to 10 Years

Posted on: May 5th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – The sentence of 20 years imprisonment for Sakhi Rigi, Baloch blogger, and exiled prisoner in Ahvaz prisoner, who is in his 9th year of imprisonment, has been reduced to 10 years imprisonment. Therefore, he is eligible for leave and even parole, but prison authorities oppose it.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), the sentence of 20 years imprisonment for Sakhi Rigi, Baloch blogger, and exiled prisoner in Ahvaz prisoner, who is in his 9th year of imprisonment, has been reduced to 10 years imprisonment, at the Court of Appeals several months ago. (more…)

Sakhi Rigi on the Verge of His 9th Year in Prison

Posted on: April 25th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Sakhi Rigi, Baluch blogger and political activist who has been exiled to Ahvaz Prison, is on the verge of his 9th year in prison. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on charge of spreading lies and acts against the national security in 2009. This sentence is one of the heaviest sentences that has been issued for bloggers in Iran.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Sakhi Rigi was arrested on June 18, 2009 in Zahedan when he was 31 years old. He was tried with allegations like spreading lies and acting against the national security but the details of the court session have never been published. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison which is one the heaviest sentences that has been issued in Iran for bloggers. (more…)

Sediq Eini Exiled to Ardebil Prison

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018

HRANA News Agency – A prisoner named Sediq Eini, who had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on charges of espionage through cooperation with a Kurdish opposition to the regime, by the Military Court of Ormieh, was exiled to Ardebil Prison, after his verdict was verified by the Supreme Court.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Sediq Eini, a political prisoner at Orumieh Central Prison, who had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on charges of espionage was exiled to Ardebil Prison, after his verdict was verified by the Supreme Court on February 8. (more…)

Saman Nasim’s Death Sentence Commuted to 5 Years of Imprisonment

Posted on: April 10th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – The death sentence of Saman Nasim, political prisoner who was arrested at the age of 16 and sentenced to death in a judicial process full of ambiguity, has been reduced to 5 years of imprisonment after years of legal follow up. Considering the time of Mr. Nasim’s imprisonment, his lawyer says, this prisoner will be released soon.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Saman Nasim was finally sentenced to five years imprisonment solely on charge of membership in a political opposition party (PJAK), and was acquitted of “Moharebeh” and armed action charges. (more…)