Authorities Quash Show of Support for Sequestered Teacher Hashem Khastar

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The wife, children, and colleagues of teachers’ union activist Hashem Khastar, 65, who was forcibly hospitalized on October 23, 2018, in Mashhad, were detained by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on Monday, November 5th.

More than 10 of Khastar’s supporters were arrested while convening in front of Ebn-Sina hospital, where Khastar remains detained in the psychiatric ward despite having no history of mental illness. They have been transferred to the Intelligence Bureau of Mashhad.

HRANA has thus far been able to confirm the identities of five arrestees: Sadigheh Maleki Fard (Khastar’s wife), Jahed Khastar and Ahmad Khastar (Khastar’s sons), and colleagues “Mr. Lotfinia” and “Mr. Yazdi.”

According to a close source, authorities were quick to head off their show of solidarity. “Security agents were already present at the hospital prior to the protesters’ arrival and had blocked the roads leading up to it. Khastar’s family were arrested as soon as they arrived. Several other individuals — teachers and colleagues of Mr. Khastar — were arrested throughout the day until 5:30 PM.”

Arrestees were reportedly booked at the police station before being handed over to Ministry of Intelligence custody.

Mashhad is the capital of Razavi Khorasan province, located in Iran’s northeast.

Municipal Grievance Lands Urban Reporter Vahid Ahang in Prison

Posted on: November 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Pursuant to a complaint lodged by the Municipality of Dishmok, city-life beat reporter Vahid Ahang was arrested on October 31, 2018, by security agents and transferred to Dehdasht prison.

Ahang reportedly covers municipal business from a critical angle. According to an informed source, his recent arrest has roots in an accusation leveled against him back in 2013 of insulting, slandering, and threatening municipal workers.

Cases involving alleged defamation by reporters are typically processed in Media Court before being transferred to a local court with appropriate jurisdiction. It is not yet clear why Ahang’s case was expedited directly to Dishmok Court.

Dishmok and Dehdasht are counties in the southwestern province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad.

Poet and Political Activist Mostafa Badkoobeyi Released Pending Trial

Posted on: November 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – After spending two days in prison, poet and former political prisoner Mostafa Badkoobeyi was conditionally released pending trial.

Badkoobeyi was arrested November 5th after being summoned to Branch 3 of the Evin Prison Prosecutor’s office for interrogation. Earlier, on October 27th, he was given five days’ notice to present himself there, under threat of arrest for failure to appear.

His writ indicated no reason for the summons, a source close to Badkoobeyi told HRANA. His family’s inquiries have thus far been unsuccessful in extracting an explanation from authorities.

Following the highly-disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections, Badkoobeyi’s poetry, critical of former president Mahmood Ahmadinejad, led to his arrest and an 18-month prison sentence. He went to Evin Prison on November 21, 2012, where he spent less than a year before being released.

Journalist Masoud Kazemi Arrested

Posted on: November 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On the morning of November 5th, Masoud Kazemi, journalist and editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine “Sedaye Parsi,” was arrested in his home by security forces and transferred to an undisclosed location.

Upon inspecting his home at the time of the arrest, agents confiscated some of Kazemi’s personal belongings, including laptops, hard drives, and USB drives.

Close source Shima Tadrisi confirmed the news of Kazemi’s arrest in a short note, writing, “His neighbors said that some people entered his home and then took Masoud away with them.” It was not clear to the neighbors which agency had sent them, she said.

Kazemi tweeted the day before his arrest about corruption in the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. As of the date of this report, no further information was available on his location or the reasons behind his arrest.

Verdict Bulletin on 202 Gonabadi Dervishes

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Since coming to the defense of their spiritual leader in what came to be known as the “Golestan Haftom” incident, the Gonabadi Dervish religious minority has faced unprecedented pressure from Iranian authorities.

Around midnight on February 3, 2018, several hundred Gonabadi Dervishes gathered before the home of their spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh, in a gesture of protection against heightened security monitoring of his activities (security forces had aggressively intervened in Dervish gatherings in the same spot less than two weeks earlier). Their February 3rd demonstration — on Golestan-e Haftom street in Tehran, hence the incident’s name — would fare no better and was soon violently disbanded by Iranian police and plainclothes forces of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij faction.

While Iranian judiciary authorities and law enforcement initially announced that they had detained about 300 citizens in connection to Golestan Haftom, HRANA was able to confirm the identities of 382 arrestees. Among them were 11 women who were transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin after their arrests: Nazila Nouri, Shima Entesari, Sima Entesari, Sedigheh Safabakht, Shokofeh Yadollahi, Sepideh Moradi, Elham Ahmadi, Maryam Afrasiabi, Avisha Jalaledin, Masoumeh Barakoohi, and Shahnaz Kian Asl.

HRANA was able to obtain the verdicts of 202 of these detainees, as well as details on those who were brutalized by the Judiciary. 201 people were sentenced to prison terms, lashings, travel bans, exile sentences, and long-term bans on civic activity. Two more, Mohammad Raji and Mohammad Salas, were killed for their participation in Golestan Haftom.

On the night of March 3rd, police had contacted Mohammad Raji’s family, asking them to bring his photo and identifying documents. The next morning, police at Shapoor Criminal Investigation Department Base 10 told the family that Raji was in a coma. A few hours later, police followed up by phone to say he had died. Upon their arrival at the police station, officers announced his cause of death: he had been beaten to death by interrogators.

Mohammad Salas was accused of driving a bus that allegedly struck and killed three police officers on Pasdaran Street in Tehran. He exhausted all avenues of appealing his death sentence without success, and was executed in the morning of Monday, August 20, 2018 — though Salas’ children and his spouse Zaynab Taheri attest that he could not have been the driver of the bus, as he was already in custody three hours prior to the crash.

Tehran General Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced July 24th that 330 sentences had thus far been handed down in Dervish cases. He added: “In the cases of those 25 who refused to attend their court sessions in attempts to thwart trial proceedings, the court […] followed through with procedure. Their verdicts were delivered to them in person.”

Dervishes’ Rights Activists in Great Tehran Penitentiary penned an open letter to the prison’s director refusing to attend a trial that lacked transparency.

At least five of the convicted Dervishes currently detained in Great Tehran Penitentiary are former administrators and collaborators of the Majzooban-e-noor Dervish news site: Mostafa Abdi, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Saleh Moradi, Reza Entesari, and Sina Entesari.

Some Dervish prisoners who have been assaulted by authorities were denied medical care for their injuries and reported hostile and discriminatory treatment from authorities.

Prison regulations and conventions on prisoners’ rights stipulate that prisoners, as a safety precaution, be housed separately according to their crimes and beliefs. Authorities at Gharchak Prison and Great Tehran Penitentiary, however, house Dervishes [political prisoners] in a general ward alongside common criminals.

Below are the identities and convictions of 202 Golestan Dervishes:

1. Mohammad Yavar Salas, executed.
2. Mostafa Abdi, Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, sentenced to 26 years and 3 months in prison, 148 lashings, a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel, and a 2-year exile sentence to Sistan & Sistan & Baluchestan Province.
3. Mehdi Mahdavifar and 4. Mostafa Mirmohammadi, each sentenced to 13 years and 6 months in prison, 144 lashings, a 2-year travel ban, and a 2-year exile sentence to Sistan & Baluchestan Province. Mahdavifar was also sentenced to a 2-year ban on civic activities.
5. Reza Rezai, sentenced to 13 years in prison, 148 lashings, and a 2-year exile sentence to Mirjaveh (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).
6. Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Majzooban-e-Noor journalist, sentenced to 12 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year travel ban, a 2-year exile to Borazjan (Bushehr Province), and a 2-year ban on civic activities.
7. Vahid Khamooshi, sentenced to 12 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Rayen (Kerman Province).
8. Bashir Riahi Ghaletaki, sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison, 148 lashings, a 2-year exile to Khash (Sistan & Baluchestan Province)[3] and a 2-year ban on civic activities.
9. Faramarz Mangari, sentenced to 10 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile sentence to Roudbar (Kerman Province).
10. Reza Yavari, sentenced to 9 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile to Taybad (Razavi Khorasan Province).

Sentenced to 7 years in prison and 74 lashings (plus a 2-year exile sentence for detainees No. 11 to 32):

11. Manouchehr Kokabi 12. Mansoor Farhoodmand 13. Moslem Norouzi 14. Morteza Shokri 15. Mahmood Barakoohi 16. Mohammad Karimaei 17. Mohammad Reza Darvishi 18. Alireza Lak 19. Alireza Azadravesh, 20. Ali Karimi 21. Ali Ghamari 22. Siamak Sohrabi 23. Saeed Soltanpour 24. Heydar Teymouri 25. Habib Ghanbari 26. Babak Moradi 27. Iraj Madhi 28. Ehsan Malekmohammadi 29. Ehsan Saffari 30. Rasoul Hoveyda 31. Mehrdad Rezai 32. Ramin Eshkoh 33. Mostafa Rahsepar 34. Masoud Alimadadi 35. Mohammad Reza Zehtab 36. Mohammad Reza Abolfathi 37. Mohammad Asad Zamani 38. Majid Rashidi 39. Majid AmirAhmadi 40. Hamid Reza AmirAhmadi 41. Jahangir Haghani 42. Armin Abolfathi 43. Arman Abolfathi 44. Amir Seyedi 45. Amir Salimi Chegini 46. Afshin Salimi Chegini 47. Abolfazl Babahosseini 48. Ebrahim Allahbakhshi Hafshejani 49. Nemat Kazemi 50. Saeed Khamooshi.

Sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year ban on civic activities:

51. Morteza Bidchi Kangarloo 52. Mahmoud Baghyar 53. Mohammad Samadyar (Kangarloo was also sentenced to a 2-year exile in Sarbisheh, South Khorasan Province).

Sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel:

54. Morteza Sohrabpour 55. Sajjad Razmi 56. Reza Nematollahi 57. Hassan Abbasi 58. Hassan Shahreza 59. Hesam Moeini 60. Amin Soleymani 61. Mohsen Norouzi

62. Majid Moradi, sentenced to 7 years in prison and 75 lashings.

63. Ali Bahadori, sentenced to 7 years in prison, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile to Mirjaveh.
64. Abdollah Esmaeili, sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

65. Samad Dadras and 66. Saleh Kamali Dehkordi were sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year travel ban.

67. Khashayar Dehghan, a Ph.D. candidate in Electronics at Tehran University, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year in exile to Borazjan.

68. Saeed Karimaei and 69. Sekhavat Salimi, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year in exile, Karimaei to Nehbandan (South Khorasan Province) and Salimi to Nikshahr (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).

70. Saeed Doorandish 71. Saeed Sigarchi 72. Ahmad Barakouhi 73. Mojtaba Beiranvand 74. Behnoud Pour Rostami 75. Moghimi 76. Ahmad Iranikhah 77. Mohsen Abolhassani

The above were all sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year exile sentence, Doorandish to Zabol (Sistan & Baluchestan Province), Sigarchi, Barakouhi, Beiranvand, and Pour Rostami to Sistan & Baluchestan Province, Moghimi to Zahak village (Sistan & Baluchestan Province) and Iranikhah and Abolhassani to Borazjan.

78. Rostam Sagvand 79. Behrouz Sadeghi Oliyaei and 80. Ardeshir Ashayeri, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile, Sagvand to Nehbandan and Sadeghi, Oliyaei, and Ashayeri to Saravan (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).

81. Akbar Beiranvand, sentenced to 7 years in prison, a 2-year ban on civic activities and a 2-year in exile in Zahak.

82. Abolfazl Sahraei, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile to Sarbisheh (South Khorasan Province).

83. Saleh Moradi, a Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year in exile to Borazjan.

84. Reza Entesari and 85. Sina Entesari, Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year exile and 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.

Each sentenced to 7 years in prison:

86. Younes Lak 87. Nima Azizi Tazangi 88. Nader Beiranvand 89. Mehran Asgharzadeh, 90. Mehdi Bakhtiari 91. Mostafa Armandoost 92. Masoud Marzoughi 93. Morteza Ghaderi Samani 94. Mohammad Reza Babazadeh Shayan 95. Mohammad Reza Rooein Esfandiari 96. Mohsen Ashtiani 97. Majid Karimi 98. Ghasem Hassanloo 99. Farhad Naeimi 100. Gholam Abbas Avazeh 101. Gholam Abbasi 102. Ali Asghar Shariat 103. Mohammad Reza Heidari 104. Reza Bavi 105. Hamid Amir Ahmadi 106. Bijan Soltani 107. Babak Taghian 108. Arash Moradi 109. Amir Astaraki 110. Omid Moghaddasi 111. Asghar Mohammadi 112. Gholam Abbas Hajatinia

113. Maryam Farsyabi and 114. Mehdi Eskandari, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 2-year travel ban.

115. Farhang Bouzari Kharrazi and 116. Amir Nouri, each sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year travel ban.

117. Hossein Soleymani and 118. Asghar Ebrahimi Magham, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

119. Amin Hosseini and 120. Akbar Dadashi, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and 74 lashings.

121. Abolfazl Avazeh, sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile to Mirjaveh.

Each sentenced to 6 years in prison:

122. Farham Farhang Kermani 123. Seyed Mehdi Fateminasab 124. Reza Farashi 125. Seyed Hossein Hashemi 126. Habib Gallehdari

127. Elham Ahmadi and 128. Sepideh Moradi, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.

129. Mehdi Izadpanah and 130. Ali Barian, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Sirjan (Kerman Province).

131. Hossein Arang 132. Shokoufeh Yadollahi 133. Seddigheh Safabakht, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

Each sentenced to 5 years in prison:

134. Nazila Nouri 135. Shima Entesari 136. Sima Entesari 137. Avisha Jalaleddin 138. Ali Mashallah Vafaei Fard 139. Shahab Bakhshian 140. Mohammad Dalvand 141. Hossein Arab Ameli 142. Asghar Samadyar.

Each sentenced to 3 years in prison:

143. Amir Bahador Jafari 144. Ghasem Zamani 145. Mohsen Azizi 146. Meysam Azizan

147. Mehrdad Eini, sentenced to 2 years in prison and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.
148. Hamid Ashayeri, sentenced to 2 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Sistan & Baluchestan Province.

Each sentenced to 2 years in prison:

149. Esmaeil Norouzi 150. Ashkan Kazemi 151.Elyas Mohammadi 152. Omid Mahdavi 153. Seyed Jalaloddin Ghaznavi Bidgoli 154. Pouria Nouri 155. Hossein Jashn 156. Hossein Haj Mohammadi 157. Sajjad Baradaran 158. Abbas Beraghmadi 159. Ali Afshar Asli 160. Ali Bolboli 161. Ali Rashno 162. Ali Asghar Salari 163. Ali Reza Siasi 164. Kamaran Bahadori 165. Malek Rezaei 166. Mohammad Amir Ahmadi 167. Mohammad Alamdoost 168. Mohammad Ghasem Allahyari 169. Mousa Fazlipour.

170. Kasra Nouri, an M.S. student in Human Rights at Tehran University, sentenced to 1 year in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel, and a 2-year exile to Salas Babajani (Kermanshah Province).

171. Ali Ghannadzadeh, sentenced to 1 year and 4 months in prison.

Each sentenced to 1 year in prison:

172. Yaser Soleymani 173. Ebrahim Rezaei 174. Alborz Rostami 175. Hossein Kalhori 176. Ali Mohammad Shahi 177. Kia Nejad Hosseini 178. Majid Shaegh 179. Mohsen Parvin 180. Mohammad Nezam Eslami 181. Moslem Rezaei 182. Mehdi Imanzadeh 183. Mehdi Sadat 184. Ahmad Nabaei 185. Hashem Avazeh.

Each sentenced to 6 months in prison:

186. Nima Alieh 187. Mahmoud Taghpour 188. Ahmad Daraei 189. Esameil Abedini 190. Jamal Tehrani 191. Hossein Karimi 192. Shahram Shokri 193. Ali Karami 194. Emad Goodarzi 195. Farshad Sepahvand 196. Mostafa Mirzaei 197. Mehdi Moghaddam Alavian 198. Mehdi Nazari 199. Nader Yavari 200. Nourali Moghimi

201. Mostafa Beiranvand, sentenced to 4 months in prison.
202. Mohammad Ali Raji, sentenced to 91 days in prison.

Listed below are the identities of 180 Dervishes whose verdicts have yet to be confirmed:

1. Ebrahim Mohammadi 2.Abolfazl Salari 3. Abolghasem Nasiri Bafghi 4. Ehsan Alavi Badalchi 5.Ahmadreza Talebi 6. Esmaeil Samadyar 7. Asghar Ganji Panahi 8. Alborz Eskandari Sabzi 9. Omid Zamiri 10. Omid Ghasemi 11. Omid Hivadi 12. Amir Bahador Seifi 13. Amir Hossein Shaaban 14. Amir Labbaf 15. Amir Mousavian 16. Amin Hosseinpour 17. Amir Ramezani Sheshdeh 18. Amin Sarrafi 19. Ayoub Asadi 20. Aghabak Zamanipour 21. Borzou Dolatshahi 22. Borzou Mousavizadeh 23. Bahman Boloor 24. Bahman Azizi 25.Pouya Ayazi 26. Payam Noor 27.Peyman Rasouli 28. Taghi Moradi 29. Jafar Ahmadi 30. Jafar Roustaei Dareh Mianeh 31. Jafar Sohrabi 32. Jalal Modarresi 33. Jamshid Asgarian 34. Javad Khamis Abadi 35. Habibollah Rahdar 36. Hojattollah Zamani 37. Hassan Barghamdi 38. Hassan Parvin 39. Hassan Dehghani 40. Hassan Feizi Zadeh 41. Hossein Biranvand 42. Hossein Rezaei 43. Hossein Abedi 44.Hossein Asgari 45.Hossein Forootan 46.Hossein Fahimi 47.Hossein Ghadrkhani 48.Hamzeh Pourahmadi 49.Hamid Ansari Ramandi 50.Hamid Mohammadpour 51.Hamid Neemat Tavoosi 52.Heidar Esparjani 53.Ramin Yavari 54.Rahim Ebrahim Pourahmadi 55.Reza Parhizkar 56. Reza Soori 57.Rouhollah Nasiri 58.Sajjad Amir Ahmadi 59.Sajjad Kazemi 60.Saeed Zoghi 61. Saeed Ramezani Sheshdeh 62.Saeed Zangeneh 63.Saeed Sohrabi 64.Saeed Arab Halvaei 65. Saeed Kakavand 66.Saeed Goodarzi 67.Saeed Morad 68.Saeed Noroozi 69.Soleyman Rafighpour 70.Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi 71.Seyyed Amin Seyyedi 72.Yousef Esfehani 73.Seyyed Ali Mokabberi 74.Seyyed Mehdi Ashiani 75. Seyyed Milad Sadat Ardestani 76.Seyyed Noorali Mousavi 77. Seyyed Yousef Raeeszadeh 78.Shoaib Esmaeili 79.Shahb Akbari 80.Shahnaz Kian Asl 81.Sadegh Gheisari 82.Solat Hosseini 83.Abbas Amani Ali Abadi 84.Abbas Dehghan 85.Abbas Ghiasi 86.Abbas Valinia 87.Abdolsamad Kashefi 88.Ezzatollah Lotfalian 89.Ali Asghar Aramiyon 90.Ali Asghar Farrokhi 91.Ali Asghar Yekkeh Shenas 92.Ali Afshari 93.Ali Akbar Ataei 94.Ali Jamshidi 95.Ali Soltani Azad 96.Ali Suri 97. Ali Sadeghi 98.Ali Abidavi 99.Ali Kandi 100.Ali Mazyar 101. Ali Nezhad Sahebi 102.Ali Nashtoor 103.Ali Vafaei 104.Alireza Jahedi Darvish 105.Alireza Sayyah 106.Alireza Shakouri 107.Alireza Ghasemi 108.Ghaffar Fereydooni 109.Gholamreza Khani 110.Farzad Kazemi 111.Farhad Biranvand 112.Farhad Arab 113.Farhad Feizzadeh 114.Farhad Kavand 115.Fariborz Hemmati Diarjam 116.Firooz Rostami 117.Ghasem Pourali 118.Keramat Jeddi 119.Kourosh Alishahi 120.Kianoush Biranvand 121. Kianoush Abbasi 122.Mojtaba Shokri 123.Majid Zamiri 124.Mohsen Afrooz 125.Mohammad Asad Samani 126.Mohammad Bagher Moghimi 127.Mohammad Barakoohi 128.Mohammad Parhizkar 129.Mohammad Panahi Ghale Taki 130.Mohammad Hassan Edris Abadi 131.Mohammad Hassan Heydari 132.Mohammad Hossein Abolfathi 133.Mohammad Hossein Amir Ahmadi 134.Mohammad Davoodi 135.Yousef Sedigh Maram 136.Mohammad Raji 137.Mohammad Rajaei 138.Mohammad Reza Rajaei 139.Mohammad Sedighi 140.Mohammad Ali Ghannadzadeh 141. Mohammad Kamarei 142.Mohammad Medi Alie 143.Mohammad Nematollahi 144.Younes Ezzati 145.Mohammadreza Talebi 146.Mohammad Ali Karami Abad Shapoori 147.Mahmoud Farrokhi SaadAbadi 148.Morad Bagheri Heydari 149.Morteza Amin Zadeh 150.Masoud Siroosian 151.Moslem Bani Hashem 152.Mostafa Shirazian 153.Mazaher Pourahmadi 154.Mazaher Heydari 155.Masoumeh Barakoohi 156.Mehdi Mahdilou 157.Moein Pourrezagholi 158.Mansour Tabasi 159.Mansour Fouladi 160.Mehdi Razghandi 161. Mehdi Rouhbakhsh 162.Mehdi Fakhrolsadat 163.Mehdi Keivanlou 164.Mehdi Mardani 165.Mehdi Mofidi 166.Mehdi Nematollahi 167.Mehrdad Pirfalak 168.Mehrdad Shirazi 169.Mehrdad Goodarzi 170.Mehrdad Mosavvari 171.MirSadegh Hosseini 172.Milad Ostovarnavan 173.Milad Kakavand Nejad 174.Naser Fouladi 175.Hadi Asgharzadeh 176.Hadi Jangjoo 177.Hadi Dehnavi 178.Hadi Shahreza Gamasaei 179.Homayoun Dolatshahi 180.Yaser Akbari Aalam

Popular Documentary Producer Summoned to Culture and Media Court

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Historian and documentary producer Hossein Dehbashi was summoned Saturday, November 3, 2018, to appear in Culture and Media Court just two days later to respond to accusations from the Ministry of Intelligence.

Publishing an image of the summons, Dehbashi wrote, “without no explanation, for the day after tomorrow… and not even the addressee [Dehbashi] knows what it’s about. It would be kind of you to pray for me as friends and brothers”.

Dehbashi rose to modest fame after producing a promotional documentary for 2013 presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani, as well as the documentary “The Royal Court’s Narrative.” In 2015, he directed and launched the Iran Verbal History Project through the National Library and Documentation Centre [thousands of YouTube viewers have screened clips of Dehbashi’s work, which features interviews with key political figures from the past four decades].

Three Writers Slapped With New Charges

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Reza Khandan (Mahabadi) and Keyvan Bazhan, two members of the Iranian PEN Centre, and Bektash Abtin, one of the Centre’s inspectors, are facing new criminal charges which have doubled their bail amount.

Previously held on charges of “propaganda against the regime” with a bail set at 50 million tomans [approximately $3,300 USD], the three were recently summoned to Branch 7 of the Evin Prosecutions Office to be read new charges of “assembly and collusion with intent to act against national security” and “inciting Iranian women to depravity.” An informed source told HRANA that the case investigator has increased their bail amount to 100 million tomans [approximately $6,600 USD].

Of the new charge, Mahabadi said, “From what we’ve gathered from the case investigator, it seems certain officials deemed ‘propaganda against the regime’ to be too light a charge for us, and asked the investigator to recall the case and add more charges.” He added that he and his comrades denied the accusations and demanded proof.

All three defendants were read their charges of “propaganda against the regime” back in August. HRANA reported August 2, 2018, on the court summons of Bektash Abtin — poet, filmmaker, and former PEN member — to Branch 7 of the Evin Prosecution Office. Khandan and Bazhan received their respective writs on July 26th, giving them three days’ notice to appear in the same spot.

Reza Khandan (Mahabadi) (left) and Keyvan Bazhan (right), two members of the Iranian PEN Centre, and Bektash Abtin (middle).

In June 2018 and in a separate case, Karaj Revolutionary Court Branch 2 convicted Abtin of propaganda against the regime, sentencing him to three months’ forced labor at the State Welfare Organization of Iran and a fine of 5 million tomans [approximately $700 USD]. An appeals court later lifted the forced labor sentence.

Ministry of Intelligence Agents also detained Abtin was for three consecutive days in 2015, interrogating him about his film-making, membership in the CIW, and participation in the 2009 post-election protests.

The Iranian PEN Centre is a non-governmental organization founded in 1968 with the aim of uniting writers, translators, and editors against censorship. It is a subsidiary of PEN International. Since its foundation, and particularly during the 80s and 90s, Iranian authorities have hounded its members with repression, judicial prosecution, and targeted killings. Members Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh and Mohammad Mokhtari were among those killed by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence in the “chain murders” in the late 80s and early 90s.

Women’s Rights Activist Hoda Amid Released on Bail

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Lawyer and women’s rights activist Hoda Amid was released on bail on the evening of Sunday, November 4th after being incarcerated for 65 days.

On September 29th, 750 civil rights activists inside and outside Iran issued a statement condemning the persecution of women’s rights defenders, including Amid, demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

Azerbaijani Activist Arrested in Northwest Iran

Posted on: November 4th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Security agents arrested Azerbaijani activist and Tabriz resident Gholamreza Rashidi on Sunday, October 28th and transferred him to an undisclosed location.

A source close to Rashidi told HRANA that he was assaulted during the arrest. No information is currently available on the reasons behind his detainment.

Tabriz is the capital of the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan, which borders the Republic of Azerbaijan and is home to Iran’s Azerbaijani ethnic minority.

Labor Activists’ Appeals Look Bleak

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Labor activist Ebrahim Madadi’s prison sentence of five years and three months has been upheld in Branch 36 of Tehran Revolutionary Appeals Court.

If the outcome of Madadi’s appeal has come clear, the case of his co-defendant Davoud Razavi is less so: the absence of a judge has delayed the appeals hearing that was scheduled to review his own five-year prison sentence on October 31st of this year.

Madadi and Razavi were arrested April 28, 2014, for labor activism, detained in Evin prison, and released 22 days later on 1 billion IRR [approximately $25,000 USD] bail. Their initial trial was held in Branch 26 of Revolutionary Court.

Madadi is the vice president of the Greater Tehran Bus Drivers’ Syndicate and a longtime labor activist. Saleh Nikbakht, the attorney for both men, told HRANA that authorities have historically founded their allegations against Madadi on his syndical activities– so many manifestations, she said, of their intolerance of syndicates like the Bus Drivers’ Union. Egregious in the eyes of the judiciary, the attorney said, was Madadi’s distribution of sweets at a bus terminal on International Workers’ Day (May 1st) 2014, and his 2015 lobbying at the Labor Ministry for a higher minimum wage. Madadi served a 3-year prison sentence, also connected to his labor activism, that ended April 18, 2012.

Likewise, Revolutionary Court cited Razavi’s participation in the minimum-wage demonstrations as evidence of “collusion and assembly to act against national security.” The publishing of photos from these demonstrations was tantamount to anti-regime propaganda, they said; rallying fellow citizens to attend an International Labour Organization conference was endorsing “the labor opposition movement outside of Iran” (the ILO is an official UN agency). The court offered no other evidence connecting Razavi to a criminal offense.

In a statement dated April 2017, Amnesty International called on Iranian authorities “to immediately and unconditionally release those imprisoned for their peaceful trade union work, and quash the harsh prison sentences […] and allow workers to hold peaceful gatherings, including on International Workers’ Day, and to exercise their right to form and join independent trade unions to improve their living situations.”

Madadi, a sexagenarian, suffers from diabetes, prostate inflammation, and high blood pressure and cholesterol. Secondary to a stroke, he has gone deaf in one ear and suffered partial hearing loss in the other.