Rapper Tomaj Salehi Fined and Sentenced to Six Months Suspended Imprisonment

The Revolutionary Court of Shahin-Shahr sentenced Tomaj Salehi to six months in prison and a fine. The verdict was suspended for one year. Salehi is a rapper who is well-known for his protest songs.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists. Rapper, Salehi was exonerated from the charge of “provoking violence and insurrection”.

On September 12, 2021, Salehi was arrested by security forces at his home and nine days later, released on bond from Dastgerd Prison.

Civil Activist Atena Daemi Released from Lakan Prison in Rasht City

On January 24, civil activist Atena Daemi was granted an early release and freed from Lakan Prison in Rasht. Since December of 2016, she was spending her sentence in Evin Prison until March 2021 when she was sent to exile in Lakan Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Daemi was arrested on October 21, 2014 and was sentenced on May 15, 2015. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to 14 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran.” This verdict was reduced to 7 years on appeal. The severest punishment of five years was enforceable from these two charges.

Daemi began serving her sentence in 2016 in Evin Prison. In 2018, while still in jail, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran opened a new case against her and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee on a new charge of “membership in anti-regime groups”. She was sentenced to an additional three years and seven months and the verdict was upheld on appeal. Per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of two years and one month was enforceable.

In July 2020, she was sentenced to two years and 74 lashes in another new case, this time opened by Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Her request for a retrial was dismissed. During this time, she and her family were consistently pressured by judicial and security forces.

On March 16, 2021, she was transferred at night from Evin Prison to Lakan Prison to spend the rest of her sentence in exile.

Four Prisoners in Zahedan Central Prison Sentenced to Death and Life Imprisonment

Edris Jamshidzehi, a prisoner in Zahden Central Prison, was sentenced to death by the Criminal Court for the charge of killing a Basij (one of the branches of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) agent. In the same criminal case, three other defendants, Zahdean Mahmood Sotvan, Abdulaziz Sotvan and Mohammad Saleh Shahdadzehi were sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly abetting in murder.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Hal Vash, the Criminal Court sentenced Edris Jamshidzehi to the death penalty and three others in the same case life imprisonment.

They were arrested in February 2018 and sent to Zahedan Central Prison after several months of interrogation in the detention centre at the disposal of the Ministry of intelligence.

In early 2019, these convicted prisoners were relocated in exile from Zahedan to Rajai Shahr prison and recently sent back to Zahedan Prison.

Two Baha’i Citizens Sent to Adel-Abad Prison to Serve Their Sentence

On January 23, two Baha’i citizens, Farham Sabet and Farzan Masoomi, both residents of Shiraz City, were sent to Adel-Abad Prison to serve their sentence. Earlier, the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz sentenced each to six years in prison. On appeal, this verdict was reduced to two years for each.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, two Baha’i citizens Farham Sabet and Farzan Masoomi were jailed in Adel-Abad Prison in Shiraz City.

They were arrested by security forces in Shiraz in 2016 and after a while, they were released on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

In May of 2020, the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz, headed by Judge Mahmood Sadati, sentenced each to 6 years on the charges of “propaganda against the regime and membership in one of the anti-regime groups”. This verdict was reduced for each to two years on appeal.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

Jailed Iranian-British Citizen Anoosheh Ashoori Goes On Hunger Strike

On January 24, jailed Iranian-British citizen Anoosheh Ashoori went on hunger strike in protest against his poor condition in prison and the refusal of his request of release on probation.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Elica Ashoori published a video on social media informing that her father, Ashoori went on a hunger strike to bring global attention to his poor condition in jail and to protest the refusal of his request for the release on probation.

Ashoori is a 67 years old Iranian-British citizen and an aeronautical engineer who was arrested in 2017 when he travelled to Iran to visit his mother. According to Spokesman of the Judiciary, he has been charged with spying for Israel and the acquisition of illegitimate property and thereafter sentenced to 12 years in prison and paying a fine of 33000 euros.

In a report, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran Javid Rehman expressed his concerns about the situation of this jailed Iranian-British citizen and criticized Iran’s regime for imprisoning the citizens of dual nationalities as leverage to meet its foreign policy goals.

Iran’s regime frequently makes accusations such as spying to either suppress its political dissidents or use citizens with dual nationality to gain leverage in negotiation with Western countries.

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Nobel Laureates and Prominent Academics Demand Immediate Release of Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi

In a joint letter, a group of Nobel laureates and prominent academics urged Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to ask that the Iranian regime release two detained Iranian students, Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on the 18 January, in a joint letter, 16 Nobel laureates and prominent scholars called for the immediate release of Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi.

Earlier, on May 15, 2020, in an open letter, several Nobel laureates asked UN high commissioner, Michelle Bachelet to put efforts to ensure the immediate release of the two students.

Professor Noam Chomsky (linguist and philosopher), Randy Wayne Schekman ( Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2013), Barry Barish (Nobel Laureate in Physics in 2017) and Richard John Roberts (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993) are among the writers of this letter.

On April 10, 2020, these two Sharif University of Technology students were violently arrested. Since the arrest, they have been subjected to torture-tainted interrogations to make forced confessions on television.

Amir Hossein Moradi is the winner of the silver medal of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2017. Ali Younesi is the winner of the silver medal of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and the gold medal of the 2017 Astronomy Olympiad. Ali Younesi also won a gold medal in the 12th World Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in China.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

Friday, January 14

A group of the citizens of Chabahar City located in Sistan and Baluchestan Province held protests at the place of a housing construction project in Osman Abad Ramin. Despite the promises of the Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution, which is in charge of the project, these citizens have not received their pre-purchased houses. According to the protestors, project management has never given a good reason for stopping the project.

Saturday, January 15

A group of workers of the Kut-e Abdollah Municipality assembled and protested before the governorate building in Ahvaz City. Since last Wednesday, they have been on a strike in protest against four months of unpaid wages and unpaid employer insurance contributions. Reportedly, instead of addressing their issues, the municipality has employed daily wage workers as an attempt to break the strike.

The victims of fraudulent acts by the Amitis Fardad Kar Company assembled before the courthouse of Zone 31 in Tehran City in protest against the shortcomings of prosecutors of the legal case. They also wrote an open letter to the head of the Disciplinary Tribunal of Judges.

Sunday, January 16

Dozens of pensioners of the Social Security Organization in Kermanshah, Khorramabad, Ahvaz, Rasht and Qazvin cities assembled before the buildings of the organization. In Tehran, they assembled before the Parliament. These protestors asked for raising wages to stand above the property line, closing wage disparities and implementation of Article 96 of social security law among other demands.

A number of the retirees using the Western Alborz Fulad Company’s pension fund held protests before the pension fund offices in Lushan City. Also, in Isfahan and Ahvaz, retirees assembled before Fulad Company’s pension offices.

 

The retirees of the Tehran Telecommunication Company assembled before the building of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order in Tehran to ask for their pension demands.

Monday, January 17

A number of PhD students of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences assembled before the headquarter of this university to ask for closing wage disparities among clinical as well as specialist assistants

Once again, the victims of fraudulent acts of the Amitis Fardad Kar Company held protests before the Courthouse of Zone 31 in Tehran City.

Tuesday, January 18

A group of workers of Khorramshahr Municipality assembled in front of the governorate building and the Islamic City Council office to demand their unpaid six-month wages.

A group of the personnel of the Department of Environment assembled before the parliament to protest against low wages.

The personnel of the Telecommunication Company in Gilan Province went on strike and assembled at their workplace to ask for the readjustment of job contracts, implementation of a “Job Classification Plan” and issues regarding health insurance.

Wednesday, January 19

Dozens of firefighters of Tehran’s fire department assembled before the municipal building to protest against their poor living conditions, lack of workplace safety, low wages and other issues. It is worthy to mention that this protest was held on the anniversary of the Plasco Building Collapse incident in which 16 firefighters lost their lives.

 

For the second consecutive day, the personnel of the Telecommunication Company in Gilan Province assembled in their workplace to ask for permanent job contracts and the implementation of the “Job Classification Plan” and not fully paying the employer’s contribution insurance. They said that after the protest yesterday, some of them has been threatening to be fired. They announced, however, that they would continue their protest until company management fulfills their promises.

A group of personnel of Tehran’s Water and Wastewater Company assembled before the building of this company in Tehran City. They asked for removing private companies and making their contracts permanent. In September of last year, a plan called “reorganizing the employment of government employees plan” was proposed which has not yet been enacted. Iran’s Administrative and Recruitment Affairs Organization claims that the government cannot financially afford to put the plan into action. Consequently, the government was given the task to provide an alternative bill within 45 days, which has not yet been fulfilled.

A number of engineers in Razavi Khorasan Province assembled before the building of the Ministry of Roads & Urban Development to protest against a failure to enact new annual engineering fees for engineering system services.

In Tehran, a group of citizens who lost digital currency in the cryptocurrency exchange Cryptoland assembled before the Tehran Public Prosecutor’s Office to ask for the return of their money.

A group of workers of Iran Ofogh Company went on a strike in Yadavaran Oil Field in Khorramshahr City to demand their delayed payments and the implementation of the “Job Classification Plan.”

Thursday, January 20

A group of stock market shareholders who lost their investment due to fraudulent activities in Iran’s stock market held protests before the Parliament in Tehran.

A group of the residents of Sanandaj City assembled before the municipal building to that the government address recent cutoffs of gas, water and electricity in some areas due to recent heavy snowfall. Additionally, many bakers have not received their flour quota, which hit the city with bread shortages.

A number of workers of the Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company Miandoab went on strike and assembled at their workplace in Shush City. They protested against low wages and unfair job contracts.

A group of farmers from an area in Firuzabad County located in Fars Province assembled before the governorate building to protest against a failure to compensate for the farmland and houses that have been submerged due to a dam project.

In Gilan Province, a number of citizens with disabilities who are supported by state welfare organizations protested against the state’s failure to complete a housing project after 14 years.

A group of bus drivers in Urmia assembled before the municipal building. They pulled their buses from the city transport system in protest against a lack of payment regarding the ticket prices from the municipality.

Anti-Baha’is Workshop Set up By The Regime in Karaj City

Following increasing pressure on Baha’i citizens by security and judicial institutions, the regime ran the second round of a three-day workshop to spread hate against Baha’i citizens. In this workshop, which was organized in Karaj City (the first round was run in Shiraz City) by the Islamic Propagation Office and an institution known as Mofaz, participants are encouraged to design posters with anti-Baha’i contents. This workshop is a blatant example of spreading hate against religious minorities.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Iranian regime held a workshop known as “Moghaddas-Nama” (pseudo-sacred) from January 28 to 30. The workshop is designed to spread posters featuring anti-Baha’i propaganda. The first round of this workshop was held in December of last year.

This workshop, which is financially supported by the regime, aims to induce hatred and violence against religious minorities and Baha’i believers in particular. Participants were incentivized lavishly by rewards to create graphic artworks such as posters featuring anti-Baha’i propaganda. This is while Baha’is are under systematic suppression and deprived of civil rights and freedom of religion. Dozens of Baha’i citizens have been imprisoned due to their faith.

In response to this hate-spreading workshop, the spokesperson for the Baha’i International Community, Padideh Sabeti, stated that:

“Anti-Baha’i propaganda from the regime in the form of a cultural festival, which should show Iranian cultural values and achievements, is deplorable. The Baha’i community is well-known worldwide for its activities for the cause of humanitarian aid. In recent years, Iran’s regime has not bothered to support their accusations against Baha’i people with one single piece of evidence…These lies expose only the liars and merely damage the regime’s credibility both inside Iran and on the international scene. Based on our experience, this propaganda proves the opposite. Having learned about the falsity of these accusations, more and more Iranians show respect to the Baha’i community.”

Regarding these anti-Baha’i workshops, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson stated that it is deplorable that the regime has chosen to induce hatred against religious minorities in society, rather than promote mutual respect and the freedom of expression and religion. Iranian Baha’i citizens have been subjected to oppression and discrimination for decades.

Iran Farda Editor Keyvan Samimi Transferred from Evin Prison to an Unidentified Location

Keyvan Samimi, the editor of Iran Farda Magazine and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was transferred from Evin Prison to an unidentified location. He is currently serving his two year sentence in Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Emtedad, prison officials removed Samimi from his ward on the pretext of addressing a problem with his phone card, and transferred him to an unknown location.

Since Branch 54 of the Revolutionary Court ordered his exile from Evin Prison to one of the prisons in Alborz Province, it is likely they have sent him to an exile prison. This order stands at odds with a forensic medical assessment that he should be granted “intolerance of punishment”. This recommendation was rejected by the court after four months.

Samimi has been serving his two-year sentence since December 7, 2020.

On May 1, 2019, he attended the workers’ protests on the anniversary of Labour Day before Parliament. The protest turned violent due to the interference of security forces, leading to his arrest along with dozens of other protestors. On May 12, 2019, security forces raided and searched the Iran Farda magazine office and confiscated many documents including his computer. On June 17, 2019, he finally was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

On April 20, 2020, in a trial in absentia, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, sentenced him to three years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion to act against national security”. The verdict was upheld on appeal, but was reduced to two years in the retrial.

Samimi had also previously endured six years in prison in 2009 for questioning the 2009 Presidential Election, participating in protests, and writing articles critical of the Islamic Regime. His two political activists brothers were executed, one by this regime and the other by the former regime.

Seven Inmates Eexecuted in Zabol, Ilam, Zahedan and Rasht Prisons

On January 20, two inmates on death row for drug-related crimes were executed in Zabol Prison. On the same day, three inmates in Ilam Prison and one in Rasht Prison, all convicted for murder, were executed. One inmate also was executed in Zahedan Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Hal Vash, 40 year old Jamal-e-din Gorgij and 34 year old Parviz Akbari Rad were executed in Zabol Prison. In 2018, Rad was arrested by road police near Zabol City. During the arrest, he was shot in the left hand. In 2020, the Revolutionary Court of Zabol sentenced him to death for drug trafficking.

In 2019, Gorgij was arrested for drug-related crimes in Zabol and sentenced to death the next year by the Revolutionary Court of Zabol.

In this report, on the same day, another inmate identified as Abdolhamid Samalzehi Kurni age 40, was executed in Zahedan Prison. He was sentenced to death two years ago. The verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Kurdpa reported that three inmates identified as Hamed Manoochehri, Mohammad Karim-Nejad and Sobhan Shoohani were executed in Ilam Central Prison. All three have previously been convicted for murder.

The Iran Human Rights Organization reported another execution in Rasht Central Prison. This inmate has been identified as 55 year old Ali Yazdani, who was convicted for murder. Reportedly, he was sent to the gallows along with another inmate on death row identified as Mohsen Nouruzi. Nouruzi was sent back to prison after he could get a moratorium from the victim’s family at the last moment.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between January 1 of 2020 and December 20 of 2021, at least 299 citizens, including four juvenile offenders, were executed. In addition, 85 citizens were sentenced to death in this period.