Two Workers Fatally Killed in Accident Due to Unsafe Workplace Conditions in Babaheydar City

On Saturday, October 16, in Babaheydar City, two workers lost their lives in an accident due to unsafe workplace conditions.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, in Babaheydar city located in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, two workers died while working on a well after the structure’s walls caved in.

“In this work accident which happened on Saturday, the walls of the well fell and two workers were trapped deep in the well,” the public relations officer of the Urgency Center of the Province Mohsen Ibarhimi commented. “The emergency response team was immediately sent, but they died of injuries on the spot.”

New Details Emerge on Inhumane Treatment of Lawyer and Human Rights Activist Payam Derafshan

Saeed Dehghan has revealed more details about the arrest of his colleague, lawyer and human rights activist Payam Derafshan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Dehghan claims in a note on his personal social media page that on June 7, 2020, 17 security agents raided Derafshan’s office and arrested him.

The post says, the agents took him to a so-called safe house and then, from there, to a solitary confinement cell in detention center No 2A. There they injected him with an unknown drug causing seizure and subsequent hospitalization.

“Not just a human rights activist, (Derafshan) was the secretary of the commission for the Protection of Lawyers, which is devoted to protects the lawyers who face security and judicial issues,” Derafshan’s note reads. “On June 7, 2020, 17 security forces raided his office, inspected the office and confiscated his personal computer and other documents…From the very time of arrest through the interrogation process, the interrogators of IRGC’s intelligence unit wanted to find out why he accepted Kavous Seyed-Emami’s case…They transferred him with a blindfold to a safe house rather than a detention centre. In addition to denying access to a phone call and informing his family and lawyer, his confinement in a dark cell without any windows in summertime put the maximum mental and corporeal pressure on him. Thereafter, they transferred him to detention centre No 2A, which is at the disposal of IRGC.  Being held in a cell with always-on-bright lamps, noisy ventilation and stinky toilet and long interrogation were making sleeping hard for him.”

When Mr. Derafshan complained about this situation, he was reportedly threatened with an electric shocker and then taken to prison healthcare where he was injected with an unknown drug. This injection caused a seizure, tongue biting and subsequent fainting and internal bleeding.

According to the note, they transferred him to the hospital the following day for surgery on his tongue. Thereafter, they extended the detention period and sent him back to the public ward of Evin Prison without providing any medical treatment for recovery time after surgery. When he got seizures again, they hospitalized him in a psychiatric hospital where he received electric shocks, which not only exacerbated his seizure problem, but also caused brain damage and consciousness disorders.

On July 6, 2020,  the Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Iman Afshari sentenced Payam Derafshan to two years and six months imprisonment on the charge of “the propaganda against the regime, spreading lies and disturbing public opinions and carrying illegal shocker and sprays”. He was exonerated on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. The verdict was upheld on appeal but reduced to two years grounded on the applicability of “Punishment Reduction Law”.  After issuing the sentence, he was sent on furlough and after serving one-third of his term, he was released on probation to complete the treatment process.

In a previous case, Branch 1 of Karaj Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to two years imprisonment and two years occupational deprivation as a lawyer on the charge of “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The imprisonment was reduced to one year on appeal. The conviction was held in suspension. It is unknown whether, after the last final conviction, this previous conviction will come out of suspension.

Payam Derafshan has been the lawyer of many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience such as Muhammad Najafi, Vida Movahed, Nasrin Sotoudeh,  Kavous Seyed-Emami’s family, Fatemeh Khishavand, Sekineh Parvaneh and a number of arrestees in the nationwide protests of November 2019.

Two Participants in July Protests in Khuzestan Arrested in Behbahan

Two participants in this July’s Protests in Khuzestan were arrested this weekend in Behbahan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Gholam Tayebi and Muhammad Khalili were arrested by security forces and transferred to an unidentified location on Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17, respectively.

In the company of the police of NAJA (Disciplinary Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran), security forces arrested the citizens separately in Behbahan City, where they were forced to flee from their home in Kurdistan Bozorg Village. After the wave of arrests from this village, they did not return home due to the prosecution. According to this report, Ali Tayebi, another resident of this village, has also been arrested.

An informed source told HRANA that most of the arrestees from this village in regards to July protests in Khuzestan are farmers–biggest victims of water resources mismanagement of the government. A while back, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad had informed about the delay in autumn planting due to lowering reservoir levels of dams in this area.

According to Summary Report from the Khuzestan Protests in 41 Cities published by HRANA, 171 people were arrested in the July protests. The protests erupted on July night 15, 2021 in Khuzestan province to outcry over water shortages and water supply mismanagement. These protests lasted two weeks spreading over 41 cities of the province. Reportedly, dozen people were killed and wounded and hundreds were arrested.


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.


Saturday, October 9

In Rameshk city, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, a number of citizens assembled in front of a copper mining company called “Rameshk” to protest the company’s confiscation of their pieces of land without providing compensation.

Sunday, October 10

On the thirteen day of their strike, Haft-Tappeh’s workers assembled in front of the governorate building in Shush city and then marched in the streets. They chanted “this
revolutionary government has just empty slogans”.

These workers demand paying delayed wages, immediate returning the company from the private sector to state section, returning fired workers to work, extending the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, carrying out repair operations.

A group of depositors of Caspian, a finance and credit institution, assembled in front of the building of the Central Bank in Tehran to protest against the sham investment scheme of the institution and ask for the return on their investment.

A number of retirees of the pension fund of steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the company’s buildings in Isfahan and Khuzestan. They asked for levelling up their pension in proportion with the poverty line, enjoying adequate benefits and the supplementary insurance as set by the by-laws of this corporation.


Monday, October 11

For the second consecutive day, a number of workers of Jovein cement company in Mashhad assembled at company premises to ask for implementing Job Classification Plan and holding the employers to his promises.

A group of poultry farm workers assembled in front of the Governor’s office in Shahrekord city in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. They protested against the high costs of feeding and chicks for incubators in comparison to the low chicken prices.

On the fourteenth consecutive day, Haft-Tappeh workers assembled in front of the governorate building in Shush city and then marched in the streets.

The contracted workers the company SAAPEC in Asaluyeh went on strike and assembled in company premises in protest against two-months unpaid wages.

For the second consecutive day, a number of citizens in Rameshk city, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, assembled in front of a copper mining company Rameshk. Reportedly, to build a copper mine site, this company has confiscated their pieces of land without paying any compensation.

Tuesday, October 12

The workers of Abnieh Fanni, a railway company in the Azerbaijan zone, which are working on rail lines of counties Salmas, Jolfa, Azarshahr, Marand and Ajabshir, went on strike in protest against the two-month delay in payment and employer’s contribution in the health insurance. According to these workers, their problems began when the project was outsourced to private-sector companies.

On the fifteenth consecutive day of the strike, workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled at their workplace. These worker demands, among other things, paying delayed wages, immediate returning the company from the private sector to state section, returning fired workers to work, extending the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, Carrying out repair operations.

The workers of the Isfahan municipality assembled to ask for levelling up wages and other demands in front of the municipality headquarter.

In front of the building of the Tehran Planning and Budget Organization, a number of last-year-retired teachers protested unpaid pension income.

Wednesday, October 13

A number of school service personnel working for the Ministry of Education of Qom assembled in the premises of the Ministry of education’s building. They protested low wages,forced and unpaid overworking, cutting off work uniform quota and the lack of promotion and other job-related improvements for those who have obtained the university degree

On the sixteenth day of their strike, Haft-Tappeh’s workers assembled in front of Labor office in Shush city.

A number of contractual teachers assembled in front of the Provincial Government building in Shahrekord in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. These teachers protested against the lack of job security and low wages in comparison to teachers who are hired by the ministry of education. They demanded to come under contract with the ministry of education.

Thursday, October 14

In response to the call of the Coordinating Council of Iranian teacher Unions, working and retired teachers and educators in at least 40 cities assembled to ask for their demands.

A number of workers of the municipality in Khorramshahr city assembled to ask for six
months unpaid wages.

The workers of private companies which are working as contractors on coal mines in Kerman assembled in front of the Provincial Government building. They asked for implementing the Job Classification plan and other demands.

The retirees of Gilan Ministry of Health assembled in the premises of the University of Medical Sciences in Rasht to ask for closing pension gap and other demands.

On the Seventeenth day of their strike, the workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled at their workplace.

At Least Eight Inmates Executed this week in Multiple Prisons, Including Qom, Kermanshah and Isfahan

This week, at least eight inmates were executed in multiple prisons, including Qom, Kermanshah and Isfahan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights, two inmates were executed in Kermanshah Prison on Monday, October 11, four inmates were executed in Isfahan on Tuesday, and two others were executed in Qom Prison on Wednesday.

Two inmates who had been convicted of murder were executed in Diezl-Abad Prison in Kermanshah on Monday, October 11. One of the inmates has been identified as 23-year-old Muhammad Latifi. The report suggests that it is likely more inmates were executed on that day than have been confirmed.

Iran Human Rights also has reported the execution of four inmates in Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan. These inmates had been convicted for drug-related crimes.

In another report, on Wednesday, October 13, two inmates, convicted of murder, were executed in Qom Central Prison. One of the inmates has been identified as Ali Amrollahi, a native of Afghanistan. He has been imprisoned since four years ago when he was convicted of “honor killing”.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of carried-out executions, dubbed as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

None of these executions have been announced by official sources in Iran as of this writing.


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Kolbar Jian Ali-Pour Shot Dead by Regime Military Forces at Border Areas of Sardasht County

On Thursday, October 14, a kolbar was killed by the direct shooting of military forces in border areas near Sardasht.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, on Thursday, the man has been identified as Jian Ali-Pour, a resident of a village in County Sardasht. He was married with two children. According to this report, the military forces shot him dead without any warning beforehand.

Many poor people living in border areas turn to this illegal work and carry loads on foot through borders to make ends meet. Yearly, dozens of kolbars are injured and killed from accidents, dangerous conditions, and border guard shootings.

HRANA’s annual human rights report has specifically documented cases in which military forces’ use of live ammunition against citizens has led to their injury or death.

According to the 2020 report, other than material damages like loss of pack animals due to road accidents, frost, or avalanche, 36 cross-border laborers (kolbars) have been shot dead, and 109 have been injured by military forces and border guards.


Sunni Prisoner Zaher Roozkhun Released on Bail

On Thursday, October 14, Sunni prisoner Zaher Roozkhun was released temporarily on bail until the end of criminal proceedings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Mahabad resident Zaher Roozkhun was released on bail for 350 million tomans (approx. 13,000 US dollars). He has been denied access to lawyer and family visitation during the detention.

Roozkhun had been previously arrested by security forces before too on August 29, 2021. After completing the interrogation process, he was sent from a detention center in Urmia to Mahabad Prison.

As of writing this, the reason for his arrest and the charges is unknown.


Political Prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi Released on Leave from Evin Prison

On Wednesday, October 14, political prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi was released on furlough from Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemi has been enduring her one and a half year prison sentence since August 9, 2020. On July 20 of this year, after testing positive for COVID-19, she was also granted furlough.

Arezoo Ghasemi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in November 2019. She was released on bail until August 9, 2020, when she was sent to Evin Prison to serve her sentence.

The Branch 28 of the revolutionary court, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghayeseh sentenced her to three years imprisonment on a charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. This sentence was subsequently reduced to one and a half years after applying the “Punishment Reduction Law”.

During the wave of protests of November 2019 in dozens of cities, which broke out initially in protest of an unprecedented fuel price surge, hundreds were killed and seven thousand were arrested by regime forces.

Since Ghasemi will have served out her term by the end of the furlough, she will not return to prison.

Two Inmates Sentenced to Death, Two Other Spared from Execution

Two inmates were recently sentenced to death in Tehran and Gorgan, while reportedly two other inmates on death-row were recently spared from execution.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRIP News Agency, on Wednesday, October 13, the Judiciary spokesperson announced the conviction of two inmates to the death penalty in Tehran and Gorgan. In another report, he announced that two on death-row inmates were spared from execution.

Without providing any details about the court, which has issued these sentences, Zabihollah Khodaeyan commented, “these inmates have been convicted for their association with a network of human traffickers.” However, since other the defendants of this case, have been convicted to lengthy prison terms, he added that “the verdict is not final”.

According to Iran Newspaper, an inmate in Greater Tehran Prison was spared from execution after he could exact satisfaction from the victim’s family in a meeting. The inmate, named Shayan, had been previously convicted for stabbing a man to death.

According to Rokna, In Gorgan, a 30-year-old man was spared from execution by exacting satisfaction from the victim’s family through the mediation of deputy of the criminal executive branch in Golestan Province and members of Dispute Resolution Council. As Chief Justice of Golestan Province pointed out, this is the fourteenth death-row inmate who has been spared from execution this year by the mediation of the Dispute Resolution Council.



Baha’i Citizen Sheida Taeed Released on Bail

On Monday, October 11, Baha’i citizen Sheida Taeed, a resident of Qaemshahr city in Mazandaran Province, was released on a bail of 900 million Tomans (approx 33,000 dollars)  from a security detention center in this city.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Taeed had been arrested by security forces at her home on September 23, 2021, and then transferred to an unknown location. During the arrest, officers inspected her home and confiscated a number of her belongings, including her cell phone, electronics, books, photographs, and manuscripts.

According to an informed source, the security forces initially put Farideh Taeed, Sheida’s elderly mother, in the car as well, and dropped her off somewhere along the road.

Sheida Taeed had been detained and convicted once before because of her faith. She was arrested in the city of Noor in January of 2013 and was finally sentenced to one year in prison in 2015, which she served out in Babol Prison.

According to unofficial reports, by estimated there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran. While the constitution recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as accepted religions (People of Book, as articulated in Sharia law), it denies recognizing the Baha’i faith, which conclusively leads to the systematic violation of their rights.

Baha’i citizens are denied the right to exercise their religion. This systematic deprivation stands in violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which both affirm that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.