Baha’i Citizen Amin Zolfaghari Imprisoned in Yazd Prison 

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Baha’i citizen Amin Zolfaghari was transferred to Yazd Prison to serve his eight-months sentence. Earlier, Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Yazd had sentenced Zolfaghari to three years and four months term. On Appeal, this sentence was reduced to 8 months.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Baha’i citizen Amin Zolfaghari was sent to Yazd Prison to serve his sentence.

On May 21, 2020, the Ministry of Intelligence agents arrested Zolfaghari at his house in Yazd and transferred him to prison. On June 23, 2020, he was released on bail.  

Subsequently, Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Yazd sentenced Zolfaghari and three other defendants, Mitra Amir-Abadi, Hiwa Mehdi-Abadi and Mahbooneh Misaghian, to 2 years and eight months in prison on the charge of “membership in anti-regime groups” and eight months on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.”

The sentences against all four defendants were reduced to eight months during the appeal process.

The 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.

Yousef Amini Imprisoned in Oshnavieh Prison 

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Yousef Amini, was imprisoned in Oshnavieh for sentencing.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Yousef Amini was imprisoned to serve his two years sentence.

Earlier, on March 27, 2022, the Revolutionary Court of Oshnavieh sentenced Amini to two years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with political opposition parties.”

On January 24, 2022, the security forces arrested and transferred Amini to a detention center in Oshnavieh. His trial was held on February 26, 2022.

Gilaki Civil Rights Activist Peyman Sokooti Arrested

On Monday, May 23, 2022, security forces arrested Gilaki civil rights activist Peyman Sokooti. The agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings including his cell phone and laptop.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, On Monday, May 23, 2022, Gilaki civil activist Peyman Sokooti was arrested in Kuchesfahan City in Gilan Province.

The reason for his arrest and his whereabouts are still unknown.

Activist Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb Sentenced to One Year Imprisonment

Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Shahriar sentenced civil rights activist Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb to one year imprisonment. Ahmadi Ragheb is currently detained in The Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in a trial in absentia, activist Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb was sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.”

Mr Ahmadi Ragheb has faced another lawsuit brought by the Ferdosiye City Municipality and the cleric Rasoul Sharifian. On October 3, 2020,  Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court held the first court session”. During the trial, Ragheb signing a petition to ask the Supreme Leader Khamenei to step down was presented as evidence to support the charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

On February 21, security forces arrested Ragheb at his home. He was held for ten days in Evin Prison and then transferred to The Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary where he has been detained.

Ragheb is a firefighter who was fired after 17 years for his civic activities. 

Three Inmates Executed in Minab and Shirvan Prisons

On Monday, May 23, 2022, the execution of two inmates who were convicted of drug-related crimes was carried out in Minab Prison. On May 22, 2022, an inmate who was convicted of murder was also executed in Shirvan Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rasank News, on Monday, May 23, 2022, two inmates identified as Mohammad Sorkhroo and Abbas Kamali were executed in Minab Prison in Hormozgan Province.

In 2017, the two inmates were arrested and convicted of drug-related crimes. . 

Baloch Activists Campaign reported that in Minab Prison in North Khorasan Province, another inmate identified as Mosaddeq Malahi was also executed.

Iran Human Rights Organization reported the execution of another inmate identified as Mohammad Morad Fazeli, age 37, in Shirvan Prison on Sunday, May 22, 2022. 

These executions have not been reported by official sources and media outlets inside Iran so far.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between January 1 of 2021 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.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 88% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

 

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Baha’i Citizen Saeedeh Khozui Released on Bail after 43 Days of Detention 

On Tuesday, Baha’i citizen Saeedeh Khozui was released on bail temporarily until the end of legal proceedings. She was held in Evin Prison for 43 days.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Tuesday morning, Baha’i citizen Saeedeh Khozui was released on a 2 billion tomans bail. She had been arrested on April 11, 2022.

Saeedeh Khozui is the mother of Arsalan Yazdani who was also arrested in Tehran on September 1, 2021, and transferred to a detention center in Evin Prison. On September 30, 2021, security forces searched his house and confiscated some of Mr. Yazdani’s belongings including his laptop, other electronic devices and documents. Subsequently, Arsalan Yazdani was released on bail on October 17, 2021.

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.

The 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.

Five Inmates Executed in Different Prisons 

In recent days, five inmates were executed in Minab, Dastgerd, Adel-Abad, Zanjan and Central Karaj Prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights Organization, on Thursday, May 19, 2022, an inmate identified as Ahmad Gashul, 21, was executed in Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan.

In November of 2019, Gashul’s assistance in escaping two prisoners led to the death of a prison guard. 

On Wednesday, May 18, in Central Prison of Karaj, an inmate identified as Ayat Ghasemi Delfani was also executed for murder and drug-related crimes. 

According to an informed source, the murder case was about killing a fellow inmate in prison and drug-related crimes.

Additionally, Haal Vsh News reported the execution of an inmate identified as Abdolbari Rigi, 32, in Adel-Abad prison in Shiraz on May 22, 2022.

In 2019, Rigi was arrested for smuggling drugs and subsequently was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz. Reportedly, the prison officials did not inform his family about his execution in advance.

 Also, on May 23, 2022, Baloch Activists Campaign reported the execution of an inmate in Minab prison. The inmate, identified as Mosaddeq Malahi, was arrested in 2018 for drug-related crimes. This inmate was also executed without informing his family in advance and was denied the last family visitation.

These executions have not been reported by official sources and media outlets inside Iran so far.

Lastly, according to Rokna News, an inmate who was convicted of killing two park rangers last year was executed in Zanjan prison today.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between January 1 of 2021 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.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 88% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Khodayar Ramezani Arrested in Gachsaran

In Gachsaran, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, security forces arrested Khodayar Ramezani and transferred him to an unidentified location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Khodayar Ramezani, a resident of Gachsaran, was arrested.

Ramezani’s arrest was apparently related to his activism and social media posts. However, the charges against this individual and his whereabouts are still unknown.

About 400 Lawyers Demand End to Intimidation of Attorneys in Shiraz 

In an open statement, about 400 lawyers condemned the intimidation and arrest warrants for four public defenders in Shiraz. The statement stated that the continuation of such unlawful actions will cause the loss of public trust in the judiciary.”

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in an open letter addressing the judicial authorities, 394 lawyers expressed concern about unlawful actions of security and judicial institutions. They condemned the arrest warrants against four public defenders, including Mahmood Tarawat, Masoud Ahmadian and Nazanin Salari.

They asked the judicial authorities to drop the charges against these attorneys, who have undergone frequent interrogation by security institutions during the last three years. 

Report on Current Nationwide Protests: Hundreds Arrested; Dozens Killed and Injured

During the last two weeks, triggered by food price hikes, nationwide protests erupted in more than 31 cities across 10 provinces. HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has recorded 53 demonstrations so far. 

According to HRANA, on Friday, May 6, 2022, following the government’s decision to cut subsidies on essential food items such as dairy products, flour, cooking oil, chicken, and eggs leading to soaring prices, the call for rallying against soaring prices went viral on social media. In the following days, several protests broke out in Khuzestan Province and soon swept through numerous cities across the country.

Prior to these protests, a series of protests and gatherings of teachers, labor workers and the retirees who had lost their pensions due to the government’s risky financial decisions had been sweeping across the country leading to dozens being arrested.

The new rounds of protests sparked initially in Susangerd City and other neighboring cities in Khuzestan Province. In the following days, at least 30 Arab-speaking citizens were arrested by security forces.

Soon after, the protests spread to other cities and provinces. The videos received from citizen journalists indicate that the protestors chanted slogans against inflation as well as the Iranian regime leaders, including President Ebrahim Raeisi and Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

The map below shows the locations where the protests were.

As the map shows, the protests took place in the following cities: Izeh, Susangerd, Hamidieh, Ahvaz, Mahshahr, Masjed Soleiman, Shadegan, Jarahi Town Mahshahr, Dorud, Andimeshk, Dezful, Shahrekord, Junaqan, Fashafouyeh, Yasuj, Ardabil, Farsan, Khorramabad, Dehdasht, Borujerd, Suq, Yazd, Golpayegan, Cholicheh, Rasht, Neyshabur, Surshjan, Hafshejan, Babaheydar, Karevan Town and Pordanjan.

In total, 53 protests have been recorded. Moreover, 45 times, the attempts to start a protest were foiled due to the heavy presence of police and security forces in the streets. 

The map below shows the locations of 53 protests and the time periods.

During these protests, at least on 22 occasions in 14 cities, the police and security forces used tear gas, warning shots, pellet guns and in some cases heavy weapons against the protestors. In nine cities, tear gas and in 14 cities warning shots were used to scatter the crowds. In eight cities, security forces fired straight toward the crowds. Reportedly, security forces have used pellet guns, Kalashnikov assault rifles and paintball guns to disperse the protestors.

The map below shows the places where crackdowns and unrestrained shootings have been reported.

Since the beginning of the protests on Friday, May 6, the government disrupted the internet in several areas in Ahvaz in an attempt to prevent the protests. In the days that followed, Internet disruption was also reported in at least 10 cities.

In addition to intentional Internet disruption, the press was banned from covering the protests.

According to the reports obtained from local sources, at least 449 individuals were arrested during the protests.

So far, six people have been confirmed dead. These people have been identified as Pishali Ghalebi Hajivand (Dezful), Saadat Hadipour (Hafshejan), Jamshid Mokhtari Junaqani (Junaqan), Omid Soltani (Andimeshk), Hamid Ghasempour (Farsan City), and Behrooz Eslami (Babaheydar). HRANA can only confirm the reports on the death of the first two individuals mentioned above.

From all videos of protests which are circulating on social media, HRANA has verified the authenticity of 30 video reports which compilation you can watch below: