On Tuesday, October 5, Azerbaijani Turk activist Ali Vaseghi was released on bail for a one week leave from Ardabil Prison.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Vaseghi was granted the leave on a bail of 50 million tomans.
On June 10, 2020, Ali Vaseghi and his brother Reza Vaseghi were arrested violently at their workplace and kept in detention until June 17 when they were released on bail. Intelligence forces inspected their business location on the day after the arrest and confiscated their personal computers and some other belongings.
Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Ardabil sentenced Reza and Ali to 2 and 3 years imprisonment respectively. Images that were published on Telegram of the injuries on the activists’ bodies from beatings by intelligence forces, along with slogans such as “long live those who fight for freedom”, were invoked in the trial.
Ultimately, this sentence for Ali Vaseghi was reduced to two years on appeal.
On June 13, along with six other Azerbaijani Turk activists, Ali Vaseghi went on a hunger strike in protest against the housing of political prisoners and prisoners of violent crimes in the same prison wards. They ended their hunger strike after prison officials promised to address their demands.
Twelve Azerbaijani Turk activists were recently summoned to the Second Branch of the Ardabil Revolutionary Court related to a charge of ‘insulting the leadership’.
According to the HRANA, the news agency, of Human Rights Activists, the activists have been identified as Hossein Balakhani Issa Lou, Mostafa Parvin, Morteza Parvin, Hamed Heydari Baris, Mohammad Jolani Ojagh, Parviz Siabi Gorjan, Sobhan Bakhshi, Mehdi Hooshmand, Bahman Khairjoo, Mojtaba Parvin, Asgar Akbarzadeh Khezrabadi, and Sajad Jolani Ojagh.
The report states that the activists were asked to go to this branch on Monday, September 20, to defend themselves.
The activists have been accused of ‘participating in disturbing public order by creating a commotion’, ‘attempt to harm themselves’,’ insulting and rebelling against law enforcement officers on duty’, ‘insulting the leadership’, and ‘participating in the community and colluding against internal security’.
These citizens had already been summoned to Branch 10 of the Ardabil Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office on April 21 in connection with the September 2020 rallies in the Turk-populated areas of the country. They had been arrested violently by police during which in some cases resulted in broken arms and noses.
According to Article 27 of the Constitution, participation in rallies and demonstrations is free of charge and is considered peaceful if participants are unarmed.
Six men were recently sentenced to death on charges of rape by Branch 7 of the First Criminal Court in Tehran.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, these men are citizens of Afghanistan.
In addition to the death penalty, two men were sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing the victim’s cell phone.
Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.
One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.
Yesterday, September 9, Azerbaijani Turk activist Roozbeh Piri was beaten, arrested, and transferred to an unknown location by security forces in Tabriz.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the reasons for Mr. Piri’s detention and his current whereabouts are still unknown.
Earlier, Branch 103 of the Criminal Court of Tabriz, presided over by Judge Mikael Vatankhah Alvar, sentenced Roozbeh Piri to pay a fine of 5 million tomans for “publishing lies in cyberspace”. The Court of Appeal of East Azerbaijan Province upheld the verdict of the primary court.
Piri had previously been arrested and convicted for his peaceful activities. He was arrested during the nationwide protests in Tabriz in November 2019 and sentenced by the court of appeals to 91 days in prison. Mr. Piri was released from Tabriz Prison in July 2020 after enduring his sentence.
Roozbeh Piri is the editor of Tabriz Magazine and the founder of Navid Etedal, an independent student organization at Tabriz Azad University.
On Wednesday, September 8, a number of civil activists were arrested in a protest rally related to the recent changes in Afghanistan and taken to an unknown location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Narges Mohammadi, Ahmad Reza Haeri, Pouran Nazemi, Vida Rabbani were among the arrested activists.
The rally was marred by violence by security and police forces. The mobile phones of several protesters were confiscated and only returned on condition of deleting the taken videos and photos. Some Afghans are said to be among the detainees.
Protesters carried placards and chanted slogans in support of Panjshir resistance and Afghan women, and against the Taliban and the Islamic Emirate.
The arrested activists were released after a couple of hours, on the evening of the same day.
Recently, Branch 2 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit against Ms. Nazemi and Ms. Mohammadi, and seven other activists. These activists were also arrested and detained for a couple hours on July 20 during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan in Tehran.
On Friday, September 3, Azerbaijani Turk activist Ali Shahi was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, security forces searched Shahi’s home in Ardabil and confiscated some of his belongings, including his cell phone and computer.
As of this writing, the reasons for his arrest, the charges against him, and his whereabouts are unknown.
On Sunday, September 5, Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Nikravan was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Nikravan is a native of Salmas in West Azerbaijan Province.
Mr. Nikravan has a history of detention. He was arrested in July 2018, during the annual gathering of Babak Castle, and was released on bail a week later.
As of this writing, no information is available on the reasons for his detention, the charges against him, or his whereabouts.
Azerbaijani Turk activists Mohammad Kazemi and Reza Shahrivar announced their transfer to Tabriz Prison during a telephone call with their families on Tuesday, August 10th.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mohammad Kazemi and Reza Shahrivar were arrested on July 27, 2021 by Ministry of Intelligence agents and were transferred to the detention center of this security institution in Tabriz.
These citizens were arrested on July 27, 2021 by Ministry of Intelligence agents and transferred to the detention center of this security institution in Tabriz. They have been living in the quarantine ward of Tabriz Prison since yesterday.
As of this writing, the reasons for the arrests and the charges against these citizens are unknown.
On Tuesday, June 29th, Azerbaijani Turk activist Alireza Farshi Dizaj Yakan was finally transferred to a hospital after facing prolonged medical negligence in the Greater Tehran Prison.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mr. Farshi, who was in the midst of a 2 year sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison, was sentenced last month to an additional four years and two months by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
Farshi has suffered from high blood sugar, an infection in his left eye, and numbness in his right hand. The lack of proper treatment of the prisoner’s diabetes has caused tremors in his body. He was eventually transferred to the endocrinology and metabolism department of Loghman Hakim Hospital for medical examinations and tests.
Alireza Farshi is from Marand City in East Azerbaijan. He has a master’s degree in computer engineering from Sharif University of Technology.
Mr. Farshi, while serving a two-year sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison, was recently sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to a total of over 4 more years. On February 27, Farshi’s interrogation session was held virtually in the Third Branch of Evin Court. He was informed of the meeting less than 12 hours before it was set to take place.
The verdicts issued in June of this year were upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar .
The Azerbaijani Turk activist suffered eye injuries during his time in prison and was sent on a three-day medical leave from Greater Tehran Prison on Saturday, May 7. But despite the insistence of his ophthalmologist on the urgent need for eye surgery on this prisoner, prison officials refused to extend his leave.
The report does not specify Farshi’s current condition in Loghman Hakim Hospital.
On June 16, the Ardabil Revolutionary Court sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist Saman Bidar to 3 years and 45 days in prison.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the sentence has been put on a hold for 3 years.
Based on the verdict issued by the First Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Ardabil, Mr. Bidar was charged with “Propaganda activities against the regime by publishing unrealistic news that leads to disturbance of the public”, “Insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, and “Insulting the leadership”.
He was sentenced to a total of 3 years and 45 days in prison, including the days of previous detention.