At least Nine Citizens Arrested by Security Forces in Baneh City

On Thursday, November 11, a group of at least nine people was arrested by security forces in Baneh County and transferred to an unidentified location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, security forces searched the citizens’ house without a warrant during the reportedly-violent arrest, and confiscated belongings such as laptops, cameras, cell phones and books.

The report identified the known arrestees as Salah Pezeshki, Refigh Pezeshki, Manaf Pezeshki, Farzad Pezeshki, Behzad Pezeshki, Farhad Pezeshki, Loghman Pezeshki, Jamal Morovati and Saeed Ghaderi, but an informed source claims that more than nine people has been arrested.

The reasons for the arrests, as well as the charges, are unknown as of this writing.

Mashhad Resident Mahmood Niroomand Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment

Recently, Mashhad resident Mahmood Niroomand was sentenced to ten years in prison by the Revolutionary Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, he was charged with “acting against national security, propaganda against the regime on the internet and association with anti-regime groups”.

36-year-old Niroomand, who was notified of the verdict in recent days, is a native of Polgard village in Dargaz County in Razavi Khorasan Province.

On May 25 of this year, security forces arrested Niroomand without a warrant and transferred him to the detention center, at disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence, for interrogation. On June 24, he was relocated to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad. He was denied access to lawyer and family visitation throughout the detention.

 

 

 

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Vodood Asadi Arrested and Transferred to an Unidentified Location

On Saturday, October 30, Azerbaijani Turk Activist Vodood Asadi, a resident of Rasht City, was arrested by security forces.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Asadi was transferred to an unknown location following the arrest.

Security forces searched his house and confiscated both his and his family’s cell phones. Vodood Asadi has also previously been detained and summoned.

The reason for the arrest and the charges are still unknown as of this writing.

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Nader Sadeghian Sentenced to Four Months Imprisonment

On October 20, Azerbaijani Turk activist Nader Sadeghian was sentenced to four months in prison by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz city.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 100 days of this term has been suspended for four years.

The court, headed by judge Hamlbar, issued the verdict to his lawyer. Mr Sadeghian has been convicted of the charges of “online provoking people to act the violent crimes.”

On Saturday, July 24, a number of Tabriz’s citizens protested in support of Khuzestan protests against water shortages and general mismanagement of the crisis. During this protest, a number of people were arrested.

Nader Sadeghian was arrested on July 25, by intelligence agents and transferred to a security detention center in Tabriz. After 17 days, he informed his family about his relocation to Tabriz Prison. He was released on bail on October 15.

 

Imprisoned Azerbaijani Turk Activist Abbas Lesani Dispatched to Medical Clinic

Yesterday, October 21, due to acute pain in his knees and backbone, Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Lesani was dispatched to a medical clinic outside Ardabil Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Lesani was dispatched to a clinic for an MRI test due to acute pain in knees and backbone. This is the third time that he has been dispatched outside of the prison for treatment.

Lesani has been held in Ardabil Prison since January 2019. In two separate cases, he has been sentenced to ten years and ten months combined.

On May 25, 2021, he was sent off to the hospital for the treatment of painful backbone and knees.

On June 24, 2021, due to a number of medical problems including high blood pressure, he was sent off shortly to a medical clinic in Ardabil for a medical test. After echocardiography, he was diagnosed with stenosis (a widening of the opening of a heart valve). Therefore he requires further treatment outside of the prison.

On January 15, 2019, Abbas Lesani was summoned by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Tabriz and, following his appearance at the court, he was arrested and transferred to Ardabil Prison.

Thereafter, the Ardabil Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment and 2 years exile in Yazd City on a charge of “forming a group with the purpose to disrupt national security”.

This verdict was increased to 15 years imprisonment and two years exile on appeal. In July 2020, his appeal against the conviction to the supreme court of Iran was dismissed. Under Article 134, a maximum sentence of 10 years is enforceable. In addition, earlier Branch 1 of the court of appeal in Ardabil had dismissed the request of applying ” Punishment Reduction Law”.

In May 2019, in another case, Branch 26 of the Court of appeal in Eastern Azerbaijan sentenced Lesani to ten months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime and in favour of opposition political groups”.

Abbas Lessani has faced other arrests and convictions due to his civil activities. In the last instance, on July 2, 2018, together with three residents of Ardabil, he was arrested by the county intelligence agents, several days before holding an annual gathering in Babak Fort (a gathering to celebrate the Babak Khorramdin’s birthday).

He was reportedly arrested for publishing a video in which he had encouraged people to attend the gathering. After spending nine days in detention, Lesani was released on bail.

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Ali Vaseghi Granted Leave on Bail For One Week

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 Summoned to Revolutionary Court of Ardabil

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 Afghans Sentenced to Death in Tehran

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.

Roozbeh Piri Arrested by Security Forces in Tabriz

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.

At Least Four Civil Activists Detained for Several Hours Following a Protest Rally in Tehran

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.