Writer, sociologist and former political prisoner Saeed Madani was arrested and imprisoned.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mehr News Agency, sociologist and former political prisoner Saeed Madani was arrested allegedly for “suspicious communications with outside of Iran and threat to national security”.
As a writer and sociologist, Saeed Madani has published research papers about social issues such as poverty and inequality, child abuse, violence against women, prostitution, and social welfare to name a few.
Mr Madani has faced several arrests and convictions and other social restrictions for his civil and educational activities. In the latest case, on December 28, 2021, while Madani was leaving Iran for a one-year fellowship at Yale University, he was stopped at the airport and his passport was confiscated. Two days earlier, after four hours of interrogation by the intelligence officials, he had been told that he is not banned from leaving the country.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in recent days, triggered by soaring food prices, protests sparked in at least 20 cities in Iran. Protests took place in Dezful, Shahrekord, Andimeshk, Izeh, Junaqan, Khorramabad, Fashafouyeh, Farsan, Borujerd, Dehdasht, Dorud, Ardabil, Neyshabur, Suq, Rasht, Ahvaz, Yazd, Shadegan, Susangerd, and Yasuj. On Sunday, May 15, 2022, despite the tightening of security measures, the protest continued in several cities.
From the outset, the regime disrupted internet services in several cities in an attempt to prevent the protests.
On Friday, May 6, 2022, following the call on social media for rallying against soaring bread prices, in some cities in Khuzestan Province, the Iranian regime tightened security measures on the streets and disrupted internet and phone services to disrupt protests. Nonetheless, the day after, protests broke out in various cities of Khuzestan Province and beyond. Since then, the protests have continued in more than 20 cities. In most cases, protests turned violent by the police and security forces who used tear gas, warning shots, and pellet guns to scatter the crowds.
During the unrest, dozens of people were arrested. HRANA has obtained the identity of 20 of the individuals who were arrested in Ahvaz, 13 in Susangerd, 7 in Suq, and five in Shawr.
The regime forces have killed at least two protestors during the unrest, of which, one death has been confirmed by the city of Shahrekord’s representative in Iran’s Majles (parliament).
On Thursday, May 13, 2022, during the teachers’ protests in various cities across the country, several dozens of protestors were arrested. In Yasuj City, security forces arrested more than 20 protestors.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Thursday, May 13, 2022, more than 20 teachers were arrested during the protests in Yasuj.
In the protest, some of the individuals who were arrested were identified as Yaghoub Zare, Rahim Zare, Hajir Hojjati, Khadigeh Mobaraki, Behnam Asef-Jah, Kourush Jalil, Saeed Taheri, Soraya Aghai, Sasan Zarghampour. Moreover, Masoumeh Dehghan, Masoud Farhikhteh, Jaleh Roohzad and Lotfollah Jamshid in Tehran, Masoud Nikkhakh in Mariwan, and Siamak Chehrazi in Ahvaz were arrested.
On Thursday, in response to the call of the Coordinating Council of the Iranian Teachers’ Union, both retired and working teachers in dozens of cities held protests in front of the Ministry of Education in several cities and across from Iran’s Parliament in Tehran. The protestors chanted slogans in support of the detained teachers.
According to reports obtained by HRANA, many individuals other than teachers had also joined the protests. The government has tightened security measures around the country’s main streets to prevent such protests.
On Thursday, May 13, 2022, workers’ rights activist Reyhaneh Ansari was arrested and transferred to an unidentified location. The security forces searched her house and confiscated some of her personal belongings.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, security forces arrested workers’ rights activist Reyhaneh Ansari at her home.
The reasons for the arrest, the entity responsible for the arrest and her whereabouts are still unknown.
Reyhaneh Ansari has been arrested on previous occasions for her civil activities.
On Thursday, May 12, 2022, RezaShahabi, workers’ rights activist and a member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company was arrested at his house.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, security forces arrested Reza Shahabi at his house in Tehran.
The reason for the arrest, charges and his whereabouts are still unknown. Reza Shahabi has been arrested on previous occasions for his civil activities.
On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, security forces arrested two documentary filmmakers Mina Keshavarz and Firoozeh Khosravani.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, two documentary filmmakers Mina Keshavarz and Firoozeh Khosravani were arrested in their homes in Tehran. The agents searched their houses and confiscated their personal belongings.
Firoozeh Khosravani was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence agents and transferred to Ward 209 of Evin prison in Tehran. The entity which is responsible for the arrest of Mina Keshavarz remains unknown.
On Monday, May 9, 2022, security forces arrested two workers’ rights activists Anisha Asadaollahi and Keyvan Mohtadi at their house and transferred them to an unidentified location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Monday, May 9, 2022, two workers’ rights activists Anisha Asadollahi and Keyvan Mohtadi were arrested by security forces in their house.
The reasons for the arrest, charges and their whereabouts are still unknown.
Anisha Asadollahi and Keyvan Mohtadi had been arrested and convicted before for their civil activities. On May 1, 2019, with many other workers and worker’s rights activists, Anisha Asadaollahi was arrested at a gathering for the celebration of international workers’ day. Subsequently, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to one year imprisonment (of which six months were suspended) and 74 lashes on the charge of “disturbing the public order”. She was jailed in Evin prison for sentencing on January 4, 2020, and was freed on January 21 of that year.
Anisha Asadollahi is an electrical engineer and a graduate of K. N. Toosi University of Technology. She works as an English teacher.
On Monday, May 9, 2022, security forces arrested photographer and videographer Reihane Taravati and transferred her to an unidentified location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Monday, May 9, 2022, photographer and Videographer Reihane Taravati was arrested by security forces.
The reason for this arrest, the charges and her whereabouts are still unknown.
In 2015, Ms. Taravati was arrested with five other individuals for making and publishing a tribute video to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy. The video was a compilation of Iranian youth dancing, which was considered against the Islamic norms and values by the Iranian regime. She was released after a few weeks and subsequently sentenced to one year imprisonment. The sentence was suspended for three years.
In Khuzestan Province, the officials have attempted to quell the ongoing unrest through tightening security measures, disrupting the internet and telephones, and blackouts. Following the call for protests in the media, at least ten individuals were arrested by security forces and transferred to an unidentified location.
Those individuals who were arrested in Susangerd have been identified as Saeed Dahimi, age 35, Ali Moghinmi, age 40, Hossein Maghinami, age 22, Jasem Bohrani, Hashem Bohrani, Mohammad Tarfi who have been arrested. Also, Adel Hamadi, Mostafa Chalavi, Abbas Chaldavi and Emad Savari were arrested in Ahvaz.
The reports indicate the tightening of security measures and the constant presence of police and security forces in the streets in high numbers. Reportedly, the police used tear gas to crack down on the protests in Izeh City.
One of the civil activists described the unrest: “on last Friday evening, the protests were sparked in Susangerd and a lot of people poured into the streets chanting slogans against the high level of inflation and difficult economic conditions. In the Arab regions of Ahvaz, we witnessed street protests and burning tires.”
In recent days, increased prices and rationing of bread have ignited protests and widespread backlash in Iran.
Mahmood Niroomand who is currently detained in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad has been sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment by the Court of Appeals. Initially, the Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Center of Democracy and Human Rights in Kurdistan, the initial 10-years sentence against Mahmood Niroomand was reduced to two years and eight months by the Court of Appeals.
According to an informed, “printing and distributing booklets for learning Kurdish language, running educational courses in Mosque or at home have counted as a part of the charges against Niroomand. No proof of any political activity was presented at the trial.”
On May 25, 2021, security forces arrested Niroomand without a warrant and transferred him to the detention center of the Ministry of Intelligence for interrogation. On June 24, he was relocated to Vakilabad Prison, where he was denied access to a lawyer and family visitations throughout the detention.
Mahmood Niroomand is 35 years old and a resident of Polgerd Village in Dargaz County of Khorasan Razavi Province.