The Latest News on the Condition of Human Rights Activists Victimized by the Iranian Security Apparatus

HRANA – In a press release, the Human Rights Activists in Iran Organization (HRAI) published the names of its detained members and associates who have been arrested over the past several months.The complete press release is as follows:

Press Release on Widespread Arrests

The Iranian Security Forces embarked on a nationwide mission against human rights defenders and, in particular, members of HRA, in February of 2010 and their mission continues in full force to date. These Actions of Security Forces had catchy names such as “American Cyber Army Defeat Mission” or “Project Against Human Rights.” However, members of HRA have given their own name to these widespread raids and arrests: “The Security Apparatus Against Human Rights Activists in Iran.” The HRA issues press releases and held a conference in which it examined the various dimensions of recent developments.

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15 Men Hanged Across Iran

HRANA News Agency – Today 15 men were executed in different cities of Iran.

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OMCT: Repression of human rights defenders goes on uninterrupted in Iran

OMCT LogoHRANA News Agency – Paris-Geneva, September 11, 2012.The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), was informed of four new cases of arbitrary detention against human rights defenders in Iran. Several rights activists andjournalists have been taken into custody to serve prison sentences, while charges have been brought against others.

On September 8, 2012, Ms.Shiva Nazarahari, a founding member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) and member of the Campaign for Equality and child rights activist, was taken into custody at Evin prison. She had been summoned in late August 2012 to serve a four-year prison sentence upheld on appeal against her on January 8, 2011 on charges of “propaganda against the State”, “assembly with intention of conspiring against the Islamic government”, “disturbing the public mind” and “waging war against God”. The Observatory recalls that Ms. Nazarahari has been arrested many times over the past decade for her activities as a human rights defender: 20 days in 2002, three weeks in 2004, three months in 2009 and almost nine months in 2010[1].

In addition, on August 22, 2012, Mr.Navid Khanjani, also a founding member of the CHRR and a founding member of the Association to Oppose Discrimination in Education, and Mr.Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, blogger and human rights activist, were arrested along with dozens of other activists who had travelled to East Azerbaijan province to help the earthquake victims. Both have remained in detention although a number of other persons arrested with them have been released on bail.

In Mr. Khanjani’s case, his arrest and subsequent transfer to Evin prison in Tehran on September 8 raises fears that the authorities have decided to implement the 12-year imprisonment sentence against him that was upheld on appeal in August 2011. Mr. Khanjani was sentenced on charges of “spreading lies”, “creating unease in the public mind”, “propaganda against the system”, “membership of the CHRR” and “forming the Association to Oppose Discrimination in Education”. He indeed contributed in establishing this association after he was banned from continuing his academic studies for being a follower of the persecuted Baha’i faith. The Observatory recalls that he was previously detained for 65 days in 2010[2].

As for Mr. Ronaghi Maleki, he has been serving a 15-year prison sentence after being arrested on December 13, 2010 and convicted on charges of “membership of Iran-Proxy Internet Group”, “propaganda against the system”, “insulting the Iranian Supreme Leader and the President”. At the time of his latest arrest in August 2012, he had been on sick leave after undergoing several operations on his kidneys that were damaged after being repeatedly tortured during his detention, including 13 months in solitary confinement. His most recent arrest raises concerns about his physical and psychological integrity. His whereabouts remain unknown.

On September 8, 2012, Mr.Issa Saharkhiz, a journalist and founding member of the Iranian Association for the Defence of Freedomof Press, went on hunger strike and refused to take food and medicine after being transferred to the Rajaishahr prison far from his residence in Tehran. Mr. Saharkhiz had been in hospital for about six months until August 28 when he was sent to solitary confinement in Evin prison at the start of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. He was arrested on July 3, 2009 and sentenced to three years imprisonment on charges of “insulting the leader” and “propaganda against the system.” In August 2011, the authorities brought up a case dating back to 11 years ago, and sentenced him to two more years imprisonment on unspecified “press-related charges”. The sentence was reduced to 1.5 years by the appeals court.

Ms.Zhila Baniyaghoub, an award-winning journalist and women’s right activist, was taken into custody at Evin prison on September 2, 2012 to serve the one-year imprisonment sentence imposed on her in June 2010 after she was convicted on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the president”. The sentence, along with a 30-year ban from professional journalistic activities, was upheld on appeal in October of the same year. Ms. Baniyaghoub’s husband, economic journalist Mr.Bahman Ahmadi-Amou’i, has been serving a five-year prison sentence after being arrested on June 20, 2009 and convicted of “gathering and colluding with intent to harm national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system”, disrupting public security” and “insulting the president”. In mid-June 2012, when political prisoners in Evin prison’s Section 350 organised a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of demise of the late political prisoner Mr. Hoda Saber, prison officials sent Mr. Ahmadi-Amou’i and several other prisoners to solitary confinement. He was subsequently banished to the remote Rajaishahr prison. There, he was insulted and confined to an isolation cell for nearly 20 days. He remains in the same prison, even though his sentence does not provide for ‘imprisonment in exile.’

TheObservatoryis gravely concerned at thisnew series ofarrests and detentions of human rights defenders, whichmerelyaimatsanctioning their legitimate human rightsactivities and peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression. It particularly fears for their physical and psychological integrity in a context of widespread acts of torture and ill-treatment sufferedby human rights defenders while in detention. Moregenerally,this ongoing repressive climatealsoaimsatintimidating and silencing allhuman rights defenders in Iran.

The Observatory therefore urges the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally put an end to the judicial harassment of and drop all the charges against Ms. Shiva Nazarahari, Ms. Zhila Baniyaghoub and Messrs. Navid Khanjani, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, Issa Saharkhizand Bahman Ahmadi-Amou’i,and to guarantee their physical and psychological integrity under all circumstances. The Observatory more generally calls upon the authorities to release all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained and to conform to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments ratified by Iran.

Gonabadi Dervish, Abbas Sharyati, Arrested in Yazd

HRANA News Agency – On Thursday morning, September 29, 2011, Abbas Sharyati, a member of Nimatullahi Gonabadi Sufi Sect, was arrested in Yazd.The number of arrests continues to rise as pressure on Gonabadi dervishes increase throughout the country.

According to a report by the Campaign to Protect Dervishes’ Rights, a group of security agents arrested Abbas Sharyati in Yazd and took him to an unknown location.Thus far, the reason for this arrest has not been announced, and Abbas Sharyati’s whereabouts are unknown.

On Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Nusrat Tabasi, another detained member of Nimatullahi Gonabadi Sufi Sect, was transferred from solitary confinement, Ward 209, to the general population in Evin Prison.Nusrat Tabasi is a member of Majzooban Nur, Nimatullahi Gonabadi Order website.

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Kurdish Citizens Injured and Killed in Border Regions

HRANA News Agency – During the last few days, three Kurds were injured and killed when Iranian forces opened fire at them.

 

According to a report by Radio Zamaneh, on Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Chakv and Spekan regions of Sardasht [Iranian Kurdistan], the military forces shot a Kurdish citizen and injured him.  This individual has been identified to be Sargard, son of Mohammad.

 

Additionally, on the evening of Thursday, May 12, 2011, Karvan Saidi, a Kurdish citizen, was shot at and killed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard while he was driving into the city of Marivan [Kurdistan Province].  Eyewitnesses have reported that Karvan Saidi wasn’t carrying anything in his vehicle when the Revolutionary Guard opened fire at him.

 

Kurdish news sources have also reported that on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Masoud Nikkhah, a traveling salesman at Dovlehbi border region in Marivan [Kurdistan Province], was wounded and transferred to one of the hospitals in this city.

 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, because of mine explosions in areas near towns of Marivan and Divandarh in Kurdistan Province, three Kurdish citizens were injured.  It must be noted that the majority of people who are injured and killed in the borders of Kurdistan are traveling salesmen and vendors.

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Arrest of twenty individuals at Habibollah Latifi’s parents home.

HRANA– Twenty people arrested during a raid by the security and intelligence agents at Habibollah Latifi sentenced to death prisoner home and transferred them to unknown location.
HRANA reporters, 10 pm last night a dozen guests along with eight family members Of Habib Latifi was detained during a massive raid on this political prisoners’ parents home.

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Jewelry and Fabric Bazaar Traders Go on Strike

HRANA – Bazaar traders went on strike today in an effort to delay the government from imposing higher taxes.

According to Jahan, the jewelry and fabric bazaar was essentially closed this morning. Bazaar store owners were protesting the increased taxes. In October 2008 bazaar traders went on a week-long strike over a newly introduced value added tax and returned to work only after the government backed down.

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Mehdi Eslamian, Political Prisoner Sentenced to Execution, Moved to an Unidentified Location

May 8, 2010
HRA News Agency – At 1:00 p.m. (IRDT) today, Saturday, May 8, 2010, political prisoner Mehdi Eslamian who has been sentenced to execution was removed from Rajaiee Shahr prison in Karaj and taken to an unknown location.
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