Sepideh Gholian Faced New Charges in Prison

Imprisoned civil rights activist Sepideh Gholian was briefed on the charges of a new legal case following the complaint of the Bushehr General Directorate of Prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, imprisoned civil rights activist Sepideh Gholian was faced with the charges of “spreading falsehood, blasphemy, insulting and slandering government officials.”

His brother wrote on social media that prison officials have denied Gholian access to phone calls since November 19.

On November 18, 2018, Sepideh Gholian was arrested along with at least 19 others, including members of the Assembly of Representatives of Haft-Tappeh workers, and several workers’ activists by security police in Shush city. She was released on bail on December 18, 2018.

After broadcasting her forced confession as well as some other workers’ activists, including Esmail Bakhshi on state TV, they announced that the “confessions” were extracted under duress. Soon after this announcement, the security police arrested them.

On October 26, 2019, Gholian was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings. On December 14, 2019, she was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by Tehran Appellate Court.
On June 21, 2020, Gholian began serving her prison term in Evin prison. On March 10, 2021, she was exiled to Bushehr Prison, where she was held until she was granted leave.

On September 10 as a protest against her imprisonment in exile and away from her city. Three days later, she was hospitalised due to her hunger strike.




Golrokh Iraee Still in Detention after 52 Days

Former political prisoner Golrokh Iraee is still in detention in poor conditions in the quarantine section of Qarchak Prison. A while ago, she was briefed on her charges.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Golrokh Iraee is still detained, awaiting further legal proceedings after 52 days.

Recently, she has been notified about the charges of “assembly and collusion” and “propaganda against the regime.”

According to an informed source, Iraee is currently held in an ill-equipped, overcrowded ward in Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

On September 26, 2022,  security forces arrested Iraee violently at her house in Tehran.



Iran Protests: Five Protestors Sentenced to Death

According to the judiciary’s statements, since the beginning of nationwide protests, five people arrested at protests have been sentenced to death on the charges of “enmity against God” and “spreading corruption on earth.” Moreover, several other citizens have faced the same charges, which can result in a death sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mizan Online, Judiciary media centre, five protestors have been sentenced to death.

Although the judicial officials did not disclose these individuals’ identities, based on previous reports obtained about ongoing legal cases in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, two of these five people are likely Mohammad Borooghani and Mohammad Ghobadlu.

The judicial authorities claimed that one of these individuals ran over a police/security agent in a car leading to his death, and the second injured a police agent. The third detainee has been accused of “closing the roads, creating terror and damaging public property.”
At least nine other individuals have faced the same charges in Alborz and Tehran Provinces.



Nationwide Protests: 276 People Indicted in Markazi Province

The Chief Justice of Markazi Province announced the indictment against 276 people arrested during the protests in this province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in Markazi Province, 276 people have been indicted for participating in protests.

This Chief Justice claimed that 40 individuals were identified as leaders of the protests. A hundred minors or young arrestees were released without pressing any charges after signing a commitment letter.

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, over 15000 people have been arrested. For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.

Eight Former Political Prisoner Acquitted of Charges

The Tehran Court of Appeals acquitted eight former political prisoners of the charges they faced in prison. These individuals include Alireza Farshi, Shapour Ehsanirad, Akbar Faraji, Shahab Soltanian, Esmail Gerami, Akbar Bagheri, Pouya Ghobadi Bistooni and Davoud Abdollahi.

According to this verdict issued on November 7, all defendants are acquitted of the charge of “fight and assault” and “disturbing prison order.” Initially, each had been sentenced to 11 months and 15 days in prison and 50 lashes.

In violation of the prison laws, these political prisoners were housed in the ward of prisoners of violent crimes in the Great Tehran Penitentiary. As a result, on October 8, 2021, a quarrel occurred between these political prisoners and their fellow inmates.

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Student Activist Leila Hosseinzadeh’s Detention Extended

Recently, the Shiraz Revolutionary Court extended Leila Hosseinzadeh’s pre-trial detention. On August 20, 2022, Hosseinzadeh was arrested in front of her house in Tehran and then jailed in Adel-Abad Prison in Shiraz. She has been denied adequate medical treatment despite suffering from an autoimmune disease.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, student activist Leila Hosseinzadeh’s detention has been extended.

Abolfazl Hosseinzadeh expressed his concerns about his sister’s health condition on social media: “my sister’s disease causes eye issues. She has been suffering from blurred vision for about two weeks. On November 1, the prison infirmary’s physician asked for dispatching her for treatment, which has not yet been approved.”

Hosseinzadeh faced other arrests and convictions on prior occasions.

1200 People Arrested in Nationwide Protests Held in Harsh Conditions in Great Tehran Penitentiary

Hundreds of people arrested in the nationwide protest crackdown have been transferred to Great Tehran Penitentiary. The prison is already overcrowded, and the inmates are deprived of healthy drinking water, proper food and air conditioning. They are also denied medical care and co-housed with prisoners of violent crimes.

Currently, 1200 People arrested in nationwide protests are jailed in Great Tehran Penitentiary. Many of them injured by pellet guns are denied medical treatment.

A family member of one of the detainees told HRANA that the prison infirmary is ill-equipped and the injured prisoners receive only mild tranquilizers such as low doses of clonazepam. According to this source, many of the arrestees are between 18 and 24.

Moreover, according to reports obtained by HRANA, last Saturday, October 22, several detainees were beaten by prison guards. Also, they have shaved the prisoners’ heads punitively.



Abbas Deris Sentenced to Death

The revolutionary Court of Mahshahr sentenced Abbas Deris to death. Abbas Deris was arrested during the November protests in 2019. His brother and codefendant Mohsen Deris was acquitted of the charges.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Abbas Deris was sentenced to death on the charge of “enmity against God” (Moharebeh).

Confirming this news on social media, his lawyer, Freshteh Tabanian commented, “We will bring an appeal to the Supreme Court hoping the sentence will be overturned.”

In November 2019, an increase in fuel prices sparked a wave of protests in dozens of cities across the country. The spokesperson of the Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Seyed Hossein Taghavi, announced that 7000 people were arrested during these protests. According to reports from human rights organizations, hundreds were killed by the security apparatus.

Young Man Dies Suspiciously in Ahvaz Intelligence Office

Recently, a 20-year-old man arrested allegedly for possessing a prohibited weapon, died suspiciously in a detention facility at the disposal of the intelligence ministry.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 20-year-old Ali Bani-Asad, a resident of Ahvaz, died in a detention facility in Ahvaz.

An informed source close to Bani-Asad’s family told HRANA that intelligence agents arrested him last week on suspicion of holding a prohibited weapon. A few days later, someone from the Revolutionary Court called his family to say that their son had lost his life and asked them to get his body.

“Forensic medicine has reported kidney failure as the cause of death. We know, however, that he did not have an underlying disease,” the source added.

This source asserted that Bani-Asad has never been involved in any political activities and did not participate in recent protests.

Update on Evin Prison Incident: Protests Continue; Inmates Denied Food and Medical Care

On Saturday night, October 15, 2022, a large blaze broke out in a part of Evin Prison, where many political prisoners are housed. Soon after, explosions, gunshots and tear gas were heard from the prison.

Currently, water and gas are cut, and the meals have not been distributed. Many inmates, who were injured by pellet guns, have been denied medical treatment.

Although the actual cause of this incident is still undisclosed and contradictory narratives have been reported, it can be said with some degree of certainty that clashes and fire were broken out in Ward No 7.

Ward 7 is the most crowded ward of Evin Prison, housing 1200 to 1400 inmates who are mainly convicted of financial crimes, the prisoners working in the prison facilities, security-political prisoners and a small number of inmates convicted of theft and drug offenses. Death-row convicted, prisoners of violent crimes and serious drug smuggling are not held in this ward.

In recent days, due to the relocation of some detainees arrested during the recent nationwide protests, the atmosphere of this ward was tense as inmates were shouting slogans last Friday.

On Saturday at 7 pm, before census counts, some clashes occurred in this ward. The inmates of this ward have daily access to the Sewing workshop and cultural building through the basement (passing by Salons no 1 and 2) and the atrium. After 7 pm and daily census counts, the inmates return to their ward, and the doors are locked.

Official media inside Iran claim that just before the census counts, a clash broke out between inmates (convicts of theft and financial offences), causing a fire in the workshop. HRANA obtained reports describing that rather than the workshop, the clash and fire broke out somewhere in the cultural building just before the doors were closed.

When the fire started, the Ward 7 inmates who were trapped inside three buildings (ward 7, the atrium and the cultural building) clashed with the prison guards. Security-affiliated news agencies have made the unfounded claim that the inmates had cold weapons and tried to disarm the guards.

After a violent clash, several inmates could run out of the main entrance of ward 7 to the prison premises. Fars News agency has claimed that these inmates trying to escape the prison entered a minefield on the northern side of the prison and were killed. Other news agencies, however, have dismissed this claim.

Subsequently, the police and security forces joined the prison guards to get the situation under control. First, they used flash grenades, sound grenades, and tear gas to break into the ward. After that, they fired guns at the inmates to apprehend them. They were taken outside and strip searched and beaten.

The fire did not reach Ward 8, the second most crowded ward of Evin Prison, and there was no clash. However, when they began to shout slogans, they were also taken out, beaten and searched. The inmates of Ward 4 also joined the protest. In this ward, reportedly, about 30 tear gases were fired.

The Judicial authorities have announced that four inmates were killed and 61 injured, of which four are in critical health condition. They still repeat their claim that inmates convicted of theft set the workshop intentionally on fire.
Following the incident, many political prisoners have been relocated to other prisons. At least 42 political prisoners have been transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.