Political Prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar Sentenced to Death by Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Recently, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced political prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar to death. Rezaiefar’s trial began on December 28, 2020.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, political prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar has been sentenced to death on the charge of the so-called “spreading corruption on earth”. He was notified about his charges in September of this year.

In January 2020, Kamran Rezaiefar was arrested by the security forces on a charge of “association with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK)”. He was released on bail after enduring 77 days in solitary confinement in wards 240 and 209 of Evin Prison.

In June 2020, he was arrested again this time for a charge of “spreading corruption on earth” and transferred to Evin Prison.

 

Inmate Beaten to Death By Prison Officers in Sanandaj Prison

On the evening of Tuesday, November 2, an inmate was brutally beaten to death by officers in Sanandaj Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 26-year-old Khosro Jamalifar, who had previously been indicted on a murder charge and was awaiting the verdict, died from a strike to the head sustained during the beating.

The incident broke out after Jamalifar became involved in a quarrel with a fellow inmate in the quarantine section of Sanandaj.

Thereafter, as an informed source told HRANA, “Prison officers began to beat him with batons which led to his death. In this incident, the failure of the prison nurse, named Abdollahi, to send (Jamalifar) to the healthcare center in a timely manner also played a role in his death.”

In the aftermath of Jamalifar’s killing, Sanandaj inmates are calling for authorities to take accountability and conduct a real investigation.

“Since there are many CCTV cameras in corridors, the prisoners demand from the Prison organization and judiciary authorities to investigate the incident,” the informed source said. “However, until now, they have not received any response and the prison is at a high-security level.”

Iran’s prisons are notorious for their frequent incidents of brutality from authorities.  Acts of violence such as this one are at serious odds with the basic responsibility of prisons to provide for the safety and health of their inmates.  Institutions’ reluctance to conduct thorough investigations into acts of violence from their officials only perpetuates, and often even reinforces, a culture of abuse within Iran’s carceral system.

Arash Gangi Detained and Sent to Evin Prison to Endure 11 Year Sentence

On Monday, November 1, translator and board member of the Iranian Writers’ Association (IWA) Arash Gangi was sent to Evin Prison to endure his 11-year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, recently, PEN America in a statement condemned Arash Gangi’s summons and asked for the quashing of this “wildly disproportionate” sentence.

Gangi had been previously sentenced to eleven years in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of five years is enforceable.

Following the summons he received on October 16 of this year, Arash Gangi appeared at the Executive Unit of Evin prison and from there he was sent to Evin Prison.

On December 22, 2019, the security forces raided his house, and then arrested and transferred him to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is at the disposal of the intelligence ministry.  Security agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings during the arrest.

After a while, he was transferred from the Ward 209 to the public section of Evin Prison. On January 19, 2020, he was released on a bail of 450 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In the first court session, on June 14, 2020, the judge increased the bail to 3 billion tomans, and hence he was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison until providing the new bail. He was released on bail on June 21, 2020.

In the second court session, which took place on November 29, 2020, only his attorney attended the court and Mr Ganji could not appear at the court due to having COVID-19 symptoms.

Ultimately, in December 2020, the court, headed by judge Mohammad-Reza Amoozad, sentenced Gangi to five years in prison on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security”, one year on a charge of “propaganda against the regime” and five years on a charge of “membership in and collaboration with one of the ant-regime groups.”, for a total of 11 years imprisonment. In February 2021, this verdict was upheld by the court of appeals of Tehran.

According to Naser Zarafshan, Mr. Gangi’s lawyer, all these charges were invoked from his translation of a book under the title of “A Small Key Can Open A Big Door: The Rojava Revolution”, which is about Kurdistan upheavals in Syria.

The non-governmental organization IWA was founded by a group of intellectual writers in 1968, originally with the objective of promoting freedom of speech and fighting against censorship.

Although IWA was banned in 1981 by the Iranian authorities, a group of writers created a “consulting assembly” to revive the banned IWA in 1993. On September 8, 1996, 12 writers who had gathered to draft a new charter for the IWA were arrested, interrogated and warned not to hold further meetings for the advancement of the IWA. Since then, the members and board members of IWA have been subject to systematic persecution, long prison sentences and even targeted killing from 1988–98, when certain Iranian dissident intellectuals who had been critical of the Islamic Republic disappeared and their bodies found afterwards.

Journalist Reza Jolodarzadeh Released from Greater Tehran Prison

This Monday, November 1,  journalist Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh, who has been on furlough since mid-September, was released from The Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, while he was on furlough Jolodarzadeh was granted an imprisonment intolerance certificate by forensic medicine, and will therefore not be required to return to prison.

In June 2019, Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh was sentenced to three years in prison, a fine of 40 million rials and two years prohibition from any political or journalistic activities on charges of “propaganda against the regime, spreading lies and disturbing public opinions on the internet”.  The verdict was upheld by the appellate court.

In January 2021, Jolodarzadeh was summoned by Branch 1 of the Executive Unit of Evin Prison to endure his sentence in The Greater Tehran Prison. On February 12, despite having regular seizures, he was not allowed to be dispatched to a hospital outside the prison. Jolodarzadeh is an injured veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and suffers from a serious brain lesion.

On March 2, Jolodarzadeh went on a hunger strike to protest authorities’ refusal to take his medical needs seriously. After one week, he ended the hunger strike after hospitalization and receiving medical treatment. Once again, on April 28, in protest against prison’s officials’ inattention to his demands and requirements, he went on a hunger strike. After a while, he ended his strike after officials promised to meet his demands.

On July 14, he went furlough from The Greater Tehran Prison as well as once again on September 22, for medical treatment and providing medicines. This time, forensic medicine issued an imprisonment intolerance certificate whereby he was set free.

Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh is the Editor of  the newspaper “Sobhe-Azadi” , which was banned by the regime in 2011.

Political Prisoner Saeed Sangar Released After 21 Years in Prison

On Saturday, October 30, political prisoner Saeed Sangar was released on parole from Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sangar’s release comes after 21 years of imprisonment.

On August 31, 2000, Sangar was arrested. However, in his legal case, October 29 of that year has been wrongly recorded as the arrest date.

On November 18, 2000, the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj, headed by judge Fatemi, sentenced him to death on the charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through membership in The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. Following this conviction, Sangar was transferred from the detention center of the ministry of intelligence in Sanandaj to ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was held in solitary confinement cells until 2003. In the fall of 2003, the appellate court changed the verdict to life imprisonment and sent him to Urmia Prison.

Years later, on December 23, 2016, the executive branch No. 4 of the Department of Justice in Sanandaj reduced the verdict to 18 years imprisonment.

In 2017, a new case was opened against him for the charge of “propaganda against the regime”  of which, however, he was later acquitted.

Despite that by December of 2020, not only he had served out two years more than his 18-years sentence, he was sentenced again to 11 months imprisonment sentence on the charge of ” propaganda against the regime and in favor of dissident groups against the regime”. This sentence was reduced to eight months, which led to his final release this Saturday, October 30.

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Mohammad Davari Released from Adel-Abad Prison in Shiraz

On Thursday, October 29, workers’ rights activist Mohammad Davari was released by a guarantor from Adel-Abad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ministry of Intelligence forces arrested Mohammad Davari in Shiraz  on October 2, 2019, and transferred him to the detention center known as House No. 100 at the disposal of the intelligence ministry.

Thereafter, security forces searched his house and confiscated some of his belongings including books and written notes. After successive interrogations in the detention center, on January 11, 2020, Davari was relocated to Adel-Abad Prison. From there Davari was released on bail of 1.5 billion tomans temporarily, until the end of the legal proceedings.

In April 2020, the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz, headed by judge Seyed Mahmood Sadati, sentenced Davari to seven years and six months imprisonment on a charge of “membership in one of opposition political parties” and one year in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

This verdict was reduced to three years and nine months in prison by Branch 1 of the Court of Appeal of Fars Province. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of two years and nine months for both charges is enforceable.

On December 16, 2020, Davari appeared at the executive unit of the General Court to endure his prison sentence in Adel Abad Prison.

Davari has a graduate degree in civil engineering from Islamic Azad University and is a masters student of Political Science at Shiraz Golestan University.

He had previously faced other arrests and convictions due to his civil activities. In one case, he was arrested following the death of Hashemi Rafsanjani when he pulled down a banner bearing Rafsanjani’s photo. He was later released on bail.

On September 9 of this year, the court granted Davari release by a guarantor. Despite providing a guarantor by his family, he was not released. Instead, without informing his family and lawyer, he was secretly relocated from Adel-Abad prison to a solitary confinement cell in the detention center of the intelligence ministry where he faced news charges. Two days later, he was sent back to Adel-Abad prison. Just a few hours after his relocation, he was denied having phone calls. Nearly two months later, Davari has finally been released.

 

Political Prisoner Injured After Protest by Self-Immolation in Evin Prison

On Wednesday, October 27, political prisoner Mehdi Darini was injured by self-immolation and hospitalized in the healthcare center of Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Darini’s demonstration was in protest of prison authorities’ refusal to release him on probation. He is currently enduring the second year of a five year term in Evin Prison in Tehran.

An informed source told HRANA that Darini had previously warned prison officials about his intentions if the interrogator refused to consider his demand to be released.

During the last interrogation, in response to his stating his intention to go on a hunger strike, the interrogator reportedly said, “All the better; the regime has already too many hungry mouths to feed.”

35-year-old Mehdi Darini, a production engineer, was sentenced to five years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on a charge of ” blasphemy” and one year on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”. According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of five years is enforceable.

Editor of News Outlet ‘Miandoab Press’ Summoned to Endure Eight Month Prison Sentence

On Wednesday, October 5,  Manoochehr Aghai, Editor of the news outlet Miandoab Press, was sent to Miandoab Prison to begin his sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Aghai had previously been sentenced to eight months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

Aghai was sentenced in absentia. During the trial, published online news reports and viewers’ comments under his posts on social media were invoked as evidence against him.

Three Political Prisoners Transferred from Urmia Prison to an Unknown Location

Sunni political prisoners Mohyedin Ebrahimi, Mohyedin Tazehvared and Davood Jabbari were recently transferred from Urmia Prison to an unidentified location. Given that two of these prisoners have been sentenced to death, this relocation raises concerns about them.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the whereabouts and conditions of these prisoners are unknown as of this writing. This relocation took place following the confirmation of the death sentences for Mohyeldin Ebrahimi and Mohyeldin Tazehvared. They have asked for a retrial.

On October 23, 2017, Mohyedin Ebrahimi was wounded by direct fire from an Iranian officer at Iraq’s border and arrested on a charge of smuggling alcoholic beverages. Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia subsequently sentenced him to death. Following an overturn of the verdict by the supreme court of Iran, the case was sent back to Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court for re-examination. The supreme court confirmed the verdict, and the death sentence was upheld.

On October 29, 2018, Mohyedin Tazehvared was arrested by security forces and transferred to Urmia Prison until the end of legal proceedings. He was also sentenced to death by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia. Until now, his request for a retrial has not been answered.

On June 4, 2017, Davood Jabbari was arrested and then sentenced to 18 years imprisonment on the charge of “membership in ISIS (Daesh)”.

Amir Hossein Moradi Offered Release on Bail

Earlier this Tuesday, October 26, the court granted bail to Amir Hossein Moradi, who was arrested in relation to the nationwide protests of November 2019.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Moradi is currently hospitalized for a skin disease. Based on this court order, if he pays the required 4 billion tomans bail, he will be set free upon being discharged from the hospital. This has been confirmed on the personal social media page of Babak Pak-Nia, Moradi’s lawyer.

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were sentenced to death by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, before a global outcry led to the re-examination of their case.

On Jun 24, 2020, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)  announced that the death sentence of the three political prisoners had been upheld by the Supreme Court. On July 14, 2020, the spokesman of the Judiciary officially announced the confirmation of their death sentences and said that the sentences had been sent to the prosecutor’s office for execution.

However, according to the lawyers, permission to enter the trial and study the case was given to them on July 15, 2020–weeks after HRANA reported that the death sentence had been confirmed in the Supreme Court.

Less than an hour after the official confirmation of the death sentences for Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, “#Don’t_execute” became the world’s top trend with hundreds of thousands of tweets. Human Rights Watch, US President Donald Trump, the Writers’ Association of Iran, and others all reacted to this news. The hashtag has now been used more than ten million times.

The following day, UN human rights experts issued a statement and condemned the death sentences. The statement expressed that Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were tortured and forced to confess and that these forced confessions were later used against them in their trials. HRANA has previously conducted numerous conversations with informed sources and extensive research to determine what happened to the prisoners in the various processes of activity up to the conviction.

On July 19, 2020, the three defendants’ lawyers issued a joint statement announcing that the case had been referred to a different branch for retrial after the Supreme Court’s acceptance of Article 477.

In mid-December of 2020, in the aftermath of the global outcry, the young activists’ request for a retrial was finally accepted by Branch 1 of the Supreme Court and their death sentences were finally overturned.

The retrial process since has been comparably unstructured. The cases were submitted to Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran for retrial following overturn of their death sentnece, but, due to turnover in the head of the branch, the court session was postponed to May 12. Once again, the court session was cancelled due to the absence of the second judge. In July, their court session was postponed for a fourth time.

Moradi’s release would mark a rare victory in the ongoing legal battle facing so many of those who were involved in the nationwide protests of November 2019.