Leila Hosseinzadeh Arrested Violently In Shiraz

On Tuesday, December 7, student activist and former political prisoner, Leila Hosseinzadeh, was violently arrested by security forces in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hosseinzadeh was on a trip in Shiraz City and staying at her relative’s house. The house was raided by 15 security agents. During the arrest, she was beaten by the agents.

Meantime, security institution-affiliated media outlets claimed that allegedly several “the individuals associated with anti-revolutionary groups under the leadership of L.H. (referring to Hosseinzadeh)” have been arrested. There is no information about these arrestees at the time of writing.

Earlier this week, the initial verdict against Hosseinzadeh was upheld by Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals in Tehran. Hosseinzadeh was sentenced to five years in prison and a two years ban on online social activity by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran due to her attendance at the birthday ceremony of imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, held at the entrance of the Sharif University of Technology.

Amid the nationwide protests which broke out in December 2017, Hosseinzadeh was arrested alongside other student activists and released on bail after spending 16 days in detention. On March 7, 2018, she was sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, as well as one year in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country. The sentence for her first charge was reduced on appeal from five years to two years and six months. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 30 months of this sentence was enforceable.

On July 28, 2019, she was arrested and detained for 10 days in a facility at the IRGC’s intelligence unit. Afterwards, she was sent to Evin prison to serve her sentence.

On March 11, 2020, while on furlough, she was set free due to her “intolerance of punishment”.

 

Leila Hosseinzadeh’s Five Year Sentence Upheld by The Court of Appeals

Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals in Tehran upheld the verdict of student activist and former political prisoner, Leila Hosseinzadeh. Hosseinzadeh was sentenced to five years in prison and a two year ban on online social activity by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran due to her attendance at the birthday ceremony of imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, held at the entrance of the Sharif University of Technology.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hosseinzadeh’s lawyer, Amir Raisian, was notified about the court;’s decision to uphold the initial verdict.

In February 2021, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran convicted her on the charge of “assembly and collusion for the purpose of acting against national security”.

Amid the nationwide protests which broke out in December 2017, Hosseinzadeh was arrested alongside other student activists and released on bail after spending 16 days in detention. On March 7, 2018, she was sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, as well as one year in prison and a two year ban on leaving the country on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”. The sentence for her first charge was reduced on appeal from five years to two years and six months. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 30 months of this sentence was enforceable.

On July 28, 2019, she was arrested and detained for 10 days in a facility at the IRGC’s intelligence unit. Afterwards, she was sent to Evin prison to serve her sentence.

On March 11, 2020, while on furlough, she was set free due to her “intolerance of punishment”.

Kamyar Fakoor Sentenced to Eight Months Imprisonment and Flogging

Workers’ rights activist Kamyar Fakoor was sentenced to 50 lashes, eight months imprisonment and paying a fine of 15 million tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the verdict has been suspended for 5 years.

Branch 26 of the Tehran revolutionary court, headed by judge Mahmood Haj Moradi, sentenced Kamyar Fakoor to eight months in prison, 50 lashes and paying a fine of 15 million tomans on charges of “propaganda against the regime, spreading lies in the purpose to disturb public opinions and public order”.

As conditions for the sentence suspension, he will be obligated to ask permission from the judiciary before leaving the country, participate in emotional control courses, inform authorities about any changes in employment or place of residence, and avoid any political activities on social media.

On August 28, along with two other workers’ rights activists, Kamyar Fakoor was arrested during a protest of retirees and working educators in front of the building of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare. Ten days later, he was released from Evin Prison on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

Zia Nabavi’s One-Year Sentence Upheld by Court of Appeals

Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals in Tehran recently upheld a one year sentence for student activist Zia (Zia-el-din) Nabavi.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran had initially convicted Nabavi on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

The sentence included one year in prison including other unconventional punishments like monthly attendance of martyrs’ burial grounds in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, disabled veteran sanatorium, emotional control courses and the prohibition of leaving the country for two years.

On February 25, 2020, Nabavi was arrested by security forces in Tehran and released on bail on March 2, 2020. He had previously faced other arrests and convictions due to his non-violent activities.

Activist and Teacher Aziz Ghasemzadeh Still Incommunicado in Detention

After eight days, teacher and union activist Aziz Ghasemzadeh is still  incommunicado in a detention facility of the intelligence office in Rudsar County in Gilan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemzadeh has so far been denied access to a lawyer, phone calls and in-person visits.

On September 26 this year, security forces arrested the educator at his parents’ home in Rudsar. During the arrest, security forces inspected the house and confiscated several of Ghasemzadeh’s personal belongings.

The arrest took place the day after working and retired teachers held protests in 36 cities across the country, which were organized by the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations.

According to HRANA, Ghasemzadeh is still being denied access to his lawyer and his temporary detention period has been extended. As of this writing, the charges against him are unknown.

 

 

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Thirteen Baha’is Have Been Barred From Higher Education So Far This Year

Tehran resident Negar Sobhani Azabadi has become the 13th Baha’i citizen this year to be barred from higher education on the grounds of her faith.

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has identified one more examinee of the university entrance exam who has been rejected due to her belief in the Baha’i faith.

Azabadi received the rejection message when visiting the school website to view her exam results. It read “Rejected due to General ineligibility”, indicating that she had been identified as Baha’i and was thus ineligible to enter the university.

Each year, there are numerous reports about Baha’is who are barred from higher education once detected as Baha’is even on the verge of graduation.

At odds with Iran’s law clarifying the rights to education indiscriminately for all citizens, the enactment of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, which oversees to ensure that education and culture remain Islamic, barres Baha’is from taking an occupational position as well as tertiary education.

 

Seven Baha’i Citizens Barred from Continuing Education

Seven citizens who attended this year’s national university entrance exam were barred from access to education because they were Baha’is.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the citizens have been identified as Nasim Shahriari Zavareh, Mahsa Forouhari, Elena Gholizadeh Roshankoohi, Nora Nabipour Klankari, Parsa Charkhand, Mesbah Misaghi, and Forouzan Nikukar.

Every year, numerous reports indicate that Baha’is are being barred from continuing their studies at Iranian universities. Students are even sometimes dismissed from universities while on the verge of graduation if administration learns that the student is a Baha’i.

According to an informed source, when Ms. Shahriari contacted to follow up on this issue, she was told that the Ministry of Intelligence had given them her record.

She was also asked questions about her religious beliefs, and was told, “If you insist that you are a Baha’i, your problem will probably not be solved at all.”

Despite the explicit wording in the constitution in which the right to education is a fundamental right, according to a resolution of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, Baha’is are barred from university education, besides being barred from holding public office.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

More than 3,000 Nomadic Students in the Country have Dropped out of School

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ILNA, Seifi, the Director-General of Nomadic Education section in the Ministry of Education, announced the existence of 3,626 students who dropped out of school among students in tribes.

“The highest number of students who dropped out of school is in the provinces of West Azerbaijan with 1,061 students, Lorestan Province with 566 students, and Kerman with 265 students,” Seifi said. “Currently, more than 75,743 nomadic students are deprived of having access to Shad network to use virtual education due to lack of necessary infrastructure. During the last academic year, 72% of our nomadic schools were held in person. Provinces with better infrastructure had the highest rates of virtual classes.”

Seifi further noted, “Nomadic students of West Azerbaijan Province were left out of education due to their inability to purchase textbooks. This province has 32000 nomad students from which a large number of nomadic female students in this province did not enroll in school due to inability to purchase textbooks.”

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Khuzestan Water Crisis once again dominated this week’s protests in Iran. Since their start on June 15, citizens in over 41 cities have held rallies in protest of the mismanagement from officials that has led to water shortages throughout the province and the drying of the Karun river. A number of labor protests took place as well, and in some areas the ongoing oil protests continued. Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also continued their strike into a third week. Below is a recap of this week’s protests in Iran, along with footage from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, July 24

A number of protests took place this Saturday, July 24. A group of farmers in Shoaibiyeh district of Shushtar protested in Ahvaz, several telecommunication workers of East Azerbaijan province, some telecommunication workers of Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province, and employees of Abadan Petrochemical Complex held protests. A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the eleventh day in a row. A group of Shiraz city bus drivers went on strike and refused to work after their demands were not addressed. Citizens living in Tabriz also rallied and marched in support of the Khuzestan protests.

 

People of Tabriz:

 

Shiraz city bus drivers:

Farmers of Shoaibiyeh:

Telecommunication workers of East Azarbaijan:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Abadan’s Petrochemical Complex:

 

 

Sunday, July 25

A group of retirees of the Steel Companies of Isfahan and Khuzestan Provinces, several rural area telecom workers in the Hamadan region, and a group of workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. for the thirteenth day in a row held protest rallies and called on their demands to be met.

 

Retirees of the Steel company in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces:

 

 

Workers of rural area telecom in Hamadan:

 

 

Monday, July 26

A number of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company for the fourteenth day in a row, several employees of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj, a group of poultry farmers in Ilam, urban and rural water supply workers in Baghmalek and Izeh, a group of Isfahani citizens, a group of the retirees of IRIB in Tehran, and candidate students for the master’s degree entrance exam in Tehran all held protest rallies and called on their demands to be addressed. Also, in Tehran and Karaj people protested the current situation in the country by holding rallies and marches and chanting slogans.

 

Protesting people in Tehran:

 

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Poultry farmers in Ilam:

 

 

Workers of rural water supply in Baghmalek and Izeh:

 

 

Students in Tehran:

 

 

Tuesday, July 27

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the 15th consecutive day this Tuesday. Additionally, a group of workers of Rudbar municipality in Gilan province, a number of cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan cities, several workers of natural gas fuel gas stations in Urmia, and many people in Abdanan in Ilam province held protest rallies. Also, a group of retirees in Tehran and Karaj rallied in support of the protests of the people of Khuzestan.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Rudbar Municipality:

 

 

Cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan:

 

 

Workers of gas stations in Urmia:

 

Citizens of Abdanan:

Retirees in Tehran and Karaj:

Wednesday, July 28

For the 16th day in a row, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested. A group of workers from the Varamin Railway, a group of workers from the Rudbar Municipality for the second day in a row, and a number of truck drivers in Ahvaz all went on strike and called on their demands to be addressed.

 

 

Truck drivers in Ahvaz:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co:

 

Workers from the Varamin Railway:

Workers of the Rudbar Municipality:

Thursday, July 29

On their 17th day of protesting, a group of workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company in the yard of the company and another group near the site’s alcohol factory called on their demands be addressed in protest rallies.

 

Friday, July 30

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company continued their strike for an 18th day in a row and gathered on the company’s site. The Haft Tappeh workers stated that their main demands are the payment of arrears, the return of fired colleagues, and access to Covid-19 vaccines. They also chanted slogans protesting the Islamic Parliament’s decision to block the Internet in Iran. Also, A number of mothers of those killed during the nationwide protest in November 2019 protests held a protest rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square.

 

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Gathering in Tehran of mothers of those killed in the protests of November 2019:

 

210,000 Students Were not Enrolled in the 2020-2021 Academic Year, Deputy Minister for Primary Education Says

210,000 students were, for various reasons, unable to attend school in the 2020-2021 academic year.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Student News Network, Deputy Minister for Primary Education Rezvan Hakimzadeh announced that 210,000 students were not enrolled in school for the duration of this academic year.

The Deputy Minister has laid out these numbers despite promises from the Interior Ministry last week to address the discrepancy by issuing new letters.

As the registration deadline for the upcoming school year approaches, Afghan immigrants are continuing to experience obstructions from the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs.

“Even children of families who are illegally in Iran can receive an educational support card from the governorates,” Hakimzadeh said, “and start studying after enrolling in school.”