Gonabadi Dervish Student Kasra Nouri Expelled from the University of Tehran for Missing Class While Imprisoned

Kasra Nouri, a Gonabadi Dervish imprisoned in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, was expelled by the University of Tehran for truancy.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, this violates disciplinary regulations that stipulate that, in cases of prosecution that leads to a student’s temporary imprisonment, the student must be allowed to complete their studies after completing the sentence (and that the duration of the sentence must not be counted as part of the student’s academic years).

Today, June 25, Kasra Nouri’s brother has published a picture of a letter from the University of Tehran Office of Academic Affairs issued last November which says that Mr. Kasra Nouri has been dismissed from his studies for failing to attend classes.

Nouri was a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Human Rights at the University of Tehran, and one of the webmasters of the Majzooban Noor website.  He was arrested in February 2018, along with hundreds of other Gonabadi Dervishes, and then transferred to the Greater Tehran Prison.

Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Ahmadzadeh, sentenced Mr. Nouri to 12 years in prison, 74 lashes, 2 years in exile in Babajani town,  a 2 year ban from leaving the country, and 2 years deprivation of membership in political groups, parties, and media activities. Seven and a half years of imprisonment are enforceable to Mr. Nouri.

Noiri had previously endured 4 years in prison from 2011 to mid-2015 for media activities for Gonabadi Dervishes.

Azad University Threatens to Expel Students Protesting Professor Who Killed a Healthy Dog For Dissection

On Tuesday, June 16, a professor of Veterinary Medicine in the Shushtar Branch of Azad University in Southwest Iran was criticized by students for killing a healthy dog for the purposes of a dissection lesson.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the dog was still conscious after receiving several doses of anesthesia, and only finally died after the professor cut into its leg vein. Students who have criticized the killing and have posted images of the dissected animal online have been threatened by the school’s administration with expulsion.

Students at Azad University have also said that last year a donkey in the same class was killed in the same way. According to student posts online, the animal stumbled around the room for several hours after being beheaded before it died.

In 2019, all three Ministries of Science, Education, and Health issued directives restricting the use of live animals in laboratories and classrooms. The language of the Ministry of Education’s directive is significantly more decisive than its counterparts; it declares that the use of living beings for education is prohibited without exception. The circular of the Ministry of Health, however, despite emphasizing the importance of first seeking out alternative methods that do not harm the animals, states that it is ultimately up to the teachers to use their best judgement.

According to students in the class, the female dog did not have any specific diseases and the teacher had confirmed the dog’s health after the examination. The professor has as of yet not been reprimanded by the school.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

Sunday, June 6

 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Workers’ union, on June 6, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry went on strike for the fifth day in a row to protest the non-payment of their wages for the past two months and the detention of three of their colleagues.

 

Monday, June 7

 

On Monday,  group of workers of Kut Abdullah Municipality protested wage arrears in front of Karun city court. Several Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers gathered in front of Shush city governor’s building. Shareholders of Cryptoland exchange protested in front of Economic Crimes Court building in Tehran. Teachers of Izeh primary schools protested in front of the Khuzestan governor’s office in Ahvaz. A group of residents of Mansoureh village of Shadegan district gathered in front of the city governor building in protest of frequent water shortages. Ahvas ABFA workers held rallies in front of the office building of the General Administration of Water Supply and Sewerage of Khuzestan.

 

Kut Abdullah Municipality workers:

Crypto-land exchange shareholders:

 

Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers in Shush:

 

Izeh primary school teachers:

 

 

Mansoureh villagers in Shadegan:

 

Tuesday, June 8

 

This Tuesday, several owners of addiction clinics and associations (rehabs) protested in front of the Food and Drug Administration in Tehran. Members of the Islamic Labor Council of the Bus Company rallied in front of Tehran City Council. A group of shareholders of crypto exchange protested for the second day in a row in front of the Economic Crimes Court in Tehran. Teachers from non-governmental schools and remote education schools protested in front of the Islamic Consultative Assembly in Tehran, and a number of Khuzestan rice farmers protested in front of the Khuzestan governor’s office in Ahvaz.

 

Addiction clinic and rehabilitation center owners:

 

 

 

Islamic Labor Council of the Bus Company members:

 

Shareholders of crypto-land exchange:

 

Teachers from non-governmental schools and remote education:


 

Khuzestan farmers:

 

 

Wednesday, June 9

 

A group of workers from the Ahvaz Pipe Company in front of the governor’s office, several Stalak landowners of the new town of Pardis stationed in front of the Judiciary building in Tehran, and a group of health stations workers in front of the Ministry of Health building in Tehran all held protest rallies this Wednesday.

 

Ahvaz Pipe Company workers:

 

Stalak landowners:

 

Health station workers:

Thursday, June 10

 

According to HRANA, quoting Asr-e-Jonub News, a group of farmers from the Shavur section of Karkheh city gathered this Thursday to protest the ban on summer planting.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place in different parts of the country this week. Below is a quick recap and footage from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, May 29

 

On Saturday, May 29, A group of farmers in Ahvaz city held a rally in front of the Khuzestan governor’s building near the Salman water supply canal to protest water shortages. Teachers of Green Result-Letter rallied in front of the Ministry of Education building in Tehran. Staff of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj gathered after receiving inaccurate salary payments in the hospital area. Izeh preschool teachers rallied in the city’s education building and protested uncertainty over their employment status. Persian Gulf Holding staff protested in front of the gate of the special Mahshahr site. Protestors called on their demands to be addressed.

 

Farmers in Ahvaz city and rural areas:

 

 

Teachers of Green Result-Letter:

 

 

Staff of Imam Khomeini Hospital:

 

 

Izeh preschool teachers:

 

 

Workers from the Persian Gulf Holding:

 

 

Sunday, May 30

 

On June 30, farmers from different villages of Ahvaz city held a rally for the second consecutive day in front of the Khuzestan governor’s building. Retirees of Khuzestan Steel Company held rallies in several cities including Tehran, Ahvaz, Isfahan, and Rudbar in front of their cities’ Civil Servants Pension Fund buildings. A group of teachers and staff of non-profit schools from different cities gathered in front of the Islamic Consultative Assembly building in Tehran, in front of the Education Department in Isfahan. Several professors at Azad University in Ahvaz, Shiraz, and Isfahan rallied in front of the campus buildings of their towns. Several fired workers of Mahshahr Petroleum Products Distribution Company gathered in front of the entrance of the oil depot of this city. Bankrupted investors in Caspian Financial Institution rallied in front of the Judiciary building in Tehran. Villagers of Bloband from the Kharqan section of Zarandieh city in Markazi Province held rallies as well.

 

Farmers from different villages of Ahvaz:

 

 

Retirees of Khuzestan Steel Company:

 

 

Tehran

 

 

Khuzestan province

 

 

Teachers and staff of non-profit schools in Tehran and Isfahan:

 

 

Azad University Protesters:

 

Ahvaz

 

Shiraz

 

 

Isfahan

 

 

 

Fired workers of Mahshahr Petroleum Products Distribution:

 

 

Bankrupted investors in Caspian Financial Institution:

 

 

Monday, May 31

 

Several employees of the Persian Gulf Holding Oil protested in front of Mahshahr Petrochemical Site 4. A group of teachers rallied in front of the Islamic Consultative Assembly building in Tehran. Service staff of the National Iranian Drilling Camp protested in Ahvaz. Staff of Imam Hospital Khomeini protested in Karaj. A group of temporarily employed staff of Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Zone and Bandar Imam held rallies.

 

Employees of the Persian Gulf Holding Oil:

 

 

Temporary employees of Mahshahr Petrochemical:

 

Service staff of the National Iranian Drilling Camp in Ahvaz:

 

Staff at Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj:

 

 

Tuesday, June 1

 

A group of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane workers protested in front of the management office complex. A group of landowners in the new city of Pardis gathered in front of the Judiciary building, several of whom lost money to the Mehr View Housing project in Tabriz, at the project’s site.  Masjed-e-Soleiman ranchers who lost their livestock to sewage water pollution of Masjed Soleiman Petrochemical protested the devastating oversight.  A group of bus drivers in the bus terminal of Shiraz held protest rallies and called on their demands to be addressed.

 

Landowners in the new city of Pardis:

 

 

Masjed-e-Soleiman ranchers:

 

 

Mehr View Housing project:

 

 

Bus drivers in Shiraz:

 

 

Wednesday, June 2

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane gathered in front of the complex’s management building for the second day in a row and protested. A group of Ahwaz Water and Wastewater personnel rallied in front of the company’s building.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane (Day 2) :

 

 

Thursday, June 3

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Cane, who say they have not yet received their salaries for the past two months, rallied for the third day in a row in the company’s yard. Police responded violently to the demonstration. In Tehran, BRT bus drivers  rallied to call on their demands to be addressed.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane (Day 3):

 

 

 

Student is Injured Attempting to Climb Mountain to Access Internet for Virtual Learning

A student in Pichkan village of Zirkuh city in the South Khorasan Province fell from a mountain and was severely injured in the face and eyes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna News, the student had gone to the mountains to access the internet and use virtual learning networks.

Talebi, the director of Zirkuh education confirmed the incident happened and said the injured  is a student of Hajiabad vocational school in Zirkuh.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, virtual learning has played a critical role in Iran’s education system, but access to the necessary materials remains limited. Students in many villages of Iran are forced to face the environmental hazards in the highlands to access the internet due to the poor network coverage in their area.

The head of the country’s Exceptional Education Organization stated that 30% of students do not have equipment for e-learning; he said: “5 million students in the country do not have access to smartphones and tablets.”

Javad Hosseini also expressed that 8% of students use their parent’s devices for e-learning which does not provide the students with stable access to learning equipment.

 

 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

International Day of Education; an overview of the right to education in Iran in 2020

Hrana- This report prepared by Human Rights Activists (HRA) honors the International Day of Education by bringing attention to the state of education in Iran, specially during the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent challenges of online education. Furthermore, this report includes a statistical overview of the violations of the fundamental rights of students and teachers, as well as violations of the right to education that took place between 24th January 2020 to 20th January 2021 in Iran.

“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” (UDHR Article 26)

The right to education is a fundamental right that should be available to everyone free of charge, at least for children in the elementary and fundamental stages. However, many students in Iran have been deprived of their right to education due to the lack of facilities and educational spaces, and dilapidated schools. According to managing director of Society for Protecting the Rights of the Children (SPRC), there are approximately 1 million children living in underdeveloped or in impoverished neighbourhoods in Iran, who are deprived of education. Also 49 thousand children do not attend schools because they lack documents such as birth certificate or are active part of the workforce. This statistic does not fluctuate greatly each year however, during the Covid-19 pandemic there has been approximately a three-fold increase in the number of children deprived of basic education, due to lack of proper infrastructure for online education and a sudden shift from classrooms to online schools during the pandemic.

In the university level, in addition to many systematic challenges for getting into universities, many students have been banned from attending higher education due to their religious belief. Students that believe in Baha’i faith are amongst those that are often deprived of either entering universities or completing their university degrees. In addition, on banning students from completing their higher education in Iranian Universities, many teachers and students or individuals that have any connection to the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) have also been arrested and given long prison terms.

Many student and teachers have also been arrested, suspended, expelled, or reprimanded for expressing their thoughts and opinions or for holding peaceful assemblies and publications.

These acts are violation of Freedom of thought and religion, Freedom of opinion and expression, Freedom of Assembly, and the right to education. It is worth mentioning that the right to education includes equal access to higher education for all on basis of merit.

Primary and basic education

Access to basic and primary education has not been equal for all because of various factors, including lack of infrastructure, lack of access for undocumented children, poverty, and cultural and language discriminations. According to the managing director of Society for Protecting the Rights of the Children (SPRC), there are approximately 1 million children living in underdeveloped or in impoverished neighbourhoods in Iran, who are deprived of education. Additionally, 49 thousand children do not attend schools because they lack identification documents such as birth certificate or are part of the workforce.

This statistic does not fluctuate greatly each year however, during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lack of proper infrastructure for online education and a sudden shift from classrooms to online schools across the country, there has been approximately a three-fold increase in the number of children deprived of basic education. According to Minister of Education 3 million and 225 thousand children are deprived of education because of lack of access to internet or devices such as smart phones, tablets and computers.

‘Shad’ online education platform asking for national identification number. Photo: Social Media

Covid-19 pandemic and unequal access to online educational platform of ‘Shad’

With the outbreak of the covid-19 virus and the closure of schools, Education Ministry announced that it would resume educating students via the Internet and using a platform called ‘Shad’. The online platform, which requires Internet, has been criticized by teachers and civil society activists from the beginning of its announcement. The problems of online education in Iran and sudden closure of schools without providing any significant support to deprived students includes, lack of access to reliable internet in many parts of the country specially in rural areas, and lack of financial ability of students and their families to purchase necessary devices such as smart phones for this type of education .

Undocumented children: Another major discriminatory aspect of ‘Shad’ platform is that it requires students to register with their national identification number, which leaves undocumented children without access to primary and basic education.

Children in rural areas: There are also reports from various areas of the country that with lack of proper internet connection children have to climb to high points near their cities to be able to connect to internet and the Shad platform to attend classes.

Children from poor-housing or margins of cities: a great proportion of Iran’s population live on the margins of cities or are living in poor-housing conditions. Children living in these conditions are disproportionately affected by the sudden shift to online education and are further discriminated. According to Assembly of Spatial Planning of the Land, in 2020, 45% of Iran’s population were living in poor-housing or on the margins of cities. He continues, “if we calculate 45% of the 85 million population of the country that is today 38 million people living in the margins of cities or in poor-housing.”

Considering these statistics, almost half of the population of the country are living in conditions that makes online-education inaccessible for them.

Photo: IRNA

University and higher education

Higher education in Iran has limited sits available through a national examination system, where all students who wish to enter university have to pass this exam to enter into universities. Based on participants rank in this exam students will be placed into universities and majors of their choices. This exam is highly competitive and often students do not get accepted into their chosen university or majors. In recent years Supreme Leaders office had announced lower sits available to female students, however female students continue to take up more than half of university sits by higher acceptance rate compared to male students. According to the head of Sanjesh institute responsible for carrying out the national university entrance exam (operating under Ministry of Science, Research and Technology), in 2020, 101 thousand and 912 women passed the national university entrance examination that is 53.6% of all the those who registered.

Photo: FARARU

The following section consist of statistics by the statistics department of Human Rights Activists (HRA)

Methodology: The following statistics have been gathered and prepared by the statistic department of Human Rights Activists (HRA). These statistics consist of aggregation of data from HRA’s exclusive reports and documentation efforts, as well as data gathered from public sources. All the gathered information are fact checked to assure their authentication. This data is not exhaustive as many information and statistics are not available or HRA has not been able to verify their authenticity. However, this is a comprehensive report of the available data that HRA has been able to verify.

University Students

In the one-year period, between January 24, 2020 to January 20, 2021, 7 students were arrested, 3 student’s homes were raided by authorities and their personal belongings were confiscated, and 11 student activists were sentenced to a total of 512 months of imprisonment and 222 floggings.

Violation of the Right to Education: 23 Baha’i students were deprived of continuing their education because of their faith.

Violation of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly: 20 students of the Mohaghegh University of Ardabil were reprimanded and suspended from university for gathering and attending the memorial of the victims of flight #PS752 tragedy.

Additionally The student publication of ‘Zed va Forough’ was shut down by authorities.

There has been reports of injuries resulting from the neglect and lack of proper infrastructure at universities and student residencies. On 28th January 2020, 4 students were taken to medical facilities after being poisoned by a methane gas leak from a sewage well at the Buein Zahra Technical University (BZTE) of Qazvin.

In this reporting period 21 student protests took place across the country.

Teachers and Union Activists

In the period of one year between January 24, 2020 to January 20, 2021, 3 teachers were arrested, 13 teachers were sentenced to a total of 334 months of imprisonment, 45 floggings and twelve million and hundred Toman in fines.
On August 10, 2020, a teacher at Jared and Balade a part of Kazeroun city of Fars Province committed suicide by drinking poison and lost his life. The reason behind his suicide has been attributed to failing the adult literacy exam.

 

For media and other inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior advocacy Coordinator at Human Rights Activists (HRA), Email: [email protected]

An updated report on January protests in Iran

On January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 people onboard including Iranians, Canadians, Ukrainians, Swedes, Afghans, Germans, and British nationals. On January 11, 2020, thousands of people took to the streets across the country after General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran officially admitted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian airliner in Tehran. He blamed human error and US adventurism for this plane crash. HRANA has earlier published a report about the first three days of the protest.

Between January 11-14, people took to the streets in 21 cities and 21 universities:

Cities: Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Sari, Kerman, Shiraz, Amol, Babol, Gorgan, Rasht, Sanandaj, Tehran, Karaj, Semnan, Arak, Yazd, Kermanshah, Qods, Zanjan, Ahvaz, Qazvin

Universities: University of Arak, University of Damghan, University of Tehran campus of Karaj, Shahid Beheshti University,  Isfahan University of Technology, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology, Alzahra University, Iran University of Science and Technology, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, University of Kurdistan, Bu-Ali Sina University, Razi University, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran University of Art, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and Tabriz University. Moreover, the demonstration inside the Amirkabir University of Technology got violent after anti-riot police fired tear gas. Witnesses reported that an unprecedented number of militia forces were among the protesters. In Tehran, protests held in Rodaki street, Jomhoori street, Ostad Moin and from Azadi square to Sadeghieh square.

The themes of the slogans used by the demonstrators in Tehran were: calling the authorities to take accountability, questioning the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ actions, and urging the resignation of the Supreme Leader and other country’s seniors. They protest the government’s coverup and chant slogans such as “Death to liars!” and “Death to the dictator!”

Forces used against protesters

Security forces, anti-riot police, and militia groups used tear gas, shooting rubber bullet, and birdshot against protestors and several protesters were injured or arrested. According to Amnesty International, security forces and Intelligence department’s agents were at hospitals and in some cases wanted to transfer the injured protesters to military hospitals. Several hospitals in Tehran did not accept injured claiming that they fear being arrested if admitting injured protesters. According to Amnesty International, a woman was sexually assaulted by militia groups. A few hours after her arrest, an agent took her to a room and forced her to perform oral sex on him and was about to rape her.

On January 12, two women were shot in foot on Azadi street in Tehran and their status is unknown. 14 people were arrested in Amol and their whereabouts is still unknown after one week.

Arrests

On January 14, Iran’s Judiciary spokesman, Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, confirmed the arrest of 30 people in the protests. He also confirmed the arrest of the British Ambassador to Iran and added that no other foreigner was arrested. The head of the security department of Iranian Police confirmed the arrest of several people suspected to be leaders of protesters who encouraged others in the cyberspace to act against the national security.

HRANA identified 20 arrested individuals during January protests:

1.Keyvan Anbari, arrested in Tabriz, on January 12

2.Mohammad Sefid Jameh, arrested in Tabriz, on January 12

3.Nima Ahmadianpour, arrested in Tabriz, on January 12

4.Moslem Soleimani (student), arrested in Kurdistan, on January 15

5.Zanyar Ahmadpour (student), arrested in Kurdistan, on January 15

6.Arshad Atabak(student), arrested in Kurdistan, on January 15

7.Majid Mehrpouri (student), arrested in Tehran, on January 12

8.Ashkan Valizadeh, arrested in front of the Razi University in Kermanshah, on January 12

9.Salah Gharibi, arrested in front of the Razi University in Kermanshah, on January 12

10.Nabi Tardast, Razi University in Kermanshah, on January 12

11.Mohammad Esmaeili, arrested in Tehran, on January 12

12.Mohammad Amin Hosseini, arrested in Gorgan, on January 12

13.Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi (former political prisoner), arrested in Tehran, on January 12

14.Ali Noorizad, arrested in Tabriz, on January 12

15.Shora Fekri, arrested in Amol, on January 12

16.Robert Macaire (British Ambassador to Iran), arrested in Tehran, on January 11

17.Hossein Karoubi (the son of Mehdi Karoubi), arrested in Tehran, on January 13

18.Rakhshan Banietemad (film director), arrested in Tehran, on January 13 and was released after few hours

19.Siavash Hayati, arrested in Kermanshah, on January 12 and was released on January 15

20.Masoud Hokmabadi (theater producer), arrested in Mashhad, on January 18; he announced earlier that he will not participate in Fajr Festival. According to Emtedad News, this is the reason for his arrest.

21.Ali Farmani (sound designer and producer), arrested in Shiraz (after attending a memorial ceremony for the victims of the plane crash), January 19.

Additional arrests

10 individuals were arrested by the security forces in Ilam, Sanandaj, Dehglan, Marivan, Khoy, and Kermanshah which according to Center of Democracy and Human Rights in Kurdistan, these arrests were related to their participation in protests after Iran admitted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian airliner in Tehran

1.Amir Ali Majd was beaten and arrested by the security forces at his book store on January 18, in Ilam.

2.Arman Mohammadi was arrested by IRGC officers in Sanandaj on January 17.

3.Sirus Abbasi and his wife Farideh Veisi were arrested on January 14 at “Zanest Educational Center” by Dehgolan Intelligence Department and were transferred to Sanandaj. His brother, Azad Abbasi, who went to the Intelligence Department’s office to follow up on their case was also arrested.

4.Keyvan Kouti was arrested by the highway patrol in Sarpol Zahab and was transferred to a detention center in Kermanshah, on January 14.

5.Amanj Nikpay was arrested by the Intelligence department’s officers on January 14, His father, Khaled Nikpay, who went to the Intelligence department office to follow up on his son’s case, was arrested and released on bail after interrogation. Moreover, Mohammad Sheykh Kanlu was arrested by the IRGC officers in Khoy and was transferred to the Urmia Intelligence detention center and Saman Abdolalizadeh was arrested by the security forces in Kermanshah.

 

Backlashes

Several artists said that they will not participate in the Fajr Festival:

The executives and judges of the Fajr Visual Arts Festival in categories of photography, graphic art, and ceramic art and 40 cartoonists will not participate as an act of protest. In addition, the following artists and actors/actresses will not participate in the Fajr Film Festival: Masoud Kimiai, film director, Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, Afsaneh Mahiyan, Naghmeh Samini, Saeed Changizian, Shiva Fallahi, Manouchehr Shoja, Mohammadreza Jadidi, Behrouz Seifi, Maryam Deyhoul, Amir Sepehr Taghilou, Rojan Kordnejad, Mehdi Safarzadeh Khaniki, Amir Ahmad Ghazvini, Romin Mohtasham, Seifollah Samadian, Kiyarang Alaei, Shahriar Tavakoli, Mehdi Khoushki (theater director), Amin Amiri, Samaneh Zandinejad, Shirin Samadi, Nooroldin Heydari Maher, Amin Tabatabaei, Arash Dadgar, Meisam Abdi, Alireza Koushk Jalali, Naghmeh Samini, Shirin Samadi, Atila Pesyani, theater group “Quantum”, Cinemafa News Agency, theater group “Vaghti Bozorgtar Boudam”, and theater group “Parvaneh Aljarayeri”. Moreover, Shahram Lasemi, Zahra Khatami Rad, and Saba Rad announced their resignations from their posts at the state television on their Instagram pages.

Keyvan Saket, composer, and Tar player, in a note on his Instagram page, expressed his empathy for people’s protesting the shot down of Ukrainian Airline flight 752 by IRGC and announced that he will not participate in any of the Fajr Festivals. Alireza Ghorbani, an Iranian singer, canceled his concerts on January 17-18.

Voria Ghafouri, an Iranian footballer, wrote on his personal page “I am speechless about the tragedy but covering the reality was unacceptable. The people who were responsible for it should be tried. Also, people who are distributing lies on the state TV”.

Monireh Arabshahi, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and, Maryam Akbari Monfared Iranian Association of Writers for Children and Youth, and Iranian Journalist Association wrote separate announcements to denounce the plane crash and called on resignation and trial of authorities who caused this tragedy.

Lufthansa Airlines canceled its flights to Tehran till March 28, 2020. Sweden canceled Iran Air flights between Tehran to Stockholm and Gothenburg. Several other airlines changed their flight routes from Tehran and Iraq to avoid flying over the Iranian airspace.

 

The videoes of the January protests (first, second, third and fourth days) are available on Youtube.

University Authorities and Security Agencies Threatened Soha Mortezaei’s Family

The family of the detained student, Soha Motezaei, was summoned by the University authorities. She is a master’s student and the secretary of the Central Council of Tehran University Students who was arrested during recent protests in Iran. The University authorities threatened her family to give permission to Tehran University to transfer her from prison to a mental institute. They were constantly contacted to persuade them to accept this offer. Last week, Soha Mortezaei’s mother was summoned by a security organization and was threatened and interrogated.

She was arrested for the first time in January 2014, along with Zahra Khandan, Parastoo Toosi, and Fereshteh Biranvand who are student activists of Allameh Tabataba’i and Amirkabir Universities. They were released after two months of imprisonment. On September 17, 2018, she was sentenced to a six-year prison term and was banned from membership in groups for two years by the Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Ahmadzadeh. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should serve five years in prison.

On September 4, 2019, Soha Mortezaei has been barred from education. She was alarmed when she saw a notice for “documents missing” error on her profile. She had ranked 10th in the national entrance examination for the Ph.D. program. She was barred from education by the Ministry of Intelligence and the Security Department of Tehran University. Subsequently, she held a sit-in at the university campus in September. Her family was summoned to the University and were told that if she continues her strike, she will be arrested and subsequently will be sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment on top of her prior six years imprisonment sentence. Then, university authorities offered her family to transfer Soha Mortezaei to a mental institute where “she receives electric shock therapy, to stop her “

On November 17, 2019, she was called to the front door of Tehran University student dormitory and was arrested along with two other students. The arrests of these people were around the same time as the early days of November 2019’s protests.

Appeals Court Sentenced Parisa Rafiee to 7 Years Imprisonment and 74 Lashes

On September 25, 2019, the sentence of Parisa Rafiee was upheld by the Branch 36 of the appeals court. She was initially sentenced by the primary court to a seven-year prison term, 74 lashes. Furthermore, she is banned from leaving the country and membership in political groups for two years. According to the article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, she should serve the sentence for the charge with the highest penalty which is five years.

Parisa Rafiee was studying at the School of Fine Arts at University of Tehran and was arrested on February 28, 2018, by security forces in front of Tehran University. On March 21, 2019, she was released on bail after 23 days of imprisonment in solidarity confinement in an unknown place. She was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, 74 lashes, and banned for two years from leaving the country and membership in political groups by the Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court led by judge Moghiseh on the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security”, “propaganda against the state” and “disrupting public order”. An unknown closed source reported to HRANA that, Parisa Rafiee was mistreated and abused during her interrogations including being sent for a virginity test, being threatened to be tortured or executed. The case officer told her family that she was deprived from her legal rights because she is not cooperating. She was accused of “not cooperating” “denying accusations” in her incitement. Her appeals court was scheduled for June 2, 2019 but after she attended, she was told that according to the order of chief of judiciary, her hearing was canceled, and she will be tried in absentia.

Pedram Pazireh Sentenced to Seven Years Imprisonment and 74 Lashes

Tehran’s Appeals Court upheld Pedram Pazireh’s sentence. He was sentenced earlier to seven years imprisonment and 74 lashes, was banned from leaving the country and membership in political groups for two years by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran led by judge Moghiseh. According to the article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, he should serve the sentence for the charge with the highest penalty which is five years. His Appeals Court was scheduled for July 2, 2019 but after he attended at the Branch 36 of the Appeals Court of Tehran, he was informed that the trial was canceled.

Pedram Pazireh is a student of Anthropology at the University of Tehran and the Vice Chairman of the university’s Student Union. He was arrested in January 2018.