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

Posted on: January 25th, 2021

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]

HRA Annual Statistical Report of Human Rights Conditions in Iran – 2020

Posted on: December 29th, 2020

This report contains the 2020’s analytical and statistical annual report on human rights in Iran, prepared by the Department of Statistics and Publications of Human Rights Activists (HRA). This statistical analysis report presented by HRAI is the result of the daily efforts of this organization and its dedicated members as part of a daily statistic and census project that started in 2009 by this organization.
This annual report on human rights violations in Iran (2020) is the collection, analysis, and documentation of 4472 reports concerning human rights, gathered from various news sources during 2020 [January 1st to December 20th]. Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has gathered and reported 42%, official or close to the Iranian government sources 45% and other human rights news agencies 13% of all the reports analyzed in this Annual Report.
The following 45-pages includes statistical overviews and related charts on various sections regarding women’s rights, children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, etc. Based on this report, despite the 4% decrease in human rights violations reports in provinces other than Tehran, compared to the last year’s annual report, there is still a major concern on lack of proper reporting and monitoring of the human rights by the civil society in the smaller cities.
This report is the result of endeavors made by courageous human rights activists in Iran who pay a very high cost for the realization of their humanitarian beliefs. However, for obvious reasons (i.e. existing governmental limitations and ban on the free exchange of information and government preventing the existence of human right organizations in the country), this report by no means is free of errors and cannot alone be a reflection on the actual status of human right in Iran. Having said that, it should be emphasized that this report is considered as one of the most accurate, comprehensive, and authentic reports on the human rights conditions in Iran and it can serve as a very informative source of information for human rights activists and organizations working on Iran, to better understand the challenges and opportunities that they may face.

Download the full version of the report

 

Monitoring

The following map illustrates the number of reports per province made by the human rights organizations and news agencies, this is a direct reflection of the capability of the civil society in each province of the country (2020).

As indicated in the distribution map, there exists a major discrepancy between Tehran, the capital, and other parts of the country in terms of the number of published reports. This is while the census of 2016 reported a population of 13,267,637 in Tehran, compared to a population of 66,658,633 in the rest of the country.

 

Ethnic Minorities

In the field of national and ethnic minorities’ rights, a total of 234 reports registered by the department of the statistics and publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) in 2020. According to these reports, at least 286 people were arrested, and 39 people were sentenced to a total of 1721 months of prison term. from the total of 1721 months of prison terms issued, 1699 months were imprisonment sentences for 36 individuals, and 22 months were suspended imprisonment sentences for 3 individuals. And a total of 88 individuals were summoned by the security and judicial institutions.

Compared to the previous year there has been a 16.6% decrease in the arrest of ethnic minorities and a35 % decrease in imprisonment sentences.

Religious Minorities

In this category, 136 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics in 2020. According to these reports, 77 arrests, 49 cases of prevention from economical activities, 126 cases of summon by the judicial and security institutions, and 22 cases of depriving and preventing from education, and 69 cases of police home raids, has taken place.
98 individuals of the religious minorities were sentenced by the judicial institutions to a total of 4351 months of imprisonment. Additionally, the ministry of cultural heritage of Tehran and the Municipality of Tehran demolished the Adventist church of Tehran in the past year.

In the field of religious minorities, the Baha’is constitute the highest of the Human Rights reports on religious minority violations with 45%, Sunnis 26%, Christians 15%, Dervishes 4%, Jews and Yarsans 1%, and others 9%, of the total reports. Note that the reports labeled as “Others” are those that did not belong to a specific group of religious minorities.

The number of citizens arrested in the category of religious minorities has decreased by42 % in 2020 compared to 2019, and the imprisonment sentences issued by the judiciary has increased by28.9 %.

Freedom of Expression

In the category of freedom of thought and expression, in 2020, 883 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics that included 928 arrested individuals; 287 summonses to the judiciary and security authorities; 4 reports of publication banning; 8 cases of conviction for publications.
In 2020, 420 arrestees were sentenced to a total of 22271 months of imprisonment, that includes 386 individuals sentenced to a total 21523 months in prison and 34 individuals received a total of 748 months of suspended prison terms.
34 people to 191 billion and 765 million rials in financial fines, 85 people get 5844 lashes, and 21 cases of deprivation from civil rights have been reported in this category. Additionally, there has been 40 police home raids recorded.

In the field of Freedom of Expression, there has been a decreased of88.8 % in the reports of arrests compared to the previous year. Similarly, sentences issued by the judiciary have increased by46.5 % based on the number of people being tried, and imprisonment sentences were increased by 52.9 % compared to 2019.

Trade Unions and Associations

In the category of the rights of associations and trade unions in 2020, 359 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publications. This includes 47 members of the trade union were reported being arrested. Also, in this category, 10 individuals have been sentenced to a total of 554 months in prison, 51 cases of summoning to the judicial and security institutions, and 3930 cases of closing the facilities have been reported.
In 2020, at least 329 protests and 3 union strikes were held. Most of these protests were related to salary/wage demands from corporations, bad economic conditions, and lack of proper management of corporations.
In the category of Trade Unions and Associations, there has been a 31 % decrease in the number of arrests and there has been an 89 % increase in the issue of sentences compared to the previous year.

Academia/ Right to education

In the category of violations of academic rights in 2020, 24 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran. This includes 6 students arrested, 20 students were suspended, and as it was also mentioned in the religious rights section of this report 22 students were prevented from continuing their education because of their religion.
In the category of academia and the right to education, there has been a a94 % decrease in the number of arrests. And based on these reports 1 student was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Right to Life (Death Penalty)

In the category of right to life, in 2020, 241 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 95 death sentences, 236 death sentences were carried out (including 1 execution in public). Based on the announced identifications of some of the individuals executed, 205 were male and 8 were female.
In addition, 2 juvenile offenders have also been executed in 2020 who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime.
According to these reports, 80% of the executions were based on murder charges. Moreover, 5% charged with rape, another 9% with drug-related charges. 4% were charged with “Waging war against God”, also 1% charged with armed robbery,1% Consumption of alcohol.

The highest number of all death sentences issued are comprised of 80% on murder charges, followed by Drugcharges which make up 9% of the cases.

The province of Alborz ranking first in death sentences in Iranian provinces with 19% of all the death sentences issued, that is due to its two populated and important prisons, followed by Razavi Khorasan province with 12% of all the cases.

The Rajai Shahr prison and Vakil Abad Prison holding the highest number of executions in all prisons in Iran.

According to the statistics, about 0.42% of the executions were carried out in public.

Of those executed in 2020, 3% were female, and 87% were male, while the gender of the other 10% is unknown.
These executions reported by independent sources and human rights associations, indicating that 72% of executions are carried out in secret or without any public notice.

In the category of the death penalty, the execution carried out in comparison to 2019 has decreased by4.8 %. The number of execution sentences issued also has decreased by 12%, and the number of public executions has decreased by 92%.

 

Cultural Rights

In the category of violations of cultural rights in 2020, 21 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included reports on 27 arrests and 4 individuals were sentenced to 257 months of imprisonment, from this number 3 individuals were sentenced to 253 months of imprisonment, while 1 person was sentenced to 4 months of suspended prison term.
1 individual was summoned to the judiciary and security organizations. Moreover, 2 licenses were revoked, 1 person was banned from public speaking or performing, and 1 person was banned from working.
In this category, arrests have increased by51 % compared to the previous year.

Workers’ Rights

In the category of violations of workers’ rights in 2020, 1318 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran. This included 30 arrests. 45 workers activists or workers were sentenced to 183 months in prison, and 42 people received 3108 lashes, and 42 people were summoned to judiciary and security organizations.
During 2020, a total of 2011 months of overdue payment of salaries to workers has been reported. 2105 workers were laid off or fired, 2240 cases of unemployment, 18049 lacked work insurance, 3082 workers waiting for work-related decisions. In addition, 1187 people have lost their lives in work-related accidents, and 3259 workers have been injured while at work. On a global scale amongst other counties, Iran ranks 102nd in work safety.
Also, in 2020, at least 473 worker protests and 99 workers strike took place. most of these protests were regarding wages.
Based on these reports the arrest of workers has increased by56 % compared to 2019.

Children’s Rights

In the category of violations of children’s rights in 2020, a total of 176 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics, however, it should be mentioned because of secretly in the matter of reporting these incidents there is no accurate statistic in this field. These reports included at least 2205 cases of child abuse, 9 cases of rape and sexual abuse of children, 9 cases of murder of childre, 2 self-immolation, 94 cases of child suicide, and more than
1 million students are deprived of education.
Lack of access to devices for virtual education, Child marriages, poverty, cultural context, population density, etc. in Khuzestan province has led to the highest number of deprivations from education in the country.
As mentioned in the right to the life section, at least 2 minor offenders have been executed in Iran during 2020. Additionally, 3 teenagers were sentenced to a total of 264 months of imprisonment.

During the nation-wide protests, 19 children and 1 children’s rights activist were arrested.

Women’s Rights

In the category of violations of women’s rights in 2020, a total of 81 reports have been registered by the Department of Statistics. These reports reflected. At least 572 women were physically and sexually abused, 13 cases of honor-killings,6 self-immolation, 4 cases of acid attacks, and 1 cases of summoned women’s rights activists to judiciary and security organs.
Based on this report 5 women have been detained for reasons related to women’s rights. At least 2 women’s rights activists were sentenced to 180 months in prison.

Prisoners’ Rights

In the category of violations of prisoners’ rights in 2020, a total of 542 reports have been registered, 53 reports on physical assault of prisoners, 366 reports of deprivation
/neglected of medical care, 109 reports of illegal transfer to solitary confinement, 533 attempted hunger strikes, 289 cases of forced transportation or exile, 228 cases of threatening prisoners, 126 cases of banning prisoners of having visitors, 18 cases of torture, 25 case of deaths by diseases,10 arrestees were killed by prison authorities, and 17 prisoners committed suicide, 40 cases of lack of access to lawyers, 1678 reports of prisoners being held in unsuitable circumstances. Also, in this category, there have been 147 cases of keeping prisoners in an unsure state about their sentence and situation.

Security Forces’ Violence and Citizens’ Safety

Death of civilians

This section is dedicated to the killing or injuring of civilians by the police or military institutions. In 2020, a total of 204 people were shot by the military forces; 74 of the victims lost their life including, 36 Kulbar, 5 fuel-Carriers, 33 civilians. 130 people were also injured by the shots of the military forces, including 109 Kulbar, 16 civilian, 5 Fuel-carriers. Addititonally, 9 Kulbers were affected by climate and geographical factors such as freezing and falling from heights, 4 of whom were injured and 5 Kulber lost his life.

Victims of landmines and explosions

The landmines left from the war threaten the lives of civilians of the border cities each year. Iranian government continues manufacture and planting of the anti-personnel mines, and against the international agreements, it believes that the use of these type of landmines is the only effective way in keeping its vast borders safe.

Based on reports, in the past year at least 10 civilians have lost their lives by landmines in the border areas and 14 other civilians have been injured.

Floggings

The International Covenant on civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has explicitly banned the use of inhuman, or degrading punishments, such as flogging. However, based on the gathered reports in 2020, flogging sentences were carried out for at least 14 accused who were sentenced to a total of 874 floggings. The sentence of 3 of the accused for a total of 222 floggings were carried out in public.

It should be noted that, the judiciary has also issued a total of 23946 flogging sentences in the past year.

Intervention in personal affairs of civilians

In 2020, at least 209 civilians were arrested for attending or hosting personal gatherings and parties. This number is based on 8 official reports of the country.

Additionally, in 2020, at least 180 group of civilians –mostly consist of those who have lost money (exacerbated economically) or those whose civilian rights have been violated– have organize protests for not being able to fulfill their asking and demands. These protests took place in 24 provinces. Tehran, Eastern Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, and Khorasan Razavi were the provinces with most protests.

Sentences

In 2020, the judiciary of the Iranian government, including the initial court and appeal, issued 29841 months of imprisonment. These reports included; 1721 months of imprisonment for the ethnic minorities, 4351 months of imprisonment for religious minorities; 22271 months of imprisonment in the category of freedom of expression, 554 months of imprisonment in the category of Unions, 183 months of imprisonment for workers, 257 months of imprisonment in cultural category, 264 months of imprisonment in children’s rights category, 180 months of imprisonment in women’s rights category, and 60 months of imprisonment for students.
These statistics only include the court sentences that indicated detailed information or characteristics of the verdicts.

A total of One hundred and ninety-four billion and seven hundred and forty-six million rials in fines and 9182 lashes has been issued in 2020.

In 2020, the number of convictions of citizens or activists has increased by35 %. Moreover, the convictions of religious minorities increased by 28.9%, ethnic minorities decreased by 35%, and freedom of expression has been increased by 52.9%, unions increased by 89%, in the cultural field increased by 38%, workers decreased by 73%, women’s rights decreased by 80%, and in the students category decreased by 89%.

Arrests

In 2020, the security forces arrested 1426 individuals because of political or civil rights-related activities.
The statistical analysis exhibited 47 case of arrest in the trade union category, 286 arrests in the category of ethnic minorities, 77 arrests in the category of religious minorities, 928 arrests in the category of freedom of expression, in the children’s rights category 20 arrests, 6 arrests of students in the category of Academia/right to education, 27 arrests in the field of culture, and 30 arrests in the category of workers’ rights.
Moreover, 5 women were prosecuted for their activities, and promotion of their lifestyle; 3 of whom were arrested for modeling, and the other two for participating in sports.

In 2020, the number of arrests decreased by84 %. According to these reports, the number of arrests decreased in ethnic minorities by 16.6%, culture increased by 51%, religion minorities decreased by 42%, unions decreased by 31%, students decreased by 94%, workers’ rights increased by 56%, and in the category of freedom of expression decreased by 88.8%.

 

This is the brief version and the full report is available for download in PDF format.

Human Rights Activists (in Iran)

Department of Statistics and Publications

December 2020

For media inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, [email protected]

HRANA has identified Revolutionary Guard intelligence members, “Raouf” and “Sattar”

Posted on: December 14th, 2020

HRANA – Earlier this week, HRANA, the news body of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI), detailed the identification of a man known by a number of names, most notably, Raouf. Raouf is a notorious security force member involved in a number of human rights violations in Iran. Operating in Ward 2A of Evin Prison, which belongs to the IRGC, Raouf is said to have participated in the interrogation and mistreatment of a large number of civil and political activists. 

Although his main place of work is believed to be in Ward 2A of Evin Prison, a number of political-civil activists or family members of prisoners have faced interrogations at the hands of Raouf at other locations, such as offices affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran. 

He is responsible for interrogating a large number of political and civil activists, including Arash Sadeghi, Golrokh Erayi, Mahdieh Golroo, Soheil Arabi, Nastaran Naimi, and Athena Daemi. Most of these people are currently serving long prison sentences.

HRANA has spoken to a number of former political prisoners [whose names could not be mentioned for security reasons] personally interrogated by Raouf to confirm the identity and role of this security agent. Some of their statements are detailed below. 

One witness stated,  “Raouf slapped me so much during my interrogation that twice I bled after returning to my cell.” 

A former political prisoner, speaking anonymously, told HRANA, detailing his interrogation with Raouf,  “He hit me so hard that it caused one of my bones to break. He used a leather belt to beat me often for upwards of ten minutes. He did this while he verbally insulted my family and I.”

A human rights activist who served his sentence in Evin Prison told HRANA,  “He was present at all stages of my trial in the Revolutionary Court and repeatedly threatened my peers and I with new cases. He continued, “I still remember his face. I still remember how it bothered my wife…”

Mahdieh Golroo, a former student activist, confirmed Raouf’s role in interrogating her throughout her detention, posting a note on her personal page: “I have complained about his recent threats in Sweden by name, phone, and photo – to no avail.  It is my duty to expose the interrogators and those who destroy the lives of many with impunity.”

Since the original report was released, HRANA received information that Raouf is a pseudonym for the name Ali Hemmatian. We are not yet able to independently confirm and will continue to investigate further.

The below image displays Raouf sitting in the first row of Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech in 2015.

The information about Raouf drew public attention which led to additional witnesses coming forward to identify a number of other security figures within the country. Notably, these witness statements have led to the identification of an IRGC interrogator known as “Sattar.” Sattar is said to have played a role in detaining political prisoners involved in the 2019–20 Iranian protests (also known as Bloody November). 

The following image, which shows a meeting of the directors and researchers of the Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Organization with Ayatollah Khamenei on April 11, 2011, shows Sattar in color.

A group of witnesses, all of whom were detained during the November 2019 protests in Tehran, testified that after being arrested, they were taken to unknown locations where they were beaten and interrogated.

One of the victims told HRANA, “From the beginning of our detention [November 2019], we were blindfolded and then taken to an interrogation facility where we were beaten for several days.”  When asked about the man in question, the victim continued, “His colleagues called him Sattar; this name was perhaps because of the beard style he wore. However, when I saw him in those days,  he had a longer beard and shorter hair than in the 2011  picture [provided above].”

Another witness told HRANA, “While I was closing my business, located on Enghelab Street,  I was arrested by plainclothes men (November 2019). From the beginning of my arrest, I was beaten. In addition to myself, two or three other people were arrested and transported in the same vehicle, to an unknown location. After being transported, we were threatened and interrogated. The plainclothes man violently forced us to admit wrongdoing. This went on for two days before ultimately being handed over to the IRGC detention center in Evin Prison.”

A witness, detained at the same time, confirmed these witness statements and also stated, “There were a combination of forces present at the scene of the arrest that day and during the interrogation. Involved were plainclothes forces, Basij forces, and the IRGC. The person in question, Sattar, was in plain clothes, according to the case file and interrogation documents.” He continued, “When we were finally handed over to the IRGC, it was clear Sattar was affiliated with them.”

Sattar, in addition to the above-mentioned unknown places of interrogation, was also seen at the Yad Yaran Basij Resistance Base located on Argentina Street in Tehran.

Following HRANAs request for information, a number of other victims of Sattar’s interrogations contacted the news agency with information, including a court document discovered by HRANA and which named Sattar as “Massoud Safdari.”

A former prisoner who has experience dealing with the security forces detailed Sattar as the person who was present at the time of his televised forced confession. He told HRANA, “I remember his face very well, he was a rude person who, along with his colleagues, managed the video recording by threatening and intimidating me.” 

Another witness, whose identity is withheld for security reasons, told HRANA, “I was interrogated at an IRGC intelligence base in Tehran Afsariyeh district known as 1Alef. They recorded my televised confession. Sattar didn’t leave me alone even after they recorded their video. He abused me and harassed my family by threatening them over the phone.” 

Some sources also informed HRANA that Sattar, along with a number of other security forces, is living in the district of Shahrak Shahid Mahallati in Tehran.

From the summary of information received and based on the credibility of the sources, it seems that there is a team of young intelligence forces of the Revolutionary Guards in the internal security sector in the Tehran region; their traces can be seen in numerous cases. Sattar (likely Massoud Safdari), Majid Koushki (known as Majid Buffalo), and Massoud Hemmati, known to be on the Raouf team, all likely operating under the leadership of Raouf (likely Ali Hemmatian).

In an effort to complete information about this human rights abuser, HRANA News Agency is calling on victims and those aware of their status to assist in completing these investigations.

It is Time that Iran be Held Accountable 

Posted on: November 10th, 2020

HRANA – Last month the world turned its attention to Iran for its seemingly arbitrary transfer of a detained British-Australian academic. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was detained in September 2018 and is serving a ten-year sentence, was moved from the notorious Evin Prison to an unspecified location. When Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) released the report, nearly every major media publication across the globe once again jumped to denounce her detention. Widespread speculation as to Moore-Gilbert’s whereabouts ensued. 

As a human rights professional who focuses on Iran, it was gratifying to see such a swift and appropriate response. However, what about the countless grave and horrific human rights violations that happen every day in this country? Violations that are so numerous that they have become seemingly rote. 

In the week following Moore-Gilbert’s transfer, peaceful protestors outside Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum were violently attacked by Regime Security Forces. In the month of October, at least 130 Iranians were arrested for activities related to their political or ideological beliefs; 83 of which involved the detention of individuals participating in peaceful gatherings related to the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. 

Iran carried out 19 hangings in the month of October alone, sentencing an additional 8 to that same fate throughout the month.

At least 12 members of the Baháʼí religious minority were barred from entering university based solely on their religious beliefs. One man received 80 lashes for converting to Christianity; a thief was sentenced to having his hand amputated.

Iranian courts tried more than 70 political cases which resulted in convictions that totaled 295 years in prison and 2,590 lashes.  A cleric was summoned to court for suggesting there was no problem with women riding a bicycle, an activity for which all women in the country are banned. Two women, sentenced to 33 months each for writing a letter requesting the resignation of the Supreme Leader, were summoned by authorities to begin serving their time. A teacher was sentenced to 45 lashes for drawing a cartoon.

This list is by no means exhaustive. 

These violations are not a secret. HRANA, the very source that initially reported on Moore-Gilbert’s move, reported and continues to report on the numerous human rights violations happening daily in Iran against Iranians, as well as dual and foreign nationals. There remains little to no response.

Detained British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert

Why is this? 

I do not have the answer to that question, but I do know the differences these cases bear. The violations listed above are against Iranian citizens; Moore-Gilbert is a foreigner. Her case is, therefore, more appealing to the press it garners a more widespread response – and outcry. 

 

I’m reminded of a quote from Howard Bakerville, a young American who famously became a martyr of Iran’s Constitutional Revolution; he once said, “The only difference between me and these people is my place of birth, and that is not a big difference.” Today I fear there are times, unacceptably so, that this is the difference between life and death, between respect for rights and deprivation thereof. Will the world only shine the light on Iran when a Westerner is tangled in its web? Under international human rights law, States have a duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of those within their jurisdiction. It’s time that Iran be held accountable to its own citizens just as it is to those dual and foreign nationals that find themselves trapped within the confines of a state where deprivation of fundamental human rights continues to be the norm. 

Moore-Gilbert has since been returned to Evin Prison. Her return, much like her move, was documented extensively. The reason for her move remains unknown.

 

Skylar Thompson

Skylar Thompson is a Senior Advocacy Coordinator with Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI). For inquiries please contact email: [email protected]

 

Ahmad Yazdanipour was arrested in Tehran

Posted on: February 28th, 2020

On February 21, 2020, Ahmad Yazdanipour was arrested by the intelligence department of IRGC in Tehran. One day after his arrest, the security forces searched his house and confiscated his personal belongings such as a computer, books, and his notes. They arrested Mr. Yazdanpour’s daughter, Forouzan Yazdanipour, at her home and her personal belongings were confiscated.

Ms. Yazdanipour is 30-year old and she is a graduate student of “cultural studies” at Tehran University. Mr. Yazdanipour is 61-year old and has lung disease which has concerned his family due to the spread of Coronavirus in prison. He was a political activist in the 1980’s and lost his job after he was threatened by the intelligence department of Dorud. He is a researcher of Qoran and history during the past few years.

A week into their arrest, there is still no more information about their case or their whereabouts.

An update on arrestees of the last November’s protests

Posted on: February 27th, 2020

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds. HRANA has earlier published a report about the sentences of some of the arrestees of the late November Protests. The following is an update on the sentences and conditions of a number of individuals who were arrested during the last November’s protests:

1. Mohammad Hejazifar was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for the charges of “assembly and collusion” and “insulting the president” by Branch 10 of Malard’s Criminal Court and Shahriar’s Revolutionary Court. He was arrested on November 23, 2019, by the security forces of Islamshahr and was transferred to a detention center that belongs to a security organization and after a while, he was again transferred to the Great Tehran Penitentiary.

Mr. Hejazifar, 35 years old, is studying business at Islamshahr University and working in a publishing store. His 33 years old brother, Omid Hejazifar, is still in Great Tehran Penitentiary and his statues is unknown.

2. Mojgan Eskandari, the political prisoner of Qarchak Prison, was sentenced to three years in prison for the charge of “assembly and collusion” by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati on February 19, 2020. She was arrested on December 10, 2019. She is in the same case as Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi who were sentenced to execution, imprisonment, and lashes.

Ms. Eskandari is 51 years old and is now in ward 1 (Mothers ward) of Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

Ms. Eskandari said that she knows Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi during the protests at they arrested after that. Eventually, Mojgan Eskandari along with Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Shima (unknown family name) were tried on the same case. Shima (unknown family name) was released on bail. They were tried on 25-26 January 2020 presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati.

3. Samira Hadian, a political prisoner, was sentenced to eight years in prison by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Iman Afshari. Some of her charges are: “assembly and collusion”, insulting agents” “disobeying governmental agents’ orders”. 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. She was arrested on November 21, 2019, and was transferred from a detention center that belongs to a security organization to Qarchak Prison on December 1, 2019. She is now in ward 1 (mothers’ ward) of Qarchak Prison.

4. Melika Gharagozlou, student of journalism at Allameh Tabatabaei University, was sentenced to a six-month prison term for the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security” on February 26, 2020, by Branch 29 of the Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mazloum. She was arrested on November 17, 2019, and was released on a 60 million Tomans bail on December 1, 2019.

Melika Gharagozlou

5. Maryam Alishahi and her son, Mahyar Mansouri were arrested on November 16, 2019. Branch 36 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mohammadreza Amozadeh sentenced Ms. Alishahi to nine years in prison and Mr. Mansouri to six years in prison. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that, they should each serve five years in prison. On February 25, 2020, they requested appeal and their case was transferred to Branch 36 of Tehran’s appeals court presided by Judge Seyed Ahmad Zargar. The details of their sentences are as follows:

Maryam Alishahi was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”, two years of imprisonment for the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”, one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”, and one year in prison for the charge of “disturbing public order”.

Mahyar Mansouri was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”, and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”.

It should be noted that Mahyar Mansouri was released on 300 million Tomans bail. Maryam Alishahi was transferred from a detention center that belongs to a security organization to Qarchak Prison on December 1, 2019. She is now in ward 1 (mothers’ ward) of Qarchak Prison.

6. These arrestees of the last November protests were released on between 400 to 800 million Tomans bails form Tabriz Prison: Davoud Shiri, Ayob Shiri, Mohammad Mahmoudi, and Naser Kholousi (February 26), Akbar Mohajeri (February 25), Shahin Barzegar (February 24), Babak Hosseini Moghadam (February 25).

Davoud Shiri                         Ayob Shiri

Mohammad Mahmoudi     Naser Kholousi

 

Babak Hosseini Moghadam

An update on arrestees of last November’s protests

Posted on: February 18th, 2020

The nationwide protests of last November are the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 spots in the country, at least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.

1. The trial of four residents of Kermanshah was on February 10, 2020. Three of them were sentenced by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Kermanshah as the following:

Sohbatollah Omidi: He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and five years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve five years in prison.

Khalil Asadi Bouzhani: He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and three and half years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion against the national security”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve three and a half years in prison.

Mehdi Ebdali: He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.

Mohieldin Asghari: the court announced that it does not have the eligibility to try him for his charge of “assembly and collusion”.

It should be noted that Mohieldin Ashghari and Sohbatollah Omidi were released on a 200 million Tomans bail in January 2020.

 

Sohbat Omidi                    Khalil Asadi

 

2. Ali Nanvaei: was sentenced to six months imprisonment and 74 lashes (this sentence is suspended for two years). He is also sentenced to hand copy three books. He was initially charged with “assembly and collusion” but his charge was later changed to “disrupting public order”. He was arrested when he was leaving Tehran University on November 18, 2019. He is a student of Tehran University.

Ali Nanvaei

 

3.Mohammad Eghbali Golhin: On February 16, 2020, he was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, 74 lashes, and one-year exile to Rask by Branch 10 of Shahriar’s Criminal Court. He was sentenced to ten years for vandalism and one year for the charge of “disturbing public order”, and 74 lashes and one year exile for the charge of “fight with Basij militia”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve 10 years in prison. He was arrested on November 19, 2019, in Karaj.

 

4.Gita Hor: Ms. Hor, 30-years old, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment for “assembly in collusion against the national security” and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should spend five years in prison. She was arrested on November 21, 2019. She is currently in Qarchak prison. Her trial was presided by judge Mohammad Reza Amouzadeh.

 

Arrests:

Tehran University students, Bahareh Hedayat, Amir Mohammad Sharifi, and Moin Zareian were arrested by the national security police because of attending last November’s protests. They were arrested on the following days:

Amir Mohammad Sharifi on February 9, Bahareh Hedayat on February 10, and Moin Zareian on January 22, 2020.

It should be noted that Bahareh Hedayat was arrested at Tehran University and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She went on a hunger strike after her arrest. Her health condition is deteriorating due to the hunger strike and prison condition. Amir Mohammad Sharifi and Moin Zareian are in Evin Prison.

 

Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi and three others sentenced to prison

Posted on: February 7th, 2020

On February 2, 2020, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, civil rights activist, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by the Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Mohammadreza Amouzad for the charge “assembly and collusion against the national security and propaganda against the state”. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi should serve five years in prison. She was tried on February 1, 2020, in Tehran. She was arrested by the security forces on November 18, 2019, at her place of residence in Tehran. On December 12, 2019, she was transferred to one of IRGC’s Intelligence department detention centers. His places of residence was searched by the security forces at the time of arrest and her husband’s and her belongings were confiscated. She was eventually transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison after completion of her interrogation at the IRGC’s detention center on December 12, 2019. According to a source close to Ms. Ahmad Khanbeigi, she is suffering from seizure and epilepsy but the prison authorities have provided only a portion of her medications. Ms. Ahmad Khanbeigi was arrested along two other citizens for writing slogans on walls on January 16, 2019, and was sentenced to four years and five months imprisonment by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Iman Afshari for the charge of “assembly and collusion against the national security and propaganda against the state”. On March 2, 2019, she was temporarily released on a bail of 150 million Tomans [aprox. $12,500]. Her sentence was upheld by appeals court without a hearing.

In addition, Mohammadreza Fathalizadeh was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Iman Afshari for the charge of “assembly and collusion”. Mohammadreza Fathalizadeh was born on April 20, 1997. He was arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehransar, amid the last November’s protests and was transferred to the Ward 5 of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary after completion of his interrogation.

Mehdi Naghdi is another arrested citizen who was sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran presided by judge Mohammadreza Amouzad for the charge of “assembly and collusion through attending protest rallies”. Mehdi Naghdi, son of Gholamreza, was born in 1973 and is a professor of political science at the University of Tehran. He was arrested on November 23, 2019, by the IRGC’s intelligence department and was transferred to the Ward 5 of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary after completion of his interrogation.

Ali Asghar Khodabandehloo, was sentenced to 3 years suspended imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion” and to 6 months imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state” by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by judge Iman Afshari based on his attendance in the last November’s protest rallies. Mr. Khodabandehloo is a student of architecture at Azad University, South Tehran Campus. He was arrested by the security forces in front of Tehranpars neighborhood’s Basij station on November 18, 2019, and was transferred to the Ward 5 of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary after completion of his interrogation.

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.

An update on the arestees of the November and January protests in Iran

Posted on: February 7th, 2020

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds. In addition, 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. 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. HRANA has earlier published a report about January protests.

Detention Centers

Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary is one of the detention centers that houses many of the last November and January protests’ arrestees. Many of the arrestees (mostly from the southern parts of Tehran and Alborz Province) are placed with other inmates charged with other types of crimes in Ward 5 of this prison. This is against the prisoner classification regulations that requires the prisons to separate inmates according to the nature of the crimes they are charged and found guilty of. The mentioned Ward that eight days ago housed more than 200 political prisoners who were arrested during the recent uprisings has undergone a change in its population after half of those prisoners were released and many other prisoners with other types of crimes were transferred from Evin Prison. By the time this report was compiled (February 3, 2020) the number of political prisoners in this Ward was about 100.

In addition, Among the arrestees, there are people who were injured by a gunshot when they were arrested. These citizens are transferred to this prison while Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary is facing an overload of prisoners, lack of air conditioning and heating facilities, and a shortage of blanket and warm water.

The following report identifies 138 political prisoners and their detention conditions.

Charges

The arrestees are mostly charged with “assembly and collusion against national security”, “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, “vandalism (damaging governmental property)”, “disturbing public order”. “disturbing public opinion”, “propaganda against the state”, and “insulting high-ranking authorities”. Their cases are sent to the Branch One of the Evin Prison’s prosecutor’s office, the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati, the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by judge Iman Afshari, the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, the Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court presided by judge Mohammadreza Amouzad, and the Revolutionary Court of Robat Karim.

Last November Protests

Most of the protesters of the last November’s protests who are kept in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary were arrested between November 15, 2019, to December 15, 2019, by the IRGC (Sarallah Camp). These citizens were beaten and experienced mistreatment at the time of arrest and were briefed on their accusations in Parand and Baharestan’s prosecutor’s offices.

The primary court session for 10 of the arrested has been in session and their imprisonment sentences have been ordered.

Here is a list of 88 detainees (still in prison) who are in a limbo state:

Majid Kharabati, Mohammadreza Esmaeilian Zareian, Ali Bikas, Mohsen Shakouri, Abolfazl Karimi, Seyed Hamidreza Noshai, Hasan Abbasi, Abolfazl Shahabi, Mohammad Moalemian, Jamil Ghahremani, Mehdi Ghalandari, Shahin Motaharzadeh, Danial Bakhshi, Ali Darabi, Farshid Eftekhari, Mehran Jalilvand, Mehdi Hasanpour, Morteza Amirbeigloo, Ali Asghar Karimi, Hosein Reyhani, Mohsen Roshani, Reza Sarvestani, Mohammad Jahani, Masoud Zadkhak, Mehdi Vahidi, Ali Ebadi, Mohammad Adam, Pouria Foroughi, Mohammad Bagher Saadi, Mohammadreza Amiri, Siamak Moghimi, Behnam Bazobandi, Mohammad Kadimani, Tohid Fotouhi, Abolfazl Maghsoudi, Reza Moradian, Ali Mehmandoust, Vahid Mehmandoust, Soheil Alipanah, Matin Ezadi, Mohammadreza Eslami, Ali Kazemi, Mohammad Rashidi, Hamed Karami, Majid Farzad, Behnoud Esmaili, Hossein Nikcheh Farahani, Saeed Asadi, Sajad Salarvand, Seyed Amid Mousavi, Arya Hamedi Rad, Mohammad Eghbali, Saber Rezaei, Hossein Tajik, Farshad Niazi, Ali Akbar Hadipour, Reza Alidoust, Omid Hejazi, Ali Asghar Keramati, Abolfazl Toosi, Javad Adinehvand, Ramin Hosseinpour, Amir Morovati, Saeed Mavedati, Omid Mohammadian, Ali Akbar Moradi, Behnam Nafarieh, Behnam Khakzad, Saeed Golbodaghi, Meisam Khaki, Milad Mahmoudi, Mohammad Rajabi, Ali Nabizadeh, Saeed Tamjidi, Hamid Farahbakhsh, Amir Salman Shirizad, Amir Hossein Keshavarzi, Pouria Mirzaei, Alireza Hosseinzadeh, Iman Daraei, Mohammadreza Doostdar, Mir Mohsen Ghoreishi, Mir Reza Ghoreishi, Masoud Torkpour, Seyed Mohammadreza Mousavi, Ramin Behnoush, Ahmad Ali Hatamian, Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi, Siamak Momeni.

Siamak Momeni, a political prisoner and one of the arrestees of the last November’s protest committed suicide by cutting his hand’s vein on January 25, 2020, and was transferred to the hospital but has not yet been returned to the Ward. Mr. Momeni is 18 years old and committed suicide after his sentence of 10 years imprisonment was ordered by the Revolutionary Court. In addition, Saber Rezaei was wounded by gunshot during the protests.

As mentioned earlier, 23 detained protesters of the last November’s protests were temporarily released on bail who are identified as the following:

Milad Arsanjani, Sina Naimipour, Javad Monafi, Mohsen Tashakori, Ehsan Khazaei, Mohammad Javad Foroughi, Hossein Adam, Mohammadreza Fathalizadeh, Kaveh Asadi, Mohsen Adibzadeh, Iman Abdi, Arash Salari, Mohammad Lotfi, Iraj Deldari, Danial Dadashzadeh, Mohammad Ali Safari, Shahram Kalantari, Rouzbeh Jahangiri, Shervin Beigi, Siamak Paymard, Jafar Dehdari, Reza Allahyari, Vahid Najafi Khuzestani.

Siamak Paymard, Jafar Dehdari, Reza Allahyari, and Vahid Najafi Khuzestani were shot in Qarchak during the last November’s protests. They were transferred to Tharallah Camp after being arrested and then to the hospital. They are charged with “assembly and collusion against national security”.

The inmates of the aforementioned ward are mostly residents of the poor neighborhoods of southern Tehran and were arrested in those areas. They mostly have no college education.

January Protests

During the January 2020 protests, more than 500 people were arrested on January 12 in Tehran of whom 300 were transferred to Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary. Some of them were temporarily released on bail and some others were transferred to Evin Prison. Only a few of them are still in Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary. These citizens who are mostly college students and government/private employees were arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and were briefed in the Branch One of the Evin Prison’s prosecutor’s office. They were beaten, threatened and mistreated at the time of their arrest.

Most of these detainees were released in the past few days. However, there are still two detainees who have not been released. They are identified as Iman Heydari and Pouria Gozarabadi.

The name of 25 citizens who were arrested during the January protests and were released from Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary the last week of January 2020, were identified as the followings:

Bahador Hadizadeh, Mohammad Pakpour, Morteza Hosseini Lavasani, Pouria Foroughi, Pouya Gozarabadi, Iman Poonaki, Siavash Monfared, Mostafa Farahani, Bahram Fardi, Masoud Khaksar, Amir Soleiman Shiralizad, Mohammad Rajabi, Ali Salimi, Ashkan Dehghan, Nima Rajabzadeh, Kamyar Saadati, Behrouz Habibi, Mehrdad Norouzi, Mottaleb Kardarfar, Habib Pashai, Kasra Taghavi, Emad Rashidi, Sahand Babaei, Shahab Reisi, Behnam Zandi.

Injured protesters died due to infections

Posted on: January 30th, 2020

Mohammad Maleki

Mohammad Maleki, born in 1996, was married and a resident of Qaleh Mir in Baharestan County in Tehran Province. He was a peddler and his only child was born two weeks ago. Mr. Maleki, 23-year old, was shot in the waist by the security forces in Saveh road during the last November’s mass protests. He was permanently paralyzed after the bullet passed his lungs and destroyed his spine. He passed away because of the injuries on January 26, 2020, two weeks after the birth of his child. He was buried on January 28 in Tehran.

A source close to Mr. Maleki told HRANA that Mr. Maleki was released from the hospital in December 2019 and died on January 26, 2020, in his residence. The physician who was called to visit him refused to issue a death certificate after learning about his condition claiming that he should inform the police. After the physician called the police, his body was taken to the forensic medicine while four undercover security agents monitored his house. His body was taken to Kahrizak’s medical examiner’s office despite his family’s disapproval. His family was permitted to bury him in Emamzadeh Baqer Golestan Saleh Abad cemetery in Baharestan County in Tehran Province after medical examination a removing the bullet from his body.

According to this source, his family was pressured to permit medical examination and in return, he could be regarded as a martyr and his body would be given back to his family for burial. Otherwise, he should be buried overnight without any ceremony. Eventually, his family got permission to bury him, on the condition that if later authorities find out the bullet that was removed from his body was shot by a police’s weapon, the family should pay for the bullet.

While he was in the hospital, YJC reporter interviewed him and claimed that he is a victim of rioters who shoots ordinary people. During this report that was aired on November 22 on the Iranian state TV (IRIB), Mr. Maleki explains that there are still three bullets left in his abdomen. In this report, it was implied that he was shot by the protester. The source close to him added that Mr. Maleki was in a state of fear and his injuries made him do the interview, but he disagrees that the protesters shot him.

Amir (Shahpour) Ojani

Amir Ojani was 43 years old, married, and father to four children. He owned a sandwich shop in Parand city. Mr. Ojani was shot in the foot by the security forces during the last November’s mass protests in Parand city located in Tehran Province. Several state-owned hospitals refused to admit him claiming that they received an order not to admit the injured protesters. Eventually, Ebnesina private hospital admitted him. Mr. Ojani died on January 9, 2020, because of infection and pulmonary embolism.

A source close to Mr. Ojani told HRANA that Mr. Ojani was shot in foot during the last November’s mass protests in one of the main squares of Parand city, breaking his foot’s bone. He went to a local clinic in the first 3-4 days just to refresh his bondage. After a few days, he was transferred to several hospitals, including Firouzgar Hospital in Tehran but they refused to admit him because of his gunshot wound. Finally, a private hospital accepted him, but he died because of infection and pulmonary embolism. There were only 45 days between his injury and his death.

The source added that the security forces identified him after checking footages from the CCTVs and went to his residence to arrest him when they were informed by his wife that he is hospitalized and in a serious condition. The security forces went to the hospital to monitor him. He was banned from having a visitor in the last ten days of his life.

 

The nationwide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.