A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 9, 2018

Posted on: December 9th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 9th,2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRNA).

(1) Executions in Urmia, Qazvin and Karaj

(2) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Bail

(3) More Arrests Related to Chabahar Attack

(4) Highest Poverty Rate of the Rural Areas is in Three Provinces

 (5) Jail Time and Lashes for Worker Protesters

(6) Shirin Ebadi Wrote an Open Letter to the “Defender of Human Rights Center”

(7) A Baluch Prisoner Was Transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

(8) 64 Workplace-related Deaths Were Reported in the Last Eight Months

(9) Delayed Paychecks and Layoffs in Three Businesses

(10) Setting the Court Session Date for Aryasb Bavand and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah

    

(1) Executions in Urmia, Qazvin and Karaj

In the morning of December 9, 2018, a prisoner in Urmia prison was transferred to a solitary confinement until his execution. He was accused with drug crimes. Moreover, Qazvin prosecutor confirmed the execution of two prisoners in Karaj and Qazvin. He added that the person who was executed on December 9 was accused with rape and the other person who was accused with murder was executed on December 4th.

(2) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Bail

Two Sunni prisoners were released on bail from Urmia prisonon Sunday December 9, 2018. Rasoul Shaier and Abdolvahed Salamat, were released on bail after two-years imprisonment. They were sentenced to five years in prison by the branch 10 appeal court in West Azerbaijan. In addition, two citizens were released on bail in Kermanshah and Salas-e Babajani cities. The other four are still in prison. 30 years old Salar Ahmadi was released on a 300-million-Tomans[$25000] bail. He was arrested in late November. Ali Sohrabilak, a 29 years old physic student, was released on a 280-million-Tomans [$24000] bail. He was arrested by the intelligence department in October 14th and was accused with, “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Moreover, Fahimeh Zandiand Sahar Kazemi who were arrested earlier this month are still in prison.

(3) More Arrests Related to Chabahar Attack

The chief of police announced that 10 more people were arrested in Zahedan, in relation to the Chabahar’s attack. Baluch’s activists campaign reported that security officers attacked Adham Narani’s house in Kaffe Baluchi village in Sarbaz city and had beaten and arrested him and his guests. In addition, the intelligence officers arrested two citizens separately in their workplace in Sanandaj and transferred them to an unknown place. According to Kurdistan democracy and human right center on December 8th, Vahid Azimiand Habib Ahmadi were beaten and arrested for “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(4) Highest Poverty Rate of the Rural Areas is in Three Provinces

The highest poverty rate in rural areas is in Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad, Ilam, and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces. The parliament research center reported that the caloric intake for 65 percent of the people who live in these provinces is less than 2100. In Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad, nutrition-based poverty is significant. The poverty rate for Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad’s urban area is 2.8 and for rural area is 2.1. The poverty rate in this province is 2.49. Moreover, the lowest poverty rates are in Tehran and Alborz provinces.

 (5) Jail Time and Lashes for Worker Protesters

15 workers of Ilam Petrochemical company were sentenced to imprisonment and lashes. Judiciary Office has sentenced 15 workers of Ilam Petrochemical company to imprisonment and lashes. They were charged with disturbing public order because of their participation in a protest which was organized in April.In addition, a financial criminal, Hamid Bagheri Darmani, was sentenced to death.10 more financially-related criminals were also sentenced to imprisonment and fines. The convicted names are reported as the following: Mohsen Ranjbar for bribery and corruption to seven year and half of imprisonment and 74 lashes,Manuchehr Pourfar and Esmaeil Nasrollahi to 10 years imprisonment, Mehdi Rezaie to three years imprisonment, Naser Habibinasab to one year imprisonment, AsgarBarati to five years imprisonment, Hossein Mansouri Ghiri and Mahmoud Pourmand to eight years imprisonment, Amir Kamali Sarvestani  and MirMohammad Akhoundzadeh, an Afghan citizen, to 20 years imprisonment and deportation. All the above were faced to criminal fines. The chairman of Samenolhojaj Financial institute was sentencedto 15 years in prison.

(6) Shirin Ebadi Wrote an Open Letter to the “Defender of Human Rights Center”

Shirin Ebadi who received the Nobel Prize for Peace, wrote an open letter to the “defender of human rights center” on Wednesday, December 5th. She requested Javid Rehman, United Nations special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran, to acquire all possible means to help releasing the workers in Iran.

(7) A Baluch Prisoner Was Transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

MohammadSaleh Shahdadzehi, a Baluch prisoner, was transferred to Rajaie Shahr prison in Karaj. He was arrested by the intelligence officers in in Iranshahr city earlier in June 2017.  A person close to Shahdadzehi told that he was detained in the Intelligence Office’s detention center for 7 months and had been tortured to confess that he had killed a Basij member.

(8) 64 Workplace-related Deaths Were Reported in the Last Eight Months

In the last eight months, 64 workers have died in their workplaces in Mazandaran province. Ali Abbasi, the director of forensic medicine department of Mazandaran province confirmed that Sari with 10 deaths, Amol with 9 and Tonekabon with 8 deaths had the highest number of workplace-related deaths while Savadkuh county, Neka, and Jooybar and Galoogah counties had the lowest with one death. Moreover, a middle-aged worker in Mahabad city was killed because of falling from an elevator while two other workers were injured in a mine in Khorasan Razavi province.

(9) Delayed Paychecks and Layoffs in Three Businesses

55 workers of the social emergency unit of Golestan province Welfare Organization have not received their salaries from June.Also, the workers of Sanandaj municipality announced that their salaries payments are delayed and expressed their concerns. In addition, 30 workers of Sadid factory in Tehran were laid off.

(10) Setting the Court Session Date for Aryasb Bavand and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah

The second hearing session of the accusations of Aryasb Bavand, a political prisoner in ward 4 of Evin prison, and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah was held in the Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati. Bavand’s accusations are “Forming a group to act against the national security, propaganda against the regime and dissemination of falsehood”. He and Poshtpanah were arrestedwhen returning to Iran

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 6, 2018

Posted on: December 7th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 6th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRNA).

(more…)

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 5, 2018

Posted on: December 6th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 5th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRNA). (more…)

Oshnavieh Resident Under Arrest for Reasons Unknown

Posted on: October 31st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In the morning of Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Oshnavieh resident Amir Hajipour was arrested by security forces in the store where he works.

A source close to Hajipour confirmed news of his detainment to HRANA. As of the date of this report, no further information is available on the reasons behind his arrest.

Oshnavieh resident Rezgar Marouf, arrested by security forces October 5th, was released on a bail of 1.3 billion rials [approximately $8,600 USD] after ten days in custody.

Oshnavieh is a western border county of West Azerbaijan Province.

Citing Constitutional Trespass, Abbas Lasani Rejects Court’s Second Summons

Posted on: October 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Azerbaijani activist Abbas Lasani’s public dissent with the Iranian judicial system continued this week with his spurning, via open letter, of a second court subpoena that he decries as illegitimate. “I will not abide by the rule of tyranny, and thus I express my protest and rebellion against this illegal process, and against your oppressive conduct unbecoming of a court,” he wrote.

Via SMS on September 24th, Lasani learned he had been convicted in absentia in Branch 2 of Tabriz Revolutionary Court. On October 10th, a writ summoned him to hear the conviction in court within the next ten days.

“My verdict was delivered by a totally illegal and unlawful process that is neither reasonable nor acceptable,” Lasani wrote, explaining that constitutional article 168 stipulates that verdicts in political, press, or conscience cases must be tried in public and in the presence of the media.

HRANA reported September 16th on Lasani’s refusal to respond to an initial summons via text message from the same court. “It’s impossible to ignore that the summons is illegitimate, arriving by text message with no official hard copy,” Lasani said in a public statement.

Abbas Lasani was among a group of four Azerbaijani (Turk) activists residing in Ardebil arrested by Intelligence agents July 2, 2018, a few days before an annual gathering at Babak Fort, a site that has acquired symbolic importance for Azerbaijani rallies in recent years. Prior to his arrest, he had shared a video encouraging people to attend the gathering. He was released on 500 million rials [$3,500 USD] bail July 11, 2018. More than 80 Azerbaijani activists were arrested throughout Ardabil, West Azerbaijan, and East Azerbaijan provinces at the time of the Babak Fort gathering.

Amnesty International issued a statement on August 11th of this year, calling the arrests of Azerbaijani activists “arbitrary” and unlawful, and demanded the immediate release of all individuals detained for their participation in Azerbaijani Turkic cultural gatherings.

Prisoner of Conscience Voices Support for Striking Truckers

Posted on: October 12th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Rajai Shahr prisoner of conscience Ebrahim Firoozi has written an open letter in support of Iranian truck drivers, who authorities have arrested in droves since they began striking September 22nd.

As the trucker strikes approach their 21st consecutive day, 261 arrestees face “corruption on earth,” “disrupting public order”, and “robbery” charges. As the country’s top prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has emphasized to strikers, some of these charges carry the death penalty.

In his letter, Firoozi tells authorities that continued arrests “won’t stop truck drivers from pursuing their rights,” and criticizes them for “arresting the drivers rather than solving problems rooted in [authorities’] incompetence and lack of foresight.” The truckers are demanding more affordable truck parts, better compensation, and a crackdown on bribery in the industry.

Firoozi, a Christian convert, has a long history of imprisonment due to his religious activities, including a September 16, 2013 arrest. He was convicted in Spring 2016 of “forming a group with intent to disrupt national security” by Judge Moghiseh in Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 28. Tehran Appeals court later upheld his five-year prison sentence.

Iran’s Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Hedayat Abdollahpour

Posted on: October 10th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Supreme Court Branch 47 has upheld the death sentence for Urmia prisoner Hedayat Abdollahpour, one of several defendants charged in connection to the Oshnavieh clashes, his lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz told HRANA. It also upheld the prison sentences of six of Abdollahpour’s co-defendants, who are currently free on bail.

Ahmadiniaz and Abdollapour’s family learned yesterday October 8th of the high court’s assent to his January 2017 capital punishment sentence in Urmia Revolutionary Court Branch 1, on a charge of “Baqi,” i.e. rebellion [often used against those accused of participating in armed uprisings]. Abdollapour maintains that he never took up arms and did not have a weapon at the time of his arrest.

Abdollahpour was arrested along with six others on June 15, 2016, in Qarah Soqol village near the city of Oshnavieh. His case was initially toggled from one court to another: charges were first ruled in initial court, reversed in supreme court, and then sent back to the parallel court branch that ultimately decided his fate.

Ahmadniaz told HRANA that his client was guilty simply of having been in the wrong place at the wrong time. “Hedayat Abdollahpour is being processed on something he knows nothing about, and towards which he would have no inclination,” Ahmadniaz said. “These honorable plaintiffs — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — want to put him to death for Baqi.”

Ahmadiniaz went on to iterate the upheld prison sentences of Abdollahpour’s co-defendants: Rasoul Azizi Alias Hassed, 25 years; Mohammad Zaher Faramarzi, 20 years; Jalal Masroori and Yaghob Ba Ekram, 15 years each; Kamal Masroori and Sedigh Baekram, 10 years each.

The Oshnavieh clashes were fights that broke out between the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps of Hamzeh in the summer of 2016. Many from both sides were wounded or lost their lives in the conflicts.

Many of those residing in the border region of Oshnavieh were arrested and convicted on suspicions of collaborating wwith the Kurdish opposition.

Abdollahpour’s brother Farhad was arrested by IRGC Intelligence forces June 30th of this year and taken to IRGC detention center in Urmia. He was transferred to Oshnavieh Prison September 13th and later released on a bail of 2 billion rials [approximately $20,000 USD].

Reza Khandan Spurns Second Illegitimate Court Summons

Posted on: October 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- In the face of the legal obligation to summon defendants a minimum of one week before their hearings, authorities summoned imprisoned civil rights activist Reza Khandan Friday, October 5th for a hearing in Revolutionary Court Branch 15 the very next day.

Khandan, who is married to imprisoned civil rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, said he refused to respond to the unlawful summons. “Almost all prisoners are sent to the court in this manner. Some of them even attend court without a defense lawyer, because they can’t contact one on such a limited time frame.”

In a note yesterday, Khandan’s lawyer Mohammad Moghimi wrote that his client was within his right not to show up, as provisioned in Section 343 of Criminal Procedure Code. “[…] Such a trial is illegitimate,” Moghimi said.

Khandan was arrested by security forces in his home on Tuesday, September 4th after ignoring a September 3rd summons unlawfully issued by phone. He was charged at Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s office and sent to prison the same day.

On September 22, 2018, HRANA reported on the referral of Reza Khandan’s case from Revolutionary Court to Evin Court in order to resolve deficiencies in his case file.

According to HRANA reports, Ministry of Intelligence security forces searched the homes of Mohammadreza (Davoud) Farhadpour, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and Khandan’s sister on Saturday, August 18th. The forces reportedly confiscated pin-back buttons reading “I am against forced veiling” along with letters that Sotoudeh had written to Khandan from prison.

At Least 20 Detained in Series of Home Raids in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province

Posted on: October 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Over the past few days, security forces transported at least 20 residents of Dehdasht, Suq, and Charam — cities in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province — to an undisclosed location, for undisclosed reasons, and without producing an arrest warrant.

A local source told HRANA that Ministry of Intelligence Agents whisked away several local residents after completing unannounced searches of their homes. HRANA has so far been able to confirm the identities of four arrestees: Ali Sina Heidari, Zarir Hadipour, Farhang Khorshidi, and Persian literature teacher Bahram Sorkhabi (a.k.a. Poor Behzad).

A Dehdasht resident described the thickening of security forces across main transportation arteries of Dehsasht and Choram: “Agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, IRGC, and Basij have set up checkpoints along the main streets of the city, and along the roads leading to Souq, Yasuj, Behbahan, and Gachsaran.”

According to the Dehdasht source, the families of the 20 detained residents have thus far been met with silence from regional security and judicial authorities, who since the arrests of October 1st and 3rd have offered no information about their loved ones’ cases or well-being. “[The families] were threatened with prosecution if they publicly disclose information about the arrests,” the source said.

Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, a province of southwestern Iran, is comprised of Boyer-Ahmad (capital: Yasuj), Bahmai (capital: Likak), Dena (capital: Sisakht), Kohgiluyeh (capital: Dehdasht), Gachsaran (capital: Dogonbadan), Charam (capital: Charam), Basht (capital: Basht), and Landeh (capital: Landeh) counties.

HRANA will publish updates on this case as soon as they come available.

In Wake of Ahvaz Parade Attack, a Sweep of Arrests Sows Community Unease

Posted on: September 27th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Four days after the September 22nd armed attack on an Ahvaz military parade that left several civilians wounded, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has announced that it has 22 suspects in custody, backing its announcement with a video recording of blindfolded, unidentified detainees facing a wall.

Local sources have countered this official report, estimating the tally of those detained so far to be closer to 300. The majority of these arrests have taken place in the cities of Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Susangerd, and Abadan, all located in Khuzestan province. HRANA is working to independently confirm the total number of arrests and the identities of those detained.

Security measures now loom large over the Arab-majority neighborhoods south of Khuzestan, local sources say, while the families of those detained have been unable to obtain any indication from authorities on the status or location of their loved ones.

Many of the recent arrestees have a previous track record with police, pointing to the possibility that security forces are attempting to pluck clues from past offenders about a recent incident.

Despite the urgency to hold the assailants accountable for wounding and killing civilians, including women and children, Iran’s security establishment is marred by a history of questionable investigative methods, raising public concern that innocent scapegoats may be subject to coercive interrogations in order to be impugned for the attacks. Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi has already made the public claim that “the terrorists who opened fire on the crowd have been killed,” adding, “Every single person behind the attack […] will be identified, and the majority of them have already been apprehended.”

On the day of the attack, a military parade in Ahvaz commemorating the Iran-Iraq war was interrupted when gunmen suddenly opened fire on soldiers and spectators. That day, Mojtaba Zolnour, a member of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign affairs, announced that 29 had died and 57 were wounded. Iran-based media agencies published a list of victims that included several civilians, including a 4-year-old child.

Both Al-Ahwaz National Resistance group and ISIS (Daesh) have claimed responsibility for the attack.