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.

Kermanshah Prisoner Shahriar Tahmasbi: Status Update

Posted on: September 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Unable to post his bail amount of 150 million tomans (approximately $36,000 USD), Kermanshah resident Shahriar Tahmasbi has been behind bars since security forces detained him on July 5th.

An informed source told HRANA that Tahmasbi’s bail was too heavy for him to post. “He has not yet been able to procure that much money. He requested that the bail is lowered, but no decisions have been made so far in that regard.”

Tahmasbi was arrested along with Mostafa Bagheri Ashena and Ardeshir Musavi, whose bails were also set at $36,000 apiece. While both were able to afford it and have now gone free, HRANA’s source stated that the bail amount was far out of proportion with the severity of the charges they face.

Earlier, another source provided background into the evening Tahmasbi was arrested, stating that a group of about 8 people had gathered in the Kermanshah residence of Ali Nazari on Jalili street to discuss the formation of a literary society for speakers, learners, and enthusiasts of a minority dialect called Laki.

“Security forces entered the house proclaiming that Shahriyar Tahmasbi was a fugitive, and arrested him along with Ardeshir Musavi,” the source said. “They also seized the cellphones of six people in attendance, including the host.”

Tahmasbi was also detained on September 6th of last year for organizing a protest in support of border couriers known as Kulbars. Walking out of Kermanshah’s Dizelabad Prison one month later on October 10, 2017, cost him $24,000 (100 million Tomans) in bail money.

HRANA has previously reported on the relatively higher rates of detention of Iranian citizens near the western border.

Northeastern Border Guard Opens Fire on Shepherd

Posted on: September 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- As he had done for the past 20 years, Hamidreza Sepahi Layin was taking his sheep to graze from the border town of Dargaz, Razavi Khorasan province on September 19th, 2018. As Hamid’s brother Alireza explains, shepherds like Hamidreza often usher their herds across the plains and mountain grasses carpeting Iran’s northeastern borderlands with Turkmenistan. What happened next, however, was a break in routine.

That day, Layin, a 32-year-old father of two, had herded his flock about half of a mile into Turkmenistan territory when he caught sight of Majid Amiri, the head of the Sangdivar border guard post. Layin was familiar with the guard, and while crossing back to the Iranian side made his way over to greet him. When he was about 10 yards away from being able to reach out and give him a handshake, Amiri pulled out a gun and opened fire on Layin’s leg.

A friend and fellow shepherd had accompanied Layin that morning and procured a donkey to rush his wounded friend to the village clinic. As Layin slipped out of consciousness, profusely losing blood from two bullet wounds, Amiri blocked their passage for a full 40 minutes until Layin’s friend told him to either pull the gun on him, too, or let them go. Amiri let them pass.

Amiri’s plans to blame Turkmens for the shooting were upended by a Turkmen cohort who witnessed the incident from afar and reported it to authorities before him. Layin has undergone an operation to repair his bullet-shattered bone with metal plates.

Alireza Sepahi Layi, who is an author and journalist, wrote a note about his brother’s ordeal entitled “one bird with two stones,” excerpts of which have been translated into English by HRANA:

“We do have borders, in drought and abundance, war and peace, mourning and joy, solitude and company. For the past 500 years, we have used our bodies as shields, holding our ground, digging in our heels. With blood, sweat and tears, we quenched the thirst of our herds and irrigated our paddies and wheat fields. All of this to make sure that Russians, Uzbeks, and Turkmens don’t open their eyes one morning to find border villages like Sandiqal and Layin abandoned by Iranians; lest they believe those brave sentinels have tired of their duties and fled. I went to Dargaz today. No, I had not been summoned to court– not this time.  I’ve come many a time for trials or for prison to my hometown of Kalat-e Naderi. This time my destination was Dargaz, and my reason was to visit my brother who had been shot; a bird, shot with two stones. A man to whom fighting and brawls are unknown, who has never raised his shepherd’s crook, even to an ant. Thank God the bullets had the decency to strike only his shin. While they shattered his leg, they, fortunately, spared his life. The shooting took place during the Muharram ceremonies, on the eve of the anniversary of *Hussein’s death; and just as it was back then between Hussein and Yazid, a line in blood was drawn between the forces of good and evil. Javad Amiri, the head of Sangdivar border guard, pulled the trigger. He had just finished his officer training. He was probably sent for shooting practice to the border post, where the people have been defenseless for centuries, wielding only crooks of shepherding, shovels of gardening, and sickles of harvest. They have spread their generosity, kindness, and hospitality from **Hezarmasjed to ***Alborz and ****Zagros mountains…”

<b> * </b>     The third Shiite saint and Imam whose death in battle in the 7th century AD is a watershed moment in Shiite history commemorated each year in widespread rituals. Hussein represents the force of Good while the ruler he was fighting against, Yazid, symbolizes Evil.

<b> ** </b>   Mountain range in northeastern Iran

<b> *** </b>   Mountain range in Northern Iran

<b> **** </b>   Mountain range in Western Iran

 

Political Prisoner’s Brother Fights to Save Him from a Legal Crisis, or Worse

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Iranian citizens continue to speak out on behalf of their imprisoned loved ones and compatriots, and Hejar Alipour’s voice is the most recent to join the throng of support. In an open letter, Alipour defends the rights to family visitation, family contact, and attorney consultation for Mohammad Ostadghader and his own brother Houshmand Alipour, both of whom are imprisoned on charges of “membership in Kurdish Anti-regime Parties” and–if the fears of human rights organizations prove true–may be on track to the death penalty.

Four days after the August 3rd arrest of Alipour and Ostadghader by the Ministry of Intelligence, Iranian National Television broadcasted a recording of the two men confessing involvement in an attack on a Saghez security base. Both have been barred from contacting their families since the day of their arrest, with the exception of a short phone call from Alipour to his family September 1st, in which he said he had been coerced to confess under threat of torture.

Amnesty International recently published a press release expressing grave concern about the imprisonment and forced confessions of the two men: “Mohammad Ostadghader was shot and injured during the arrest but has been denied medical care,” the press release stated, adding that the prisoners have been held in an unknown location, out of reach from their families or lawyers. “[We are] concerned that the nature of the accusations against them and their forced televised confessions may be a precursor to charges that incur the death penalty.”

In defense of the rights of prisoners like his brother Houshmand, Hejar Alipour pleads their case to the international human rights community in the letter below, translated into English by HRANA:

“It has been two months since my brother Houshmand Alipour and his friend Mohammad Ostadghader were trapped by intelligence officers of the Islamic Republic at the Keh Li Khan Mountain Pass near the city of Baneh. Since then, we have had no news of or contact from my brother Houshmand, other than a few-minute-long phone call from him during which he told us that he is detained at the Intelligence Office of Sananadaj. The Intelligence officers lied to him, promising that they will allow him contact and visits with his family. Yet he continues to be banned from having visitors and has not had permission to contact the family. We retained two attorneys for Houshmand who went to the prison, the Judicial Office, and the Intelligence Office of Kurdistan province in order to make arrangements to represent him. However, the intelligence and security officers of the regime refused the meeting and turned them away.

The lives of Houshmand and Mohammad are in serious danger. Under torture, they have been forced to falsely implicate themselves, thus validating national security charges being levied against them. The Islamic Republic is bound to Islamic Penal Code, Shari’a law, and its own provisions, i.e. criminals’ and accused citizens’ rights to a fair trial, an attorney, and official legal visitation, at least within a number of days of arrest. In the case of Houshmand and Mohammad, the Islamic republic is not only violating its own principles and Islamic judicial proceedings but also denying defendants’ most basic rights by treating them inhumanely and employing physical violence and torture. The extraction of confessions under violent torture, the broadcasting of those confessions on August 7, 2017, the refusal to allow contact with attorneys or families, and denying visitation, are all violations of the basic rights of any prisoner, be they political or criminal; of rights set forth by the Islamic Republic […]

By international human rights standards, and even by the standards of the Islamic Republic, any mistreatment, or forced confession under torture, is an inhumane and criminal act. The Islamic Republic is not holding itself accountable to any principle of morality or humanity[…]. Considering the circumstances, and as the family of political prisoner Houshmand Alipour, we are concerned about the physical conditions of Houshmand and Mohammad, and of their restricted access to medical care. We hold the intelligence and judicial officials of the Islamic Republic responsible for any physical outcomes of the dangers they currently face.

We have announced the Campaign to Save the Life of Houshmand Alipour and ask all freedom-loving, humanitarian people of the world to join our campaign so that we can prevent the slow death or execution of these two prisoners by the Islamic Republic. On September 11, 2018, Amnesty International announced an urgent and accelerated campaign to save the lives of Houshmand and Mohammad, expressing its concern and demanding that authorities address the appalling state of deprivation that these two prisoners are in. This campaign was circulated to all international human right organizations, the European Union, the United Nations, and other institutions defending Human rights. In Canada, we were able to spread the word about my brother Houshmand’s case with the help of Amnesty International and Center for Victims of Torture, as well as through contacts with Canadian parliament and ministers. We ask the Canadian Government to immediately condemn the Islamic Republic’s violation of the most basic rights of these two prisoners, i.e. to visitation with the attorney and the family. Please join the Campaign to Save the Life of Houshmand Alipour, to save Houshmand and Mohammad’s lives. Help us lift their voices to the level of governments and human rights institutions. We thank all those who have already expressed their support and concern for the life of my brother.”

Afrin Battles Detainees Condemned to 11 Years in Prison

Posted on: September 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The verdict of Mostafa Ghader Zeinab and Rahim Mahmoudi Azar–two Urmia residents who were sent back to Iran from Syrian Kurdistan after being wounded in the Turkish offensives on Afrin–was upheld by Branch 1 of the Appeals Court of Urmia.

Per their original sentencing by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia on July 6, 2018, Zeinab and Azar face five years in prison on charges of “Membership in anti-regime groups,” five years in prison for “collusion and conspiracy,” and one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime.”

Zeinab has been released on bail, and Azar remains in detention at Urmia.

A source close to both men previously told HRANA that Zeinab and Azar were members of a Kurdish military group fighting in Syria. After sustaining injuries during a Turkish attack on Afrin, they were transferred to a hospital in Aleppo. “Upon realizing their nationalities, Syrian authorities handed them over to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” the source said.

According to the source, they were interrogated at Evin Detention Center for a week in March 2018 before being transferred to Urmia’s Intelligence Office, where they were interrogated for a month.

Both men have been denied the right to appoint lawyers of their choice and attended their court session with a public defender.

Reformist Ex-deputy Minister Summoned for Interrogation

Posted on: September 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mostafa Tajzadeh, a leading reformist politician who was previously imprisoned on political grounds for seven years, has been summoned by Branch 4 of the interrogation office of the city of Qazvin, 90 miles northwest of Tehran.

Tajzadeh is a leading member of a group known as the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), as well as a central council member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF). Both organizations have been banned by the Iranian authorities.

On September 18th, Tajzadeh published a note on social media attributing the summons to a speech he had made in the house of Ayatollah Ghavami.

“The note says that I have five days to present myself, otherwise I am to be arrested,” his note said.

Tajzadeh complained about being summoned in the same year that Iran’s Supreme Leader issued new year’s vow not to arrest citizens exercising their freedom of speech.

“It will soon be known who this summons order came from,” Tajzadeh wrote.

After Tajzadeh’s September 15th speech, he reported that the Intelligence Department of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps summoned a number of those in attendance.

Tajzadeh, who was a deputy interior minister during the self-proclaimed reformist government of President Mohammad Khatami, was previously arrested amid widespread protests known as the Green Movement that broke out across Iran after the 2009 presidential election. Convicted of both “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security” and “propaganda against the regime,” he was sentenced to six years in prison by Judge Salavati in Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. An appeals court later confirmed the sentence.

While in prison, he wrote critical letters addressed to Iran’s Supreme Leader, which put him on the radar of the IRGC. This culminated in an additional charge of “propaganda against the regime,” for which he was convicted and subsequently sentenced to a year in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghiseh. He served a total of seven years in prison before his June 4, 2016 release.

Tajzadeh was also summoned to court last December, pursuant to complaints from Tehran prosecutors.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Reaches 50th day on Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Farhad Meysami has not had a single meal, or any food at all, for 50 days and counting, as his health condition continues to deteriorate.

A civil rights activist imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, Meysami announced his hunger strike August 1st, one day after his arrest by Iranian authorities, in protest of their refusal of the attorney of his choosing. Despite the decline of his health during the hunger strike, authorities have yet to send him to a hospital.

HRANA reported on Meysami’s weight loss and poor physical state on September 8th.

Mohammad Moghimi–lawyer of fellow Evin prisoner Reza Khandan, and incidentally, the attorney Meysami would have appointed if given the choice–said his client called him from Evin to report that Meysami’s strike had put him in mortal danger, and that he needed a transfer to the hospital right away.

Moghimi said that authorities’ denial of Meysami’s attorney of choice puts them in conflict with Iranian law. Once initial interrogations are over, each prisoner has a right to a lawyer of his or her choosing, according to Moghimi’s reading of Article 48 of Iranian penal code.

Meysami was arrested in his personal study on July 31st. He was originally charged with “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security,”; “propaganda against the regime”; and “insulting hijab, a necessary and sacred element of Islam.”

On September 3rd, however, Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s interrogation department claimed that charges have since changed, with the last one replaced with “spreading corruption and prostitution.”

Meysami, who suffers from ulcerative colitis, has said that during his hunger strike he will take only the medication that treats this condition, as he has taken for the past 18 years. Meysami has previously said that he would break his hunger strike only if his friend and fellow inmate Reza Khandan, who was arrested after Meysami’s hunger strike began, is released unconditionally.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both asked for Meysami’s release.

Intensified Muharram Rituals Becoming Unbearable for Residents

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Muharram in Iran has so far delivered on its annual promise of month-long public dirges and processionals in honor of the 3rd Shiite Imam Hossein, who died in battle in the 7th century AD. Filling side streets and alleyways with self-flagellation, drumbeats, and wailing, observers of this religious holiday have more recently come to serve the additional purpose of encroaching on religious minority groups.

If noise pollution, traffic jams, and road blockades don’t seem major issues on their face, religious-minority citizens and eyewitness reports describe Muharram as a month-long “psychological persecution” that has enjoyed a history of strong government sponsorship, especially in non-Shiite locales [1].

Ararat, Tehran resident and member of a religious minority he preferred not to name, told HRANA that the eve of Muharram this year turned “ghastly” when the ceremonies reached his home on Ejarehdar Street and jolted his pregnant wife from her sleep.

“Suddenly, the windows started to tremble from the incessant drumming. You cannot imagine how she was woken up, and how she was shaking,” Ararat said. “Worried that something could have happened to the baby, we decided to go to the hospital.”

Making their way through streets clogged with parades, the route to the hospital that night was a long one.

“We moved in with my wife’s parents in Jajroud [north of Iran]. We were worried something terrible could happen, so we escaped for the safety of our baby.”

The Muharram rituals, according to Ararat, were bearable until a few years ago. Over the past decade, due in part to the failing economy, religious hubs have multiplied in tandem with a decreased public interest in worship. To address waning public participation, Ararat said, congregations have purchased audio equipment to broadcast their Muharram lamentations across greater distances.

“Most congregations consist of only a dozen people with flags and drums, slapping their chests or engaging in self-flagellation,” Ararat said. “They are led by a van carrying loudspeakers blasting the monodies [melodic laments].”

Revelations last year that the city of Tehran had given $14 million USD (55 billion IRR) to religious congregations caused such a stir among Iranians that the current mayor and city council have made clear that such funding would not be available this year. According to HRANA reports and eyewitness accounts, however, the disproportionate national and municipal budgets allocated to associations funding Muharram rituals has already mobilized the practice of such rites into a deliberate and systematic violation of religious minority rights.

Through its construction projects alone, city administrators seem to harbor a wish to maintain Shiite presence in neighborhoods where very few of them live. As one Isfahan tourist put it, Christian, Jewish, and other minority localities look deceivingly like the most Shiite-dominated areas of the city. Shiite congregations dot the map of Tehran’s Felestin (Palestine) neighborhood, which is home to many Jewish residents; the Villa neighborhood in Tehran, predominantly inhabited by Christian Armenians, is home to three Shiite mourning congregations; and several Shiite religious associations are housed in Tabriz’s Barnava district, as well as in the Christian-Armenian neighborhoods of Julfa and Isfahan’s Sangtarashha quarter.

As eyewitnesses attest to a growing fervor in sectarian rituals this year, and as religious-minority neighborhoods become host to some of the largest, most cacophonous dirges in the city, the slight against minority residents is twofold: their local taxes are not only being funneled away from projects that would otherwise benefit them, they are also being pooled into the government’s ideological propaganda campaign. Not to mention the noise.

“You cannot believe the horrendous conditions of our street,” said Ararat, who lives on an arterial sidestreet of Tehran’s Imam Hussein Square, one of many feeder streets into a larger collective mourning ceremony that brings loudly-wailing passersby, at all hours of the day and night, to the square. “I tried to reason with the parade administrators, but they told us it was all for Imam Hussein. They claimed there was nothing we could do, and advised us to stay up these nights to reap our benefits in the afterlife!”

An atheist Tabriz resident told HRANA that in order to escape the 24/7 stream of noise this year, he retreated to a vacation home and took a 10-day leave from work.

“Perhaps those who are religious won’t believe me, but I can’t stand even a second of monodies and chest slapping. We have seen enough of this on TV, at school, and at our universities. Every year, the number of congregations [that carry out these activities] increases. It is as though, by virtue of not being Muslim Shiites, we have no rights, and we do not even exist.”

Government backing of these observances not only violates the rights of religious minorities acknowledged in the Constitution–namely Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians–but also infringes on the rights stipulated in constitutional articles 19 [2] and 20 [3] pertaining to all Iranian citizens, including Baha’is, Dervishes, Yareshan, Mandayis, and others not expressly protected by law.

[1] Heya’at, religious associations or congregations, are formed via municipal permit process prior to Muharram, the Islamic month in lunar calendar marked by rituals commemorating Imam Hossein. The rituals include the broadcast of loud monodies broadcast through loudspeakers and processions held in the streets, where participants clad in black walk the streets while slapping their chests and chanting.
[2] Article 19: The people of Iran enjoy equal rights, regardless of the tribe or ethnic group to which they belong. Color, race, language, and other such considerations shall not be grounds for special privileges.
[3] Article 20: Members of the nation, whether men or women, are equally protected by the law. They enjoy all the human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights that are in compliance with the Islamic criteria.

Anemic Political Prisoner Denied Medical Treatment on 10th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On the shore of the Caspian Sea in the city of Tonekabon, authorities at Nashtaroud Prison are still withholding medical care from political prisoner Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour, who has now been on hunger strike for ten days.

Sentenced to 10 months in prison for her participation in the January protests, Ahmadpour has been on hunger strike since September 10th, in protest of her restricted access to both medical care and the prison telephone.
Her strike is also a revolt against prison authorities who, as a form of coercion or harassment, reportedly threatened to open new charges against her.

An informed source told HRANA that prison officials have displayed apathy toward Ahmadpour’s anxiety about her condition. “On Thursday, September 13th, Ms. Ahmadpour felt sick and asked prison authorities for a transfer to an outside hospital, or to allow her family to bring medications to her, but the authorities ignored her pleas,” the source said.

Concerned at her frail state and steep drop in blood pressure, Ahmadpour’s ward mates brought her to authorities again in hopes of obtaining her treatment. A few hours later, the ward mates learned she had instead been transferred to solitary confinement.

“They said that she would be held there until she broke her hunger strike,”  the source said. “She was sent back to the ward last night, without having been treated, and still on strike.”

Per her treatment plan for anemia, Ahmadpour should receive seven units of blood every month. An informed told HRANA that monthly blood infusions were also recommended for her as a preventative measure against leukemia. Despite her diagnosis and supporting medical documentation, however, prison authorities are adamant about denying her requests for a medical transfer.

Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour is a 46-year-old resident of Tonekabon. A peddler by trade, she was arrested along with 14 other residents during widespread rallies that took place in January 2018 across Iran, known as the January Protests. The Revolutionary Court of Tonekabon sentenced eight of these arrestees to 28 months’ imprisonment, divided among the defendants. Branch 101 of Criminal Court No. 2 of Tonekabon, presided over by Judge Ebrahimi, also sentenced six of the arrestees to 24 collective months of prison time.

Ahmadpour was first sentenced May 2, 2018, in Branch 101 of Tonekabon Criminal Court No. 2 to serve a six-month prison sentence on a charge of “disrupting the public peace through participation in an illegal gathering.” On August 11, 2018, Tunekabon’s Revolutionary Court compounded the sentence with four months’ imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime.” As evidence against her, the court cited a combination of law enforcement reports and images and video taken during the January protests in Tonekabon.

HRANA previously reported on Ms. Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour’s third day of hunger strike in Nashtaroud Prison.