Marzieh Amiri was sentenced to 10-year and six months prison term and 148 lashes

Posted on: August 24th, 2019

Marzieh Amiri, a journalist at Shargh newspaper, was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison and 148 lashes by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on August 24, 2019. She was arrested alongside several labor activists who had been arrested during a protest demonstration in Tehran on the International Labor Day.

On May 1, police arrested Marzieh Amiri while covering a Labor Day demonstration in front of the Iranian parliament building in Tehran. Police arrested several labor activists during the rally. She was detained and interrogated in ward 2-Alef of Evin Prison, which is under the supervision of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Organization. A week after, she was transferred to the solidarity confinement in ward 209 of the Evin Prison which is under administration of Ministry of Intelligence. Eventually, on June 8, 2019, she was transferred to women’s ward of the Evin Prison.

She received her indictment on July 3, 2019 when she was transferred to the Branch 28 of Revolutionary Court in Tehran. She was charged with “assembly and collusion”, “propaganda against the state”, and “disrupting public order”.

She was tried on August 13, 2019, at the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, led by judge Mohammad Moghiseh. Her sister, Samira Amiri, wrote on her personal page on social media that Marzieh was sentenced to 148 lashes and 10 and a half years in prison. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Marzieh Amiri should serve six years in prison. Judge Moghiseh has denied her requests to set a bail and her temporary release for medical treatment although she suffered once from epileptic seizure in prison.

Ahmad Reza Jalali is under pressure for forced confession

Posted on: August 13th, 2019

Ahmad Reza Jalali, a dual citizen who was sentenced to death, was transferred to an unknown place on July 29, 2019 returned to Evin prison on August 7. He is under pressure for a forced confession for a new case and was threatened to be executed earlier if he chose to not cooperate.  His wife, Vide Mehrnia, told HRANA that “we do not know how and to where he was transferred. He contacted his family and said that he was threatened to have a forced confession otherwise he will be executed”. She added that his physical condition was deteriorating, so he was supposed to be transfer to the hospital this week to receive required medical treatment but instead, he is under severe physical and mental pressure. He contacted his family earlier and informed them that he was transferred to a monitored solitary confinement cell and his execution is probable.

He was transferred to the hospital on November 16, 2018 for sever stomach pain. He underwent surgery on November 18 and was returned to the prison a day after the surgery. He was deprived from medical care although he was suspected to have cancer.

Ahmadreza Jalali (borne on January 14, 1971) professor and researcher at the Research Center for Crisis Management of Europe, a researcher at Karolinska University, author of numerous books and reference articles in crisis management and visiting scholar at University of Pie Monto in Italy, was living in Sweden until he was arrested. After finishing a medical degree in Iran, he moved to Sweden in 2009 to study natural crisis management where he obtained a Ph.D. in this field and later a postdoctoral position in medical crisis from Piemonto University in Italy. He was residing in Sweden with his wife and two children. Jalali, which recently became a Swedish citizen, was sentence to death with charge of espionage and his sentence was also confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court in December 2017.

Ahmad Reza Jalali who traveled to Iran on an invitation by Tehran University and Shiraz University to participate in crisis management workshops, was arrested in April 2016 by the Ministry of Intelligence agents and was held in solitary confinement for seven months. He has been charged with “Moharebeh through espionage for Israel”. Tehran’s prosecutor accused Jalali of “transferring sensitive projects documents related to research, military, defense, and nuclear for money and Swedish citizenship for himself and his family”. 

A Report on the Latest Condition of Hani and Hood Yazarloo in Evin Prison; Heart Condition and Worries

Posted on: July 27th, 2019

HRANA News Agency – 20 days into the arrest of Dr. Hani Yazarloo and his son Hood Yazarloo, former political prisoners, there is no information on their situation and the reasons of their arrest. Yazarloos were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence agents in Tehran on July 7, 2019 and were transferred to an unknown location. Dr. Hani Yazarloo is suffering from a heart disease and had been deprived of accessing his medications for 24 hours during his previous detention which endangered his life. The efforts of the Yazarloo family to obtain information about their condition have not yielded any results.

A source close to Yazarloo family told HRANA: “it has been 10 days that Hani and Hood have been arrested and there is yet no information on their situation and the reason of their arrest. Today, the Yazarloo family’s attempt to gain an update on their condition with the Evin Court for the second time was failed. Not only they were not permitted to visit them, but also their request for an appointment with the case investigator was denied.”

This source was concerned about Hani Yazarloo health condition and added that: “Today, efforts to find out about the charges and the reasons for their detention have not yielded results, and officials have still not given a clear answer, claiming that they are temporarily detained for continuation of investigation; while Dr. Yazarloo was denied access to his medications for 24 hours in his previous detention endangering his life.

It should be noted that Dr. Hani Yazarloo and his son Hood Yazarloo, both former political prisoners, were arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran on July 7 and were then transferred to an undisclosed location.  Sometime after their arrest, the father and son (briefly, and separately) could make telephone calls to their place of residence. Dr. Yazarloo confirmed his imprisonment in the Ward 209 of Evin Prison but Hood could not identify his place of detention.

Dr. Hani Yazarloo, is suffering from heart disease and underwent a heart surgery about 15 years ago.  While the transplanted cardiac veins only last for 10 years, he must be under the supervision of a cardiologist so that if necessary, to undergo another open-heart surgery.  Some of his arteries are clogged and he is in serious need of medications regularly. It should be noted that Dr. Hani Yazarloo is a political activist who had been imprisoned several times in the 1970s, ’80s,’ 90s, and 2000s in various prisons.

In his latest detention in the year 2011, he was arrested for attending a ceremony commemorating political prisoners and was released on bail after 55 days of detention in solitary confinement cell.  Dr. Yazarloo was then sentenced by the Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court to one-year imprisonment in exile and fifteen additional years in exile in Iranshahr. This sentenced was appealed and changed to exile and imprisonment in Mashhad.  He was eventually transferred to the Ward 350 of Evin Prison on May 21, 2013, to remain in detention.

On January 18, 2014, en route to the district court of Evin Prison from the Ward 350 of Evin Prison, this political prisoner was instead transferred to Vakil Abad Prison in Mashhad.  Finally, at the end of February 2014, he was released from Vakil Abad Prison in Mashhad finishing his term. Hood Yazarloo was previously arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in June 2008 along with his mother, Nazila Dashti.  Mr. Yazarloo, who was studying at the University of Qom, was prevented from continuing his education due to his arrest.  He was released in May 2011 from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj after about three years of imprisonment under the charge of “action against the national security”.

After Hood’s release, Nazila Dashti, who was herself a political prisoner in the 80’s, was released from Evin prison in mid-April 2012, serving about three years in prison. Hamed Yazarloo, another member of this four-member family, was sentenced to three years in prison in Evin prison under charges of “acting against the national security” from March 2009 to February 2012.  Hamed Yazarloo was a so-called star student (a student who is partially or completely banned from education). He was denied entry into a Ph.D. program for two consecutive years by the Ministry of Science despite being accepted after the interview for entering.

Kazem Safabakhsh was Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison

Posted on: June 25th, 2019

Kazem Safabakhsh, an Azerbaijani Turkic ethnic minority rights activist detained in the Evin prison was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. His trial was held in the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on February 24, 2019 led by Judge Moghiseh. He was charged with “establishing and organizing a separatist group (Telegram channel)” and according to the Article 498, he was sentenced o 10 years imprisonment; for the charge of “ disturbing public opinion” he was sentenced to two years in prison according to the Article 698 and finally, for the charge of “ propaganda against the state” and according to the Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code was sentenced to one year in prison.

A Meshgin Shahr resident, Safabakhsh was arrested on November 25, 2018 and was transferred to an unknown place. He is detained at the Ward 4 of the Evin prison.

Annual Report of Prosecuted Lawyers in Iran

Posted on: June 11th, 2019

 

The following is an overview of the prosecuted human rights lawyers in Iran in 2018. According to Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer, lack of judicial immunity, prosecuting defendant lawyers, and absence of union support for lawyers are some of the issues that put pressure on lawyers in Iran.

This report focuses on analyzing the situation of the lawyers who accepted cases with political, faith, or security chargers. These lawyers are in prison or are temporarily released on bail waiting for their trial.

Amir Salar Davoudi

On June 1, 2019, Amir Salar Davoudi, lawyer and civil rights activist, was sentenced to 111 lashes and 30 years in prison of which the highest penalty is 15 years imprisonment for the charge of “establishing a channel in the Telegram app”. Davoudi has been detained since November 2018 on the charges of “insulting officials”, “propaganda against the state”, “cooperating with enemy states through interviewing with Voice of America (VOA) television channel”, and “forming a group to overthrow the state”. He has been sentenced at the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court to 30 years in prison for several charges which according to the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, he should serve the sentence for the charge with the highest penalty which is 15 years in prison on the charge of “establishing a channel in the Telegram group app”. He has decided not to appeal this sentence.

Davoudi who has been retained as counsel by several detainees held on politically motivated charges in Iran was arrested by security agents in his office on November 20, 2018. The security agents also searched Davoudi’s home and office and took away some of his personal belongings. He had been taken in for questioning on previous occasions and had been warned not to inform the public about his clients’ politically sensitive cases. The second session of his trial was held on May 4, 2018 at the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court.

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer, was arrested on June 13, 2018 in her house. The Branch 38 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Sotoodeh to a five-year prison term and then the verdict was transferred to the Branch 36 of the Tehran’s appeals court. She is imprisoned in the Women Ward of Evin prison being accused for seven charges for her second case and is sentenced to 33 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes though only 12 years of this verdict is executable.

Mohammad Najafi

Mohammad Najafi, attorney and human rights activist was sentenced to 19 years imprisonments. He is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 16 more years imprisonment in January 2019 for his new charge of “spreading falsehood and disturbing public opinion”, “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “propaganda against the state”, “cooperating with enemy states through interviewing with Voice of America (VOA) television channel”.

On October 28, 2018, Najafi was arrested and transferred to Arak Prison to serve his sentences. He was previously detained along with 10 others for participating in the January protests in Shazand County. Judge Mohammad Reza Abdollahi of Arak Criminal Court No. 2, the Branch 102 sentenced Najafi to three years in prison and 74 lashes for “publishing lies with intent to disrupt the public opinion” and “disturbing the public peace.” The sentences were upheld in the Branch one of Markazi province Appeals Court.

Najafi got wind of his new “publishing lies” accusation via a writ he received on October 13th from the Branch 1 of Shazand Investigation and Prosecutions office, where he was interrogated and ultimately charged for it. He has additional charges pending investigation in the Revolutionary Court of Arak.

Najafi was previously detained for inquiring into the death of Vahid Heydari, who died in Police Detention Center amid the January protests. Najafi challenged Iranian judicial authorities who had claimed Heydari was a drug dealer that committed suicide while in custody. Najafi’s interviews with Heydari’s loved ones suggest that Heydari was a street peddler with no criminal record, whose autopsy report showed none of the typical markers of suicide but did indicate head injuries consistent with blunt-force trauma.

Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi accused security authorities of fabricating the grounds for Najafi’s case, arguing that Najafi had simply proven that Heydari was not a drug dealer.

Farhad Mohammadi

On January 2, 2019, Farhad Mohammadi, a Kurdish human rights lawyer and secretary of the National Unity Party in Kurdistan, was arrested in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province by security agents. The reasons for his arrest, his place of detention, and the charges pending against him are not yet known. He is also an environmental activist. His arrest warrant was extended on February 3, 2019.

Mostafa Daneshjoo

Mostafa Daneshjou, the detained lawyer of the Gonabadi Dervishes, was sentenced to eight years in prison on December 16, 2018 on charges of “membership in the Dervish cult,” “acting against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “disturbing the public opinion”.

Seven armed agents arrested Daneshjoo in his mother’s home on July 7, 2019, taking him to solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Ward 209 where he was detained for 45 days. He was then sent to Ward 4, typically designated for convicts of financial crimes. He was arrested pursuant to a case filed against him in 2017 in Tehran’s Security Investigation Court, in connection to a violent clash that took place February 2018 near the Dervish spiritual leader’s residence in Golestan Avenue in Tehran.

He was denied medical care for his severe heart disease in January 2019.  Symptoms of Daneshjoo’s asthma were exacerbated by his stay in Evin Prison’s Ward 250 between 2011 and 2015. Despite orders from the assistant prosecutor to send Daneshjoo to a healthcare facility, Evin Prison authorities have barred his transfer.

Per a letter from the security office at Azad University, Daneshjoo’s alma mater, he has been barred from continuing his studies. Citing his defense of the Gonabadi Dervish religious minority, security authorities have revoked his permit to practice law.

Mostafa Tork Hamedani 

Mostafa Tork Hamedani, is an attorney who has been sentenced to six months imprisonment in Iran for allegedly slandering a former prosecutor on January 15. 2019. The preliminary sentence against him was 10 months in prison and 40 lashes but on January 15, 2019 his sentence was reduced to four months with the flogging sentence suspended for one year. He was released on January 21, 2019, in the process of pardoning prisoners with less than a year sentence.

Hamedani was prosecuted based on a lawsuit brought by former Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, who accused Hamedani had made public accusations against him before Mortazavi was convicted in a financial case regarding corruption during the period Mortazavi headed the Iran’s Social Security Organization (SSO) between 2011to 2013.

Arash Keykhosravi and Ghasem Sholeh Saadi

Attorneys, Arash Keykhosravi and Ghasem Sholeh Saadi, were arrested along several other lawyers and civil rights activists who gathered in front of the Iranian Parliament building to protest both the Caspian Sea Agreement and the Guardian Council’s vetting process on August 18, 2018. They were transferred to the Great Tehran Penitentiary after being charged at the Branch five of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office. Keykhosravi and Sholeh Saadi were released on bail on December 11 and December 4, 2018 respectively. They were sentenced to six years jail time on December 10, 2018 on the charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security”. Their appeal request was sent to the Branch 34 Tehran appeals court.

Notably, Ghasem Shole-Saadi previously served two terms in the Islamic Consultative Assembly and was convicted of “insulting the Supreme Leader” via a letter he notoriously published in 2002. He has been imprisoned several times on charges from the Revolutionary Court for “propaganda against the state”.

Keykhosravi has represented several high-profile human rights cases throughout his career, including the suspicious death of environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami in Tehran’s Evin Prison in February 2018.

Masoud Shams Nejad

Masoud Shamsnejad, lawyer and professor, was arrested on January 8, 2019 and transferred to the Ward 3-4 of Urmia Prison on January 17, 2019. The security guards raided his home and confiscated his belongings at the time of his arrest. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment by The Branch three of Urmia Revolutionary Court on February 10, 2019 on the charges of “propaganda against the state” and “membership in an opposition group”. He was under pressure for the cases he accepted to defend. After he requested for appeal, he was released on one billion Tomans bail on February 17, 2019.

Zeinab Taheri

Zeinab Taheri, is a lawyer who was charged with “publishing lies with intent to disturb the public opinion” and “propaganda against the state,” in an indictment prepared by the Prosecutor’s Office for Culture and Media that referred her case to The Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran.

Taheri was summoned and arrested on June 19, 2018 and then was transferred to the Qarchack Prison. She was arrested a day after her client, Mohammad Reza Salas Babajani, a Sufi dervish was executed on June 18, 2018. Salaj Babajani was executed for allegedly driving a bus that killed three members of the security forces near the house of a Dervish spiritual leader on 19 February 2018.

Taheri was released on bail on August 8, 2018. She had cases such as Mohammad Reza Salas Babajani, Mohammad Ali Taheri, and Ahmad Jalali.

Payam Derafshan and Farokh Forouzan

Lawyers, Payam Derafshan and Farokh Dorouzan were arrested on August 31,2018 and were released on bail on September 6, 2018. Derafshan was the lawyer of Mohammad Najafi and Kavous Seyed Emami. Forouzan was also a children’s rights activist.

Hoda Amid

Hoda Amid, attorney and women’s right activist, was arrested on September 1, 2018 by the security forces and was transferred to the Evin Prison. She was released on bail on November 4, 2018. It has been claimed that Hoda Amid and Najmeh Vahedi had held a workshop for women on “Marriage Article (conditions stipulated in marriage certificate)”.

Hossein Ahmadi Niaz

Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, lawyer, was summoned to the Branch 106 of Criminal Court of Sanandaj on the charge of “publishing falsehood” and “disturbing public opinion” on January 15, 2019.

Last year, he was arrested after being referred to the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj on August 05, 2018 and was released on bail after a few hours.

Farzaneh Zeilabi

On February 8, 2019, Esmail Bakhshi’s lawyer, Farzaneh Zilabi, was summoned to the Branch three of the Revolutionary and Civil Court of the city of Shush to answer questions as a “knowledgeable person” about the case. She said on February 17, 2019 after going to court “I was summoned based on a report by the Justice Bureau’s Security Department and the summon was in connection with an interview during which the subject of Esmail Bakhshi’s torture was brought up. Considering the accusations in the report, such as “spreading falsehood” and “propaganda against the state”, I refused to answer questions that the report had directly addressed to me”. She explained that the case is ongoing, and, as Bakhshi’s lawyer, she was not able to divulge confidential information about her client to anyone. If she did, she would be both breaking the law and violating disciplinary codes of conduct. She added that she will stay Bakhshi’s lawyer.

Esmail Bakhshi, a labor activist, who spoke out about abuse and torture he suffered in detention.

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei

Judge Salavati accused Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei with “spreading falsehood and disturbing public opinion” in the Branch 15 of Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Alizadeh Tabatabaei said on February 20, 2019 that this is following his complaint against Salavati in which Salavati had claimed that he never asked the accused in “Mola Tina” case to change their lawyer and I was spreading falsehood by saying that.

Deprived from medical treatment, a report on the condition of Babak Dadbakhsh in Rajai Shahr prison

Posted on: June 5th, 2019

Babak Dadbakhsh was arrested in February and was charged with “corruption on earth” and “waging war against God (Moharebeh)”. Although suffering from mental illness, he is deprived from medical treatments. Also, the prison authorities do not permit family visits.

Dadbakhsh and his sister, have separately written open letters to the head of the judiciary system explaining his severe mental illness and emphasizing his innocence.

Dadbaksh was arrested by the security police in November 2018 in Tehran and was transferred to the ministry of intelligence. During his detention he has been held in various prisons such as Ward 209 of the Evin prison and Fashafoyeh prion. He also spent some time in Amin Abad mental hospital. He was eventually transferred to Rajai Shahr prison on February 16, 2019.

Four Prisoners of the Evin Prison were Sentenced to Death and Imprisonment

Posted on: May 22nd, 2019

Four prisoners of the Evin prison were informed of their sentences on Sunday, May 19, 219 by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran after spending a year in prison in limbo.

Abodollah Ghasempour was sentenced to death and eight years imprisonment, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibian and Akbar Dalir were sentenced to five years and half in prison, each. Their trial was held earlier this month in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran led by Judge Moghiseh. Abdollah Ghasempour, 34, was charged with “Baghi” (armed rebellion against Islamic state) for which he was sentenced to death, was also charged with “assembly and collusion” for which was sentenced to 5 years and half in prison and finally was charged to “membership in Mojaheddin Khalgh organization” for which was sentenced to two years and half in prison.

32-year -old Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour (Abdollah’s brother), 30-year-old Alireza Habibian, and 34-year-old Akbar Delir who are all in Ward 4 of the Evin prion were charged with “assembly and collusion” and were sentenced to five and half years in prison.

Initially their charge was “waging war by advocacy, membership, and cooperation with Mojahedin Khalgh Organization” through setting a Basij paramilitary base on fire and distributing its footage to be broadcast on the Mojahedin Khlagh media which was later changed to “acting against national security through propaganda against the state” for the other three prisoner.

Thirteen Gonabadi Dervishes Released From Great Tehran Penitentiary

Posted on: November 17th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Thirteen Gobanadi Dervishes walked free from Great Tehran Penitentiary Tuesday, November 13th after finishing their prison terms.

The group were among a larger cohort arrested and sentenced in Tehran Revolutionary Court for their participation in the Golestan Haftom incident in February of last year.

The freed prisoners were identified as Armin Abolfattahi, Mostafa Zaman, Nourali Mousavi, Hojjat Zamani, Ebrahim Rezaie, Hashem Avazeh, Alborz Rostami, Mohammad Ghanadzadeh, Ali Ghanazadeh, Shahab Bakhshian, Majid Shayegh, and Hossein Haj Mohammadi.

Concessions from Prison Authorities Put an End to Abdolreza Ghanbari’s Hunger Strike

Posted on: November 15th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Prompted by his loved ones and a promise from authorities to transfer him back to Evin Prison, teacher and political prisoner Abdolreza Ghanbari has begun eating again after five days of hunger strike.

Ghanbari had announced he was starving himself in protest of his forced transfer from Evin’s Ward 8 to Rajai Shahr Prison on November 10th. In a previous HRANA report on Ghanbari’s hunger strike, a close source remarked that the transfer seemed arbitrary.

In a note announcing the end of his strike, Ghanbari wrote, “moved by the words of my loved ones to end my hunger strike, I have relieved them of their worries. The persistence of my spouse and my attorney have ended in a promise from officials to return me to Evin, as per my request, as soon as possible.”

What was once a 10-year sentence for Ghanbari was increased to a 15-year term in September of 2017, per reconsideration proceedings led by Judge Moghiseh in Branch 28 of Revolutionary Court. After presenting himself to the Evin Prosecutor’s Office on October 13th of this year, Ghanbari was escorted to Evin Prison’s Ward 8 by security forces.

Elderly Hunger-Striker Transferred to Prison Clinic for Cardiac Problems

Posted on: November 15th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency(HRANA) – Hatam Ertoghlu, an ailing 70-year-old prisoner of Turkish nationality, was transferred to the Urmia Central Prison clinic following an exacerbation of his cardiac disease.

Ertoghlu has been on hunger strike since Friday, November 9th, when Iranian authorities welshed on their agreement to transfer him back to Turkey. Authorities have refused entry to a representative of the Turkish consulate who came to Urmia Central requesting to see him, a close source told HRANA.

Currently held in Ward 4-3, Ertoghlu has been behind bars for the past nine years on drug-related charges. According to a close source, he has had multiple hospital admissions for various ailments, not least of which was a heart attack.

“Last year, per court order, he gave prison authorities 12 million tomans [approximately $2,800 USD] to cover the fees for his transfer back to Turkey,” a close source said. “Yet despite the consent of Turkish authorities, that transfer never took place.”

Undeterred by his physical distress, old age, and cardiac disease, Ertoghlu is now starving himself in protest.

Ertoghlu initially faced a sentence of life in prison, which was commuted to 24 years in 2017.