Seven Civil Rights Activists Were Sentenced to 29 Years Imprisonment

Posted on: December 5th, 2019

On December 4, 2019, Moin Hajizadeh, Raha Ahmadi, Leila (Khadijeh) Mirghafari, Armin Sourani, Mohammad Abolhasani, Saman Zandian, and Vahid Ghadirzadeh were sentenced to 29 years imprisonment, combined. On November 10, 2019, they were tried at the Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court headed by judge Abolghasem Salavati.

Saman Zandian and Moin Hajizadeh were sentenced to eight years in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the state”, “insulting the Supreme Leader”, and “assembly and collusion”. Raha Ahmadi, Armin Sourani, Mohammad Abolhasani, and Vahid Ghadirzadeh were sentenced to two years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”. Leila (Khadijeh) Mirghafari was sentenced to five years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion”.

Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Saman Zandian and Moin Hajizadeh should serve five years and six months in prison, Armin Sourani, Mohammad Abolhasani, and Vahid Ghadirzadeh should serve two years in prison, and Leila (Khadijeh) Mirghafari should serve five years in prison.

Moin Hajizadeh was arrested on August 8, 2019 by security forces and was transferred to an unknown location. He is now in the Ward 4 of Evin Prison. Raha Ahmadi was arrested on August 4, 2019 by security forces and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin in late August. She was initially charged with “propaganda against the state”, “assembly and collusion”, “cooperation with enemy states”, and “promoting corruption and prostitution” in her incitement at the prosecution office of Evin Prison. Although her bail was set after two months, her 600 million Toman [approximately 55 thousand dollars] bail has never been accepted.

Leila Mirghafari was arrested in September 2019 by security forces and was transferred to Qarchak Prison. Mohammad Abolhasani was arrested on August 14, 2019 based on a verdict by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court.

Saman Zandian was arrested amid the demonstrations against the economic hardship in August 2018. He completed his sentence in prison but was notified about his new charges in August 2019. Vahid Ghadirzadeh was arrested in August 1, 2019 by security forces in Ardabil and is still in a limbo state.

A video was published earlier that shows some of these activists handing out flowers and talking to people in the subway.

Three Prisoners Were Executed in Urmia and Zahedan

Posted on: December 5th, 2019

In the morning of December 3, 2019, two prisoners were executed in Urmia Prison. They were transferred to solidarity confinement cells a day before to get prepared for the execution. Morteza Ashrafi and Ali Mahmoudpour, prisoners of Urmia Prison, were sentenced to death earlier on the charge of murder. On the same day, a prisoner was executed in Zahedan Prison. Elyas Nooti Zehi, 27-year-old, was sentenced to death on the charge of murder three years ago. The news of these executions has not been published by the Iranian media yet.

According to the international organizations, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. From October 10, 2018, to October 8, 2019, the Iranian authorities issued death penalty sentence to 134 individuals and have already carried out 242 executions including 16 public executions.  At least five of the executed were juvenile offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. Secret executions of prisoners reported by the independent sources and the human rights association indicate that 72% of executions are carried out in secret or without any public notice.

Neda Naji Was Sentenced to Five Years and Six Months Imprisonment

Posted on: December 5th, 2019

On December 4, 2019, the Branch 28 of Tehran Revolutionary Court headed by judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced Neda Naji to five years and six months 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 Neda Naji should serve five years in prison.

The final trial of Neda Naji was on July 08, 2019. She was arrested in the demonstration for the International Workers’ Day on May 1, 2019 along with 10 others. On June 15, 2019 she was transferred from Evin Prison’s Ward 209 to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She is charged with “assembly and collusion”, “propaganda against the state”, “disturbing the public order”, and “disobeying the order of government officials”.

On July 6, her husband, Jamal Ameli, wrote on his personal Twitter account that Naji was beaten twice in the prison by a prisoner and a prison official and she was transferred to the health ward in the prison because of her blurred vision after the attack. 

Although anyone who had been arrested in the demonstration for the International Workers’ Day on May 1, 2019 has been released on bail during the past few months, Neda Naji is still in prison.

After Two Decades, Two Political Prisoners Were Released on Parole

Posted on: November 25th, 2019

On November 21, 2019, Osman Mostafapour and Mohammad Nazari were released on parole. They are two of the longest-serving political prisoners who were released on parole after spending more than 25 years in Tabriz, Rajai Shahr, and Urmia Prisons without having any furlough.

Osman Mostafapour (born in 1967) was arrested on July 14, 1991 and was tried in the same year. He was first sentenced to death by Judge Javaheri, in the Branch One of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia, on the charge of “assistant in murder”. Then, this verdict was reduced to 10 years of imprisonment at the appeals court in 2000. In the same year, he was summoned to the Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court for his second case and he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment on the charge of “cooperating with one of the Kurdish Opposition groups”. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for both cases. Osman Mostafapour had not had any furlough in the past 28 years of imprisonment since 1991.

Mohammad Nazari, born in 1971, was arrested on the charge of “cooperating with one of the Kurdish opposition groups” in 1994, in Bukan. He was sentenced to death while he refused the charges and claimed that the he had confessed under torture. That sentence was reduced to life imprisonment five years later. Mohammad Nazari had not had any furlough in the past 25 years of his imprisonment since 1994.

They were supposedly released by the Supreme Leader pardon to mark the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. According to Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Iran’s Supreme Leader pardoned 3,552 prisoners, including 32 “security prisoners”, followed the Islamic holiday marking the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

Three Baha’is were sentenced to 23 years imprisonment

Posted on: November 15th, 2019

Behnam Eskandari, Yalda Firouzian, and Ardeshir Fanaiyan, three Baha’i citizens residing in Semnan, were sentenced to 23 years in prison and live in exile.

They were arrested on April 30, 2019 by the security forces, their personal belongings were confiscated, and they were transferred to Semnan Prison. The Revolutionary Court of Semnan put hold on their temporary releases. They are banned from having any visitor and contact with outside of prison. Behnam Eskandari was under pressure in the course of his interrogation for forced confession. He was resilient and was transferred to the quarantine ward where he was beaten by two other prisoners.

According to the verdict issued by the Semnan Revolutionary Court headed by judge Mohammad Ali Rostami, Ardeshir Fanaiyan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and one year live in exile in Khash on the charge of “cooperation in establishing an illegal group inside the country with the aim of acting against the national security”. Yalda Firouzian and Behnam Eskandarian were sentenced to five years imprisonment and two years ban from living in Semnan, each on the charge of “membership in establishing an illegal group inside the country with the aim of acting against national security”. Also, each of them were sentenced to a one-year prison term for the charge of “cooperation in acting against national security in favor of opposition groups”. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Ardeshir Fanaiyan should spend 10 years in prison, Yalda Firouzian, and Behnam Eskandaian should spend five years in prison, each.

Ardeshir Fanaiyan’s first arrest was on January 8, 2019 and was sentenced to an eight-month prison term. Although the law of arresting the eligible ones for military service has been cancelled.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

The trial of seven civil rights activists was held in the Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Posted on: November 15th, 2019

On November 10, 2019, Moin Hajizadeh, Raha Ahmadi, Leila Mirghafari, Armin Sourani, Mohammad Abolhasani, Saman Zandian, and Vahid Ghadirzadeh were tried at the Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court headed by judge Abolghasem Salavati. They were charged with “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion”.

Moin Hajizadeh was arrested on August 8, 2019 by security forces and was transferred to an unknown location. He is now in the Ward 4 of Evin Prison. Raha Ahmadi was arrested on August 4, 2019 by the security forces and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin in Late August. She was initially charged with “propaganda against the state” , “assembly and collusion”, “cooperation with enemy states”, and “promoting corruption and prostitution” in her incitement at the prosecution office of the Evin Prison. Although her bail was set after two months, her 600 million Toman [approximately 55 thousand dollars] bail has never been accepted.

Leila Mirghafari was arrested in September 2019 by security forces and was transferred to Qarchak Prison. Mohammad Abolhasani was arrested on August 14, 2019 based on a verdict of the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court.

Saman Zandian was arrested amid the demonstrations against the economic hardship in August 2018. He completed his sentence in prison but was notified about his new charges in August 2019. Vahid Ghadirzadeh was arrested in August 1, 2019 by security forces in Ardabil and is still in a limbo state.

At Least Two Prisoners Were Prepared for Execution in Urmia Prison

Posted on: November 12th, 2019

On November 11, 2019, at least two prisoners of Urmia Prison were transferred to solidarity confinement cells to get prepared for execution. They were sentenced to death earlier due to their murder felonies. One of them was identified as Mehdi Mostafazadeh. If they fail to get the victims’ family’s consent, they will be executed in few days.

According to the international organizations, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. From October 10, 2018, to October 8, 2019, the Iranian authorities issued death penalty sentence to 134 individuals and have already carried out 242 executions including 16 public executions.  At least five of the executed were juvenile offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. Secret executions of prisoners reported by the independent sources and the human rights association indicate that 72% of executions are carried out in secret or without any public notice.

A Prisoner Died in Custody Due to the Prison Medical Malpractice

Posted on: November 12th, 2019

On November 10, 2019, a prisoner died in Urmia Prison due to lack of medical treatment and negligence of the prison authorities. He was in prison since 2015 on the charge of murder. Maran Khamoui was a prisoner of the public ward 15 of Urmia Prison. According to a close source, he was sick for a week, but prison authorities rejected his transfer to the hospital, and he was only treated with pain killers. On November 10, he was transferred to the health wad because of his deteriorating health condition. He was still waiting to be transferred to the hospital when he died on 9 pm.

Death in custody due to similar causes is precedent but state prisons and the Security and Corrective Measures Organization’s authorities did not take any action on it.

Three People were Sentenced to Death and Lashes in Tehran and Isfahan

Posted on: November 12th, 2019

Iranian authorities sentenced three prisoners to death and lashes on the charge of drug felony and sexual assault. Two prisoners were sentenced to death in Najafabad Prison in Isfahan in the past few days. 33-year-old Majid Rezaipour, and 37-year-old Afshin Rezaipour, are in prison for drug felony. Moreover, according to Khorasan newspaper, a 25-year-old man was sentenced to death and lashes in Tehran. He assaulted six women while presenting himself as a taxi driver.

It should be noted that media inside Iran use “assault” when referencing to rape and various sexual harassment cases.

According to the international organizations, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. From October 10, 2018, to October 8, 2019, the Iranian authorities issued death penalty sentence to 134 individuals and have already carried out 242 executions including 16 public executions.  At least five of the executed were juvenile offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. Secret executions of prisoners reported by the independent sources and the human rights association indicate that 72% of executions are carried out in secret or without any public notice.

Atefeh Rangriz Went on Hunger Strike

Posted on: October 17th, 2019

On October 16, 2019, Atefeh Rangriz, a political prisoner of Qarchak Prison, went on hunger strike.

Her trial was on August 5, 2019 and was led by judge Moghiseh who set a bail of two billion Tomans (approx. 180 thousand dollars)  for her temporary release, but she could not afford it and was returned to prison. On August 31 she was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison and 74 lashes by the Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.

She was arrested along with several others in the protests of the International Labor Day in front of the parliament in Tehran on May 1, 2019. A few of the protesters were released but Neda Naji, Atefeh Rangriz, and Marzieh Amiri are still in prison.