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.

Appeals Court upholds Kiumars Marzban’s Sentence of 23-year and 9 Months Prison Term

Posted on: October 14th, 2019

On October 13, 2019, appeals court upheld Kiumars Marzban’s sentence of 23 years and nine months imprisonment. On August 24, 2019, Kiumars Marzban, a detained 26-year-old writer and satirist, was sentenced to 23 years and nine months in prison by the preliminary court in Tehran. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Kiumars Marzban should serve 11 years in prison.

His lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, confirmed the appeals court’s verdict and added that the appeals court hearing was convened without Marzban or his lawyer presence and without hearing his defense. Aghasi said: “We did not receive any response to our appeal statement. For instance, he was charged with “cooperating with a hostile state” while even Iranian authorities consider the organization that he wrote for as a nonprofit organization.”

Kiumars Marzban began his career making short films. He directed eight short film between 2005-2009. He left Iran in 2010 and while living in Malaysia, he hosted a comedy podcast called “Sangtab Radio”. He published few books such as short stories titled “kham bodam, pokhteh shodam, balk eh pasandideh shodam” (I was Raw, I Became Ripe and Pleasant) and “aziz jan” (My Dear).

Kioomars Marzban returned to Iran in 2017. On August 26, 2018, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps officers raided Marzban’s residence, arrested him, and confiscated his several personal items included laptop and cellphone. He is a prisoner at Evin Prison for a year now. His trial was scheduled for March 3, 2020 but it was held in late July 2019 at the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for “cooperating with a hostile state”, seven years and six months in prison for blasphemy, a year and half imprisonment for “propaganda against the state”, three years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader and the Founder of the Revolution”, and nine months imprisonment for “insulting authorities”.

Seyed Aram Aminzadeh Was Sentenced to 11-year Prison Term by Appeals Court

Posted on: October 12th, 2019

On October 11,2019, West Azerbaijan appeals court upheld Seyed Aram Aminzadeh’s sentence of 11 years imprisonment. He was sentenced to an 11-year prison term by the preliminary court of the Branch 1 of Urmia Prison.

Seyed Aram Aminzadeh, prisoner of Urmia Prison, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state through establishing Salafi groups in cyber space” and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”. 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 10 years.

A Prisoner Was Found Dead in a Prison in Mashhad

Posted on: October 5th, 2019

On September 29, 2019, a prisoner who was diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) died in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad due to the lack of medical treatment and negligence of the prison authorities.

Asghar Samani was serving time for murder in the ward five of Vakilabad Prison. He was found dead in prison’s restroom at 6 am.  According to an informed source, Asghar Samani was diagnosed with TB and prison’s authorities were negligent toward his condition. The source also added that there are at least 600 prisoners in this ward and they were frequently treated with pain killers and psychedelic drugs.

HRANA published a report in February 2019 about the prevalence of TB, lice and bed bugs in Ghezel Hesar Prison after the arrival of new prisoners. They were mostly drug addicts and were transferred to this prison’s general wards without spending some time in the quarantine ward. The prisoners and their families are concerned about the epidemic of contiguous diseases such as TB among the prisoners.

 At least Eight Prisoners Were Executed in Karaj

Posted on: September 28th, 2019

In the morning of September 25, at least eight prisoners who were sentenced to death earlier, were executed in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. Few days earlier, these prisoners alongside few others were transferred to solidarity confinement cells in Rajai Shahr prison to get prepared for execution for drug-related or murder felonies. 29-year old Davoud Samkar and 33-year old Mostafa Bakhti who were sentenced to death on the charge of murder were executed alongside six other prisoners. They were transferred to solidarity confinement with Ali Daravari (Delavari) and Mojtaba Soleimani. Daravari was returned to his ward after getting more time from victim’s next of kin. The status of Mojtaba Soleimani, the prisoner of the ward 7 of Rajai Shahr prison, is still unknown. According to Iran Human Rights (IHR), four prisoners who were transferred from Ghezel Hesar Prison to Rjai Shahr Prison on September 23, 2019, were executed on September 25. Their names are still unknown.

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. Based on 256 reports that have been registered by the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists Association in Iran, 195 death sentences and 236 people with death sentences were executed (including 13 executions in public) in Iran between January 1, 2018 and December 20, 2018. Six of them 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.

Mojtaba Bakhti was among the prisoners who were executed.

Appeals Court Sentenced Parisa Rafiee to 7 Years Imprisonment and 74 Lashes

Posted on: September 27th, 2019

On September 25, 2019, the sentence of Parisa Rafiee was upheld by the Branch 36 of the appeals court. She was initially sentenced by the primary court to a seven-year prison term, 74 lashes. Furthermore, she is banned from leaving the country and membership in political groups for two years. According to the article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, she should serve the sentence for the charge with the highest penalty which is five years.

Parisa Rafiee was studying at the School of Fine Arts at University of Tehran and was arrested on February 28, 2018, by security forces in front of Tehran University. On March 21, 2019, she was released on bail after 23 days of imprisonment in solidarity confinement in an unknown place. She was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, 74 lashes, and banned for two years from leaving the country and membership in political groups by the Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court led by judge Moghiseh on the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security”, “propaganda against the state” and “disrupting public order”. An unknown closed source reported to HRANA that, Parisa Rafiee was mistreated and abused during her interrogations including being sent for a virginity test, being threatened to be tortured or executed. The case officer told her family that she was deprived from her legal rights because she is not cooperating. She was accused of “not cooperating” “denying accusations” in her incitement. Her appeals court was scheduled for June 2, 2019 but after she attended, she was told that according to the order of chief of judiciary, her hearing was canceled, and she will be tried in absentia.

Tohid Ghoreishi Was Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

Posted on: September 27th, 2019

Tohid Ghoreishi, Sunni prisoner, was sentenced to a 16-year prison term by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court led by judge Moghiseh. His prior sentence was completed in March 2019 after serving five years in prison. A hearing session was scheduled on July 28, 2019 for another case, filed by the ministry of Intelligence.

Tohid Ghoreishi, the former Imam of Friday Prayer of Imam Shafi’i mosque in Talesh was arrested by security forces in Talesh in April 29, 2014. After a year of imprisonment, he was initially sentenced to a 10-year prison term, but this sentence was reduced to 7 years in prison by the Court of Appeals. Later, his sentence was reduced to a four-year prison term per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, Aggregation of Fines. Although he had finished his prison term in March 2019, he is still a prisoner of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

On September 24, 2019, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison which includes 10 years of imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”, five years of imprisonment on the charge of “supporting opposition groups”, and one year imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state”. Judge Moghiseh did not permit him to defend in the trial. The judge and the prosecutor did not have any accusation on him but threatened him and added that he deserves death penalty.

20 Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Argo Industry Were Laid Off

Posted on: September 24th, 2019

According to Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), the contracts of 20 workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcan Argo Industry have not been renewed. According to workers of this company, a notice signed by the administration supervisor, Ebrahim Ouraki, was sent to the several workers regarding the termination of their contract. This notice was sent to these workers on the final day of their contract which contrasts with the promises made by the Khuzestan government officials. Four or five laid off workers gave speeches during the meeting with Ahvaz’s Friday Prayer Imam, Mousavi Jazayeri, and the representative of Wali-Faqih (the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) in which they asked for his assistance to resolve the company’s problems.

The name of some of the works who were laid off are as the following:

Mohammad Khanifar, Reza Poorjenani, Saheb Zahiri, Mahmoud Sadi, Adel Abdolkhani, Samir Ahmadi, Hamzeh Al-Kasir, Iman Khezri, Karim Miahi, Fazel Chabizadeh, Ashkan Goudarzi, Masoud Loveymi and seven others.

 

Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Argo Industry

The protests of the workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Argo Industry started on March 28, 2018 in front of the Shush governor compound. Subsequently, the prosecutor’s office of Shush summoned several workers. The workers went to the prosecutor’s office three days later but were informed that their session was rescheduled.  On the same day, 10 protester workers were arrested. The Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane industrial complex union reported the strike of more than five hundred workers of this company from July 29, 2018. The protesters demanded an end to the privatization of the company and alleged houses to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, firing the executive board members of the company, and sustain the current director of the company. These protests periodical continued till August 2018. In November 2018 these protests were accompanied by protests of the workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) and continued till late December.  Esmail Bakhshi and Ali Nejati are two prominent labor activists of Haft Tappeh Complex who have been arrested during the protests. Bakhshi was arrested in November and was released on bail in December 2018. He was charged with “disruption of public order”, “assembly and collusion against national security”, and “participation in forming a group”, “intended to disrupt public security”. On December 2, 2018 he reported his return to his workplace.

Ali Nejati, who is a labor activist and a member of the managing board of the labor union representing employees of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company, was arrested by security forces on November 29, 2018 on the charges of “disrupting public order”, “collusion and assembly against national security” and “cooperation in establishing a group intended to disrupt peace and security”. He was transferred to the Shush prison on December 24, 2018. He was taken to the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Baghaei Hospital due to the deteriorating health for his heart. He is suffering from heart disease and a prolonged detention can have dire health consequences and might even endanger his life. In January, his family reported about his inappropriate detention condition. Nevertheless, his verdict was changed to release on bail, but he is still in detention.

On January 4, 2019, Esmail Bakhshi wrote an open letter and spoke out about abuse and torture he suffered in detention from Intelligence Department authorities during his detention. After that, Sepideh Gholian, a civil rights activist who was arrested during workers protests supported him. Bakhshi and Gholian have been rearrested after the broadcast of their under-torture confessions on the national television. They have been transferred from Sheiban and Sepidar prison in Ahvaz to Evin prison in Tehran on April 28, 2018 for their court hearing. In June 2019, a group of Haft Tappeh workers submitted an official complaint to the International Labour Organization regarding the ongoing suppression of protests and the detention of peaceful demonstrators and journalists. They published a list of Haft Tappeh workers or their families who have been summoned, arrested, threatened, or interrogated.

On August 13, 2019, seven workers of this company were sentenced to eight months imprisonment and 30 suspended lashes by the Branch 102 of the Criminal Court of Shush. Moreover, on August 26, 2019, nine workers of this company were sentenced to eight months imprisonment and 30 suspended lashes. On the same day of their demonstration on May 9, 2019, several workers were summoned and arrested. On September 7, 2019, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Esmail Bakhshi to a 14-year prison term and 74 lashes and Mohammad Khanifar to six years imprisonment. In addition, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadifard, Sanaz Allahyari, and Asal Mohammadi were sentenced to 18 years in prison, each. Their trial was held in the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, in August. Ali Nejati’s case is still open.

Haft Tappeh was founded in the 1960s in the city of Shush, in Khuzestan Province. It is the oldest sugar factory in Iran. Since 2015 due to the privatization deal based on article 44 of the constitution was transferred to the present owners. It has four thousand workers and employees and is located 15 kilometers south of the Shush city.

 

Maryam Mohammadi and Asreen Darkaleh Were Released on Bail

Posted on: September 19th, 2019

On September 18, 2019 Maryam Mohammadi and Asreen Darkaleh, women’s rights activists, were temporarily released on bail.

Maryam Mohammadi was arrested on July 8, 2019 in Garmsar, Semnan Province by security forces and was transferred to a solitary confinement cell at the intelligence department’s detention center in Evin Prison known as the ward 209. She was transferred to women’s ward of Evin Prison after a month in solitary confinement on August 8, 2019. She is 52 years old and a mother to a 16- and a 22-year-old girl. She had been a political prisoner from 1981 to 1989 when she was 14 to 22 years old.

Asreen Darkaleh was born in 1983 and has an 18-year-old child. She was arrested on July 28, 2019 in Garmsar, Semnan Province by security forces and was transferred to a solitary confinement cell at the intelligence department’s detention center in Evin Prison known as the ward 209. She was transferred to women’s ward of Evin Prison a day after Maryam Mohammadi’s transfer. The two are cousins.

Earlier, they were summoned to the Evin Prison’s prosecutor’s office in June after security forces searched her residences and confiscated some of their belongings. They were transferred to Evin Prison in August. Among their charges are “promoting corruption and prostitution”, “establishing and membership in Nedaye Zanane Iran (Iranian women’s call) Group”, “assembly and collusion against the national security”, and “propaganda against the state” for which they are under prosecution at the Branch 2 of the Evin Prison’s prosecutor’s office.

These activists are members of association of Nedaye Zanane Iran (Iranian women’s call) which is a women’s NGO working to empower women and improve the lives of them in Iran. Mohammadi and Darkaleh were also arrested during the International Women’s Day ceremonies in Tehran on March 7, 2019. They gave speeches on subjects such as “women as the core opposition force” and “the 40th anniversary of women movement”.

Seven Labor Activists of Haft Tappeh’s Case Sentenced to 110 Years in Prison and 74 Lashes, Combined

Posted on: September 9th, 2019

On September 7, 2019, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Esmail Bakhshi to a 14-year prison term and 74 lashes and Mohammad Khanifar to six years imprisonment. In addition, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadifard, Sanaz Allahyari, and Asal Mohammadi were sentenced to 18 years in prison, each. Their trial was held in the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, in August. Ali Nejati’s case is still open.

The collective court session for the detained labor activists of Haft Tappeh’s case was initially scheduled for August 3, 2019 at the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran led by judge Moghiseh. However, the session was postponed to a later date and was held one-by-one.

According to the verdict issued by the Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court led by judge Moghiseh, Esmail Bakhshi was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion aimed to act against national security”, two years imprisonment for “insulting the Supreme Leader”, two years imprisonment for the charge of “spreading falsehood”, one years and half in prison for the charge of “propaganda against the state”, and 1.5 years in prison and 74 lashes for the charge of “disrupting the public order”.

Sepideh Gholian, Amir (Ali) Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadfard, Sanaz Allahyari, and Asal Mohammadi, each were sentenced to seven years in prison for the charge of “assembly and collusion aimed to act against national security”,  another seven years in prison for the charge of “membership in Gam group”, one year and a half in prison for the charge of “propaganda against the state”, and two years and a half for “spreading falsehood”. According to the article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, each should serve the sentence for the charge with the highest penalty which is seven years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion aimed to act against national security”.

Mohammad Khanifar was sentenced to five years in prison for the charge of “assembly and collusion aimed to act against national security” and a one-year prison term for the charge of “propaganda against the state”. According to the article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, Mohammad Khanifar should serve the sentence for the charge with the highest penalty which is five years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion aimed to act against national security”.

The protests of the workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane industrial complex started on March 28, 2018 in front of the Shush governor compound. Subsequently, the prosecutor’s office of Shush summoned several workers. The workers went to the prosecutor’s office three days later but were informed that their session was rescheduled.  On the same day, 10 protester workers were arrested. The Haft Tappeh Sugarcane industrial complex union reported the strike of more than five hundred workers of this company from July 29, 2018 and these protests periodical continued till August 2018. The protesters demanded an end to the privatization of the company and alleged houses to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, firing the executive board members of the company, and sustain the current director of the company. In November 2018 these protests were accompanied by protests of the workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) and continued till late December.  Esmail Bakhshi and Ali Nejati are two prominent labor activists of Haft Tappeh Complex who have been arrested during the protests.

Esmail Bakhshi was arrested in November and was released on bail in December 2018. He was charged with “disruption of public order”, “assembly and collusion against national security”, and “participation in forming a group”, “intended to disrupt public security”. On December 2, 2018 he reported his return to his workplace. On January 4, 2019, Esmail Bakhshi wrote an open letter and spoke out about abuse and torture he suffered in detention from the Intelligence Department authorities during his detention. After that, Sepideh Gholian, a civil rights activist who was arrested during workers protests supported him. Bakhshi and Gholian have been rearrested after the broadcast of their under-torture confessions on the national television. They have been transferred from Sheiban and Sepidar prison in Ahvaz to Evin prison in Tehran on April 28, 2018 for their court hearing.

On August 10, 2019, the trial of Sepideh Gholian was held at the Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. In this session Sepideh Gholian claimed that she was subjected to abuse during her interrogation and was forced to confess therefore she does not approve her accusation. Sepideh Gholians attorney, Jamal Heydari Manesh, stated that his client was under pressure during her arrest and interrogation and she was falsely accused. He emphasized that defending the workers’ right is not a crime but one the rights of his client.

Ali Nejati, who is a labor activist and a member of the managing board of the labor union representing employees of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company, was arrested by the security forces on November 29, 2018 on the charges of “disrupting public order”, “collusion and assembly against national security” and “cooperation in establishing a group intended to disrupt peace and security”. He was transferred to the Shush prison on December 24, 2018. He was taken to the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Baghaei Hospital due to the deteriorating health for his heart. He is suffering from heart disease and a prolonged detention had a dire health consequence and even endangered his life. In January, his family reported about his inappropriate detention condition. Nevertheless, his verdict was changed to release on bail, and he was temporary released on January 28, 2019.

The members of “Gam”, a labor right defendant magazine was arrested by the security forces. On January 16, 2019, Amir Amirgholi was arrested in city of Babolsar and was transferred to the ward 209 of Evin Prison. He was transferred to Ahvaz’s Intelligence department on February 18, 2019 and then transferred to quarantine ward of Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz. Currently, he is in ward four of Evin Prison. Sanaz Allahyari and her husband Amir Hossein Mohammadifar, were arrested on January 9, 2019. Mohammadifar was transferred from the ward 209 in Evin Prison to the ward 4 and Allahyari was transferred to the woman ward of Evin Prison.

Asal Mohammadi, labor activist, was arrested at her home by security forces on the charge of supporting workers’ protests on November 22. On January 5, 2019, she was released on 400 million Tomans [4000 dollars] bail. She was rearrested on August 4, 2019 by judge Moghiseh order. Reportedly, she could not afford the updated set bail of two billion Tomans [200 thousand dollars].

Mohammad Khanifar was arrested during the mass arrest on November 19, 2019 during the protest of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane and he was released on January 26, 2019. On January 29, he was summoned to Shush’s Intelligence department and was rearrested there. He was released on bail on January 29, 2019. His trial session for another part of this case was held on February 12, 2019 in the Shush Court. In this session his incitement was about the charge of” unauthorized demonstration demanding the change of management of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcan Agro-Industry and the release of Esmail Bakhshi”.

Haft Tappeh was founded in the 1960s in the city of Shush, in Khuzestan Province. It is the oldest sugar factory in Iran. Since 2015 due to the privatization deal based on article 44 of the constitution was transferred to the present owners. It has four thousand workers and employees and is located 15 kilometers south of the Shush city.