Qarchak Prison; a List of Political Prisoners and Prison Conditions

Posted on: March 2nd, 2020

Qarchak Women’s Prison also known as Shahre Rey Penitentiary is located in Varamin and has 11 wards. Each ward in this prison holds several female prisoners, disregarding the rules of segregation of prisoners by age and crime.

Political prisoners are transferred to this prison to put them under more pressure. The lack of medical care, dental care, and regular checkups, poor hygiene, and a great number of prisoners has caused several issues. The poor quality of food, drug use and easily accessibility narcotics, not isolating prisoners with a contagious disease from others, rape, and negligence of the prison authorities are some of the issues of this prison.

This report that is gathered by Human Rights Activists (HRANA) examines the conditions in Qarchak Prison and as well, the condition of nine female political prisoners who were kept in this prison. In addition, this report is investigating the condition of arrestees of the recent protests in Iran who are kept in a separate ward of this prison.

The information of this report was gathered from the sources inside the prison. Several prisoners contacted HRANA while incarcerated in Qarchak Prison or after they were released.

Prisoners Classification Regulation

The prison hosts a large number of inmates despite its small size. The prison does not separate inmates according to the crimes committed and this leads to violence; thus, worsening the situation as they are not offered medical services and are subjected to torture.

More than 130 prisoners of this prison are infected with HIV or Hepatitis and are kept in the same ward with others, not having access to medical treatment or medicine. These inmates are usually charged with crimes such as prostitution or drug felony. They threaten other inmates by self-harming with a sharp object or threaten to infect other prisoners by injuring them with the same sharp object or their body. Other prisoners filed several complaints about this issue but were told by the head of the Medical Ward that these diseases are not transferable, and the routine to keep these prisoners with others is practiced all over the world.

The Quarantine Ward of the prison was shut down months ago and therefore, new inmates enter general wards without being tested for diseases. Also, if by any chance, they are tested a few days after they entered, they usually return to the ward from the Medical Ward regardless of the test result being positive or negative.  The prisoners warned the prison authorities especially the head of the prison, Mehdi Mohammadi, and other authorities such as Sakineh Shahali, Zahra Mirzaei, and Maryam Mirzaei about the shortage of a Quarantine Ward but they never received any response.

A prisoner who was released recently from Qarchak Prison told HRANA that six women inmates have Scabies which is a contagious disease. She added that other inmates asked the prison authorities several times to transfer these six women to a separate ward since this disease is easily contagious through skin touch like shaking hands, sheets, or even from their clothes. The prison authorities’ responses were that this disease is not contagious.

 

Number of prisoners and prison’s area

According to the report, the prison’s seven sections contain more than 1400 prisoners with 120-300 prisoners held in each section, although the capacity of each section is 100 inmates. Some of these prisoners are incarcerated along with their children while the number of prisoners increases every year.

Each ward has 10 cubicles where each has four triple bunk beds. Several prisoners have to sleep on the floor.

 

Food

Food is one of the prison’s major problems as the food has a low quality and prison commissary sells low-quality food at a high price. The prison foods contain an unknown ingredient that causes extreme sourness in foods. The high level of acidity of these foods could cause hormonal diseases and other issues. To enrich the prison food with protein, oil cake (its common use is in animal feeding) has been replaced as the main ingredient.

15 prisoners are working in the kitchen from 7 am to 7 pm. They should receive a salary in return for their services but only a few of them received 100-150 thousand Toman [10-15 dollars] in total for six months. They do not have proper clothes, so they have to work with their everyday clothes in the kitchen that destroys their clothes due to the working condition.

 

Hygiene

At least 12 toilets and 10 bathrooms are in each ward. They are always not enough due to the high number of prisoners, facilities being out of order, and shortage of water. Cleaning the prison is prisoners’ responsibility but due to the lack of cleaning products, rubber gloves, and trash bags, inmates run out of these stuff in the first few days of the month and it leaves the bathrooms dirty with a lot of trash. As a result, infectious and skin diseases are common in this prison due to poor hygiene as well, roofless bathrooms increase the occurrence of cold and pneumonia during cold seasons.

In addition, there is no hot water running for the past two months although hot water used to run for one hour in the morning and one hour at night. The rest of the day, prisoners can only take a cold bath. Moreover, the prison water is coming from wells and it is not purified. The water is not proper for drinking and using it for bathing caused women-related diseases especially during menstruation. Even this water was shut off for a few hours in some days and sewer water comes up. Prisoners should buy drinking water from the prison commissary at a high price.

Overall, there are mothers and children in this prison who are suffering from nutrition deficiency, lack of access to child clothes, and poor hygiene. For example, in February 2019 during the prison wardens’ violent attack to this prison after the prisoners protested not having access to medical treatment and other issues in the prison, tear gas was fired in the prison and a 20-day old infant lost his/her life.

 

Visits

The telephone contact allowance of the prisoners is not controlled by the prison authorities which resulted in a chaos of selling and buying telephone allowance between inmates. Prisoners are unable to contact the prison’s supervision office to complain about the prison conditions. Visiting times are only 15 minutes and it should be granted at least two months after the prisoners started serving time there. The visitors can not sit close to the prisoner or hug them.

 

Air condition

Only half of each ward has a heater which forces the prisoner to walk in blankets. The only response the prisoners get when they complain about it is to put on more clothes which leads to another issue which is the difficulty of access to clothes. Bringing clothes to prison was forbidden and inmates should obtain their clothes from the prison commissary. The price of clothes is double or even triple of it outside of prison. Prisoners should purchase their pillow and blanket and the price of the cheapest pillow is 35 thousand Toman.

Because of housing more prisoners than the capacity, the air ventilation and the number of toilets is below the required standards.

 

Prison authorities

Sadegh Deldadeh, the judge supervisor of Branch 1 of Shahriar Court, reportedly insulted or threatened prisoners of Qarchak Prison during trials.

The social services department of Qarchak Prison is inactive, and prisoners could not follow up on their cases from inside the prison. For example, Simin Khosravi, a prisoner of Qarchak, sewed her lips protesting the situation of her case and its lengthy process. She wrote letters to judicial authorities requesting some attention to her case seven months ago and has recently figured out that none of those letters even left the prison. Three days later, she opened her lips after the prison authorities made promises to follow up on her requests.

 

Rape

In addition, several reports indicate that younger prisoners are raped by older prisoners who have more violent crimes. Prison authorities neglect these reports and even stop checking on the wards which have a high rate of violence. Atena Daemi and Monireh Arabshahi wrote open letters about their experience in these prison conditions especially sexual assaults and rapes.

 

Women prisoners arrested during recent protests

Women who were arrested during the last November and January protests were transferred to Qarchak Prison. In order to open up space for these new prisoners, prison authorities shut down the prison gym and place these prisoners there. This new ward does not have required facilities and standards such as proper air ventilation or air conditioning. As a result, 1400 prisoners of Qarchak are deprived of having a gym. Most of the prisoners of this ward were released on bail later but still, 11 prisoners were kept in this ward. Also, Zahra Sadeghi, Mary Mohammadi, and Elnaz Pakravan who were arrested during January protests are still in this ward.

 

Nine political prisoners of Qarchak Prison:

Elnaz Pakravan is an 18-year old prisoner of this prison. She was arrested on January 31, 2020, for attending a demonstration near the Turkish embassy in Tehran, protesting the arrest of an Iranian singer, Amir Hossein Maghsoudlo also known as Tataloo. She was charged with “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion by having a leadership role in an unlawful protest”. She is in the new ward of Qarchak prison (Gym).

Maryam Ebrahimvand’s first arrest was on July 26, 2016, and she was transferred to the IRGC’s Intelligence detention center in Evin Prison. She was released on 300 million Toman [cash] bail after spending 35 days in solitary confinement. On July 22, 2018, she was arrested for the second time by the Intelligence Department officers on the charge of “publishing lies against the IRGC ”, and “using government properties and misusing it”. Her bail was set for 8 billion Toman. She is in Qarchak Prison in a limbo state without trial. She is now in ward 2 of the Qarchak Prison and was banned from entering the cultural part of the prison and receiving books.

Zahra Zare Seraji and her husband, Morteza Nazari Sedehi, were arrested on February 8, 2018. They were transferred to ward 209 of Evin Prison. She was transferred to the general ward of Evin Prison from February 26, 2018, till April 20, 2018, after initial investigations and interrogations. She was released on 200 million Toman bail from Evin Prison. In September 2018, Ms. Zare Seraji was tried along with three others including her husband. She was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and paying fines for the charges of “establishing illegal group”, “publishing lies in cyberspace”, and “propaganda against the state”. In February 2019, the appeals court reduced her sentences to two years imprisonment. She was arrested in September 2019 in Baharestan to serve her sentence. She is now in ward six of Qarchak Prison.

Zahra Sadeghi was an employee of the UN and traveled to Sudan and Iraq for her work. She was arrested by the security forces at the airport after returning from a trip to Iraq. On January 28, 2019, she was transferred to the ward 209 of the Evin Prison. In January 2020, she was transferred to Qarchak Prison. She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the charge of espionage by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. Her sentence was reduced by an appeals court to three years. During her trial, none of her cooperation with the UN was mentioned in her accusations, and she was charged with espionage because of a trip to Turkey with a friend was considered as her accusations.

She was born in 1987 and she was arrested for the first time in 2014 by the Intelligence department agents and was released on bail from ward 209 of the Evin Prison after three months.

She is now in the new ward of Qarchak Prison (Gym).

Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi was arrested on January 12, 2020, during the wave of protests erupted in Tehran and other Iranian cities on January 11, after Iran admitted that it shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing 176 people. She was arrested in Azadi square and was transferred to Vozara detention center. She was severely beaten both in Azadi square and at Vozara detention center. On February 26, Ms. Mohammadi was released from Qarchak Prison on 30 million Toman bail. Her trial is scheduled for March 2, 2020, at Branch 1167 of Tehran’s criminal court.

Fatemeh Mohammadi, a former prisoner, and Christian convert was arrested on November 18, 2017, for the first time. She was detained in Tehran and was transferred to Evin prison. On April 7, 2018, Mohammadi, who was 19 years old at that time, was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by judge Ahmadzadeh, to six months imprisonment for the charges of “membership in proselytizing groups,” “Christian activity,” and “acting against the national security through propaganda against the regime.” She was released from Evin Prison’s women’s ward in spring 2018 after completing her sentence. She was charged with “disturbing public order through attending an unlawful protest”. Her trial is not scheduled yet. Although her bail was set for 30 million Tomans [approx. $3000], the prosecutor did not accept her bail. She was being kept in a limbo state for a month. She is now in the new ward of Qarchak Prison (Gym).

Leila (Khadijeh) Mirghafari and six others were arrested by the security forces on December 4, 2019. On November 10, 2019, they were tried at Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati. Ms. Mirghafari was sentenced to five years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion”. On May 18, 2019, her appeal court hearing was in session without her attendance and the appeals court upheld her sentences in February 2020.

Leila Mirghafari was arrested on October 2, 2018, by the security forces for supporting people who are against mandatory vail and was released after one day. She was sentenced to pay three million and 220 thousand Toman fine and was forced to pay the fine on May 21, 2019.

She is now in the new ward 5 of Qarchak 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 prosecutor’s 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. On November 10, 2019, she was tried at Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati. Ms.  Ahmadi was sentenced to two years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion”. On May 18, 2019, her appeal court hearing was in session without her attendance and the appeals court upheld her sentences in February 2020. A video was published earlier that shows Ms. Ahmadi handing out flowers and talking to people in the subway.

She is now in the new ward 5 of Qarchak Prison.

 

Marjan Davari was arrested on September 24, 2015, in Mehrshahr of Karaj. After spending one week in Rajai Shahr Prison, she was transferred to ward 209 of Evin Prison. She had been in solitary confinement from September 30 to January 3 (approximately 4 months) and then transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison.

She graduated from the Arts Department of Alzahra University in Tehran and is the translator of Islamic, esoteric and Illuminati books and a researcher of Rah-e-Marefat Institute for Metaphysical Studies and Research. She was arrested by the security forces after the Rah-e-Marefat Institute was shut down and its officials were arrested. Her court sessions were held at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Salavati, on 16, 17 and 18 October 2016, as well as on 11 and 12 December 2016. She was accused of “corruption on earth”, “adultery”, “assembly and collusion against the regime”, and “membership in Eckankar mystical sect”. Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati sentenced her to death. Her death sentence was rejected twice by the Supreme Court and was returned to Branch 23 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court to try again. Her trial was on January 11, 2019, and she was sentenced to 75 years in prison by Branch 23 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve 25 years in prison. She is now in the new ward 1 of Qarchak Prison.

 

Golrokh Ebrahim Iraee was arrested along with her husband on September 6, 2014. First was held at an IRGC safe house for two days, then she spent 20 days in a solitary cell of Evin Prison’s ward 2A, under the IRGC jurisdiction, before being released on a bail of 80 million Toman [approximately $19,000 USD].

On October 24, 2016, the IRGC arrested Ms. Iraee again without a warrant. She was sentenced to six years in prison for “blasphemy” and “assembly and collusion against the state.” She was later granted amnesty per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, which reduced her prison term to 2.5 years. After finishing her sentence, on April 8, 2019, she was released on bail for her new case.

While she was serving her time in prison, she was sentenced for another case to three years and seven months of imprisonment by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court and she was banned for two years from membership in political groups and parties. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should serve two years and one month in prison. Her sentence was upheld by the appeals court without any hearing. On November 9, 2019, she was arrested without a warrant at her house in Tehran. According to judge Mohammad Berae’s verdict, she should have been transferred to Evin Prison but because Gholamreza Ziaei, the head of Evin Prison, refused to admit her, she was transferred to Qarchak Prison and her house was searched.

She is now in the new ward 1 of Qarchak Prison.

An appeals court sentenced Yousef Kari to two years in prison

Posted on: February 28th, 2020

On February 16, 2020, appeals court presided by Judge Yousef Khodadadi reduced Yousef Kari’s sentence to two years imprisonment.

Mr. Kari, an Azerbaijani Turkic ethnic minority rights activist, was sentenced to a six-year prison term by Branch 1 of Ardabil’s Revolutionary Court. In December 2019, Mr. Kari was sentenced to one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state” and five years of imprisonment for the charge of “membership in the civil-ethnic group by attending their meetings with the intent of acting against the national security”.

On September 3, 2019, Mr. Kari was arrested in Shariati Square in Ardabil by the security forces. Although his bail was set at 50 million Tomans, his bail was not accepted by the authorities and his family was told that Mr. Kari’s bail had been increased to 200 million Tomans.

First arrest

On August 10, 2018, he was arrested along with others, after the security forces attacked Azerbaijani Turkic minority activists camp in Mount Sabalan. These activists reportedly planned to climb Mount Sabalan. They were arrested while reading poetry in their camp. Mr. Kari was released after few hours.

Zia Nabavi was arrested

Posted on: February 28th, 2020

On February 25, 2020, Zia Nabavi, former political prisoner, was arrested at his home by the security forces. They searched his house and confiscated his personal belongings. Further information about the reason for his arrest is not available yet.

Zia Nabavi is a graduate student in sociology at Allameh Tabatabaei University, a former member of Students’ Islamic Association of the Babol Noshirvani University and a member of the Council of Defending the Right to Education.

He was arrested in June 2009 and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and 74 lashes by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court on the charge of “Moharebeh through connection with the MEK” presided by Judge Pirabbasi. The appeals court reduced his sentence to a 10-year prison term in exile. In October 2010, he was transferred to Karun prison, and then to Semnan Prison in May 2014. Mr. Nabavi was released on the eve of the 9th year of imprisonment from Semnan prison, on February 14, 2018.

Three arrestees of November protests were sentenced to death

Posted on: February 22nd, 2020

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi who were arrested during the last November’s protests were tried on January 25-26, 2020 at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolghasem Salavati. Their sentences are as the following:

Amir Hossein Moradi was sentenced to death on the charge of “cooperating in vandalism and arson with an intent to act against the Islamic Republic of Iran”, 15 years in prison and 74 lashes for the charge of “cooperation in aggravated armed robbery at night” and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “crossing the border unlawfully”.

Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi: They were each sentenced to death on the charge of “cooperating in vandalism and arson with an intent to act against the Islamic Republic of Iran”, 10 years in prison and 74 lashes for the charge of “cooperation in aggravated armed robbery at night” and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “crossing the border unlawfully”.

According to their verdict, they will have another trial on March 3, 2019, but according to their attorneys, their verdict is finalized.

Arrest, torture, and forced confession

On November 16, 2019, Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were attending protests on Sattar Khan street in Tehran.

Amir Hossein Moradi was born on August 6, 1994, in Tehran. He finished high school in computer science and was working as a cell phone, computer, and software seller in Tehran. On November 19, Amir Hossein Moradi was identified and arrested by the security services (through observing the CCTV footage). Mr. Moradi was kept in a solidarity confinement cell in ward 240 of Evin Prison for a month. He was beaten by the security agents during his arrest and interrogation. A source close to his family told HRANA that Mr. Moradi told his family that he was attacked by stun gun, threatened to spend more time in solidarity confinement, and was promised to have medical treatment to pressure him to do a forced confession. He added that during one of his 13 interrogation sessions, a security agent stood on Mr. Moradi’s chest which caused injury to his ribs.

The reason for sentencing Mr. Moradi to execution was mentioned as instructing protesters, the leadership of the protests, and armed fight with the agents. He was accused of instructing protesters on Telegram to seize the camera while the security agents are filming protesters to protect protesters’ identities.

 

Saeed Tamjidi was born on May 22, 1992, and he is an undergraduate student in electrical engineering and Mohammad Rajabi was born on August 12, 1994, and holds a high school diploma.

On November 20, 2019, Mr. Tamjidi and Mr. Rajabi sought asylum to a neighboring country but on December 28, 2019, they were deported to Iran upon Iran’s request. They were arrested and transferred to Evin Prison.

Mohammad Rajabi and Saeed Tamjidi also said that they were beaten by the security police to pressure them to do a forced confession. A source close to their family who wanted to stay anonymous told HRANA that they told their families that most of the accusations are false and they confessed under torture. They added that “we were tired of the injustice in the country and we went to the street to protest that”.

 

An update on arrestees of last November’s protests

Posted on: February 18th, 2020

The nationwide protests of last November are the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 spots in the country, at least 7133 people were arrested, hundreds died on the streets, and many protesters got gunshot wounds.

1. The trial of four residents of Kermanshah was on February 10, 2020. Three of them were sentenced by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Kermanshah as the following:

Sohbatollah Omidi: He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and five years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve five years in prison.

Khalil Asadi Bouzhani: He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and three and half years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion against the national security”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve three and a half years in prison.

Mehdi Ebdali: He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.

Mohieldin Asghari: the court announced that it does not have the eligibility to try him for his charge of “assembly and collusion”.

It should be noted that Mohieldin Ashghari and Sohbatollah Omidi were released on a 200 million Tomans bail in January 2020.

 

Sohbat Omidi                    Khalil Asadi

 

2. Ali Nanvaei: was sentenced to six months imprisonment and 74 lashes (this sentence is suspended for two years). He is also sentenced to hand copy three books. He was initially charged with “assembly and collusion” but his charge was later changed to “disrupting public order”. He was arrested when he was leaving Tehran University on November 18, 2019. He is a student of Tehran University.

Ali Nanvaei

 

3.Mohammad Eghbali Golhin: On February 16, 2020, he was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, 74 lashes, and one-year exile to Rask by Branch 10 of Shahriar’s Criminal Court. He was sentenced to ten years for vandalism and one year for the charge of “disturbing public order”, and 74 lashes and one year exile for the charge of “fight with Basij militia”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that he should serve 10 years in prison. He was arrested on November 19, 2019, in Karaj.

 

4.Gita Hor: Ms. Hor, 30-years old, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment for “assembly in collusion against the national security” and one-year imprisonment for the charge of “propaganda against the state”. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that she should spend five years in prison. She was arrested on November 21, 2019. She is currently in Qarchak prison. Her trial was presided by judge Mohammad Reza Amouzadeh.

 

Arrests:

Tehran University students, Bahareh Hedayat, Amir Mohammad Sharifi, and Moin Zareian were arrested by the national security police because of attending last November’s protests. They were arrested on the following days:

Amir Mohammad Sharifi on February 9, Bahareh Hedayat on February 10, and Moin Zareian on January 22, 2020.

It should be noted that Bahareh Hedayat was arrested at Tehran University and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She went on a hunger strike after her arrest. Her health condition is deteriorating due to the hunger strike and prison condition. Amir Mohammad Sharifi and Moin Zareian are in Evin Prison.

 

Seven prisoners are on hunger strikes in Urmia and Evin prisons

Posted on: February 14th, 2020

Evin Prison

Amir Salar Davoudi, attorney detained in Evin Prison, has been on hunger strike from February 9, 2020, protesting not being granted a furlough. In a note published on February 12, 2020, Amir Salar Davoudi explained his motives to go on hunger strike protesting authorities who refused to grant him a furlough and added “I have been incarcerated for 15 months of which I spend 190 days in a solitary confinement cell but my request for a furlough has been denied. I am going on hunger strike to protest this decision. I hold the judicial authorities responsible.” He has been detained in Evin Prison since November 20, 2018. On June 1, 2018, he was sentenced by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to 30 years in prison of which the highest penalty is 15 years imprisonment for the charge of “establishing a channel in the Telegram app”. His other charges are “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”.

Four other political prisoners of Evin Prison, Barzan Mohammadi, Reza Mohammad Hosseini, Mehdi Meskinnavaz, and Khaled Pirzadeh have been on hunger strike from February 1, 2020, protesting denial of their request for parole, neglecting political prisoners requests, not conforming to the prison classification regulation, lengthy prosecutions, receiving unreasonable prison sentences, and finalizing the primary courts verdicts without an opportunity to appeal.

Barzan Mohammadi was arrested in August 2017 because of his activities on social media. He was sentenced to six years in prison for the charges of “assembly and collusion with an intention to disrupt the public order”, and “propaganda against the state” by the primary court. His appeal court was in session in March 2019 where his sentence was reduced to 3.5 years imprisonment

Reza Mohammad Hosseini’s was sentenced to 16.5 years imprisonment; he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”, three years imprisonment for the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”, three years imprisonment for the charge of “crossing the border unlawfully”, two years imprisonment for the charge of “unlawful entry to the country” and 1.5 years imprisonment for the charge of “disobeying the officers’ orders”. He was arrested in May 2019 by the IRGC intelligence officers and was taken to the IRGC’s detention center in Evin Prison. He was later transferred to the Ward 4 of Evin Prison. Reza Mohammad Hosseini was taken to the hospital on February 11, 2020, after experiencing asthenia. His situation is unknown after the transfer.

Khaled Pirzadeh was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion”, and to two years imprisonment for the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

Mehdi Meskinnavaz tried at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran in August 2019 and was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion and propaganda against the state”. He was also exiled to Fahraj in Kerman Province and ban from membership in political parties and groups.

 

Urmia Prison

Siamak Ashrafi Ashgasou, a political prisoner of Urmia Prison, is on hunger strike from January 21, 2020, protesting the denial of his request to parole and his family being disrespectfully treated by the court employees. He was arrested in June 2016 by the security forces and was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the charge of “membership in an opposition group” and to eight months imprisonment for “draft evasion” by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia. He requested parole after serving more than three years of his sentence.

Bashir Pirmawaneh has been on hunger strike from January 25, 2020, protesting his request for parole not being processed. He was arrested in March 2016 and was tried in April 2016 at Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia where he was sentenced to five years imprisonment for “membership in an opposition group”. The sentence was later reduced to four years. He has served more than a third of his sentence at the time of his request.

14 civil rights activists received long-term prison sentences

Posted on: February 14th, 2020

A letter signed by 14 civil rights activists was published in July-August of 2019 demanding resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. After this letter was published, some of the signees were arrested and some were under pressure. Currently, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, Mohammad Nourizad, Javad Laal Mohammadi, Seyed Hashem Khastar, and Fatemeh Sepehri who signed this letter are still in detention and some were released on bail.

On February 1, 2020, eight arrestees who signed the letter requesting Ayatollah Khamenei’s resignation, were sentenced to a total of 90 years imprisonment, six years ban from leaving the country, and six years of exile by Branch 4 of Mashhad’s Revolutionary Court. Their detailed sentences are as the following:

Seyed Hashem Khastar: 16 years imprisonment, three years exile to Nikshahr, and three years ban from leaving the country

Mohammad Nourizad: 15 years imprisonment, three years exile to Izeh, and three years ban from leaving the country.

Abdolrasoul Mortazavi: 26 years imprisonment

Mohammad Hossein Sepehri: 6 years imprisonment

Fatemeh Sepehri: 6 years imprisonment

Hashem Rajai, Morteza Ghasemi, and Mohammad Hosseinpour: each was sentenced to a one-year prison term

In addition, Javad Laal Mohammadi was sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment on February 4, 2019.

Moreover, on February 5, 2020, Mohammad Mahdavifar, civil rights activist and a signee of the letter was sentenced to 9 years in prison by Branch 102 of the Penal Court 2 Aran and Bidgol.

These sentences were issued for the charges of “establishing an unlawful group and propaganda against the state”. The sentences for “insulting the Supreme Leader and the Founder of the Islamic Republic” are still in process.

On February 3, 2020, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi and on February 4, Javad Laal Mohammadi were arrested.

It should be noted that they were arrested together on August 11, 2019, in front of a courthouse in Mashhad.

 

A letter of 14 women civil rights activists

In August 2019, another letter was published under the title of 14 women civil rights with content similar to the aforementioned letter, requesting Ayatollah Khamenei’s resignation. After this letter was published, the security forces arrested Zahra Jamali on August 24, Giti Pourfazel on August 19, Shahla Entesari on August 22, and Shahla Jahanbin on August 21.

Eventually, Shahla Jahanbin on November 13, Shahla Entesari on November 10, and Giti Pourfazel on November 13 were each temporarily released on a 500 million Toman bail before completion of the prosecution from Evin Prison.

Four civil rights activists, Shahla Jahanbin, Zahra Jamali, Giti Pourfazel, and Shahla Entesari, who wrote an open letter in summer of 2019 and requested Ayatollah Khamenei’s resignation, were sentenced each to six years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court for the charges of “assembly and collusion against the national security” and “propaganda against the state”.

Among them, Ms. Giti Pourfazel who is an attorney and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was also sentenced to two years ban from membership in parties and social/political groups.

A report on Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi

Posted on: February 14th, 2020

Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi, is a detained Christian convert and the former prisoner. She was studying English translation at Islamic Azad University North Tehran Branch but on December 21, 2019, she was banned from entering the university and was told that she has been banned from studying there.

 

First arrest

Fatemeh Mohammadi was arrested on November 18, 2017, for the first time. She was detained in Tehran and was transferred to Evin prison. On April 7th, 2018, Mohammadi, who was 19 years old at that time, was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by judge Ahmadzadeh, to six months imprisonment for the charges of “membership in proselytizing groups,” “Christian activity,” and “acting against the national security through propaganda against the regime.” She was released from Evin Prison’s women’s ward in spring 2018 after completing her sentence.

 

Second Arrest

Fatemeh Mohammadi was arrested by the NAJA (Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran) on July 9, 2019. She was arrested after a woman, Mousavi, harassed her because of her dress code and injured Mohammadi’s face. Mohammadi went to a police station to file a complaint against that woman but she was arrested instead. The attacker claimed that she was “enjoining good and forbidding wrong” which Iranian authorities considered positive roles in helping others to take the straight path and abstain from reprehensible acts. A witness reported that Mohammadi was sitting on the bus when a Chador-wearing woman, Mousavi, insulted her and advised her to wear her headscarf properly. Mousavi attacked Mohammadi, pushed her chest with her hand, and beat her face until her nails were covered in blood. The bus driver stopped the bus and they went to the police station branch 119. She filed a complaint against Mousavi, but the police let her go and arrested Mohammadi. She was released on bail on July 10, 2019.

 

Third arrest

On January 12, 2020, Fatemeh Mohammadi was arrested during the wave of protests erupted in Tehran and other Iranian cities on January 11, after Iran admitted that it shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing 176 people. She was arrested in Azadi square and was transferred to Vozara detention center. She was severely beaten both in Azadi square and at Vozara detention center. She had bruises for more than three weeks after her arrest. Women guards humiliated her by forcing her to get naked and sitting and standing a few times in front of them and then uncommonly inspected her body twice. According to a close source, she was mistreated by the prison wardens; she was forced to stay outside in the cold weather without any food for 24 hours. After a day, she was transferred to Branch 6 of Evin Prosecutor’s office and was eventually transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin and she is currently at the new ward of this prison (Bashgah). She was mistreated and humiliated in this prison.

She was charged with “disturbing public order through attending an unlawful protest”. Her trial is not scheduled yet. Although her bail was set for 30 million Tomans [approx. $3000], the prosecutor did not accept her bail. She was being kept in a limbo state for a month.

Seven Civil Rights Activists Were Imprisoned

Posted on: January 9th, 2020

On December 26, 2019, seven civil rights activists, Mahrokh Rousta, Kaveh Mozaffari, Faraz Roshan, Jelveh Javaheri, Forough Saminia, Ahmad Zahedi Langeroudi, and Houman Tahriri were arrested during the commemoration ceremony held 40 days after the killing of Navid Behboudi, one of the victims of last November’s protests. The arrestees had a brief phone conversation with their families. However, their accusations are not yet confirmed. On January 1st, 2020, Forough Saminia, Jelveh Javaheri, Mahrokh Rousta were transferred to Lakan Prison in Rasht upon completion of their interrogation from the Rasht’s Intelligence Department’s detention center. On the same day, Kaveh Mozaffari, Ahmad Zahedi Langeroudi, Houman Tahriri, and Faraz Roshan were transferred to Ziabar Prison in Gilan Province. They were transferred to the aforementioned prisons although the prosecutor’s office announced earlier that all the arrestees can be released on bail.

Forugh Saminia, Jelveh Javaheri, and Kaveh Mozaffari are women’s rights activists while Ahmad Zahedi Langeroudi is a journalist and a member of the Iranian Writer’s Association. They were arrested along with several others, namely Amir Eslami, Sara Zaher Kerdar, Fahimeh Kameli, and Azar Jafari who were also attending this commemoration ceremony but were later released.

Navid Behboudi was a 23-year old model originally from Gilan residing in Qods city. On November 17, 2019, he was fatally shot during last November’s protest in Qods city. On November 20, 2019, his body was received by his family and was buried in Mahvizan, a village in the rural district of Sowme’eh Sara County, Gilan Province. The nation-wide protests of November are one of the most significant events of 2019. During the November protests that lasted more than 10 days simultaneously in 719 parts of the country. At least 7133 people were arrested, and hundreds died on the streets.

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 2018 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.