Yesterday, October 19, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi and civil activist Behnam Moosivand went on hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the political prisoners are protesting their beatings by prison guards and their transfer to the quarantine section of the facility. Rajai Shahr Prison head Allah-Karam Azizi reportedly ordered the beating of the two inmates.
“Allah-Karam Azizi…ordered the executive officer Ghasem Sahraie and other guards to beat them because of their objection against a body search,” an informed source told HRANA. “They were (beaten) and (kicked) to the abdomen and testicles. Due to the injuries, Soheil and Behnam could not go to the court.”
On October 6, the political prisoners refused to appear on the court holding for the unjustified new cases opened against them during their prison term, of which the charges included “disturbing prison order” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. In response to this refusal, the deputy head of Rajai Shahr Prison Valiollah Muhammadi threatened them with a beating.
Soheil Arabi has been imprisoned without leave since November 7, 2013. While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi has been convicted on charges from two new cases.
In the first new case, On May 24, 2021, he was indicted on the charge of “agitation against the regime and Disturbing public opinions” via a video conference by Branch 3 of the Evin Investigation Office.
In the second new case, Soheil Arabi was condemned to 2 years imprisonment, paying a fine, and a ban from leaving the country and once every three times appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court. His court session to address these charges was held on July 28.
On February 1, 2018, the intelligence officials raided Behnam Moosivand’s home and transferred him to the detention facility of the intelligence ministry in Evin Prison, known as section 209. He was released on bail on March 19, 2018.
Thereafter, in September 2019, branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced him to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, and to one year on a charge of “agitation against the regime”. The verdict was upheld at appeal. On June 14, 2020, he appeared at the executive branch of Evin Prison to serve his six year sentence.