Web Master & Blogger Vahid Asghri Sentenced to Death

Posted on: January 9th, 2012

HRANA News Agency – One month after his trial held at the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court, the authorities have notified Vahid Asghri that a death sentence has been issued for him.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch in Kurdistan, Vahid Asghri, 25, was arrested on October 4, 2008 by plain clothes agents working for IRGC (the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution).  Judge Abolqasem Salvati presiding over the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court has sentenced Vahid Asghri to death.

In February 2009, IRGC Cyber Police announced that Vahid Asghri and a few other web masters of Internet sites opposing Islam had been arrested.

Vahid Asghri and other accused individuals were physically and psychologically tortured while in custody and were forced to appear in televised confessions.  These sessions were broadcast in Iran prior to their trials.

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Death Penalty Upheld for Two Kurdish Political Prisoners

Posted on: October 12th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – The Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for two Kurdish political prisoners locked up in Rajai-Shahr Prison.Both prisoners, Zanyar Moradi and Lughman Moradi, have been verbally notified of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the public defender assigned to these cases was unable to confirm the ruling although his clients have already been notified verbally by the authorities.

Zanyar Moradi and Lughman Moradi have been accused of killing the son of Friday Prayer Imam in Marivan and two members of his entourage on the orders of the British Secret Intelligence Services (MI6) and with the help of a Kurdish political party.After their confessions were aired on the state television, Judge Abolqasem Salvati presiding over the Revolutionary Court, Branch 15, sentenced them to be hanged in public.

When Zanyar Moradi and Lughman Moradi were transferred to Rajai-Shahr Prison, they wrote a letter detailing the account of physical tortures endured by them in prison and declared the confessions false and void since they were obtained under means of torture.In their letter, Zanyar Moradi and Lughman Moradi further explained that in addition to being severely tortured, they were threatened to be raped using a bottle if they didn’t confess to the crime.

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Ali Ajami in Critical Condition in Rajai-Shahr Prison

Posted on: September 30th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – Ali Ajami is an imprisoned student activist who is spending the last days of his two year sentence in Rajai-Shahr Prison.During his incarceration, Ali Ajami has been denied basic rights including access to telephone and furlough granted to political prisoners.Incapable of traveling the long distance between their residence and Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj every week, Ali Ajami’s elderly parents see their child every four months.Ali Ajami’s family lives in Sabzevar County in the north eastern province of Razavi Khorasan.

In an interview with Jaras News, Javad Ajami explained his brother’s condition in prison and said, “I saw my brother 20 days ago.Since then, I don’t have any news from him.We live in Sabzevar County and must travel the long distance from home to the city of Karaj for 20 minutes of visit with him.For this reason, we can’t make the trip every week.My parents are old and can’t bear the physical hardship.They came to see Ali three months ago.The officials must understand how difficult it is for my parents and how much they suffer from not being able to see Ali.”

Ali Ajami is a law student at Tehran University, a leftist activist and the editor of a student publication called “A Better World.”Ali Ajami was amongst the students who sustained some injuries when Basij Militia attacked the dormitories in Tehran University on June 14, 2009.

Ali Ajami was arrested on February 10, 2010 at home in Sabzevar County and taken to a detention center in the city of Sabzevar.He was then transferred to a solitary confinement in Ward 209 in Evin Prison where he spent 100 days in a legal state of limbo.On January 26, 2011, Ali Ajami was taken to Rajai-Shahr Prison where he has been forced to tolerate very difficult conditions during the last few months of his sentence.Ali Ajami has less than 3 months left of his prison term.

Judge Abolqasem Salvati presiding over the Revolutionary Court, Branch 15, sentenced Ali Ajami to 4 years in prison on charges of “Propaganda and Conspiracy Against the Regime,” but this verdict was later reduced to 2 years by the Appeals Court of Tehran Province.

Expressing concerns about his brother’s condition, Javad Ajami said, “Ali was studying law, and he had only 3 months left to graduate when they arrested him in Sabzevar.He was transferred to Mashhad Prison first and then taken to Evin when he was convicted.He was sentenced to 4 years in prison, but the Appeals Court overturned this verdict and reduced his sentence to 2 years in prison on charges of Propaganda Against the Regime.He has been in prison one year and 8 months.He has served 8 months in Rajai-Shahr Prison.I swore to God; our predicament is so painful and unbearable that I really don’t know what to say or which pain to describe.”

Yesterday, the families of political prisoners reported that new restrictions had been imposed on the inmates.The families say that prisoners are beaten and battered regularly these days in Rajai-Shahr Prison, and political prisoners are harassed by prison officials and guards for any excuses.Lately, it was reported that Masoud Bastani, an imprisoned journalist, was beaten by the prison guards in Rajai-Shahr Prison in front of his mother and wife.Last week, while Ali Ajami and Jafar Eghdami were being taken to the prison hospital, they were beaten by prison guards, and when the prisoners objected to the beating, both of them were sent to solitary confinement.

Pointing out the horrific conditions in Rajai-Shahr Prison, Javad Ajami added, “The situation in Rajai-Shahr Prison is extremely poor.Since Ali was transferred there, he has been very upset and is under pressure because political prisoners are mixed with ordinary inmates convicted of a variety of crimes.Since then, his physical health has suffered; medical problems aren’t handled in prison, and there is no recourse available.When he was in Evin, conditions were a bit better there.In our last visit, I noticed Ali was ill, had a swelling and wasn’t emotionally well either.Ali didn’t have any physical problems before his imprisonment and was totally healthy.”

Emphasizing that his brother has been denied any rights granted to political prisoners, Java Ajami continued, “During his incarceration, Ali hasn’t been given furlough.No matter how hard he and we have tried, there has been no answer.We wrote letters to the prosecutor’s office but received no reply.We really don’t know what to do and appeal to which government office to ask for our loved one’s basic rights.Ali has been denied the right to have access to a phone, to have in-person visits with his family or go on furlough.During all this time, we have been given the permission to see him in-person only once.”

Addressing government officials, Java Ajami at the end said, “If anyone hears the voices of Ali’s elderly parents and understands their pain, give him a furlough or at least grant us the permission to see him in person once more so that my parents suffer less and experience the joy of embracing Ali in their arms.”

In a letter written to the Head of the Judiciary Branch, a group of political prisoners in Rajai-Shahr Prison have revealed accounts of being insulted, belittled and physically punished by prison officials and have requested a special committee to be appointed to interview the prisoners and investigate all the allegations.

In this letter, political prisoners of Rajai-Shahr Prison wrote, “Only in the last six months, eight political prisoners in Hall 12 have been insulted, belittled and beaten in various ways.Unfortunately, every time one of these prisoners decided to seek justice by protesting against these acts, he was set up by the guards and accused of some sort of crime.Consequently, the prisoners were forced to withdraw their objections fearing new charges that would have increased their prison terms.”

 

Majid Tavakoli Deprived of an Education Permanently

Posted on: September 18th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – Judge Abolqasem Salvati presiding over the Revolutionary Court, Branch 15, has issue an order to deprive Majid Tavakoli from an education permanently.This verdict was delivered in reply to a request filed by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran in 2009.

According to a report by Daneshjoo News, this new order prevents Majid Tavakoli from continuing his education while he is in prison and will deny him the right to enroll in any university throughout the country after he is released.

Following his last arrest on December 7, 2009, Majid Tavakoli was tried in the Revolutionary Court, Branch 15.During that trial, the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran asked Judge Abolqasem Salvati to deprive him of an education for good.After nearly two years since the motion was filed, this request was granted by the presiding judge.

The First Visit After Four Months

Last Thursday, on September 15, 2011, Majid Tavakoli was granted the permission to see his brother, Ali Tavakoli, in prison after nearly four months.Two brothers were allowed extra 5 minutes to be together in addition to the customary 20 minutes allotted for each visit.Last time Majid Tavakoli saw his family in prison was on May 24, 2011.

Since January 2011, when political prisoners in Rajai-Shahr Prison were transferred to a separate ward, they have been denied phone communication with the outside world.The authorities didn’t even allow Majid Tavakoli to phone his family during the Persian New Year celebrations.Despite her repeated requests from the judiciary and prison officials, Majid Tavakoli’s mother has been denied any contact with him.Due to illness, she is unable to travel and has not seen her son since December 7, 2009.

Affirming Last Year’s Message on the Eve of Commencements

Majid Tavakoli has once more emphasized the importance of points mentioned in his letter issued before universities were reopened last year.In this statement, he wrote, “Accordingly, universities have become people’s hope as if there is a covenant bestowed upon them by students:A pledge to keep freedom alive and to bring happiness to each home; a promise to expose violence such that it will be allowed to neither exist nor resurface again; a covenant to tear apart the chains restricting freedom of speech, beliefs and thoughts; an oath to amplify and spread friendship and empathy; a vow to make allowances for each other and respect one another; a pact to attain liberty, justice, democracy, peace, human rights, morality and humanity all at once.”

“People hold an unfaltering covenant in their hands.Although what lies ahead for students is arduous and rigorous, I am confident that success will be achieved with determination, and the people will hold you in high regards for it.Then, even if tyranny flexes its muscles with violence and repression, it will be defeated once more.”

“September has arrived again, and a difficult year is ahead.We will have a bright future if our unity and togetherness based on our achievements and past experiences lead us to frame a covenant that gives meaning to our solidarity for freedom and resistance against tyranny.I know that a legendary saga is about to unfold once more.I know that people’s hopes will materialize.I know that we will stand side by side in liberty’s jubilee and the joy of triumph.And we will begin Septembers kindheartedly.”

 

Misagh Yazdan Nejad Denied Medical Care

Posted on: September 1st, 2011

HRANA News Agency – Political prisoner Misagh Yazdan Nejad has been denied medical care by judicial and prison authorities.Currently, he is behind bars in critical condition in Rajai-Shahr Prison.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), although the medical examiner and the medical commission have recommended to the prosecutor and prison officials that Misagh Yazdan Nejad needs to undergo a surgery, nothing has been done thus far.

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