Sajad Zare Released from Prison After Completing Sentence

On October 4, political prisoner Sajad Zare was released from Adelabad Prison in Shiraz after completing his sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on September 26,he was transferred to the detention facility of the intelligence office where he was interrogated for two days. Thereafter, he was sent back to Adelabad prison where he was kept in the quarantine section until his release.

On May 24 of this year, Zare was granted furlough and went back to prison on July 11.

Zare was arrested by the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards on February 10, 2020, and transferred to the detention facility of the intelligence unit in Shiraz. After completing the interrogation process, he was relocated to Adelabad Prison.

Addressing the first part of his case, the revolutionary court sentenced him to 17 months imprisonment on a charge related to “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran” and to 7 months on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

For the second part, he was condemned to five years imprisonment for the charge of “blasphemy”. The latter was reduced to 2 years by the court of appeal held in Tehran.

Zare is 33 years old and a resident of Shiraz.

Vahid Afkari’s Request for Retrial Rejected by Supreme Court

Political prisoner Vahid Afkari’s request for retrial was recently rejected by the Supreme Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Afkari  is currently imprisoned in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Saeid Dehghan, the lawyer for the Afkari Brothers, wrote in a note on his social media, “Even if they had just skimmed and scanned the case document, there were enough legal reasons to accept a retrial as the verdict contains 24 contradictions and 3 lies.” Dehghan went on to ask, incredulously,  “25 years imprisonment only based on the Judge’s knowledge and without observing Article 211 of the Penal Code?”

Navid Afkari and Vahid Afkari were arrested in September 2018, and Habib Afkari was arrested in December 2018 in connection with the nationwide protests in August 2018. The brothers  have been repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations.

After being tried by the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz’s Criminal Court, Navid Afkari was sentenced to 2 death sentences, six years and 6 months imprisonment, and 74 lashes, Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 54 years and 6 months imprisonment and 74 lashes, and Habib Afkari was sentenced to 27 years and three months in prison and 74 lashes.

Despite the serious flaws in the basis of the case against the brothers, and despite a wave of worldwide support for him and calls for authorities to halt the execution, one of the three brothers, Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz at dawn on September 12, 2020.

That same month, Vahid and Habib Afkari were transferred to the isolated ward of Ebrat which is a detention center for prisoners deprived of telephone contact.

Hassan Younesi, one of the Afkari brothers’ lawyers, said in late September of last year, “After the execution of Navid Afkari, Vahid and Habib are not being held in the public ward, and their families and lawyers have not had any (free) meetings with the Afkari brothers.”

Previously, Saeid Afkari, Vahid’s brother, had reported on his social media that he had met with Habib and Vahid Afkari and that they were being held “in solitary confinement, without the right of contact and the right to medical treatment”.

“According to the prison guidelines, convicts should only be kept in public wards under the supervision of the Prisoners’ Organization,” Younesi previously said. “Also, according to the same rules, keeping the accused in detention centers will be possible only with a written order from the judicial authorities, and keeping Habib and Vahid Afkari outside the public prison without meeting (freely) is against the law.”

In May of this year, an interrogation session was held in connection with the Afkari brothers’ complaint about being beaten, long-term solitary confinement, and death threats by two officials. According to Saeid Afkari, the hearing was held in the presence of Vahid Afkari without access to the files and documents of the defendants.

Hossein Abdollah Zadeh Executed in Adelabad Prison

At dawn on Tuesday, July 20, a prisoner who had previously been sentenced to death for murder was executed in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Iran Human Rights (IHR), the prisoner has been identified as Hossein Abdollah Zadeh from Shiraz.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

The execution of Zadeh has not yet been announced by Iranian media or official sources.

 

 

Juvenile Offenders Hossein Shahbazi and Arman Abdol Ali at Urgent Risk of Execution as Amnesty International Calls for Suspension of their Sentences

Amnesty International has issued a statement calling on Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of the judiciary of Iran, to suspend the death sentences of juvenile offenders Hossein Shahbazi and Arman Abdol Ali.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Tasnim, Hossein Shahbazi was arrested on charges of murder in December 2018 when he was less than 18 years old and was sentenced to death a year later by a criminal court in Fars Province. The verdict was approved by the Supreme Court. Shahbazi is being held in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Arman Abdol Ali was previously sentenced to death by the Tehran Criminal Court for murder and the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. The lawyer of the victim’s parents announced that the case of Arman Abdol Ali is being sent to the Judgment Execution Unit of the Tehran Criminal Court.

The death sentence of Arman Abdol Ali, which was originally scheduled to be carried out in January 2017, was stopped after the parents of the victim gave Arman a month to respond to the suspicions in this case.

Arman Abdol Ali has been accused of killing his girlfriend Ghazaleh Shakur in 2013 when he was less than 18 years old.

According to the HRANA annual report for the year 2020, at least 4 juvenile offenders were executed in Iran last year, and 2 other juvenile offenders have been sentenced to death.

Recently, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, Secretary of the state-run High Council for Human Rights, Majid Tafreshi, said that the Islamic Republic executes juvenile offenders “three to four times a year”, and claimed this should not be considered a human rights violation.

Baha’i Citizen Sina Kamali Sarvestani Released from Adelabad Prison on Bail

On Sunday, July 11, Sina Kamali Sarvestani, a Baha’i citizen, was released on bail from Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, still no information is available on the reasons for his arrest and the charges against him as of this writing.

Kamali Sarvestani was arrested by security forces on June 14 and was first transferred to the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center and later to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, where he was held for nearly a month. He has been released on bail temporarily until the end of his trial.

According to unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

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Second Prisoner Executed in Adelabad Prison On July 11

On Sunday, July 11, 35-year-old Hossein Nemati, who had previously been sentenced to death for murder, was executed in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Iran Human Rights (IHR), Mr. Nemati had been kept in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz since 2017.

HRANA previously reported that Mohammad Hassan Taheri Haghighi, another prisoner, was executed on the same day in Adelabad Prison. Thus, the number of inmates executed in Adelabad prison increased by two on July 11.

On Sunday, July 4, two other prisoners were hanged in this prison. The report identifies one of the prisoners, Mr. Jahani, who had previously been sentenced to death for murder. The report does not mention his first name.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Nemati’s execution has not been announced by Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

 

Gonabadi Dervish Student Kasra Nouri Expelled from the University of Tehran for Missing Class While Imprisoned

Kasra Nouri, a Gonabadi Dervish imprisoned in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, was expelled by the University of Tehran for truancy.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, this violates disciplinary regulations that stipulate that, in cases of prosecution that leads to a student’s temporary imprisonment, the student must be allowed to complete their studies after completing the sentence (and that the duration of the sentence must not be counted as part of the student’s academic years).

Today, June 25, Kasra Nouri’s brother has published a picture of a letter from the University of Tehran Office of Academic Affairs issued last November which says that Mr. Kasra Nouri has been dismissed from his studies for failing to attend classes.

Nouri was a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Human Rights at the University of Tehran, and one of the webmasters of the Majzooban Noor website.  He was arrested in February 2018, along with hundreds of other Gonabadi Dervishes, and then transferred to the Greater Tehran Prison.

Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Ahmadzadeh, sentenced Mr. Nouri to 12 years in prison, 74 lashes, 2 years in exile in Babajani town,  a 2 year ban from leaving the country, and 2 years deprivation of membership in political groups, parties, and media activities. Seven and a half years of imprisonment are enforceable to Mr. Nouri.

Noiri had previously endured 4 years in prison from 2011 to mid-2015 for media activities for Gonabadi Dervishes.

Political Prisoner Hossein Sepanta Facing Ongoing Medical Negligence in Adelabad Prison

Political prisoner Hossein Sepanta, who is suffering from a chronic and rapidly-advancing spinal disorder, has been facing ongoing medical negligence from authorities in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sepanta is currently in his eighth year in Adelabad prison. Amnesty International reported that Sepanta had previously been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of collaborating with an opposition party.

According to an informed source, despite his deteriorating condition, his request for parole has been rejected eight separate times.

Sepanta had a stroke in March last year and was taken to hospital for two weeks. He has lost a significant amount of weight, has lost the ability to walk and is unable to do daily chores and personal affairs. He also takes strong painkillers provided at the expense of his family.

Amnesty International called for immediate action on Sepanta’s condition last year, but the demands have been ignored by prison authorities thus far.

5 Activists and Family Members of Afkari Brothers Beaten and Temporarily Detained by Adelabad Officials

Prison authorities reacted violently to a gathering of social activists and relatives of political prisoner brothers Vahid and Habib Afkari in front of Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists (HRA), several participants, including the Afkari brothers’ mother and sister, were beaten and detained by security forces for several hours.

Narges Mohammadi, Jafar Azim Zadeh, Pouran Nazemi, Nahid Shirbisheh (Mother of Pouya Bakhtiari, who was shot killed in 2019 nationwide protests) and Sakineh Ahmadi (mother of Ebrahim Katabdar, a protester who was killed in 2019 nationwide protest) were also identified as among the arrested by Ms. Mohammadi’s husband Taghi Rahmani.

On June 12, Saeed Afkari, the brother of Vahid and Habib Afkari, released a statement on the incident.

“Officers severely beat my mother, my sister, my father, my aunts, and others. The cell phones were confiscated, my sister and one of the women were arrested,” Saeed wrote. “They were released a couple of hours later.”

Afkari Brothers Denied Medical Care Amidst Ongoing Torture in Adelabad Prison

Political prisoners Vahid and Habib Afkari have been denied medical care during their 9 month detention in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz. During this time, they have been repeatedly beaten and tortured by prison officials attempting to force confessions related to their role in the 2018 nationwide protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the brothers are being held in the Ebrat ward, also known as the “closed ward” of the prison.

The inmates and their family repeatedly requested to be transferred to a political prison, but despite the prosecutor’s promise, authorities have thwarted all efforts to make the move happen. Saeed Afkari has commented on the condition of his imprisoned brothers.

“According to medical jurisprudence, my brother Habib suffered a broken toe, a non-welded wrist fracture, and a torn shoulder during his detention,” Saeed said. “My other brother Vahid suffered neck and arm injuries as a result of a suicide attempt in protest of physical and mental torture. They have been in solitary confinement for 279 days and have not been allowed treatment.”

In mid-September 2020, the two political prisoners were transferred to the Ebrat ward (closed ward), a detention center for prisoners deprived of phone contact. After nearly nine months, they are still being held in this ward of Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

Based on prison regulations and laws, definitive convicts should only be held in public wards under the supervision of the Prisoners’ Organization. According to the same by-laws, keeping the accused in detention should be permitted only with a written order from the judicial authorities. Thus, keeping Habib and Vahid Afkari outside the public ward of the prison without a written order is against the law.

Navid Afkari, Vahid Afkari, and Habib Afkari were arrested in connection with the nationwide protests in 2018.

Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz in September 2020 despite serious ambiguities in the case and a worldwide wave of support for him. Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 54 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes, Habib Afkari to 27 years and 3 months in prison and 74 lashes.