Tyranny on Prisoners of Conscience at Rajai Shahr

Posted on: October 24th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- This past August, Rajai Shahr Prison authorities ordered the transfer of political prisoners to Ward 10, where prisoners’ already-tight rations on climate control, fresh air, and nutrition have reportedly been cut even slimmer.

It is a running suspicion that prison authorities seek to dismantle the political ward, breaking down these prisoners’ spirits so that they will be more amenable to being dispersed among different wards.

Ward 10 currently houses 18 prisoners charged with political and security-related crimes. Four more political prisoners are being held in lateral sections. Of these 22, seven are in need of medical care.

A cold chill is already creeping through the walls of the hillside prison, boding the incoming flu season from which political prisoners stand unprotected, a close source told HRANA. “The need for heating equipment is felt all across the prison, but on [Prison Head] Gholamreza Ziayi’s orders, the political prisoners can’t have access to heaters. While prisoners pay for heaters out of their own pockets, the director has forbidden their delivery or use in the political ward.” Prison authorities have reportedly even gone as far as banning heaters in common areas that political prisoners might flock to for refuge, i.e. the prison library, gym, or store.

A letter underlining the dire need for climate control addressed to Ziyai from a previous prosecution assistant responsible for overseeing prison affairs, did nothing to change his mind, the source said.

Political prisoners got the brunt of the opposite heat extreme this past summer when they were denied access to any form of a cooling system. While their repeated requests managed to obtain three refrigerators for the ward, Ziyai underlined that they would have access to more equipment and amenities if they requested to be transferred to different wards.

Political detainees have thus far held fast to regulations requiring prisoners charged with different offenses to be housed in separate wards. Their resistance against integrating with prisoners accused of petty theft, drug-related crimes, or violent offenses has contributed to continued daily frictions between authorities and their cohort.

Meanwhile, the assessment of food provided to these political prisoners is even more scathing than the Rajai Shahr usual. Sources say that prisoners eat vegetarian by default, limited to plain rice with soy or lentils at lunchtime. Though the dinner menu promises to be more substantial — bean or lentil stew, or Ash [a thick Iranian soup] — sources say that the dishes hardly live up to their names, and prisoners in the cohort are rarely, if ever, served produce.

Deprivation of fresh air is also being leveraged against them, sources say. The regular 2-to-5:30 recreation period previously enjoyed by political prisoners in mixed groups has been eliminated entirely since their transfer to Ward 10. “Fresh airtime has been denied [to them] on direct orders from Ziayi, despite the fact that the recreation area is empty between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.”, an anonymous source said.

Warden and Internal Director Vali Ali Mohammadi has abdicated from addressing prisoners’ complaints, stating that he defers to the authority of Ziayi and his secretary/chauffeur. “In other words,” a source said, “the slightest request, like for food or stationary, has to pass by Ziayi and his secretary.”

Though seasoned in-group attrition tactics, authorities at Rajai Shahr have not shied away from more targeted brutality to get their point across. Multiple sources have reported aggressive body searches, harassment and verbal abuse of prisoners’ families, and the placement of arbitrary, extreme restrictions to wear down individual inmates. In one such instance, Supervising Prosecution Assistant Rostami placed a long-term prohibition on visits between Hassan Sadeghi and his imprisoned wife; in another, medical attention to the bone cancer and infected surgery site of Arash Sadeghi were repeatedly postponed and denied. Deprivations like Sadeghi’s may become more widespread: two weeks ago, an official prison order came into effect, invalidating all approved transfers of ailing prisoners to [outside] medical facilities.

The respective situations of a number of Rajai Shahr prisoners of conscience are compiled in the lists below

1. Majid Assadi, accused of assembly and collusion [against national security]. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 6 years. Anticipated release date: 2021. Has been incarcerated for two years without furlough.

2. Afshin Baimani, accused of Moharebeh [enmity against God] through cooperation with the MEK. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 18th year of incarceration without furlough.

3. Mohammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi, accused of being a MEK sympathizer, and of assembly and collusion against the regime. Arrested on 2016, sentenced to 11 years. Anticipated release date: 2027. Has been incarcerated for two years without furlough.

4. Ebrahim Firouzi, accused of assembly and collusion and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2013, sentenced to 7 years. Anticipated release date: 2019. Currently in 5th year of incarceration without furlough.

5. Abolghassem Fouladvand, accused of Moharebeh through supporting the MEK. Arrested in 2013, sentenced to 15 years. Anticipated release date: 2028. Currently in 5th year of incarceration without furlough.

6. Gol Mohammad Jonbeshi, accused of cooperation with the Taliban. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 3 years. Anticipated release date: 2019. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

7. Latif Hassani, accused of forming an illegal group to act against national security. Arrested in 2012, sentenced to 8 years. Anticipated release date: 2020.

8. Saeed Massouri, accused of Moharebeh through membership in the MEK. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

9. Mohammad Ali (Pirouz) Mansouri, accused of Moharebeh through support of the MEK. Arrested on 2007, sentenced to 22 years. Anticipated release date: 2028. Currently in 11th year of incarceration without furlough.

10. Asghar Pashayi, accused of espionage. Arrested in 2008, sentenced to 10 years. Anticipated release date: 2018. Release pending his payment of a fine. Currently in 10th year of incarceration without furlough.

11. Farhang Pourmansouri, accused of hijacking a plane. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 18th year of incarceration without furlough.

12. Shahram Pourmansouri, accused of hijacking a plane. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 18th year of incarceration without furlough.

13. Houshang Rezaei, accused of Moharabeh through membership in Komele [Kurdish opposition group]. Arrested in 2010, sentenced to death. Currently in 8th year of incarceration without furlough.

14. Arash Sadeghi, accused of propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion, insulting the supreme leader, and disseminating lies. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 11.5 years. Anticipated release date: 2027. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

15. Hassan Sadeghi, accused of Moharebeh through cooperation with the MEK. Arrested in 2013, sentenced to 11.5 years. Anticipated release date: 2028. Currently in 5th year of incarceration without furlough.

16. Hamzeh Savari, accused of moharebeh and acting against national security. Arrested in 2005, sentenced to life. Currently in 13th year of incarceration without furlough.

17. Payam Shakiba, accused of assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 11 years. Anticipated release date: 2027. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

18. Saeed Shirzad, accused of assembly and collusion against national security, damaging prison property, and disrupting prison order. Arrested in 2014, sentenced to 6.5 years. Anticipated release date: 2020. Currently in 4th year of incarceration without furlough.

Baha’is incarcerated in Ward 11:

1. Vahed Kholousi, accused of assembly and collusion against national security, Baha’i membership, activism, and proselytizing, propaganda against the regime, and activism in defense of Baha’i student rights. Arrested in 2015, sentenced to 5 years. Anticipated release date: 2020. Currently in 3rd year of incarceration without furlough.

2. Afshin Seyyed Ahmad, accused of assembly and collusion and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 3 years. Anticipated release date: 2019. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

3. Farhad Fahandoj, accused of Baha’i proselytizing and involvement in Baha’i associations. Arrested in 2012, sentenced to 10 years. Anticipated release date: 2022. Currently in 6th year of incarceration without furlough.

4. Afif Naimi, accused of assembly and collusion, blasphemy, and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2008, sentenced to 10 years. Anticipated release date: 2018.

Ailing prisoners deprived of medical care:

1. Majid Assadi: gastrointestinal disease, duodenal ulcers
2. Shahram Pourmansouri: herniated disc, syringomyelia requiring immediate surgery (per doctor)
3. Mohammad Banazadeh Amir Khizi: joint pain
4. Hassan Sadeghi: joint pain
5. Aboulghassem Fouldadvand: arterial plaque requiring hospitalization (per doctor)
6. Arash Sadeghi: chondrosarcoma, surgical site infection in the right arm
7. Saeed Shirzad: herniated disk, lower back spasm

The Latest List of Political Prisoners in Hall 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison

Posted on: April 7th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – At least 30 political prisoners in Ward 10 in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, still continue to protest by refusing to accept the prison’s food. In protest against the unlawful deprivations and restrictions imposed on them, they demand the delivery of their lost and stolen personal stuff and equipment from the prison authorities. The Equipment of 35 rooms in prison is worth 3,85 billion IRR.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), 21 days after the beginning of the protest of political prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, by refusing to accept the prison’s food, and in spite of the prosecutor’s office’s promise to improve the situation, there has been no changes in the conditions of this place. (more…)

The List of Male Prisoners with the Charge of Muharebeh and Life-Time Sentence

Posted on: September 4th, 2016

HRANA News Agency – Prisoners who have been charged with Muharebeh according to the old Penal Code, would find the chance of a retrial, after the changes and may receive reduction in their sentences or be released. Currently there are tens of prisoners who have been sentenced to life-time prison on charge of Muharebeh, at least 26 of whom are the men. The following list is the second list of prisoners with the charge of Muharebeh.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), at least 26 male prisoners are sentenced to life-time prison on charge of Muharebeh in different prisons around the country. Due to the changes in the Islamic Penal Code in 2013, these prisoners may request for a retrial. Some might receive reduction in their sentences and some others who have served many years in prison may get released. (more…)

Afshin Baimani’s Heart Disease Is in Critical Situation

Posted on: July 29th, 2015

HRANA News Agency – Afshin Baimani is spending very difficult time after his heart disease has reached to acute point and he has been deprived of receiving proper medical treatments and access to a hospital outside the prison, in the beginning of the 16th year of serving in prison.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on the basis of physician’s advice, Afshin Baimani needs open heart surgery, but due to the distance and family’s financial problems, the required coordination for his hospitalization outside the prison has not been carried out. (more…)

3 Political Prisoners Transferred to Solitary Confinements of IRGC

Posted on: June 15th, 2015

HRANA News Agency – Jafar Eghdami, Saeid Masouri and Afshin Baimani, political prisoners of hall number 12 in Rajaei Shahr prison, have been transferred to intelligence ward, known as Sepah (Revolutionary Guard) ward.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), these three prisoners were summoned for interrogation to this ward for unknown reasons, on Wednesday June 10. (more…)

Afshin Baimani Returned to Public Ward after 40 Days in Solitary Confinement

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015

HRANA News Agency – Afshin Baimani was transferred to the general ward in Rajai Shahr prison after being held in solitary confinement for 40 days in Revolutionary Guards ward.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Afshin Baimani,  political prisoner in Rajai Shahr, had been transferred to solitary confinement, at the same time that Arjang Davoodi was taken to solitary confinement of Revolutionary Guards’ ward in Rajai Shahr prison, on 28th February. (more…)

Arjang Davoodi and Afshin Baimani still Held in Solitary Confinements

Posted on: February 19th, 2015

HRANA News Agency – Even after a month of transition of Arjang Davoodi and Afshin Baimani to solitary confinement, relatives of these two prisoners have expressed their concern about their situations.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Arjang Davoodi and Afshin Baimani were taken to solitary confinements of Revolutionary Guard’s ward in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, on 18th January from Hall 12 of this prison. (more…)

No Information about Arjang Davoodi and Afshin Baimani

Posted on: February 9th, 2015

HRANA News Agency – There is no news about Afshin Baimani and Arjang Davoodi, who have been transferred to Revolutionary Guards’ solitary confinement since 18th January.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), during the 18th January, Sunday, Afshin Baimani and Arjang Davoodi, 2 political prisoners from hall 12 of Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, were transferred to solitary confinement in the Revolutionary Guards’ ward in this prison. (more…)

Afshin Baimani will be tried again

Posted on: November 16th, 2014

HRANA News Agency – Afshin Baimani has been notified by prison officials that a new case under the blasphemy and insulting the leader has been opened for him.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on Wednesday 12th November at 9pm, Afshin Baimani, who has spent more than 14 years in prison, was informed that a new case of blasphemy and insulting the leadership has been opened against him. (more…)

Afshin Baimani transferred to solitary confinement

Posted on: November 11th, 2014

HRANA News Agency – Afshin Baimani, political prisoner in Hall 12 of Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, was transferred to solitary confinement.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on 8th November, at 11 o’clock Afshin Baimani was transferred to solitary confinement in ward 5 of Rajai Shahr prison.

In this regard, one of the inmates told HRANA’s reporter: “At first, Afshin Baimany was asked to go upstairs as the head of ward 4, Reisi, want to see him, which was used as a pretext. Upon his presence, he was taken to the inspection office of the prison and then from there he was transferred to cell in ward 5 and so far officials have refused to send his warm clothes and heart medicines”.

Also, he added: “At 11.30, prison officials also asked Arjang Davoodi to go to the inspection office but due to his illness he refused”. Arjang Davoudi was supposed to go to the inspection office on the day after and he was then transferred to the cell, as well.

Afshin Baimani, Political Prisoner, was arrested on September 5, 2000 on charges of helping his brother, Mehdi Baimani, to escape and had been sentenced to death.

The court verdict was upheld on appeal court, but after 6 years his sentence commuted to life imprisonment.