Christian Convert Yasin Mousavi Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

Yasin Mousavi, a Christian convert, has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz, as reported by Mohabat News.

Based on the verdict issued by the third branch of the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz, presided over by Judge Fathinia, and communicated to Mr. Mousavi, he has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison on charges including “membership in groups aimed at disrupting national security” and “propaganda against the regime through promoting Zionist Christianity.”

Mousavi was previously arrested on December 24, 2023, along with several other Christian converts in the city of Izeh. After enduring twenty days of solitary confinement at the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility, he was transferred to Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz. Mousavi was released on bail from Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz on April 30, 2024.

Mousavi has a history of previous arrests and imprisonment in October 2017, April 2021, and November 2022.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, the security services pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with those who convert to Christianity.

The persecution of Christian converts is a blatant violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief, including the freedom to express their faith openly or privately.

Christian Convert Esmaeil Narimanpour Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Esmaeil Narimanpour, a Christian convert, has been sentenced to five years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz, as reported by Mohabat News.

Narimanpour was charged with “acting against national security through association with Zionist-Christian organizations.”

Narimanpour was initially arrested by security forces in Dezful county on December 24, 2023, and subsequently released on bail from Sheiban Prison, Ahvaz, in April 2024. During his arrest, security personnel conducted an extensive search and seized several of his possessions. Furthermore, on the day of his arrest, his wife and brother were detained and interrogated for hours at the Ministry of Intelligence Office in Ahvaz, but were later released after signing a commitment letter.

Narimanpour is affiliated with the Payam Rahaee Church and has previously been arrested for his non-violent religious activities. Despite Christians being legally recognized as a religious minority in Iran, there remains persistent surveillance and interference in their religious practices by security forces, particularly targeting Christian converts.

It is crucial to emphasize that such actions stand in blatant violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These international instruments affirm the right of everyone to freedom of religion, the freedom to change their religion or belief, and the freedom to express these beliefs individually or collectively, openly or in private.

Baha’i Sepideh Rashidi Detained in Ahvaz by IRGC Intelligence

IRGC intelligence officials have detained Baha’i citizen Sepideh Rashidi (Derakhshan) in Ahvaz, subsequently transferring her to an undisclosed location. This action has significantly heightened her family’s concerns due to the absence of information about her current condition.

A source close to Rashidi’s family confirmed to HRANA that her arrest occurred on Monday, May 27, 2024. During the arrest, IRGC Intelligence agents conducted an extensive search of her family’s home and seized some of her personal belongings.

As of now, the reasons for Rashidi’s arrest, her exact whereabouts, and any formal charges remain undisclosed.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion by Iranian authorities, leading to systematic and longstanding violations of the rights of Baha’is in the country. This includes the denial of their fundamental right to practice their religion, which constitutes a clear breach of both 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.

Omid Mehrban Sentenced to Over One Year and Nine Months on Political Charges

The Revolutionary Court of Mahshahr sentenced Mohammad-Hassan (Omid) Mehrban to one year, nine months, and two days.

Mehrban’s lawyer, Sajjad Chatrsefid, announced that his client received one year, three months, and one day for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” and six months and one day for “spreading propaganda against the regime.” Mehrban has the right to appeal the verdict.

Mehrban was arrested by IRGC Intelligence at his workplace in Behbahan on September 9, 2023. On September 27, he was transferred from the IRGC detention facility in Ahvaz to Behbahan Prison after his interrogation ended. He was released on bail after seven days.

Ayoub Gheibipour Sentenced to Eleven Years in Prison and Exile

The Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz sentenced Ayoub Gheibipour to eleven years in prison and exile to Kerman Prison for charges including “enmity against God (Moharebeh).” Gheibipour was arrested during the 2022 nationwide protests.

According to his lawyer Sajjad Chatrsefid, the ruling includes ten years in prison to be served in exile in Kerman Prison for “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.” Gheibipour can appeal the ruling.

This verdict followed the overturning of an initial verdict by the Supreme Court. Gheibipour had previously received ten years in exile imprisonment for “arson and destruction of public property, propaganda against the regime,” citing the burning of Qasem Soleimani’s statues as an example of this charge.

Gheibipour was arrested during the nationwide protests in Ahvaz and was transferred to Sheiban Prison in the city. He was released on February 13, 2024, on a heavy bail of three billion toman (approximately $60,000). During his detention, he was denied access to medical care.

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Civil Rights Activist Sepideh Gholian Launches Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Sepideh Gholian (Qolian), a prominent civil rights activist detained in Evin Prison, commenced a hunger strike on April 3, 2024, demanding her transfer to Ahvaz Prison near her home.

A source close to her family confirmed Gholian’s hunger strike to HRANA.

Gholian’s troubles began on March 15, 2023, when security forces arrested her upon her return to Dezful shortly after her initial release. She was promptly sent back to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. Subsequently, she was transferred to the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison four days later.

In May 2023, the Tehran Revolutionary Court convicted Gholian of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” resulting in a two-year sentence that included a period of detention. Alongside her imprisonment, she faced various restrictions, including a prohibition on joining political or social groups, limitations on cell phone usage, and a two-year ban from entering Tehran and its neighboring provinces. This verdict was upheld on appeal.

Furthermore, a case was initiated following a complaint filed by Ameneh-Sadat Zabihpour, an Iran-state TV reporter with ties to security agencies as an interrogator. In this case, Gholian received an additional sentence of one year and three months for her alleged involvement in “removing hijab, facilitating indecency, and persisting in committing criminal acts.”

It’s important to note that Gholian has a history of prior arrests and convictions related to her activism.

Ahmad Key-Shamas Endures Prolonged Detention on Political Charges

Ahmad Key-Shamas, a resident of Izeh, remains confined in Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz for over eight months, trapped in legal uncertainty.

A source close to Key-Shamas’s family confirmed to HRANA his detention for 247 days. Denied access to a private lawyer, he faces charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” “propaganda against the regime,” and “disturbing public order.”

Key-Shamas was apprehended by security forces on July 18, 2023.

Update on the Health of Political Prisoner Mohammad Loveymi in Sheiban Prison

Mohammad Loveymi, a political prisoner, is currently in his fifth month of a nine-month sentence at Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz. Despite his deteriorating health, he has been consistently denied access to essential medical treatment.

A source close to Loveymi’s family shared with HRANA that he is afflicted with both Hemophilia and Glanzmann disease. On Tuesday, February 27, his health took a severe turn as he lost consciousness in the prison infirmary due to a lack of necessary medication. Fellow inmates had to assist in taking him to the infirmary, where he received only inadequate medical care.

The source further revealed that Loveymi’s family’s repeated requests for a medical furlough, crucial for managing his rare diseases, have been consistently denied. The situation raises concerns about the well-being of the political prisoners in Sheiban Prison.

Concerns Rise as Khaled Pirzadeh Hospitalized in Evin Prison

Political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh has been hospitalized since January 19, 2024, due to a deteriorating health condition.

A reliable source close to Pirzadeh’s family confirmed the news, stating, “Last week, Pirzadeh was admitted to Loghman Hospital in Tehran due to heart arrhythmia. He is currently in the ICU with a bound chain on his ankle.”

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court for “assembly and collusion against national security” and an additional eight months for “propaganda against the regime.”

In September 2023, security forces arrested Pirzadeh in Ahvaz, and he was subsequently transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. On October 15, he was moved to Ward 6 within the same prison.

It is noteworthy that Pirzadeh has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to his activism.

Political Prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh Receives Five Years and Eight Months Sentence

Khaled Pirzadeh, a political prisoner currently held in Evin Prison, has been handed a five-year and eight-month sentence by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court.

Presiding Judge Iman Afshari ruled that Pirzadeh must serve five years for “assembly and collusion against national security” and an additional eight months for “propaganda against the regime.” If the verdict is upheld on appeal, under Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, which dictates that in cases of multiple charges, the harshest punishment shall be enforced, Pirzadeh will spend five years in prison.

As per HRANA reports, Pirzadeh has been acquitted of charges related to “disseminating false information” and “illegal acquisition of property.”

Khaled Pirzadeh was apprehended by security forces in Ahvaz in September 2023 and subsequently transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison under the Ministry of Intelligence. Later, he was moved to Ward 6 within the same prison.

On November 14, 2023, Pirzadeh was hospitalized due to deteriorating health conditions.

It is noteworthy that Pirzadeh has faced previous arrests and convictions linked to his activism.