Juvenile Offender Arman Abdolali in Imminent Danger of Execution in Rajai Shahr Prison

Arman Abdolali, who was previously sentenced to death for a murder charge from when he was a child, is in imminent danger of execution in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, despite his denial of having committed the crime, and despite the fact that the victim’s body was never found, the criminal court of Tehran Province sentenced Abdolali to death. The verdict was upheld twice by the supreme court of Iran.

Abdolali was reportedly transferred to a solitary confinement cell, as is the protocol for inmates on death row in the days before their execution, yesterday. In July of this year, his lawyer had informed about the forwarding Abdolali’s case to the Executive Branch of Tehran Criminal Court.

“Iran continues to use the death penalty for crimes committed by people under the age of 18, in violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Amnesty International expressed in a statement, calling for Iranian authorities to halt Abdolali’s execution.

In 2013, when he was underage, Arman Abdolali was indicted on the charge of murdering his girlfriend, Ghazaleh Shakur. During interrogation, he confessed to killing her but later on, he denied the charges and pleaded his innocence.

After the first confirmation of the sentence, Abdolali’s lawyer claimed him as innocent and asked for a retrial, which was granted by the Supreme Court of Iran. In the second retrial, the death sentence was upheld after six months both by the Supreme Court of Iran and thereafter by an appellate court.

Officials React to Confirmed Videos from Inside Evin Prison Published by Hackers

In recent days, a hacker group called Adalat Ali has published videos from inside Evin prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, some scenes from the obtained footage show prison officials beating prisoners, prisoners committing suicide and self-harm, and an unconscious prisoner being inhumanely treated.

Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, the head of the country’s prisons organization, has confirmed the accuracy of the published videos and has accepted responsibility for the mistreatment of prisoners. He has apologized to God, the supreme leader, the people, and the prison guards for inappropriate behaviors in prisons on his twitter account.

His apology, which is directed to prison guards rather than the prisoners themselves, has provoked reactions from many users on social media. Haj Mohammadi also called the treatment of prisoners “unacceptable” and apologized for it.

On his Twitter, Haj Mohammadi wrote, “Regarding the videos published from Evin prison, I accept responsibility for the unacceptable behaviors and commit to prevent a repeat of such bitter incidents and to seriously encounter with violators. I apologize to God Almighty, our dear leader, the noble nation, and the decent prison guards whose efforts of course will not be ignored under the influence of these mistakes.”

Recently elected head of the judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i , has also ordered an immediate investigation into the officers’ treatment of prisoners. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of the parliament, in response to the request of the representatives to deal with the publishers of these videos, said that a Commission, with the collaboration of the prosecutor’s office is following up the whole issue.

In some of these videos, prisoners clash with each other without the intervention and prevention of prison guards. In one video, prison guards are seen preparing to attack one of the prison wards. A video broadcast compares one of the prison’s solitary confinement cells with a well-equipped solitary confinement cell attributed to former President Hassan Rouhani’s brother Hossein Fereydoun; this video has provoked people’s reaction in cyberspace.

These cells are said to be in Ward 240 of Evin Prison and are under the supervision of the Prisons Organization. These cells are the place where prisoners are held before execution, and in some cases, prisoners are transferred to as punishment. Formerly, transgender prisoners used to serve their sentences in these cells. Also, some videos have been released from the basement of ward 1 of the main complex of Evin Prison. In a video, a transgender prisoner commits suicide in the bathroom.

In some of these videos, the low quality of health amenities and consumables in Evin prison can be seen. Conditions that have a direct impact on the lives of the residents of this prison. Meanwhile, a number of former political prisoners and civil activists have described the situation in other prisons in the country as much worse than in Evin Prison.

Spreading Justice, the database of human rights violators in Iran, had previously introduced Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i and Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi as two prominent human rights and prisoner rights violators.

Today, Wednesday, August 25, Amnesty International issued a statement regarding the videos released from Evin Prison, described it as “the only tip of the iceberg of the torture epidemic in Iran”, and a sign for “the immunity of prison officials” in Iran, and called for independent inspections of the country’s prisons. Amnesty International also called for the establishment of a mechanism for investigation and accountability by the UN Human Rights Council.

Below is the full video from Adalat Ali of the conditions inside Evin Prison.

CW// The following video contains acts of violence that may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised:

 

Dizelabad Prison Authorities Execute Juvenile Offender Sajad Sanjari Without Notifying Family

At dawn on Monday, August 2, Sajad Sanjari was executed in Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah. His family was not notified or allowed to visit him before the execution.

According HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Amnesty International, Sanjari was arrested in 2010 at the age of 15 on murder charges and sentenced to death.

Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, stated, “With the secret execution of Sajad Sanjari, the Iranian authorities have yet again demonstrated the utter cruelty of their juvenile justice system. The use of the death penalty against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime is absolutely prohibited under international law and constitutes a cruel assault on child rights.”

In December 2016, the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the authorities of the Islamic Republic to suspend the execution of Sajad Sanjari, a juvenile accused of murder.

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.

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.

“The fact that Sajad Sanjari was executed in secret, denying his family and him even the chance to say goodbye, is an alarming pattern of the Iranian authorities carrying out executions in secret or at short notice to minimize the chances of public and private interventions to save people’s lives” Eltahawy further stated of Sanjari’s execution. “We urge the Iranian authorities to put an end to these abhorrent violations of the right to life and children’s rights by amending the penal code to ban the use of the death penalty against anyone who was under 18 at the time of the crime immediately.”

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.

Amnesty International Announces Imminent Danger of Juvenile Offender Hossein Shahbazi’s Execution

Amnesty International announced the imminent danger of the execution of juvenile offender Hossein Shahbazi, currently on death row in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Amnesty said in a statement, “Part of the evidence against the juvenile offender includes confessions obtained through torture”. The statement calls on Iranian authorities to suspend the death sentence and to provide a fair retrial in full compliance with juvenile delinquency principles.

According to the statement, Hossein Shahbazi was sentenced to death by Branch 3 of the Criminal Court of a Fars province, and the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2020.

Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa office, Diana Elthawy, commented on Shabazi’s sentence.

“Iran’s authorities must immediately halt the execution of Hossein Shahbazi scheduled for June 28,” Elthawy said. “Using the death penalty against someone who was a child at the time of the crime is prohibited under international human rights law and violates Iran’s international obligations. Going ahead with this execution would be an abhorrent assault on children’s rights and would make an absolute mockery of justice.”

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

“The Iranian authorities must quash Hossein Shahbazi’s conviction and sentence and grant him a fair retrial in full compliance with the principles of juvenile justice, without resorting to coerced ‘confessions’ the death penalty,” Elthawy stated. “We also urgently call on the international community, including UN bodies and the EU and its member states, to intervene to save this young man’s life.”

 

 

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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.

Amnesty International condemned the abusive forced veiling laws in Iran

“It may sound like a fictional dystopia, but it is not. This is the reality for millions of women in Iran, where the state heavily controls women’s bodies.”

Amnesty International published a report on Iranian women’s situation and condemned the abusive forced veiling laws in Iran. According to Amnesty International the morality police place 40 million women under surveillance. “They have the power to stop women and examine their dress, assessing how many strands of hair they are showing, the length of their trousers and overcoats, and the amount of make-up they are wearing. The punishment for being seen in public without a headscarf includes arrest, a prison sentence, flogging or a fine – all this for the “crime” of exercising their right to choose what to wear.”

The women’s rights movement against compulsory veil in recent years and the Iranian authorities’ response to wage a crackdown was discussed in this report. According to this report, since January 2018, Iranian authorities have arrested at least 48 defenders of women’s rights, including four men. Some have been tortured and sentenced to prison terms or flogging. The report condemned the arrest of the women’s rights defenders such as Nasrin Sotoudeh, Yasaman Aryani, Mojgan Keshavarz, Monireh Arabshahi, Vida Movahedi, Reza Khandan, and Farhad Meysami.

 

 

Amnesty International Called for Freedom of Amir Amirgholi

HRANA News Agency – Amnesty International issued a statement and urged the Iranian authorities to unconditionally release Amir Amirgholi and ensure that he is protected from torture and ill-treatment.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Amnesty International, citing the sentence of two decades of imprisonment for Amir Amirgholi, imprisoned left-wing activist, urged for immediate action about the situation of this political prisoner. Continue reading “Amnesty International Called for Freedom of Amir Amirgholi”

Prisoner Hanged in Rasht, Despite Warnings of Amnesty International

HRANA News Agency – Despite warnings of Amnesty International, Rashid Kouhi was executed on the charge of drug offenses without the right of appeal in Lakan prison of Rasht.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Rashid Kouhi, at the morning of April 9, 2016 was executed in Lakan prison of Rasht in connection with the discovery of 800 g jar in his bag. Last entreaty of his family to stop the execution and earn a chance to submit an application was refused by the authorities. Continue reading “Prisoner Hanged in Rasht, Despite Warnings of Amnesty International”

At Least 977 Executions in Iran in 2015; Amnesty International

HRANA News Agency – Amnesty International reported that in 2015, the rate of executions in the world was the highest in the past 25 years and Iran, along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been announced as the countries with the highest number of executions.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Amnesty International has announced in a report that in 2015 at least 1634 people were executed in 25 countries. This figure has increased 50% over the previous year and in the last 25 years (since 1989) is unprecedented. Continue reading “At Least 977 Executions in Iran in 2015; Amnesty International”