Azerbaijani Turk Activist Ali Shahi Arrested by Security Forces in Ardabil

On Friday, September 3, Azerbaijani Turk activist Ali Shahi was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, security forces searched Shahi’s home in Ardabil and confiscated some of his belongings, including his cell phone and computer.

As of this writing, the reasons for his arrest, the charges against him, and his whereabouts are unknown.

Mohammad Sadeghzadeh Executed in Ardabil Prison on Charge of Murder

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 30-year-old Mohammad Sadeghzadeh was executed in Ardabil Prison on the morning of this Wednesday, September 1.

Sadeghzadeh, whose identity has been verified by HRANA, had previously been sentenced to death for murder.  Mr. Sadeghzadeh was arrested about four years ago and had since been held in Ardabil Prison.

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.

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

Citizen Detained by IRGC intelligence in Ardabil Province

IRGC intelligence agents recently arrested a citizen in one of the cities of Ardabil Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ILNA, the citizen was arrested for what is being called “insulting Islamic sanctities”, “disturbing the public mind”, and “publishing [disappointing] content to blacken [catastrophize] the situation in the country”.

The citizen was transferred to prison by order of a judicial official. The report does not mention the identity of the detainee, the name of the city he was detained in, or the prison where he is being held.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

Saturday, June 26

Following the nationwide strikes of contract workers of refineries, petrochemicals and power plants, workers of Rijal Petrochemical Complex located in Mahshahr Special Zone, workers of the ODCC working in Isfahan Oil Refinery, and workers of Phase 2 of Bidboland Gas Refinery of Behbahan (ODCC) joined the movement. Kerman ranchers, and political and civil activists of Tehran also held protest rallies.

ODCC workers in Isfahan:

 

Regal petrochemical workers in Bandar-e-Imam:

 

Political and civil activists in Tehran:

Ranchers in Kerman:

 

Sunday, June 27

Workers of Gamma Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Company in Jask terminal, workers of Sazeh Pod Company working in Bushehr Petrochemical Company, radiograph workers of Nima Azmoun Steel, Radiography Companies, Pishtazan Aria, and Pioneers of Fars Technologies working in Phase 2 of Abadan Refinery, went on strike and joined the “Strike” movement.

A number of other protests happened as well. A group of shareholders of Azerbaijan Automotive Industry Company (Azovico), several official employees of Shiraz Oil Refinery, a group of pest control workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Company, retirees of the Isfahan Steel Company and Khuzestan Steel Company, Homa Airlines retirees, a group of teachers of Green Score Letter, a group of retired workers, ranchers in Isfahan, Yazd, Fars and Khorasan Razavi provinces, a group of Izeh Azad University students, several businesses in Iranshahr, and workers at truck-washing and disinfection sites all staged protest rallies to call on their demands be addressed.

 

Workers of Gamma Oil, Engineering and Construction Companies Association of Oil, and Gas and Petrochemical Company:

 

Bushehr petroleum workers:

 

Abadan refinery workers:

 

Shareholders of Azerbaijan Automotive Industry:

 

Parsian petroleum workers in Shiraz:

Pest control workers:

Retirees of the Isfahan Steel Company and Khuzestan Steel Company:

Homa Airlines retirees:

Teachers of Green Score Letter:

 

Ranchers of Isfahan, Yazd, Fars and Khorasan Razavi provinces

Retirees seeking social security:

Workers at truck-washing and disinfection:

Students of Izeh University:

Monday, June 28

East Azarbaijan Railway technical workers,  a group of Isfahan farmers, bankrupted shareholders of Samen coin, and a group of MG car remitters, a group of truck drivers in Ardakan city went on strike to protest the non-fulfillment of their demands. Teachers at Green Score Letter also gathered in protest for the second day in a row.

Shareholders of Samen coin:

 

MG car remitters:

 Technical construction workers of East Azerbaijan railway:

Green Score Letter teachers:

 

Isfahan Farmers:

Ardakan truck drivers:

 

Tuesday, June 29

Workers of Arta Energy Company working in Ardabil Petrochemical Company, workers of Andimeshk Power Plant, Lamerd Refinery workers and Lordegan Petrochemical Workers, Azad University professors, a group of Kaveh company shareholders, a group of servants and caretakers of Mashhad schools, a group of dermatology assistants of medical universities, a group of school teachers, a group of green resume teachers, and a number of medical students and physicians in different cities of the country, including Kerman, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran, held protest rallies.

Andimeshk Power Plant employees:

 

Ardabil Petrochemical Company employees:

 

Lamerd Refinery workers:

 

 Green Score Letter teachers:

University professors:

Physicians and medical students in different cities:

Kaveh company shareholders:

School janitors in Mashhad:

Dermatologists and assistants:

School teachers:

Wednesday, June 30

North Azadegan Oil workers, employees of Sepahan Isfahan Cement Factory, a group of retirees of the bus company, a group of taxi drivers in Saqez, a group of journalists, and a group of official employees of Gachsaran Oil and Gas Company held protest rallies.

Taxi drivers in Saqez:

Sepahan Isfahan Cement Factory workers:

Bus company retirees:

Journalists:

 

Gachsaran Oil and Gas Company employees:

 

Thursday, July 1

A group of employees of Persian Gulf Holding Petrochemical Companies, and retirees of Isfahan Telecommunication Company held protest rallies.

Isfahan Telecommunication Company workers:

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Saman Bidar Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

On June 16, the Ardabil Revolutionary Court sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist Saman Bidar to 3 years and 45 days in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the sentence has been put on a hold for 3 years.
Based on the verdict issued by the First Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Ardabil, Mr. Bidar was charged with “Propaganda activities against the regime by publishing unrealistic news that leads to disturbance of the public”, “Insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, and “Insulting the leadership”.
He was sentenced to a total of 3 years and 45 days in prison, including the days of previous detention.
 

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Eight Azerbaijani Turk Activists End Hunger Strike in Ardabil and Evin Prisons After Officials Promise to Meet Their Demands

On June 14, eight Azerbaijani Turk activists ended their hunger strike in Ardabil and Evin Prisons after the authorities’ favorable promise that their demands would be met.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Saturday, June 13, Abbas Lesani went on a hunger strike to protest the non-observance of the principle of separation of prisoners based on crime and the punitive transfer of political prisoners to wards with prisoners of violent crimes.
Seven other prisoners had gone on hunger strikes in support of Lesani’s endeavor.
The prisoners involved were Abbas Lesani, Yousef Kari, Mehrdad Sheikhi, Ali Vaseghi, Reza Vaseghi, Siamak Mirzaei, Behnam Sheikhi, and Kianoosh Aslani.

Abbas Lesani Denied Medical Attention in Ardabil Prison

Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Lesani has been denied transfer to a hospital outside Ardabil prison, despite  numerous serious medical ailments.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Lesani suffers from high blood pressure, lumbar disc, and heart problems.
According to an informed source, Mr. Lesani had a dangerously-high blood pressure of 190 on June 9, and despite the doctors’ order to send him to the hospital, he remained ignored by prison authorities.
Lesani was previously sentenced by the Ardabil Revolutionary Court to eight years in prison and two years in exile. The sentence was increased to 15 years in prison and 2 years in exile on charges of “forming a group with the intention of disrupting the country’s security” by the Court of Appeals. Under Article 134, a maximum sentence of 10 years is enforceable.
In another case, Branch 26 of the East Azarbaijan Court of Appeals sentenced him to 10 months in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime and in favor of opposition groups”.
Abbas Lesani has a history of arrests and numerous convictions for his activist work.

Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.

Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.

The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.

According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:

Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.

Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:

Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests:

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 1, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 1st, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The director of the Department of Environment of Kosar in Ardabil province announced that three poachers were sentenced to three years in prison, two years ban on carrying gun, and to provide nine banners about protecting environment in Ardabil.

(2) Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, the lawyer of the detained environmentalist, Sam Rajabi, reported that his clients’ court will be on session tomorrow but he has not been invited to attend this session.

(3) Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadifar and Sanaz Allahyari ,the members of “Gam” editorial board, have been arrested in January and were transferred to Evin prison, section 209. Gam online news outlet had published news of workers’ protests in Khuzestan.

(4) Reza Salmabadi, the head of the South Khorasan Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation announced that half of the villages of this province had depleted alarmingly over the last 20 years due to the continuous drought and financial hardship.

(5) Iran Bar Association head, Isa Amini, confirmed that more than 40 percent of lawyers are unemployed in Iran.

(6) The security forces attempted to arrest a Baha’i citizen in Yazd on January 31. Mehran Bandi Amirabadi was sentenced to one-year prison term earlier in January 2019. Baha’i is Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority and are systematically persecuted by the government.

(7) The head of National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reza Salehi Amiri, said that attending stadium is women’s right. He added that stadium is not different from the other public places such as movie theater, university, and concert which are women allowed to enter.

(8) Razgar Mohammadi, was transferred from Piranshahr to Urmia prison. He is accused of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. In addition, Asaad Mahmoudi, Bapir Barzeh, Keyvan Nejad Rasoul, and Shirko Ali-Mohammadi are still detained in an unknown place in Piranshahr.

(9) A 34-year old Kulbar (Kurdish back carriers), Akbar Mohammadlou, was killed by the border patrol in Maku.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 2, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 2nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Ali Ahmadi, a Baha’i citizen, who was transferred to solitary confinement on November 20, was released on bail in Qaem Shahr. He had been arrested on the charge of ‘propaganda against the state’ at least five times in the last 10 years.

(2) A fire started in an oil stove used to heat a classroom followed by an explosion resulted in severe injury of a student. Ali Totazehi’s legs were severely burned in this incident in Zehak County in the Sistan and Baluchestan province. A similar incident caused three deaths and few injuries in Zahedan.

(3) Narges Mohammadi and Nazanin Zaghari began their hunger strike protesting the prison medical care. They did not receive the medical care that they need and that they are entitled to while they are incarcerated.

(4) Alireza Tavakoli, a prisoner of conscience, began his Hunger strike protesting the lack of medical care in prison. He was transferred from to quarantine due to his contagious illness, but the prison officials denied transferring him to hospital.

(5) Retired employees of the Army and the Social Security Organization in Tehran and Mashhad, farmers in Isfahan, public service workers in Nishabur and Sarband, Employees of Imam Khomeini hospital in Karaj, the employees of Vahdat Ahvaz financial institute, and the workers of Khorasan Exhaust Manufacturing Company in Nishabur city have separately held nine protests.

(6) The head of Ardabil Department of Environment announced that 199 poachers have been arrested and 74 more rangers are needed in Ardabil province.

(7) The authorities have not allowed Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, the lawyer of two detained environmentalists to represent or even visit them. Aghasi added that five of the detained activists faced the “corruption on earth” charge. The environmentalists who were arrested last year are Houman Jokar, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi, Taher Ghadirian, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, Morad Tahbaz, Hasan Zareh, Aref Zareh, Morteza Aryanejad, Alireza Farhadzadeh, and Kavous Seyed Emami. Seyed Emami, an environmentalist and professor, was arrested as part of this crackdown and reportedly died in detention under unknown circumstances two weeks after his arrest.

(8) The court of 13 Baha’i citizens which was scheduled for today, was canceled because the judge needs more time to study their case. They are identified as Peyman Ghiami, Ezatollah Shahidi, Forouzan Amini, Kambiz Moradipour, Amrollah Eslami, Nematollah Shadabi, Parhan Tabianian, Naghmeh Shadabi,  Farzaneh Amini, Sinoo Rasouli, Sepideh Ehrari, and Amir Kadivar.

(9) The court was on session on January 2, 2019 for Mohammad Khakpour , an Azerbaijani Turkic rights activist on the charge of ‘propaganda against the state’.

(10) Mohammad Taher Noorzehi, who has been a prisoner of Zahedan prison for the last 13 years, received 40 lashes in front of the other prisoners. Zahedan prison officials have a record of abusive and discriminative behavior.

(11) Two Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers), Saber Mohseni and Amanj Shekari, were injured by border patrol shots in the cities of Nowsud and Baneh.

(12) Five people with drug-related charges were sentenced to death in West Azerbaijan province. Two prisoners were accused of adultery faced 99 lashes each. One of them also was sentenced to death on a charge of murder.

(13) The director of Cyber Space Department of the Attorney-General Office confirmed that Instagram will be blocked in the country.

(14) Molavi Abdoljalil Naamani, a Baloch Sunni cleric who is a school principal in Sarbaz city, was summoned to intelligent office of Rask county for an unknown reason. He was requested to accompany one of the students, Balal Khandan.