An Overview on Eleven Prisoner Hunger Strikes in Various Prisons

In recent weeks, at least 11 detained or imprisoned citizens went on hunger strike in various prisons in protest against a failure to address their concerns.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, at least eleven prisoners in various prisons across the country are on hunger strike.

This report outlines their latest conditions:

Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb: On February 21, this civil activist was arrested at his house and transferred to Evin Prison. He has been on hunger strike since his arrest. On February 28, 2022, he was sent to a solitary confinement cell.

On March 2, he was transferred to the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary, where prisoners of violent crimes are held. During the arrest, security agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings. Ragheb is a firefighter with 17 years of work experience who was fired from his job due to his civil activities.

Fariba Asadi: On February 27, this political prisoner went on hunger strike in Qarchak Prison following a quarrel and beating by a fellow inmate to protest against being held in the same ward as prisoners of violent crimes.

On January 3, she was arrested at her house and sent to Qarchak Prison in Varamin City to serve her sentence.

On December 12, 2021, she was summoned by the Executive Unit of the Qods Public and Revolutionary Court to endure her sentence. Earlier, along with three other defendants, she was sentenced to one year imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.”

Arsham (Mahmood) Rezai: On February 7, the civil activist, who is jailed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj City, went on hunger strike to protest against a failure to receive adequate medical treatment and refusal to grant him medical furlough. On February 27, the twenty-second day of his hunger strike, his weight had dropped to 52 kilograms and his blood pressure was critically low. He also suffers from a hiatal hernia, an Helicobacter pylori infection and a duodenal ulcer, which have worsened his health during the hunger strike.

Rezai was arrested on January 7, 2019 by security forces. On November 13 of that year, he was released on bail for 200 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings. On February 26, 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Rezai, without informing his attorney that the court session was taking place, to eight years and six months imprisonment on charges of “propaganda against the regime”, “collusion against national security”, and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. Per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of five years was enforceable. On January 20, the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to an additional 15 months in prison on new charges (which was later reduced to 11 months on appeal) and 4 months penal labor for the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad.

Mohammad Hooshangi: On February 23, Hooshangi went on hunger strike to protest his long-term detention in Urmia Prison. On March 7, he ended his hunger strike after prison officials promised to change bail from 7 billion to 2 billion tomans. In January of 2021, Hooshangi was arrested in Tehran and transferred to a detention centre at disposal of IRGC in Urmia City. Ultimately, after 7 months, he was relocated to Urmia Prison. He was charged with “membership in an anti-regime political groups”.

Ali Musa-Nejad Farkoosh: Since February 1, this civil activist, currently jailed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj City, has been on hunger strike and refuses to take medicine as a way of demanding freedom for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

He suffers from diseases such as a hiatal gastric hernia and intestinal diverticulum. On February 27, after twenty-seven days on hunger strike, he had critically low blood pressure and an extreme weight loss of 13 kilograms.

He was granted medical furlough but was forced to return to prison on October 27, 2021 without completing treatment. Earlier, Forensic Medicine in Karaj City confirmed that he suffers from acute diseases that require surgery.

In June 2019, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Moghayeseh, sentenced Farkoosh to eight years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security”, “an offensive statement against the current and former supreme leaders of Iran” and “propaganda against the regime”. This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of Tehran’s Court of Appeals. Per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of five years on the count of “assembly and collusion” is enforceable.

On November 29, 2020, he was sent to Rajai Shahr Prison to serve his sentence.

Ebrahim Seddigh Hamedani: On February 12, Hamedani went on hunger strike in Marivan Prison to protest against the relocation of him and his son to Sanandaj Prison. Earlier, on January 24, this political prisoner refused to take his medicine in protest, leading to severe hyperglycemia.

He and his son were transferred from Urmia Prison to Marivan and Kamyaran prisons, respectively.

On February 23, 2019, Hamedani was arrested alongside along his son Salar and daughter Maryam Seddigh. He was transferred to Urmia Central Prison on April 23, 2019. Maryam Seddigh Hamedani was released from prison on April 25, 2019.

Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia sentenced both men to 16 years imprisonment on charges such as “acting against national security through membership in an anti-regime organization” and “propaganda against the regime”.

In August of 2020, while serving their sentences, they were relocated to the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Urmia City and interrogated for allegedly spreading “propaganda against the regime inside prison”. Subsequently, a new legal case was opened against them and they were sentenced to an additional 11 months in prison.

Yousef Mehrad: The prisoner of conscience, who is jailed in Arak Prison, has been accused and condemned for blasphemy against the Prophet of Islam. On February 10, he went on hunger strike to protest the prohibition of phone calls. His latest condition since his hunger strike is unknown.

His lawyer, Mohammad Arman, announced that Mehrad has been sentenced to death for one charge and eight years in prison for the other by the Revolutionary Court of Arak. His court-appointed lawyer called the confirmation of this verdict by the Supreme Court unjust, and asserted that his client must be exonerated.

Previously, HRANA reported about this case, wherein two defendants, Sadrollah Fazeli Zare and Yousef Mehrad, were sentenced to death for “blasphemy against the Prophet of Islam” by Arak’s Revolutionary Court. In another trial, Mehrad was sentenced to 8 years in prison for “offensive statements against the current and formers supreme leader of Iran”.

On May 24, 2020, security forces arrested him at his house in Ardabil City. He was transferred to Arak Prison and was detained for two months in a solitary confinement cell. For eight months, he was not allowed to call his family and was denied family visitation. He is the father of three children.

Shakila Monfared: This political prisoner has been on hunger strike in Qarchak Prison in Varamin City since March 3.

She has gone on hunger strike to protest the housing of political prisoners in the same ward as prisoners of violent crime, the irresponsibility of prison officials towards her safety and a recent threat from a fellow inmates.

An informed source told HRANA that a prisoner of violent crimes threatened her with a sharpened piece of can and intended to injure her.

There is no further info about her condition since she was relocated to Ward 8 of the prison.

On August 31, 2020, security forces arrested Monfared while she was leaving her home. They transferred her to a detention centre at the disposal of the IRGC in Tehran. Reportedly, they did not have a warrant for this arrest.

On September 9 of last year, she was relocated to the quarantine section of the women’s ward of Evin Prison. On September 14, she was released on bail of 400 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In January of this year, the joint court trial of Shakila Monfared, Arsham Rezaei, and Mohammad Abolhassani was held in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari. 27-year-old Monfared was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 4 months of probation work in the Agricultural Jihad on charges of “propaganda activities against the system” and “insulting the sanctities of Islam”.

In addition to the mentioned-above political prisoners and imprisoned civil activists, at least three other prisoners, Habibollah Miraki, Loghman Mamandi and Loghman Abdolllahzadeh, went on hunger strike in Kamyaran Prison to protest the refusal of prison officials to grant furlough. Abdolllahzadeh has been on hunger strike since last Sunday, and the first two prisoners since yesterday.

In Iran’s prisons, hunger strikes are common among prisoners despite causing long-term physical and mental impairment. Hunger strikes are used as a last resort to achieve urgent demands such as unlawful long-term detention without trials, violations of prisoners’ rights and infringement in due process.

Political Prisoner Shakila Monfared Goes on Hunger Strike in Qarchak Prison

On March 3, political prisoner Shakila Monfared went on a hunger strike in protest against the housing of political prisoners in the same ward as prisoners of violent crime, the irresponsibility of prison officials towards her safety and the recent threat from one of her fellow inmates.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, an informed source told HRANA that one of the prisoners of violent crimes threatened her with a sharpened piece of a can and intended to injure her.

In violation of prison rules, many political prisoners are housed in the same ward as prisoners of violent crimes, which make them subject to threats, battery and even murder.

On August 31, 2020, security forces arrested Monfared while she was leaving her home. They transferred her to a detention centre at the disposal of the IRGC in Tehran. Reportedly, they did not have a warrant for this arrest.

On September 9 of last year she was relocated to the quarantine section of the women’s ward of Evin Prison. On September 14, she was released on a bail of 400 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In January of this year, the joint court trial of Shakila Monfared, Arsham Rezaei, and Mohammad Abolhassani was held in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari. 27 year old Monfared was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 4 months of probation work in the Agricultural Jihad on charges of “propaganda activities against the system” and “insulting the sanctities of Islam”.

Monfared was granted furlough on August 23 of this year and returned to jail on September 7.

Shakila Monfared Denied Access to Medical Treatment in Qarchak Prison

Political prisoner Shakila Monfared, who suffers from gastrointestinal disease and severe stomach pain, has been denied access to adequate medical treatment in Qarchak Prison in Varamin City.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, prison officials have barred her dispatch to a hospital outside the prison as well as leave on furlough for medical treatment.

“For the fifth time, her request for furlough has been rejected,” an informed source told HRANA. “They mentioned a report from the interrogator and judiciary officers on her interview with one of the media as the reason for this rejection. This claim stands at odd with the fact that she never had any interview and the interrogator refuses to provide any proof regarding this claim.”

On August 31, 2020, security forces arrested Monfared while she was leaving her home. They transferred her to one of the detention centers at disposal of IRGC in Tehran. Reportedly, they did not have a warrant for this arrest.

On September 9, of last year she was relocated to the quarantine section of the women ward of Evin Prison. On September 14, she was released on a bail of 400 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In January of this year, the joint court trial of Shakila Monfared, Arsham Rezaei, and Mohammad Abolhassani was held in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari. 27-year-old Monfared was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 4 months of probation work in the Agricultural Jihad on charges of “propaganda activities against the system” and “insulting the sanctities of Islam”.

Monfared was granted furlough on August 23 of this year and returned to jail on September 7.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 23, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 23rd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) At least six protests were organized across the country on January 23, 2019. The municipality workers in Marivan, Borujerd, and Shadegan, the retired employees in Tehran, costumers of Kerman Motors in Tehran, and the families of victims’ of Sanchi oil tanker collision have held separate protests to request their redemands.

(2) The authorities of Evin prison refused to transfer Narges Mohammadi and Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe to a hospital. Mohammadi is in urgent need of medical care such as anti-seizure drugs.

(3) Esmat Salahshour was sentenced to five years imprisonment in Urmia, on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Mokhtar Zarei has been tried in absentia and was sentenced to three years in prison. He is accused of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state”.

(4) Yashar Soltani, director of Memari News website, was sentenced to five years in prison, and was banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism. He was arrested in 2016 after he reported on alleged corruption in Tehran’s municipal government.

(5) Majid Hosseini was released on bail today. He was transferred from solitary confinement to the quarantine ward of Evin prison recently. Arsham rezaei who was arrested with him, is still in prison. He was arrested with Arsham Rezaei on the charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “collusion against the state”.

(6) Iraj Mohammadi was released on bail after ten days, in Miandoab. He was accused of “propaganda against the state” because a former political prisoner transferred the amount of money into Mohammadi’s bank account.

(7) Leila Mir-Ghaffari was sentenced to paying fines for de-veiling. In October she was sentenced to two-year in prison for having pointed to a picture on the wall. Mir-Ghaffari was initially detained for supporting the “Girls of Enghelab Street.”

(8) Rahman Jasbi Zargani who was married and had two children, was executed in Sepidar prison in Ahvaz on the charge of murder. He was accused of murdering his cousin in a fight in 2009. In 2018, at least 236 people have been executed and 195 people have been sentenced to death in Iran.

(9) Sepideh Gholian was detained in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center in Ahvaz but Esmail Bakhshi ‘s whereabouts is still unknown. They have been rearrested after the broadcast of their under-torture confessions on the national television. Their families have been under pressure from security forces not to discuss the matter publicly. Moreover, Amnesty International warns that they are at grave risk of further torture.

(10) Saeed Shirzad, a political prisoner in Rajaee Shahr prison in Karaj, has been refused urgent medical care despite doctors requested his transfer to hospital for his severe kidneys’ failure a month ago. While the prosecutor’s office has assured that he would receive treatment a month ago, prison authorities have prevented this transfer.

(11) Two workers died and one was injured in Charmshahr village in Tehran province because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplace. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(12) Four female prisoners including a juvenile offender, accused of murder were spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Shahr-e Rey prison. In addition, Sohrab Nosrati was saved from execution in Rajaee shahr prison in Karaj.

(13) Two thousand workers of Abadan municipality have unpaid wages. The workers of Ghoflkar Company in Qazvin have held a protest to request their unpaid wages on Tuesday.

(14) Ahwazi Arab citizens, Hassan Alvani, Malek Abdollahi, and Gheis Chaian have been arrested by security forces in Ahvaz and Shush. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(15) Tehran appeals court sentenced Christian converted ,Majid Reza Souzanchi Kashani, to two-year prison term. He was charged with “membership in evangelical groups” and “evangelical-related activities”.

(16) The arrest of 11 poachers in Sarab and 160 illegal tree removals in Bandar Abbas have been reported by the Department of Enviroment.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 22, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 22nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than nine protests were organized across the country. Retired educators and other retired government employees, Ghoflkar Company workers in Alborz, the municipality workers in Lowshan, Marivan, Borujerd, and Andimeshk, the workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Rasht, and the contractors of Tehran municipality have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) Placed 1st in the Iranian University Master Studies Entrance Exam, Amir Reza Alipour Hashtali Amoli, was sentenced to six months in prison on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(3) In the last nine months, 56 workers died and 112 have been injured in the work-related incidents in East Azerbaijan province, which is a four percent increase over a year. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(4) 72 people have been arrested in a “mix gender party” in Sari. The detainees were transferred to the court. They may be able to get out of jail by posting bail, otherwise they would be imprisoned.

(5) Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a professor of journalism, was summoned to the Evin’s prosecutor’s office. He was an editor of several newspapers, including Kian, Toos, Jame’eh, Neshat, and Asr-e Azadegan.

(6) A Human rights lawyer, Mohammad Najafi, was sentenced to 19 years imprisonments. He is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 16 more years imprisonment for his new charge of “spreading lies and disturbing public opinion”.

(7) Behzad Shahsavar and Siamand Shahsavar, prisoners of the Intelligence detention center in Urmia, have been transferred to Naqadeh prison. They were accused of “corporation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(8) 23-year-old, Amin Pishdad, was transferred to Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad. He had been arrested last year on blasphemy and espionage related charges and was sentenced to ten years in prison which was reduced in the appeals court to eight months.

(9) A Baha’i citizen, Soheil Haghdoost, was sentenced to four months imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state” for announcing and following up regarding his business’s forced closure. Also, he has been sentenced to a year in prison in March 2018.

(10) Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami have been sentenced to six years in prison each, and were banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism.

(11) The workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, who were protesting their layoffs, have been arrested.

(12) Five students in Kashan were transferred to a hospital for gas poisoning because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in heater installation in the school.

(13) Three thousand villages in Sistan and Baluchestan do not have water distribution network. 46 percent of population in this province have access to the water sources.

(14) Members of the Iranian Writers Association, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bazhan have been arrested. They were summoned to the court on the “encouraging immorality or prostitution” and security-related charges, were imprisoned because they could not post a bail.

(15) 180 workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail have 18 months of unpaid wages. Kayson Project Management Company paid one months of their unpaid wages but there are still concerns that the remaining will be left unpaid.

(16) A prisoner accused of murdering his friend was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Tehran. He was spending 6 years in prison.

(17) Mohammad Hosseinzadeh, civil rights activist, was released on bail. He was arrested with Arsham Rezaei and Majid Hosseini on the charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “collusion against the state”. The two others’ whereabouts is still unknown.

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A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 20, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 20th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Sepideh Gholian was arrested earlier today. She reacted to last night’s broadcast of her forced confessions on the national television and requested a public trial. She is a social rights’ activist and was released on bail on December 18th. She was arrested on November 18th while she was supporting the strike of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers.

(2) A Baha’i citizen, Atousa Ahmadaei, was arrested earlier today in Tehran and was transferred to an unknown place. The intelligent officers also searched her home and confiscated her belongings indicating that her charge is “acting against the national security’.

(3) A Telegram activist, Mohammad Mehdi Zamanzadeh, was released from prison after completing two and a half years sentence for blasphemy-related charges.

(4) Two Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers), Karim Faraji and Masoud Ahmadzadeh, were injured after fell falling off a mountain in Sardasht and Baneh.

(5) Mohammad Saleh Shokri was acquitted of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group” in Saqqez while Majid Tibash was released on bail on the same charge in Urmia. Five other people, Ali Esmaeili, Oman Hasani, Hassan Mousavi, Abdollah Advai, Osman Hosseini, Jamal Mousavi and Arshia Maleki have been arrested on the same charge in Oshnavieh, Sarvabad and Kermanshah.

(6) A 23-year-old resident of Ahvaz, Ali Ayashi, was arrested by the security forces. His whereabouts is still unknown.

(7) Yaser Mohebi and Ghader Zini have been arrested in Kermanshah and Urmia on the charge of “cooperation with Kurdish opposition group”. Mohebi was arrested last year after having a speech in support of Baha’i citizens.

(8) Historian and documentary producer, Hossein Dehbashi, was sentenced to four months imprisonment on the charge of “disturbing the public mind” for the complaint filed by Ministry of Health and Medical Education’s. According to Hrana, Dehbashi rose to modest fame after producing a promotional documentary for 2013 presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani, as well as the documentary “The Royal Court’s Narrative.” In 2015, he directed and launched the Iran Verbal History Project through the National Library and Documentation Center [thousands of YouTube viewers have screened clips of Dehbashi’s work, which features interviews with key political figures from the past four decades.

(9) The families of two detained Arab citizens, Ghasem Beit Abdollah and Abdollah Karmalacheab who received death penalty for ‘acting against the national security’ and were transferred to the Evin prison, have expressed their concern for their execution date approaching.

(10) A prisoner on the death row was saved from execution by the consent of the next of kin in the Fars province. There have been 31 similar cases in the last 11 months. There were seven other savings from execution in the Yazd province in the same period

(11) Workers of Aleshtar city services in Lorestan province have unpaid wages. Also, the Ports and Marine Organization owes the insurance share to its workers.

(12) The release on bail for the two detained labor activists, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Arsham Rezaei is postponed. Also, Rezaei and two others in the same case Mohammad Hosseinzadeh, and Majid Hosseini, were transferred to quarantine in the Evin prison although their bonds were set.

(13) Sunni elites and professors in Sistan and Baluchestan wrote an open letter to the president, Hassan Rouhani, to protest the discrimination and not using Sunni’s elites’ consultation in this province.

(14) A man who assaulted the cashier of a restaurant, has received an alternate sentence to foster street Children for six months by the court of Shiraz.

(15) More than seven protests were organized in Iran on January 20, 2019. The clients of SAIPA and IranKhodro in Tehran, the contractors of Tehran municipality, Ahvaz inter-city rail workers, the workers of city services in Borujerd, the investors in Padideh Shandiz in Tehran, the applicants of Islamic Azad Medical University in Tehran, and the workers of Lowshan municipality held separate protests to demand their requests.

(16) Five foreign exchange market dealers (Forex brokers) were sentenced to 370 lashes, combined, on the charge of “interfering with the interchangeability of the foreign currency value”.Five foreign exchange market dealers (Forex brokers) were sentenced to 370 lashes, combined, on the charge of “interfering with the interchangeability of the foreign currency value”.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 19, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 19th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Two Baha’i citizens, Kimia Mostafavi and Kiana Rezvani, have been arrested in Kerman. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(2) A landmine explosion injured Hadid Babajani, a 19-year-old Kulbar (Kurdish back carrier), in Ravansar city in the Kermanshah province.

(3) Two workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (NSIG) in Ahvaz, Karim Sayahi and Tarogh Khalafi, were released after two months. More than 43 workers of NSIG have been arrested on December 16, 2018.

(4) A student transporting vehicle crashed leaving four students injured in Tehran. Similar incidents had happened in Qaleh Ganj and Ekhtiarabad in Kerman province on January 15 and 16.

(5) A Baha’i owned-business in Birjand was reopened. Farshid Deymi’s store was sealed off by judicial authorities order last year. Apparently, the Baha’i owned-businesses were shut down because they were closed for Bahai religious holidays.

(6) Two detained labor activists, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Arsham Rezaei have their bonds set at 200 million Toman [approximately 20 thousand USD] each. Ebrahimzadeh was arrested last month and he had been released from prison last year after finishing his seven years sentence.

(7) Masoud Shamsnejad, a lawyer and professor, was arrested and transferred to Urmia prison while the security guards raided his home and confiscated his belongings. He was accused of “propaganda against the state” due to being a lawyer of his clients.

(8) A worker died of electrocution in Tehran and another worker fatally fell in Zahedan, because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(9) Four employees of a news website, Sunni News, were summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Zahedan. Sunni News discusses the Sunni Islam beliefs and rituals with respect to the other religions.

(10) The workers of Khuzestan Pipe Industrial Company have more than 15 months unpaid wages and 11 months unpaid insurance fee owed by the employer.

(11) Two environmentalists have been arrested in Sanandaj city in Kurdistan province. Edris Mohammadi and Avat Karami were arrested for an unknown reason and their whereabouts are still unknown.

(12) More than three protests were organized in Iran on January 19, 2019. Municipality workers in Borujerd, several people in Sistan and Baluchestan, and the workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail, have held separate protests to demand their requests.