Azerbaijani Turk Activist Yousef Salahshour Sentenced to One Year in Prison

Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz sentenced Azerbaijani Turk Activist Yousef Salahshour to one year in prison, two years ban from leaving the country and two years prohibition of social and political activities on social media.  

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Azerbaijani Turk Activist Yousef Salahshour was sentenced to one year in prison and additional punishments.

 Salahshour’s lawyer, Asghar Mohammadi was informed about the verdict.

Recently Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals had dropped the second charge in this case, of which he had been sentenced to 37 lashes and a fine by Branch 111 of the Criminal Court.

On July 25 of 2021, Yousef Salahshour was arrested by intelligence agents and transferred to the detention center of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tabriz. On August 11, in a phone call, Salahshouri informed his family that he had been transferred to Tabriz Prison. He was released on bail on August 14. Then on October 3,  the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz held the first court session.

On July 24, a number of citizens in Tabriz marched and protested in support of the widespread Khuzestan uprising against water shortages and government mismanagement. During the protests, a number of these citizens, including Mr. Salahshour were arrested.

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Abbas Nikravan Sentenced to 91 Days In Prison

Abbas Nikravan, an Azerbaijani Turk Activist and resident of Salmas City, was sentenced to 91 days in prison by the Criminal Court of Salmas.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 102 of Salmas’s Criminal Court sentenced Nikravan on the charge of “propaganda against the regime on the Internet”. The sentence is grounded in Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code.

On September 5, 2021, security forces arrested and transferred him to the Ministry of Intelligence Office in Urmia City. On September 21 of last year, he was released on bail from Urmia Prison.

Nikravan has another arrest on his rap sheet. On July 5, 2018, he was arrested during an annual gathering in Babak Castle and released on bail six days later.

Azerbaijani Turk activist Afshar Moheb Arrested and Sent to Ardabil Prison

On December 22, Azerbaijani Turk activist Afshar Moheb was arrested and sent to Ardabil Prison after his appearance at Branch 3 of the Public and Revolutionary Court in Ardabil.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the resident of Ardabil, was indicted with the charge of “propaganda against the regime in favour of anti-regime groups.”

On January 23, 2021, security forces arrested Moheb while he was leaving his workplace in Ardabil City. They released him after a few hours of interrogation from the Press Office of the Ministry of Intelligence.

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Saeed Soltani Sentenced to Two Years Imprisonment

Branch 3 of Tabriz’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist Saeed Soltani to two years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Soltani’s lawyer was notified by the court, headed by Judge Fath-Nejad that his client had been sentenced to two years in prison, minus the detention period, on the charge of “membership in dissident groups in order to disturb national security”.

Babak Kiumarsi, the other Azerbaijani Turk activist involved in the case, was recently sentenced by the court to two years in prison on the same charge.

On October 4, 2020, the security forces arrested Soltani and Kiumarsi at Kiumarsi’s workplace in Jolfa City. At the time of arrest, the intelligence agents searched Soltani’s house and confiscated some of his personal belongings such as a laptop, cell phone, books and car.

On December 1, 2020, Kiumarsi was transferred from the detention centre to Tabriz Prison. Soltani was transferred the next day. On December 3, both were released on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

Many citizens were arrested during widespread protests in numerous cities which lasted from September 30 to October 18, 2020, in two parts of Iranian Azerbaijan. In an earlier report, HRANA identified 81 of these detainees. Security forces used violence during these mass arrests which, in some cases, led to broken hands or noses.

Mohammad Imami Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging

Branch 113 of the criminal court in Tabriz sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist, Mohammad Imami, a resident of Tabriz, to 16 months imprisonment and 40 lashes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the sentence has been suspended for five years.

Azerbaijani Turk activist, Mohammad Imami was sentenced to 8 months in prison on a charge of “contumacy the government agent’s order”, 8 months in prison on a charge of “disturbing the public order”, and 40 lashes on a charge of “deliberately injuring the police officer”.

On July 24, security forces arrested Imami and transferred him to a detention center at the disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tabriz City. After spending one week in detention, he was released on a bail of 80 million tomans.

It is worth mentioning that on the same day of his arrest, several other citizens in Tabriz were also arrested in regards to the protests and demonstrations of Tabriz citizens in support of the nationwide Khuzestan protests against water mismanagement.

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Azerbaijani Turk Activist Vodood Asadi Arrested and Transferred to an Unidentified Location

On Saturday, October 30, Azerbaijani Turk Activist Vodood Asadi, a resident of Rasht City, was arrested by security forces.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Asadi was transferred to an unknown location following the arrest.

Security forces searched his house and confiscated both his and his family’s cell phones. Vodood Asadi has also previously been detained and summoned.

The reason for the arrest and the charges are still unknown as of this writing.

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Nader Sadeghian Sentenced to Four Months Imprisonment

On October 20, Azerbaijani Turk activist Nader Sadeghian was sentenced to four months in prison by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz city.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 100 days of this term has been suspended for four years.

The court, headed by judge Hamlbar, issued the verdict to his lawyer. Mr Sadeghian has been convicted of the charges of “online provoking people to act the violent crimes.”

On Saturday, July 24, a number of Tabriz’s citizens protested in support of Khuzestan protests against water shortages and general mismanagement of the crisis. During this protest, a number of people were arrested.

Nader Sadeghian was arrested on July 25, by intelligence agents and transferred to a security detention center in Tabriz. After 17 days, he informed his family about his relocation to Tabriz Prison. He was released on bail on October 15.


Imprisoned Azerbaijani Turk Activist Abbas Lesani Dispatched to Medical Clinic

Yesterday, October 21, due to acute pain in his knees and backbone, Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Lesani was dispatched to a medical clinic outside Ardabil Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Lesani was dispatched to a clinic for an MRI test due to acute pain in knees and backbone. This is the third time that he has been dispatched outside of the prison for treatment.

Lesani has been held in Ardabil Prison since January 2019. In two separate cases, he has been sentenced to ten years and ten months combined.

On May 25, 2021, he was sent off to the hospital for the treatment of painful backbone and knees.

On June 24, 2021, due to a number of medical problems including high blood pressure, he was sent off shortly to a medical clinic in Ardabil for a medical test. After echocardiography, he was diagnosed with stenosis (a widening of the opening of a heart valve). Therefore he requires further treatment outside of the prison.

On January 15, 2019, Abbas Lesani was summoned by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Tabriz and, following his appearance at the court, he was arrested and transferred to Ardabil Prison.

Thereafter, the Ardabil Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment and 2 years exile in Yazd City on a charge of “forming a group with the purpose to disrupt national security”.

This verdict was increased to 15 years imprisonment and two years exile on appeal. In July 2020, his appeal against the conviction to the supreme court of Iran was dismissed. Under Article 134, a maximum sentence of 10 years is enforceable. In addition, earlier Branch 1 of the court of appeal in Ardabil had dismissed the request of applying ” Punishment Reduction Law”.

In May 2019, in another case, Branch 26 of the Court of appeal in Eastern Azerbaijan sentenced Lesani to ten months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime and in favour of opposition political groups”.

Abbas Lessani has faced other arrests and convictions due to his civil activities. In the last instance, on July 2, 2018, together with three residents of Ardabil, he was arrested by the county intelligence agents, several days before holding an annual gathering in Babak Fort (a gathering to celebrate the Babak Khorramdin’s birthday).

He was reportedly arrested for publishing a video in which he had encouraged people to attend the gathering. After spending nine days in detention, Lesani was released on bail.

Azerbaijani Turk Activist Violently Arrested and Transferred to Tabriz Prison

Azerbaijani Turk activist Roozbeh Piri has been transferred to Tabriz Prison following his violent arrest by security forces.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Iran’s intelligence and security police arrested Piri on September 9 in Tabriz, and, as an act of “enforced disappearance”, transferred him to an unidentified location.

According to reports he is currently in quarantine has suffered injuries from being beaten by police during the arrest.

His family has filed a complaint in the prosecutor’s office in Tabriz and asked to bring those who are responsible for beating Roozbeh Piri to justice.

Mr. Piri has already been subjected to unlawful arrest and conviction over his non-violent civil activities. At the time of nationwide protests in November 2019, he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 10 months imprisonment later on reduced to 91 days on appeal. He was released on July 5 2020 after serving out his sentence.

After a while, a judge in Tabriz sentenced him to pay the fine on a charge of the so-called “spreading lies” on the internet. Reportedly, his brother was also subjected to police harassment and torture.

Twelve Azerbaijani Turk Activists Summoned to Revolutionary Court of Ardabil

Twelve Azerbaijani Turk activists were recently summoned to the Second Branch of the Ardabil Revolutionary Court related to a charge of ‘insulting the leadership’.

According to the HRANA, the news agency, of Human Rights Activists, the activists have been identified as Hossein Balakhani Issa Lou, Mostafa Parvin, Morteza Parvin, Hamed Heydari Baris, Mohammad Jolani Ojagh, Parviz Siabi Gorjan, Sobhan Bakhshi, Mehdi Hooshmand, Bahman Khairjoo, Mojtaba Parvin, Asgar Akbarzadeh Khezrabadi, and Sajad Jolani Ojagh.

The report states that the activists were asked to go to this branch on Monday, September 20, to defend themselves.

The activists have been accused of ‘participating in disturbing public order by creating a commotion’, ‘attempt to harm themselves’,’ insulting and rebelling against law enforcement officers on duty’, ‘insulting the leadership’, and ‘participating in the community and colluding against internal security’.

These citizens had already been summoned to Branch 10 of the Ardabil Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office on April 21 in connection with the September 2020 rallies in the Turk-populated areas of the country. They had been arrested violently by police during which in some cases resulted in broken arms and noses.

According to Article 27 of the Constitution, participation in rallies and demonstrations is free of charge and is considered peaceful if participants are unarmed.