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.

Roozbeh Piri Arrested by Security Forces in Tabriz

Yesterday, September 9, Azerbaijani Turk activist Roozbeh Piri was beaten, arrested, and transferred to an unknown location by security forces in Tabriz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the reasons for Mr. Piri’s detention and his current whereabouts are still unknown.

Earlier, Branch 103 of the Criminal Court of Tabriz, presided over by Judge Mikael Vatankhah Alvar, sentenced Roozbeh Piri to pay a fine of 5 million tomans for “publishing lies in cyberspace”. The Court of Appeal of East Azerbaijan Province upheld the verdict of the primary court.

Piri had previously been arrested and convicted for his peaceful activities. He was arrested during the nationwide protests in Tabriz in November 2019 and sentenced by the court of appeals to 91 days in prison. Mr. Piri was released from Tabriz Prison in July 2020 after enduring his sentence.

Roozbeh Piri is the editor of Tabriz Magazine and the founder of Navid Etedal, an independent student organization at Tabriz Azad University.

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Azerbaijani Turk Activist Abbas Nikravan Arrested by Security Forces in Salmas

On Sunday, September 5, Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Nikravan was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Nikravan is a native  of Salmas in West Azerbaijan Province.

Mr. Nikravan has a history of detention. He was arrested in July 2018, during the annual gathering of Babak Castle, and was released on bail a week later.

As of this writing, no information is available on the reasons for his detention, the charges against him, or his whereabouts.

Alireza Farshi Transferred from Greater Tehran Prison to Loghman Hakim Hospital

On Tuesday, June 29th, Azerbaijani Turk activist Alireza Farshi Dizaj Yakan was finally transferred to a hospital after facing prolonged medical negligence in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mr. Farshi, who was in the midst of a 2 year sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison, was sentenced last month to an additional four years and two months by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
Farshi has suffered from high blood sugar, an infection in his left eye, and numbness in his right hand. The lack of proper treatment of the prisoner’s diabetes has caused tremors in his body. He was eventually transferred to the endocrinology and metabolism department of Loghman Hakim Hospital for medical examinations and tests.
Alireza Farshi is from Marand City in East Azerbaijan. He has a master’s degree in computer engineering from Sharif University of Technology.
Mr. Farshi, while serving a two-year sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison, was recently sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to a total of over 4 more years. On February 27, Farshi’s interrogation session was held virtually in the Third Branch of Evin Court. He was informed of the meeting less than 12 hours before it was set to take place.
The verdicts issued in June of this year were upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar .
The Azerbaijani Turk activist suffered eye injuries during his time in prison and was sent on a three-day medical leave from Greater Tehran Prison on Saturday, May 7. But  despite the insistence of his ophthalmologist on the urgent need for eye surgery on this prisoner, prison officials refused to extend his leave.
The report does not specify Farshi’s current condition in Loghman Hakim Hospital.
 

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.
 

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.

Five Azerbaijani Turk Activists on Hunger Strike in Ardabil Prison

Azerbaijani Turk activists Yousef Kari, Abbas Lesani, Mehrdad Sheikhi, Ali Vaseghi, and Reza Vaseghi have gone on hunger strike to protest prison authorities failing to comply with their demands.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoners were transferred to the quarantine center of Ardabil Prison for isolation on Sunday, June 13, and have been barred from phone calls.
Mehrdad Sheikhi, Ali Vaseghi and Reza Vaseghi have been on a hunger strike since June 13 to protest the non-observance of the principle of separation of crimes and the transfer of political prisoners to wards with prisoners of violent crimes. Abbas Lesani and Yousef Kari have been on strike since Saturday, June 12th.
Despite the long term physical and mental harm that hunger strikes can cause, many prisoners in Iran are resorting to this mode of protest, as it is one of the only tools of expression available to them. Many of these strikes take place in protest of the lack of attention to problems in prisoners’ cases, non-observance of inmates’ rights, and prolonged uncertainty about the status of their detention.