First six months of Ebrahim Raisi as Justiciary Chief of Iran; 1000 years of prison sentences and 1500 lashes for activists

Posted on: September 13th, 2019

Ebrahim Raisi is a former Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi from 2016 to 2019 and a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 executions which were series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across the country. He succeeded Sadegh Larijani as the Judiciary Chief (the head of judicial system of Iran) in 2019. Being appointed as the Judiciary Chief by the Supreme leader, Ebrahim Raisi claimed that he wants the Iranian people to taste “the sweet flavor of justice” by reforming the judicial system to bring more justice and fairness. Six months after being appointed to the new position, the verdicts of political prisoners indicate that the pressure is increased on the civil rights activists and opposition groups in Iran. During six months of Ebrahim Raisi in office, political activists were sentenced to 1,027 years in prison and 1428 lashes.  Therefore, the verdicts targeting civil rights activists and opposition groups were increased by 119% compared to a similar time period during his predecessor, Sadegh Larijani, who was in office for nine and half years. Although Larijani faced massive demonstrations such as uprisings across the country in January 2017 and August 2018, protests in the Khuzestan province, and Dervishes protests which Raisi has not faced any yet.

Statistics Comparison of Verdicts with the Former Judiciary Chief

The following is a summary of verdicts between March 8, 2019 to September 8, 2019 which was gathered and analyzed by the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI): According to statistics, during this period, both sentences against political and civil activists or years of sentences were increased. 211 political or civil activists including advocates of freedom of expression, women rights activists, syndicates activists, students, ethnicity rights activists, labor rights activists, minority rights advocates, and religion activists were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court across the country to 1027 and six months of imprisonment, 418 million and 350 thousand Tomans of fines, and 428 lashes. Out of these numbers, 966 years and 8 months in prison sentences and 30 years and 10 months are suspended prison sentences. In comparison to the same period when Larijani was the Judiciary Chief, March 8 to September 8, 2018, 278 political and civil activists were sentenced to 468 years and one month in prison, 254 million Tomans fines, and 891 lashes. This comparison is based on the numbers of individual cases but mass sentences for the arrestees of uprisings such as 232 verdicts of Gonabadi dervishes in the case of so-called “Golestan Haftom” have been excluded. Overall, these statistics indicated that although the number of arrestees has been decreased in Raisi’s term but the average number of verdicts in comparison to the same period in the Larijani’s term has been increased.

The Names of 211 Activists Who Were Sentenced to Prison Term or Lashes During Ebrahim Raeissi’s term

Kiumars Marzban, Shima Babai Zeydi, Dariush Abdar, Mahmood Masoumi, Behnam Mousavand, Saeed Eghbali, Mojgan Lali, Saeed Seyfi Jahan, Shaghayegh Makai, Nader Afshari, Anoushah Ashouri, Ali Johari, Marzieh Amiri, Ishaq Rouhi, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeissi, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, Aras Amiri, Nejat Bahrami, Sadegh Zibaklam, Hamed Ayenehvand, Roozbeh Meshkinkhat, Mohammad Reza Aghajari, Nima Saffar, Khalil Karimi, Mehdi Moghadari, Golraki Ebrahimi Irai, Athena Daemi, Mohammad Reza Khatami, Mohammad Potaiesh, Khadijeh (Leila) Mirghafari, Reza Makian (Malek), Hashem Zeinali, Simin Eyvazzadeh, Ehsan Kheybar, Abdul Azim Arouji, Mohsen Haseli, Mohsen Shojai, Azam Najafi, Parvin Soleimani, Sharmin Yomni, Sara Saei, Arshia Rahmati, Masoud Hamidi, Ali Babai, Ismail Hosseini Koohkamarai, Farideh Toosi, Zahra Modarreszadeh, Amir Mahdi Jalayeri, Mohammad Najafi, Javad Lari, Rahim Mohammadpour, Masoud Kazemi, Sahar Kazemi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Milad Mohammad Hosseini, Abdollah Ghasimpour, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibi, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khand Mahabadi, Keyvan Bajan, Yousef Salahshour, Davood Mahmoodi, Mohammad Asri, Siavash Rezaian, Najaf Mehdipour, Behrooz Zare, Ata’ollah Ahsani, Abbas Nouri Shadkam, Ali Bagheri, Masoud Ajloo, Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Kianoush Ghahramani, Nariman Noroozi, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, Amir Mahdi Sedighara, Ali Amin Amlashi, Barzan Mohammadi, Arsham Rezai, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Michael White, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Nader Fotourehchi, Farhad Sheykhi, Mardas Taheri, Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, Rahman Abed, Asghar Amirzadegani, Hamid Reza Rahmati, Eghbal Shabani, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Fatemeh Mohammadi, Bahman Kord, Sina Darvish Omran, Ali Mozafari, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Mojtaba Dadashi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Hossein Janati, Omid Asadi, Sahand Moali, Mohammad Mirzai, Bapir Barzeh, Shirko Ali Mohammadi, Keyvan Nejadrasoul, Tohid Amir Amini, Kianoush Aslani, Abbas Lesani, Mobinollah Veysi, Mojtaba Parvin, Kazem Safabakhsh, Rahim Gholami, Jafar Rostami, Aref Mohammadi, Peyman Mirzazadeh, Samko Jafari, Behzad Shahsavar, Siamand Shahsavar, Salman Afra, Shaker Maravi, Khaled Hosseini, Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, Hasan Saeedi, Hossein Ansari Zadeh, Feisal Saalebi, Saab Zahiri, Adel Samaei, Esmail Jaadeleh, Bani Naami, Omid Azadi, Rostam Abdollah Zadeh, Ali Bani Sadeh, Nasrin Javadi, Tofigh Mahmoudi, Davood Razavi, Amanollah Balochi, Farough Izadi Nia, Moein Mohammadi, Sheida Abedi, Firouz Ahmadi, Khalil Malaki, Simin Mohammadi, Bijan Ahmadi, Maryam Mokhtari, Saghar Mohammadi, Sohrab Malaki, Bahman Salehi, Sofia Mombini, Negin Tadrisi, Kheirollah Bakhshi, Shabnam Issa Khani, Shahryar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Monika Alizadeh, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha aramarzi, Pooneh Nasheri, Saba Kord Afshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Mojgan Keshavarz, Vida Movahed, Matin Amiri, Maryam Amiri, Atefeh Rangriz, Edris Kasravi, Taher Sufi, Haleh Safarzadeh, Alireza Saghafi, Yousef Jalil, Fatemeh Bakhtari, Zaman Fadai, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohsen Haghshenas, Nahid Khodakarami, Raheleh Rahimipour, Alireza Kafai, Mohammad Dorosti, Salar Taher Afshar, Oldoz Ghasemi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Hossein Habibi, Hossein Ghadyani, Mir Mousa Ziagari, Sajad Shahiri, Jafar Pekand , Hamid Balkhkanloo, Ghafour Barham, Vali Nasiri, Sahar Khodayari, Amin Seybar, Esmael Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar.

It should be noted that in addition to aforementioned names, several other activists such as detained environmentalists, arrestees of the International Labor Day’s protest, Baha’i citizens, and supporters of opposition groups are waiting for their verdicts. Based on the outcome of the first six months of Raisi as the Chief Justice of Iran, the continuous increase of the verdicts in the following six months is predictable. On the other hand, according to several lawyers, Raisi is trying to implement a rule in which the appeal’s courts will be in session only after obtaining permissions from the Supreme Leader. Thus, appeals courts will acknowledge the primary verdict without reserving a chance for lawyers and convict to defend.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Background

In 1981, 20-year old Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj. Later in 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran. He was a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 political prisoners’ executions across the country. Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s prosecutor from 1989 to 1994. In 1994-1995, he was appointed as the head of the General Inspection Office. From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as the First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran. He was later appointed as the Attorney-General of Iran in 2014-2016. He has also served as the Special Clerical Court prosecutor since 2012. He became the Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi on 7 March 2016 after the death of his predecessor Abbas Vaez-Tabasi. He is the second person to serve this office from 1979.  Raisi ran a presidential campaign in February 2017 but after losing the presidential election, he was appointed by Ali Khamenei as a member of Expediency Discernment Council.

The 1988 executions of the Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those who were killed were supporters of the Mujahedin Khalgh but supporters of other leftist factions such as Communist party were executed as well. The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in the modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup. Different sources put the number of victims between 2500 and 30000. Most of the people who were executed had already served their sentences in prison. Hussein-Ali Montazeri, deputy of Supreme Leader of Iran between 1985-1989, named Ebrahim Raisi as one of the people who was in administration of the executions which according to Montazeri, was implemented by a four-men commission, later known as the “death committee”. According to Montazeri, the commission consisted of Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, Morteza Eshraghi, and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi.

Three Board Members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) were Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison

Posted on: May 21st, 2019

Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bajan were charged with “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.” They were sentenced to 18 years in prison, combined.

The trial of the three writers was held earlier at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court. They were arrested on January 22, 2019 after being subpoenaed on the “encouraging immorality or prostitution” and security-related charges. They were released from Evin prison a few days after on bail.

The trial led by Judge Moghiseh at the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bajan were sentenced to one-year imprisonment for “propaganda against the state” and to five years imprisonment for “assembly and collusion against national security”. Their attorneys, Naser Zarafshan and Razieh Zeidi were informed of the verdict. In an announcement, the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) has condemned the verdict.

The IWA was an independent group of authors, poets, editors and translators based in Iran which was formed in May 1968 to fight against state censorship. Government have continuously persecuted its members after Islamic revoloution. In 1998, several IWA members, including opposition politicians, Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh Eskandari, and writers Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh were murdered.

An investigation concluded that the murders had been carried out by authorities of the Intelligence Ministry. A number of ministry officials were arrested, and information about the murders was leaked to the media. During a judicial inquiry, the prosecution confirmed that the chain murders were part of a systematic policy to physically eliminate political and cultural dissidents of Iran.

 

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 30, 2019

Posted on: January 30th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 30th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than five protests were organized across the country on January 30, 2019. The workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail, taxi drivers in Bukan, the customers of SAIPA and IranKhodro companies, the environmental activists in Behbahan, and the employees of Railway Services and Technical Construction Engineering Company (RSTC), have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) A 27-year old was tried in absentia and sentenced to three years in prison and 74 lashes for “stealing a chicken” in Laly city in Khuzestan province.

(3) A retired teacher, Alireza Kafaei, was arrested in Gachsaran on January 29, 2019. The leader of Islamic Association of Teachers of Gachsaran is suffering from diabetes and severe heart disease. He was released on bail earlier today.

(4) Three Kulbars (Kurdish back carrier) died or were injured in Salmas and Baneh. Saman Salehi and Mohammad Karimi were killed after the Iranian border patrol opened fire to a group of Kulbars. Another Kulbar, Sammy Rashidi, was injured in another accident.

(5) A prisoner was executed in Noor prison on the charge of murder. Two prisoners, Hashem Badrkhani and Houshang Hosseini who were accused of murder, were spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Bandar Abbas.

(6) Jafar Azimzadeh was transferred to Evin prison to serve his six years prison sentence. Azimzadeh and Parvin Mohammadi, the members of the Free Union of workers in Iran, were arrested on January 29.

(7) Three poachers have been arrested in Ghomishloo National Park in the Najafabad county in Isfahan province.

(8) The court was in session for eight environmentalists in Tehran without their lawyers on the espionage-related charges. Moreover, five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”.

(9) A Baloch citizen, Yousef Shahouzehi, was arrested for an unknown reason in Nik Shahr county in Sistan and Baluchestan. His whereabouts is still unknown.

(10) Keyvan Bazhan, a writer and member of the Iranian Writers Association, was released on bail. He was arrested along with two other writers, Baktash Abtin and Reza Khandan Mehrabadi on January 22 on the charge of “encouraging immorality or prostitution”.

(11) Five senior managers of North Khorasan University of Medical Science were flogged on financial-related charges in this university. The head of North Khorasan Justice department confirmed that and added that the court cases fillings have been increasing by 14 percent in the last ten months.

(12) Hassan Hassanzadeh and Hassan Peyghami were released from Urmia prison after completing their prison sentences. They were sentenced to two-year prison term in exile on the charge of “cooperation with the opposition groups” and “acting against national security”.

(13) The school’s roof collapsed due to rains in Pashbard village in Sardasht county in the West Azerbaijan province. Students temporarily use a “conex [shipping container] school “.

(14) The head of Hamadan Mental Health Department & Prevent announced the launch of a campaign to end violence against women such as preventing domestic violence.

(15) The workers of Sisakht municipality in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province have two months of unpaid wages. In addition, more than half a million construction workers are not covered by insurance in Iran.

(16) An authority of Farhangian University, Mansour Nikpanah, confirmed the teacher shortage of 14 thousand in Sistan and Baluchestan province.

(17) Six police officers appeal of death penalty conviction was accepted by the Supreme Court. They have been indicted on a murder charge in the killing of three young men.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 28, 2019

Posted on: January 28th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 28th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than six protests were organized across the country. Several residents of Khash in Sistan and Balouchestan province, the customers of SAIPA and IranKhodro in Tehran, the municipality workers in Borujerd, the students of Farhanigian University in Tehran, bus drivers in Mashhad, and the workers of Dashtestan Rural Water Association have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) A Kulbar (Kurdish back carrier), Hossein Balkhkanlou Aghdam, was killed after the Iranian border patrol opened fire to a group of Kulbars near Maku. Moreover, a landmine explosion injured two Kulbars in Baneh.

(3) A Baha’i citizen, Neda Shabani, was released on bail. Shabani and Soroush Agahi have been arrested in Karaj on November 28, 2018. Baha’i is Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority and are systematically persecuted by the government.

(4) Ali Nejati, labor activist, was released on bail. The former leader of the Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane was arrested on November 29th, 2018. He was charged with “disrupting public order” and “propaganda against the state” through protesting.

(5) A person accused of murdering Saeed Parham, a park ranger in Shirvan, was sentenced to death after eight years.

(6) The court was in session for seven people, on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group” in Oshnavieh. They are identified as Koroush Azizi, Abubakr Minapak, Yousef Ahmadi, Kamel Ahmadi, Mohammad Amin Ghazi, Ayoub Bahramnejad, Tayeb Bamorovat.

(7) The workers of Parsefid abattoir in Amol, South Pars Petrochemical Industry, and HEPCO Company have at least three months of unpaid wages.

(8) A convict in the Golestan province received an alternate sentence for imprisonment. He is sentenced to plant a hundred trees in forest such as oak, maple, and hornbeam.

(9) Mehdi Gholian was released on bail. He was beaten and arrested because he asked for injunction from the security forces who raided his parents’ house to arrest his sister, Sepideh Gholian.

(10) A Baha’i citizen living in Yazd was arrested on January 28, 2019. Farzad Rouhani Manshadi, was sentenced along six other Baha’i citizens to three-year suspended prison term earlier in August 2018.

(11) In a bus rollover at the Bonab Islamic Azad University, six students were injured on January 28.

(12) An anti-addiction activist, Esmail Ebrahimi Viniche, was arrested for an unknown reason on January 16 and has been detained in Isfahan’s Dasgerd prison. He works in an addiction recovery center in Isfahan.

(13) Mostafa Mostafavi was transferred to Urmia prison after 27 days of being held in solitary confinement and interrogation in the Intelligence Office detention center.

(14) Baktash Abtin, a writer and member of the Iranian Writers Association, was released on bail. He was arrested along with two other writers, Keyvan Bazhan and Reza Khandan Mehrabadi on January 22 on the charge of “encouraging immorality or prostitution”.

(15) Two workers died and two others were injured in Tehran, Arak, and Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(16) Amir Nosratkhah was executed in the Zanjan prison on the charge of murder. Moreover, three prisoners accused of murder, were spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Zanjan and Sirvan.

(17) Razgar Mohammadi, Yousef Rasouli, Adel Bakhshvari, and Mousa Esmaili were arrested in Piranshahr on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 26, 2019

Posted on: January 26th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 26th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Ali Varmarzyar, a seventh-grade student in Hamadan, was transferred to a hospital after being beaten by his teacher. The student’s left hand was injured in this incident.

(2) After being detained for almost two months, Maziyar Seyyednejad, a labor activist, has a bond set to be released on bail. He was arrested during Khuzestan workers’ protests on December 1st and was transferred to an unknown place.

(3) Hossein Rezaei, a teacher and the secretary of the teachers’ union in Bushehr, was arrested earlier today and transferred to an unknown place. He had been summoned twice to the intelligence office and was interrogated in the last week.

(4) Four elementary students were injured in a school vehicle roll over incident near Mashhad. Three girls and a boy were transferred to hospital.

(5) Three citizens, Farshid Feizollahi, Mehran Mohammadi, and Akam Ghaderi were arrested separately in Sanandaj and Bukan and their whereabouts are unknown. They are accused of ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’.

(6) More than 13 thousand people have lost their lives in traffic-related accidents in the past nine months. This marks a 0.7 percent increase compared to the last year. The majority of accidents have been reported in Fars, Isfahan, and Tehran provinces.

(7) An Arab citizen, 27-year-old Walid Zubaidi, was arrested on Thursday in Ramshir city. His whereabouts and the reason of his arrest are still unknown.

(8) The head of the Department of Environment in Kiasar city in Mazandaran province announced that two poachers were arrested and carcasses of two Caspian red deer were confiscated from them.

(9) Reza Khandan Mahabadi, a writer and member of the Iranian Writers Association, was released on bail. He was arrested along with two other writers, Keyvan Bazhan and Baktash Abtin on January 22. Their charge is “encouraging immorality or prostitution”.

(10) Five construction workers were injured in Chabahar city because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace. Chabahar is in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

(11) More than 700 artists who had gathered at the Theater Forum’s venue in Tehran, signed a letter condemning the mass arrest of theater artists and directors by the judicial system. 

(12) The director of the Iranshahr University of Medical Sciences announced that a Ringworm outbreak has been observed among students in Shamsabad village in Iranshahr. He added that this disease is highly contiguous and is caused by unhygienic lifestyle.

(13) More than 800 people have signed a statement in which they expressed their concerns for Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian conditions and requested their immediate release. They were rearrested after the broadcast of their confessions on the national television.

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

Posted on: January 22nd, 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.

Befitting to Name Evin & Gharchak Artists’ Dwelling

Posted on: September 15th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – More than 80 Iranian artists have issued a statement to protest against the prosecution of their colleagues in the country.Amongst the signatories, there are well-known artists belonging to two generations of Iranians living either in the country or abroad.The full text of this statement is as follows:

Art is the portrayal of liberty on the wings of thought and imagination.Pity those who believe by imprisoning an artist’s physical being, his thought process is eroded.

How do occasional incursions carried out against independent and intellectual artists lead us to the shores of salvation while our nation’s thirst and admiration for art can’t be quenched by pretentious rulers reigning over our culture?

Today, it is befitting to name Evin and Gharchak artists’ dwelling whose air is filled with the breath of such individuals as Marzieh Vafamehr and Ramin Parchami, and amidst its walls, the scent of Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Mahnaz Mohammadi, Maryam Majd, Pegah Ahangariani, Hila Sedighi and numerous others is felt.All these artists share a common belief in independent art, have felt the prevailing pain in the society and have sought to present solutions worthy of an awakened nation demanding change.

We, a group of artists and authors signing this statement, are gravely concerned about police actions undertaken against activists, demand the release of all artists and ask for their convictions reconsidered.

Signed by:

  1. Arezoo Srazsh (Author)
  2. Aria Aram Nejad (Composer, Singer, Song Writer)
  3. Azadeh Davachi (Poet)
  4. Ida Amidi (Poet)
  5. Ehsan Ahmadi (Poet)
  6. Ahmad Pournejati (Poet, Cinema & Theater)
  7. Ardavan Asshabi (Photographer)
  8. Arsalan Bagheri (Poet)
  9. Ismail Yourdshahyan (Poet, Writer)
  10. Afsaneh Shafie (Theater Performer, Poet)
  11. Afshin Akhavan (Actor, Cinema & Theater)
  12. Omid Iran Mehr (Photographer)
  13. Omid Koshtkar (Graphics Artist)
  14. Amir Ashori (Poet, Translator)
  15. Amir Varaste Heidari (Poet)
  16. Bagher Mozen (Musician)
  17. Baktash Abtin (Poet, Filmmaker)
  18. Parto Noriala (Actress, Poet)
  19. Pegah Ahmadi (Poet)
  20. Poya Azizi (Poet)
  21. Toran Zandieh (Painter)
  22. Javad Moghimi (Photographer)
  23. Hojat Badaghi (Poet)
  24. Hassan Zarhi (Poet)
  25. Hassan Sarbakhshan (Photographer)
  26. Hussein Arian (Filmmaker, Photographer, Editor)
  27. Hussein Zaman (Singer)
  28. Hussein Noshazad (Story Writer)
  29. Hamid Reza Nabiei (Photograher)
  30. Hamid Janipour (Photographer)
  31. Reza Shantia (Poet)
  32. Reza Farmand (Author, Poet)
  33. Reza Ganji (Photographer)
  34. Roya Bijani (Poet)
  35. Roya Taghti(Poet)
  36. Zahra Elahi (Poet)
  37. Sara Khalili (Poet, Translator)
  38. Sassan Ghahreman (Author, Director, Theater Performer)
  39. Saman Zaman Zadeh (Photographer)
  40. Sayeh Darkhtian (Poet)
  41. Sapedeh Jadyari (Poet, Translator)
  42. Samaneh Naeini (Poet)
  43. Soheila Mirzaie (Poet)
  44. Siamak Borazjani (Poet)
  45. Shabnam Azar (Poet)
  46. Shabnam Farshadjo (Actress)
  47. Shabnam Ghalikhani (Actress, Film Educator)
  48. Shaghayegh Zafari (Poet)
  49. Shokofeh Azar (Author)
  50. Shahrnoosh Parsipour (Author)
  51. Abbas Bakhtiari (Musician)
  52. Ezat Goshegir (Play Writer)
  53. Ali Avghazyan (Photographer)
  54. Ali Chakav (Photographer, Filmmaker)
  55. Ali Abdolrezaie (Poet)
  56. Ali Fatehi (Documentary Filmmaker)
  57. Ali Fathi Moghadam (Poet)
  58. Ali Mohammadi (Poet, Filmmaker)
  59. Ali Manafi (Announcer)
  60. Ali Reza Badi (Poet, Song Writer)
  61. Ali Reza Bahnam (Poet, Translator)
  62. Ali Reza Darvish (Painter, Filmmaker)
  63. Kian Amani (Photographer)
  64. Garanaz Mosavi (Poet, Filmmaker)
  65. Laila Kurdbacheh (Poet)
  66. Mana Nistani (Cartoonist)
  67. Majid Nafisi (Poet)
  68. Mohsen Khaimedooz (Author, Movie Critic)
  69. Mohsen Emadi (Poet)
  70. Mohsen Mahmoud Zadeh (Photographer)
  71. Maryam Amosa (Poet, Photographer)
  72. Maryam Holeh (Poet)
  73. Mazdak Mousavi(Poet)
  74. Mostafa Azizi (Script Writer)
  75. Monireh Parvaresh (Poet)
  76. Mehrnaz Hedayati (Author)
  77. Mino Nosrat (Poet)
  78. Naser Zerati (Author, Poet)
  79. Nasrin Almasi (Author)
  80. Niaz Salimi (Actress)
  81. Hashem Baroti(Poet)
  82. Hasti Alhoie (Graphics Artist)
  83. Homan Azizi (Poet)