Three Political Prisoners Sentenced to a Combined 14 Years in Upheld Verdict

The Appeals Court of Tehran has confirmed a joint 14-year prison sentence for political prisoners Mohsen Haji-Mohammadi, Rezavaneh Ahmad-Khan Beigi, and Behfar Laleh Zari.

As per the verdict endorsed by Branch 36 of the Appeals Court of Tehran, Laleh Zari and her husband Ahmad-Khan Beigi have each been given four years for “assembly and collusion against national security” and an additional year for “spreading propaganda against the regime.” Haji-Mohammadi, on the other hand, received a four-year sentence for “assembly and collusion against national security.”

The initial ruling was handed down by Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, led by Judge Iman Afshari.

On September 18, 2023, civil rights advocate, Ahmad-Khan Beigi and Laleh Zari were arrested at their residence by security forces. Laleh Zari, initially held in solitary confinement under Security Police custody, was later transferred to Evin Prison, while Ahmad-Khan Beigi was relocated to Qarchak Prison in Varamin, eventually being moved to Evin Prison.

Haji-Mohammadi’s arrest occurred in Tehran in September 2023. After seven days of solitary confinement under the Public Security Police, they were transferred to Evin Prison.

All three political prisoners have a history of arrests and convictions stemming from their engagement in political activism.

Report on Eleven Political Prisoners and Detainees Held in Evin Prison’s Quarantine Section

Eleven political prisoners and detainees find themselves in the quarantine section of Evin Prison.

Nine among them were apprehended between September 11 and September 18, in a state of legal uncertainty. This group includes Mohsen Haj Mohammadi, Sajjad Bakhshali, Pouria Shokoohi Rad, Hamed Mohagheghi, Behfar Laleh Zari, Payam Bastani Parizi, Saman Rezaie, Alireza Hajian, and Zaman (Arash) Esmaeili. Additionally, Reza Mohammad Hosseini, a former political prisoner, faced punitive relocation to this section following his arrest on May 1, 2023. Lawyer Arash Keykhosravi, most recently arrested at his residence by security forces, completes the group.

According to information gathered by HRANA, in addition to these eleven prisoners, there are several other individuals currently detained in the same section. These individuals were recently arrested for participating in the anniversary ceremony commemorating the protestors who lost their lives during the 2022 nationwide protests at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery. HRANA is actively engaged in efforts to identify these detainees.

Here is an overview of the eleven prisoners:

1. Sajjad Bakhshali: Arrested on September 18, 2023. He spent seven days in solitary confinement at a public security police station, charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” Bakhshali has previously faced multiple arrests and incarcerations for his activism.

2. Behfar Laleh Zari: Arrested alongside his wife, Rezavaneh Ahmadkah Beigi, on September 18, 2023. He spent seven days in solitary confinement at a public security police station, charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” A former political prisoner, Laleh Zari was released from Evin prison in February 2019. His wife is currently detained in Qarchak Prison, Varamin.

3. Payam Bastani Parizi: Arrested on September 11, 2023, he has been charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” After 12 days in IRGC’s detention facility 1-A, he was transferred to Evin Prison.

4. Reza Mohammad Hosseini: Arrested on May 1, 2023, Hosseini faces charges of “spreading propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion against national security, and association with anti-regime news channels.” Hosseini is being held punitively in the quarantine section and has a history of prior arrests and convictions related to his activism.

5. Arash Keykhosravi: An attorney at law, arrested on September 25, 2023. Keykhosravi is among the nine Iranian lawyers and human rights defenders apprehended on August 14, 2021, during a meeting to discuss a lawsuit against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the government regarding the ban on foreign vaccines. He was sentenced to two years in prison, a one-year ban from practicing law, and a ban on media activities, with the sentence upheld on appeal. Keykhosravi was also previously detained in Evin Prison from November 19, 2022, to March 6, 2023.

6. Mohsen Haj Mohammadi: Arrested on September 18, 2023, he is charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” He spent seven days in solitary confinement at a Public Security Police station.

7. Pouria Shokoohi Rad: Arrested on September 18, 2023, charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” He also spent seven days in solitary confinement at a Public Security Police station.

8. Hamed Mohagheghi: Arrested on September 18, 2023, charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” He spent seven days in solitary confinement at a Public Security Police station.

9. Saman Rezaie: Arrested on September 12, 2023, he faces the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security.” Rezaie spent 11 days in IRGC’s detention facility 1-A.

10. Alireza Hajian: Arrested on September 15, 2023, charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.” He also spent 12 days in IRGC’s detention facility 1-A.

11. Zaman (Arash) Esmaeili: Arrested on September 15, 2023, facing the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security.” He also spent 12 days in IRGC’s detention facility 1-A.

Notably, as per Article 217 of Iran’s Criminal Procedure Law, the case investigator is obliged to grant the defendant bail after indictment. However, these detainees have been denied this right by prison and judicial authorities.