Two Christian Converts Sent to Bushehr Prison to Endure One Year Sentences

Earlier this Thursday, November 11, Christian converts Sasan Khosravi and Habib Heydari were sent to Bushehr Prison to endure their prison sentences.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mohabbat News, the Revolutionary Court of Bushehr sentenced each of them to one-year imprisonment, among other punishments, in June of this year. These verdicts were later upheld by the court of appeals.

Khosravi and Heydari received these sentences on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”. They had also faced two other charges of “acting against national security” and “membership in anti-regime group”, but of both of these they were acquitted.

On July 1, 2019, the intelligence agents arrested Khosravi and Heydari in Bushehr and  released them on a bail of 300 million tomans after two weeks. During their detention period, the detainees were held in solitary confinement and denied any access to a lawyer. They were also forced to make a videotaped confession.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, the security services pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with those who convert to Christianity.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.


Civil Activist Sepideh Gholiyan Arrested by Security Forces in Ahvaz

Civil activist Sepideh Gholiyan, who has been on leave from Bushehr Prison since August 19, was recently arrested by security forces in Ahvaz from her sister’s home to serve the rest of her sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, security police confiscated the cell phones of all family members during the arrest.

Confirming Gholiyan’s arrest, an informed source told HRANA, “Thirty male and female security forces entered her sister’s home, arrested Mrs. Gholiyan, and confiscated the cell phones of all family members.”

Before this arrest, on her personal page on social media, Gholiyan had informed that she had been summoned to Bushehr prison and commented “Ten days ago, they called me from Bushehr Prison that I have to return to there. I told them that I am supposed to go to Tehran where the Executive Branch of the Department of Justice would decide to which prison I had to be sent. Seemingly, they are searching to find somewhere worse than Bushehr Prison.”

On November 18, 2018, Sepideh Gholiyan was arrested along with at least 19 others, including members of the Assembly of Representatives of Haft-Tappeh’s workers, several workers’ activists and company personnel and managers by security police of NAJA in Shush city. She was released on bail on December 18, 2018.

After broadcasting her forced confession as well as some other workers’ activists, including Ismail-Bakhshi on national TV channel, they announced that the “confessions” were extracted under torture by security forces. Soon after this announcement, the security police arrested them.

On October 26, 2019, she was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings. On December 14, 2019, she was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by Tehran appellate court.

On June 21, 2020, she began serving her prison term in Evin prison. On March 10, 2021, she was exiled to Bushehr Prison, where she was held until being granted leave, and to where she is now being transferred back.

Sepideh Gholiyan Sent on Leave from Bushehr Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists (HRA), today, August 19, civil activist Sepideh Gholiyan was sent on a 7-day leave from Bushehr Prison.

In early August, Ms. Gholiyan’s Covid-19 test result came out positive.

Sepideh Gholiyan was first arrested in November 2018, along with at least 19 workers’ representatives and labor activists of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. at the Shush, and was released on bail on December of the same year.

Ms. Gholiyan was sentenced to 5 years in prison by the Tehran Court of Appeals in December 2019.

In June 2020, she was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison to endure her sentence. She was transferred from the women’s ward of Evin Prison to Bushehr Prison on March 2021, where Ms. Gholiyan and Mahboubeh Rezaei were severely beaten.

Sepideh Gholiyan and Mahboubeh Rezaei Severely Beaten in Bushehr Prison

On Tuesday, July 20, civil activist Sepideh Gholiyan and political prisoner Mahboubeh Rezaei were severely beaten in Bushehr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Gholiyan and Rezaei were beaten by prisoners accused of violent crimes in front of prison officials. It is said that the incident happened at the instigation of the head of the women’s ward of the prison, Fatemeh Aliverdi.

Sepideh Gholiyan has been denied the right to make telephone calls for about two months.

“Ms. Gholiyan and Ms. Rezaei were both beaten and threatened with death and for this reason,” an informed source told HRANA. “Sepideh Gholiyan spent the night at a temperature of 117 in the small backyard of the ward. After the threats, Mahboubeh Rezaei submitted a request to be transferred to Shiraz Prison, which was immediately rejected”

Ms. Gholiyan was sentenced to 5 years in prison by the Tehran Court of Appeals in December 2019. Mahboubeh Rezaei was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison by Branch 17 of the Fars Province Court of Appeal, after reduction.

The two citizens have stated that they were tortured by the Ministry of Intelligence and other security forces.

Political Prisoner Shakila Monfared Beaten by Inmates in Qarchak Prison

On Monday, June 7, political prisoner Shakila Monfared was beaten by several prisoners in Qarchak Prison in Varamin after being held in a section that houses prisoners of violent crimes–a violation of the UN principle of separation of prisoners based on crime.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, per an informed source, several prisoners of disparate crimes severely insulted and beat Monfared with the sharp lid of a can of tuna after the instigation of a member of prison staff.

This is yet another case of the widespread practice of Iranian prison officials punitively orchestrating situations in which inmates sentenced for violent crimes assault political prisoners–particularly in women’s wards. This allows the prisons to effectively impose physical assault as punishment without officially claiming responsibility for the damage.

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 arrested by IRGC intelligence agents after the court hearing and was transferred to Bushehr prison. Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals later reduced the sentence to 4 years and two months in prison. She had previously been transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin from Bushehr Prison on May 12.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

Political Prisoner Kourosh Porsetareh Released after Completing Prison Sentence

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Kourosh Porsetareh, a political prisoner held in Bushehr on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, was released after completing his prison sentence on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.

Porsetareh spent three months in prison on a charge of “membership in groups aimed at disrupting national security.” He began his sentence in Bushehr Prison on August 4, 2018.

Despite the principle of separating prisoners based on the nature of their crimes, Porsetareh was held in Ward 3, typically reserved for those convicted of financial crimes. Bushehr Prison does not have a designated ward for political prisoners.

An informed source previously told HRANA that “prison authorities ignored his pleas and the urging of his family to transfer him to another ward.”

13 Unreported Executions in Different Cities During Last 2 Weeks

HRANA News Agency – During the last two weeks, 13 prisoners who had been sentenced to death, were hanged in different cities in Iran, which has not been mentioned in any report, so far.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), these executions have not been announced by the authorities or the media, and its report just recently has been given to HRANA. Continue reading “13 Unreported Executions in Different Cities During Last 2 Weeks”