Four Teacher Union Activists Sentenced to Prison Terms and Additional Penalties

In recent developments, four members of the Teachers’ Trade Association in Bushehr, namely Mohsen Omrani, Mohmood Melaki, Asghar Hajat, and Abdolreza Amanifar, have received sentences totaling four years and eight months, along with additional penalties.

As reported by the Teachers Union Telegram channel, Melaki and Omrani have each been sentenced to two years of imprisonment, with the additional penalty of having some of their assets confiscated, and a three-year ban from engaging in the educational profession. Meanwhile, Hajat and Amanifar have each received four-month prison sentences, coupled with the seizure of certain belongings.

These activists had initially been detained on May 1, 2022, during nationwide protests organized by working and retired teachers. They were subsequently released on bail over the following weeks, pending the conclusion of legal proceedings.

It’s worth noting that Melaki faced another arrest by security forces on December 17, 2022, amidst nationwide protests. Although he was released on bail in late February, he was later permanently dismissed from his service.

These individuals were reportedly convicted on charges related to “actions against national security, disruption of public order and peace, and resisting on-duty officers.”

Two Workers Detained by IRGC Intelligence for Alleged Role in Strikes

Two workers employed in the South Pars Gas-Condensate field have been detained by IRGC Intelligence for involvement in organizing worker strikes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, citing Raja News, the arrests took place in Bushehr Province.

The identities of the workers have not been revealed, but a local official stated that they were allegedly leading strikes among workers at the South Pars Gas-Condensate field. Additionally, it is reported that they were non-native and engaged also in online activities related to these strikes.

Former Political Prisoner Mahboobeh Rezaie Arrested

On May 22, 2023, Mahboobeh Rezaie, a former political prisoner, was apprehended by security forces and transported to an undisclosed location.

on Monday, May 22, a team of four male and two female intelligence agents raided Rezaie’s father’s residence, taking her into custody. The exact whereabouts of Rezaie remain unknown, and her family’s inquiries have yet to receive a response.
The motives behind Rezaie’s arrest and the specific charges against her are currently undisclosed.

Rezaie, a resident of Borazjan, Bushehr Provnce. It is worth noting that this is not the first time that she is facing arrest and conviction due to her activism. In June 2022, she was released early from Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

Six Citizens Including Three School Students Arrested in Different Cities

Recently, related to nationwide protests, security forces arrested six citizens, including three school students in Kuhdasht, Takab, Tehran and Bushehr.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, six individuals, including three school students, were arrested by security forces in different cities.

HRANA has identified the students as Milad Jahangiri, Sirvan Malekian and Behzad Iranpour, all residents of Takab, West Azerbaijan Province.

Three other citizens have been identified as Amir Mohammadi in Tehran, Mohsen Teymoori in Kuhdasht (Lorestan Province) and Mehdi Omrani in Bushehr.

Mohammadi has been jailed in Great Tehran Penitentiary. The five other individuals’ whereabouts are still unknown.

 

Teachers Mahmood Melaki and Mohsen Omrani Arrested in Bushehr

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Independent Iranian Workers Union (IIWU), on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, teachers Mahmood Melaki and Mohsen Omrani were arrested in Bushehr City.

Reportedly, two individuals’ families’ inquiry about their whereabouts and conditions has been unanswered by security and judicial authorities and the reasons for these arrests, the charges and their whereabouts are still unknown.

On May 1, 2022, Melaki and Omrani were arrested during the teachers’ protests in Bushehr. Melaki and Omrani were released on bail on May 17 and 21 respectively.

Last year, the Bushehr Revolutionary Court sentenced Melaki to refrain from teaching for two years and a 20-million tomans fine.

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Several Individuals Arrested for Live Stream Posts by Iran’s Cyber Police

The chief of Iran’s Cyber Police announced that several individuals have been arrested in several cities across the country for what he called inappropriate live videos on social media. He said that the individuals’ mobile phones have been confiscated and they have been indicted by the judicial authorities.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mehr News Agency, a number of individuals have been arrested by the cyber police in Bushehr, Tehran, West Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Fars provinces.

Without revealing the identities and the number of the individuals who are arrested, Vahid Majid, the chief of Iran’s Cyber Police claimed, “from Bushehr, Tehran, West Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Fars, the members and heads of a gang, who were circulating inappropriate live video posts to promote corruption and money laundering were identified and apprehended.”

Seven Arrested Teachers Released, Four Teachers’ Detention Extended

On Monday, May 2, 2022, seven teachers who had been arrested during teachers’ protests in Bushehr were freed, while four teachers’ pretrial detentions were extended by 72 days.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, seven teachers who were arrested during the teachers’ protest in Bushehr last Sunday were released and four teachers’ detention was extended by 72 days.

Reportedly, these released teachers have been identified as Hamid Khojasteh, Mohammad-Reza Akbari, Ardeshir Sayyadi, Yousef Sayyadi, Fereydoun Shafiee, Mohammad Melaki and Naser Zendeh-boodi. The detentions of four teachers identified as Reza Amanifar, Asghar Hajeb, Mohsen Omrani and Mahmood Melaki were extended by72 days by the order of the prosecutor’s office.

These teachers had been arrested by the police in Bushehr last Sunday.

On Sunday, May 1, in response to a call by the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, the retired and working teachers in 45 cities assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Education. In Mariwan and Bushehr, these protests were attacked by the police and several protestors were arrested. 

Pedram Abhar’s House Searched While He Remains Detained in Unknown Detention Center

On Tuesday, November 23, security forces raided and searched Baha’i citizen Pedram Abhar’s house in Tehran. On November 21, security forces arrested Pedram Abhar at his father’s home in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, at the time of arrest, they also searched the house and confiscated several family belongings such as identity cards, passports, cell phones, pictures and books related to the Baha’i faith. While Baha’i citizen, Pedram Abahar is still in detention in an unidentified detention center, his house in Tehran was searched by security forces again on Tuesday.

“On Sunday morning, November 21, at 10 am., Mr. Abhar departed from Shiraz to Bushehr,” an informed source told HRANA. “While he was at a rest stop on the road, he was surrounded by three cars. They arrested and transferred him back to his parents’ home in Shiraz. About 13 security agents searched the house. Yesterday, his parents went to the courthouse to find out about their son. However, they did not get an answer. Finally, this morning, Mr. Abhar was allowed to make a short call to his parent.”

Regarding this report, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson stated that HRA strongly condemned these discriminatory acts against religious minorities in Iran. She asked that the regime take action to ensure Iranian people, and Bahai’s citizens in particular, are entitled to the freedom of religion and can perform their religious acts freely.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

The reason for Abhar’s arrest, the charges against him, the security institution responsible for the arrest, and the detainee’s whereabouts are all unknown as of this writing.

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.