Three Christian Converts Summoned in Karaj to Endure Their Sentences

Christian Converts Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi were summoned to appear today, November 10, at the Executive Unit of the Court of Karaj to endure their sentences.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 12 of the Court of Appeals of Alborz Province had previously sentenced each of these citizens to three years in prison.

In their first trial, which took place on June 26 of this year, they were each sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and paying a fine of 40 million tomans by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj on charges of “propaganda and catechizing deviant against the holy Sharia of Islam”.  Following the verdict, they were released each on bail of 250 million Tomans. On August 22, the verdict was reduced to three years each on appeal.

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

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.



Kamyar Fakoor Sentenced to Eight Months Imprisonment and Flogging

Workers’ rights activist Kamyar Fakoor was sentenced to 50 lashes, eight months imprisonment and paying a fine of 15 million tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the verdict has been suspended for 5 years.

Branch 26 of the Tehran revolutionary court, headed by judge Mahmood Haj Moradi, sentenced Kamyar Fakoor to eight months in prison, 50 lashes and paying a fine of 15 million tomans on charges of “propaganda against the regime, spreading lies in the purpose to disturb public opinions and public order”.

As conditions for the sentence suspension, he will be obligated to ask permission from the judiciary before leaving the country, participate in emotional control courses, inform authorities about any changes in employment or place of residence, and avoid any political activities on social media.

On August 28, along with two other workers’ rights activists, Kamyar Fakoor was arrested during a protest of retirees and working educators in front of the building of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare. Ten days later, he was released from Evin Prison on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

Arash Gangi Detained and Sent to Evin Prison to Endure 11 Year Sentence

On Monday, November 1, translator and board member of the Iranian Writers’ Association (IWA) Arash Gangi was sent to Evin Prison to endure his 11-year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, recently, PEN America in a statement condemned Arash Gangi’s summons and asked for the quashing of this “wildly disproportionate” sentence.

Gangi had been previously sentenced to eleven years in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of five years is enforceable.

Following the summons he received on October 16 of this year, Arash Gangi appeared at the Executive Unit of Evin prison and from there he was sent to Evin Prison.

On December 22, 2019, the security forces raided his house, and then arrested and transferred him to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is at the disposal of the intelligence ministry.  Security agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings during the arrest.

After a while, he was transferred from the Ward 209 to the public section of Evin Prison. On January 19, 2020, he was released on a bail of 450 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In the first court session, on June 14, 2020, the judge increased the bail to 3 billion tomans, and hence he was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison until providing the new bail. He was released on bail on June 21, 2020.

In the second court session, which took place on November 29, 2020, only his attorney attended the court and Mr Ganji could not appear at the court due to having COVID-19 symptoms.

Ultimately, in December 2020, the court, headed by judge Mohammad-Reza Amoozad, sentenced Gangi to five years in prison on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security”, one year on a charge of “propaganda against the regime” and five years on a charge of “membership in and collaboration with one of the ant-regime groups.”, for a total of 11 years imprisonment. In February 2021, this verdict was upheld by the court of appeals of Tehran.

According to Naser Zarafshan, Mr. Gangi’s lawyer, all these charges were invoked from his translation of a book under the title of “A Small Key Can Open A Big Door: The Rojava Revolution”, which is about Kurdistan upheavals in Syria.

The non-governmental organization IWA was founded by a group of intellectual writers in 1968, originally with the objective of promoting freedom of speech and fighting against censorship.

Although IWA was banned in 1981 by the Iranian authorities, a group of writers created a “consulting assembly” to revive the banned IWA in 1993. On September 8, 1996, 12 writers who had gathered to draft a new charter for the IWA were arrested, interrogated and warned not to hold further meetings for the advancement of the IWA. Since then, the members and board members of IWA have been subject to systematic persecution, long prison sentences and even targeted killing from 1988–98, when certain Iranian dissident intellectuals who had been critical of the Islamic Republic disappeared and their bodies found afterwards.

Farangis Mazloum Summoned by Evin Court to Endure Eighteen Month Sentence

Yesterday, October 19, civil activist Farangis Mazloum was summoned to serve her 18-month prison sentence by Branch 1 of the Executive Unit of Evin Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mazloum was asked to appear at this branch within five days from the date of the summons’ issuance. Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court had sentenced her to 18 months in prison.

Mazloum is the mother of prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi, who recently began a hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.

On July 22, 2019, Farangis Mazloum was arrested at her sister’s home and transferred to the detention center at the disposal of the ministry of intelligence, known as Ward 209 of Evin prison. On October 8, 2019, she was released on bail of 250 million tomans (approx. 9300 US dollars) until the end of legal proceedings.

She was indicted by Branch 6 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Evin Prison.

Initially, the Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran held the trial in absentia and sentenced her to six years imprisonment. In this court, six other people related to this court case were also sentenced to imprisonment. After Mazloum’s objection, in a retrial, the Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on August 25 and 28 2020 changed the sentence to 18 months in prison.

She was sentenced to one year on a charge of ” assembly and collusion to commit a crime through associating with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”, and 6 months on a charge of “propaganda against the regime in favor of opposition political groups”.

This verdict was upheld by the appellate court. By applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of one year from this sentence is enforceable.


Sunni Prisoner Zaher Roozkhun Released on Bail

On Thursday, October 14, Sunni prisoner Zaher Roozkhun was released temporarily on bail until the end of criminal proceedings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Mahabad resident Zaher Roozkhun was released on bail for 350 million tomans (approx. 13,000 US dollars). He has been denied access to lawyer and family visitation during the detention.

Roozkhun had been previously arrested by security forces before too on August 29, 2021. After completing the interrogation process, he was sent from a detention center in Urmia to Mahabad Prison.

As of writing this, the reason for his arrest and the charges is unknown.


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Monireh Arabshahi Forcefully Transferred Back to Kachooye Prison Before Completion of Medical Treatment

On Monday, October 4, civil activist Monireh Arabshahi was forcefully transferred from the hospital back Kachooye Prison in Karaj by judge order, despite not having completed her treatment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ms. Arabshahi had been on medical leave since August 4.

Ms. Arabshahi’s medical issues have been ongoing. On May 3, 2020, Arabshahi was granted leave on bail for 500 million tomans to receive surgery to remove her thyroid gland, after which she was sent back to prison.

Yasamin Ariaani, Arabshahi’s daughter and an outspoken opponent of the compulsory hijab in Iran, who had been released after serving out her sentence on February 14, 2019, was arrested again on April 10, 2019 on new charges.

One day after the arrest of her daughter, Mrs. Arabshahi was also arrested and both were relocated to Gharchak Prison. Subsequently,  both were sent to Evin Prison and finally they end up in Kachooye Prison in Karaj.

Branch 28 of the revolutionary court has convicted this mother and daughter to a total of 16 years in prison, which were later reduced to a total of 9 years and 7 months. They were charged with “assembly and collusion against national security”, “propaganda against the regime”,  and “provoking and provision of impurity and indecency”.

Ali Zolfi Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison

Ali Zolfi, a native of Bukan in West Azerbaijan Province, was sentenced to imprisonment by the court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Zolfi received a sentence of 4 months and 9 days.

According to this report, in July of this year, Branch 2 of the Bukan Criminal Court, headed by Judge Peyman Rostami, sentenced Mr. Zolfion a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

Ali Zolfi was arrested by security forces in January 2021 and was released on bail of 200 million Tomans in late February after interrogations.

The citizen is said to have been denied telephone calls, family visits, and access to a lawyer during his detention.

Maryam Ebrahimvand Arrested by Security Forces in Tehran

On the morning of Sunday, August 22, Maryam Ebrahimvand, a director, filmmaker, and former prisoner, was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, she was released after a couple of hours interrogation.

According to a close source to Ms. Ebrahimvand, she had gone to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to seek permission for her confiscated films, and was arrested in front of the Ministry’s building in Tehran.

“A few months ago,” the source told HRANA, “Ms. Ebrahimvand was told by the Ministry of Guidance that after receiving a letter working ban from the IRGC,  it is not possible to grant permission for her films.”

Ms. Ebrahimvand had previously been detained and convicted. IRGC intelligence agents arrested Ms. Ebrahimvand in September 2016. After 35 days, she was released on  a bail of 300 million Tomans from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center, Ward 2A, Evin Prison.

Nearly two years later, in July 2018, Ms. Ebrahimvand was arrested again after being summoned to Branch 4 of the Culture and Media Court. She was transferred to Ward 2A of the IRGC, and then was transferred to prison a month after interrogations ended, while a bail of 10 billion Tomans was issued for her.

Ms. Ebrahimvand, who had been detained in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison from July 2018, was sentenced by Branch 1059 of the Government Employees’ Court to ten years in prison in November of last year on charges of “making a vulgar film”, “insulting the President”, and “spreading lies against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”.

In the second part of her case, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to 6 months in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime,” and in the final verdict, she was sentenced to a total of ten years and six months in prison.

Ms. Ebrahimvand was finally informed of her release in June of this year after appearing before the Culture and Media Court.

Maryam Ebrahimvand is a writer, film director, and producer of “Comedy of Love”, “We Are All Alone”, and “Girls’ Boarding House”.

Akram Rahimi Dies of Coronary Heart Disease in Amol Prison after being Unable to Pay Required Cash Bail

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, an inmate in the women’s ward of Amol Prison died on the evening of Saturday, August 14 of coronary heart disease.

The prisoner, who has been identified by HRANA as 40-year-old Akram Rahimi, suffered from severe heart and lung disease, but was being kept in detention due to her inability to pay the required cash bail.

“Ms. Rahimi contracted Corona some time ago along with several other prisoners,” an informed source told HRANA. “After her condition worsened, she was regularly sent to the hospital, but due to lack of space, she was not accepted and received the same basic treatment services, ie serum injection in the hospital garden, and was transferred to prison again until she died two nights ago.