On Thursday, November 11, a group of at least nine people was arrested by security forces in Baneh County and transferred to an unidentified location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, security forces searched the citizens’ house without a warrant during the reportedly-violent arrest, and confiscated belongings such as laptops, cameras, cell phones and books.
The report identified the known arrestees as Salah Pezeshki, Refigh Pezeshki, Manaf Pezeshki, Farzad Pezeshki, Behzad Pezeshki, Farhad Pezeshki, Loghman Pezeshki, Jamal Morovati and Saeed Ghaderi, but an informed source claims that more than nine people has been arrested.
The reasons for the arrests, as well as the charges, are unknown as of this writing.
Several citizens have reportedly been arrested by an IRGC Intelligence unit in Isfahan.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRNA, a spokesperson for the IRGC’S Intelligence unit in Isfahan City, known as Sahib al-Zaman IRGC, announced that several members of an “anti-revolutionary group” have been arrested.
“The members of this anti-revolutionary group aimed to act against national security both on social media and in public,” the IRGC’s public relations spokesperson claimed. “These acts include spreading anti-regime tracts on streets to call for protest and unrest, agitating and hiring thugs for their own purposes, planning to disturb public order and security, sabotage and causing chaos and unrest all over the province.”
This report does not reveal the identity and whereabouts of the detainees.
The County Prosecutor of Robat Karim City recently announced the arrest of several citizens by IRGS’s intelligence unit.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the citizens were arrested largely on charges of membership in what he called an “anti-revolutionary network”.
“In the last week, IRGS’s intelligence agents could detect and arrest the heads of an anti-revolutionary network in Robat-Karim city”, the County Prosecutor commented. “These arrested people were transferred to the jail after being notified of the charge and the issuance of an arrest warrant.”
He added, “Investigation and identification of the related people to this case is still ongoing.”
This report does not mention the number of arrestees, their identities, or their current whereabouts.
On Monday, October 18, Yousef Salahshour and Amir Sattari Rauf were summoned to Branch 111 of the Criminal Court of Tabriz.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, they have received separate summons, issued through the online system of Judiciary (SENA), to appear in court. Salahshour and Sattari Rauf are to appear in court on October 27 and October 30 respectively.
As mentioned in the summons, the charges against Salahshour are “disturbing public order by participation in illegal protests and assembles”, “agitating people for violent act through telecommunication systems in cyberspace” and “propaganda against the regime”.
On July 25, Yousef Salahshour was arrested by the intelligence agents and transferred to the detention center of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tabriz. On August 11, in a phone call, he informed his family that he had been transferred to Tabriz Prison. He was released on bail on August 14, and then on October 3, the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz held the first court session addressing one of his charges.
Mr. Sattari Rauf was arrested on July 22 by security forces and transferred to Tabriz Prison. He was released from Tabriz prison on August 15.
On July 24, a number of citizens in Tabriz marched and protested in support of the protest of Khuzestan against water shortage and mismanagement of the government. During the protests, a number of these citizens were arrested.
On Saturday, October 2, Tehran’s Security Police of NAJA arrested eight street booksellers for allegedly selling illegal books.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IBNA, the police confiscated some of the books.
One of the members of the Workgroup for Protecting the Rights of Publishers and Booksellers called these detained booksellers “distributors of illegal and smuggled books”.
The member claimed that part of these confiscated books is the works of the supporters of the restoration of the monarchy in Iran as well as illegal books and unpermitted hard copies of bestselling books.
On Monday, September 27, Salar Salehi, who is from Sanandaj in Kurdistan Province, was arrested by security forces.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Mr. Salehi is said to have been transferred to a security detention center for questioning following his arrest.
As of this writing, the exact whereabouts and the charges against Mr. Salehi are not known.
On Sunday, September 5, Christian converts Ahmad Sarparast, Ayub Pour Rezazadeh, and Morteza Hajeb Mashhoud Kari were arrested by security forces in Rasht and taken to an unknown location.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activist, Mr. Sarparast and Mr. Pour Rezazadeh were detained in a house church. Security forces raided the homes of these citizens and confiscated some of their belongings, including cell phones, books, and pamphlets related to Christianity. According to an informed source, the agents behaved violently and insultingly and refused to show arrest or search warrants.
Relatives of these citizens are said to have been threatened by IRGC intelligence agents for providing information about the condition of their loved ones. Also, one of their relatives along with several other members of the house church were summoned to the Rasht IRGC Intelligence Office and interrogated.
According to a source close to the families of these citizens, after their families went to Branch 4 of the Rasht Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office to follow up on the case, they were not given any answer and were told, “Do not follow up. They will not be released any time soon. They do not deserve freedom and must stay.”
25-year-old Ahmad (Yohanna) Sarparast, 28-year-old Ayub (Farzin) Pour Rezazadeh, and 38-year-old Morteza Hajeb Mashhoud Kari are residents of Rasht.
Even though Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, the security services nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with activists in this field.
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.
As of this writing, the reasons for the arrest, the charges against them, and the whereabouts of these citizens are unknown.
Three citizens from the village of Kuseh Kahriz in Mahabad County were recently arrested by security forces.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, after their arrest the citizens were taken to an unknown location.
According to this report, Hossein Dudkanlu Milan and Zaher Rozkhoon were arrested on August 29, and Mr. Shaho Ahmadi was arrested a week after them.
Despite the follow-up of the families of these citizens, the reasons for their detention, the charges against them, and their whereabouts are not known.
Maleki, the commander of the Gilan police force, recently announced the arrest of 79 citizens in one of the province’s forests.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the citizens were arrested for what Maleki called “promoting emerging mysticism”.
“79 members of a tourist tour, including 27 women and 52 men, were arrested on charges of promoting false mysticism by holding superstitious rituals in the unsafe environment of a remote forest area,” he said.
Intrusion into citizens’ privacy and interference in their personal affairs are among the criticisms leveled at Iran’s judicial and disciplinary system.
“After receiving news about individuals who use cyberspace trying to propagate and promote emerging false mysticism through fraud,” Maleki continued, “receiving money, and setting up illegal tourist tours by holding superstitious rituals, the investigation of the issue was put on the agenda of the police.”
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, lawyers and civil activists Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi, and Mehdi Mahmoudian are still in detention weeks after their arrest.
The citizens are being held in Ward 241 of Evin Prison under the supervision of the intelligence service of Judiciary.
On August 14, several lawyers and civil activists, including Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb, Maryam Afrafraz, and Leila Heydari, were arrested during a meeting at the office of the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights in Tehran.
Leila Heydari and Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb were released on bail a day after their arrest, and Mohammad Reza Faghihi and Maryam Afrafaraz were released on bail on August 29, but Nili, Kaykhrosravi, and Mahmoudian remain in detention.
These lawyers and civil activists have been accused of “running an illegal organization” under Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code. Apart from being allowed to contact their families on the first day of their detention, these citizens have been largely denied the right to make telephone calls.