Prison Sentence for CEO of Online Marketplace Divar Upheld on Appeal

Recently, the court of appeals upheld a 3 month prison sentence against Ashkan Armandehi, CEO of the e-commerce platform Divar, on a charge of “promotion of impurity and indecency”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the website management team responded that the advertisements invoked in the case do not contain any unlawful content. They maintain that the conviction is based on third party acts that took place outside of the online platform.

The statement goes on to highlight potential damages that this verdict would cause to the many businesses that use Divar to facilitate online sales, as well as the potential implications for similar e-commerce platforms.

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.



Branch 13 of the Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence

Branch 13 of the Supreme Court recently upheld the death sentence of a man.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the defendant had been previously sentenced to death for murder by the Fifth Branch of the Criminal Court in Tehran.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.


Prison Sentence and Ban on Leaving the Country Upheld for Environmental Activist Samko Maroufi

The conviction of Bukan native Samko Maroufi was recently upheld by the Court of Appeals of West Azerbaijan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Center of Democracy and Human Rights in Kurdistan, Samko Maroufi is an environmental activist and member of the Valat Environmental Association. He has previously been arrested and convicted for his activities.

In May of this year, Branch 104 of Bukan County Criminal Court sentenced Mr. Maroufi to one year in prison and a two-year ban from leaving the country on charges of propaganda against the regime.

He was arrested by security forces in Bukan on March 2021 and was released on bail on April 2021.


Court of Appeals Sentences Keyvan Samimi to 2 Years in Prison

Iranian journalist Keyvan Samimi has been sentenced to two years in prison after a court of appeals overturned the Supreme Court’s  decision to resume Samimi’s case.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Ensaf News, Samimi is the editor of Iran-e- Farda newspaper and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association.

Mr. Samimi had previously endured six years in prison in 2009 for questioning the 2009 presidential election, participating in protests, and writing articles critical of the Islamic Regime. He is currently being held in Evin Prison, where he has been imprisoned since his arrest on International Workers’ Day in 2019.

Samimi was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Iman Afshari, to three years in prison on charges of conspiracy to act against the security of the country. This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar.

Mahmoud Behzadi-Rad, Samimi’s lawyer, said that the Supreme Court accepted the resumption of Mr. Samimi’s trial, but when his case was sent to the Branch 54 of the Court of Appeals, the decision was reversed.

“The judge did not accept the opinion of the Supreme Court,” Behzadi-Rad said, “and they only reduced the three-year imprisonment sentence to two years.”

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