Political Prisoner Mojgan Kavousi Transferred Back to Evin Prison from Kachooie Prison

On Wednesday, October 13, political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi was sent back to Evin Prison from Kachooie Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Kavousi was relocated to Karaj police detention center a while ago, and from there to Kachooie Prison.

In a phone call with her family, Kavousi informed them about this relocation.  The reason for her transfer to Kachooie Prison is still unknown.

On July 26, 2021, Branch 28 of the appellate court in Mazandaran Province issued an order to transfer the political prisoner to a prison in Alborz Province for the remainder of her sentence.

“Due to  COVID-related restrictions making family visitation difficult, Mrs Kavousi asked for transferring to Noshahr where her family are living,” an informed source told HRANA. “On July 13, 2021, they transferred her to Noshahr but after spending one-night in police detention centre, they sent her back to Tehran. Considering that her family are residing in either Tehran or Noshahr, it is not clear why she should be transferred to a prison in Alborz Province.”

On November 20, 2019, Mojgan Kavousi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in the mid-fall of the year, from her home in Noshahr. After being held three weeks in detention, she was sent to Noshahr Prison. On December 19, 2019, she was released on bail.

The Revolutionary Court in Noshahr sentenced her to 6 months on a charge of “the propaganda against the regime”, 33 months on a charge of “membership in opposition parties” and 30 months on a charge of “provoking to disturb the public order”. During the appeal process, the sentence was increased by seven months due to the influence of the prosecutor.

Mojgan Kavouci is a writer, researcher and follower of Yarsanism.

Civil Activist Arsham Rezai in Transferred to Quarantine Ward of Rajai Shahr Prison after Positive COVID-19 Test

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has confirmed that yesterday, September 29, civil activist Arsham Rezai was relocated to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj after testing positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 surge in Iran’s prisons has been a major threat to the health and safety of their inmates, who frequently do not receive timely or adequate medical care from authorities.

Arsham Rezai was arrested on January 7 of 2019 by the regime’s intelligence and security forces. On November 13 of that year, he was released on bail for 2 billion Rial (approx. 8000 dollars).

On February 26, 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary court sentenced Mr. Rezai, without informing the defendant’s attorney that the court session was taking place, to eight years and six months imprisonment on the charges “propaganda against the regime”, ” collusion against national security”, and ” offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. This is ruling violated  Article 134 of Iran’s penal code, which sets a maximum of 5 years as the severest punishment for the above-mentioned charges.

To serve his sentence, on October 18, 2020, he was arrested and transferred to a solitary confinement cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. Finally, he was relocated to a public section of this prison on December 19 2020.

On January 20 of this year, on new charges, the revolutionary court sentenced him to an additional 15 months imprisonment (which was later reduced to 11 months on appeal) and 4 months penal labor.

Inmate Dies of COVID After Facing Medical Negligence in Qarchak Prison in Varamin

Today, Wednesday, September 22, Ms. Giti Haj Rahimi died of COVID in the quarantine section of Ward 9 of Qarchak Prison in Varamin after facing medical negligence from prison authorities.

According to HRANA, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists, Haj Rahimi had been convicted for financial crimes. HRANA has verified Ms. Haj Rahimi’s identity.

Ms. Haj Rahimi, who had been serving her sentence in Ward 6 of Qarchak Prison, was recently transferred to a solitary confinement cell for quarantine after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Ms. Haj Rahimi was also diabetic and had previously lost one of her fingers to this disease during her imprisonment.

Haj Rahimi’s death has not been announced by the Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

Khaled Pirzadeh on a Hunger Strike in Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz

Political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh has been on a hunger strike in Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz since Monday, August 23.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirzadeh is protesting the officials’ refusal of his request for parole, the non-observance of the principle of separation of crimes, and the violent treatment of his family by law enforcement officers when handing over the eviction order.

Khaled Pirzadeh, who was taken from the quarantine in the Greater Tehran Prison on July 14 and was transferred to the Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz, is being held in Ward 5 of this prison next to prisoners of violent crimes, which is a violation of the principle of separation of crimes. His COVID test also recently came out positive and he got transferred to the prison’s quarantine.

Khaled Pirzadeh has gone on hunger strikes several times, the last of which was on May 31, when he expressed in a note that he would continue his strike until his legal request was granted. He ended his strike on June 24, after he was promised to be sent to a sick leave connected to his release on parole. He returned to the Greater Tehran Prison on July 7 but authorities transferred the political prisoner to Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz rather than granting parole as they had promised.

“Yesterday, police officers went to Mr. Pirzadeh’s rented house and asked his family to evacuate, the officers’ treatment of his wife was insulting and they frightened Mr. Pirzadeh’s 10-year-old daughter,” a source familiar with Mr. Pirzadeh told HRANA. “Khaled Pirzadeh is being held in Ahvaz prison and his request for parole is not being accepted so that he can take care of his family more quickly.”

A video of this harsh treatment from the on-duty officers has reached HRANA. The footage is attached here

HRANA Report: COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway in Iranian Prisons

A number of prisons, including Evin in Tehran, Rajai Shahr in Karaj, Qarchak in Varamin, Lakan in Rasht, Urmia in Urmia, and Qom Coastal Prison, have been examined as a statistical sample in this report.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the vaccination of inmates in different prisons throughout the country has started this month.

A number of prisons, including Evin in Tehran, Rajai Shahr in Karaj, Qarchak in Varamin, Lakan in Rasht, Urmia in Urmia, and Qom Coastal Prison, have been examined as a statistical sample in this report.

According to reports received by HRANA, in some prisons in the country, prisoners have been forced to receive the Iranian vaccine “Barekat”, and many others have refused to receive the Barekat vaccine due to doubts about production conditions and the lack of WHO approval. In some prisons, vaccination has been partially abandoned due to the lack of enough dosage per the Ministry of Health.

Although this action of the Prisons Organization has given a bit of hope to the prisoners and their families, reports received by HRANA from various prisons across the country indicate that -regardless of the quality and type of vaccine used- a small percentage of inmates have been vaccinated and that most of the inmates still have not been vaccinated against COVID.

Prisoners in the women’s ward of Lakan Prison in Rasht were vaccinated with the Barekat vaccine. According to an informed source, the vaccination process has started in this prison in late July this year; first the prison officials, then the male prisoners, and finally the female prisoners have been vaccinated.

As of this writing, a small percentage of inmates in Urmia Prison are vaccinated. An informed source about the vaccination process in this prison told HRANA, “At first, the Iranian vaccine Barekat was sent for Urmia prison, but prisoners refused to inject, then a small number of Chinese vaccines arrived which only was enough for a few. Though the vaccine was given to all prisoners in the political prison, and any of them who wished was vaccinated.”

According to the source, prison officials, along with a limited number of other detainees were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Since mid-August of this year, some prisoners in various wards of Evin Prison have received the first dose of the vaccine. Initially, the vaccination was carried out with the Barakat vaccine, but this process was stopped due to the refusal of many prisoners to inject the Iranian vaccine. A few days later, some prisoners were injected with the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. According to an informed source, in many wards of the prison, even prisoners with underlying diseases who are at risk of infection have not been vaccinated yet.

Political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj have also been injected with the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine. According to an informed source, in other wards of the prison, vaccination was going on based on the age priority and people with underlying diseases until prison officials announced that the vaccination would be halted and postponed until the Ministry of Health and the Prisons Organization were able to provide the vaccine.

The HRANA investigation shows that most of the prisoners in Qarchak Prison in Varamin have been injected with the Sinopharm vaccine, but new inmates, whose numbers are very high, are still not vaccinated as there are not enough vaccines for them.

In Qom Coastal Prison, only the clergy prisoners being held in the special ward for clergies have been fully vaccinated. According to an informed source, 20 prisoners in this ward, along with a small number of prisoners from other wards, have been vaccinated so far. Prisoners in Bushehr Prison in Bushehr Province have not yet received any vaccine.

These are the reports from prisons while in early August, Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, head of the Prisons Organization, claimed on his Twitter account that 50 percent of the country’s prisoners had been vaccinated.

Although the prisoners’ vaccination could help to control the spread of coronavirus in prisons, the effectiveness of vaccination is still unclear as spaces in prisons are closed, pre-and post-vaccination health protocols are not met, principles of quarantine are not observed, and prison populations are large. Also, some prisoners have received the Iranian Barekat vaccine, whose effectiveness is highly questionable.

The negligence of the authorities towards the situation of sick prisoners, lack of proper medical care in prisons, the strictness of the authorities in sending prisoners to medical leave and hospitals, and the lack of adequate sanitary facilities in prisons have all contributed to and intensified the spread of the disease.


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Residents of Sistan and Baluchestan Province who do not have ID being Denied Coronavirus Vaccine and Other Medical Services

Despite numerous reports indicating a significant increase in the number of infected patients and deaths in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, many people in the province who do not have ID have been denied vaccination, even when vaccines are not in short supply.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Hamshahri, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, COVID vaccines remain inaccessible for many citizens.  Medical centers in several of the province’s cities are few and far between, and many of the roads by which to reach them are poorly-maintained.

Fatemeh Kaykhah, a general practitioner who has participated in a camp on the outskirts of Zahedan, commented on the predicament.

“I visited 60 patients in the Hemmatabad neighborhood, and I had enough vaccine doses to inject them, but 50 of them did not have any kind of ID,” Kaykhah said. “It was very bitter the moment they left the clinic without getting vaccinated. The taste of being different this time is more bitter than ever for people who have never been issued an ID, perhaps even more deadly. The problem is not just the vaccine, if they die from the corona, they do not come in any statistics because they do not have identity documents. [it is like] They did not exist from the beginning nor they will at the end.”

There are, unsurprisingly, no definite statistics on the number of people who do not have identity documents in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, but according to a former Zahedan resident, some estimate the number to be around 100,000, with 30 percent living in Zahedan.

Noor, a girl who has no ID, has heard that enough doses of COVID vaccine have arrived in the province. ‌ “We are also the people of this country,” she said. “Couldn’t they let us just this one time to get vaccinated? Are our lives not in danger? Why is the vaccine being withheld from us?”

Beyond the vaccine issue, the multitude of barriers to health insurance make it difficult for residents to get the medical attention they need. People who have not been issued identity documents cannot have health insurance, and out-of-pocket treatment expenses are very high. Many in severe need of medical care are refusing to go to health centers because they either do not have the financial resources to get health insurance, or because their lack of identification prohibits them from seeking it out.

According to the Director General of the Sistan and Baluchestan Province Registry, since 2013, the cases of more than 9,000 households who did not have ID have been processed, resulting in the issuance of about 30,000 identification documents. More than 1,500 cases of citizenship have been denied.

Citizen Arrested in Qazvin for Criticizing Ayatollah Khamenei’s Ban on US and UK Vaccine Imports

On Saturday, August 21, Reza Behrouzi, a resident of Qazvin, was arrested by security forces at his home.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mr. Behrouzi had previously posted a video on his social media page criticizing the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, for banning the import of COVID vaccines. Ayatollah Khamanei banned US and UK vaccine imports in January.

Reza Behrouzi is a worker living in the Mehregan town of Qazvin and the father of three children. As of this writing, no information is available on the whereabouts and status of this citizen.

Javid Rahman’s Latest Report on the Human Rights Situation in Iran has been Published

Javid Rahman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Iran, has published his latest report, which is scheduled to be presented at the next meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, various issues have been addressed, such as the COVID-19 crisis, the alarming rate of death sentence issuance, and the Islamic government’s lack of accountability for human rights violations in the country.

According to the report, journalists and civil society activists were under pressure from security agencies as this year’s presidential election approached. Those who called for a boycott of the election were detained or harassed by security forces.

Expressing concern over the non-observance of the preconditions for free elections, Javid Rahman called for fundamental reform of Iran’s electoral laws.

The rapporteur reiterated the lack of accountability of individuals and institutions that have violated the rights of Iranian citizens, such as the violence in November 2019, and the downing of a Ukrainian 752 aircraft, and he added that restitution to the families of individuals killed in the flight can in no way replace serious prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.

He further expressed concern about the impact of international sanctions on the state of the Corona epidemic and called the government’s efforts to reduce the impact of the crisis on the social and economic life of citizens insufficient.

You can read the complete report here. 

COVID-19 Spreads in Mahabad Prison in West Azerbaijan Province

Observations of symptoms of the coronavirus among inmates has raised concerns about the virus’s spread within the public ward of Mahabad Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mukrian News Agency, several inmates have been denied medical treatment despite having deteriorating health and symptoms of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, prison officials have refused to provide even symptomatic inmates with COVID tests, and several prisoners in the public ward of the prison have severe symptoms.

“Several prisoners suffer from Corona and are in critical condition,” the report quoted a prisoner as saying.


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.