Christian Convert Esmaeil Nariman-Pour Arrested in Dezful

Esmaeil Nariman-Pour, a Christian convert, was apprehended by security forces in Dezful county, Khuzestan province, on Sunday, December 24, as reported by Mohabat News.

According to sources, Ministry of Intelligence agents raided Nariman-Pour’s residence on the eve of Christmas without presenting an arrest warrant. During the arrest, a thorough search was conducted, leading to the confiscation of some of his belongings.

Despite inquiries made by Nariman-Pour’s family to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Dezful, there has been no response. On Monday, he was permitted to make a brief phone call to inform his family about his relocation to Ahvaz, though specific details were not disclosed.

The charges against Nariman-Pour remain undisclosed at this time. Notably, as a Christian convert and a member of the Payam Rahaeee church, he has previously faced arrests.

It is noteworthy that despite Christians being officially recognized as a religious minority according to law, security apparatuses persist in monitoring their religious activities, resulting in prosecution and judicial confrontations.

It is crucial to emphasize that such actions stand in blatant violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These international instruments affirm the right of everyone to freedom of religion, the freedom to change their religion or belief, and the freedom to express these beliefs individually or collectively, openly or in private.

Civil Rights Activist Sepideh Gholian Receives One Year and Three Months Sentence

The Tehran Criminal Court has handed down a one-year-and-three-month sentence to civil rights activist Sepideh Gholian (Qolian).

Presiding over the court, Judge Shamseddin Jalili Piran sentenced Gholian for her alleged involvement in “removing hijab, facilitating indecency, and persisting in committing criminal acts.” The detention period served prior to the trial will be deducted from her prison term.

The court session took place behind closed doors on August 22, 2023. The case was initiated following a complaint filed by Ameneh-Sadat Zabihpour, an Iran-state TV reporter with connections to security agencies as an interrogator.

It is worth noting that Gholian has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to her activism. In her most recent legal case in May 2023, the Tehran Revolutionary Court convicted Gholian of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” resulting in a two-year sentence that included a period of custody. Alongside her imprisonment, she faced restrictions that included a ban on joining political or social groups, limitations on cell phone usage, and a two-year prohibition from entering Tehran and its neighboring provinces.

Following her release from Evin Prison, Gholian was re-arrested on March 15, 2023, while traveling from Tehran to Dezful. Initially detained in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, she was subsequently transferred to the Women’s Ward within the facility four days later.

Execution Carried Out in Dezful Prison for Drug Conviction

On Wednesday, August 16, an inmate found guilty of drug-related crimes was executed in Dezful Prison.

HRANA has verified the identity of the individual as Ebrahim Mouloud Pour, who had been imprisoned for five years.

As of now, no official statements from authorities or domestic media channels have provided coverage of this execution.

In 2022, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered 457 reports related to the death penalty. This included 92 death sentences, including the conviction of 6 people to public execution and 565 execution sentences were carried out, 2 of which have been carried out in public. Based on the announced identifications of some of the executed individuals, 501 were male and 11 were female. In addition, 5 juvenile offenders were executed in 2022, meaning they were under the age of 18 at the time they committed the crime.


Sepideh Gholian Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

Civil rights activist Sepideh Gholian has been sentenced to two years in prison, according to her brother Mehdi Gholian.

Gholian was re-arrested on March 15, 2023, shortly after being released from Evin Prison while on her way from Tehran to Dezful. She was taken to Ward 209 of Evin Prison and then transferred to the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison four days later.

The allegations against Gholian, a prominent civil rights activist, remain unknown at this time.

Gholian has previously been arrested and convicted for her activism.

Several Tour Members Arrested in Dezful

The Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Dezful announced the arrest of several tour members in Dezful County.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ILNA, several tour members were arrested in Dezful.

Without disclosing the number of detainees and the allegations, the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Dezful, Mehdi Amadeh, mentioned breaking norms and indecent acts as the reason for the arrest.

According to this judicial official, this tour had lodged adjacent to Dez Dam Lake in Dezful Country. He also stated that the tour leader was jailed in prison.

What the regime labels “promoting a western lifestyle” has long been a source of tension between the regime and the Iranian people.
Iran’s regime routinely violates citizens’ privacy rights and cultural activities, deemed at variance with Islamic values.


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HRANA’s Daily Review of Protests in Iran

On Tuesday, August 9, at least 10 protests took place in Iran.

The pensioners of the Social Security Organization took to the streets again and rallied in Ahvaz, Shush, Arak, Shushtar, Dezful, Tehran and Isfahan. They asked to free imprisoned pensioners and levelling up pensions in accordance with Supreme Labor Council’s enactment.

A number of residents of Bazoft, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, gathered before the district governor’s office to protest against the local authorities’ inattention to address the pollution of drinking water. They hanged bottles of polluted water to the entrance door of the district governor’s office.

The workers of the Aram Pars Company working in the petrochemical industry went on strike in protest against delayed wages.

A number of workers of a contractor company working in Mashhad’s Power Plant gathered before the company entrance to ask for wages.


HRANA’s Daily Review of Protests in Iran

On Saturday, July 16, 2022, at least 27 protests took place in Iran

The pensioners of the Social Security Organization protested against low pensions in Karaj, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Arak, Babol, Mashhad, Tabriz, Zanjan, Kerman, Ilam, Khorramshahr, Tehran, Khorramabad, Shushtar, Sirjan, Ardabil, Sirjan, Rasht, Ramhormoz, Sari, Kermanshah, Birjand, Hamedan, Qazvin and Dezful.

In Behbahan, the green maintenance workers of the Municipality gathered to demand their unpaid wages.

Coming from different cities, a number of farmers active in poultry and ostrich farming held a protest in front of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad.

A group of interns of the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences protested before a hospital in Tehran.


HRANA’s Daily Review of Protests in Iran

On Saturday, July 2, 2022, fourteen protests took place in Iran. Read our review below for details, photos, and videos from these demonstrations:

Continuing their protests against the insufficient annual pension increase, the pensioners rallied in Shushtar, Shush, Zanjan, Isfahan, Sari, Dezful, Karaj, Ahvaz, Abadan, Khorramabad, Hamedan and Kerman. They chanted slogans against the government and called the president a liar for failing to keep his promises. In Arak, the protest turned violent by security forces.

A number of citizens, who have lost their money in the recent robbery of Iran Safe Deposit Boxes of Melli Bank, protested in front of the central building of the Judiciary in Tehran. They demanded the return of their stolen money.

On June 6, 2022, dozens of safe deposit boxes from Melli Bank were stolen by some burglars. One day after, a protest took place, which turned violent by security forces. According to some witnesses, the police and security agents used live ammunition against the protestors.


Report on Current Nationwide Protests: Hundreds Arrested; Dozens Killed and Injured

During the last two weeks, triggered by food price hikes, nationwide protests erupted in more than 31 cities across 10 provinces. HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has recorded 53 demonstrations so far. 

According to HRANA, on Friday, May 6, 2022, following the government’s decision to cut subsidies on essential food items such as dairy products, flour, cooking oil, chicken, and eggs leading to soaring prices, the call for rallying against soaring prices went viral on social media. In the following days, several protests broke out in Khuzestan Province and soon swept through numerous cities across the country.

Prior to these protests, a series of protests and gatherings of teachers, labor workers and the retirees who had lost their pensions due to the government’s risky financial decisions had been sweeping across the country leading to dozens being arrested.

The new rounds of protests sparked initially in Susangerd City and other neighboring cities in Khuzestan Province. In the following days, at least 30 Arab-speaking citizens were arrested by security forces.

Soon after, the protests spread to other cities and provinces. The videos received from citizen journalists indicate that the protestors chanted slogans against inflation as well as the Iranian regime leaders, including President Ebrahim Raeisi and Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

The map below shows the locations where the protests were.

As the map shows, the protests took place in the following cities: Izeh, Susangerd, Hamidieh, Ahvaz, Mahshahr, Masjed Soleiman, Shadegan, Jarahi Town Mahshahr, Dorud, Andimeshk, Dezful, Shahrekord, Junaqan, Fashafouyeh, Yasuj, Ardabil, Farsan, Khorramabad, Dehdasht, Borujerd, Suq, Yazd, Golpayegan, Cholicheh, Rasht, Neyshabur, Surshjan, Hafshejan, Babaheydar, Karevan Town and Pordanjan.

In total, 53 protests have been recorded. Moreover, 45 times, the attempts to start a protest were foiled due to the heavy presence of police and security forces in the streets. 

The map below shows the locations of 53 protests and the time periods.

During these protests, at least on 22 occasions in 14 cities, the police and security forces used tear gas, warning shots, pellet guns and in some cases heavy weapons against the protestors. In nine cities, tear gas and in 14 cities warning shots were used to scatter the crowds. In eight cities, security forces fired straight toward the crowds. Reportedly, security forces have used pellet guns, Kalashnikov assault rifles and paintball guns to disperse the protestors.

The map below shows the places where crackdowns and unrestrained shootings have been reported.

Since the beginning of the protests on Friday, May 6, the government disrupted the internet in several areas in Ahvaz in an attempt to prevent the protests. In the days that followed, Internet disruption was also reported in at least 10 cities.

In addition to intentional Internet disruption, the press was banned from covering the protests.

According to the reports obtained from local sources, at least 449 individuals were arrested during the protests.

So far, six people have been confirmed dead. These people have been identified as Pishali Ghalebi Hajivand (Dezful), Saadat Hadipour (Hafshejan), Jamshid Mokhtari Junaqani (Junaqan), Omid Soltani (Andimeshk), Hamid Ghasempour (Farsan City), and Behrooz Eslami (Babaheydar). HRANA can only confirm the reports on the death of the first two individuals mentioned above.

From all videos of protests which are circulating on social media, HRANA has verified the authenticity of 30 video reports which compilation you can watch below:


Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.

Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.

The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.

According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:

Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.

Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:

Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests: