Azerbaijani-Turk Activist Saleh Mola-Abbasi’s Prison Sentence Confirmed on Appeal

The Court of Appeal for East Azerbaijan Province has upheld a 91-day prison sentence for Azerbaijani-Turk activist Saleh Mola-Abbasi.

Earlier this year, in July, Mola-Abbasi was initially handed this verdict on charges of “disseminating false information to disrupt public order.”

Saleh Mola-Abbasi’s arrest occurred at his residence in Ahar on October 9, 2022, when he was apprehended by security forces. Following approximately one month of incarceration in Tabriz Prison, he was released on bail, which amounted to 1.2 billion tomans. The court session that ultimately led to his sentencing took place on July 10, 2023.

It is noteworthy that Saleh Mola-Abbasi has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to his activist endeavors.

Execution of Five Inmates in Marand

On August 9, 2023, five inmates, convicted of rape, were executed in Marand, East Azerbaijan province, as reported by Fars News agency.

The Revolutionary and Public Prosecutor of Marand County conveyed that following a thorough legal process, these five individuals who had committed an act of abduction and assault were executed today. The incident had originally been reported on May 21, 2022, when a “woman, accompanied by social emergency personnel, approached the prosecutor’s office in Marand County. She recounted her harrowing experience of being abducted by five unidentified individuals, subsequently taken to the surrounding mountains and subjected to an assault by all five of them.” The individuals were arrested four days later and were subsequently sentenced to death.

As per the report, the identities of the executed inmates have not been disclosed.

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.

Azerbaijani (Turk) Activist Saeed Minaie Arrested in Bonab

In a recent development, on August 7, 2023, Azerbaijani (Turk) activist Saeed Minaie was taken into custody by security forces in Bonab County, East Azerbaijan province.

Minaie was apprehended at his father’s rural abode within Bonab County. The precise grounds for his apprehension and current location remain undisclosed.

In 2022, the Department of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran documented 225 instances of arrests pertaining to individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds, highlighting ongoing concerns about the protection of ethnic minorities rights in the country.


29 People Arrested in Malekan and Bonab

During the last three days, at least 29 people were arrested in Malekan and Bonab, East Azerbaijan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, security forces arrested 29 people, including a student, in the cities of Malekan and Bonab.

The reason for these arrests and their whereabouts are still unknown.

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, over 18000 people, including journalists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, have been arrested. For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.

Two Workers Dead, Three Injured Due to Unsafe Workplace Conditions

On December 20, two workers were killed and three others were injured in three workplace accidents caused by unsafe conditions.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA, a worker in Savojbolagh County, Alborz Province cut his hand on fan blades while lubricating a ventilation system. He passed away in the hospital due to blood loss.

Also according to ISNA, a fire broke out in a commercial building in Ardabil City, severely injuring three service workers.

According to IRIB News Agency, a construction worker in Neka County, Mazandaran Province lost his life. The worker fell while installing silo parts for a livestock input production company. For unknown reasons, he fell from high and died immediately.

Iran ranks 102nd in workplace safety out of 189 countries.

Director-General of Forensic Medicine of East Azerbaijan, Ali Safai, stated that during the first eight months of this year, 61 workers lost their lives in his province alone.

He elaborated, stating that, “35 workers died due to falling from high, 12 by being hit by a hard object, six by electrification, two from suffocation, one by drowning and five by fire. In addition, 1003 people have been hospitalized due to workplace accidents, of which 34 victims are women and the rest men”.

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Roozbeh Piri Arrested by Security Forces in Tabriz

Yesterday, September 9, Azerbaijani Turk activist Roozbeh Piri was beaten, arrested, and transferred to an unknown location by security forces in Tabriz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the reasons for Mr. Piri’s detention and his current whereabouts are still unknown.

Earlier, Branch 103 of the Criminal Court of Tabriz, presided over by Judge Mikael Vatankhah Alvar, sentenced Roozbeh Piri to pay a fine of 5 million tomans for “publishing lies in cyberspace”. The Court of Appeal of East Azerbaijan Province upheld the verdict of the primary court.

Piri had previously been arrested and convicted for his peaceful activities. He was arrested during the nationwide protests in Tabriz in November 2019 and sentenced by the court of appeals to 91 days in prison. Mr. Piri was released from Tabriz Prison in July 2020 after enduring his sentence.

Roozbeh Piri is the editor of Tabriz Magazine and the founder of Navid Etedal, an independent student organization at Tabriz Azad University.

Two Prisoners Executed in Maragheh Prison

On July 5, two prisoners were executed in Maragheh Prison in East Azerbaijan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the identities of the two prisoners have been confirmed as 25-year-old Farhad Najafi, and 23-year-old Ali Ahmadi.

Both prisoners had previously been sentenced to death on charges of rape.

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 1st and December 20th 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 report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary. Human rights organizations call these “secret executions”.

The execution of these prisoners has not been announced by Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

Abbas Lesani Denied Medical Attention in Ardabil Prison

Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Lesani has been denied transfer to a hospital outside Ardabil prison, despite  numerous serious medical ailments.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Lesani suffers from high blood pressure, lumbar disc, and heart problems.
According to an informed source, Mr. Lesani had a dangerously-high blood pressure of 190 on June 9, and despite the doctors’ order to send him to the hospital, he remained ignored by prison authorities.
Lesani was previously sentenced by the Ardabil Revolutionary Court to eight years in prison and two years in exile. The sentence was increased to 15 years in prison and 2 years in exile on charges of “forming a group with the intention of disrupting the country’s security” by the Court of Appeals. Under Article 134, a maximum sentence of 10 years is enforceable.
In another case, Branch 26 of the East Azarbaijan Court of Appeals sentenced him to 10 months in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime and in favor of opposition groups”.
Abbas Lesani has a history of arrests and numerous convictions for his activist work.