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.