Iran Protests: Sara Shamsai Sentenced to Six Years

The Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Sara Shamsai, arrested during protests, to six years in prison. If the verdict is upheld on appeal, based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, five years will be enforceable for one charge.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sara Shamsai was sentenced to five years in prison on the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.”

Shamsai was also banned from leaving the country and social activities on the internet for two years.

On September 27, 2022, security forces arrested Shamsai and detained her in Ward 209 of Evin Prison.

 

 

Civil Rights Activist Farideh Moradkhani Imprisoned for Sentencing

On November 23, 2022, civil rights activist Farideh Moradkhani was imprisoned after an appearance at Evin courthouse to serve her 15-year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on November 23, 2022, Farideh Moradkhani was taken to Evin Prison for sentencing.

On January 13, 2022, Moradkhani was arrested by security forces while returning to her house. At the time of her arrest, the intelligence agents searched her house and confiscated some of her belongings. One day after, in a phone call, she informed her family that she was detained in Ward 209 of Evin Prison.

On April 30, 2022, Moradkhani was released on a 10-billion-tomans bail until the end of legal proceedings. She had also been arrested on previous occasions due to her civil activities.

Saha Mortezai Imprisoned for Sentencing

Saha Mortezai, the former head of the Student Union of the University of Tehran, was taken to Evin Prison to serve her sentence. Earlier, on November 21, 2022, security forces arrested her violently at her workplace.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, former student union activist Saha Mortezai was taken to Evin Prison to serve her six-year sentence.

On November 17, 2019, IRGC Intelligence arrested her at a student dormitory in Tehran and took her to Ward 2-A of Evin Prison. After a while, she went on a hunger strike in jail in protest against an excessive bail she could not afford. She ended her hunger strike after 22 days. On January 22, 2020, she was released on bail.

In November 2020, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Mortezai to six years. This verdict was upheld on appeal. According to Iran’s Student Union, three years and eight months for one charge are enforceable to her.

 

Attorney at Law Amir Mehdi-Pour Arrested in Tabriz

Recently, related to the nationwide protests, security forces arrested attorney-at-law Amir Mehdi-Pour in Tabriz. Mehdi-Pour is a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Bar Association in East Azerbaijan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, attorney Amir Mehdi-Pour was arrested by security forces in Tabriz and transferred to an unidentified location.

In recent days, also two other attorneys Sina Yousefi and Ghasem Baadi were arrested in Tabriz. According to an informed source, Yousefi has been transferred from a detention facility in Tabriz to Evin Prison in Tehran.

Earlier, on Social media, Yousefi had revealed that over 1700 people were arrested during the nationwide protests in Tabriz.

 

 

Update on Evin Prison Incident: Protests Continue; Inmates Denied Food and Medical Care

On Saturday night, October 15, 2022, a large blaze broke out in a part of Evin Prison, where many political prisoners are housed. Soon after, explosions, gunshots and tear gas were heard from the prison.

Currently, water and gas are cut, and the meals have not been distributed. Many inmates, who were injured by pellet guns, have been denied medical treatment.

Although the actual cause of this incident is still undisclosed and contradictory narratives have been reported, it can be said with some degree of certainty that clashes and fire were broken out in Ward No 7.

Ward 7 is the most crowded ward of Evin Prison, housing 1200 to 1400 inmates who are mainly convicted of financial crimes, the prisoners working in the prison facilities, security-political prisoners and a small number of inmates convicted of theft and drug offenses. Death-row convicted, prisoners of violent crimes and serious drug smuggling are not held in this ward.

In recent days, due to the relocation of some detainees arrested during the recent nationwide protests, the atmosphere of this ward was tense as inmates were shouting slogans last Friday.

On Saturday at 7 pm, before census counts, some clashes occurred in this ward. The inmates of this ward have daily access to the Sewing workshop and cultural building through the basement (passing by Salons no 1 and 2) and the atrium. After 7 pm and daily census counts, the inmates return to their ward, and the doors are locked.

Official media inside Iran claim that just before the census counts, a clash broke out between inmates (convicts of theft and financial offences), causing a fire in the workshop. HRANA obtained reports describing that rather than the workshop, the clash and fire broke out somewhere in the cultural building just before the doors were closed.

When the fire started, the Ward 7 inmates who were trapped inside three buildings (ward 7, the atrium and the cultural building) clashed with the prison guards. Security-affiliated news agencies have made the unfounded claim that the inmates had cold weapons and tried to disarm the guards.

After a violent clash, several inmates could run out of the main entrance of ward 7 to the prison premises. Fars News agency has claimed that these inmates trying to escape the prison entered a minefield on the northern side of the prison and were killed. Other news agencies, however, have dismissed this claim.

Subsequently, the police and security forces joined the prison guards to get the situation under control. First, they used flash grenades, sound grenades, and tear gas to break into the ward. After that, they fired guns at the inmates to apprehend them. They were taken outside and strip searched and beaten.

The fire did not reach Ward 8, the second most crowded ward of Evin Prison, and there was no clash. However, when they began to shout slogans, they were also taken out, beaten and searched. The inmates of Ward 4 also joined the protest. In this ward, reportedly, about 30 tear gases were fired.

The Judicial authorities have announced that four inmates were killed and 61 injured, of which four are in critical health condition. They still repeat their claim that inmates convicted of theft set the workshop intentionally on fire.
 
Following the incident, many political prisoners have been relocated to other prisons. At least 42 political prisoners have been transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.

 

 

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Painter and Writer Mehdi Bahman Arrested

On October 13, 2022, security forces arrested writer and painter Mehdi Bahman at his house in Tehran and jailed him in Ward 209 of Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Iranian painter and writer Mehdi Bahman was arrested by security forces.

An informed source close to Bahman’s family told HRANA, “At 1 a.m., the security forces arrested him at his house for his support of the nationwide protests. In a short call to his family, he said he was held in Ward 209 of Evin Prison.”

For over 20 years, Bahman has been working on illuminating religious books for the cause of peaceful coexistence between religions. His two illuminated copies of the Book of Psalms and Ezra are held in the Library of the United States Congress.

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, 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.

 

Civil Rights Activist Kambiz Nowruz-Zadeh Arrested

In recent days, security forces arrested civil rights activist Kambiz Nowruz-Zadeh and took him to Evin Prison.

Yesterday, October 12, Nowruz-Zadeh called his family and informed them that he had been jailed in Evin Prison.

Nowruz-Zadeh has faced other arrests on prior occasions due to his civil activities.

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, teachers, students and civil rights activists, have been arrested. It is estimated that the number of arrests has climbed above 5500.

For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.

Teachers Eskandar Lotfi and Masoud Nikkhah Arrested

On October 8, 2022, security forces arrested Lotfi and Masoud Nikkhah, the members of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Mariwan and one day later transferred them from Mariwan to Evin Prison in Tehran.

These teachers union activists were arrested at their houses in Mariwan.

On May 1, 2022, Lotfi and Nikkhah were also arrested by security forces and then released on bail on August 20.

The reason for these arrests and the charges are still unknown.

Women’s Rights Activist Bahar Aslani Arrested

On September 26, 2022, security forces arrested Bahar Aslani, photographer and women’s rights activist, at her house in Tehran and transferred her to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. She is currently hospitalized in the prison infirmary due to asthma.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on September 26, 2022, women’s rights activist Bahar Aslani was arrested in Tehran.

Aslani has faced another arrest on a prior occasion. On March 8, 2018, she was arrested before the Labour office in Tehran during a gathering to celebrate International Women’s Day. She was released after a few days.

 

 

Shahriar Shams Arrested While on Furlough

On September 27, 2022, political prisoner Shahriar Shams was arrested while on furlough and was taken to an undisclosed location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on September 27, 2022, security forces arrested Shahriar Shams at his house, while he was on furlough.

During the protests 2017–2018, Shams was arrested and released ten days later on bail.

Later, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison. This verdict was reduced to four years and 45 days on appeal.

On July 5, 2020, Shams started his sentencing in Evin Prison.