Political Prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi Released on Leave from Evin Prison

On Wednesday, October 14, political prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi was released on furlough from Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemi has been enduring her one and a half year prison sentence since August 9, 2020. On July 20 of this year, after testing positive for COVID-19, she was also granted furlough.

Arezoo Ghasemi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in November 2019. She was released on bail until August 9, 2020, when she was sent to Evin Prison to serve her sentence.

The Branch 28 of the revolutionary court, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghayeseh sentenced her to three years imprisonment on a charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. This sentence was subsequently reduced to one and a half years after applying the “Punishment Reduction Law”.

During the wave of protests of November 2019 in dozens of cities, which broke out initially in protest of an unprecedented fuel price surge, hundreds were killed and seven thousand were arrested by regime forces.

Since Ghasemi will have served out her term by the end of the furlough, she will not return to prison.

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 Sepideh Gholiyan Arrested by Security Forces in Ahvaz

Civil activist Sepideh Gholiyan, who has been on leave from Bushehr Prison since August 19, was recently arrested by security forces in Ahvaz from her sister’s home to serve the rest of her sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, security police confiscated the cell phones of all family members during the arrest.

Confirming Gholiyan’s arrest, an informed source told HRANA, “Thirty male and female security forces entered her sister’s home, arrested Mrs. Gholiyan, and confiscated the cell phones of all family members.”

Before this arrest, on her personal page on social media, Gholiyan had informed that she had been summoned to Bushehr prison and commented “Ten days ago, they called me from Bushehr Prison that I have to return to there. I told them that I am supposed to go to Tehran where the Executive Branch of the Department of Justice would decide to which prison I had to be sent. Seemingly, they are searching to find somewhere worse than Bushehr Prison.”

On November 18, 2018, Sepideh Gholiyan was arrested along with at least 19 others, including members of the Assembly of Representatives of Haft-Tappeh’s workers, several workers’ activists and company personnel and managers by security police of NAJA in Shush city. She was released on bail on December 18, 2018.

After broadcasting her forced confession as well as some other workers’ activists, including Ismail-Bakhshi on national TV channel, they announced that the “confessions” were extracted under torture by security forces. Soon after this announcement, the security police arrested them.

On October 26, 2019, she was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings. On December 14, 2019, she was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by Tehran appellate court.

On June 21, 2020, she began serving her prison term in Evin prison. On March 10, 2021, she was exiled to Bushehr Prison, where she was held until being granted leave, and to where she is now being transferred back.

Khosro Sadeghi Boroujeni Being Denied Medical Treatment in Evin Prison

Imprisoned writer and journalist Khosro Sadeghi Boroujeni has been denied access to medical treatment by prison authorities despite his poor health condition.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Boroujeni is currently enduring a five-year sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran.

“It is been over a month that he (has been) experiencing a poor health condition,” an informed source told HRANA. “He went several times to prison healthcare (for treatment), but he has not received any adequate treatment despite having body aches, insomnia, dizziness and nausea.”

Khosro Sadeghi Boroujeni was arrested and interrogated after being summoned to the Branch 2 of Evin’s prosecutor’s office on May 8, 2019. He was later temporarily released from Evin Prison on a bail of 300 million tomans.

Boroujeni’s trial was on July 28, 2019. According to the verdict ordered by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, which was presided over by judge Mohammad Moghiseh, Boroujeni was sentenced to five years imprisonment on a charge of “assembly and collusion with an intention to commit a crime against the national security”, one year of prison for the charge of “propaganda against the regime”,  and to two years imprisonment on a charge of “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, adding up to a total of eight years imprisonment. This sentence was later reduced to seven years after the charge of “propaganda against the regime” was dropped upon appeal.

Boroujeni has been conducting research on neoliberalism and the political economy of Iran and has written several articles on these subjects in recent years. His essay “Critique of Neoliberalism” was published by H&S Media Publishing Company in the UK. His other book “Globalization and Inequality” was published by Porsesh Publishing Company in 2011.

Khaled Pirzadeh Still on Hunger Strike Despite Critical Health Condition

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in-exile political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh is still on hunger strike after 46 days in Sheyban Prison in Ahvaz.

His health condition is unstable and he endures low blood pressure and blood sugar. He is also denied the right to have a phone call to contact his family.

Since August 23, 2021, this political prisoner has been on hunger strike in protest against declining his request for the release on probation, the housing of political prisoners in the same ward with prisoners of violent crimes, and police officers’ brutal behaviour towards his family members during the delivery of eviction order.

Expressing his deep concern about Pirzadeh’s condition, the lawyer Ali Sharif-Zadeh asked the authorities to agree on this political prisoner’s release on probation.

“His family informed that he is denied any access to a phone call and he is enduring critically low blood pressure and blood sugar. His life is in jeopardy,” Sharif-Zadeh tweeted.

On May 26, 2019, Khaled Pirzadeh was arrested violently by security forces and after ending the interrogation process, he was sent to Evin Prison. He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment on the charges of “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran” and “assembly and collusion against the regime”. This sentence was confirmed in the court of appeals. According to article 134 of the Islamic penal code, 5 years of this sentence for the charge of “collusion against the regime” is enforceable.

He was relocated to Greater Tehran Prison on July 22, 2020. Reportedly, at the time of transferring, he was beaten by prison guards. In August 2020, he had surgery on his foot. Moreover, he needs additional treatment and surgery for his injured spine. On July 14, 2021, they transferred him from Greater Tehran prison to exile to Sheyban prison in Ahvaz and held him unlawfully in the ward where the prisoners of violent crimes were housed.

 

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Mojgan Keshavarz Granted Leave on Bail from Qarchak Prison in Varamin

On Wednesday, October 6, civil activist Mojgan Keshavarz was granted a five-day leave on bail from prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Keshavarz is serving out her five-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

On April 25, 2019, intelligence forces raided Keshavarz’s home and arrested her. She was under interrogation in the detention facility of the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards, known as the 2A section of Evin Prison, until May 1, and then transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She was relocated to Evin prison on August 12, 2020, and sent back again to Qarchak Prison on December 5, 2020.

Branch 28 of the revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced the civil activist to a total of 22 years in prison. She received 5 years on a charge of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, 10 years on a charge of “provoking and provision of impurity and indecency”, and 7 years and six months on a charge of ” blasphemy”.  Later the sentence was reduced to 12 years and 7 months on appeal.

According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest enforceable punishment for the charge of ” provoking and provision of impurity and indecency ” is five and half years imprisonment.

Mojgan Keshavarz is 38 years old and a mother of a ten-year-old daughter.

Soheila Hijab Beaten in Garchak Prison While on Hunger Strike

Several inmates convicted of violent crimes recently beat political prisoner Soheila Hijab while she was on a hunger strike in Gharchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hijab had been on a hunger strike since September 19 in protest of the increasing pressure on political prisoners and the intrusion of interrogators and other Judicial officers into court processing. Following promises from authorities, she ended her hunger strike on October 3.

“One of the shift officers on purpose opened the door of section 3 where inmates convicted for robbery are held,” an informed source told HRANA. “Several inmates of this section encroached into the section where she was located and took her to their section. They tore her winding-sheet which she was wearing as a sign of protest and forced her to eat in order to broke her strike. Once she resisted, they beat and took her back to her own section by dragged her on the floor.”

Mrs Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and then released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court convicted her to 18 years imprisonment on charges of “propaganda against the regime, illegal assembly, incitement of public opinions to riot and organizing unlawful political groups”.

This long imprisonment stands at odds with Article 134 of Iran’s penal code whereupon the severest enforceable punishment is 5 years.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred her to Gharchak Prison in Varamin city to serve out her sentence.

In December 2020, the revolutionary court held a new session for new indictments such as ” propaganda against the regime” and “incitement of public opinions”. Her phone calls while in detention were published online and presented in court as evidence for the above-mentioned charges. Mrs Hijab has been once arrested in Shiraz and released by granting pardon after five-month imprisonment.

 

 

Baha’i Citizen Arsalan Yazdani Still Detained in Evin Prison

Baha’i citizen Arsalan Yazdani is still being held in one of Evin Prison’s security detention centers 20 days after his arrest.

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mr. Yazdani has said in a phone call with his family that he will probably remain in custody for another two to three weeks.

“Mr. Yazdani was not given the permission to speak to his young children until Saturday the 18th,” a source close to Yazdani’s family told HRANA. “In his previous contacts, he did not even know where he was being held.”

Yazdani was arrested by security forces in Tehran on September 1 and transferred to an unknown location.

According to unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have beeen systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi and Mehdi Mahmoudian Still in Detention in Evin Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, lawyers and civil activists Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi, and Mehdi Mahmoudian are still in detention weeks after their arrest.

The citizens are being held in Ward 241 of Evin Prison under the supervision of the intelligence service of Judiciary.

On August 14, several lawyers and civil activists, including Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb, Maryam Afrafraz, and Leila Heydari, were arrested during a meeting at the office of the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights in Tehran.

Leila Heydari and Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb were released on bail a day after their arrest, and Mohammad Reza Faghihi and Maryam Afrafaraz were released on bail on August 29, but Nili, Kaykhrosravi, and Mahmoudian remain in detention.

These lawyers and civil activists have been accused of “running an illegal organization” under Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code. Apart from being allowed to contact their families on the first day of their detention, these citizens have been largely denied the right to make telephone calls.

“There Are Other Tortures that are not Recorded on Camera”: Political Prisoners in Evin Prison Give Statement on Released Footage

Following the broadcast of videos from Evin Prison surveillance cameras, a group of political prisoners in Andarzagah 8 of Evin Prison have written a statement in response.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the statement calls for serious and immediate attention to the situation of prisoners in Iran.

“There are other tortures that are not recorded on any camera,” the prisoners write in the statement. “The psychological and mental torture of prisoners in solitary confinement (white torture) and interrogation rooms; fathers, mothers, wives, and children who become more tired of pursuing cases of their loved ones in the maze of [judiciary and prisons] offices every day without seeing their loved ones, and lack of accountability of officials and their humiliating behaviors with the prisoner and their families are noteworthy.”

Recently elected head of the judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i , has ordered an immediate investigation into the officers’ treatment of prisoners following the release of the video by the hacker group Adalat Ali.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of the parliament, in response to the request of the representatives to deal with the publishers of these videos, said that a Commission, with the collaboration of the prosecutor’s office is following up the whole issue.

Whether the investigation will lead to meaningful reform or increased accountability remains to be seen.