Evin Prison Fire Case: Four Defendants Sentenced to Prison and Flogging

Luqman (Lughman) Aminpour, Meysam Dehbanzadeh, Majid Roshannejad, and Reza Salmanzadeh, four defendants in the so-called Evin Prison Fire case, were sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison and 518 lashes by Branch 1148 of the Tehran Criminal Court.

Based on the verdict issued by Judge Jabbar Javadi Rami of Branch 1148 of the Tehran Criminal Court, and communicated to these prisoners on Wednesday, June 19th, Aminpour, Dehbanzadeh, and Roshannejad were each sentenced to six years in prison and 74 lashes for the charge of “property destruction”, sixteen months in prison and 74 lashes for “disrupting prison order”, and sixteen months for “disobeying and resisting orders from officials.” Additionally, Reza Salmanzadeh was sentenced to five years in prison and 74 lashes for “property destruction”, one year for “disrupting prison order”, and one year in prison for “disobeying and resisting orders from officials”.

The court session that was held yesterday addressed the charges against 40 prisoners. Further details regarding the sentences of other defendants in this case are still under investigation by HRANA.

Following the fire on the night of Saturday, October 15, 2022, at Evin Prison, a case was opened against these prisoners based on a complaint from the Prisons Organization.

Previously, a source close to one of the prisoners’ families told HRANA, “During the court session, the judge prevented the defendants’ lawyers from being present. Ramin Safarnia, the defense lawyer for these four defendants was expelled from the court by the judge. Despite the defendant’s objection, the judge insisted on expelling the defendants’ lawyer from the court session and only accepted written defenses from the defendants.”

On the night of October 15, 2022, after tensions rose in Evin Prison, fire was seen above the prison, and sounds of gunfire and explosions were heard. Despite officials claiming to have controlled the fire and clashes, gunfire continued for several hours. As a result, several prisoners were injured and killed, and some were transferred out of the prison.

Hora Nikbakht Detained in Evin Prison

Hora Nikbakht, a resident of Tehran, remains in detention in Evin Prison eight days after her arrest. She was detained and transferred to this prison after appearing at Evin Prosecutor’s Office.

Based on information from HRANA, Ms. Nikbakht was arrested on June 12, after appearing at Branch 3 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office and was transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison.

Previously, this citizen had received a summons to defend herself against the charges attributed to her at the mentioned prosecutor’s office.

As of the time of this report, the reasons for her arrest and the charges against Nikbakht remain unknown.

French National Louis Arnaud From Evin Prison

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that Louis Arnaud, a French national has been released from prison in Iran. Arnaud was arrested in Iran on September 28, 2022, and transferred to Evin Prison.

Last night, French President Emmanuel Macron stated in a post: “Louis Arnaud has been freed. He will be in France tomorrow after a long imprisonment in Iran.”

In January 2023, the spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported the arrest of Louis Arnaud in Iran and stated that he had been detained while traveling in Iran on September 28, 2022. The spokesperson had noted that he was being held in “very difficult conditions” in Evin Prison.

Overview of Political Prisoner Elahe Fooladi’s Legal Situation in Evin Prison

Elahe Fooladi, a political prisoner, is currently serving a five-year sentence in Evin Prison, following a conviction by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “assembly and collusion against national security.”

A source close to the Fooladi family informed HRANA that she has been in the Women’s ward of Evin Prison since December 12, 2023.

Fooladi, approximately 46 years old and originally from Khalkhal, has previously experienced imprisonment. In early 2020, she and her husband were detained by security forces and held in Evin Prison until her conditional release later that summer.

Political Prisoner Ali Maghsadjoo Denied Medical Care in Evin Prison

Ali Maghsadjoo, a political prisoner, is currently serving an 18-month sentence in Evin Prison and has been denied necessary medical care despite suffering from significant health issues.

According to a source close to his family, speaking to HRANA, Maghsadjoo requires treatment for back and knee problems that necessitate attention from a hospital outside the prison environment. However, prison authorities have consistently refused to allow him hospital access.

Maghsadjoo was initially detained by security forces on July 6, 2022, and held in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is managed by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was formally charged after three months and temporarily released on bail. Judge Abolghasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to two years on charges including “propaganda against the regime,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” and “collecting and leaking classified data.” This sentence was later reduced to 18 months following a plea of no contest.

The 48-year-old father of two began his incarceration at Evin Prison on June 24, 2023.

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Appellate Court Upholds One-Year Sentence for Political Activist Reza Ramezanzadeh

Branch 36 of the Tehran Appellate Court has upheld a one-year prison sentence for Reza Ramezanzadeh.

The sentence was originally imposed by Branch 24 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, which convicted Ramezanzadeh of “disseminating false information” related to reporting on the conditions of prisoners.

Ramezanzadeh was initially detained in late February 2024 after attending a hearing at the Evin Prosecutor’s Office. He was released on bail three days later.

This incident marks another chapter in Ramezanzadeh’s history of arrests and legal challenges stemming from his political activism.

Abdolghani Darvishi’s Sentence Reduced on Appeal

The Appellate Court of West Azerbaijan Province has reduced Abdolghani Darvishi’s prison sentence from five years to two years and six months. Originally convicted on political charges for “collaboration with anti-regime groups,” his sentence is now suspended for two years.

Darvishi was first detained by security forces on May 22, 2020, in Urmia and subsequently held in Tehran’s Evin prison, controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence. After a month, he was moved back to a detention center in Urmia and later placed in solitary confinement on October 22, 2020, at Urmia Prison.

He was released on bail from Urmia Prison on March 2, 2021. Darvishi, a resident of Urmia and a father of two, continues to reside there with his family.

Political Defendants Varisheh Moradi and Pakhshan Azizi Stage Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Varisheh (Varisha) Moradi and Pakhshan Azizi have initiated a hunger strike in Evin Prison to protest prolonged detention without a court hearing and Moradi’s relocation to security Ward 209, controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence.

Despite being detained for nine months, there has been no clarity in their legal proceedings.

Confirming their hunger strike, a source close to their families informed HRANA that Moradi was recently banned from making phone calls and family visits by the order of Judge Abolqasem Salavati. She was moved from the Women’s Ward to Ward 209 on May 14, and both Azizi and Moradi initiated their hunger strike the following day.

Moradi was apprehended by security forces on August 1, 2023, in the suburbs of Sanandaj. Later in August, she was transferred from a detention facility in Sanandaj to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. After completing the interrogation process on December 26, 2023, she was relocated to the Women’s Ward within the prison.

In February 2024, Moradi was indicted by Branch 5 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Tehran on charges of armed rebellion (Baghi) due to suspected membership in a political opposition party. However, the court session was annulled due to the absence of the counselor.

Azizi, a resident of Mahabad, was arrested on August 4, 2023, by security forces in Tehran. She was interrogated for four months in Ward 209 of Evin Prison before being relocated to the Women’s Ward. In February 2024, Azizi was also indicted for “membership in anti-regime groups,” under review by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Iman Afshari.

This is not the first time Azizi has faced arrest and judicial confrontation, as she was previously arrested by security forces on November 16, 2009, and detained for four months until her release on bail.

Union Activist Hassan Saeedi Sentenced to Over Four Years

The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company has reported that one of its members, Hassan Saeedi, has been sentenced to four years and one month in prison following a retrial.

Saeedi, who is currently incarcerated in Evin Prison, initially received a six-year sentence. However, his request for a retrial was accepted by the Supreme Court of Iran, and the case was reassigned to another court branch for review. This new review resulted in a reduced sentence of four years and one month.

On May 18, 2022, security forces arrested Saeedi at his home. They also searched his residence and confiscated several of his belongings. He was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison, a travel ban, a ban on joining political parties, restricted use of social media, and a prohibition from residing in Tehran Province and neighboring provinces for two years. This original verdict was upheld on appeal.

Political Prisoner Kazem Alinejad Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Branch 36 of the Appellate Court of Tehran sentenced Kazem Alinejad to five years in prison. He is currently held in Evin Prison, where he is being denied access to adequate medical care despite his poor health.

Alinejad received this sentence for charges of “assembly and collusion against national security.” He has been acquitted of charges of “blasphemy” and “propaganda against the regime.”

A source close to Alinejad’s family told HRANA that Alinejad suffers from several health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney failure, and diabetes. Despite this, he has been denied proper medical care in an external hospital.

In early January 2024, Alinejad was sentenced to eleven years in prison in a legal case alongside ten other political defendants. The sentence was handed down by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari. It included five years for blasphemy, five years for “assembly and collusion against national security,” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.” Additional punishments included a ban on residing in Tehran and neighboring provinces for two years, a two-year ban on membership in political or civil groups, and the confiscation of his cell phone.

Kazem Alinejad Baraloo has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to his activism.