Civil Activist Atena Daemi Released from Lakan Prison in Rasht City

On January 24, civil activist Atena Daemi was granted an early release and freed from Lakan Prison in Rasht. Since December of 2016, she was spending her sentence in Evin Prison until March 2021 when she was sent to exile in Lakan Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Daemi was arrested on October 21, 2014 and was sentenced on May 15, 2015. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to 14 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran.” This verdict was reduced to 7 years on appeal. The severest punishment of five years was enforceable from these two charges.

Daemi began serving her sentence in 2016 in Evin Prison. In 2018, while still in jail, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran opened a new case against her and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee on a new charge of “membership in anti-regime groups”. She was sentenced to an additional three years and seven months and the verdict was upheld on appeal. Per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of two years and one month was enforceable.

In July 2020, she was sentenced to two years and 74 lashes in another new case, this time opened by Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Her request for a retrial was dismissed. During this time, she and her family were consistently pressured by judicial and security forces.

On March 16, 2021, she was transferred at night from Evin Prison to Lakan Prison to spend the rest of her sentence in exile.

Civil Activist and Former Political Prisoner Payam Shakiba Arrested, Transferred to Evin Prison

Civil activist and former political prisoner Payam Shakiba was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison after being summoned by the Executive Unit of Evin Courthouse to serve his 13 month sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Shakiba was arrested after his appearance at the Executive Unit of Evin Courthouse. He was then imprisoned in the quarantine section of Evin Prison.

On June 14, 2021, Shakiba was arrested by security forces in Tehran and held in Ward 209 of Evin Prison. On July 4, he was released on a bail of 100 million tomans (23,800 USD) pending further legal proceedings.

Shakiba has faced another arrest and conviction due to his civil activities. On February 22, 2017, he was arrested by security forces. He was sentenced in November 2017 to 11 years in prison on charges of “acting against national security through assembly and collusion,” and “propaganda against the regime”. This verdict was upheld on appeal. Ultimately, he was freed from Rajai Shahr Prison on February 3, 2021.

Vahid Bani-Amerian and Pooya Ghobadi Each Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment

Two political prisoners, Vahid Bani-Amerian and Pooya Ghobadi, serving their sentences in Evin Prison and the Greater Tehran Prison respectively, were each sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in exile in their second legal case.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Moghayeseh, sentenced Bani-Amerian and Ghobadi. In this new legal case, they were charged with the destruction of public property and advocating for the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (Mujahedin-e-Khalq). According to their lawyer, Babak Paknia, the charge of “enmity against God” was dismissed by the court. The first court session was held in October of this year, but their lawyer asked for a retrial due to defective legal documents and failure to comply procedure.

In May of 2018, Bani-Amerian and Ghobadi were arrested by security forces in Tehran and transferred to Evin Prison. After four months of interrogation, they were sent to the public ward of Evin Prison. In November of 2019, Ghobadi was relocated to The Greater Central Prison while Bani-Amerian remained in Evin Prison.

In their first legal case, each was sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security”, offensive statements against the Supreme Court” and “propaganda against the regime”. For these charges, grounded in Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the most severe punishment of 5 years was enforced for each prisoner.

Political Prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh Sewed His Eyelids in Protest

Political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh, who is exiled to Sheyban Prison, sewed his eyelids shut to protest refusal to release him on probation and furlough.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, judicial authorities did not keep their promise to grant him release on probation and furlough, prompting Pirzadeh to sew his eyelids in protest.

On August 23, 2021, Pirzadeh went on hunger strike to protest authorities’ refusal to release him on probation, the housing of political prisoners in the same ward as prisoners of violent crimes, and police officers’ brutal behavior towards family members during the delivery of an eviction order. Ultimately, he ended his hunger strike on November 14, 2021.

During the hunger strike, he developed extremely low blood pressure and blood sugar, backache and other physical problems.

On May 26, 2019, Pirzadeh was arrested violently by security forces and was sent to Evin Prison after interrogation. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison 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. He needs additional treatment and surgery for his injured spine. On July 14, 2021, he was transferred from Greater Tehran Prison to exile in Sheyban Prison, Ahvaz and held him unlawfully in a ward that also houses prisoners of violent crimes.

Reza Mazaheri Arrested By Security Forces

On December 25, Reza Mazaheri, a resident of Tehran City, was arrested by security forces and transferred to Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, family inquiry to Evin Courthouse regarding his conditions and the reasons for arrest have remained unanswered.

On December 29, 2018, the security forces arrested Mazaheri. After being indicted by Branch 2 of Evin Courthouse prosecutors, he was jailed in Ward 4 of Evin prison. On April 15, 2019, he was released from jail on bail of 2 billion tomans (475,910 USD) pending further legal proceedings.

On March 15, 2020, the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to two years in prison. This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of Tehran’s court of appeals.

He has been already summoned to Branch 1 of Evin’s Executive unit.

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Growing Concerns About Baktash Abtin’s Health Condition After Hospitalization

On December 8, Baktash Abtin, a prisoner of conscience, writer and member of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) was hospitalized in Tehran due to poor health conditions and COVID-19 symptoms.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Abtin is currently serving a six-years sentence in Evin Prison. After a few days of hospitalization in prison healthcare he was dispatched from Evin Prison to the Telghani hospital in Tehran.

“A few days ago, he went to [the prison’s] healthcare due to acute fever, severe body aches and feelings of weakness”, commented the Iranian Writers Association (IWA). “After one day, when he did not go back to the ward, his fellow inmates asked prison officials about his condition, but did not receive a proper response. Ultimately, his family found out that he had been hospitalized during prison visitation”.

The IWA expressed grave concerns about Abtin’s health due to his pre-existing lung disease and his risk of contracting COVID-19.

Abtin had previously contracted COVID-19 in March of this year. After four days, he was forcibly sent back to the public ward of Evin Prison despite having a contagious disease.

On June 29, Abtin faced a new legal case while he was in prison. This move was reportedly due to his decision to publicize the news of his illness.

The IWA is an independent group of authors, poets, editors and translators based in Iran which was formed in May 1968 to fight against state censorship. The government has continuously persecuted members of the IWA after the 1979 revolution. In 1998, several IWA members, including opposition politicians Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh Eskandari, and writers Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, were murdered.

Leila Hosseinzadeh Arrested Violently In Shiraz

On Tuesday, December 7, student activist and former political prisoner, Leila Hosseinzadeh, was violently arrested by security forces in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hosseinzadeh was on a trip in Shiraz City and staying at her relative’s house. The house was raided by 15 security agents. During the arrest, she was beaten by the agents.

Meantime, security institution-affiliated media outlets claimed that allegedly several “the individuals associated with anti-revolutionary groups under the leadership of L.H. (referring to Hosseinzadeh)” have been arrested. There is no information about these arrestees at the time of writing.

Earlier this week, the initial verdict against Hosseinzadeh was upheld by Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals in Tehran. Hosseinzadeh was sentenced to five years in prison and a two years ban on online social activity by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran due to her attendance at the birthday ceremony of imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, held at the entrance of the Sharif University of Technology.

Amid the nationwide protests which broke out in December 2017, Hosseinzadeh was arrested alongside other student activists and released on bail after spending 16 days in detention. On March 7, 2018, she was sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, as well as one year in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country. The sentence for her first charge was reduced on appeal from five years to two years and six months. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 30 months of this sentence was enforceable.

On July 28, 2019, she was arrested and detained for 10 days in a facility at the IRGC’s intelligence unit. Afterwards, she was sent to Evin prison to serve her sentence.

On March 11, 2020, while on furlough, she was set free due to her “intolerance of punishment”.

 

Hirad Pirbodaghi’s Mother, Setareh Jalali, on Sit-Down Strike

Setareh Jalai, the mother of Hirad Pirbodaghi, went on a sit-in in front of Evin Courthouse in cold weather on December 5. The strike was in protest of her son’s continued detention and the lack of information regarding his condition. She was informed yesterday by prison and court officials that Pirbodaghi’s case will be taken to court for examination within the next 48 hours. This news is at odds with prior information the court has granted his release on bail. 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the workers’ rights activist is still detained and awaiting legal proceedings in Ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran after 30 days.

In phone calls, Pirbodaghi stated that he had been under extreme coercion by security forces to confess.

“Last Saturday, they called her mother to provide the bail of 800 million tomans (189,680 USD). As her mother told me, the letter was issued on November 24, indicating that the security forces had obstructed the execution of this order,” an informed source told HRANA. “When the family went to Evin Courthouse, they were told that for now, the release is not going to happen. On the second day of her sit-down strike, however, Hirad’s mother was told to meet with prison officials”.

In this meeting, she was told that the case will be sent to a branch of the court for examination within the next 48 hours.

On November 6, Pirbodaghi was arrested violently by security forces alongside Asal Mohammadi. Their houses were searched during the arrest. He was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is at the disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence.

Pirbodaghi was indicted on the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” on November 7.

Mohammadi was released on bond from Evin Prison on November 22. The reason for his arrest is still unknown at the time of writing.

The day before their arrests, Pirbodaghi and Mohammadi, accompanied by seven other activists, had filed a complaint in a judicial office against the use of solitary confinement as a torture method. Mohammadi and Pirbodaghi have previously faced other arrests and convictions for their non-violent activism and worker’s rights advocacy.

Hirad Pirbodaghi Still In Detention After 25 Days

After 25 days, workers’ rights activist Hirad Pirbodaghi is still detained and awaiting legal proceedings in Ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirbodaghi confirmed during a phone call with his family that interrogations have finished and he is waiting for bail to be assigned so that he may be released. The Evin Prison court has refused to set bail despite multiple requests from his family.

“In these increasingly cold days, he has been given just one set prison uniform which he has to wash and wear while it is still wet. Moreover, they don’t allow him to purchase anything from the prison store”, an informed source told HRANA.

On November 6, Pirbodaghi was arrested violently by security forces alongside Asal Mohammadi. Their houses were searched during the arrest. He was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is at the disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence.

Pirbodaghi was indicted on the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” on November 7.

Mohammadi was released on bond from Evin Prison on November 22. The reason for his arrest is still unknown at the time of writing.

The day before their arrests, Pirbodaghi and Mohammadi, accompanied by seven other activists, had filed a complaint in a judicial office against the use of solitary confinement as a torture method. Mohammadi and Pirbodaghi have previously faced other arrests and convictions for their non-violent activism and worker’s rights advocacy.

Narges Mohammadi Still in Solitary Confinement One Week After Arrest

Civil activist and spokesperson of the Defenders of Human Rights Center Narges Mohammadi is still in detention in Ward 209 of Evin Prison a week after her arrest.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mohammadi was arrested on November 16, during a ceremony honoring Ebrahim Ketabdar who was killed by security forces in Karaj during the November 2019 protests.

According to her husband, Taghi Rahmani, yesterday she was sent to Moghaddas Court to be notified of the charges against her, and then sent back to  solitary confinement.

This year, Branch 1177 of the Criminal Court in the Ghods Judicial Complex in Tehran sentenced Narges Mohammadi to 30 months in prison and 80 lashes, as well as fines. She had been charged with “propaganda against the regime through the issuance of a statement against the death penalty”, “sit-down strike at prison office”, “property destruction by breaking glass” and “libel and assault”.

According to a report published by HRANA, in an open statement, Narges Mohammadi stated of these charges that she will not, “under any circumstances”, attend any court hearing, and will refuse to accept any verdict from the judiciary courts.

From May 5, 2015, until October of last year, Narges Mohammadi was imprisoned.

In December 2019, Mohammadi and seven other political prisoners in the women’s ward of Evin Prison announced in a letter that they would go on a sit-down strike in support of bereaved families who lost loved ones in November 2019 national protests. Evin Prison officials threatened to deport her and others who participated in the strike to prisons known for their harsher conditions. Subsequently, she was punitively transferred from Evin Prison to Zanjan Prison in December 2019.

Based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code and the charges against her, the severest punishment of 10 years was enforceable, but after five years and six months in prison, Narges Mohammadi was finally released from Zanjan Prison. Mohammadi has since been denied a passport and barred from leaving the country to visit her husband and children even though her previous conviction did not mention a supplementary ban on international travel.