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.

 

Mohammad Nourizad Released From Evin Prison; Ali Nourizad Returned to the Greater Tehran Prison at End of Leave

On Wednesday, November 17, civil activist Mohammad Nourizad was released from Evin Prison after being granted an early release order. The day before his release, his son Ali Nourizad returned to The Greater Tehran Prison at the end of his furlough.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, political prisoner Mohammad Nourizad was released from Evin Prison after obtaining an early release order. The day before, Nourizad’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, tweeted that the Supervisory Judiciary of Evin Prison had informed him in a phone call that the prosecutor agreed to end the prison sentence.

It is worth mentioning that Nourizad suffers from myriad health conditions, including asthma, heart problems and unstable blood pressure. Earlier, in protest against not receiving medical treatment, during a family visitation, he wounded his face and stated, “Each day I make this wound deeper to make my death happen sooner if they want me dead.”

In an open statement from that time, UN human rights experts expressed their serious concern over his conditions in prison. “We are seriously concerned at the mistreatment of Mohammad Nourizad and his continued imprisonment for expressing his opinion,” the statement read. “Furthermore, his continued detention despite medical professionals finding he cannot stay in prison given his serious health condition, and the resulting denial of adequate medical care, may amount to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Mohammad Nourizad is a 63-year-old filmmaker, writer, director and journalist from Iran. He was considered an outspoken and religious journalist who in recent years became one of the active critics of the Islamic Republic. He has been arrested and imprisoned many times.

Mohammad’s son Ali Nourizad was arrested by security forces in Tehran in January 2020 for protesting a rally against the downing of a Ukrainian plane by the IRGC, and for expressing sympathy with the victims’ families.  He was released on bail a month later. The Tehran Revolutionary Court eventually sentenced him to 3 and a half years in prison. This sentence was upheld by the Tehran Court of Appeals. He has been serving out his sentence in Greater Tehran since October of last year.

Prisoner of Conscience Soheil Arabi Released From Rajai Shahr Prison

On Tuesday, November 16, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi was released from Rajai Shahr Prison after completing his sentence and sent to Borazjan to await the court decision about his two-year exile sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Soheil Arabi was sent to Borazjan City accompanied by a police guard. It is yet to be decided whether he should stay in exile in Borazjan, and if so, how long. Because Arabi’s prison term was longer than the sentence required, either the difference will be subtracted from the current exile period, or the charge will be dropped altogether.

Arabi has been imprisoned since November 7, 2013, and never been granted leave. On January 21, 2020, he was relocated from Evin Prison to the Greater Tehran Prison.

While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi was convicted on charges from two new cases. In the first case, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to five years imprisonment on the charge of “blasphemy, propaganda against the regime and an offensive statement against the Supreme Leader”. For the second case, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, two years of exile in Borazjan City, and paying a fine of 4 million tomans on a charge of “spreading lies in the purpose to disturb public opinion and propaganda against the regime”, and one year and eight months on the charge of “the destruction of public property”.

On September 18, 2020, Arabi was punitively relocated from the Greater Tehran Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. On October 20, 2020, after being held for 33 days in a solitary confinement cell, in a phone call to his family, he informed them about his relocation to the detention center at the disposal of IRGC, known as Ward 2 A of Evin Prison. On November 8, 2020, he was sent back to a solitary confinement cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. After 9 days, he was sent to the public ward of this prison.

Narges Mohammadi Arrested by Security Forces in Karaj During Ceremony Honoring Ebrahim Ketabdar

Prominent civil activist and spokesperson of the Defenders of Human Rights Center Narges Mohammadi was arrested earlier this Tuesday during a ceremony honoring Ebrahim Ketabdar, who was killed by security forces in Karaj during the November 2019 protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a gathering of the victim’s family and some civil activists at Ebrahim Ketabdar’s burial place in Karaj city turned violent after the interference of security agents, and Mohammadi was subsequently arrested.

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, a 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.

 

 

 

Aliyeh Motallebzadeh’s Request for Release on Probation Rejected

Aliyeh Motallebzadeh’s request for release on probation was recently rejected in a written notification by the Tehran prosecutor’s office.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the photographer and women’s rights activist is currently enduring a two-year sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran.

On November 26, 2016, Motallebzadeh was summoned to the office of the ministry of intelligence and subsequently was detained in Ward 209 of Evin Prison. On December 19, 2016, she was released on bail of 300 million tomans.

In 2017, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Motallebzadeh to three years in prison on charges of  “assembly and collusion to act against national security” and “propaganda against the regime”.

This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the court of Appeals in Tehran. In the issued lawsuit, “launching and participating in women empowerment workshop in abroad” had been invoked as an example of these charges. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of two years was enforceable for her.

On October 11, 2020, Motallebzadeh arrived at Evin prison to begin her sentence, where she has been held since.

On April 26, 2021, she was punitively deprived of making phone calls after her complaints about the practice of holding detainees in solitary confinements in the prosecutor’s office of this prison.

On July 19, 2021, after contracting COVID, she was granted furlough and went on leave until August 30.

Aliyeh Motallebzadeh is a photographer, women rights activist and a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign for Gender Equality as well as a campaign to protect acid attack victims.

 

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Workers’ Rights Activists Hirad Pirbodaghi and Asal Mohammadi Arrested by Security Forces

Two workers’ rights activists were arrested by security forces on Saturday, November 6.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Saturday, Hirad Pirbodaghi and Asal Mohammadi were arrested yesterday after security forces searched their homes. Hirad Pirbodaghi made a phone call to his family earlier this morning and informed them that he is currently being held in the notorious Ward 209 of Evin Prison. Mohammadi’s situation and whereabouts are still unknown as of this writing.

An informed source told HRANA that security forced raided and searched their houses violently. Sunday morning, Hirad Pirbodaghi was notified about the charges against him, which include “assembly” and “collusion”.

Asal Mohammadi and Hirad Pirbodaghi have previously faced other arrests and convictions for their non-violent activism and worker’s rights advocacy.

Yesterday, before their arrest, Pirbodaghi and Mohammadi, along with seven other civil activists, filed a complaint in a judicial office against using solitary confinement as a tool of torture.

As of yet, the reason for these arrests is unknown.

 

Political Prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar Sentenced to Death by Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Recently, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced political prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar to death. Rezaiefar’s trial began on December 28, 2020.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, political prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar has been sentenced to death on the charge of the so-called “spreading corruption on earth”. He was notified about his charges in September of this year.

In January 2020, Kamran Rezaiefar was arrested by the security forces on a charge of “association with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK)”. He was released on bail after enduring 77 days in solitary confinement in wards 240 and 209 of Evin Prison.

In June 2020, he was arrested again this time for a charge of “spreading corruption on earth” and transferred to Evin Prison.

 

Kamyar Fakoor Sentenced to Eight Months Imprisonment and Flogging

Workers’ rights activist Kamyar Fakoor was sentenced to 50 lashes, eight months imprisonment and paying a fine of 15 million tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the verdict has been suspended for 5 years.

Branch 26 of the Tehran revolutionary court, headed by judge Mahmood Haj Moradi, sentenced Kamyar Fakoor to eight months in prison, 50 lashes and paying a fine of 15 million tomans on charges of “propaganda against the regime, spreading lies in the purpose to disturb public opinions and public order”.

As conditions for the sentence suspension, he will be obligated to ask permission from the judiciary before leaving the country, participate in emotional control courses, inform authorities about any changes in employment or place of residence, and avoid any political activities on social media.

On August 28, along with two other workers’ rights activists, Kamyar Fakoor was arrested during a protest of retirees and working educators in front of the building of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare. Ten days later, he was released from Evin Prison on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

Arash Gangi Detained and Sent to Evin Prison to Endure 11 Year Sentence

On Monday, November 1, translator and board member of the Iranian Writers’ Association (IWA) Arash Gangi was sent to Evin Prison to endure his 11-year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, recently, PEN America in a statement condemned Arash Gangi’s summons and asked for the quashing of this “wildly disproportionate” sentence.

Gangi had been previously sentenced to eleven years in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of five years is enforceable.

Following the summons he received on October 16 of this year, Arash Gangi appeared at the Executive Unit of Evin prison and from there he was sent to Evin Prison.

On December 22, 2019, the security forces raided his house, and then arrested and transferred him to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is at the disposal of the intelligence ministry.  Security agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings during the arrest.

After a while, he was transferred from the Ward 209 to the public section of Evin Prison. On January 19, 2020, he was released on a bail of 450 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In the first court session, on June 14, 2020, the judge increased the bail to 3 billion tomans, and hence he was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison until providing the new bail. He was released on bail on June 21, 2020.

In the second court session, which took place on November 29, 2020, only his attorney attended the court and Mr Ganji could not appear at the court due to having COVID-19 symptoms.

Ultimately, in December 2020, the court, headed by judge Mohammad-Reza Amoozad, sentenced Gangi to five years in prison on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security”, one year on a charge of “propaganda against the regime” and five years on a charge of “membership in and collaboration with one of the ant-regime groups.”, for a total of 11 years imprisonment. In February 2021, this verdict was upheld by the court of appeals of Tehran.

According to Naser Zarafshan, Mr. Gangi’s lawyer, all these charges were invoked from his translation of a book under the title of “A Small Key Can Open A Big Door: The Rojava Revolution”, which is about Kurdistan upheavals in Syria.

The non-governmental organization IWA was founded by a group of intellectual writers in 1968, originally with the objective of promoting freedom of speech and fighting against censorship.

Although IWA was banned in 1981 by the Iranian authorities, a group of writers created a “consulting assembly” to revive the banned IWA in 1993. On September 8, 1996, 12 writers who had gathered to draft a new charter for the IWA were arrested, interrogated and warned not to hold further meetings for the advancement of the IWA. Since then, the members and board members of IWA have been subject to systematic persecution, long prison sentences and even targeted killing from 1988–98, when certain Iranian dissident intellectuals who had been critical of the Islamic Republic disappeared and their bodies found afterwards.

Journalist Reza Jolodarzadeh Released from Greater Tehran Prison

This Monday, November 1,  journalist Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh, who has been on furlough since mid-September, was released from The Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, while he was on furlough Jolodarzadeh was granted an imprisonment intolerance certificate by forensic medicine, and will therefore not be required to return to prison.

In June 2019, Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh was sentenced to three years in prison, a fine of 40 million rials and two years prohibition from any political or journalistic activities on charges of “propaganda against the regime, spreading lies and disturbing public opinions on the internet”.  The verdict was upheld by the appellate court.

In January 2021, Jolodarzadeh was summoned by Branch 1 of the Executive Unit of Evin Prison to endure his sentence in The Greater Tehran Prison. On February 12, despite having regular seizures, he was not allowed to be dispatched to a hospital outside the prison. Jolodarzadeh is an injured veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and suffers from a serious brain lesion.

On March 2, Jolodarzadeh went on a hunger strike to protest authorities’ refusal to take his medical needs seriously. After one week, he ended the hunger strike after hospitalization and receiving medical treatment. Once again, on April 28, in protest against prison’s officials’ inattention to his demands and requirements, he went on a hunger strike. After a while, he ended his strike after officials promised to meet his demands.

On July 14, he went furlough from The Greater Tehran Prison as well as once again on September 22, for medical treatment and providing medicines. This time, forensic medicine issued an imprisonment intolerance certificate whereby he was set free.

Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh is the Editor of  the newspaper “Sobhe-Azadi” , which was banned by the regime in 2011.