A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 22, 2019

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 22nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than nine protests were organized across the country. Retired educators and other retired government employees, Ghoflkar Company workers in Alborz, the municipality workers in Lowshan, Marivan, Borujerd, and Andimeshk, the workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Rasht, and the contractors of Tehran municipality have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) Placed 1st in the Iranian University Master Studies Entrance Exam, Amir Reza Alipour Hashtali Amoli, was sentenced to six months in prison on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(3) In the last nine months, 56 workers died and 112 have been injured in the work-related incidents in East Azerbaijan province, which is a four percent increase over a year. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(4) 72 people have been arrested in a “mix gender party” in Sari. The detainees were transferred to the court. They may be able to get out of jail by posting bail, otherwise they would be imprisoned.

(5) Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a professor of journalism, was summoned to the Evin’s prosecutor’s office. He was an editor of several newspapers, including Kian, Toos, Jame’eh, Neshat, and Asr-e Azadegan.

(6) A Human rights lawyer, Mohammad Najafi, was sentenced to 19 years imprisonments. He is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 16 more years imprisonment for his new charge of “spreading lies and disturbing public opinion”.

(7) Behzad Shahsavar and Siamand Shahsavar, prisoners of the Intelligence detention center in Urmia, have been transferred to Naqadeh prison. They were accused of “corporation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(8) 23-year-old Amin Pishdad was transferred to Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad. He had been arrested last year on blasphemy and espionage related charges and was sentenced to ten years in prison which was reduced in the appeals court to eight months.

(9) A Baha’i citizen, Soheil Haghdoost, was sentenced to four months imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state” for announcing and following up regarding his business’s forced closure. Also, he has been sentenced to a year in prison in March 2018.

(10) Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami have been sentenced to six years in prison each, and were banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism.

(11) The workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, who were protesting their layoffs, have been arrested.

(12) Five students in Kashan were transferred to a hospital for gas poisoning because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in heater installation in the school.

(13) Three thousand villages in Sistan and Baluchestan do not have water distribution network. 46 percent of population in this province have access to the water sources.

(14) Members of the Iranian Writers Association, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bazhan have been arrested. They were summoned to the court on the “encouraging immorality or prostitution” and security-related charges, were imprisoned because they could not post a bail.

(15) 180 workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail have 18 months of unpaid wages. Kayson Project Management Company paid one months of their unpaid wages but there are still concerns that the remaining will be left unpaid.

(16) A prisoner accused of murdering his friend was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Tehran. He was spending 6 years in prison.

(17) Mohammad Hosseinzadeh, civil rights activist, was released on bail. He was arrested with Arsham Rezaei and Majid Hosseini on the charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “collusion against the state”. The two others’ whereabouts is still unknown.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 6, 2019

Posted on: January 6th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 6th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than 32 Baha’i have been summoned and interrogated at Karaj Intelligence Office in the last two weeks. Their names are as the following: Saeed Vojdani, Tahereh Pashaei, Radman Foroughi, Sheida Motlagh, Taraneh Badiee, Sepehr Forouhari, Masoud Zakerian, Badiollah Tashakor, Parvin Tashakor, Farinaz Khosh Fetrat, Taranom Hashemi, Kambiz Safaei, Sarmad Sadeghian, Nahid Farhangi, Hasti Mandegari, Nasim Zabihi, Rohieh Anvari, Shole Emamverdi, Shirin Khales, Foroutan Baiani, Armin Rohani, Aydin Rohani, Nazanin Sharifi, Nima Sharifi, Ramtin Monzavi, Parnian Badiee, Mahsa Mokhtari, Arman Pourmoradian, Mahmoud Fashami, Samieh Ehsani, Pouya Eslami, and Delkash Behbahani.

(2) Two Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers), Nahv Ebadi and Ahmad Azizi, were injured by border patrol shots in the cities of Urmia and Sardasht. Another Kulbar, Yousef Mohammadi-asl died from hypothermia in Piranshahr.

(3) Issa Feizi, Hadi Kamangar, Amanj Ghorbani, Rashed Montazeri, and Hossein Kamangar have been arrested in the city of Kamyaran in Kurdistan Province. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(4) Mohammad Rahmanian, a playwright and theater director, was arrested because of singing of a female solo singer in his play “Paykan Javanan”. He was released on bail on the same day.

(5) More than nine protests were organized all around the country on January 6, 2019. Farmers of Isfahan, retired personnel of Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill, butchers in Saqqez, contractors of municipality, the employees of Vahdat financial institute in Khorasan province, disabled and disability-rights activist in Tehran, and Keshavarzi insurance employees held separate protests nationwide.

(6) The sister of Sam Rajabi, one of the detained Iranian environmentalists, wrote an open letter to Javid Rehman, a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran. She requested his intervention in her brother’s case. The environmentalists who were arrested last year are Houman Jokar, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi, Taher Ghadirian, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, Morad Tahbaz, Hasan Zareh, Aref Zareh, Morteza Aryanejad, Alireza Farhadzadeh, and Kavous Seyed Emami. Seyed Emami, an environmentalist and professor, was arrested as part of this crackdown and reportedly died in detention under unknown circumstances two weeks after his arrest.

(7) After one month of forced closure of 10 Baha’i-owned businesses in Omidiyeh, the closure order has been lifted. Baha’i citizens are having difficulty running their businesses in Iran.

(8) Narges Shahsavari and Ali Lorestani were arrested by the Intelligence Office agents in Kermanshah last month, but their lawyer has not been approved by the judiciary system. According to the so-called Article 48, only 20 lawyers can defend citizens accused by the country’s secretive and political charges.

(9) Siamand Shahsavar and Behzad Shahsavar who had been arrested last month, were transferred to the Intelligence Office in Urmia. They are charged with ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’.

(10) Four Baha’i citizens, Sohrab Naghipour, Mohsen Mehregani, Manouchehr Rahmani, and Farzad Homayouni, were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment combined in the Isfahan appeal court.

(11) Esmaeil Arbabi was publicly flogged until he fainted and was transferred to a hospital in Iranshahr for the second time. He was charged with armed robbery.

(12) Ali Karouni, a singer, was summoned to the Ahvaz court for a complaint by the Khuzestan Culture and Islamic Guidance office. He is charged with ‘spreading lies and disturbing public opinion’.

(13) Seven citizens were sentenced to 590 lashes combined. Overall, 24 people who have been charged with financial crimes, were sentenced to imprisonment and lashes on January 6, 2019; Meisam Naraki and Alireza Panahpour were sentenced to five years and 74 lashes each, Nematollah and Elyas Tajoldini were sentenced to 74 lashes, Jafar Goharkani and Hamzeh Sisakhtinejad were sentenced to 110 lashes, Hamidreza Janghorban was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fines, Azadeh Javid was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, Shapour Heibatieh was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, Amin Sajadian faced 10 years imprisonment, Mohammad Javad Khosravi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fines, Mohammad Kazem Ahmadzadeh faced 10 years imprisonment, Heibatollah Alavikhah and Bahram Rezaei were sentenced to three years imprisonment, Mohammad Hossein Najmzadeh was sentenced to seven years in prison. Ahmad Pasdar was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and fines, Mehdi Tayari was sentenced to four years and fines. Naser Mohammadinejad, Abbad Tarmalapour, Beniamin Golshanzadeh, Abdolrazagh Ghorbani, Soheil Azarpour, and Abdolkarim Abdolpour were sentenced to two years imprisonment and fines. Moreover, Ardalan Zeinalzadeh who was the mayor of Gachsaran city was sentenced to five years imprisonment and 74 lashes.

(14) Farhad Meysami, a detained civil rights activist, wrote an open letter to protest judicial system’s performance. He was arrested in July and went on a hunger strike to protest ‘unjustified accusations, the illegal procedure following his detention, and denial of his right to access an independent lawyer’. He was forced to end his strike.

(15) Nine businesses and factories that have polluted the environment have been shut down in Tabriz and Hamadan provinces.

(16) The United Nations has published the report of Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur about human rights defenders. Based on this report, the oppression imposed on Human Rights defenders in Iran has been intensified in 2018.

(17) The mayor of the district 16 of Tehran municipality has confirmed that a city services worker was killed, and two others were poisoned by natural gas due to non-standard installation of a gas-burning heater.

(18) Two prisoners, Changiz Irani and Pejman Piri, who have earlier been sentenced to death, were saved at the gallows by the consent of the next of kin in the Urmia prison. Also, five other prisoners in Bushehr were saved from execution.

Open Letter: Reza Khandan Echoes Public Support of an Ailing Farhad Meysami

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Imprisoned civil rights activist Reza Khandan has published a letter calling attention to fellow activist Farhad Meysami’s mistreatment by prison authorities, who are reportedly unmoved by the steep decline of Meysami’s health since he declared hunger strike on August 1st.

Since forcibly taking Meysami to the prison clinic on September 26th, prison authorities have kept him in quarantine-like conditions, restricting all of his contacts with the outside. In protest of his arrest, as well as authorities’ refusal to appoint the lawyer of his choice, Meysami has already been on hunger strike for more than 75 days.

Medical doctors, publishers, bookshop owners, and university graduates numbering 1400 in all have published an open letter raising their own concerns over Meysami’s condition and pleading for his immediate release. The voices of two teachers incarcerated at Evin also got behind what has become a burgeoning public campaign for, at the very least, Meysami’s transfer to an outside medical facility.

The full text of Khandan’s letter, translated into English by HRANA, is below:

Dear Compatriots,

Fellow human rights activists,

It has been 75 days since Dr. Farhad Mesyami started his difficult and worrisome hunger strike. Three weeks ago, he was forcibly transferred to the prison clinic from the general ward. Reportedly on orders from the prosecutor’s office, and with the cooperation of the clinic’s director, prison officials have repurposed the clinic into a security detention unit where patient spaces can be used as solitary confinement cells.

Currently, Farhad Meysami is being held in one of those rooms under tight security controls. In his frail state he has reportedly been subjected to inhumane treatment whereby, against his will and without the presence of family or a lawyer, he was strapped to a bed and given injections.

In these instances, we must hold accountable not only judiciary authorities but also the Ministry of Health and the President himself, who has sworn to protect the rights of the people.

Moreover, we must advocate that medical professionals be held accountable, those who have in an unprofessional and unprincipled manner taken action against the will of the patient, heeding any and all orders [from authorities], however unethical they may be.

Farhad Meysami’s health and life is at risk now more than ever, and it is urgent he is transferred to a hospital outside the prison for medical care.

Reza Khandan, October 14, 2018, Ward 4 of Evin Prison

****

Reza Khandan Khandan was arrested in his home by security forces on September 4, 2018, before being charged in Branch 7 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Interrogation office. He was summoned to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court on October 5th but refused to attend as an act of protest against the unlawfully late subpoena.

Open Letter: Hundreds of Doctors and Publishers Plead for the Release of Farhad Meysami

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Hundreds of medical doctors, publishers, bookshop owners, and university graduates wrote an open letter September 28th to raise their concerns about Farhad Meysami, a civil rights activist detained in Evin Prison who is in dire medical condition on this 57th day of his hunger strike. The letter pleads for Meysami’s release.

Meysami started his hunger strike one day after his July 31st arrest, in protest to authorities’ refusal to appoint the attorney of his choice.

He was taken to the prison clinic by violent force on September 26th, raising suspicions with close sources that authorities are deliberately isolating him from contacts with the outside.

Previously, Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi and Esmaeil Abdi, two teachers imprisoned in Evin, asked for Meysami’s transfer to a hospital in their own open letter to judicial authorities.

The most recent open letter, representing the will of 1,400 doctors, publishers, bookshop owners, and university graduates, reflects the same concern for Meysami’s well-being.

“We know Dr. Farhmad Meysami’s character, disposition, and reputation of accountability, and we believe that he doesn’t belong in prison,” the letter says.

Meysami is noted in the letter as founder and manager of Andisheh Sazan, a publishing house in Iran.

“Meysami raised his criticisms in peaceful and non-violent ways,” the letter goes on. “Some of us don’t necessarily agree with him, but we don’t think this is a way to treat any dissident in this country, let alone a doctor and a publisher.”

The letter specifically implores the support of Culture Minister Abbas Salehi, Health Minister Hassan Ghazizade Hashemi, Parliamentary Health Committee Head Hosseinali Shahriari and Parliamentary Culture Committee Head Ahmad Mazani.

Their letter concludes with a verse from the Qur’an: “He who gives life to anyone has given life to all.”

Two Teachers Imprisoned at Evin Pen Statement of Support for Farhad Meysami

Posted on: September 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi and Esmail Abdi, two teachers imprisoned at Evin, have demanded in a letter to Judicial authorities that their ward mate Farhad Meysami–who is now in the 54th day of his hunger strike–be transferred to an outside treatment facility to avert an impending health crisis.

Meysami has dropped 30 pounds since he started starving himself on August 1st to protest both his detention and authorities’ refusal to appoint the lawyer of his choosing. In addition to his 18-year history of ulcerative colitis, Meysami experienced a steep drop in blood pressure on Saturday, September 8th, prompting the prison doctor to recommend more aggressive treatment. Notwithstanding the doctor’s orders, prison authorities refuse to clear his transfer to a different facility for treatment.

In a letter, Langroudi and Abdi, two imprisoned teachers held with Meysami in Ward 8 of Evin Prison, urge authorities to approve Meysami’s transfer to a medical treatment facility, to “prevent a possible calamity from occurring.”

The full text of their letter, translated into English by HRANA, is below:

“In the name of the God of wisdom and life,

Fifty days have passed since Dr. Farhad Meysami, civil activist and political prisoner, declared his hunger strike. His strike was a response to unjust legal proceedings, and authorities’ hindrance of his effective defense by refusing him the right to choose an attorney. He is now in a critically weakened condition. It is said that the doctors at Evin Prison insisted he be hospitalized, yet judicial authorities refuse to issue the order to have him transferred to a prison more materially equipped to treat him.

Because this civil activist suffers from ulcerative colitis and has lost 30 pounds over the course of his hunger strike, his blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs have dipped into gravely abnormal ranges. As of last week he stopped accepting intravenous treatment, leaving us more concerned than ever that a calamitous outcome might be imminent.

We, the undersigned, thus put on guard the relevant judicial authorities, that they express their agreement to transfer Dr. Meysami to a proper hospital without delay, to prevent a possible calamity from occurring.

His ward-mates, Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi and Esmail Abdi”

53 Days into Solidarity Hunger Strike, Ailing Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Stands His Ground

Posted on: September 25th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- In protest of the imprisonment of his comrade Reza Khandan, civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami has now been starving himself for 53 consecutive days.

In a visit to the Evin Prison clinic September 22nd, according to a close source, doctors noted Meysami’s 42-pound weight loss and steep drop in blood pressure and urged him to be admitted to the clinic. Meysami refused, persistent in his requests to be transferred to an outside hospital.

Shortly thereafter, prison authorities, including the prison director, came to visit Meysami, who reiterated to them the sole condition in which he will end his hunger strike: the dropping of all charges against Reza Khandan.

Farhad Meysami was arrested in his personal study on July 31st. He was originally charged with “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security,”; “propaganda against the regime”; and “insulting hijab, a necessary and sacred element of Islam.”

On September 3rd, however, Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s interrogation department claimed that charges have since changed, with the last one replaced with “spreading corruption and prostitution.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both asked for Meysami’s release.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Reaches 50th day on Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Farhad Meysami has not had a single meal, or any food at all, for 50 days and counting, as his health condition continues to deteriorate.

A civil rights activist imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, Meysami announced his hunger strike August 1st, one day after his arrest by Iranian authorities, in protest of their refusal of the attorney of his choosing. Despite the decline of his health during the hunger strike, authorities have yet to send him to a hospital.

HRANA reported on Meysami’s weight loss and poor physical state on September 8th.

Mohammad Moghimi–lawyer of fellow Evin prisoner Reza Khandan, and incidentally, the attorney Meysami would have appointed if given the choice–said his client called him from Evin to report that Meysami’s strike had put him in mortal danger, and that he needed a transfer to the hospital right away.

Moghimi said that authorities’ denial of Meysami’s attorney of choice puts them in conflict with Iranian law. Once initial interrogations are over, each prisoner has a right to a lawyer of his or her choosing, according to Moghimi’s reading of Article 48 of Iranian penal code.

Meysami was arrested in his personal study on July 31st. He was originally charged with “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security,”; “propaganda against the regime”; and “insulting hijab, a necessary and sacred element of Islam.”

On September 3rd, however, Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s interrogation department claimed that charges have since changed, with the last one replaced with “spreading corruption and prostitution.”

Meysami, who suffers from ulcerative colitis, has said that during his hunger strike he will take only the medication that treats this condition, as he has taken for the past 18 years. Meysami has previously said that he would break his hunger strike only if his friend and fellow inmate Reza Khandan, who was arrested after Meysami’s hunger strike began, is released unconditionally.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both asked for Meysami’s release.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Enters 38th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The health condition of Farhad Meysami — who declared hunger strike the day after his arrest on July 31st in protest to his detention and the denial of his right to a lawyer of his choice — is in steady decline.

A source close to the matter told HRANA, “His blood pressure dropped very low on Saturday, September 8th. The doctor recommended he be treated in a hospital or the prison clinic, saying that his vital signs would remain unstable otherwise. He has lost 14 kilograms [30 pounds] since the start of his hunger strike, and weighs 64.5 kilograms [142 pounds] now.”

Suffering from intestinal colitis that he has been treating with medication for the past 18 years, Meysami has announced that his diet will be limited to that medicine, and will only end his hunger strike if Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, is unconditionally released.

Meysami was arrested by security forces in his personal library on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and during his interrogation was charged with “Collusion and conspiracy to threaten national security,” “Disseminating propaganda against the regime,” and “Insulting the hijab, an essential sacrament of Islam.” On Monday, September 3rd, Branch 7 of Evin Court added “Propagation of corruption and decadence” to his charging document.

Human Rights Watch previously issued a statement in which they mentioned Meysami’s ordeal, asking Iranian authorities to stop the repression of human rights defenders and immediately release those who are being persecuted for their peaceful expressions of dissent.

Amnesty International also appealed to Iranian authorities, opposing their crackdown on civil society and unlawful detention of lawyers and human rights activists including Farhad Meysami. They demanded these prisoners’ immediate release, and that authorities provide every detainee with access to a lawyer of their choice at the time of their arrest.

Charges Evolve against Hunger Striking Civil Rights Activist

Posted on: September 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Farhad Meysami, a civil rights activist who has been held in Evin Prison since July 31st and declared a hunger strike the next day, now faces a new charge: “Assembly and collusion to disturb national security.”

Meysami, who has lost a significant amount of weight and suffers from low blood pressure, announced that he will resort to a liquid-only hunger strike. He explained his strike was a protest of the arrest of Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, earlier this week, as well as the authorities’ interrogation and home searches of civil rights activists Mohammed Reza Farhadpour and Zhila Karamzadeh Makvandi.

A source close to Meysami told HRANA that “despite visits from officials who attempted to persuade him to end the strike, such as the Assistant Prosecutor, the prison ward director, the prosecutor’s representative, and Director General of the detention centre Mr. Chahrmahali, Meysami is determined to continue. He will only be ingesting his colitis medication, as he has been doing for past 18 years.”

The source added that Meysami “would only end his hunger strike if Reza Khandan is unconditionally released.”

The same source indicated that Meysami, who is being held in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, was taken to Branch 7 of Evin Court on September 3, 2018, where he learned the charges and evidence against him had evolved. Court officials announced that day that he was being charged with “Assembly and collusion to disturb national security,” for– according to the investigator–a campaign Meysami was organizing with Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iranians living abroad. Other charges included “Propaganda against the regime,” brought in relation to a speech Meysami gave at Isfahan University and articles he had published. Meysami also faces the charge of “Propagation of corruption and decadence,” a charge thought to stem from his possession of a pin-back button that reads “I protest mandatory veiling.”

HRANA previously reported on Meysami’s arrest and interrogation ordeal. His interrogators have referred to him as a “Teacher of Civil Disobedience.”

Nine Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran

Posted on: August 29th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In the last few weeks, a number of prisoners across the country have declared hunger strike. HRANA has prepared a bulletin on their cases, previously reported in detail.

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Lawyer and human rights activist

Nasrin Sotoudeh started a hunger strike on August 25th in protest to her arrest and the judicial pressures being placed on her family, relatives, and friends.
She published an open letter outlining her reasons for the strike.

Ramin Hossein Panahi
Political prisoner

Sentenced to death, Ramin Hossein Panahi was recently transferred to Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison and declared hunger strike on August 27th by sewing his lips together. He is protesting his sentence and multiple violations of his legal rights. His lawyers published a statement sharing the reasons behind the strike. According to them, his whereabouts have been unknown since his August 26th transfer out of Rajai Shahr.

Farhad Meysami
Civil rights activist

Farhad Meysami was arrested July 31st by security forces. He started a hunger strike August 1st, protesting his arrest and the constraints being placed on his choice of attorney. He was transferred from Evin’s Quarantine Ward to the General Ward on August 26th, where he is reportedly suffering from low blood pressure and drastic weight loss.

Namegh Deldel
Prisoner of conscience

Sunni prisoner Namegh Deldel from hall 21, Ward 7 of Rajai Shahr Prison has been suffering from an injury to his right leg. In protest of his restricted access to medical care, including the prison’s refusal to transfer him to an outside hospital, he has been on hunger strike for more than a month.

Farhad Ariai (Sahrapeyma)
Political prisoner

Farhad Ariai (Sahrapeyma), a political prisoner in the Workers’ Ward of Urmia Prison, is in the sixth year of his seven-year sentence. Eligible for early release per Article 134 on the serving of concurrent sentences, he declared hunger strike on August 15th when the court refused to review his request thereof. According to a credible source, Ariai was transferred to the quarantine ward immediately after starting his hunger strike.
Ariai also declared hunger strike last year when prison officials denied his request for furlough. In response to that strike, prison staff forcibly handcuffed and transferred him to the Workers’ Ward of the prison, where he remains to this day.

Seyed Ghassem Abasteh
Prisoner of conscience

Seyed Ghassem Abasteh, a Sunni prisoner in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison, started a hunger strike on July 17th to protest his inadequate medical care and the prison’s denial of his access to a clinic. Despite developing asthenia and severe weight loss as of the fifteenth day of his strike, prison authorities continue to ignore his pleas.

His poor health condition has been repeatedly reported on, and in March, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. His condition has deteriorated to the point that he struggles to speak and breathe.

Abasteh is married with two children. He was arrested in early 2010 and sent to solitary confinement in Urmia Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. He spent eight months there before being transferred to Evin Prison, where he spent six months in the solitary cells of wards 240 and 209. After 14 months, he spent another 20 days in Ward 350 of Evin before finally being transferred to Rajai Shahr on April 8, 2012.

He faces charges such as “militant activity”, accused of backing Salafi groups. He denied such involvement, saying the charges are baseless.

He has been awaiting trial since his 2016 prison sentence from Judge Moghiseh was nullified. He has thus far spent eight years in prison without due process.

Saman Rahmani

Saman Rahmani, a prisoner in the Health Ward of Saqez Prison, is on the verge of losing his arms after suffering an injury, yet continues to be denied the rights of furlough and access to a clinic. He started a hunger strike on July 20th in protest.
“Rahmani was to be sent to Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison for care, but prison authorities changed their minds,” a credible source told HRANA.

When authorities promised him medical care earlier this year, he stopped the hunger strike he had started in June for the same reasons.

Farshid Nasseri
Prisoner of conscience

Sunni prisoner Farshid Nasseri of Rajai Shahr started a hunger strike on June 16th to demand his right to furlough. Twenty-eight days later, his condition had severely deteriorated. He suffers from back and neck problems, in addition to psychological issues stemming from his years spent in prison.

Verya Saed Moochashmi

On August 19th, on orders from a Ward chief penalizing their refusal to end their hunger strike, five prisoners from Ward 3 of Rajai Shahr were beaten and sent to solitary confinement. They were reportedly striking to protest issues with their respective legal cases.

HRANA understands these prisoners to be Verya Saed Moochashmi, Hossein Esmaeili, Saeed Moradpour, Mojtaba Kounani, and Alireza Kounani. As of yesterday, August 27, 2018, Moochashmi is the sole among the group to continue the strike.

In 1998, Moochashmi, then 17, was sentenced to death and 80 lashings when he was convicted of aiding and abetting murder. He has so far served 21 years in prison.