A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 25, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 25th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Imprisoned teacher, Rouhollah Mardani’s health is deteriorating in Evin Prison after 18 days of hunger strike.The charges brought against Mardani were “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.” He sentenced to six years in prison, two-year ban on political and social activities and two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.

(2) Hadi Khyat Mashhadi, a retired teacher and a teachers’ rights activist, was arrested and transferred to an unknown place.

(3) A British-Iranian academic Abbas Edalat, who was arrested and detained in Iran on security charges has returned to the UK. He was attending an academic workshop in Iran on 15 April before he was detained. He works at Imperial College London.

(4) The businesses of six Baha’i citizens, Behrouz, Hosseinali, and Behnam Habibi, Bahador Ahmadi, Kambiz Azadi, and Kourosh Jaberi, have been shut down by judicial authorities for the last 40 days in Abadan and Khoramshahr.

(5) Rajai-Shahr Prison canceled all the inmate transfers to hospital due to a prisoner’s escape en route to a hospital.

(6) Two prisoners, Rouhollah Mardani and Mahmoud Naji, ended their hunger strikes in Evin prison after the prison authorities promised to fulfill their requests.

(7) An appeal court confirmed the 3-year imprisonment of Amir Ali Moradi. He is accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ and ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’.

(8) Hamed Aynehvand, a detained journalist, was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and was denied access to a lawyer for his trial. He is accused of ‘propaganda against the state’.

(9) The appeal court for nine Baha’i citizens was in session today. Afshin Bolbolan, Saham Armin, Milad Davardan, Farhang Sahba, Anoush Rayne, Bahareh Zeini, Fojan Rashidi, Sepideh Rohani, and Ali Sani were sentenced earlier to 48 years in prison, combined.

(10) Hafeez Junaid, a detained Pakistani citizen in Zahedan prison, has ended his hunger strike. He was striking against the unfavorable conditions and the staff violent behaviors in prison.

(11) In 2015, approximately 5 thousand people died in Tehran due to air pollution. Moreover, 9.3 percent of Tehran residents are suffering from diabetes and 50 percent of them, have type two diabetes. In addition, 50 percent of them are suffering from high cholesterol and 30 percent have high triglyceride. One million and 700 thousand people have high blood pressure of which 36.1 percent are aware of their issue. In 2017, more than one thousand and 400 had heart attack due to high blood pressure.

(12) Afsaneh Rezaee, a graduate student of electrical engineering at Shiraz University, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, She is accused of protesting with a banner on which she was requesting her mother’s release.

(13) Sunni prisoners of Rajai-shahr prison wrote a statement to United Nations Human Rights Council about their detention condition, maltreatment, and abuse in prison.

(14) Azad Salehian was sentenced to two years imprisonment on charge of ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’ and ‘propaganda against the state’.

Baha’i Arrests in Iran; 20 and Counting

UPDATE: Hooman Khoshnam was released from prison on bail on October 29, 2018.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Hooman Khoshnam, a Baha’i resident of Karaj, became the sixth Baha’i citizen to be arrested by Ministry of Intelligence security forces in the city on September 25th, 2018.

In addition to arresting him, security forces also sealed the door to Khoshnam’s workplace. Khoshnam’s arrest is the latest in a series intensified persecution of Baha’i citizens, thus far affecting 20 citizens in Karaj, Shiraz, and on the outskirts of Isfahan.

Before Khoshnam’s arrest, Payam Shabani, another Baha’i resident of Karaj, was arrested by security forces only one day earlier on September 24th. HRANA also reported on the arrest and transfer to Evin Prison of four other Baha’i Karaj residents on September 16th: Peyman Maanavi, Maryam Ghaffaramanesh, Jamileh Pakrou, and Kianoush Salmanzadeh.

A close source told HRANA that “Maryam Ghaffarmanesh, Jamileh Pakrou, and Kianoush Salmanzadeh – participants in an environmental education session led by Ghaffarmanesh and hosted in the private residence of Ramin Sedghi – were arrested when intelligence agents showed up demanding their cell phones and pressing them to fill out personal information forms.”

The source said that after the search of Sedghi’s personal property, including his hard drive, pamphlets, and religious materials, agents moved on to search Pakrou’s residence. Ghaffarmanesh, Pakrou, and Salmanzadeh were then transferred to Evin Prison. Ghaffarmanesh’s family learned of her bail some 20 hours later, on a call with her from ward 209 of the prison.

HRANA reported on the arrest of six Baha’i Shiraz residents on September 15th and 16th: Sudabeh Haghighat, Noora Pourmoradian, Elaheh Samizadeh, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahvafa, and married couple Navid Bazmandegan and Bahareh Ghaderi.

HRANA also covered the arrests of eight Baha’i residents of Baharestan, a newly-built city about 18 miles south of Isfahan, on September 23rd and 24th. The detainees were Saham Armin, Afshin Bolbolan, Anush Rayneh, Milad Davardan, Farhang Sahba, Bahareh Zeini (Sobhanian), Sepideh Rouhani and Fuzhan Rashidi.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s Constitution, however, only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Seven Baha’is Arrested in Isfahan Province

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – At least seven Baha’is were arrested by plainclothes forces Sunday morning and taken from Baharestan, Isfahan province to an undisclosed location. Baharestan is situated 12 miles southeast of Isfahan on the route to Shiraz.

HRANA has identified the arrestees as Afshin Bolbolan, Anoosh Rayeneh, Milad Davardan, Farhang Sahba, Bahareh Zini, Sepideh Rohani, and Fojan Rashidi.

A close source said that Bolbolan’s house was searched upon his arrest and that authorities seized some of his personal belongings, including books, a laptop, a tablet, and a mobile phone.

Bolbolan, Rayeneh, Davardan, Sahba, Zini, Rohani, and Rashidi join the numerous Baha’i citizens who have been arrested for unclear reasons in recent weeks.