Belgian Olivier Vandecasteele Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison and Flogging

Iran’s judiciary announced that the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Belgian Olivier Vandecasteele to 40 years imprisonment and 74 lashes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mizan Online news agency, jailed Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele was sentenced to imprisonment, flogging and paying a fine.

Vandecasteele received 12.5 years for “spying on the Islamic Republic of Iran for foreign intelligence services,” 12.5 years for “collaboration with the USA, as a hostile country against Iran’s regime,” 12.5 years for “money laundering half a million dollars,” as well as forfeiting this money and its revenues, and 2.5 years for “smuggling half million dollars.” He was also sentenced to a one-million-dollar fine and 74 lashes.

Appealing, reportedly, is admissible within 20 days.

At odds with this verdict, on December 14, 2022, quoting Vandecasteele’s family, RTL News reported that he had received 28 years.
Vandecasteele’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Student Soroush Al-Mohammad Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging

The Semnan Court of Appeals recently sentenced Soroush Al-Mohammad to one year in prison, 74 lashes, banned from leaving the country and other social deprivation. Also, he previously received a one-year sentence for another part of his legal case.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Soroush Al-Mohammad, age 23, a student at Kharazmi University, was sentenced to one year and 74 lashes for “disturbing public order through participating in protests.”

Moreover, on November 12, 2022, Al-Mohammad received one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime.”

On September 26, 2022, IRGC’s intelligence agents arrested Al-Mohammad at his home in Semnan. According to an informed source, he was in solitary confinement and interrogated on suspicion of association with oppositional groups outside Iran. Then he was released on 400-million-toman bail.

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, at least 683 students were arrested. At the time of writing, so far, 667 people were convicted over protests. For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.

 

Hojjat Esmatzadeh Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging

Branch 101 of the Criminal Court of Naqadeh County sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist, Hojjat Esmatzadeh to flogging and two and a half years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Azerbaijani Turk activist, Hojjat Esmatzadeh, a resident of Naqadeh, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison and 50 lashes.

According to the verdict issued by Branch 101 of the Criminal Court of Naqadeh, Esmatzadeh has been sentenced to one year imprisonment and 50 lashes on the charge of “disturbing public order” and 18 months in prison for “publishing photos on the Internet.”

On November 24, 2021, Esmatzadeh was summoned to appear at the press office of the Ministry of Intelligence where he was arrested and sent to Naqadeh Prison.

Esmatzadeh has faced other arrests and summons due to his civil activities on prior occasions.

Mohammad Imami Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging

Branch 113 of the criminal court in Tabriz sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist, Mohammad Imami, a resident of Tabriz, to 16 months imprisonment and 40 lashes.

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

Azerbaijani Turk activist, Mohammad Imami was sentenced to 8 months in prison on a charge of “contumacy the government agent’s order”, 8 months in prison on a charge of “disturbing the public order”, and 40 lashes on a charge of “deliberately injuring the police officer”.

On July 24, security forces arrested Imami and transferred him to a detention center at the disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tabriz City. After spending one week in detention, he was released on a bail of 80 million tomans.

It is worth mentioning that on the same day of his arrest, several other citizens in Tabriz were also arrested in regards to the protests and demonstrations of Tabriz citizens in support of the nationwide Khuzestan protests against water mismanagement.

Chia Agha-Beygpour Sentenced to Imprisonment, Fines and Flogging

Recently, the Revolutionary Court of Bukan sentenced Bukan resident Chia Agha-Beygpour to one year and two months in prison, 70 lashes and paying a fine.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Chia Agha-Beygpour was charged with “propaganda against the regime in favour of one of the opposition political parties”. He was denied access to an attorney and phone calls during his detention.

On July 29, 2021, security forces arrested and held him in a detention center at the disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence in Bukan. On September 6, he was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

 

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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.

Citizen Sentenced to Forty Lashes for Stealing Three Packs of Cashews

A board member of Tehran University revealed a lawsuit wherein in recent weeks a criminal court condemned a citizen to 40 lashes, along with other punishments, just for stealing three packs of cashews.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a board member of Tehran University publicized the court order in which a citizen has been convicted to 40 whips.

This verdict stands in blatant violation of the international covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Article 7 prohibits “torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment”.

Despite being a party to the international covenant, Iran’s regime regularly uses inhuman and humiliating punishments like flogging.

Esmail Gerami Sentenced to Imprisonment, Flogging, and Fines

Labor activist Esmail Gerami was sentenced to imprisonment, flogging, and a fine by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC), Gerami has been sentenced to 5 years in prison, 74 lashes, and a fine almost equal to $100 on charges of “gathering and colluding with intent to commit a crime against national security”.

On May 10, the interrogation session of Esmail Gerami’s case was held in the second branch of the Evin interrogation office on charges such as “disturbing public order” and “participating in an illegal gathering”.

Iran is one of the few countries that still uses humiliating punishments, despite the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’ explicit prohibition of the use of inhumane and degrading punishments such as flogging.

The labor activist was arrested on April 10 by security forces and then transferred to the Greater Tehran Prison, where he currently resides.

Two prisoners were flogged publicly in Borazjan

HRANA News Agency – Two civilians have been flogged in public in Borazjan and charged with theft.
According to a report by South News, two prisoners were flogged last Thursday.  The prisoners had been sentenced to 70 lashes and 23 years of prison for robbery in eastern part of the country.
Iranian officials have only identified the prisoners by their first initials, A. M. and I. M.  The  two prisoners were found guilty of robbery and insulting women.