Reporter Vahid Ahang Released on Bail

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Vahid Ahang, a reporter jailed pursuant to a complaint filed by the Dishmok municipality, has been released after posting a bail of 50 million tomans [approximately $3,000 USD].

An informed source told HRANA that Ahang was arrested on October 31st and interrogated the same day from eight in the morning until noon. Judge Javad Parhizgar and his secretary were reportedly hostile towards him, refusing to accept Ahang’s bail even after the Dishmok mayor and county governor came forward to withdraw the complaint. Parhizgar was reportedly worn down by several follow-ups from Ahang’s family, the source said.

Ahang’s byline precedes previous reports of mistreatment from visitors to Judge Parhizgar’s office.

Journalist Masoud Kazemi Arrested

Posted on: November 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On the morning of November 5th, Masoud Kazemi, journalist and editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine “Sedaye Parsi,” was arrested in his home by security forces and transferred to an undisclosed location.

Upon inspecting his home at the time of the arrest, agents confiscated some of Kazemi’s personal belongings, including laptops, hard drives, and USB drives.

Close source Shima Tadrisi confirmed the news of Kazemi’s arrest in a short note, writing, “His neighbors said that some people entered his home and then took Masoud away with them.” It was not clear to the neighbors which agency had sent them, she said.

Kazemi tweeted the day before his arrest about corruption in the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. As of the date of this report, no further information was available on his location or the reasons behind his arrest.

Authorities Prevent Folk Author’s Remembrance Gathering for the 3rd Time

Posted on: October 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Shahnaz Darabian’s plans to mark the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death at his resting place in Karaj’s Behesht-e Sakineh cemetery were abruptly derailed by a phone call October 24th, by which Iranian security forces informed her that the ceremony would not be permissible.

The widow and children of late writer Ali Ashraf Darvishian had announced their plans to commemorate his passing on October 23rd of this year.

“Security organs pled ‘anti-regime abuses’ to stop the event from taking place,” a close source told HRANA. “They have said that only family and close relatives of Mr. Darvishian are permitted to visit his grave for an hour. They left the family with no choice but to cancel the ceremony.”

The cancellation marks the third consecutive time that Iranian authorities have obstructed posthumous honors for Darvishian. Just two days after his death in 2017, Iranian authorities canceled a commemoration event planned for October 28th at Elmi Karbordi University. A second attempt to hold a ceremony was halted by security forces December 1, 2017.

Ali Ashraf Darvishian, a writer and scholar of folk literature, died of an illness on October 26, 2017, at the age of 76. He was buried October 30, 2017, in Behesht-e Sakineh cemetery of Karaj.

Ali Ashraf Darvishian

Darvishian published around 30 books, the most influential of which was a 19-volume anthology of Iranian folklore he composed in collaboration with Reza Khandan Mahabadi. One of the oldest members of the Iranian Writers Guild, his honors include the Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Grant, awarded to writers across the world who are struggling against persecution and economic hardship.

Due to his political activity leading up to the Islamic Revolution, Darvishian was fired from his job, prevented from working, and imprisoned between 1970 and 1979.

Other notable Darvishian works include My Favorite Stories, Bisotun, Abshuran, Bread Season, Along with my Father’s Songs, Golden Flower and Red Klash, The Black Cloud of a Thousand Eyes, Our School’s Bulletin, Rangineh, When Will You Be Returning, Dear Brother, and Fire in the Kid’s Library.