Thirteen Gonabadi Dervishes Released From Great Tehran Penitentiary

Posted on: November 17th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Thirteen Gobanadi Dervishes walked free from Great Tehran Penitentiary Tuesday, November 13th after finishing their prison terms.

The group were among a larger cohort arrested and sentenced in Tehran Revolutionary Court for their participation in the Golestan Haftom incident in February of last year.

The freed prisoners were identified as Armin Abolfattahi, Mostafa Zaman, Nourali Mousavi, Hojjat Zamani, Ebrahim Rezaie, Hashem Avazeh, Alborz Rostami, Mohammad Ghanadzadeh, Ali Ghanazadeh, Shahab Bakhshian, Majid Shayegh, and Hossein Haj Mohammadi.

Verdict Bulletin on 202 Gonabadi Dervishes

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Since coming to the defense of their spiritual leader in what came to be known as the “Golestan Haftom” incident, the Gonabadi Dervish religious minority has faced unprecedented pressure from Iranian authorities.

Around midnight on February 3, 2018, several hundred Gonabadi Dervishes gathered before the home of their spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh, in a gesture of protection against heightened security monitoring of his activities (security forces had aggressively intervened in Dervish gatherings in the same spot less than two weeks earlier). Their February 3rd demonstration — on Golestan-e Haftom street in Tehran, hence the incident’s name — would fare no better and was soon violently disbanded by Iranian police and plainclothes forces of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij faction.

While Iranian judiciary authorities and law enforcement initially announced that they had detained about 300 citizens in connection to Golestan Haftom, HRANA was able to confirm the identities of 382 arrestees. Among them were 11 women who were transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin after their arrests: Nazila Nouri, Shima Entesari, Sima Entesari, Sedigheh Safabakht, Shokofeh Yadollahi, Sepideh Moradi, Elham Ahmadi, Maryam Afrasiabi, Avisha Jalaledin, Masoumeh Barakoohi, and Shahnaz Kian Asl.

HRANA was able to obtain the verdicts of 202 of these detainees, as well as details on those who were brutalized by the Judiciary. 201 people were sentenced to prison terms, lashings, travel bans, exile sentences, and long-term bans on civic activity. Two more, Mohammad Raji and Mohammad Salas, were killed for their participation in Golestan Haftom.

On the night of March 3rd, police had contacted Mohammad Raji’s family, asking them to bring his photo and identifying documents. The next morning, police at Shapoor Criminal Investigation Department Base 10 told the family that Raji was in a coma. A few hours later, police followed up by phone to say he had died. Upon their arrival at the police station, officers announced his cause of death: he had been beaten to death by interrogators.

Mohammad Salas was accused of driving a bus that allegedly struck and killed three police officers on Pasdaran Street in Tehran. He exhausted all avenues of appealing his death sentence without success, and was executed in the morning of Monday, August 20, 2018 — though Salas’ children and his spouse Zaynab Taheri attest that he could not have been the driver of the bus, as he was already in custody three hours prior to the crash.

Tehran General Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced July 24th that 330 sentences had thus far been handed down in Dervish cases. He added: “In the cases of those 25 who refused to attend their court sessions in attempts to thwart trial proceedings, the court […] followed through with procedure. Their verdicts were delivered to them in person.”

Dervishes’ Rights Activists in Great Tehran Penitentiary penned an open letter to the prison’s director refusing to attend a trial that lacked transparency.

At least five of the convicted Dervishes currently detained in Great Tehran Penitentiary are former administrators and collaborators of the Majzooban-e-noor Dervish news site: Mostafa Abdi, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Saleh Moradi, Reza Entesari, and Sina Entesari.

Some Dervish prisoners who have been assaulted by authorities were denied medical care for their injuries and reported hostile and discriminatory treatment from authorities.

Prison regulations and conventions on prisoners’ rights stipulate that prisoners, as a safety precaution, be housed separately according to their crimes and beliefs. Authorities at Gharchak Prison and Great Tehran Penitentiary, however, house Dervishes [political prisoners] in a general ward alongside common criminals.

Below are the identities and convictions of 202 Golestan Dervishes:

1. Mohammad Yavar Salas, executed.
2. Mostafa Abdi, Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, sentenced to 26 years and 3 months in prison, 148 lashings, a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel, and a 2-year exile sentence to Sistan & Sistan & Baluchestan Province.
3. Mehdi Mahdavifar and 4. Mostafa Mirmohammadi, each sentenced to 13 years and 6 months in prison, 144 lashings, a 2-year travel ban, and a 2-year exile sentence to Sistan & Baluchestan Province. Mahdavifar was also sentenced to a 2-year ban on civic activities.
5. Reza Rezai, sentenced to 13 years in prison, 148 lashings, and a 2-year exile sentence to Mirjaveh (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).
6. Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Majzooban-e-Noor journalist, sentenced to 12 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year travel ban, a 2-year exile to Borazjan (Bushehr Province), and a 2-year ban on civic activities.
7. Vahid Khamooshi, sentenced to 12 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Rayen (Kerman Province).
8. Bashir Riahi Ghaletaki, sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison, 148 lashings, a 2-year exile to Khash (Sistan & Baluchestan Province)[3] and a 2-year ban on civic activities.
9. Faramarz Mangari, sentenced to 10 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile sentence to Roudbar (Kerman Province).
10. Reza Yavari, sentenced to 9 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile to Taybad (Razavi Khorasan Province).

Sentenced to 7 years in prison and 74 lashings (plus a 2-year exile sentence for detainees No. 11 to 32):

11. Manouchehr Kokabi 12. Mansoor Farhoodmand 13. Moslem Norouzi 14. Morteza Shokri 15. Mahmood Barakoohi 16. Mohammad Karimaei 17. Mohammad Reza Darvishi 18. Alireza Lak 19. Alireza Azadravesh, 20. Ali Karimi 21. Ali Ghamari 22. Siamak Sohrabi 23. Saeed Soltanpour 24. Heydar Teymouri 25. Habib Ghanbari 26. Babak Moradi 27. Iraj Madhi 28. Ehsan Malekmohammadi 29. Ehsan Saffari 30. Rasoul Hoveyda 31. Mehrdad Rezai 32. Ramin Eshkoh 33. Mostafa Rahsepar 34. Masoud Alimadadi 35. Mohammad Reza Zehtab 36. Mohammad Reza Abolfathi 37. Mohammad Asad Zamani 38. Majid Rashidi 39. Majid AmirAhmadi 40. Hamid Reza AmirAhmadi 41. Jahangir Haghani 42. Armin Abolfathi 43. Arman Abolfathi 44. Amir Seyedi 45. Amir Salimi Chegini 46. Afshin Salimi Chegini 47. Abolfazl Babahosseini 48. Ebrahim Allahbakhshi Hafshejani 49. Nemat Kazemi 50. Saeed Khamooshi.

Sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year ban on civic activities:

51. Morteza Bidchi Kangarloo 52. Mahmoud Baghyar 53. Mohammad Samadyar (Kangarloo was also sentenced to a 2-year exile in Sarbisheh, South Khorasan Province).

Sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel:

54. Morteza Sohrabpour 55. Sajjad Razmi 56. Reza Nematollahi 57. Hassan Abbasi 58. Hassan Shahreza 59. Hesam Moeini 60. Amin Soleymani 61. Mohsen Norouzi

62. Majid Moradi, sentenced to 7 years in prison and 75 lashings.

63. Ali Bahadori, sentenced to 7 years in prison, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile to Mirjaveh.
64. Abdollah Esmaeili, sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

65. Samad Dadras and 66. Saleh Kamali Dehkordi were sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year travel ban.

67. Khashayar Dehghan, a Ph.D. candidate in Electronics at Tehran University, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year in exile to Borazjan.

68. Saeed Karimaei and 69. Sekhavat Salimi, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year in exile, Karimaei to Nehbandan (South Khorasan Province) and Salimi to Nikshahr (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).

70. Saeed Doorandish 71. Saeed Sigarchi 72. Ahmad Barakouhi 73. Mojtaba Beiranvand 74. Behnoud Pour Rostami 75. Moghimi 76. Ahmad Iranikhah 77. Mohsen Abolhassani

The above were all sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year exile sentence, Doorandish to Zabol (Sistan & Baluchestan Province), Sigarchi, Barakouhi, Beiranvand, and Pour Rostami to Sistan & Baluchestan Province, Moghimi to Zahak village (Sistan & Baluchestan Province) and Iranikhah and Abolhassani to Borazjan.

78. Rostam Sagvand 79. Behrouz Sadeghi Oliyaei and 80. Ardeshir Ashayeri, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile, Sagvand to Nehbandan and Sadeghi, Oliyaei, and Ashayeri to Saravan (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).

81. Akbar Beiranvand, sentenced to 7 years in prison, a 2-year ban on civic activities and a 2-year in exile in Zahak.

82. Abolfazl Sahraei, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile to Sarbisheh (South Khorasan Province).

83. Saleh Moradi, a Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year in exile to Borazjan.

84. Reza Entesari and 85. Sina Entesari, Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year exile and 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.

Each sentenced to 7 years in prison:

86. Younes Lak 87. Nima Azizi Tazangi 88. Nader Beiranvand 89. Mehran Asgharzadeh, 90. Mehdi Bakhtiari 91. Mostafa Armandoost 92. Masoud Marzoughi 93. Morteza Ghaderi Samani 94. Mohammad Reza Babazadeh Shayan 95. Mohammad Reza Rooein Esfandiari 96. Mohsen Ashtiani 97. Majid Karimi 98. Ghasem Hassanloo 99. Farhad Naeimi 100. Gholam Abbas Avazeh 101. Gholam Abbasi 102. Ali Asghar Shariat 103. Mohammad Reza Heidari 104. Reza Bavi 105. Hamid Amir Ahmadi 106. Bijan Soltani 107. Babak Taghian 108. Arash Moradi 109. Amir Astaraki 110. Omid Moghaddasi 111. Asghar Mohammadi 112. Gholam Abbas Hajatinia

113. Maryam Farsyabi and 114. Mehdi Eskandari, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 2-year travel ban.

115. Farhang Bouzari Kharrazi and 116. Amir Nouri, each sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year travel ban.

117. Hossein Soleymani and 118. Asghar Ebrahimi Magham, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

119. Amin Hosseini and 120. Akbar Dadashi, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and 74 lashings.

121. Abolfazl Avazeh, sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile to Mirjaveh.

Each sentenced to 6 years in prison:

122. Farham Farhang Kermani 123. Seyed Mehdi Fateminasab 124. Reza Farashi 125. Seyed Hossein Hashemi 126. Habib Gallehdari

127. Elham Ahmadi and 128. Sepideh Moradi, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.

129. Mehdi Izadpanah and 130. Ali Barian, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Sirjan (Kerman Province).

131. Hossein Arang 132. Shokoufeh Yadollahi 133. Seddigheh Safabakht, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

Each sentenced to 5 years in prison:

134. Nazila Nouri 135. Shima Entesari 136. Sima Entesari 137. Avisha Jalaleddin 138. Ali Mashallah Vafaei Fard 139. Shahab Bakhshian 140. Mohammad Dalvand 141. Hossein Arab Ameli 142. Asghar Samadyar.

Each sentenced to 3 years in prison:

143. Amir Bahador Jafari 144. Ghasem Zamani 145. Mohsen Azizi 146. Meysam Azizan

147. Mehrdad Eini, sentenced to 2 years in prison and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.
148. Hamid Ashayeri, sentenced to 2 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Sistan & Baluchestan Province.

Each sentenced to 2 years in prison:

149. Esmaeil Norouzi 150. Ashkan Kazemi 151.Elyas Mohammadi 152. Omid Mahdavi 153. Seyed Jalaloddin Ghaznavi Bidgoli 154. Pouria Nouri 155. Hossein Jashn 156. Hossein Haj Mohammadi 157. Sajjad Baradaran 158. Abbas Beraghmadi 159. Ali Afshar Asli 160. Ali Bolboli 161. Ali Rashno 162. Ali Asghar Salari 163. Ali Reza Siasi 164. Kamaran Bahadori 165. Malek Rezaei 166. Mohammad Amir Ahmadi 167. Mohammad Alamdoost 168. Mohammad Ghasem Allahyari 169. Mousa Fazlipour.

170. Kasra Nouri, an M.S. student in Human Rights at Tehran University, sentenced to 1 year in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel, and a 2-year exile to Salas Babajani (Kermanshah Province).

171. Ali Ghannadzadeh, sentenced to 1 year and 4 months in prison.

Each sentenced to 1 year in prison:

172. Yaser Soleymani 173. Ebrahim Rezaei 174. Alborz Rostami 175. Hossein Kalhori 176. Ali Mohammad Shahi 177. Kia Nejad Hosseini 178. Majid Shaegh 179. Mohsen Parvin 180. Mohammad Nezam Eslami 181. Moslem Rezaei 182. Mehdi Imanzadeh 183. Mehdi Sadat 184. Ahmad Nabaei 185. Hashem Avazeh.

Each sentenced to 6 months in prison:

186. Nima Alieh 187. Mahmoud Taghpour 188. Ahmad Daraei 189. Esameil Abedini 190. Jamal Tehrani 191. Hossein Karimi 192. Shahram Shokri 193. Ali Karami 194. Emad Goodarzi 195. Farshad Sepahvand 196. Mostafa Mirzaei 197. Mehdi Moghaddam Alavian 198. Mehdi Nazari 199. Nader Yavari 200. Nourali Moghimi

201. Mostafa Beiranvand, sentenced to 4 months in prison.
202. Mohammad Ali Raji, sentenced to 91 days in prison.

Listed below are the identities of 180 Dervishes whose verdicts have yet to be confirmed:

1. Ebrahim Mohammadi 2.Abolfazl Salari 3. Abolghasem Nasiri Bafghi 4. Ehsan Alavi Badalchi 5.Ahmadreza Talebi 6. Esmaeil Samadyar 7. Asghar Ganji Panahi 8. Alborz Eskandari Sabzi 9. Omid Zamiri 10. Omid Ghasemi 11. Omid Hivadi 12. Amir Bahador Seifi 13. Amir Hossein Shaaban 14. Amir Labbaf 15. Amir Mousavian 16. Amin Hosseinpour 17. Amir Ramezani Sheshdeh 18. Amin Sarrafi 19. Ayoub Asadi 20. Aghabak Zamanipour 21. Borzou Dolatshahi 22. Borzou Mousavizadeh 23. Bahman Boloor 24. Bahman Azizi 25.Pouya Ayazi 26. Payam Noor 27.Peyman Rasouli 28. Taghi Moradi 29. Jafar Ahmadi 30. Jafar Roustaei Dareh Mianeh 31. Jafar Sohrabi 32. Jalal Modarresi 33. Jamshid Asgarian 34. Javad Khamis Abadi 35. Habibollah Rahdar 36. Hojattollah Zamani 37. Hassan Barghamdi 38. Hassan Parvin 39. Hassan Dehghani 40. Hassan Feizi Zadeh 41. Hossein Biranvand 42. Hossein Rezaei 43. Hossein Abedi 44.Hossein Asgari 45.Hossein Forootan 46.Hossein Fahimi 47.Hossein Ghadrkhani 48.Hamzeh Pourahmadi 49.Hamid Ansari Ramandi 50.Hamid Mohammadpour 51.Hamid Neemat Tavoosi 52.Heidar Esparjani 53.Ramin Yavari 54.Rahim Ebrahim Pourahmadi 55.Reza Parhizkar 56. Reza Soori 57.Rouhollah Nasiri 58.Sajjad Amir Ahmadi 59.Sajjad Kazemi 60.Saeed Zoghi 61. Saeed Ramezani Sheshdeh 62.Saeed Zangeneh 63.Saeed Sohrabi 64.Saeed Arab Halvaei 65. Saeed Kakavand 66.Saeed Goodarzi 67.Saeed Morad 68.Saeed Noroozi 69.Soleyman Rafighpour 70.Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi 71.Seyyed Amin Seyyedi 72.Yousef Esfehani 73.Seyyed Ali Mokabberi 74.Seyyed Mehdi Ashiani 75. Seyyed Milad Sadat Ardestani 76.Seyyed Noorali Mousavi 77. Seyyed Yousef Raeeszadeh 78.Shoaib Esmaeili 79.Shahb Akbari 80.Shahnaz Kian Asl 81.Sadegh Gheisari 82.Solat Hosseini 83.Abbas Amani Ali Abadi 84.Abbas Dehghan 85.Abbas Ghiasi 86.Abbas Valinia 87.Abdolsamad Kashefi 88.Ezzatollah Lotfalian 89.Ali Asghar Aramiyon 90.Ali Asghar Farrokhi 91.Ali Asghar Yekkeh Shenas 92.Ali Afshari 93.Ali Akbar Ataei 94.Ali Jamshidi 95.Ali Soltani Azad 96.Ali Suri 97. Ali Sadeghi 98.Ali Abidavi 99.Ali Kandi 100.Ali Mazyar 101. Ali Nezhad Sahebi 102.Ali Nashtoor 103.Ali Vafaei 104.Alireza Jahedi Darvish 105.Alireza Sayyah 106.Alireza Shakouri 107.Alireza Ghasemi 108.Ghaffar Fereydooni 109.Gholamreza Khani 110.Farzad Kazemi 111.Farhad Biranvand 112.Farhad Arab 113.Farhad Feizzadeh 114.Farhad Kavand 115.Fariborz Hemmati Diarjam 116.Firooz Rostami 117.Ghasem Pourali 118.Keramat Jeddi 119.Kourosh Alishahi 120.Kianoush Biranvand 121. Kianoush Abbasi 122.Mojtaba Shokri 123.Majid Zamiri 124.Mohsen Afrooz 125.Mohammad Asad Samani 126.Mohammad Bagher Moghimi 127.Mohammad Barakoohi 128.Mohammad Parhizkar 129.Mohammad Panahi Ghale Taki 130.Mohammad Hassan Edris Abadi 131.Mohammad Hassan Heydari 132.Mohammad Hossein Abolfathi 133.Mohammad Hossein Amir Ahmadi 134.Mohammad Davoodi 135.Yousef Sedigh Maram 136.Mohammad Raji 137.Mohammad Rajaei 138.Mohammad Reza Rajaei 139.Mohammad Sedighi 140.Mohammad Ali Ghannadzadeh 141. Mohammad Kamarei 142.Mohammad Medi Alie 143.Mohammad Nematollahi 144.Younes Ezzati 145.Mohammadreza Talebi 146.Mohammad Ali Karami Abad Shapoori 147.Mahmoud Farrokhi SaadAbadi 148.Morad Bagheri Heydari 149.Morteza Amin Zadeh 150.Masoud Siroosian 151.Moslem Bani Hashem 152.Mostafa Shirazian 153.Mazaher Pourahmadi 154.Mazaher Heydari 155.Masoumeh Barakoohi 156.Mehdi Mahdilou 157.Moein Pourrezagholi 158.Mansour Tabasi 159.Mansour Fouladi 160.Mehdi Razghandi 161. Mehdi Rouhbakhsh 162.Mehdi Fakhrolsadat 163.Mehdi Keivanlou 164.Mehdi Mardani 165.Mehdi Mofidi 166.Mehdi Nematollahi 167.Mehrdad Pirfalak 168.Mehrdad Shirazi 169.Mehrdad Goodarzi 170.Mehrdad Mosavvari 171.MirSadegh Hosseini 172.Milad Ostovarnavan 173.Milad Kakavand Nejad 174.Naser Fouladi 175.Hadi Asgharzadeh 176.Hadi Jangjoo 177.Hadi Dehnavi 178.Hadi Shahreza Gamasaei 179.Homayoun Dolatshahi 180.Yaser Akbari Aalam

In Solidarity with Fellow Gonabadi Dervish Prisoners, Reza Sigarchi Forgoes Food, Medicine

Posted on: October 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In an act of protest, Reza Sigarchi, a Great Tehran Penitentiary prisoner of conscience and member of the * Gonabadi Dervish religious minority, announced Saturday, October 20th that he will be abstaining from both food and medicine.

Sigarchi’s strike is a demonstration of support for his fellow downtrodden Dervishes, according to Majzooban Noor, a website covering Dervish community news. He will reportedly not eat or ingest medicine until the following demands are met: lift the house arrest order on Dervish leader Noor Ali Tabandeh; release female Dervish prisoners; reunite separated Dervish prisoners into the same Ward; return Abbas Dehghan to Great Tehran Penitentiary.

Sigarchi, who suffers from heart disease, was hospitalized last week in Imam Khomeini Hospital where he underwent an angiography.

Five other Dervish prisoners in Great Tehran Penitentiary — Salehodin Moradi, Mojtaba Biranvand, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Saeed Soltanpour, and Ali Mohammad Shahi — have been on hunger strike since a violent raid on their sit-in by prison guards on August 29th.

Hunger-striking Dervish Abbas Dehghan still hasn’t eaten since September 2nd. Dehghan reportedly spent one hour in Great Tehran Penitentiary post-trial before being transferred to Ward 2A of Evin Prison, under IRGC jurisdiction, where he has remained since.

All of the aforementioned prisoners were arrested amid the “Golestan Haftom” incident in February 2018, where Iranian police and plainclothes members of the IRGC’s Basij faction confronted hundreds of Gonabadi Dervishes who had rallied outside the home of their spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh. The Dervish demonstrators sought to prevent the possible detainment of Tabandeh, who has reportedly been placed under extended house arrest by Iranian authorities.

Hundreds of Dervishes were beaten, wounded, and arrested during the Golestan Haftom incident. A similar attack occurred on January 24th after an intervention from security forces on the same street, heightening the sense of fear within the Dervish community.

Though Iranian judicial authorities estimate that around 300 people have been arrested in connection with Golestan Haftom, HRANA has thus far published the names of 324 arrestees and estimates that the actual number is considerably higher.

* There are various divisions among Dervishes in Iran. In this report, the term “Dervish” refers to Nematollahi Gonabadis, who declare themselves as followers of Twelver Shi’ism, Iran’s official state religion.

18 Dervishes starving to death; prison warden says “So what?”

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In the past month alone, eighteen hunger striking Gonabadi Dervish prisoners in Iran have been beaten with batons, tased, and electrically shocked – and now, the prison’s warden has outwardly stated that it is not his concern if they die.

The prisoners were first beaten by prison guards at Great Tehran Penitentiary on August 29th, after they held a sit-in to protest the beating of female members of their religious minority in Gharchak Prison in Tehran’s east. After guards violently broke up the sit-in, 18 Dervishes were transferred to solitary confinement, and all 18 went on hunger strike in protest. To date, they have not had a single meal, or any food at all, in more than 30 days.

When some of their fellow cellmates expressed concerns about the physical conditions of some of the hunger strikers, the prison’s warden, known only as Farzadi, responded thusly: “So what if they die?”

According to Majzooban Noor, a news website that focuses on Dervish issues, the hunger strikers are suffering from vertigo and reduced blood pressure. Specifically, the physical condition of Mojtaba Biranvand has been described as critical. He had previously been sent to a clinic due to severe physical weakness. Refusing to break his hunger strike, he has rejected supplemental injections.

Abbas Dehghan, another hunger striker held in the same penitentiary, has only one kidney and is greatly suffering from the toll the strike has taken on him.

The August 29th attack targeted Dervishes in ward 3 of the prison. Eighteen Dervishes from Section 4 who protested the treatment of their fellow prisoners were also sent to solitary.

Previously, on September 1st, HRANA reported that three Dervishes had gone on hunger strike: Ali Bolboli, Salehodin Moradi and Mohammad Reza Darvishi. On September 2nd, Majzooban Noor added six more hunger strikers to the list: Abbas Dehghan, Ali Mohammad Shahi, Mojtaba Biranvand, Ali Karimi, Jafar Ahmadi, and Ebrahim Allahbakhshi, On Monday, three more people joined them: Heydar Teymoori, Majid Yarahmadi, and Saeed Soltanoor. On Tuesday, five more dervishes joined the hunger strike: Babak Taghian, Ehsan Malekmohammadi, Sekhavat Salimi, Reza Bavi and Akbar Dadashi. The last Dervish to join was Majid Rashidi.

The Dervishes demand the end to the house arrest of their spiritual leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh. Their other demands include releasing female dervish prisoners from Gharchak Prison and reuniting all imprisoned dervishes in one single section of the GTP.

All of the Dervishes were arrested in relation to what has become known as the Golestan Haftom incident, named after the street on which it occurred. The incident occurred when a gathering of several hundred Gonabadi Dervishes was violently confronted by Iranian police and plainclothes members of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij faction outside the residence of their spiritual leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh. The Dervishes had gathered to prevent his possible arrest.

In the violence that followed, hundreds were injured and many arrested. Though Iranian judicial authorities estimate that around 300 people have been arrested in connection with Golestan Haftom, HRANA has thus far published the names of 324 arrestees and estimates that the actual number is considerably higher.qqqgonabado

Forty Days Later, Whereabouts of Imprisoned Dervish Amin Alizadeh Still Unknown

Posted on: September 12th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The family of Amin Alizadeh–a member of Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish religious minority who was arrested in Tehran on June 29th with fellow Dervish Jalal Mousavi–has now been in the dark about his whereabouts for 40 days.

Alizadeh and Mousavi were arrested amid the “Golestan Haftom” incident in February 2018. The incident, named after the street in Tehran on which it took place, broke out when a gathering of several hundred *Gonabadi Dervishes were violently confronted by Iranian police and plainclothes members of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij faction outside the residence of their spiritual leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh.

The Dervish community had rallied outside Tabandeh’s residence to prevent his possible detainment, as he has reportedly been placed under extended house arrest by Iranian authorities.

Hundreds of Dervishes were beaten, wounded, and arrested during the Golestan Haftom incident. A similar attack occurred on January 24th after an intervention from security forces on the same street, heightening the sense of fear within the Dervish community.

After their arrests in June, Alizadeh and Mousavi were transferred to Ilam Prison in Iran’s Kurdish region, located over 400 miles west of Tehran. According to Ilam Prison authorities, Alizadeh was later transferred to Damavand Prison, closer to Tehran. Damavand judicial authorities, however, have not allowed any visits or contact between Alizadeh and his family.

Though Iranian judicial authorities estimate that around 300 people have been arrested in connection with Golestan Haftom, HRANA has thus far published the names of 324 arrestees and estimates that the actual number is considerably higher.

* There are various divisions among Dervishes in Iran. In this report, the term “Dervish” refers to Nematollahi Gonabadis, who declare themselves as followers of Twelver Shi’ism, Iran’s official state religion.

Dervish Hunger Striker Transferred to Prison Clinic

Posted on: September 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mojtaba Biranvand, a Dervish prisoner who went on hunger strike after being attacked by prison officials in the Great Tehran Penitentiary, was transferred to the prison’s clinic on September 7, 2018, after experiencing a steep drop in blood pressure.

Steadfast to the terms of his hunger strike, Biranvand has declined both intravenous treatment and transfer to an outside hospital. He was moved to declare a hunger strike after he and his comrades were violently raided by prison guards during a sit-in protest and transferred to solitary confinement cells. HRANA previously published an open letter from the Dervish prisoners outlining their terms of protest.

As punishment for his participation in protests against the restrictive measures imposed on Gonabadi Dervish spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh, Biranvand was previously sentenced to seven years in prison and two years in exile, to be served in the southeastern province of Sistan & Baluchestan.

Summary Report: Recent Arrests, Imprisonment and Executions

Posted on: August 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A summary report on the most recent news of arrests, imprisonment, and executions in Iran from the the last week of July 2018 to August 7, 2018.

Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi Released from Tabriz Prison

Iraj Mohammadi (left) and Mohammad Amin Agoushi (right)

Political prisoners Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi were released from Tabriz Prison on Sunday, August 5, 2018, following the end of their judicial sentence. In September 2007, Mr Mohammadi and Mr Amin Agoushi were sentenced to a 10-year prison exile term each on the charge of “Acting against national security”.

Last week, HRANA reported on a hunger strike launched by Iraj Mohammadi in objection to the Iranian authorities preventing his release from prison despite reaching the end of his conviction.

Iranian authorities arrested Mohammad Amin Agoushi on September 23, 2007, on the charges of “Espionage” and “Cooperation with Iraqi Kurdistan”. In May 2008, branch 2 of the military court in Urmia charged him with “Moharebeh” (enmity against God) and transferred him to Urmia’s central prison. Four months later, Judge Hafiz Ghaffari sentenced him to death by a firing squad.

In 2010 the retrial request was approved and the case was sent to branch 31 of Iran’s Supreme Court where the sentence was reduced to ten years in prison exile. Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi were transferred to Tabriz Prison from Zahedan in March.

In February 2017 Iraj Mohammadi explained some points in an open letter about rejecting his request for amnesty. Mr Mohammadi emphasized that the mentioned reasons were false, stating that he suffered from nervous and mental illnesses as a result of being held in solitary confinement for eight months and tortured at the onset of his arrest.

Sunni Prisoner Yasser Sharafipour Suffers from Medical Neglect

On Friday, August 3, 2018, the chest, abdomen and back of Yaser Sharafipoor, a Sunni prisoner in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison, was burned with hot water.

An informed source told HRANA: “The burn was so severe that he had difficulty breathing. Prison authorities transferred him to the clinic but they only used burn ointment and returned him to the ward. When the prisoner protested, they sent him to the hospital with handcuffs and shackles. Despite the recommendation of the doctors to hospitalize him, he was returned to the prison.

Arraignment of Kamal Abdollahi in Urmia Court

Kamal Abdollahi, a citizen from Piranshahr who is held in Urmia’s central prison, was charged with “Acting against national security” by branch 6 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. No information was given to Mr Abdollahi regarding the reason for the charge.

Iranian authorities arrested Mr Abdollahi on May 5, 2018, and held him for three months in a detention center operated by the Ministry of Intelligence in Urmia.

Five members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Arrested

On the morning of August 5, 2018, drivers of the United Bus Company of Tehran went to the company’s offices to track their housing situation in connection with issues such as the lack of delivery of housing to members despite paying all the agreed amounts in the contract. When they arrived, they were not allowed to enter, which sparked a protest that was cracked down by police forces. During the crackdown, five members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested. The individuals are Hassan Saeedi, Davood Razavi, Atta Babakhani, Ali Ghorbanian and an unidentified person.

A close source tells HRANA: “Their detention was a result of a request by Mr Sanandaji, the President of the company. Members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company gathered in front of branch 4 of Tehran’s security offices to support their detained colleagues until their release.”

The five workers were reportedly released hours after they were detained.

Intelligence Agents Arrest Young Man from Zarabad

According to HRANA’s sources and the Baloch Activists Campaign, a 35-year-old man by the name of Abdul Latif Miran Zehi was arrested by Intelligence agents on August 2, 2018, and transferred to Chabahar Prison.

An informed source said: “Abdul Latif Miran Zehi was getting his hair cut at a salon in Zarabad when he was arrested, handcuffed and taken by Intelligence agents who did not present an arrest warrant.”

No information about the reason for his arrest is available at this time and Mr Miran Zehi’s family is unaware of his condition following his arrest.

On May 25, 2018, a 23-year-old man by the name of Abdul Ghani Miran Zehi was arrested by Intelligence agents.

Gonabadi Dervish Maryam Farsiyabi Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

According to close sources and the Sufi news website Majzooban-e Noor, Maryam Farsiyabi, a Gonabadi Dervish, who is detained in Charchak Prison in Varamin, was sentenced to six months in prison and a two-year travel ban by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Ms Farsiyabi was arrested on February 20, 2018, during the “Golestan 7th Avenue Event” which she attended with her husband, Mohammad Karimayee, and hundreds of other Gonabadi Dervishes.

Ms Farsiyabi was beaten by Iranian authorities to the point that she suffered from a fracture to her hand and her jaw was dislocated.

Mr Karimayee was recently sentenced to seven years in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Maryam Farsiyabi, along with other women Dervish prisoners, launched a hunger strike on June 15, 2018, in protest of a violent attack by the guards. They ended their hunger strike on June 30, 2018.

Mohammad Mozaffari lashed 74 times in Evin Prison

The 74 lashings sentence for Mohammad Mozaffari was reportedly carried out in Evin Prison on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Mr Mozaffari is a political activist who was sentenced to two years in prison, 74 lashes and a 20,000,000 Rial [approximately $200 USD] fine on the charge of “Propaganda against the regime”. The sentence was issued by Abolqasem Salavati, a judge in branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

On June 18, 2018, Mohammad Mozaffari was sent to Evin Prison to serve his two-year sentence.

Mr Mozaffari’s lawyers objected to his judicial sentence and the case was referred to the appeals court. Mr Mozaffari’s sentence was upheld by branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court.

Four prisoners were executed in Minab and Bandar Abbas

Iranian official sources have reported on the execution of three prisoners in Minab Prison on rape charges. The executions were reportedly carried out on the morning of Wednesday, August 8, 2018. According to an Iranian state-run news agency, the unidentified prisoners were accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in 2016 in the city of Minab.

Minab is one of the eastern cities of the Hormozgan province in southern Iran.

Prisoner at Bandar Abbas Central Prison Executed

On the morning of Tuesday, August 7, 2018, a prisoner convicted of “Murder” was reportedly executed in Bandar Abbas’s central prison. The prisoner, who has been identified as 46-year-old Amir Ali Kolivand, was arrested in June 2014.

Mr Kolivand was transferred from Haji Abad Prison to Bandar Abbas’s central prison on Monday, August 6. Haji Abad is the northernmost city of the Hormozgan province and is located near the Kerman province.

Regarding Mr Kolivand’s case, an informed told HRANA: “Amir Ali Kolivand was also charged with trafficking 5 kilograms of crystal meth, but he was executed on the charge of killing a bus driver.”

Mr Kolivand’s execution has not been announced by Iranian official sources.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran, in proportion to population per capita and executions, ranks first in the world in executions.

An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are considered “secret executions”.

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018), at least 322 citizens were executed and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these, there was the execution of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.

Baha’i Citizen in Yazd Arrested

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi, a Bahai citizen, was arrested without a warrant by security forces on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in the city of Yazd (conservative religious capital of the Yazd province).

A close source confirmed the news and told HRANA: “At noon, security forces arrested Mehran Bandi Amirabadi at his workplace.”

Mr Amirabadi was tried with six other Bahai citizens in branch 3 of the Yazd Appeals Court. Mr Amirabadi was sentenced to one and a half years in prison and one year in exile in Divandareh (a remote city in the Kurdistan province).

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 the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice either individually, in public or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. However, Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and denies recognizing the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Political Activist Mokhtar Zarei Temporarily Released from Prison

According to close sources and the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, political prisoner Mokhtar Zarei was temporarily released on bail from Sanandaj Prison on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, after 17 days of detention.

Mr Zarei was reportedly arrested on Saturday, July 23, 2018, and summoned to court.

A few days before his arrest, Mr Zarei claimed the reason for his arrest is his criticisms against Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, and the human rights violations in Iran.

Environmental Activist Yousef Farhadi Babadi Summoned to Court

Environmental activist Yousef Farhadi Babadi was reportedly summoned to branch 118 of the Isfahan Criminal Court regarding Dr Abedi’s (parliament representative of Isfahan) lawsuit. Mr Babadi was released on bail from Isfahan prison on March 12, 2018.

On March 5, 2018, Mr Babadi received a subpoena and a call from the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province’s prosecutor’s office regarding his publication in a social media channel called “Sound of Water”, which mainly criticized the water situation in Iran. This subpoena was issued to him based on the charge of “Disseminating lies and disturbing public opinion in cyberspace”.

A Civil Rights Activist in Marivan and Two Others in Oshnavieh Arrested by Intelligence Agents, Transferred to Unknown Location

According to close sources and the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, in the last week of July 2018, Marivan intelligence agents arrested Arman Ghafouri, civil rights and environmental activist, and transferred him to an undisclosed location. Mr Ghafouri’s family has not been able to obtain any precise information about the reason for his arrest or the location where he is being held.

Previously, Armin Ghafouri and eight other civil rights activists were arrested on March 12, 2018, and interrogated by Iranian authorities regarding their participation in a gathering condemning the “Turkish military operation of Afrin”. army’s attack on the Afrin city”. They were subsequently released on bail.

During the past few days, Kamel Ahmadi and Tayyeb Bamorovat were arrested by Intelligence agents for the charge of “Cooperation with a Kurdish opposition party” and transferred to an unknown location. A total of seven citizens from Oshnavieh have been arrested for the same charge and the identity of only five of them has been identified thus far.

Gonabadi Dervish, Abbas Sharyati, Arrested in Yazd

Posted on: September 29th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – On Thursday morning, September 29, 2011, Abbas Sharyati, a member of Nimatullahi Gonabadi Sufi Sect, was arrested in Yazd.The number of arrests continues to rise as pressure on Gonabadi dervishes increase throughout the country.

According to a report by the Campaign to Protect Dervishes’ Rights, a group of security agents arrested Abbas Sharyati in Yazd and took him to an unknown location.Thus far, the reason for this arrest has not been announced, and Abbas Sharyati’s whereabouts are unknown.

On Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Nusrat Tabasi, another detained member of Nimatullahi Gonabadi Sufi Sect, was transferred from solitary confinement, Ward 209, to the general population in Evin Prison.Nusrat Tabasi is a member of Majzooban Nur, Nimatullahi Gonabadi Order website.

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