A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 13, 2018

Posted on: December 13th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 13th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency(HRANA).

(1) More Than Ten Protests Were Organized in Iran

(2) Two Evin Prisoners Went on Hunger Strike

(3) A Labor Activist Released on Bail

(4) Ansar Al-Mahdi Followers Sentence to Overall 82 Years Imprisonment, 4318 lashes and 13 Years of Exile

(5) Unpaid Workers’ wages

(6) Eight Gonabadi Dervishes Moved to General Ward After Spending 105 Days in Solitary Confinement 

(7) More from Iran

           

(1) More Than Ten Protests Were Organized in Iran

Today at least nine protests were held in Iran and the protesters demanded the fulfilment of their requests. Members of the Azadegan housing corporation project, the land owners by Kohestan park in Yazd, the workers of sanitizing oil tankers company in Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, Hendijan’s launch owners, shareholders of the bankrupt institution of Caspian, Isfahan farmers, and the clients of Ramak Khodro andNegin Khodro companies held an assembly protest on December 13, 2018. Moreover,On the 33th consecutive day of protest, the workers from the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz, accompanied by their families, have held a protest in Ahvaz streets. They were wearing white shrouds which is a symbol of readiness for martyrdom. In addition, teachers and students in Hamedan protested the approach of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) to teachers. They requested IRIB to depict financial hardship of teachers and they were also in support of the release of teachers’ right activists who have been imprisoned.

(2) Two Evin Prisoners Went on Hunger Strike

Mahmoud Naji, charged with security offences, began a hunger strike on December 12, 2018 to protest his accusations and not receiving any response on his temporary release request.Ruhollah Mardani, a teacher prisoner, went on strike since December 9, 2018 toprotest the situation of prison and the poor access to health care in prison.

(3) A Labor Activist Released on Bail

Zaniyar Dabbaghian, a labor activist released on bail from Sanandaj prison on December 12. He was arrested on October 8, 2018 in his house for an unknown reason. He had been detained for 67 days and release on 300 million Tomans [25000] bail.

(4) Ansar Al-Mahdi Followers Sentence to Overall 82 Years Imprisonment, 4318 lashes and 13 Years of Exile

The followers of Ansar Al-Mahdi, a religious group of Ahmad al-Hassan were arrested in Torbat-e Heydarieh in August 2018. The conviction of 60 detained people of this group including a child, announced on December 9. Overall, they faced 82 years and six months imprisonment, 4318 lashes and 13 years of exile and fines.

(5) Unpaid Workers’ wages

The workers of North Drilling Company protested for their unpaid wages last week. On December 13th, they reported that the wages of 3000 workers of this company were still unpaid.Moreover, the spokesperson of fire department confirmed that a construction worker was severely injured in the construction site in Zafaraniyeh.

(6) Eight Gonabadi Dervishes Moved to General Ward After Spending 105 Days in Solitary Confinement

On August 29, 2018, afteran attacked from the prison guards, these eight Gonabadi Dervishes are Reza Entesari, Kasra Nouri, Morteza Kangarloo, Amir Nouri, Sina Entesari, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Hesam Moeini, and Mehdi Eskandari were beaten, separated from other Dervishes, and sent to solitary confinements for their three-months trike at Fashafoyeh prison without informing their family.

(7) More from Iran

Three park rangers were injured by poachers in Tarom Sofla district in the Qazvin province.

A citizen was saved from execution in Nowshahr by the help of judicial authorities and victims families’ consent.

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.

Update on Mostafa Daneshjoo: Evin Prison Authorities Won’t Budge on Medical Blockade

Posted on: September 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mostafa Daneshjoo, an attorney, is currently serving prison time for his legal advocacy and defense of the Gonabadi Dervishes, a religious minority. These days, Daneshjoo is sacrificing more than his freedom: he is now being forced to sacrifice his health.

Daneshjoo, despite suffering from acute lung and heart disease, has been barred access to medical attention of any kind since he was arrested on July 7, 2018.

According to Majzooban Noor, the Gonabadi Dervish Community News Website, when Daneshjoo was first detained, his family was cut off from contact with him for months. When they were finally permitted to see him in Ward 4 of Evin Prison, their relief was mingled with shock at the sight of his severely declining health.

Mostafa Daneshjoo is the former managing director of the Majzooban Noor website. While the clinic at Evin Prison has Daneshjoo’s medical file on hand, authorities–citing Daneshjoo’s prior arrest–are preventing him from seeking help, even from the generalists at the Evin Prison Clinic.

Daneshjoo was arrested in his mother’s home by seven armed officers in the early morning of July 7th. After spending 45 days in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of the Ministry of Intelligence detention center, he was transferred to Evin’s Quarantine Ward before being taken to Ward 4, typically reserved for prisoners with financial charges. Daneshjoo, who is asthmatic, experienced a sharp increase in symptoms after spending 45 days in a solitary cell without ventilation. While he was taken to Taleqani Hospital on July 21st, he was turned away without receiving care within a few hours.

Daneshjoo’s case file indicates that his current arrest warrant was issued by Branch 3 of the Shahid Moghaddas Prosecutor’s Office in Evin Prison. In a phone conversation at the time, he explained he was being pursued by authorities for his affiliation with the Dervishes who were involved in the Golestan Haftom incident. Authorities have reportedly wielded further punitive measures against him, according to a letter published in May 2017 by the Azad University Security Office, which announced that Daneshjoo was being prevented from pursuing his graduate studies in Penal Law and Criminology.

During prior defense proceedings of a number of Gonabadi Dervishes, following punitive reports from Iranian security agencies, Daneshjoo’s licence to practice law was revoked. He was sentenced — along with other attorneys, Dervish advocates, and his Majzooban Noor co-managers– to imprisonment on charges of “Membership in the Dervish anti-security sect,” “Acting against national security,” “Propaganda against the regime,” and “Disrupting public opinion.” Between 2011 and 2015, he served his sentence in Ward 350 of Evin Prison and was released in May 2015.

Hunger Striking Dervishes Pen Open Letter from Prison

Posted on: September 3rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – After a violent raid on their sit-in last week, 12 imprisoned Dervishes who began hunger strike after being transferred to solitary confinement have written a letter outlining their demands.

According to Majzooban Noor, a website reporting on Dervish issues, the names of the 12 Dervishes are: 1. Ali Bolboli 2. Salehodin Moradi 3. Mohammad Reza Darvishi 4. Abbas Dehghan 5. Ali Mohammad Shahi 6. Mojtaba Biranvand 7. Ali Karimi 8. Jafar Ahmadi 9. Ibrahim Allahbakhshi 10. Heydar Teymouri 11. Majid Yarahmadi 12. Saeed Soltanpour.

Heydar Teymouri, Majid Yarahmadi, and Saeed Soltanpour followed suit after nine of their above comrades initiated the strike.

The first nine to go on hunger strike had previously written an open letter to make three demands of authorities: that their leader Noor Ali Tabandeh be released from house arrest in Tehran; that Dervish women be released from Gharchak Prison; and that separated Dervish prisoners be freed from solitary confinement and reunified into the same ward.

Below is the full text of the letter, translated into English by HRANA:

A leader who cares for his country will not wish to see pain afflicting his people
A country of callous leaders will never see peace and calm

For the past six months, we Dervishes have chosen the path of patience, hoping that those who oppose us will come to their senses and end the harassment and persecution of this country’s citizens, be they first-class citizens or second-class citizens like us. Instead, all we have witnessed is a rise in senselessness, a fall from judiciousness, in those who are supposed to be addressing our concerns.

For the past six months, officials and their collaborators have kept our revered master and spiritual leader, Dr Noor Ali Tabandeh, under house arrest. They have thus deprived followers of benefiting from his teachings. Our respected Dervish sisters, who have been imprisoned since February and were wounded there in June, their bodies bloodied, have been taken without trial to Gharchak Prison. In the unsanitary and disease-ridden environment of Gharchak, they are denied access to proper medical care and have been savagely attacked and beaten. Without access to a lawyer, due process, or a fair trial, they have been sentenced to years in prison and deprived of their civil rights.

When, alongside our imprisoned brothers, we staged a sit-in to protest the unfair house arrest of our leader and the ordeal of our sisters, instead of hearing our voices and heeding our demands, guards subjected us to batons, electrical shock, and tear gas.

They separated us and demonstrated that even inside the walls of the prison, they pursue the dirty politics of sowing division among Gonabadi Sufis, a group that symbolizes unity and solidarity.

Seeing that nobody hears our voice, and since the repression against Dervishes takes on a new dimension every day, we hereby announce that until the house arrest of our leader, Majzoob Ali Shah [Noor Ali Tabandeh], is lifted, and our imprisoned sisters are released, and our brothers imprisoned in Fashaouyeh (Great Tehran Penitentiary) are returned from solitary confinement and reunified in the same ward, we will remain on hunger strike. We seek the help of freedom and justice fighters in making our voice heard.

Signed:
Ali Bolboli, Salehodin Moradi, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Abbas Dehghan, Ali Mohammad Shahi, Mojtaba Biranvand, Ali Karimi, Jafar Ahmadi, Ibrahim Allahbakhshi

Dervish Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike Following Transfer to Solitary Confinement

Posted on: September 3rd, 2018

Update: As of Tuesday, September 4th, five other Dervish prisoners have joined the hunger strike. Their names are Babak Taghian, Ehsan Malekmohammadi, Salemi Salemi, Reza Bavi, and Akbar Dadashi.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Twelve of the Dervish prisoners at Great Tehran Penitentiary who were violently disbanded and sent to solitary confinement on August 29th after staging a sit-in have started a hunger strike, while at least 20 of those attacked are reportedly in poor health.

Prison guards used batons, electrical shock, and tear gas on the prisoners to break up their peaceful protest, which had been in effect in Ward 3 since June 13th. The Twitter account of Majzooban Noor — a news agency publishing a feed on Dervishes, a religious minority — described the prison officials’ plan of attack, which involved filtering non-Dervish detainees from the quarantine area before charging those involved in the protest.

According to Majzooban Noor, prison officials then welded shut the gate of the prison yard to surround a number of Dervishes, using tear gas on those who attempted to come to their aid. The prisoners involved in the sit-in, along with 18 Dervishes from Ward 4, were subsequently taken to solitary confinement.

The August 29th raid occurred during a visit to the prison by Mostafa Mohebbi, the Director General of the organization Prisons of Tehran, who had come to inspect the Great Tehran Penitentiary following reports of deplorable conditions there.

Mohebbi reportedly watched as the heads of the prison — identified only as Director Farzadi and his deputy, “Farrokhnejad” — personally inflicted skull and arm fractures, among other injuries, on the confined Dervish prisoners.

Alireza Roshan, the director of Majzooban Noor, told HRANA that while many Dervishes were transferred to solitary confinement, others were individually dispersed among other Wards of the prison. He identified nine solitary confinement prisoners who started hunger strike upon their transfer: Ali Bolboli, Salehodin Moradi, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Abbas Dehghan, Ali Mohammad Shahi, Mojtaba Biranvand, Ali Karimi, Jafar Ahmadi, and Ibrahim Allahbakhshi.

“Their demands[…]are the reunification of the [Dervish] prisoners to one ward, the release of the female Dervishes [held in Gharchak Prison], and the lifting of the house arrest of Noor Ali Tabandeh, the group’s leader, who has been under house arrest since February 2018,” Roshan revealed.

Three other Dervishes have since followed suit, according to Majzooban Noor, making for a total of twelve Dervishes currently starving themselves in protest. These three were identified as Heydar Teymouri, Majid Yarahmadi, and Saeed Soltanpour.

Roshan said prison regulations stipulate that certain prisoners be kept apart depending on their offenses and beliefs, and that prison officials are responsible for ensuring the collective safety of their detainees.

“Nevertheless,” said Roshan, “Great Tehran Penitentiary officials hold the Dervishes, [who are political prisoners], in a general ward alongside prisoners who have allegedly committed common crimes.”

The following is a bulletin from Majzooban Noor on Dervish prisoners whose health is now at risk:

  1. Kasra Nouri 2. Reza Entesari 3. Pouria Nouri 4. Mehdi Eskandari 5. Saeed Soltanpour 6. Mehrdad Rezaei 7. Alborz Eskandari 8. Ali Abidavi 9. Hasan Shahreza 10. Sekhavat Salimi 11. Amir Nouri 12. Jafar Ahmadi 13. Babak Moradi 14. Majid Moradi 15. Mohammad Reza Darvishi 16. Heydar Teymouri 17. Ali Mohammad Shahi 18. Amin Soleimani 19. Sajjad Baradaran 20. Akbar Dadashi

Prison guards reportedly pulled out some of the Dervishes’ hair, including their facial hair, during the August 29th raid.

Human rights activists and families of the victims have recently raised concerns over a lack of transparency from prison authorities on the current condition of the Dervishes.

The families of the affected Dervishes have written a letter to judicial authorities to demand immediate face-to-face visits with their imprisoned loved ones. The families are reportedly suspicious that authorities have enforced solitary confinement and delays on family visits in order that wounds and traces of violence have ample time to fade from the Dervishes’ bodies.

Six of the dervishes who were beaten – Salehodin Moradi, Ali Bolboli, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Sekhavat Salimi, Ali Karimi, and Ibrahim Allahbakhshi – have been transferred to Ward 1 of the Great Tehran Penitentiary, quarters for those convicted of common crimes.

Others — including Reza Entesari, Sina Entezari, Kasra Nouri, Mehdi Eskandari, Reza Bavi, Amir Nouri, and Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam — are being held in solitary confinement.

*There are various divisions among Dervish religious groups in Iran. The use of Dervish in this article refers to Nematollahi Gonabadis, who in recent years have declared themselves followers of Twelver Shia Islam, Iran’s official state religion.

HRANA previously reported on how the sit-in was violently broken up

Imprisoned Dervishes’ Sit-In Violently Raided; Transferred to Solitary Confinement

Posted on: August 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On Wednesday, August 29, 2018, Great Tehran Penitentiary guards used batons, electrical shock, and tear gas to break up a sit-in of *Dervish prisoners that had been in effect in Ward 3 since June 13th.

The Twitter account of Majzooban Noor — who publishes a news feed on Dervishes, a religious minority — reported that prison officials filtered the other detainees out of the quarantine area before charging the Dervishes’ sit-in. They welded the gate of the prison yard, leaving a number of Dervishes surrounded. Guards used tear gas to keep at bay another group of Dervish prisoners who were attempting to break the siege.

A Dervish who took part in the sit-in explained in an audio file that “instead of heeding our ultimatum to release the female Dervish prisoners of Gharchak, they jarred us awake early in the morning and broke up the sit-in. The guards divided us into two groups, taking one to the prison hall and the other to the guard stand. One group of Dervishes broke a door to join the others. The guards countered by beating them severely. Our condition is troubling.”

Hours after the assault, all of the Dervishes imprisoned in Ward 3 were taken to solitary confinement cells. Shortly after, the following Ward 4 Dervishes protesting the attack on their Ward 3 comrades were also transferred to solitary confinement:

1. Ali Mohammad Shahi 2. Heydar Teymouri 3. Hassan Arab Ameri 4. Saeed Doorandish 5. Reza Yavari 6. Reza Sigarchi 7. Mohsen Azizi 8. Mehdi Keyvanloo 9. Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam 10. Salehodin Moradi 11. Sina Entezari 12. Hadi Shahreza 13. Ahmad Iranikhah 14. Mehdi Mardani 15. Rassoul Hoveydah 16. Kianoosh Abbaszadeh 17. Mojtaba Biranvand 18. Abbas Dehghan

Dervishes in Ward 2 also protested the violence of the raid by tying their hands with a white cloth.

These events unfolded during a visit from Mostafa Mohebbi, Director General of Prisons of Tehran province, who had come to see the prison following reports of its poor conditions.

The sit-in was sparked by a violent attack on female Dervish prisoners of Gharchak Prison on June 13, 2018, in which they were assaulted with batons and shocked with electrical weapons before being dispersed among different wards. In protest, these female Dervishes declared a 16-day hunger strike, while male Dervishes organized the sit-in in a display of solidarity. HRANA previously published the identities of those who attacked the female Dervishes.

The crackdown against Dervishes intensified in late February 2018, when police forcibly disbanded a protest they had organized against ramped-up surveillance of their leader.

The February 2018 clash ended in the injury and arrest of a number of Dervishes. While Iranian Judiciary authorities estimated the number to be around 300, HRANA published the names of 324 and estimated the number to be considerably higher.

Human Rights Watch also tweeted about the February 2018 crackdown, and revealed in a recent report, “Since May 2018, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least 208 members of the religious minority to prison terms and other punishments in trials that violate their basic rights”.

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* There are various divisions among Dervishes in Iran. In this article, the term “Dervish” refers to Nematollahi Gonabadis, who in recent years have declared themselves followers of Twelver Shia Islam, the official state religion in Iran. On March 8th, Noor Ali Tabandeh, the spiritual leader of the Gonabadi Dervish faith, published a video stating that he is not permitted to leave his residence in Tehran.

Writer Nader Faturehchi Decries the Plight of “Ordinary” Inmates at Great Tehran Penitentiary

Posted on: August 24th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Released on Monday, August 20th after spending one day in the Great Tehran Penitentiary, writer, translator, and journalist Nader Faturehchi was moved to publish a post on Facebook about the miserable conditions of the prison’s quarantine ward.

Having been arrested the day before, Faturehchi was sent to the Great Tehran Penitentiary (also known as “Fashafoyeh”) when he was unable to post bail, HRANA reported. He was arrested pursuant to charges brought by Mohammad Emami, who himself has been charged with embezzling money from a pension fund for teachers.

Summoned to answer to Emami’s accusations on August 19th, Faturehchi wrote, “A serious battle with corruption has begun. I’m going to court, coerced to ‘explain myself’”.

Born in 1977, Faturehchi writes on politics, art, social issues, and philosophy.

Below is the translated text of his post:

I had a very short stay in Fashafoyeh Prison.

I write here not to describe “personal suffering”, but to deliver on a promise that I made to the inmates of the quarantine ward.

All that’s worth saying about myself is that I “went” to Fashafoyeh Prison; the judge had insisted I go to Evin [Prison], but I was transferred to Fashafoyeh instead. Unbelievably, prisoners are made to pay their own transfer costs (if they can afford it), and naturally the fee for a transfer to Evin (150,000 rials) [about $1.50 USD] is “considerably” different from the fee for a transfer to Fashafoyeh (1,000,000 rials) [about $9.50 USD].

At any rate, the greed of police agents afforded me a glimpse into the conditions of Fashafoyeh’s quarantine or “drug offenders” ward.

Among inmates, the colloquial name for the quarantine ward is “Hell”.

The accused, the convicts, the inmates awaiting transfer, or any other kind of “client” will spend four days in the quarantine ward before transfer to a ward known as “the tip”.

The prisoners said the difference in living conditions between the tip and quarantine wards are analogous to those between a bedroom and a toilet.

Having witnessed the quarantine ward on three different occasions in the 90s and 2000s, I can definitively corroborate their accounts of how “grave” the conditions in Fashafoyeh’s quarantine ward really are.

In a routine four-day quarantine period, the prisoner, no matter their crime or sentence, is deprived of potable water, ventilation, toilets, cigarettes, and digestible food (there is cold, half-baked pasta, and cold, uncooked yellow rice).

Fashafoyeh, designed for drug addicts with limited mobility, doesn’t have a public toilet. The toilet is a hole on the floor of a 2X2 foot area without light or running water, separated by a curtain from the ward’s beds and 10X10 foot cells, known as “physicals,” that house between 26 and 32 prisoners. The living conditions in the physicals are so inhumane that quarantined inmates call them the “place of exile”.

Quarantine cells have three-tier bunk beds and two blankets spread on the floor. Two glassless skylights are all they have to regulate temperature. There is no running water between 4 p.m. and 7 a.m., and the only light glows from a 100-watt fluorescent bulb. Should it burn out, the prisoners say, “only God could make someone replace it”.

The cells operate on an unspoken caste system. “Window beds” are reserved for convicts with longer sentences and greater street cred (lifers, drug-dealing kingpins, gang members, violent offenders and grand theft cases); ordinary beds (with no access to the skylight) go to lower-ranking prisoners (small-time drug dealers, pickpockets and petty thieves, etc.), while drug addicts, Afghans, and newcomers are directed to the floor.

Crowding at the prison evidences a mass daily influx of newcomers. Every 24 hours or so, more than 40 new prisoners are brought to the quarantine ward, while a maximum of ten [prisoners] leave the ward each day.

“Floor sleepers” — most often Afghans and intravenous drug addicts — endure conditions similar to those in “coffins”, the coffin-sized cells reserved for political prisoners in the 1980s that were barely large enough to lie down in.
In the cramped conditions, floor sleepers are sometimes pushed to spending the night beneath the beds of other inmates. Coined as “coffin sleepers,” it is typical for other inmates to sit on the floor next to their sleeping enclosure, restraining their movement and blocking their access to light and air.

The stench of sweat and infected wounds is unbelievable. Many inmates are detoxing from drug addictions and are in no state to be taken to the so-called “bathroom” to wash up, which thickens the stench.

More than 80 percent of quarantine inmates are intravenous drug addicts and homeless people unable to stand on their own two feet who belong in a hospital, not in a prison.

A single guard presides over the entire ward, a government agent, while the rest of prison labor (reception, maintenance, cooking, night watch, chaperoning for transfers and even medical work) is performed by the inmates themselves.

In addition to the guard, a mullah (cultural agent) and social worker count among the “staff” whose presence is of no use to the prisoners.

The prison machine is a hierarchical one. Representatives and monitors of each ward are usually white-collar convicts charged with embezzling and fraud. They bunk in cells with amenities like private beds and telephones and have the freedom to move around, smoke cigarettes, don personal slippers and even wear socks. One rung down from them are the “night monitors,” also financial convicts. The third rung down (reception, maintenance, kitchen staff) are theft convicts who have been in the “tip” for less than two weeks.

From what I’ve seen myself, the population of educated people in prison charged with white-collar crimes has spiked in recent decades. This invites an urgently relevant case study from a sociological point of view.

Aggression, insults, and mockery toward newcomers are natural, given that the prison is run by prisoners who, tasked with running the place, tend to be much more amenable to familiar wardmates. And while newcomers are met with brute force and verbal aggression, the guards develop compassion towards them after this initial hazing period has passed (intravenous drug addicts and detoxers are of course an exception to this rule).

I myself was spared insults or humiliation, both from the staff and the prisoners in charge, even though I arrived at the ward shackled hand and foot. For 99 percent of my fellow prisoners and even the staff, the charges against me were considered “incomprehensible, unknown, and strange.”

At no point did I experience disrespect, insults, or aggression, and though my status would have made of me a “newcomer and floor sleeper,” I was shown kindness and respect from the beginning by fellow prisoners, especially from the ward representative, monitors, administrative staff, police officers, and guard. My special treatment was made all the more obvious by the fact that I was the sole newcomer whose head was not shaved, as it is the protocol in quarantine. Drug addicts, theft convicts, “dirty ones” and Afghans are treated like livestock from the moment they step foot in the ward.

Fashafoyeh is a prison for nonpolitical cases and ordinary criminals who do not elicit media attention or human rights outcry, and that is the greatest criticism one could make of civil and human rights activists.

Drawing attention to conditions of the “ordinary prisoners” in Fashafoyeh is an urgent and immediate necessity. No one in Iran is more oppressed and vulnerable. They exist in the epitome of “inhumane conditions” and are victims of a twofold oppression. To bear this, even for one day, is beyond the power of the human spirit and will undoubtedly cause permanent trauma to their body and soul. Every day, the number of cases like these only multiply.

Above the entryway to the Fashafoyeh Prison is a banner reading “Great Tehran House of Regret.” And yet, beneath the physical and spiritual pressures awaiting inmates across the threshold, there will remain no heart with which to reflect. It is impossible to think, let alone regret.

Another deplorable element of Fashafoyeh is its perimeter. Families of prisoners sit in the desert outside, and no one (I.e. the few soldiers on outside duty) are ignorant to who is or isn’t contained there (either that or they don’t reveal to the families what they know.) This is critical when Fashafoyeh prisoners come from poor families who can only come by taxi, at a cost between 1 to 1.5 million rials [approximately $10 to $15 USD].

I met people in Fashafoyeh who had been arrested four days prior and had yet to receive their due right of a free two-minute phone call. For the prisoners from poor families, a call at cost could mean millions of rials.

As I left the prison, I met a group of Gonabadi Dervishes, including Kasra Noori, Mr Entesari, and others. Their kindness and camaraderie chased away the emotional turmoil I had faced in the hours before. To see them was like seeing a familiar face, a ray of light in a dark abyss. I will never forget the warmth of their smiles.

My conscience was deeply troubled after I was released from Fashafoyeh, and I don’t think I will be ever able to forget the horrible conditions my fellow inmates were living in. Seeing their living conditions and their eyes devoid of hope; the putrid odor of the corridors; people who had nowhere to go; cells like cages; their constricted breaths; all of these sensations left a deep wound on my soul. With every glass of water that I drink and every cigarette that I smoke, tears pour down my face.

My arrest is of absolutely no importance. Banish it from memory. The outpouring of media attention and kindness that surrounded my arrest embarrassed and even somewhat upset me. My case is the least of this country’s priorities, a speck in the current of deep human sufferings over this land. The living conditions in prisons, especially for ordinary prisoners, is too terrible for words.

To quote Paul Valery, “This is humanity, naked, solitary, and mad. Not the baths, the coffee, and the verbosity”.

Note: If I didn’t respond to the kindness shown to me by comrades and friends, it is because I was haunted by the grim plight of those who remain there, and for whom I could do nothing. I apologize to you all.

Photo: Half of the Bahman cigarette, gifted to me by one of my dear Dervishes. In my last moments inside, two cigarettes were given to me by Mr Moses, an inmate on a life sentence with a big heart. He put the cigarettes in my pocket and said to me, “Praise the Prophet, all of you, and pray for the freedom for all prisoners… go and never come back, kid”.

All imprisoned Gonabadi dervishes in ward 350 started hunger strike

Posted on: March 27th, 2013

HRANA News Agency – Alireza Roshan and Mostafa Abdi two of imprisoned dervishes in ward 350 of Evin prison started hunger strike since March 21st of 2013.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), quoted from Majzooban Noor,, Alireza Roshan and Mostafa Abdi who are dervishes rights activists and Majzooban Noor website staff started hunger strike since March 21st in protest to keeping imprisoned dervishes lawyers in horrible situation of security wards of Evin prison and treating them harshly with insulting and demanded urgent transferring back to ward 350 and medical treatments for them. (more…)