Prisoner on Day 47 of a Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

As of today, Thursday, July 29, Alireza Ziba Halat Monfared has been on a hunger strike for 47 days in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ziba Halat Monfared was imprisoned after being accused of financial crimes.

In February 2020, a spokesman for the judiciary expressed that the 25-year prison sentence of Alireza Ziba Halat had been confirmed and finalized.

He went on hunger strike following his request for meeting with judicial officials, but so far none of the officials has responded to the request. Ziba Halat Monfared has lost about 23 kg during this period.

 

Meysam Gholami is Still in Detention in the Greater Tehran Prison 5 Months After his Arrest

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Meysam Gholami was arrested by security forces in March and transferred to the Greater Tehran Prison after a week in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Regarding the same case, Mehran Azari and Fariba Asadi were arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in February and transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, and later to the Greater Tehran, and Qarchak Varamin prisons, until they finally were released on bails of 400 and 500 million tomans.

Ms. Asadi is said to have been beaten at the time of the arrest.

The case of these citizens has been transferred to Branch 2 of the Shahriar Revolutionary Court on charges such as “propaganda against the regime through printing and distribution of banners and leaflets, gathering and colluding against national security, membership in opposition groups.”

Meysam Gholami, a native of Tehran, is currently being held in Ward 9 of Section 2 in Greater Tehran Prison.

 

Khaled Pirzadeh Transferred from Greater Tehran Prison to an Unknown Location

Political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh was transferred from the quarantine section of the Greater Tehran Prison to an unknown location on Wednesday, July 14th.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on June 14, Mr. Pirzadeh was sent on sick leave with a promise of connected parole. He was returned to Evin Prison on July 7.

Khaled Pirzadeh’s lawyer, Ali Sharifzadeh, made the announcement in a note on his social media and expressed his concern about Mr. Pirzadeh’s transfer due to his illness and said the prison’s organization is responsible for Mr. Pirzadeh’s health.

Pirzadeh had gone on a hunger strike for a 3rd time on June 10, protesting the lack of medical treatment, denial of his request for parole, and his 25-month imprisonment.

Hossein Hashemi and Mohammad Turkmani End Their Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

On June 12, political prisoners Hossein Hashemi and Mohammad Turkmani ended their hunger strike following their return to section 2 of the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hossein Hashemi and Mohammad Turkmani went on strike on June 1 and 2 after being transferred to the detention center for prisoners accused of violent crimes.

This transfer was a violation of the UN principle of separation of prisoners based on crime.

 

 

 

Political Prisoner Reza Sarvelaiti Serving out Sentence in Greater Tehran Prison

Political prisoner Reza Sarvelaiti is currently enduring his sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sarvelaiti is one of the detainees of the November 2019 nationwide protests.

In September 2020, Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Amouzad, sentenced Mr. Sarvelaiti to 10 years imprisonment on charges of burning public property, insulting the supreme leader, and disrupting the public order. Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar, later reduced the sentence to eight years.

Reza Sarvelaiti was sent to Tehran prison to endure his 8-year sentence, in November 2020.

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Political Prisoner Sasan Niknafs buried after Death in Greater Tehran Prison

The body of Sasan Niknafs, a political prisoner who died in Greater Tehran Prison on Monday, was buried.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Tehran Prisons Organization claims that the place of death was Firoozabadi Hospital in Tehran. However, an informed source stated that in reality, Niknafs’ body was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.

Sasan Niknafs was suffering from myriad mental and physical health problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and severe depression. By most definitions, Niknafs was unfit to serve time in prison, but his mother’s efforts to obtain a certificate of intolerance were unsuccessful until after his death. Moreover, despite the clear urgency of his condition, Prison officials significantly delayed sending Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison. He died on June 7.

 

Death of Sasan Niknafs Confirmed by General Directorate of Prisons in Tehran Province

On Monday, June 7, the General Directorate of Prisons of Tehran Province finally confirmed the death of political prisoner Sasan Niknafs in Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Tehran Prisons Organization claims that the place of death was Firoozabadi Hospital in Tehran. However, an informed source stated that in reality, Niknafs’ body was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.

The political prisoner was suffering from myriad mental and physical health problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and severe depression. The Prisons Organization confirmed in its June 7 report that Niknafs had once attempted suicide.

By most definitions, Niknafs was unfit to serve time in prison, but his mother’s efforts to obtain a certificate of intolerance were unsuccessful until after his death. Moreover, despite the clear urgency of his condition, Prison officials significantly delayed sending Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison.

In the last two days, several political prisoners in the Greater Tehran Prison have been interrogated regarding Niknafs’ drug use. A statement issued by the Tehran General Directorate of Prisons says that drug use was the cause of Niknafs’ deteriorating condition, without mentioning the forensic report.

According to an informed source, prison officials are attempting to make the case that self-medicating was the cause of Niknafs’ death as they did for Behnam Mahjubi, a prisoner who died earlier this year under similarly mysterious conditions after being denied proper medical treatment.

In February, prison authorities declared that Sufi dervish activist Behnam Mahjubi died after what they say was poisoning due to self-medicating and medication consumption, despite evidence from forensic reports to the contrary. According to the forensic medical order, Niknafs needed to be under medical monitoring. Instead, the extent of his treatment was a prescription of 2 Largactil tablets (chlorpromazine hydrochloride) and 1 Clonazepam, daily, by the prison health center.

Reckless behavior among Greater Tehran Prison officials, especially regarding political prisoners, has long been a burden on the mental and physical health and safety of inmates. The news of Sasan Niknafs’ death due to the negligence of prison officials has once again raised concerns about other political prisoners being held in Greater Tehran Penitentiary.

 

 

Khaled Pirzadeh on Day 9 of Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

Khaled Pirzadeh has been on a hunger strike since May 31 in the Greater Tehran Prison.  This demonstration, Pirzadeh’s second hunger strike of the year,  is in response to prison officials’ denial of visitations and leave in the 25 months since his imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirzadeh has suffered from low blood pressure, digestive problems, and severe pain in his muscles, joints, and eyes as a result of the hunger strike.

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike following the failure of authorities to fulfill their promise to agree to parole. Pirzadeh ended his hunger strike in March after authorities promised that his demands would be met, but they did not follow through.

In May of 2019, the political prisoner was sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, to 5 years in prison, and an additional 2 years for “insulting the leadership”.  According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, of the 7 total years, 5 can be enforced on Pirzadeh on the charge of “conspiracy and collusion”.

Khaled Pirzadeh underwent foot surgery in August 2020. His legs and spine were severely damaged during detention and required further surgery and physiotherapy. He was also barred from being hospitalized in December 2020 despite having a heart problem.

Prison officials have now asked Pirzadeh to end his strike and promised to address Mr. Pirzadeh’s demands, as before. Whether Pirzadeh accepts their offer given the dubious precedent they have set remains to be seen.

Reports Indicate the Death of Sasan Niknafs in Prison; The Family is Worried and Waiting for Prison Officials to Respond

As of Monday, June 7, reports indicate that political prisoner Sasan Niknafs has died in the Greater Tehran Prison due to medical negligence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, prison officials significantly delayed sending Mr. Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison, despite the clear urgency of his condition.

Niknafs has long suffered from diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and psychological problems.

The political prisoner was finally transferred to the prison’s health center two days ago where he reportedly died.

Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals sentenced Niknafs to eight years in prison on charges of conspiracy against the country’s security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic and the leadership. 5 years of imprisonment applied to him after applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

36-year-old Niknafs, father of two girls aged 8 and 9, endured eleven months of incarceration in poor physical and psychological condition. According to his lawyer, during a recent meeting, the effects of self-harm were visible on his hands.

Prison authorities have not officially announced the news of his death at the time of this writing despite repeated inquiries from his family and lawyer.

 

 

 Political Prisoner Soheil Arabi Faced with New Charges

On May 31, Soheil Arabi, a prisoner of conscience in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, was taken to a virtual arraignment hearing on new charges.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 3 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office held the hearing and charged Arabi with “propaganda activities against the regime and disturbing the public opinion”.

Mr. Arabi was accused of creating reports on the poor condition of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, criticizing the conduct of prison authorities, especially the prison’s assistant prosecutor, going on a hunger strike to support political prisoners deprived of  medical treatment, and writing statements in support of the nationwide protests of November 2019.

Arabi was punitively transferred from the Greater Tehran Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj last September. He was then summoned and acquitted by Branch 8 of the Shahr-e-Shahri Prosecutor’s Office for another lawsuit in December.

Soheil Arabi has been imprisoned since November 2013 and has been deprived of leaves of absence throughout his entire imprisonment.