Vahid Bani-Amerian and Pooya Ghobadi Each Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment

Two political prisoners, Vahid Bani-Amerian and Pooya Ghobadi, serving their sentences in Evin Prison and the Greater Tehran Prison respectively, were each sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in exile in their second legal case.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Moghayeseh, sentenced Bani-Amerian and Ghobadi. In this new legal case, they were charged with the destruction of public property and advocating for the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (Mujahedin-e-Khalq). According to their lawyer, Babak Paknia, the charge of “enmity against God” was dismissed by the court. The first court session was held in October of this year, but their lawyer asked for a retrial due to defective legal documents and failure to comply procedure.

In May of 2018, Bani-Amerian and Ghobadi were arrested by security forces in Tehran and transferred to Evin Prison. After four months of interrogation, they were sent to the public ward of Evin Prison. In November of 2019, Ghobadi was relocated to The Greater Central Prison while Bani-Amerian remained in Evin Prison.

In their first legal case, each was sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security”, offensive statements against the Supreme Court” and “propaganda against the regime”. For these charges, grounded in Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the most severe punishment of 5 years was enforced for each prisoner.

Mohammad Nourizad Released From Evin Prison; Ali Nourizad Returned to the Greater Tehran Prison at End of Leave

On Wednesday, November 17, civil activist Mohammad Nourizad was released from Evin Prison after being granted an early release order. The day before his release, his son Ali Nourizad returned to The Greater Tehran Prison at the end of his furlough.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, political prisoner Mohammad Nourizad was released from Evin Prison after obtaining an early release order. The day before, Nourizad’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, tweeted that the Supervisory Judiciary of Evin Prison had informed him in a phone call that the prosecutor agreed to end the prison sentence.

It is worth mentioning that Nourizad suffers from myriad health conditions, including asthma, heart problems and unstable blood pressure. Earlier, in protest against not receiving medical treatment, during a family visitation, he wounded his face and stated, “Each day I make this wound deeper to make my death happen sooner if they want me dead.”

In an open statement from that time, UN human rights experts expressed their serious concern over his conditions in prison. “We are seriously concerned at the mistreatment of Mohammad Nourizad and his continued imprisonment for expressing his opinion,” the statement read. “Furthermore, his continued detention despite medical professionals finding he cannot stay in prison given his serious health condition, and the resulting denial of adequate medical care, may amount to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Mohammad Nourizad is a 63-year-old filmmaker, writer, director and journalist from Iran. He was considered an outspoken and religious journalist who in recent years became one of the active critics of the Islamic Republic. He has been arrested and imprisoned many times.

Mohammad’s son Ali Nourizad was arrested by security forces in Tehran in January 2020 for protesting a rally against the downing of a Ukrainian plane by the IRGC, and for expressing sympathy with the victims’ families.  He was released on bail a month later. The Tehran Revolutionary Court eventually sentenced him to 3 and a half years in prison. This sentence was upheld by the Tehran Court of Appeals. He has been serving out his sentence in Greater Tehran since October of last year.

Prisoner of Conscience Soheil Arabi Released From Rajai Shahr Prison

On Tuesday, November 16, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi was released from Rajai Shahr Prison after completing his sentence and sent to Borazjan to await the court decision about his two-year exile sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Soheil Arabi was sent to Borazjan City accompanied by a police guard. It is yet to be decided whether he should stay in exile in Borazjan, and if so, how long. Because Arabi’s prison term was longer than the sentence required, either the difference will be subtracted from the current exile period, or the charge will be dropped altogether.

Arabi has been imprisoned since November 7, 2013, and never been granted leave. On January 21, 2020, he was relocated from Evin Prison to the Greater Tehran Prison.

While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi was convicted on charges from two new cases. In the first case, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to five years imprisonment on the charge of “blasphemy, propaganda against the regime and an offensive statement against the Supreme Leader”. For the second case, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, two years of exile in Borazjan City, and paying a fine of 4 million tomans on a charge of “spreading lies in the purpose to disturb public opinion and propaganda against the regime”, and one year and eight months on the charge of “the destruction of public property”.

On September 18, 2020, Arabi was punitively relocated from the Greater Tehran Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. On October 20, 2020, after being held for 33 days in a solitary confinement cell, in a phone call to his family, he informed them about his relocation to the detention center at the disposal of IRGC, known as Ward 2 A of Evin Prison. On November 8, 2020, he was sent back to a solitary confinement cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. After 9 days, he was sent to the public ward of this prison.

Journalist Reza Jolodarzadeh Released from Greater Tehran Prison

This Monday, November 1,  journalist Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh, who has been on furlough since mid-September, was released from The Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, while he was on furlough Jolodarzadeh was granted an imprisonment intolerance certificate by forensic medicine, and will therefore not be required to return to prison.

In June 2019, Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh was sentenced to three years in prison, a fine of 40 million rials and two years prohibition from any political or journalistic activities on charges of “propaganda against the regime, spreading lies and disturbing public opinions on the internet”.  The verdict was upheld by the appellate court.

In January 2021, Jolodarzadeh was summoned by Branch 1 of the Executive Unit of Evin Prison to endure his sentence in The Greater Tehran Prison. On February 12, despite having regular seizures, he was not allowed to be dispatched to a hospital outside the prison. Jolodarzadeh is an injured veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and suffers from a serious brain lesion.

On March 2, Jolodarzadeh went on a hunger strike to protest authorities’ refusal to take his medical needs seriously. After one week, he ended the hunger strike after hospitalization and receiving medical treatment. Once again, on April 28, in protest against prison’s officials’ inattention to his demands and requirements, he went on a hunger strike. After a while, he ended his strike after officials promised to meet his demands.

On July 14, he went furlough from The Greater Tehran Prison as well as once again on September 22, for medical treatment and providing medicines. This time, forensic medicine issued an imprisonment intolerance certificate whereby he was set free.

Reza Taleshian Jolodarzadeh is the Editor of  the newspaper “Sobhe-Azadi” , which was banned by the regime in 2011.

Ahmadreza Haeri Summoned to the Cybercrime Court of Tehran

Following a complaint from the Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization of Tehran Province (PSCMO), former political prisoner Ahmadreza Haeri was recently summoned to the Cybercrime Court of Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, this Friday, October 29, Haeri was summoned on charges of “spreading lies, accusative, insulting and slanderous words”.

One month after the incident known as “Black Thursday of Evin Prison”, when 350 political prisoners in Evin Prison were beaten brutally by security agents, Ahmadreza Haeri was sentenced to 42 months in prison by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Salavati.

This initial verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the appellate court. However, following his lawyer’s objection, the verdict was revoked and this time the case was undertaken by Branch 54 of the court of appeals which sentenced him to six months in prison and 74 lashes.

On July 25, 2020, Haeri endured the flogging by the Intelligence and Public Security Police of NAJA and then was sent to the Greater Tehran prison to serve his six-month sentence. On October 8, 2020, he was released on probation from the Greater Tehran prison.

In this new subpoena from the Cybercrime Court of Tehran, Haeri was instructed to appear there within five days.

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Two Inmates Sentenced to Death, Two Other Spared from Execution

Two inmates were recently sentenced to death in Tehran and Gorgan, while reportedly two other inmates on death-row were recently spared from execution.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRIP News Agency, on Wednesday, October 13, the Judiciary spokesperson announced the conviction of two inmates to the death penalty in Tehran and Gorgan. In another report, he announced that two on death-row inmates were spared from execution.

Without providing any details about the court, which has issued these sentences, Zabihollah Khodaeyan commented, “these inmates have been convicted for their association with a network of human traffickers.” However, since other the defendants of this case, have been convicted to lengthy prison terms, he added that “the verdict is not final”.

According to Iran Newspaper, an inmate in Greater Tehran Prison was spared from execution after he could exact satisfaction from the victim’s family in a meeting. The inmate, named Shayan, had been previously convicted for stabbing a man to death.

According to Rokna, In Gorgan, a 30-year-old man was spared from execution by exacting satisfaction from the victim’s family through the mediation of deputy of the criminal executive branch in Golestan Province and members of Dispute Resolution Council. As Chief Justice of Golestan Province pointed out, this is the fourteenth death-row inmate who has been spared from execution this year by the mediation of the Dispute Resolution Council.

 

 

Judiciary Announced Shahin Naseri’s Cause of Death as “Drug Poisoning”

In a recent news conference,  Judiciary spokesperson Zabihollah Khodaeyan claimed the Shahin Naseri’s death in prison was caused by ” drug poisoning”, without providing any details.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRNA, Shahin Naseri was an eyewitness to the torture of Navid Afkari. On September 21, 2021, he went to Prison healthcare of the Greater Tehran Prison for treatment, where he died mysteriously after 45 minutes.

“In the previous meeting, we said that forensic results have not yet been announced, ” Khodaeyan said in regard to Naseri’s death, “but recently forensic has detected drug poisoning as the cause of death.”

According to fellow inmates and friends close to Shahin Naseri, who had talked to him before his death, he did not express any depressive symptoms or any intention to commit suicide. Rather, he was concerned about his life and health due to the threats he had received in solitary confinement.

After testifying about the torture of Navid Afkari, he was exiled to the Greater Tehran Prison where he was held in solitary confinement for a while.

Two days after Shahin Naseri’s death, Public Relations of Tehran Prisons General Administration said in a statement,  “The inmate was urgently transferred to Prison healthcare, where he was under the resuscitation operation for 45 minutes, but despite the efforts of the medical staff, he died.”

In a voice message recorded before the death of Navid Afkari, Shahin Naseri reveals a part of tortures his fellow inmate has gone through.

“One day when they were taking me to the police station in Shiraz, in the corridor, I heard screams, begging and obscenities,” Naseri says in the recording.  “When I passed along the torture place, I saw that two undercover cops were beating on his face with batons.”

An informed source close to his family told HRANA that in coincide with the anniversary of Navid Afkari’s execution, they relocated him to an unknown location. Based on threats he had received from security forces, we thought he was transferred to a location of a security unit. But a few days ago, we found out that he was held somewhere in the Greater Tehran Prison. Since he did not have any acute background diseases, his death is quite suspicious.

“I heard clearly that they told him that you should write down and confess whatever we tell you,” Naseri added in the recorded message. “When I went to Security Court for testifying, I told the Branch Investigator about his torture. He said with slanderous words that ‘you are meddling in a security case. I will force the agents to file a complaint against you for these accusations. If you play with fire you are going to get burnt.'”

Navid Afkari was an Iranian wrestler who, despite serious ambiguities in his case and worldwide outcry to halt the execution, was executed on September 13, 2019, in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Political Prisoners Beaten After Being Held in Ward for Inmates Convicted of Violent Crimes

On Friday, October 8, in Greater Tehran Prison, a number of political prisoners were beaten by fellow inmates convicted of violent crimes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, contrary to the laws of the prison, these political prisoners are being housed in the same ward as the prisoners of violent crimes.

In the incident, Shapur Ehsani-rad, Pouya Ghobadi, Ismail Gerami, Akbar Bagheri and Akbar Faraji were injured and a few were hospitalized.

The political prisoners held in this ward had already complained and asked the prison officials to relocate them to other wards.

Workers’ rights activist, Shapur Ehsani-rad is serving his six-year sentence. Despite poor health condition and backache, he has been denied furlough for medical treatment.

Political prisoner, Pouya Ghobadi is serving his five-year sentence. In August of this year, the trial addressing the second part of his for the charge of ” enmity against God” was held.

Recently, in the court of appeal, workers’ rights activists Ismail Gerami was sentenced to five years imprisonment and flogging of 74 laches and paying a 20-million fine.

In 2018, Akbar Bagheri was sentenced to a nine-year imprisonment. The court of appeals upheld the verdict without making any changes.

On February 10, 2019, Akbar Faraji was arrested by security forces for online political activities and sentenced to six years imprisonment by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. This verdict was upheld by Branch of 36 of Appellate Court. On September 6, 2020, he was arrested to serve his term in Greater Tehran Prison.

 

Khaled Pirzadeh Still on Hunger Strike Despite Critical Health Condition

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in-exile political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh is still on hunger strike after 46 days in Sheyban Prison in Ahvaz.

His health condition is unstable and he endures low blood pressure and blood sugar. He is also denied the right to have a phone call to contact his family.

Since August 23, 2021, this political prisoner has been on hunger strike in protest against declining his request for the release on probation, the housing of political prisoners in the same ward with prisoners of violent crimes, and police officers’ brutal behaviour towards his family members during the delivery of eviction order.

Expressing his deep concern about Pirzadeh’s condition, the lawyer Ali Sharif-Zadeh asked the authorities to agree on this political prisoner’s release on probation.

“His family informed that he is denied any access to a phone call and he is enduring critically low blood pressure and blood sugar. His life is in jeopardy,” Sharif-Zadeh tweeted.

On May 26, 2019, Khaled Pirzadeh was arrested violently by security forces and after ending the interrogation process, he was sent to Evin Prison. He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment on the charges of “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran” and “assembly and collusion against the regime”. This sentence was confirmed in the court of appeals. According to article 134 of the Islamic penal code, 5 years of this sentence for the charge of “collusion against the regime” is enforceable.

He was relocated to Greater Tehran Prison on July 22, 2020. Reportedly, at the time of transferring, he was beaten by prison guards. In August 2020, he had surgery on his foot. Moreover, he needs additional treatment and surgery for his injured spine. On July 14, 2021, they transferred him from Greater Tehran prison to exile to Sheyban prison in Ahvaz and held him unlawfully in the ward where the prisoners of violent crimes were housed.

 

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.