Former Political Prisoner Hojatollah Rafei Arrested in Shahriar

On August 23, yesterday, Hojatollah Rafei, a former political prisoner, was apprehended by intelligence agents of the IRGC in Shahriar, located in Tehran Province. He was subsequently moved to an undisclosed location.

A source close to Rafei’s family informed HRANA that IRGC intelligence agents had apprehended him at his residence. The agents also conducted a thorough search and confiscated some of his belongings.

Rafei, a teacher in Shahriar County, has faced arrests and convictions before for his activism. In February 2023, he was released from Evin Prison in February 2023, following his inclusion in the “general pardon and commutation” directive.

14 Political Prisoners Punitively Transferred to Locked-Door Ward of Greater Tehran Prison

Following a beating of political prisoners by a mob of fellow inmates of violent crimes in the Greater Tehran prison, the official authorities forced 14 of these political prisoners to relocate to a ward with locked doors and inadequate conditions.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, these political prisoners were housed in section 1, type 2 of the Greater Tehran prison. They were said that if they refuse to relocate, Special Prison Guards would take action to relocate them by force.

The inmates have been identified as Hossein Ghasghaie, Mehran Delfan-Azari, Meysam Gholoami, Hojatollah Rafei, Reza Salavati, Morteza Olangi, Shahab Soltanian, Dawood Abdollahi, Shapur Ehsani-rad, Pouya Ghobadi, Ismail Gerami, Akbar Bagheri, Alireza Farshi and Akbar Faraji.

The day after this incident, in response to this news, the head of state prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization, Muhammad Mehdi Haj-Mohammadi confirmed the news.

“In regard to inaccurate news of beating in the Greater Tehran prison, I would say that not intellectuals but criminals belong to the prison,” Haj-Mohammadi wrote on his personal page on social media. “Despite all controls, tensions and quarrels happen.”

On Friday, October 8, the above-mentioned prisoners were beaten by a mob of prisoners of violent crimes. Contrary to the laws of the prison, these political prisoners were being housed in the same ward as the prisoners of violent crimes. Reportedly, Pouya  Ghobadi and Akbar Bagheri were severely injured.


Hojatollah Rafei Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Hojatollah Rafei, a native of Shahriar City, was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to 6 years imprisonment and a two-year ban from leaving the country.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced Mr. Rafei to a total of 6 years in prison, 2 years ban from leaving the country, planting 40 saplings, and writing a research paper about the former regime in Iran.

Hojatollah Rafei is a teacher and a native of Fararat village of Shahriar city in Tehran Province.

If this sentence is upheld at the appeal stage, with the application of Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the most severe punishment that will be enforceable to Mr. Rafei will be 5 years in prison on a charge of “gathering and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security”.

Mr. Rafiei was transferred from the Greater Tehran Prison to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on August 28 without prior notice. His lawyer was not notified, and the trial took place without the lawyer’s knowledge.