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.

 

Reza Mehregan on a Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

On Saturday, August 14, civil activist Reza Mehregan went on a hunger strike in Evin Prison, where he is currently serving out a 5 year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of  Human Rights Activists, Mehregan began the hunger strike to protest his transfer to quarantine despite having received a negative corona test result.

Mr. Mehregan was sent on a five-day leave of absence from Evin Prison on Saturday, August 7, and returned to prison at the end of his leave.

Mehregan suffers from heart disease and high blood pressure, and although previously he was  permitted to be sent on medical leave, he had remained in prison as he was not able to provide the required bail.

In December 2019, the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Iman Afshari sentenced Mr. Mehregan to 5 years in prison on the charge of conspiracy against national security, to 1 year in prison on a charge of propaganda activities against the regime, to 1 year in prison and 74 lashes for disturbing public order, and to 2 years of compulsory reside in the Jafarabad district of Arian Shahr in South Khorasan Province.

The sentence was later reduced by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided by Judge Ahmad Zargar, to six years in prison from which 5 years imprisonment is enforceable to Mr. Mehregan, after applying Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

Reza Mehregan, along with Mohammad Abolhassani, another civil activist, was sent from Evin Prison to Branch 2 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office, headed by Judge Haji Moradi, in December 2020, in connection with another case against them. The two civil activists were charged with holding a funeral of the victims of the November 2019 nationwide protests in prison.

Court of Appeals Sentences Keyvan Samimi to 2 Years in Prison

Iranian journalist Keyvan Samimi has been sentenced to two years in prison after a court of appeals overturned the Supreme Court’s  decision to resume Samimi’s case.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Ensaf News, Samimi is the editor of Iran-e- Farda newspaper and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association.

Mr. Samimi had previously endured six years in prison in 2009 for questioning the 2009 presidential election, participating in protests, and writing articles critical of the Islamic Regime. He is currently being held in Evin Prison, where he has been imprisoned since his arrest on International Workers’ Day in 2019.

Samimi was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Iman Afshari, to three years in prison on charges of conspiracy to act against the security of the country. This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar.

Mahmoud Behzadi-Rad, Samimi’s lawyer, said that the Supreme Court accepted the resumption of Mr. Samimi’s trial, but when his case was sent to the Branch 54 of the Court of Appeals, the decision was reversed.

“The judge did not accept the opinion of the Supreme Court,” Behzadi-Rad said, “and they only reduced the three-year imprisonment sentence to two years.”

Saba Kord Afshari Sent on 15 Day Leave from Qarchak Prison in Varamin

Yesterday, imprisoned civil activist Saba Kord Afshari was sent on a 15-day leave from Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, yesterday, August 11, the activist was allowed medical leave after receiving a positive COVID test.

Saba Kord Afshari is a civil activist and prominent critic of the compulsory hijab in Iran. On September 5, 2019, Afshari  was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by judge Iman Afshari, to 15 years imprisonment for “promoting corruption and obscenity through appearing without a headscarf in public”,  and 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “assembly and collusion with an intent to commit a crime against national security” to a total of 24 years in prison along with other social deprivations, from which, after applying Article 134 and adjustment of the sentences, the most severe punishment of 7 years and 6 months in prison is enforceable to her.

On May 8 of this year, 22-year-old Kord Afshari began what would be a 10 day hunger strike to protest the increasing pressure on her family and family of fellow political prisoners, and to demand the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi. Upon finishing her strike, the young activist said, in a statement, “I am fully aware that human lives are of no value to the Islamic Republic, so I am ending my hunger strike, but I am still seeking to fulfill my demands.”

Despite the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 within Iran’s prison system, inmates are frequently deprived of adequate and timely medical treatment.

Five Political Defendants Sentenced to a Total of 38 Years in Prison

Political defendants Nahid Taghavi, Somayeh Kargar, Bahareh Soleimani, Nazanin Mohammad Nejad, and Mehran Raouf were sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to a total of 38 years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  the court hearings of these citizens, along with Ms. Elham Samimi, another defendant of this case, were held on April 28 and June 13.

Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced Nahid Taghavi and Mehran Raouf to 10 years and eight months in prison on charges of “participation in the management of an illegal group and propaganda activities against the regime”.

Somayeh Kargar and Bahareh Soleimani were sentenced to 6 years and eight months on charges of “participation in the management of an illegal group and propaganda activities against the regime”, and Nazanin Mohammad Nejad to 3 years and 4 months each on a charge of “participation in the management of an illegal group and propaganda activities against the system”. As of this writing, the status of Elham Samimi’s case is not known.

In October 2020, HRANA reported the arrest of Ms. Taghavi, Ms. Somayeh Kargar, Mr. Mehran Raouf, and Ms. Bahareh Soleimani by IRGC intelligence forces, as well as the arrests of Ms. Mohammadnejad in December and Elham Samimi in November last year. Nahid Taghavi and Mehran Raouf are still in custody.

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