Women’s Rights Activist Hoda Amid Released on Bail

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Lawyer and women’s rights activist Hoda Amid was released on bail on the evening of Sunday, November 4th after being incarcerated for 65 days.

On September 29th, 750 civil rights activists inside and outside Iran issued a statement condemning the persecution of women’s rights defenders, including Amid, demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

Lawyer Mostafa Daneshjoo Remanded to Evin Prison

Posted on: October 3rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Judge Moghiseh has extended the temporary detention period of lawyer and imprisoned Dervish activist Mostafa Daneshjoo, denying his request for bail despite the severe progression of his cardiac and lung disease.

Symptoms of Daneshjoo’s asthma were exacerbated by his stay in Evin Prison’s Ward 250 between 2011 and 2015, on charges of “membership in the Dervish cult,” “acting against national security,” “propaganda against the regime,” and “disturbing the public mind.” Despite orders from the assistant prosecutor that Daneshjoo is sent to a healthcare facility, Evin Prison authorities have barred his transfer.

Seven armed agents arrested Daneshjoo in his mother’s home on July 7th, taking him to solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Ward 209 — which is under Intelligence Ministry management — where he stayed for 45 days. He was then sent to Ward 4, typically designated for convicts of financial crimes.

Daneshjoo was arrested pursuant to a case file against him in 2017 in Tehran’s Security Investigation Court, in connection to a violent clash that took place February 2018 near the Dervish spiritual leader’s residence on Golestan Avenue in the capital city.

Per a letter from the security office at Azad University, Daneshjoo’s alma mater, he has been barred from continuing his studies. Citing his defense of the Gonabadi Dervish religious minority, security authorities have revoked his permit to practice law.

In a note dated October 2nd, attorney Ali Sharifzadeh announced that he had been retained as Daneshjoo’s lawyer in Branch 28 of Revolutionary Court.

Three Women’s Rights Activists Detained in Three Days

Posted on: September 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Rezvaneh Mohammadi is the third women’s rights activist to be taken into custody by authorities in the past three days.

A source close to Mohammadi’s family told HRANA that she was arrested by security forces for unknown reasons on the evening of Monday, September 3, 2018.

Mohammadi’s arrest comes only two days after the arrests of activists Najmeh Vahedi and Hoda Amid, an attorney, on September 1st. The two were reportedly arrested for hosting training workshops for women inquiring about their rights in marriage contracts. At the time of this report, no further information was available on their conditions or the reasons behind their arrests.

Mohammadi, Vahedi, and Amid join a recent wave of citizens detained for their active and public defense of human rights. Lawyers Arash Kaykhosravi, Payam Dorafshan, Farrokh Forouzan, and Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi were detained in August. Dorafshan and Forouzan have since been released.

Authorities Charge Reza Khandan, Husband of Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Nasrin Sotoudeh

Posted on: September 4th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, had continued to speak out in defense of the causes championed by his wife. Today, September 4, 2018, he joins her in Evin Prison.

“Gathering and collusion against national security,” “Propaganda against the regime,” and “Promoting the removal of Hijab in society” are the accusations leveled at Khandan, who was arrested in his home by security forces earlier today before being charged in Branch 7 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Interrogation office. His bail has been set at 7 billion rials (approximately $53,000 USD).

Khandan’s arrest follows a court summons he received by phone, and disregarded, one day prior. He published a note detailing the incident:

“Someone called me on my cell today, saying they were from the Intelligence Ministry and saying I had to go there. No person or organization, other than judicial authorities, has the right to prosecute people, and even then, it has to be in writing,” Khandan said.

Khandan said that when he pointed out that the summons was illegitimate, the caller replied that Khandan would be arrested for non-compliance.

In a brief interview, Khandan’s lawyer Mohammad Moghimi enumerated pieces of evidence that authorities are using to build their case against his client, none of which he says can lawfully substantiate the charges: Khandan’s participation in a sit-in organized by his wife in front of the Iranian Bar Association office, his interviews with foreign media outlets, and pin-back buttons that were seized at his home.

On August 18, 2018, in a raid on Khandan’s home, security forces confiscated pin-back buttons reading “I am against forced veiling,” along with letters that Sotoudeh had written to him from prison. The same day, security forces proceeded to search the homes of Mohammadreza (Davoud) Farhadpour, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and Khandan’s sister, whose name has yet to be confirmed by HRANA.

The day before Khandan’s arrest, the Ministry of Intelligence brought in Farhadpour and Makvandi for interrogation. They were subsequently transferred to Evin Court and charged in Branch 7 of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Farhadpour published a note confirming the news of his arrest and added that he crossed paths with civil rights activist Farhad Meysami while walking the corridors of Evin Court. Meysami was previously arrested in his home library on July 31, 2018, and has been on hunger strike since August 1st.

Nasrin Sotoudeh Starts Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Posted on: August 25th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Nasrin Sotoudeh, prominent lawyer and human rights activist, who has been detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June 13th, started a hunger strike on Saturday, August 25th.

Sotoudeh has published an open letter to declare her hunger strike. The arrest and harassment of her family members and friends is the reason behind her protest, she says in the letter.

Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, published a note to confirm his wife’s hunger strike.

The full text of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s letter, translated by HRANA:

My fellow Iranians,

After I was arrested two months ago, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence undertook the unlawful action of arresting the esteemed citizen, Dr Farhad Meysami. They searched his house and that of his relatives and friends to discover evidence of protest against mandatory veiling.

After they failed to find anything in the house of my husband’s sister, they confiscated a satellite device [instead].

Since none of my correspondences to the authorities has been so far responded to, I have no choice but to embark on a hunger strike to protest against the arrests and judicial pressures brought upon my family, relatives and friends.

In the hope that law and justice will one day prevail in our beloved country, Iran.

Nasrin Sotoudeh
August 2018

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Nasrin Sotoudeh had recently refused to appear in court, despite a summons order issued by the authorities. She wrote an open letter to explain why.

According to a report published by HRANA on August 18th, Reza Khandan’s house and the house of other relatives and friends of the family were raided by the authorities.

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<h3> UPDATE: </h3> Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her hunger strike on October 3, 2018, her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi told HRANA.