Poet and Political Activist Mostafa Badkoobeyi Released Pending Trial

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – After spending two days in prison, poet and former political prisoner Mostafa Badkoobeyi was conditionally released pending trial.

Badkoobeyi was arrested November 5th after being summoned to Branch 3 of the Evin Prison Prosecutor’s office for interrogation. Earlier, on October 27th, he was given five days’ notice to present himself there, under threat of arrest for failure to appear.

His writ indicated no reason for the summons, a source close to Badkoobeyi told HRANA. His family’s inquiries have thus far been unsuccessful in extracting an explanation from authorities.

Following the highly-disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections, Badkoobeyi’s poetry, critical of former president Mahmood Ahmadinejad, led to his arrest and an 18-month prison sentence. He went to Evin Prison on November 21, 2012, where he spent less than a year before being released.

Authorities Prevent Folk Author’s Remembrance Gathering for the 3rd Time

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Shahnaz Darabian’s plans to mark the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death at his resting place in Karaj’s Behesht-e Sakineh cemetery were abruptly derailed by a phone call October 24th, by which Iranian security forces informed her that the ceremony would not be permissible.

The widow and children of late writer Ali Ashraf Darvishian had announced their plans to commemorate his passing on October 23rd of this year.

“Security organs pled ‘anti-regime abuses’ to stop the event from taking place,” a close source told HRANA. “They have said that only family and close relatives of Mr. Darvishian are permitted to visit his grave for an hour. They left the family with no choice but to cancel the ceremony.”

The cancellation marks the third consecutive time that Iranian authorities have obstructed posthumous honors for Darvishian. Just two days after his death in 2017, Iranian authorities canceled a commemoration event planned for October 28th at Elmi Karbordi University. A second attempt to hold a ceremony was halted by security forces December 1, 2017.

Ali Ashraf Darvishian, a writer and scholar of folk literature, died of an illness on October 26, 2017, at the age of 76. He was buried October 30, 2017, in Behesht-e Sakineh cemetery of Karaj.

Ali Ashraf Darvishian

Darvishian published around 30 books, the most influential of which was a 19-volume anthology of Iranian folklore he composed in collaboration with Reza Khandan Mahabadi. One of the oldest members of the Iranian Writers Guild, his honors include the Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Grant, awarded to writers across the world who are struggling against persecution and economic hardship.

Due to his political activity leading up to the Islamic Revolution, Darvishian was fired from his job, prevented from working, and imprisoned between 1970 and 1979.

Other notable Darvishian works include My Favorite Stories, Bisotun, Abshuran, Bread Season, Along with my Father’s Songs, Golden Flower and Red Klash, The Black Cloud of a Thousand Eyes, Our School’s Bulletin, Rangineh, When Will You Be Returning, Dear Brother, and Fire in the Kid’s Library.

Writer and Activist Abbas Vahedian Arrested in Mashhad

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi, a writer and activist, was arrested at his Mashhad residence and transferred to an unknown location by security forces on October 11, 2018.

As of the date of this report, no further information was available on his location or the reasons behind his arrest.

A source close to the matter confirmed Vahedian’s arrest and told HRANA that he, along with a number of other activists in Mashhad, had recently been providing financial support to the families of several prisoners.

Vahedian’s works include “The Return of the Genghis Khan Mongol,” published by Khatam Publications in Mashhad.

Iranian Authorities Detain Writer Nader Faturehchi

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Writer, translator, and journalist Nader Faturehchi was arrested on the morning of Sunday, August 19, 2018, after he was unable to post the bail set for him during a preliminary hearing.

The hearing took place at Branch 3 of the Court of Precinct 31 of Tehran, where Faturehchi was summoned on defamation charges brought by Mohammad Imami, an investor for the celebrated Shahrzad television series, who himself has been accused of embezzling money from the Ministry of Culture.

Nader’s brother Shahrokh Faturehchi confirmed that the writer will be kept in custody as he did not have the means to post bail.

HRANA had previously reported on Mr Faturehchi’s court summons on April 4th, following a charge pursuant to Imami’s complaint. Branch 3 of Precinct 31 processes information technology and computer-related crimes.

Prior to his detention, Mr Faturehchi posted a note in response to his summons:

“A serious battle with corruption has begun. I’m going to court, coerced to ‘explain myself’ on accounts from someone charged with embezzling funds from the Employees’ Fund of the Ministry of Culture.”

Nader Faturehchi, born in 1977 in Tehran, explores political, artistic, social, and philosophical themes in his writing. He began his journalism career in the Sobh-e Emrooz newspaper and has previously worked with newspapers such as Sharq, Bahar, Aftab-e Emrooz, Dowran-e Emrooz, Bonyan, Towse’e and Sarmayeh. He also collaborates with the Porsesh Institute as a lecturer.