A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 8, 2018

Posted on: December 8th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 8th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Probation

(2) A Worker Died in His Workplace

(3) A 17-year-old Teenager’s Suicide in Hamadan

(4) More Protests Were Organized

(5) Four Citizens Were Arrested in Sistan and Baluchestan for the Thursday’s Attack in Chabahar

(6) The Admin of the “Dolatebahar” Website was Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

(7) A Teacher Summoned After Teachers’ Protest

(8) A Citizen from Hamidiyeh Was Arrested

        

(1) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Probation

On Thursday,December 6th, two Sunni prisoners from Bookan who were imprisoned for 18 months in Urmia prison, were released on probation. By the charge of “membership in a ‘Salafi’ group”,Mohammad Mohammadi and Rahman Fatahipour were issued their original verdict of five years imprisonment on May 2017. Moreover, lots of prisoners who were accused of having connection with jihadist-Salafismideology are in Urmia prison.

(2) A Worker Died in His Workplace

Babol emergency department spokesperson confirmed a worker’s death in his workplace.He passed away after he fell from a construction site. Gholam Niaroshan said: on Friday at 8.38 in the morning, we received a report of an incident for a construction worker in Oghaf square. The construction worker was 20 years old and died because of severe injuries and bleeding.

(3) A 17-year-old Teenager’s Suicide in Hamadan

Nahavand’s head of the police forces has confirmed that a 17-year-old teenager has committed suicide by hanging himself at theAlimoradian stadium in this town. Iran’s Forensic Medicine Institution has announced that teenage suicides comprise more than seven percent of the total number of suicides committed yearly. Nahavand is in Hamadan province.

(4) More Protests Were Organized

Large numbers of university students in Iran held protest rallies today, in solidarity with the striking workers, as well as the jailed students and teachers. More than 500 student journalists wrote an open letter to Hassan Rohani, Iran’s president and expressed their concerns of increased pressure on student activists.

 Moreover, the protest of the workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group is still ongoing. Pegah Milk company’s workers protested by the judicial department’s building.

(5) Four Citizens Were Arrested in Sistan and Baluchestan for the Thursday’s Attack in Chabahar

Zahedan prosecutor reported the arrest of four residents of different cities in Sistan and Baluchestan in relation to A suicide bomber that killed three policemen and injured at least 42 in Chabahar on December 6th, 2018. In Zahedan’s incident, a police 2nd Lt. officer, Dariush Ranjbar, and a conscript soldier, Naser Dorzadeh, were killed. The responsibility of attack is claimed by a Sunni militant group, Ansar al-Furqan.

(6) The Admin of the “Dolatebahar” Website was Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

The admin of the “Dolatebahar” website was sentenced to three years in prison. He was accused of “dissemination of falsehoods” and“act against national security”. Dolatebahar is supporting the ex-president Ahmadinejad. Mohammadhossein Heydari, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, four million Tomans [$200] fine, and being banned from political activities in cyberspace for two years this August.

(7) A Teacher Summoned After Teachers’ Protest

Safar Ramezani, a teacher and a Gilan’s folk music researcher, was summoned to the second branch prosecutor’s office at juridically of Langarud. He has been told that he should be there in the next five days and his summons is related to teachers’ protest in October andNovember of 2018. In addition, AbdolMajid Bahramzehi, a Baluch political prisoner situation is unknown. He has not contacted his family in the past 50 days and Zahedan prison officials.  

(8) A Citizen from Hamidiyeh Was Arrested

Heitham Obeidavi, an Arab citizen from Hamidiyeh in Khuzestan province was arrested by the security officers on Wednesday December 5th and was transferred to an unknown place.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 5, 2018

Posted on: December 6th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 5th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). (more…)

Shohada Square Protestor Dariush Darabi Sentenced to Prison

Posted on: October 11th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Arak resident Dariush Darabi, who was arrested in a protest rally in Shohada Square of Arak, central Iran, has been sentenced to one year in prison and 30 lashings, on charges of disturbing the public order and insulting the Supreme Leader. As evidence against him, the court cited text messages retrieved from his phone.

These charges were brought by Arak Criminal Court No. 2 Branch 103 and Arak Revolutionary Court Branch 2. Darabi’s defense lawyer Mohammad Najafi told HRANA that his client was taken to an Arak IRGC detention center after his arrest on August 2nd of this year, and temporarily released on bail thereafter.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) explicitly prohibits inhumane and degrading punishments like lashings.

At Least 30 Iranian Truckers Arrested as of Sixth Day of Renewed Strikes

Posted on: September 29th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA)- As the most recent round of truckers’ strikes entered its 6th day on September 27th, dozens of truckers had been arrested by security forces.

Stalling commercial transport across several Iranian cities–including Shahr-e Kord, Ardabil, Nain, Karaj, Isfahan, Arak, Nishapur, Zarrin Shahr, Urmia, Sabzevar, Rafsanjan, Qazvin, Dezful–striking drivers heeded the call of the national truck-driver’s trade union to cease their operations until authorities addressed their demands, including an increase in pensions, subsidized pricing for parts, 70+% hikes in fares, payment of drivers’ insurance premiums, the removal of brokers from terminals, and increased supervision of officers and agents, positions that have proven susceptible to bribes in the past.

In wake of the industry unrest, local prosecutors have confirmed the arrests of multiple truck drivers; as of the date of this report, Qazvin Prosecutor Esmail Sadegh Niaraki, the Karaj Prosecutor, and the Ardebil Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor Naser Atabati announced the arrest of 15, 7, and 8 truckers in their respective jurisdictions, claiming that the detained drivers had disrupted public order by blocking the roads. Reports indicate at least 30 strikers in various cities have been arrested since the strikes first began on Saturday, September 22nd.

On Thursday, truck drivers received text notifications of fuel allotments for drivers who didn’t participate in the strike and who can provide a bill of lading. These messages are reportedly an attempt by authorities to deter the ongoing protests.

Head of Tehran Poultry Farm Union Mohammad Yousef opined that the shortage and rising prices of poultry (currently $1USD (100 thousand IRR) per kilogram) could be resolved if the striking truckers were to resume their usual routes.

Roads and Urban Development Ministry Deputy Abdol-Hashem Hassan Nia claimed that road freight transportation is ongoing, and promised a more consistent supply of domestic tires for truckers. He indicated that leveraging more of the country’s tire supply from a government supply organ known as the Organization for Collection and Sale of State-owned Properties of Iran (OCSSPI) would be the next step in the resolution process.

“Also, on orders from the vice president, the import tariff on tires will be reduced to 5%, which should accelerate the importation,” Nia said, estimating the resultant supply increase could resolve the road fleet’s tire complaints within a month.

HRANA previously reported on the fifth day of the nationwide truck driver strikes and the reactions they drew from authorities.

Authorities Flip-Flop as Truck Driver Strike Wages on

Posted on: September 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – A strike that started September 21st in the Iranian trucking industry continued for its fourth consecutive day, causing long delays at gas stations and spikes in the price of produce that drivers refuse to mitigate until authorities take action to resolve their complaints.

Stalling commercial transport across several Iranian cities–including Tehran, Arak, Sari, Qazvin, Asadie, Bandar Imam Khomeini, Khomeyn, Isfahan, Varzaneh, Shahr-e Kord, Abhar, Kermanshah, Darab, Ardabil, Shahr-e Babak, Ziabad, Shiraz, Zanjan, and Kazerun–striking drivers are heeding the call of the national truck-driver’s trade union to cease their operations until authorities concede to increase truck driver pensions, reduce the price of truck parts, increase driver wages by 70 percent, lower insurance premiums, and crack down on corruption in the industry.

Fuel stations short on truck-supplied petrol are struggling to serve the long lines of customers forming at the pump as the strike wears on. Meanwhile, potato and tomato prices have reportedly increased in certain localities.

This is reportedly the third coordinated truck drivers’ strike to occur in the span of a few months. The first two each lasted ten days, beginning, ending, and resuming when authorities failed, promised, and failed again to make good on their verbal engagements.

Hassan Nasiri, head of a truck-owners’ co-op in Jooybar, said that the biggest frustration hindering truck drivers was the inadequate provision of truck tires and parts, adding that the quantity of parts supplied by the Industry Ministry to the truck-owners’ union has not been sufficient in meeting the demand.

In an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), head of the Alborz province truck-owners union Naser Kaviani said he was hopeful that their principle issues, such as the shortage of motor oil and parts, could be resolved with a reduction of market prices.

In a meeting with authorities including the Isfahan provincial governor, head of the national truck-owners union Ahmad Karimi, who is also from Isfahan province, said he was promised the provision of the sorely needed parts. According to Daryoosh Amadi, deputy head of the Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, or IRMTO, a subsidiary of the Roads and Urban Planning Ministry, the Industry Ministry refuses to fulfill drivers’ demands for tires.

Civil Rights Activist Mohammad Davari Arraigned

Posted on: September 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Mohammad Davari, a civil rights activist from Yasouj in the province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyerahmad, was read his charges in Branch 4 of the Investigation and Prosecution office on September 19th, after presenting himself in response to a summons he received last week.

After a round of questioning, judicial authorities issued a charge of “disseminating propaganda against the regime” and released him on bail pending completion of the investigation.

A source close to Davari’s family confirmed the news to HRANA, adding that the plaintiff in the case is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Unit and that the judge admitted into evidence Davari’s “notes on cyberspace” and his promotion of books “against the regime and the Islamic Revolution.”

Contrary to the judge’s implication, Davari contests that his notes only touched on such subjects as the Tehran-Yasouj plane crash, labor conditions, and the environmental conditions in his home province. The books in question, published by Davari with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Guidance, were about women’s rights, culture, and art.

Davari was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence forces on August 10, 2018. During his custody and until his August 27th release on a 200 million toman (approximately $20,000 USD) bond, he was denied medical care.

He was previously detained on March 5, 2018, for taking part in widespread popular protests in Iran. He was released ten days later on a 50 million toman (approximately $10,000 USD) bail.

Born in Dehdasht, about 90 miles west of Yasouj, Davari is a master’s student of political science who faced temporary detention on a prior occasion for pulling down a banner bearing the photo of late politician Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Anemic Political Prisoner Denied Medical Treatment on 10th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On the shore of the Caspian Sea in the city of Tonekabon, authorities at Nashtaroud Prison are still withholding medical care from political prisoner Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour, who has now been on hunger strike for ten days.

Sentenced to 10 months in prison for her participation in the January protests, Ahmadpour has been on hunger strike since September 10th, in protest of her restricted access to both medical care and the prison telephone.
Her strike is also a revolt against prison authorities who, as a form of coercion or harassment, reportedly threatened to open new charges against her.

An informed source told HRANA that prison officials have displayed apathy toward Ahmadpour’s anxiety about her condition. “On Thursday, September 13th, Ms. Ahmadpour felt sick and asked prison authorities for a transfer to an outside hospital, or to allow her family to bring medications to her, but the authorities ignored her pleas,” the source said.

Concerned at her frail state and steep drop in blood pressure, Ahmadpour’s ward mates brought her to authorities again in hopes of obtaining her treatment. A few hours later, the ward mates learned she had instead been transferred to solitary confinement.

“They said that she would be held there until she broke her hunger strike,”  the source said. “She was sent back to the ward last night, without having been treated, and still on strike.”

Per her treatment plan for anemia, Ahmadpour should receive seven units of blood every month. An informed told HRANA that monthly blood infusions were also recommended for her as a preventative measure against leukemia. Despite her diagnosis and supporting medical documentation, however, prison authorities are adamant about denying her requests for a medical transfer.

Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour is a 46-year-old resident of Tonekabon. A peddler by trade, she was arrested along with 14 other residents during widespread rallies that took place in January 2018 across Iran, known as the January Protests. The Revolutionary Court of Tonekabon sentenced eight of these arrestees to 28 months’ imprisonment, divided among the defendants. Branch 101 of Criminal Court No. 2 of Tonekabon, presided over by Judge Ebrahimi, also sentenced six of the arrestees to 24 collective months of prison time.

Ahmadpour was first sentenced May 2, 2018, in Branch 101 of Tonekabon Criminal Court No. 2 to serve a six-month prison sentence on a charge of “disrupting the public peace through participation in an illegal gathering.” On August 11, 2018, Tunekabon’s Revolutionary Court compounded the sentence with four months’ imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime.” As evidence against her, the court cited a combination of law enforcement reports and images and video taken during the January protests in Tonekabon.

HRANA previously reported on Ms. Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour’s third day of hunger strike in Nashtaroud Prison.

Activist issued prison sentence for visiting families of dead protestors

Posted on: September 20th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Vahid Bashiri, a civil rights activist and resident of the city of Hamadan in Iran’s west, was sentenced to one year of suspended imprisonment on a charge of “propaganda against the regime” for meeting with the families of protestors killed during widespread rallies in January in Iran.

Bashiri was summoned to the Revolutionary Court of Tuyserkan in July 2018 and sentenced on August 26th, 2018. In accordance with Iranian law, since 20 days have passed since the sentence has been issued without Bashiri filing for an appeal, the sentence has now been finalized. Tuyserkan is a city in Hamedan Province.

An informed source told HRANA that Bashiri’s charge stems from his visits with the families of those who participated in protests that took place across Iran in January 2018.

“The accusation attributed to Bashiri is “propaganda against the regime” through visiting and expressing compassion for those killed in the January protests in Tuyserkan,” the source said.

On July 27, HRANA reported that Bashiri had been summoned to the Revolutionary court of Tuyserkan to answer for the charge.

Earlier, a source close to Bashiri confirmed the report of his summons and told HRANA that “this charge was due to him visiting with the families of those killed during the January protest in Tuyserkan. This is due to the fact that the Tuyserkani civil activist had simply met with the families of the dead to express his sympathies and offer condolences.”

A large number of individuals were detained and interrogated during the January protests across the country. The protests, and the subsequent violent response by Iranian security forces, saw the deaths of 25 people and the arrests of over 5,000 people. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s broadcasting service reported that six individuals died as a result of the January protests in Tuyserkan.

University of Tehran Student Soha Mortezaei Sentenced to Six Years’ Imprisonment

Posted on: September 20th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Graduate student in humanities and Secretary of Tehran University Central Student Union Soha Mortezaei– who was among those arrested amid the 2018 “January protests”– has been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and a two-year ban on membership in political parties, groups, and gatherings by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Ahmadzadeh.

Mortezaei’s name figured in HRANA’s January 6, 2018 report on citizens apprehended during the aforementioned protests, which gained countrywide momentum and were met with considerable violence form authorities. She was detained for her inquiries into the status and wellbeing of detained fellow students who had participated along with her in the demonstrations.

Mortezaei had a previous run-in with authorities, in a wave of arrests that took place in January of 2015. She was arrested along with Amirkabir and Allameh Tabatabai University student activists Zahra Khandan, Fershteh Tusi, and Parastou Biranvand. One month later, she was released.

The January Protests led to large number of arrests and interrogations across the country. While the protests began on December 29, 2017 in the city of Mashhad, the unrest quickly spread to other cities. Thousands were detained and at least 25 died in skirmishes between protesters and security forces.

Iran: Update on Strike Arestees in Kurdistan

Posted on: September 16th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Iranian authorities continue to detain members of the country’s Kurdish minority, in mounting tensions sparked by the September 8th execution of Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi.

Since September 11th, seventeen civil and political activists have been arrested by security forces in the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj, Marivan, Oshnavieh, Sardasht, and Ravansar. At least twelve were released on bail in the past 24 hours, while the whereabouts or statuses of the others remain unknown.

Earlier this week, Kurdish activists and political parties rallied on social media for a general strike in response to the untimely deaths of Moradi, Moradi, and Panahi, who were hanged to death in dubious circumstances on September 8th, according to HRANA reports.

Security attentions have since zeroed in on Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and West Azerbaijan since merchants of these provinces went on strike to protest the young men’s hangings, protests which are being met by civic arrests and spray-painted threats onto the merchant’s shuttered shops.

The omnipresence of security forces in various Kurdish cities, particularly in the wake of the executions and IRGC’s recent missile attack on Kurdish political parties, has contributed to a growing sense of insecurity for Iranian Kurds.

There is still no update on the whereabouts of Jafar Rasoulpour, who was arrested on September 11th in Sardasht, West Azerbaijan Province, nor on Bagher Safari, age 60, who was taken away on Wednesday September 11th by security forces in Ravansar, Kermanshah.

Khaled Hosseini, Mozafar Salehania, and Mokhtar Zarei, who were arrested by security forces in Sanandaj and transferred to the Central Prison of this city on Tuesday and Wednesday, have reportedly been released on bail. Suran Daneshvar and Aram Fathi, two other activists arrested on Tuesday in Marivan, have been transferred to the detention center of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Eight other Marivan arrestees have since been released on bail: Moslem Bahrami, Mohammad Azkat, Dalir Roshan, Ahmad Tabireh, Nishervan Rezaei, Nooshirvan Khoshnazar, Aram Amani and Ahsan Partovi.

Oshnavieh resident Rashid Naserzadeh was also detained on Tuesday, and released on bail a few hours later.

On September 13th, HRANA reported on the arrest of 13 civil activists in the Iranian Kurdish cities of Marivan, Oshnavieh, Sardasht, and Ravansar in connection to the merchant strikes. That day, Soraya Khadri, a civil activist from Sanandaj and a member of Kurdistan’s Rojyar Charity Foundation, was arrested by security forces and transferred to an unknown location. Though the reason for her arrest has yet to be confirmed, it is suspected to be tied to the strike crackdown.

Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were put on death row after Iranian authorities accused them of murdering the son of a Friday prayer leader in Marivan, a charge they have always denied. Censured by human rights organizations from the outset for its shoddy documentation and lack of evidence, the Moradi’s case was still incomplete at the time they were put to death.

The Moradis wrote an open letter, published in May 2017, detailing their ordeal along with case facts they alleged were constructed by the Ministry of Intelligence. The letter also described torture they experienced at the hands of authorities.

Ramin Hossein Panahi, the third executed Kurd, was tried and sentenced to death by Branch One of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj on a charge of “acting against national security by violating the rights of others” on January 16, 2018. His sentence was upheld in mid-April by the Supreme Court before being forwarded to the Execution of Sentences Unit.

Eventually, these three Kurdish political prisoners were executed on the morning of Saturday, September 8th, after having been transferred to solitary confinement in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison.