Innocent Man Dies After Police Beating

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – On September 11th, Hojat Eghtesadi died after being beaten by police, who contend that his cause of death was a heart attack.

Eghtesadi, a native of the city of Malekan in East Azerbaijan Province (northwestern Iran), had been admitted to Bonab county’s Imam Khomeini hospital for self-inflicted wounds. Upon his discharge, he was experiencing the side effects of intravenous tranquilizers when he crossed paths with the guards on duty.

“On his way out of the hospital, he got into an altercation with hospital security. The police were called, and he was arrested and taken to Bonab county police station,” said a source close to Eghtesadi’s family. “I don’t know what happened there that led to the beating, but it cost him his life.”

The police asked Eghtesadi’s family to come recover his body from the police station the following day, alleging he had died of a heart attack. At the sight of his body, his family said they noted copious bruising that was distinct from his self-inflicted wounds.

Iranian detention centers require round-the-clock supervision, yet deaths of those taken into custody are common. Detainee deaths are rarely followed up by judicial investigation, third-party inquiries, or measures to hold perpetrators accountable.

Blackballed Baha’is: 40 and Counting

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HHRANA) – HRANA has so far confirmed the names of at least 40 Baha’i Iranian citizens who have been denied the opportunity to enroll in university despite successfully placing on the competitive national admissions test.

HRANA has confirmed that the candidate files of Nima Amini, Hanan Hashemi Dehaj, Hasti Maleki, Aria Ehsani, Tina Hamidi Fard from Tehran (ranked #15000 on the national exam) and Rozhan Khooniki (ranked #9477) have all been flagged “deficiency on file” on the National Organization for Educational Testing website. HRANA previously reported the names of 34 other students singled out by the same system.

The “deficiency on file” flag is one known method of the wider anti-Baha’i discrimination politics administered by Iran’s Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. An informed source confirmed to HRANA that the flag is a go-to excuse to prevent Baha’i students from entering institutes of higher education.

Azerbaijani Activist Abbas Lasani Spurns Text-Message Summons

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Abbas Lasani, an Azerbaijani activist and former political prisoner, will not be responding to the SMS he received from Branch 2 of Tabriz Revolutionary Court.
A resident of Ardabil in northwestern Iran–home to the country’s Azerbaijani ethnic minority–Lasani said that due to authorities’ spurious method of summoning him, he refused to attend the hearing scheduled for him on Tuesday, September 18th.
“Even ignoring the suspect intent of this summons, their delay in sending it, and the timing of the hearing on [the eve of the Muharram holidays]– it’s impossible to ignore that the summons is illegitimate, arriving by text message with no official hard copy,” Lasani said. “Appropriate preparations can’t be made in these circumstances.”
Lasani and three other Azerbaijani activists were first arrested by Intelligence agents on July 2, 2018, a few days before an annual gathering at Babak Fort, a site that has acquired symbolic importance for Azerbaijani rallies in recent years. Prior to his arrest, he had shared a video encouraging people to attend the gathering. He was released on $3,500 USD (500 million IRR) bail July 11, 2018.
Lasani was among the first of more than 80 Azerbaijani activists arrested throughout Ardabil, West Azerbaijan, and East Azerbaijan provinces at the time of the Babak Fort gathering.
Amnesty International issued a statement on August 5th of this year, calling the arrests of Azerbaijani activists “arbitrary” and unlawful, and demanded the immediate release of all individuals detained for their participation in Azerbaijani Turkic cultural gatherings.

Parliamentarians from various countries demand the release of six HR defenders

HRANA- Following on from the March 2nd campaign, Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) has announced that a number of parliamentarians from various countries, including the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada, demand the unconditional release of Iranian human rights defenders who were arrested on 2nd March 2010 and are currently still imprisoned. Continue reading “Parliamentarians from various countries demand the release of six HR defenders”

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Baha’i Citizens interrogated upon return to Iran

HRANA News Agency – In the past few months, a number of Baha’i citizens have been interrogated by the authorities after returning to Iran from Turkey.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Iranian intelligent officers have questioned Baha’i citizens at the airport and inspected their belongings in different occasions.

Continue reading “Baha’i Citizens interrogated upon return to Iran”

Political Activist remains in custody without being charged

HRANA News Agency – Reza Akbari-Monfared has been in custody for four months without being formally charged with any crimes.  Akbari-Monfared is a political activist whose family members were executed during the mass killings of 1980s in Iran.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Akbari-Monfared was arrested on Jan. 15, 2013 together his son, Ali, and has been locked up in Ward 209 of Evin Prison ever since.  His sister, Maryam, was arrested during the protests following the 2009 presidential elections in Iran and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  His son, Ali, was released from prison last March after posting bail.
Akbari-Monfared was a political prisoner in 1980s, and four members of her family were executed during the same time.  Ali-Reza, 20, Gholam-Reza, 26, Roghihe, 30, and Abdual-Reza, 23, were all hanged in the 80s.

A cab driver sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl

HRANA News Agency – A cab driver has sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl multiple times.  Last year, a cab driver who was hired to take three little girls to school every day began abusing one of the children sexually after awhile.

According to a report by Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), the driver owns a Ford Festiva, is visually impaired in one eye and had taken the girl to an abandoned building near the school.  The mother of the child says that she has no hope of recovery for her daughter.  “It has been years since my daughter has been potty trained, but she is having accidents now because of what has happened to her,” the mother says.

The mother has also reported that the cab driver assaulted her daughter for weeks by taking her to the abandoned building under false pretenses of wanting to play games.  “My children say the driver has a yellow knife that he keeps under his seat,” the mother adds while crying.  “He has threatened my kids.  When two of them weren’t there, he abused my daughter, Freshteh.  He threatened to cut her parent’s heads off if she didn’t keep quiet.”

“Freshteh is now undergoing psychiatric therapy and has been taking sedatives.  She is easily agitated and even fears her father and brothers,” the mother says.


Fire-fighters and rescuers are buried under trash

HRANA News Agency – As a result of a mudslide at a landfill, a group of fire-fighters and rescuers who were trying to put out a fire fell into a hole more than 98 feet deep.  They are now buried under a  mountain of trash which clasped after them.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Ramzan Amini, the deputy mayor of Shiraz, has announced that 11 individuals were buried under the trash at Barmshor Landfill.  Four men have already been rescued, and efforts to rescue the others are underway.

According to another report by Mahr News Agency, Ramin Talabi, the director of the fire department at the city of Shiraz, has said that because of the volume of trash piled up at the site, the rescuers have had difficulty reaching the missing victims.  “Two fire-fighters, two horticultural engineers and two utility workers are still missing,” Talabi said.  “The most important obstacles are the volume of trash and mud at the site.”  The experts at the landfill have estimated that the victims are under more than 40 tons of trash.