Journalist’s Death Attributed to Travel and Healthcare Restrictions

Posted on: November 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Hamid Houshangi, former journalist and director at the state-run news agency, IRNA, passed away Thursday, November 8th of cancer. He was 70.

At the time of his death, Houshangi was facing a two-year prison sentence. In a note published September 2nd of this year, Houshangi drew attention to a writ in which he was summoned to serve the sentence despite his diagnosis.

The cancer diagnosis came at about the same time as his prison sentence — ruled by Judge Moghiseh on October 2, 2016 — for charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “gathering and colluding against national security.” The sentence was upheld a few months later by Judge Zargar of Appeals Court Branch 36.

Referred throughout his cancer treatment to resources that could only be obtained abroad, Houshangi never broke free of a two-year stalemate with judicial authorities who refused to let him seek care outside Iran.

Houshangi started his journalism career with Iranian national radio and television in 1973.

Reporter Vahid Ahang Released on Bail

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Vahid Ahang, a reporter jailed pursuant to a complaint filed by the Dishmok municipality, has been released after posting a bail of 50 million tomans [approximately $3,000 USD].

An informed source told HRANA that Ahang was arrested on October 31st and interrogated the same day from eight in the morning until noon. Judge Javad Parhizgar and his secretary were reportedly hostile towards him, refusing to accept Ahang’s bail even after the Dishmok mayor and county governor came forward to withdraw the complaint. Parhizgar was reportedly worn down by several follow-ups from Ahang’s family, the source said.

Ahang’s byline precedes previous reports of mistreatment from visitors to Judge Parhizgar’s office.

Municipal Grievance Lands Urban Reporter Vahid Ahang in Prison

Posted on: November 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Pursuant to a complaint lodged by the Municipality of Dishmok, city-life beat reporter Vahid Ahang was arrested on October 31, 2018, by security agents and transferred to Dehdasht prison.

Ahang reportedly covers municipal business from a critical angle. According to an informed source, his recent arrest has roots in an accusation leveled against him back in 2013 of insulting, slandering, and threatening municipal workers.

Cases involving alleged defamation by reporters are typically processed in Media Court before being transferred to a local court with appropriate jurisdiction. It is not yet clear why Ahang’s case was expedited directly to Dishmok Court.

Dishmok and Dehdasht are counties in the southwestern province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad.

Journalist Kazem Imanzadeh Summoned to Court

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Kazem Imanzadeh, a journalist from Sanandaj, western Iran, was summoned by Branch 1 of Criminal Court on September 28, 2018.

An informed source told HRANA that Imanzadeh is facing charges of “spreading misinformation with intent to slander the regime,” “disturbing public opinion by disseminating false statements about the regime,” “publishing content to sow ethnic, racial, and religious divisions” and “insulting Islamic sanctities and imams.”

HRANA recently reported on the conviction of Sanandaj-based journalist Ejlal Ghavami, a human rights activist who was released on bail after being read his charges on August 20th, 2018. Ghavami was sentenced in absentia to eight months in prison by Branch 109 of the Sanandaj Criminal Court 2, for “spreading misinformation with intent to disturb public opinion.”

Journalist Motahereh Shafiei Walks away from Appeal with Suspended Sentence

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The former sentence of Motahereh Shafiei, editor of the politics beat of the Arman newspaper in Iran, was appealed to a six-month suspended prison term Monday, September 17th, Ensaf News reports.

Shafiei was previously tried and sentenced to six months in prison, plus a two-year ban on both media-related and political activity, by Judge Salavati in Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.

As of the date of this report, there are no details available on her charges or the reason behind her conviction. She is among a group of reformist journalists arrested in 2012 by the Ministry of Intelligence during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency.

Fars News Agency, an organization with close ties to the Iranian security establishment, reported in 2012 that these journalists were being investigated for “their contacts with foreign media.”