Former Civil Servant to Begin Prison Sentence

Posted on: November 12th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Former political prisoner and ex-public official Feizollah Arabsorkhi has been summoned to begin his one-year prison sentence within the next five days.

Arabsorkhi was tried on charges of “propaganda against the regime” by Judge Ahmadzadeh in August of 2015 and issued a two-year ban on civic activities in addition to his one-year prison term.

Arabsorkhi has speculated that the charges are a vindictive move from the Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in response to his signature on a letter once published from prison.

In protest of the highly-contested Iranian presidential election of 2009, Arabsorkhi co-authored a letter with a number of political activists, interpreting a speech by security-judiciary agent Commander Moshfegh as evidence of corruption both before and after the ballots had been cast. Later arrested by the IRGC, he was convicted in Revolutionary Court Branch 15 of “propaganda against the regime” and “assembling and colluding against national security” in July of that year. He was released from Evin Prison in 2013 after completing his sentence.

Born September 23, 1958, Arabsorkhi holds a bachelor’s degree in social communications and membership in the reformist political group Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution. He has served both on the cabinet of Mir-Hossein Mousavi as general manager of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance security office, and in the Khatami administration [1997 – 2005] as deputy trade minister for the Ministry of Commerce.

Afrin Battles Detainees Condemned to 11 Years in Prison

Posted on: September 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The verdict of Mostafa Ghader Zeinab and Rahim Mahmoudi Azar–two Urmia residents who were sent back to Iran from Syrian Kurdistan after being wounded in the Turkish offensives on Afrin–was upheld by Branch 1 of the Appeals Court of Urmia.

Per their original sentencing by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia on July 6, 2018, Zeinab and Azar face five years in prison on charges of “Membership in anti-regime groups,” five years in prison for “collusion and conspiracy,” and one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime.”

Zeinab has been released on bail, and Azar remains in detention at Urmia.

A source close to both men previously told HRANA that Zeinab and Azar were members of a Kurdish military group fighting in Syria. After sustaining injuries during a Turkish attack on Afrin, they were transferred to a hospital in Aleppo. “Upon realizing their nationalities, Syrian authorities handed them over to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” the source said.

According to the source, they were interrogated at Evin Detention Center for a week in March 2018 before being transferred to Urmia’s Intelligence Office, where they were interrogated for a month.

Both men have been denied the right to appoint lawyers of their choice and attended their court session with a public defender.

Zahedan Death Row Prisoner Now in Custody of the IRGC

Posted on: August 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Abubakr Rostami, a political prisoner on death row, was transferred from Ward 4 of Zahedan Central Prison to an IRGC detention center on August 28, 2018. To date, HRANA is unable to confirm the reason for his transfer.

A source close to Rostami told HRANA, “A few days ago, prison authorities told Rostami he was not to use the library or gym, then on Tuesday they transferred him outside.”

Rostami was among a group of political prisoners in Zahedan who addressed a letter to UN special rapporteur Javaid Rehman, imploring him to advocate for political prisoners’ rights.

Prior to this, in an open letter co-written by Bandeh Chakerzehi and Sajjad Baluch — the two arrested with him on September 16, 2015– Rostami proclaimed their innocence, stating the IRGC and Intelligence Agency exerted physical and mental torture on them on charges that were “bogus”.

In the letter, Rostami wrote of the trip to Pakistan he was planning in anticipation of making arrangements for continuing his studies [abroad]: “Due to border limitations, I was forced to travel through Pakistan to get to [another] foreign country, but I was arrested midway and handed over to the IRGC,” he wrote.

A second-year medical student at Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Rostami has spent the past three years in prison. In August 2017, along with Chakerzehi and Baluch who were on trial for the same case, he was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Zahedan on charges of “Moharebeh” (enmity against God) and “Acting Against National Security through Cooperation with Opposition Groups”.

No further details on their case or charges were available.

*Zahedan is a county in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

Kurdish Opposition Member on Death Row Returned to Prison after IRGC Interrogation

Posted on: August 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA)- After ten days of interrogation at a detention center of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Kamal Hassan Ramezan, 33, who is from the Syrian Kurdish town of Serikani, was transferred back to Ward 12 of Urmia Central Prison on Thursday, August 23, 2018, where he awaits execution.

The IRGC was interrogating Ramezan about his prison “activism,” a source familiar with the case told HRANA. “Mr Ramezan was taken to an unknown location on August 13th. When he was finally returned to [Ward 12 of Urmia Central Prison], we learnt that he had spent these 10 days in an IRGC detention center.”

First arrested near Urmia in July 2014 by IRGC forces, Ramezan underwent interrogation for four months on the charge of Moharebeh (“enmity against God”). Urmia court authorities then officially charged Ramezan, who is of Kurdish descent, with Moharebeh for his alleged affiliation with a Kurdish opposition group, and transferred him to Urmia Central Prison.

While awaiting trial for the above charges, he was coerced and tortured into providing a televised confession. On August 14, 2015, Branch 2 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Sheikhlou, sentenced Ramezan to ten years and one day in prison.

In 2016 Ramezan was targeted again, interrogated as a suspect in the 2006 murder of an IRGC member in Urmia. Despite an alibi of not having been in the country at the time of the murder, he was tried and sentenced to death in absentia by Branch 3 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court on May 20th, 2017, and has remained in prison since.

Civil Rights Activist Denied Medical Care in Yasouj Prison

Posted on: August 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Despite vomiting blood and severe difficulty breathing, detained civil rights activist Mohammad Davari has yet to see a doctor.

Detained since August 10, 2018, in Yasouj Central Prison where interrogators dealt heavy blows to his chest and abdomen, he has twice requested medical attention for his subsequent injuries, a source close to his family said. Prison officials have denied his requests.

Multiple visits and inquiries to the Intelligence Office and the Judiciary of Yasouj have done little to assuage Davari’s family’s concern for his wellbeing, as authorities thus far have refused to comment on his case or the reason for his detention. At the time of Davari’s arrest at his parents’ home in Yasouj, agents confiscated some of his personal belongings such as his mobile phone, laptop, and written notes.

Mohammad Davari has previously been on the authorities’ radar. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) apprehended him on March 5, 2018, in connection to his engagement in protests that filled the streets of different Iranian cities in spring of 2018. After eight days in detention, he was released on a bail of 500,000,000 Rials (approximately $12,000 USD). Relative to that arrest, authorities reportedly told Davari’s family that he was being charged with “acting against national security through disturbing the public peace.” He was arrested and released on bail in another incident following the death of Hashemi Rafsanjani, for pulling down a banner bearing Rafsanjani’s photo.

Mohammad Davari, 26, is pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science.

Security Forces Arrest More Citizens in Ahvaz

Posted on: August 18th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Several citizens in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz were arrested by security forces in the aftermath of a football match between Esteghlal Ahvaz and Tehran’s Persepolis that took place on August 9th. After the match, fans chanted slogans against the Iranian authorities.

The arrestees, who are among the Arab citizens of Ahvaz, were reportedly arrested by security forces of the Intelligence Department of Ahvaz’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

HRANA was able to identify two of the arrestees as Imen Beit Sayah, 16, and Bashir Sorkhi. Mr Sorkhi was reportedly arrested on August 15th and taken to an unidentified location. Mr Sayah was arrested on August 9th and taken to an unidentified location.

Bashir Sorkhi (left) and 16-year-old Imen Beit Sayah (right)

After a week, the family of the arrestees still have no information about the whereabouts of their children.

On August 16th, HRANA had reported on the arrest of another Ahvazi citizen by security forces.