Baha’i Sepideh Rashidi Detained in Ahvaz by IRGC Intelligence

IRGC intelligence officials have detained Baha’i citizen Sepideh Rashidi (Derakhshan) in Ahvaz, subsequently transferring her to an undisclosed location. This action has significantly heightened her family’s concerns due to the absence of information about her current condition.

A source close to Rashidi’s family confirmed to HRANA that her arrest occurred on Monday, May 27, 2024. During the arrest, IRGC Intelligence agents conducted an extensive search of her family’s home and seized some of her personal belongings.

As of now, the reasons for Rashidi’s arrest, her exact whereabouts, and any formal charges remain undisclosed.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion by Iranian authorities, leading to systematic and longstanding violations of the rights of Baha’is in the country. This includes the denial of their fundamental right to practice their religion, which constitutes a clear breach of both Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

Writer and Translator Loghman Ghanbari Arrested by Security Forces in Sarpol-e Zahab

Loghman Ghanbari, a writer and translator, was arrested at his residence in Sarpol-e Zahab, Kermanshah province, by security forces on April 7, 2024, as reported by Kurdpa.

Around 20 IRGC Intelligence agents conducted a search of his residence and seized some of his belongings.

Ghanbari, known for translating the book “The Kurds in a Volatile Middle East,” published in Sweden after Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance denied a license, was accused of “association with Israel” based on his correspondence with the book’s author, Ofra Bengio.

After a day of interrogation, Ghanbari was released upon signing a written commitment.

Jamshid Azizi’s Prison Sentence for Political Charges Upheld on Appeal

The Appellate Court of Gilan Province has upheld the four-year, 47-day prison term imposed on Jamshid Azizi Nunakaran.

This verdict includes three years and six months and one day for “assembly and collusion against national security” and seven months and 16 days for “propaganda against the regime.” As per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, dictating that in cases of multiple charges, the most severe penalty shall be enforced, he is sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

The initial verdict was issued by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Rasht, presided over by Judge Mehdi Rasekhi.

Azizi’s legal troubles began on April 16, 2023, when IRGC intelligence agents arrested him at his residence. Following 40 days of detention, he was released on bail. A reliable source confirmed to HRANA that Azizi was denied access to legal representation during his detention.

Qom Seminary Lecturer, Mohammad-Taghi Akbarnejad, Arrested by IRGC Intelligence

In a recent development, Mohammad-Taghi Akbarnejad, a lecturer at Qom Seminary, has been arrested by IRGC Intelligence agents in Qom and taken to an undisclosed location.

The grounds for his arrest and the specific location of Akbarnejad’s detention remain unknown.

It is worth noting that Akbarnejad has previously faced legal scrutiny for his activism, adding a layer of complexity to the current situation.

Baha’i Citizen Rouya Sabet Arrested in Shiraz

On February 15, Baha’i citizen Rouya Sabet was arbitrarily arrested in Shiraz by IRGC Intelligence agents and transferred to an undisclosed facility.

A source close to her family confirmed Sabet’s arrest, revealing to HRANA that IRGC Intelligence is responsible for the apprehension. The source disclosed that Sabet, who had traveled to Shiraz from the UAE on January 4 to care for her elderly parent, was scheduled to return on January 25. However, two days before her planned departure, IRGC Intelligence agents executed a search warrant at her parent’s residence.

During the raid, the agents conducted a thorough search, interrogated Mrs. Sabet, and questioned two other family members. Subsequently, the agents also searched the residences of these two family members without presenting a warrant. The confiscated items reportedly include the family’s cell phones, as well as Mrs. Sabet’s passport, driver’s license, and ID card. Furthermore, Sabet was informed that she is prohibited from leaving the country.

The motive behind Sabet’s arrest and the nature of the allegations against her remain unknown at this time.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion by Iranian authorities, leading to systematic and longstanding violations of the rights of Baha’is in the country. This includes the denial of their fundamental right to practice their religion, which constitutes a clear breach of both Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

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18-Year-Old Sepehr Shirani’s Suspicious Death in Custody

On January 30, 2024, Sepehr Shirani, 18 years old, died under suspicious circumstances after three days in the custody of a security institution in Zahedan, as reported by Haal Vsh.

IRGC Intelligence is said to be responsible for his arrest, notifying Shirani’s family of his demise via a phone call. As of now, his body has not been handed over to his family.

The agents cited the publication of critical social media posts as the reason for Shirani’s arrest.

The Baloch Activists Campaign, a human rights monitor in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, has reported that Shirani died under torture while in custody.

Notably, recent years have seen numerous cases of suspicious deaths or murders of citizens within police detention centers, security, and judicial institutions. In most instances, investigations have failed to definitively identify perpetrators or hold authorities accountable.

The agents had reportedly mentioned publishing criticizing posts on social media as the reason for Shirani’s arrest.

According to HRA’s annual report for 2023, a total of 1,386 violations of prisoners’ rights were documented. These include 27 cases of physical assault on prisoners, 1,390 instances of denial or neglect of medical care, 342 illegal transfers to solitary confinement, 114 attempted hunger strikes, 415 cases of forced transfer or exile of prisoners, 4,140 instances of threats and pressure on prisoners, 66 cases of denying prisoner visitation rights, 34 cases of psychological and physical torture, 7 deaths due to illness, 12 suicides, 1 case of self-immolation, 4 murders of prisoners, 208 instances of lack of access to legal counsel, 4,197 reports of prisoners being kept in unsuitable conditions, 80 cases of forced confession, 290 instances of non-segregation of crimes, 78 denials of medical leave, and 101 denials of the right to contact.

Siamak Nasiri Receives Six-Year Sentence and Two-Year Exile

The Revolutionary Court in Karaj has sentenced Siamak Nasiri to six years in prison and two years of exile on political charges. Currently held in the Central Prison of Karaj, Nasiri, aged 39, was arrested by IRGC Intelligence in Karaj on August 28, 2023.

Presiding over Branch 1 of the Karaj Revolutionary Court, Judge Musa Asef Al-Hosseini conveyed the verdict on January 17. Nasiri received five years for “inciting people to violence and waging war against national security” and an additional year for “propaganda against the regime.” He is also mandated to reside in Ahvaz for two years.

According to a source who spoke to HRANA, Nasiri had a previous detention in December 2022 in Karaj, where he was held in the Ministry of Intelligence’s facility. Following this, he was transferred to the Central Prison of Karaj and later granted pardon and released under a general pardon and commutation directive.

Navid-Reza Haratian Arrested by Security Forces in Mahshahr

Security forces detained Navid-Reza Haratian in Mahshahr and transported him to an undisclosed facility on December 31.

A source close to his family, confirming Haratian’s arrest, informed HRANA that IRGC Intelligence agents apprehended him at his residence. Haratian has not been granted permission to contact his family, heightening their anxieties.

The grounds for this arrest and Haratian’s current location remain unknown.

Data compiled by the Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reveals that IRGC Intelligence has been implicated in 392 cases of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests.

Milad Zohrehvand Executed in Hamedan Prison Ten Days After Supreme Court Confirmation

On November 23, Milad Zohrehvand was executed in Hamedan Prison, merely ten days after the Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence.

A source close to Zohrehvand’s family confirmed the execution, revealing that it occurred without prior notice to his family. As of now, his body has not been handed over to his family.

Zohrehvand, aged approximately 20, had been convicted of the murder of Ali Nazaei, an IRGC intelligence officer in Malayer. In June of this year, Zohrehvand’s case was forwarded to the Supreme Court for confirmation.

In October-November 2022, IRGC officials issued a statement, disclosing that Nazari was killed during a chase. The statement identified nine suspects in Ali Nazari’s murder, with five already in custody and four others on the verge of being identified and apprehended.

Iran-Iraq War Veteran Mohammad-Vali Heydarbeigi Receives 13-Year Prison Sentence

The Criminal Court of Abhar, located in Zanjan province, has delivered a 13-year prison sentence to Mohammad-Vali Heydarbeigi (Heydar-Beigi), an injured veteran of the Iran-Iraq war.

According to the verdict issued on October 2, Heydarbeigi has been sentenced to five years for “collaboration with adversary countries,” another five years for “assembly and collusion against national security,” two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” and an additional year for “propaganda against the regime,” amounting to a total of 13 years.

Should the verdict be upheld upon appeal, in accordance with Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, five years of the sentence will be enforceable.

Heydarbeigi was arrested on November 19, 2022, and held in detention at the IRGC intelligence facility in Zanjan. After 25 days, he was released on bail amounting to one billion tomans.