Iran Protests: Four Individuals Arrested in Kurdistan Province

IRGC intelligence arrested four people accused of killing a police officer and took them to an undisclosed location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRNA, four individuals were arrested in Kurdistan Province.

These individuals, reportedly, have been accused of killing the police officer colonel Hossein Yousefi. The report did not reveal the detainees’ identities.

These individuals’ whereabouts are still unknown.

HRAs Spreading Justice Urges Governments To Deny Active Members Of Student Basij Entry Visas Abroad

HRAs Spreading Justice issued a statement urging governments to deny visas for Student Basij members.


The following is the full text of this statement:

The Spreading Justice initiative (SJ) of Human Rights Activists (HRA) has received ample evidence and information on the involvement of University Student Basij Forces in the crackdown of protesters during the ongoing protests in Iran, especially at the universities. These involvements include physical confrontation with protesting students, gathering protesting student information and providing them to security forces, and doing so aiding the arrests of students.

However Student Basij members, despite their vital role in the crackdowns are left under the radar and often do not pay any cost for their involvement in the suppression of student movements. Many of the Student Basij members travel, study, or immigrate abroad with full impunity.

The Student Basij was formed by the direct order of the founder of Islamic Republic, Khomeini, on 23 November 1988. This institution was formed in universities with the aim of “the defense of Islam, the revolution, and the values of the ruling system, to link the Hawza and the university”, “explaining, promoting, and realizing the orders of the former and current supreme leaders of Islamic Republic, namely Ruhollah Khomeini and Seyed Ali Khamenei”, and “Identifying and training of loyal, committed, and aligned forces with the characteristics of the Islamic Revolution for the perpetuation of the Islamic Revolution”. Ever since, Student Basij has had offices in universities across the country where students have been voluntarily recruited.

Student Basij is organizationally affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Ground Forces (NEZSA). The commander of the national student Basij is appointed by the IRGC commander, and the provincial commanders of Student Basij are appointed by the provincial IRGC commanders.

The Student Basij have a history of involvement in the suppression of student movements in the universities at least since 1999, and their role in crackdowns on university movements and activists has increased ever since. The Student Basij has a history of violent confrontations, spying on students, and paving the way for the entry of intelligence-security forces to repress student movements.

Student Basij members receive ideological training and are highly loyal to the supreme leader, Khamenei. Often, their role within the system does not end with their studies. Due to their loyalty and training, they are of great value for the government and often they move on to assume governmental and security positions within the system following their studies.

We believe that Student Basij and its affiliations should not enjoy international impunity for three main reasons.

  1. Student Basij plays a vital role in combating democratic seeking movements of Iranian people, especially the student movement.
  2. Student Basij members are the governments ideological reserve for assuming important roles within the system in the future
  3. Student Basij is officially under the command of IRGC

Having said that, we realized the Student Basij members are more likely to consider immigrating or studying abroad. Therefore we have started collecting evidence and data on the active members of Student Basij, and have called on people to share any information regarding the members of this organization with Spreading Justice.

We have compiled the collected data and information, including names of current and former active Student Basij members, especially those that are actively serving the ruling ideology and confronting student movements. We have made the decision to not share this information publicly given its complexity, rather we aim to share with universities and immigration offices globally, and further urge governments to deny active members of Student Basij entry visas.

For media inquiries please contact HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson at [email protected]

Iranian Labour News Agency Staff Intimidated and Arrested by Security Forces

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, Labour News Agency (ILNA) staff have been subjected to intimidation and arrest by security institutions.

Somayeh Masroor, the head of ILNA, was arrested at protests and released on bail after a few days.

In another case, leaving the country toward Qatar in order to cover the football world cup news, ILNA’s sports editor was stopped at the airport by security forces. The agents arrested him and seized his passport.

Several other staff have also been summoned, interrogated and forced to sign a letter of commitment.
 
On Wednesday, November 23, IRGC forces arrested ILNA’s reporter Reza Asad-Abadi at his house. Since then, he has not called his family.
 
Also, in mid-November, judicial authorities banned another ILNA reporter in Qazvin, Seyyed Mostafa Jafari, from practising journalism. He was also banned from leaving the country for six months.

 

Former Political Prisoner Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi Arrested

On November 16, 2022, security forces arrested former political prisoner Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi in Tehran and took him to an undisclosed location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on November 16, 2022, Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi was arrested in Tehran.

According to an informed source, IRGC’s intelligence is responsible for his arrest. The reason for Zeidabadi’s arrest and his whereabouts are still unknown.

Zeidabadi faced other arrests and convictions on prior occasions. In 2015, he was released from prison after serving five years. In 2020, he faced others charges for signing a statement known as 77 political activists’ statement condemning the regime’s violence against the protestors and asking for bringing the perpetrators of the shooting to justice.

 

Six Individuals Arrested in Fardis

An IRGC commander in Fardis County, Alborz Province, announced the arrest of six individuals allegedly for “setting fire on a Musalla” (a complex used for congregation prayers and other ceremonies).

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Fars, six citizens were arrested in Fardis.

This IRGC official claimed, “on November 8, six people who had set fire to Emam Khomeini Musalla by throwing Molotov cocktails, were identified and arrested.”

“These individuals were in association with anti-regime media. Their cases were delivered to judicial authorities,” he added.

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Nahid Shirpisheh Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Karaj Revolutionary Court sentenced Nahid Shirpisheh, Pouya Bakhtiari’s mother, to five years in prison. Shirpisheh has been jailed for two months. Bakhtiari was among the protestors who were killed in November 2019. 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Shirpisheh was sentenced to five years in prison on the charges of “assembly and collusion”, and “propaganda against the regime.”

Shirpisheh is currently held in Kachooie Prison in Karaj. She has been prohibited from phone calls and family visits. She also has been denied medical care.

On July 11, 2022, security forces arrested the mothers of the individuals killed during the nationwide protests in 2019 known as the Aban protests, including Nahid Shirpisheh. In a news article, IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency called these justice-seeking families “agitators and troublemakers”.

In November of 2019, an increase in fuel prices sparked a wave of protests in dozens of cities. The spokesperson of the Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Seyed Hossein Taghavi, announced that 7000 people were arrested during these protests. According to reports from human rights organizations, hundreds were killed by the security apparatus.

Nahid Shirpisheh Denied Family Visitations

Kachooie Prison has denied Nahid Shirpisheh the right to make phone calls or have family visitations. Shirpisheh, Pouya Bakhtiari’s mother, has been detained for the past two months.

An informed source told HRANA thatShirpisheh is held in the quarantine section and is not allowed to have visitors. 

On July 28, 2022, Shirpisheh was transferred to Kachooie Prison where she was held in the same ward of prisoners of violent crimes, where she has been mistreated. 

On July 11, 2022, security forces arrested the mothers of the individuals killed during nationwide protests in 2019 known as the Aban protests, including Shirpisheh. In a news article, IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency called these justice-seeking families “agitators and troublemakers”.

In November of 2019, an increase in fuel prices sparked a wave of protests in dozens of cities across the country. The spokesperson of the Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Seyed Hossein Taghavi, announced that 7000 people were arrested during these protests. According to reports from human rights organizations, hundreds were killed by the security apparatus.

 

Milad Eftekhari’s Three-Year Sentence Upheld

The Court of Appeals of Fars Province upheld Milad Eftekhari’s sentencing verdict. Earlier in July,  Eftekhari was sentenced to three years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Court of Appeals of Fars Province sentenced Milad Eftekhari to three years in prison.

According to the verdict, Eftekhari was sentenced to one year on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, and two years on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran”. He was also banned from leaving Iran and having a social media presence for two years. Based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, two years imprisonment will be enforceable for the first charge.

On May 23, 2022, security forces arrested Eftekhari at his home and transferred him to Larestan Prison. He was released later on a 100 million tomans bail.

On June 22, 2021, IRGC Intelligence summoned and interrogated Eftekhari for his criticisms of the IRGC and Supreme Leader on social media. He was later released.

Eftekhari, age 26, is a resident of Larestan, Fars Province, and a graduate student at Tehran University.

 

Civil Rights Activist Peyman Sokooti Still in Detention  

Gilaki civil rights activist Peyman Sokooti has been detained for the past three months in Lakan Prison, awaiting due process while he is denied access to a lawyer.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, civil rights activist from Gilan Province Peyman Sokooti has been detained for three months.

Sokooti has been charged with “acting against national security through membership in anti-regime groups, insulting the Supreme Leader and propaganda against the regime”.

On May 23, 2022, security forces arrested Sokooti, held him for ten days in an IRGC detention facility, and then transferred him to Lakan Prison in Rasht.

Milad Eftekhari Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

The Revolutionary Court of Shiraz sentenced Milad Eftekhari to three years in prison and additional limitations. If confirmed on appeal, based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, two years for one charge will be enforceable.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Eftekhari, who is a resident of Larestan, was sentenced to two years in prison on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran” and one year on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”. He was also banned from leaving the county and on social media presence for two years.

On May 23, 2022, security forces arrested Eftekhari at his house and transferred him to Larestan Prison. During the arrest, the agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings. He was released later on a 100 million tomans bail.

On June 22, 2021, IRGC’s intelligence office summoned and interrogated Eftekhari for his criticisms of IRGC and the Supreme Leader on social media. He was later released after signing a pledge.

Eftekhari, age 26, is a resident of Larestan, Fars Province, and a graduate student in Communication Science from Tehran University.