IRGC Detains Two Individuals in Miandoab After Nowruz Celebration

According to Kurdpa, on April 17, 2024, Mohsen Ghader-Rash and Omid Ghader-Nejad were arrested after being summoned to the IRGC Intelligence office in Miandoab and subsequently transferred to the city’s prison.

Ghader-Rash, 30, and Ghader-Nejad, 28, were allegedly summoned and detained for participating in the Nowruz celebration gathering.

Imprisoned Political Activist Mostafa Tajzadeh Confronts Additional Charges

Mostafa Tajzadeh, a political prisoner currently held in Evin Prison, is facing new legal challenges as he receives a summons related to fresh charges. The accusations include “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime,” compelling Tajzadeh to attend a court hearing scheduled for March 10.

In response to the summons, Tajzadeh, in an open letter from prison, declared, “As usual, I refused to receive the summons letter. The Judicial authorities can hand me several additional years-long prison terms in absentia, but I will attend neither courthouse nor the court.”

In late February, Tajzadeh was confined to solitary confinement as a punitive measure for his statement advocating the boycott of the parliamentary election and conducting media interviews from prison.

The prominent political activist was apprehended by security forces on July 8, 2022, and subsequently transferred to Ward 2-A in Evin Prison under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). After months of legal uncertainty, Tajzadeh was sentenced to eight years in prison by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Salavati. The charges included “assembly and collusion against national security,” “disseminating false information,” and “propaganda against the regime,” with five years of the verdict deemed enforceable.

Tajzadeh, who previously served as the deputy interior minister under President Mohammad Khatami, has a history of judicial confrontations and periods of incarceration stemming from his activism.

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.

Arrest of Swedish National in Iran Raises Concerns Amidst String of Arbitrary Detentions

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed the recent arrest of a Swedish national in Iran within the past two weeks.

The detainee, whose identity remains undisclosed, was apprehended in the early days of the new year and is currently held in custody. The Ministry revealed that the individual is a resident of the central regions of the country.

“The embassy in Tehran is in contact with local authorities. The Foreign Ministry is in contact with relatives in Sweden,” as reported in an email statement to Reuters.

This arrest is part of a concerning trend of arbitrary detentions of foreign citizens by the Iranian regime. It comes in the wake of the trial and life sentence conviction of former IRGC official Hamid Nouri in Sweden for his involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988. Notably, another Swedish national, Johan Floderus, was arrested by the Iranian regime in April 2022 and is presently on trial, facing espionage charges. The situation underscores growing international apprehension regarding the safety of foreign nationals in Iran.

Two Individuals Sentenced to Imprisonment and Exile for Political Charges

In a recent verdict, the Tehran Revolutionary Court has handed down sentences to Alireza Fazeli (Farhad Omidi) and Zaman (Arash) Esmaeili, totaling 12 years and three months, coupled with four years of exile.

Presiding over Branch 26, Judge Iman Afshari ruled for a six-year sentence for Fazeli and a six-year and three-month sentence for Esmaeili. Both individuals have also been sentenced to two years of exile. They have been convicted of political charges including “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.”

Esmaeili was apprehended by security forces on September 15, 2023, and later transferred to Evin Prison after initial detention in IRGC’s facility 1-A. On the following day, Fazeli, a resident of Tehran, was arrested by security forces and confined in Evin Prison. Fazeli has a history of arrests and legal confrontations due to his activism.

Reports from the Department of Statistics and Publication of HRA in 2023 indicate a total of 193 cases in which Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari, has been involved in issuing verdicts that infringe upon the human rights of defendants.

 

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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.

Supreme Court of Iran Upholds Death Sentence for Reza Rasaei

The Supreme Court of Iran has recently affirmed the death sentence for Reza Rasaei (Rasaie), arrested in connection with the 2022 nationwide protests.

In October of this year, Rasaei was condemned to death for his alleged involvement in the killing of Nader Beyrami, the head of IRGC Intelligence, during the protests in Sahneh County, Kermanshah province.

A family member of Rasaei, who spoke to HRANA, confirmed that Judge Barani presided over the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the death sentence. Notably, the court’s ruling appears to have been influenced by a confession obtained under duress during Rasaei’s detention.

In addition to the capital punishment, Rasaei faces other charges, including non-fatal injury, threatening with a knife, and disturbing public order by causing unrest. Initially, he received additional penalties such as Diya (wergild), a year sentence, and 74 lashes.

Rasaei was apprehended on November 24, 2022, by the police and subsequently detained in Sahneh County. Following the completion of the interrogation process, he was transferred to Dizel-Abad prison in Kermanshah.

Several other protesters involved in the November 18, 2022 demonstration are also confronting charges related to their alleged role in the death of the IRGC’s intelligence officer. This protest resulted in the deaths of several protestors at the hands of police and security forces.

Reza (Gholamreza) Rasaei, aged 34, is known as a Yarsan follower and resides in Sahneh County.

Political Prisoner Zohreh Sarv Survives Suicide Attempt in Evin Prison

On December 12, Zohreh Sarv, a political prisoner confined in Evin Prison, made a suicide attempt using 30 Alprazolam pills. Following the incident, she received medical care at an external hospital before being returned to prison a few hours later.

Sources close to her family revealed that Sarv, already in poor health due to an ongoing hunger strike since November 23, was distressed by pressures and threats from prison officials. Despite her deteriorating health, she continues to be denied release on probation and medical furlough.

Currently serving a six-year sentence in Evin Prison, Sarv faces health issues, including knee injuries and potential breast cysts, requiring essential medical treatments such as sonography and MRI tests. Her requests for hospital transport have been denied by prison officials, despite approval from the prison infirmary’s head.

Sarv’s legal troubles began in September 2021 when she was arrested by security forces and initially held in IRGC ward A-1. Following a month of interrogation, she was transferred to Evin Prison. The Tehran Revolutionary Court later issued a seven-year sentence, citing charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.” The sentence is enforceable for six years.

It is important to note that Sarve has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to her activism. Prior to her arrest, she was actively engaged on social media platforms.

Foreign National Arrested on Espionage Charges in Qazvin

The Qazvin governor has officially announced the arrest of a foreign national on charges of “espionage,” as reported by the IRGC-affiliated news agency Tasnim.

The report refrains from disclosing the identity and nationality of the detainee as well as the current location of his detention.

While the prosecution of individuals for espionage is not inherently considered a violation of human rights, concerns arise about the credibility of these allegations. The regime has a history of frequently employing such accusations to suppress political dissidents or for political gains. Ambiguities in legal proceedings and a lack of transparency surrounding these cases further contribute to apprehensions about the fairness of the process.

Report on Abolfazl Pour-Hosseini’s Condition in Central Prison of Karaj

Abolfazl Pour-Hosseini, a follower of Iranian mysticism known as Erfan-e-Halgheh, has recently been sentenced to three years in prison with an additional two years of suspended imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court. He is currently imprisoned in the Central Prison of Karaj.

A source close to Pour-Hosseini’s family provided HRANA with details about this verdict. Moreover, Pour-Hosseini faces charges of “propaganda against the regime and inciting people to act against national security” in a separate case under review by the Karaj Revolutionary Court.

According to this source, Pour-Hosseini has rejected the charges and declined to sign the charge sheet.

On June 13, 2023, IRGC Intelligence forces in Karaj arrested Pour-Hosseini, detaining him in the Central Prison of the city. According to a statement from one of his friends to HRANA, Pour-Hosseini was distributing a leaflet about Erfan-e-Halgheh at the time of his arrest.

Pour-Hosseini had previously been arrested in 2022 for attending a meeting of this mysticist group in Qom, being released on bond after a period of detention. Aged approximately 47, Pour-Hosseini is the father of one daughter and anticipates becoming a father once again.

Notably, concerns persist about the violation of freedom of religion in Iran, exemplified by cases like Pour-Hosseini’s. This incident adds to ongoing apprehensions regarding the protection of religious rights in the country.