Farahnaz Nik-Khoo Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison

The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Farahnaz Nik-Khoo to ten years in prison on political charges.

Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Salavati, sentenced Nik-Khoo to ten years for “acting against national security through espionage.”

On December 3, 2022, IRGC Intelligence arrested Nik-Khoo at Tehran airport as she was attempting to leave the country. She was initially detained in Evin Prison, and after seven months, on April 30, 2023, she was moved to the women’s ward of Evin Prison.

The exact nature of the activities leading to these charges remains unclear.

A reliable source previously informed HRANA that Nik-Khoo was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence, and interrogated for two weeks. Meanwhile, the case is under the purview of IRGC intelligence.

Nik-Khoo, 50 years old, is a retired employee of the national telecommunications company.

Political Detainee Saman Yasin Moved to Psychiatric Hospital

Saman Seydi (Yasin), detained during the 2022 nationwide protests, was transferred from Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj to Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital on March 5, 2024.

A source close to his family confirmed Seydi’s relocation to Aminabad Hospital. In a recent open letter addressed to the head of the Judiciary, Saman Yasin expressed his objection to his 18-month detention, stating a preference for a death sentence over being held in legal limbo.

Seydi has been temporarily moved to a hospital outside the prison environment. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran’s Branch 15, presided over by Judge Abolqasem Salavati, has taken charge of Seydi’s case. A recent court session was postponed due to the absence of the public defender. Frustrated by the prolonged detention and as a form of protest, Seydi injured himself by hitting his head on the wall.

Reza Shafa-Khah, Seydi’s legal representative, has condemned the extended detention, citing it as a violation of the law.

Arrested by security forces on October 2, 2022, during the nationwide Mahsa Amini Protests, Seydi faced convictions on various charges, including “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” and “assembly and collusion against national security,” resulting in a death sentence on October 29, 2023. However, the Supreme Court of Iran overturned this verdict, leading to the transfer of his case to another court branch for retrial.

Despite Seydi’s requests, he has not been granted representation from a private lawyer. On August 2, 2023, along with six other political prisoners, he was transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, to Evin Prison. On September 3, 2023, he was moved to Ghezel Hesar Prison, along with twelve other prisoners, without prior notice, and has since been held in the ward designated for prisoners with drug-related convictions.

On January 28 of this year, Seydi sustained injuries during an altercation between political prisoners and prison guards.

Soheil Arabi Sentenced to More Prison Time

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Pursuant to a new case brought against him by Judge Ahmadzadeh of Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 26, Soheil Arabi, a prisoner of conscience in Great Tehran Penitentiary, was sentenced September 22nd to three years in prison, three years in exile, and a fine of approximately 40 million IRR [approximately $400 USD] on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “disturbing the public mind.” His lawyer did not learn of the verdict until eight days later.

A source close to Arabi told HRANA that the courts pursued new charges against him because of voicemail messages he left from prison; in one of these, he reportedly compared the Great Tehran Penitentiary to a torture chamber.

Arabi’s mother Farangis Mazloum told HRANA, “When I went to Great Tehran Penitentiary to see Soheil this morning, prison authorities told me that they had taken my son to court and that he is banned from having visitors,” she said.

Judge Moghiseh previously sentenced Arabi, along with his ex-wife Nastaran Naeimi, to prison time: six years for Arabi on charges of “blasphemy” and “propaganda against the regime,” and a year and a half for Naeimi, for “propaganda against the regime” and “aiding and abetting.”

Soheil Arabi, a 33-year-old photographer, was arrested by Sarallah-based agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on November 7, 2013, for comments he had posted on his Facebook page. Judge Siamak Modir Khorasani cited the Facebook posts as evidence of “insulting the prophet” — a charge that can incur capital punishment — in Branch 76 of Tehran’s Criminal Court.

Arabi’s lawyers subsequently appealed to Branch 36 of Supreme Court, pleading Article 263 of the Islamic Penal Code. While Article 262 recommends the death sentence for those who insult the prophet, Article 263 reduces the death sentence to 74 lashes for defendants whose statements “have been under coercion or mistake, or in a state of drunkenness, or anger or slip of the tongue, or without paying attention to the meaning of the words, or quoting someone else…”.

Unmoved by the Article-263 argument, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, unlawfully adding to his case file the charge of “corruption on earth.”

A retrial request was later accepted in Supreme Court Branch 34, which acquitted him of “insulting the prophet” and commuted his death sentence to seven and a half years’ imprisonment, plus a two-year travel ban and two years of religious probation to evaluate his repentance upon his release.

Arabi had not seen the end of his legal troubles, however — in 2014, Branch 10 of Iran’s Court for Government Employees would sentence him to a 5 million IRR fine [approximately $50 USD] and 30 lashings for insulting the following three people with his Facebook posts: Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Gholamali Haddad Adel, and the Director of Allameh Tabatabai University. That same year, Judge Abolghassem Salavati of Revolutionary Court Branch 15 would sentence him to three years in prison for “insulting Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic” and “propaganda against the regime.” Branch 54 of Appeals Court upheld the latter sentence a short time later.

Arabi has been in prison without furlough since November 7, 2013.

Conditional Release for Political Prisoner Mohammad Mozaffari

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mohammad Mozaffari, political activist serving a two-year sentence since June 18, 2018, was conditionally released from Tehran’s Evin Prison. A source close to Mr Mozaffari confirmed his temporary release to HRANA.

According to HRANA, Mr Mozaffari was sentenced on May 3, 2016, by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Salavati, to a two-year prison term, a 2,000,000 Tomans cash penalty (approximately $600 USD) and 74 lashes. His lashing sentence was reportedly carried out on August 5, 2018.

Mohammad Mozaffari was arrested on February 15, 2015, and transferred to the Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence Unit in Evin Prison. After three months of interrogations, he was transferred to Ward 8 of this prison until his release on July 12, 2015.

Telegram Admin Hamidreza Amini Charged in Court Hearing

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On Sunday, August 12, 2018, a court hearing was held for Hamidreza Amini, the admin of a telegram channel, in branch 9 of Tehran’s criminal court, presided by Judge Kashkuli. Mr Amini was charged with “Insulting the Prophet” and “Blasphemy”.

Mr Amini’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, confirmed the news and told HRANA that he anticipates for the “Insulting the Prophet” charge to be dropped and that the outcome of the trial should be announced in the coming days.

On June 11, 2018, HRANA reported that a scheduled court hearing for Hamidreza Amini to investigate the charge of “Insulting the Supreme Leader and other high-ranking Iranian officials” was postponed by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Salavati. The hearing was reportedly postponed based on Article 48 of Iran’s Penal Code and to give Mr Amini time to select a court-appointed lawyer.

An informed source had told HRANA in June: “During the court session, Hamidreza Amini said he would not answer any questions without the presence of his lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi. Judge Salavati responded that his lawyer’s name is not on the list of 20 court-appointed defense lawyers. As a result, Mr Aghasi was not allowed to attend the hearing. His trial was delayed until the appointment of a lawyer.”

On May 30, 2018, Hamidreza Amini was reportedly sentenced by Branch 57 of a new court focused on media crimes to pay approximately a $4,000 USD (40,000,000 Rials) fine for the charge of publishing lies (against officials, government organizations and institutions) with the aim of disturbing public opinion.

Hamidreza Amini has been detained since December of last year on charges of “Disseminating lies”, “Blasphemy” and “Insulting high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic”. He was arrested by security forces on December 2, 2017, and transferred to solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Ward 2A, a section of the prison under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

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