HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

Posted on: July 30th, 2021
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Khuzestan Water Crisis once again dominated this week’s protests in Iran. Since their start on June 15, citizens in over 41 cities have held rallies in protest of the mismanagement from officials that has led to water shortages throughout the province and the drying of the Karun river. A number of labor protests took place as well, and in some areas the ongoing oil protests continued. Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also continued their strike into a third week. Below is a recap of this week’s protests in Iran, along with footage from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, July 24

A number of protests took place this Saturday, July 24. A group of farmers in Shoaibiyeh district of Shushtar protested in Ahvaz, several telecommunication workers of East Azerbaijan province, some telecommunication workers of Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province, and employees of Abadan Petrochemical Complex held protests. A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the eleventh day in a row. A group of Shiraz city bus drivers went on strike and refused to work after their demands were not addressed. Citizens living in Tabriz also rallied and marched in support of the Khuzestan protests.

 

People of Tabriz:

 

Shiraz city bus drivers:

Farmers of Shoaibiyeh:

Telecommunication workers of East Azarbaijan:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Abadan’s Petrochemical Complex:

 

 

Sunday, July 25

A group of retirees of the Steel Companies of Isfahan and Khuzestan Provinces, several rural area telecom workers in the Hamadan region, and a group of workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. for the thirteenth day in a row held protest rallies and called on their demands to be met.

 

Retirees of the Steel company in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces:

 

 

Workers of rural area telecom in Hamadan:

 

 

Monday, July 26

A number of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company for the fourteenth day in a row, several employees of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj, a group of poultry farmers in Ilam, urban and rural water supply workers in Baghmalek and Izeh, a group of Isfahani citizens, a group of the retirees of IRIB in Tehran, and candidate students for the master’s degree entrance exam in Tehran all held protest rallies and called on their demands to be addressed. Also, in Tehran and Karaj people protested the current situation in the country by holding rallies and marches and chanting slogans.

 

Protesting people in Tehran:

 

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Poultry farmers in Ilam:

 

 

Workers of rural water supply in Baghmalek and Izeh:

 

 

Students in Tehran:

 

 

Tuesday, July 27

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the 15th consecutive day this Tuesday. Additionally, a group of workers of Rudbar municipality in Gilan province, a number of cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan cities, several workers of natural gas fuel gas stations in Urmia, and many people in Abdanan in Ilam province held protest rallies. Also, a group of retirees in Tehran and Karaj rallied in support of the protests of the people of Khuzestan.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Rudbar Municipality:

 

 

Cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan:

 

 

Workers of gas stations in Urmia:

 

Citizens of Abdanan:

Retirees in Tehran and Karaj:

Wednesday, July 28

For the 16th day in a row, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested. A group of workers from the Varamin Railway, a group of workers from the Rudbar Municipality for the second day in a row, and a number of truck drivers in Ahvaz all went on strike and called on their demands to be addressed.

 

 

Truck drivers in Ahvaz:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co:

 

Workers from the Varamin Railway:

Workers of the Rudbar Municipality:

Thursday, July 29

On their 17th day of protesting, a group of workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company in the yard of the company and another group near the site’s alcohol factory called on their demands be addressed in protest rallies.

 

Friday, July 30

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company continued their strike for an 18th day in a row and gathered on the company’s site. The Haft Tappeh workers stated that their main demands are the payment of arrears, the return of fired colleagues, and access to Covid-19 vaccines. They also chanted slogans protesting the Islamic Parliament’s decision to block the Internet in Iran. Also, A number of mothers of those killed during the nationwide protest in November 2019 protests held a protest rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square.

 

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Gathering in Tehran of mothers of those killed in the protests of November 2019:

 

Christian Convert Hamed Ashouri Sent to Karaj Central Prison

Posted on: July 29th, 2021

On Tuesday, July 27, Christian convert Hamed Ashouri was sent to Karaj Central Prison to endure his sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the website Article 18, the Court of Appeals upheld Ashouri’s ten-month prison sentence the previous day.

Hamed Ashouri had been arrested by security forces in Fardis city in Karaj, in March 2017, and transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj for interrogation. He was temporarily released after ten days. It is alleged that security forces raided Mr. Ashouri’s home while he was in custody.

A hearing on the charges against this citizen was held in February 2020 in Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj. Finally, in April of this year, Mr. Ashouri was sentenced to 10 months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Iranian law, security forces nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

Meysam Gholami is Still in Detention in the Greater Tehran Prison 5 Months After his Arrest

Posted on: July 28th, 2021

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Meysam Gholami was arrested by security forces in March and transferred to the Greater Tehran Prison after a week in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Regarding the same case, Mehran Azari and Fariba Asadi were arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in February and transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, and later to the Greater Tehran, and Qarchak Varamin prisons, until they finally were released on bails of 400 and 500 million tomans.

Ms. Asadi is said to have been beaten at the time of the arrest.

The case of these citizens has been transferred to Branch 2 of the Shahriar Revolutionary Court on charges such as “propaganda against the regime through printing and distribution of banners and leaflets, gathering and colluding against national security, membership in opposition groups.”

Meysam Gholami, a native of Tehran, is currently being held in Ward 9 of Section 2 in Greater Tehran Prison.

 

Widespread Protests Continue in Iran, Rallies Held in Tehran and Karaj

Posted on: July 26th, 2021

On Monday, July 26, citizens in Tehran and Karaj held protest rallies in which protesters chanted slogans against the current situation in the country. According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, today’s protests fall on the first day after a week-long holiday in Tehran,  Iran’s capital, and Alborz Province.

Hamidreza Goodarzi, the deputy security director of Tehran Province, said that the situation has returned to normal and attributed the protests only to the power outage in a cellphone market center in Tehran. Tehran Governor Anoushirvan Mohseni Band-Pey has threatened to identify the protests’ organizers.

During these rallies, protesters chanted slogans such as “From Karaj to Khuzestan, unity, unity”, “Death to the dictator”, “Shame on Khamenei, leave the power”, “Iranians will die but won’t accept humiliation”, “The mullah must go away”, “Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, we are all together,” “Zealous Iranians, support, support” and “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I give my life for Iran.”

The gathering of Tehran citizens faced a large presence of police forces and efforts to disperse the people.

A source familiar with the Tehran protest rally told HRANA, “First, a rally started in the streets in Tehran with anti-government slogans; then, shop holders in the cell phone market chanted against the government after the power outage.”

Despite the release of videos of marches and protests by hundreds of Tehranians, Fars News Agency, the media close to the IRGC, released a short video of these rallies and said the number of attendees is only about 50 shop holders and the reason for the protest is only the two hours power outage.

From the night of Thursday, July 15th, public rallies in protest of water shortage and mismanagement of officials began in Khuzestan province and spread to more than 30 cities. On Saturday, July 24, citizens of Tabriz showed their support for the protests in Khuzestan by holding street protests and marches. Many were arrested during the protests in Tabriz.

Two Prisoners Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison

Posted on: July 21st, 2021

At dawn on Wednesday, July 14, two prisoners were executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights (IHR), the prisoners have been identified as Afshin Gheydar and Mohammad Abdol Rahim.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari Sentenced to Imprisonment and Exile

Posted on: July 21st, 2021

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, the father of Pouya Bakhtiari, one of the victims of the November 2019 nationwide protests, was sentenced to imprisonment and exile.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 77 days after his arrest, Bakhtiari called his family and announced that he had been sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison and 2 years and 6 months in exile.

He was transferred from the detention center of a security institution to the Central Penitentiary in Karaj after the sentence was issued.

Bakhtiari was detained by security forces on April 29, after being beaten at his home in Tehran. One week after the arrest, Gholam-Hossein Ismaili, a spokesman for the judiciary, called Bakhtiari and his family “counter-revolutionaries” and charged them with “acting against national security”.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari has been protesting the killing of his son by security forces in November 2019. Pouya Bakhtiari was born September 10, 1992, and was shot dead on November 16, 2019 in Phase 4 of Mehrshahr, Karaj.

According to his father, Pouya, along with his sister and mother, joined a protest march on the second day of the nationwide protest against the increase in gasoline prices. He was shot in the head, and he died before reaching the hospital.

As of this writing, the details of the verdict and the charges against Mr. Bakhtiari are not known.

Prisoner Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj

Posted on: July 13th, 2021

In recent days, a man who had previously been sentenced to death for murder was executed in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Hamshahri newspaper, the prisoner was sentenced to death by Branch 10 of the Criminal Court for a murder he committed in 2017. The sentence was upheld by Branch 39 of the Supreme Court.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

Lawyer and Defendant Amirsalar Davoodi to Face Retrial on July 13

Posted on: July 9th, 2021

The retrial of lawyer Amirsalar Davoodi will be held on July 13 in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Davoodi’s request for a retrial was accepted in June of this year. After awaiting a verdict for nearly three years, he was released from Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on a bail of 2 billion Tomans.

Amirsalar Davoodi was arrested by security forces in November 2018 and was transferred to Evin Prison after being charged.

In April 2019, Vahid Meshgani Farahani, Mr. Davoodi’s lawyer said 8 – 9 charges are filed against Mr. Davoodi, including forming a group to overthrow the regime, cooperating with hostile states, propaganda against the regime, spreading lies, insulting officials and the leadership, and several other charges, two of which have been referred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal.

In June 2019, on charges of conspiracy against national security, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Mr. Davoodi to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes. The sentence was confirmed by the court of appeals in August of that year.

Mr. Davoodi’s wife had previously stated that  15 out of 30 year prison sentence for Mr. Davoodi was for setting up a group on the social media application Telegram.

190 days after his arrest, Mr. Davoodi was transferred from the detention center of the Judiciary’s Intelligence Protection Organization to the General Ward of Evin Prison in June 2019.

Davoodi had defended many cases of prisoners and political defendants, including Soheil Arabi and Saeed Shirzad.

Three Christian Converts Sentenced to a Total of 15 Years in Prison and a Fine

Posted on: July 1st, 2021

Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi were sentenced by the Fourth Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj to five years each in prison and a fine of 40 million tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the website Article 18 , the three christian converts were sentenced for “Propaganda and educational activities contrary to the holy Sharia of Islam”.

The citizens had been released on bail of 250 million tomans each in November 2020 after being summoned to judicial authorities and filing a case.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Iranian law, the security services nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with activists in this field.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

Civil Activist Saeed Eghbali’s Hearing Permanently Damaged Amid Ongoing Medical Negligence in Rajai Shahr Prison

Posted on: June 25th, 2021

On June 19, civil activist Saeed Eghbali was sent to visit a doctor in Amir Alam Hospital after months of deprivation of medical care in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the specialist doctor stated that due to lack of timely medical attention and the severity of the infection, Eghbali will permanently lose 70% of his hearing. If the medication does not control the infection by next month, surgery will be needed to prevent it from spreading.

Mr. Eghbali was arrested at the beginning of a ten-day annual celebration for the Islamic Revolution’s Victory in 2018.

Eghbali has been enduring a 5-year sentence in prison since June 2020. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced Mr. Eghbali to 5 years in prison on the charges of “conspiracy to act against the security of the country” and to 1 year in prison on a charge of “propaganda activities against the regime”.

This sentence was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals. Using Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 5 years imprisonment is enforceable to him on a charge of “Conspiracy to act against the security of the country”.

Saeed Eghbali wrote an open letter from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj in May of this year. Below is an excerpt from the letter:

I was told,  “We arrested you on this date to let you know that you are too small to act against the regime”. All the harassment that the security system inflicted on me was because I had protested; I used my rights as a citizen to make changes to the condition of my country. When I realized what was going on, I decided to protest the system that knows no rights for its people. I was and am from a social class that has been oppressed and denied for decades.