Update on Political Prisoners’ Health Conditions in Rajai Shahr Prison

Below are the available updates on the health conditions of political prisoners held in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Rajai Shahr Prison, previously known as Gohardasht Prison, is located in Karaj City in Alborz Province. According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Rajai Shahr Prison has been used by security forces for years as an exile prison for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, despite having been built specifically to house inmates convicted of violent crimes.

The rights of each prisoner to receive adequate medical treatment has been asserted explicitly by both Iran’s domestic law and international law and other human rights documents. Additionally, various articles of Iran’s Executive regulations of the Prisons Organization have specified inmates’ diseases and treatments.

Nonetheless, Rajai Shahr prison officials frequently violate these political prisoners’ right to adequate medical treatment, hence putting their lives in danger. Often, when inmates are dispatched to medical centers they are met with obstruction from prison officials and security agents.

The following provides the latest health condition of 15 political prisoners held in Salon 10, Ward 4 of Rajai Shahr prisons.

  • 1. Motalleb Ahmadian suffers from infection in the testicles (orchitis) and bladder as well as spinal cord injuries. He has not yet received any required medical condition for his degenerative diseases. Both the general practitioner and infectious disease specialist of the prison have stressed that Mr. Ahmadian should undergo surgery and receive treatments from a urologist.
    For his spinal cord injury, he has to do MRI test every six months, and in order to prevent the progression of the disease, he has to be under regular examination by a neurologist.
    In 2019, the specialist prescribed spinal injections, which he could not receive due to the obstruction of the head of the prison as well as the prison healthcare officer. In 2020, finally, he was permitted to obtain the medicine from outside of prison. For the next injection, which was supposed to be done by September of this year, he has not yet been able to obtain the medicine.

    Motalleb Ahmadian was arrested on October 5, 2010, on a charge of “membership in one of opposition political groups”. He has sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court.

  • 2. Afshin Baymani has kidney stones and diabetes. After spending many years in prison, Baymani has contracted coronary artery disease. In March 2020, because of his critical health condition, he had to be hospitalized in a specialized cardiovascular hospital where they had his medical documents. Instead, the prison officials decided to instead dispatch him to a general hospital. Recently, even after seven electrocardiography tests, the physician of the prison healthcare has not yet requested the dispatch of Mr Baymani to the hospital.

    Afshin Baymani was arrested on September 5, 2000, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to death which later was reduced to life imprisonment. Afshin Baymani is now serving the twenty-second year of his sentence.

  • 3. Hamzeh Savari suffers from a baker’s cyst behind the right knee and a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee, which had made walking painful for him. He urgently needs to undergo surgery to treat the cyst. He also suffers from lumbar disc injuries, arthritis and spine problems. Savari has varicocele, causing severe pain in the testicles. He underwent previously surgery, but again with the recurrence of the disease, he needs another surgery.

    Hamzeh Savari was arrested on September 2, 2005, on the charge of  “enmity against God (Moharebeh) and acting against national security”. The Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz sentenced him to capital punishment, which later was reduced to life imprisonment. He was 16 years old at the time of arrest and currently he is serving the seventeenth year of his prison sentence.

  • 4. Hassan Sadeghi suffers from Glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve) and intra ocular pressure, as well as joint pain which is particularly acute in the knees. His right eye vision has been worsened due to the damage in long-untreated optic nerves. Despite these poor health conditions, the assistant prosecutor of the prison Amin Vaziri has hindered him from dispatching to the hospital.
    Sadeghi can hardly walk due to the fractures of the bones in the sole of both feet caused by the tortures he endured in the ’80s (he endured his first prison sentence from 1981 to 1987).

    Hassan Sadeghi was arrested on January 28, 2013, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran “. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment and the confiscation of his property (an apartment and a store). He is 58 years old and serving the ninth year of his sentence.

  • 5. Abolghasem Fouladvand suffers from coronary artery disease. The assistant prosecutor of the prison Amin Vaziri has refused to allow him to be sent to the hospital for medical treatment.

    Abolghasem Fouladvand was arrested in 2013 on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment. He is 59 years old and currently serving the eighth year of his sentence.

  • 6. Hooshang Rezaie suffers from diabetes.

    Hooshang Rezaie was arrested in 2010 on a charge of “membership in Komola (Kurdistan’s Organization of the Communist Party of Iran), spying, murder and adultery”. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to death which was later reduced to 15 years imprisonment. Hooshang Rezaie was transferred to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr after testing positive for Covid-19.

  • 7. Iraj Hatami suffers from heart problems, unstable blood pressure, blood fats and cholesterol issues.

    Iraj Hatami was arrested on October 18, 2010, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of spying for the U.S.A. He had been working in Iran’s Ministry of Defense, from 1991 to 2004. Since two years and three months of his detention period in the military Detention Center has not been subtracted from his sentence term, he is still in prison. To protest, in June of this year, he went on a hunger strike.

  • 8. Ali Eshagh has unstable blood pressure, intestinal colitis (inflammation of the colon), meniscus tear in both knees. Four years ago, he underwent a heart attack. He refused to dispatch to the hospital due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Ali Eshagh was arrested on November 21, 2019, and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on a charge of “membership in Fedaian Organisation (Minority)”. He was born in 1950. He had also been spending in prison from 1983 to 1989 for the same charge.

  • 9. Farhad Fahandezh suffers from digestive and heart diseases.

    Farhad Fahandezh was arrested on August 16, 2012, on charges of “Propagation of the Baha’i Faith and directing Baha’i organizations.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. He was born in 1959. Currently, he is serving the ninth year of his sentence. Earlier, he was arrested in 1983 and spent 6 years in prison.

  • 10. Saeed Eghbali permanently lost 70 percent of his hearing due to the serious damages in the middle of his eardrum from injuries sustained from beatings during his detention period, which, without adequate treatment, quickly grew infected. According to his doctor, to prevent the spread of the infection, surgery will be required.


    Saeed Eghbali was arrested on February 1, 2018, on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security and propaganda against the regime”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison, which was upheld on appeal. Currently, he is serving the second year of his prison sentence.

  • 11. Soheil Arabi suffers from blunt trauma and hydrocele caused by beatings sustained during his time in the IRGC’s detention center. Moreover, his feet have been swollen due to several fractures on his feet.

    Soheil Arabi was arrested on November 7, 2013, on charges of ” blasphemy”, “propaganda against the regime”, “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. In his first case, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. For the second case, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, two years exile in Borazjan and paying a fine for 4 million tomans, on a charge of “spreading lies in the purpose to disturbing public opinions and the propaganda against the regime” and one year and eight months on the charge of ” destruction of state property”. In addition, for another new case, he has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, paying a fine, being banned from leaving the country and once every three times mandatory appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court.

  • 12. Ali Musa-Nejad Farkoosh suffers from an infectious disease of the stomach and intestines, requiring surgery.

    Ali Musa-Nejad Farkoosh was arrested on January 10, 2019, on charges of “assembly and collusion to commit a crime and act against national security, offensive statements against current and former supreme leader of Iran and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment. According to article 134 of Iran’s penal code, 5 years as the severest punishment is enforceable for the above-mentioned charges. He is serving the first year of his sentence. A while ago, he was granted furlough for medical treatment.

  • 13. Farzin Rezaei Roshan suffers from bipolar disorder and depression as well as Fibromyalgia (a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues).

    Farzin Rezaei Roshan was arrested in June 2017, on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to four years imprisonment. He is serving the second year of his sentence.

  • 14. Arjang Davoudi can only walk with the aid of a walker. It is because of diseases, senility and harsh condition of prison as well as serious damages of lumbar vertebrae after being pushed and fallen from stairs by one of the prison officials. He requires surgery on his knees. Moreover, he suffers from other diseases such as cataracts, diabetes and heart problems.

    Arjang Davoudi was arrested on November 9, 2002, on charges of “forming illegal political groups and membership in one of opposition political parties, offensive statements against the supreme leader of and high-ranking regime officials.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to fifteen years and eight months imprisonment which later was reduced to ten years and eight months on appeal. In 2012, on the new charge of “advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”, he was sentenced to death. The verdict was revoked in the supreme court of Iran and instead changed to five years imprisonment in an exile prison in Zabol. Moreover, he had been spending a while in Bandar-Abbas Prison.

  • 15. Mehdi Meskin Navaz requires surgery due to the rupture of the cruciate ligament of the knee. In addition, he needs physiotherapy treatment because of issues in the knee, neck, and lumbar vertebrae.

    Mehdi Meskin Navaz was arrested on May 5, 2019, on charges of “assembly and collusion, acting against national security, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment and two years of compulsory residency in Ghahraj city in Kerman Province and prohibition from membership in political parties and groups. Currently, he is serving the third year of his sentence. As of this writing, Meskin Navaz has been transferred to the quarantine section after testing positive for Covid-19.

Continue reading “Update on Political Prisoners’ Health Conditions in Rajai Shahr Prison”

Fifteen LGBTQ+ Prisoners Being Held in Wards 2 and 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, there are about 15 inmates imprisoned on LGBTQ+ related charges in Wards 2 and 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Ironically named the “cultural ward” by its residents, Ward 10 is where inmates convicted of crimes such as robbery, murder and membership in ISIS are housed. Ward 2, known as “Dar-al-Quran”, houses inmates convicted of violent crimes.

In contrast, the 15 LGBTQ+ prisoners being held in these notorious wards have largely been detained on charges related to having consensual same-sex relationships, known as “Lavat”, which are forbidden under Islamic Law.

“From the very moment they come to prison, (these prisoners) are harassed and intimated by inmates convicted of violent crimes,” an informed source told HRANA. “Some of them are still waiting for legal proceedings after two to five years.”

In Iran, rather than serving to protect sexual minorities, the law is weaponized against them. Under Chapter 1, Section 2 of the Islamic Penal Code, adult men have been sentenced to flogging and even death, just for engaging in sexual intercourse with other adult men.

“Some of them have been long time held in prison without holding any court and conviction,” the informed source added. “They are living in hard conditions worsened by the treatment of fellow inmates.”

Honoring International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, HRANA published an extensive report on the violation of the rights of sexual minorities in Iran during the last year, which includes a list of individuals and institutions who have violated the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. This list has been collected by Spreading Justice, a database of human rights violators in Iran.

Soheil Arabi and Behnam Moosivand Go on a Hunger Strike in Rajai Shahr Prison

Yesterday, October 19, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi and civil activist Behnam Moosivand went on hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the political prisoners are protesting their beatings by prison guards and their transfer to the quarantine section of the facility. Rajai Shahr Prison head Allah-Karam Azizi reportedly ordered the beating of the two inmates.

“Allah-Karam Azizi…ordered the executive officer Ghasem Sahraie and other guards to beat them because of their objection against a body search,” an informed source told HRANA. “They were (beaten) and (kicked) to the abdomen and testicles. Due to the injuries, Soheil and Behnam could not go to the court.”

On October 6, the political prisoners refused to appear on the court holding for the unjustified new cases opened against them during their prison term, of which the charges included “disturbing prison order” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”.  In response to this refusal, the deputy head of Rajai Shahr Prison Valiollah Muhammadi threatened them with a beating.

Soheil Arabi has been imprisoned without leave since November 7, 2013. While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi has been convicted on charges from two new cases.

In the first new case, On May 24, 2021, he was indicted on the charge of “agitation against the regime and Disturbing public opinions” via a video conference by Branch 3 of the Evin Investigation Office.

In the second new case, Soheil Arabi was condemned to 2 years imprisonment, paying a fine, and a ban from leaving the country and once every three times appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court. His court session to address these charges was held on July 28.

On February 1, 2018, the intelligence officials raided Behnam Moosivand’s home and transferred him to the detention facility of the intelligence ministry in Evin Prison, known as section 209. He was released on bail on March 19, 2018.

Thereafter, in September 2019, branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced him to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, and to one year on a charge of “agitation against the regime”. The verdict was upheld at appeal. On June 14, 2020, he appeared at the executive branch of Evin Prison to serve his six year sentence.

 

Update on Political Prisoners’ Living Conditions in Rajai Shahr Prison

This report sheds light on the situation of 27 political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison. Some of these prisoners are suffering from poor health conditions due to lengthy imprisonment or being beaten in detention.

Rajai Shahr Prison, previously known as Gohardasht Prison, is located in Karaj City in Alborz Province. Although the prison is built for housing the inmates convicted of violent crimes, for years it has been used by security forces as an exile prison for political and prisoners of conscience.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Rajai Shahr Prison, like many other prisons of the country, has long failed to provide inmates with adequate medical treatment.

Rajai Shahr Prison is composed of 10 wards with three salons for each ward. There are two types of salons in each ward.

Salon type 1: In the ’80s, the cells of this salon were used as solitary confinement. This salon contains 30-35 small size cells in each of which two or three inmates are housed.

Salon type 2: These Salons are composed of 15 large rooms in each of which 5 to 7 inmates are held. In each salon, there are three toilets, three bathrooms and a room to be used as a shared kitchen.

The Canteen (prison commissary) of the prison is run by the companies affiliated with the Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization. The store sells products that are marked up 10 to 20 percent. Last year, prices decreased somewhat due to complaints from inmates, but after a while, the store increased the prices again. Products not available in the Canteen are available only on written request, which must be approved by the head of the prison.

Despite being classified as a jailhouse for housing the inmates convicted of violent crimes, Rajai Shahr Prison has additionally been used for a high number of political prisoners. Considering the long history of violence against political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the monitoring of this infamous prison by human rights activists is of great importance.

It is worth mentioning that along with political prisoners held in Salon No. 10, there is a salon allocated to Sunni-faith prisoners, who mostly are imprisoned for national-security-related charges. HRANA is working on a report about their latest situation as well.

Currently, 24 political prisoners are housed in Salon No. 10 in Rajaie Shahr Prison. The latest updated list of these prisoners goes as follows:

1. Saeed Masouri, arrested on January 8, 2001, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through membership in The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. In 2003, the Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to the death penalty, which later was reduced to life imprisonment. Dr. Saeed Masouri was born in 1965. He is serving the twenty-first year of his sentence.

2. Afshin Baymani, arrested on September 5, 2000, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to death which later was reduced to life imprisonment. Afshin Baymani is now serving the twenty-second year of his sentence.

3. Motalleb Ahmadian, arrested on October 5, 2010, on a charge of “membership in one of opposition political groups”. He has sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court.

4. Hamzeh Savari was arrested on September 2, 2005, on the charge of ” enmity against God (Moharebeh) and acting against national security”. The Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz sentenced him to capital punishment, which later was reduced to life imprisonment. He was 16 years old at the time of arrest and currently he is serving the seventeenth year of his prison sentence.

5. Mohammad Ali (Piruz) Mansouri, arrested in September 2007, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment. Following his heart attack, on September 9, 2021, he was granted furlough for the first time after fourteen years.

6. Hassan Sadeghi, arrested on January 28, 2013, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran “. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment and the confiscation of his property (an apartment and a store). He is 58 years old and serving the ninth year of his sentence. Also, he had been spending in prison from 1981 to 1987.

7. Abolghasem Fouladvand, arrested in 2031 on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment. He is 59 years old and currently serving the eighth year of his sentence.

8. Soheil Arabi, arrested on November 7, 2013, on charges of ” blasphemy”, “propaganda against the regime”, “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. In his first case, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. For the second case, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, two years exile in Borazjan and paying a fine for 4 million tomans, on the charge of “spreading lies in the purpose to disturbing public opinions and the propaganda against the regime” and one year and eight months on the charge of ” destruction of state property”. In addition, for another new case, he has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, paying a fine, being banned from leaving the country and once every three times mandatory appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court.

9. Saeed Eghbali, arrested on February 1, 2018, on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison, which was upheld on appeal. Currently, he is serving the second year of his prison sentence.

10. Behnam Moosivand, arrested on February 1, 2018, on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison. The court of appeal upheld the sentence. Currently, he is serving the second year of his prison sentence.

11. Reza Mohammad-Hosseini, arrested in May 2019, on charges of ” assembly and collusion, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran, illegal border crossing, illegally entering the county, disobeying the orders of the agents.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 16 years and 6 months imprisonment, which was upheld on appeal. While he was serving his term in prison, in a new case he was sentenced to flogging with 50 lashes on the charge of “offensive statements against the on-duty-government officer”. He is serving the third year of his sentence.

12. Mehdi Meskin Navaz, arrested on May 5, 2019, on charges of “assembly and collusion, acting against national security, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment and two years of compulsory residency in Ghahraj city in Kerman Province and prohibition from membership in political parties and groups. Currently, he is serving the third year of his sentence. As of this writing, Meskin Navaz has been transferred to the quarantine section after testing positive for Covid-19.

13. HooshangRezaie, arrested in 2010 on a charge of “membership in Komola (Kurdistan’s Organization of the Communist Party of Iran), spying, murder and adultery.” The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to death which was later reduced to 15 years imprisonment. Hooshang Rezaie was transferred to the quarantine section after testing positive for Covid-19.

14. Ahad Barzegar, arrested in 2019 on charges of “advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to six years imprisonment. According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest enforceable punishment for this charge is only five years. He is serving the second year of his sentence. He has also been imprisoned in the ’80s for political-related charges.

15. Ali Eshagh, arrested on November 21, 2019, and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on a charge of “membership in Fedaian Organisation (Minority)”. He was born in 1950. He had also been spending in prison from 1983 to 1989 for the same charge.

16. Arash Nasri, arrested on December 19, 2019, on charges of “membership in Komola (Kurdistan’s Organization of the Communist Party of Iran) and Khabat (The Organization of the Iranian Kurdistan Struggle), illegal border crossing, illegally entering the country, holding illegal firearms”. Currently, he is waiting for his trial. These accusations are based on the publication of two photos on her personal Instagram account with the clothes of the mentioned groups.

17. Iraj Hatami, arrested on October 18, 2010, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of spying for the U.S.A. He had been working in Iran’s Ministry of Defense, from 1991 to 2004. Since two years and three months of his detention period in the military Detention Center has not been subtracted from his sentence term, he is still in prison. To protest, in June of this year, he went on a hunger strike.

18. Arsham (Mahmood) Rezaei, arrested on January 7, 2019, on charges of “propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion to act against national security, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years and six months imprisonment, which was upheld by the appellate court. According to article 134 of Iran’s penal code, five years as the severest punishment is enforceable for the above-mentioned charges. He is serving the first year of his sentence. Recently, he has been transferred to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj after testing positive for COVID-19.

19. Nasrollah Lashni, arrested in 2014 on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years imprisonment and two years prohibition from political activities. This verdict was upheld by the appellate court. In October 2020, as punishment for not returning to prison after a furlough, he was sentenced to flogging of 40 lashes, which was reduced to 30. In addition, he has two open cases with the charges of “illegal border crossing” and “membership in one of opposition political parties”.

20. Ali Musa-Nejad Farkoosh, arrested on January 10, 2019, on charges of “assembly and collusion to commit a crime and act against national security, offensive statements against current and former supreme leader of Iran and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment. According to article 134 of Iran’s penal code, 5 years as the severest punishment is enforceable for the above-mentioned charges. He is serving the first year of his sentence. A while ago, he was granted furlough for medical treatment.

21. Farzin Rezaei Roshan, arrested in June 2017, on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to four years imprisonment. He is serving the second year of his sentence.

22. Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi, arrested in August 2019, on charges of “forming illegal political groups, propaganda against the regime and offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 26 years imprisonment from which 11 years as severest punishment are enforceable.

23. Pouria Vahidian, arrested on November 21, 2020, on charges of “collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran.” He is still waiting for issuing verdict by the court. Earlier in July 2018, he has been also sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment on the charges of “collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran through writing political slogans on walls.” Back then, he was released after serving one year of his term.

24. Amir Doorbin Ghaziani, arrested on December 13, 2013, arrested on November 21, 2020, on a charge of spying for the U.S.A. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. He is serving the eighth year of his sentence.

Currently, there are three political prisoners being housed in other wards.

1. Farhad Fahandezh, arrested on August 16, 2012, on charges of “Propagation of the Baha’i Faith and directing Baha’i organizations.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. He was born in 1959. Currently, he is serving the ninth year of his sentence. Earlier, he was arrested in 1983 and spent 6 years in prison.

2. Farhad Meysami, arrested on July 31, 2018, on charges of “assembly and collusion to commit a crime against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years imprisonment and two years prohibitions from membership in political groups and parties, engagement in media and leaving the country. By enforcing Article 134 of the Islamic penal code, five years of this sentence is enforceable. He is serving the fourth year of his sentence.

3. Arjang Davoudi, arrested on November 9, 2002, on charges of “forming illegal political groups and membership in one of opposition political parties, offensive statements against the supreme leader of and high-ranking regime officials.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to fifteen years and eight months imprisonment which later was reduced to ten years and eight months on appeal. In 2012, on the new charge of “advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”, he was sentenced to death. The verdict was revoked in the supreme court of Iran and instead changed to five years imprisonment in an exile prison in Zabol. Also, he had been spending a while in Bandar-Abbas Prison.

It is worth mentioning two other political prisoners who have been recently released from Rajai Shahr prison. Peyman Arefi was arrested in May 2009 on the charges of ” insult against Prophet of Islam and advocacy for Kingdom Assembly of Iran “. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment in exile. A few months ago, he was released on probation with an electronic tag on his ankle. In September of this year, Asghar Padashi was released from the Rajai Shahr prison after serving three years of his ten years prison term. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment and paying a fine of 34000 dollars on the charges of “spying for Mossad.”

From the above-listed political prisoners, 15 inmates suffer from serious diseases or injuries.

As domestic law, as well as international law and other human rights documents, affirms, each prisoner has the right to receive adequate medical treatment. Various articles of Iran’s Executive regulations of the Prisons Organization have specified inmates’ disease and treatment. Nonetheless, Rajai Shahr prison officials violate the rights of these political prisoners for adequate medical treatment and endanger political prisoners’ lives.

 

 

New Details Emerge on Inhumane Treatment of Lawyer and Human Rights Activist Payam Derafshan

Saeed Dehghan has revealed more details about the arrest of his colleague, lawyer and human rights activist Payam Derafshan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Dehghan claims in a note on his personal social media page that on June 7, 2020, 17 security agents raided Derafshan’s office and arrested him.

The post says, the agents took him to a so-called safe house and then, from there, to a solitary confinement cell in detention center No 2A. There they injected him with an unknown drug causing seizure and subsequent hospitalization.

“Not just a human rights activist, (Derafshan) was the secretary of the commission for the Protection of Lawyers, which is devoted to protects the lawyers who face security and judicial issues,” Derafshan’s note reads. “On June 7, 2020, 17 security forces raided his office, inspected the office and confiscated his personal computer and other documents…From the very time of arrest through the interrogation process, the interrogators of IRGC’s intelligence unit wanted to find out why he accepted Kavous Seyed-Emami’s case…They transferred him with a blindfold to a safe house rather than a detention centre. In addition to denying access to a phone call and informing his family and lawyer, his confinement in a dark cell without any windows in summertime put the maximum mental and corporeal pressure on him. Thereafter, they transferred him to detention centre No 2A, which is at the disposal of IRGC.  Being held in a cell with always-on-bright lamps, noisy ventilation and stinky toilet and long interrogation were making sleeping hard for him.”

When Mr. Derafshan complained about this situation, he was reportedly threatened with an electric shocker and then taken to prison healthcare where he was injected with an unknown drug. This injection caused a seizure, tongue biting and subsequent fainting and internal bleeding.

According to the note, they transferred him to the hospital the following day for surgery on his tongue. Thereafter, they extended the detention period and sent him back to the public ward of Evin Prison without providing any medical treatment for recovery time after surgery. When he got seizures again, they hospitalized him in a psychiatric hospital where he received electric shocks, which not only exacerbated his seizure problem, but also caused brain damage and consciousness disorders.

On July 6, 2020,  the Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Iman Afshari sentenced Payam Derafshan to two years and six months imprisonment on the charge of “the propaganda against the regime, spreading lies and disturbing public opinions and carrying illegal shocker and sprays”. He was exonerated on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. The verdict was upheld on appeal but reduced to two years grounded on the applicability of “Punishment Reduction Law”.  After issuing the sentence, he was sent on furlough and after serving one-third of his term, he was released on probation to complete the treatment process.

In a previous case, Branch 1 of Karaj Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to two years imprisonment and two years occupational deprivation as a lawyer on the charge of “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The imprisonment was reduced to one year on appeal. The conviction was held in suspension. It is unknown whether, after the last final conviction, this previous conviction will come out of suspension.

Payam Derafshan has been the lawyer of many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience such as Muhammad Najafi, Vida Movahed, Nasrin Sotoudeh,  Kavous Seyed-Emami’s family, Fatemeh Khishavand, Sekineh Parvaneh and a number of arrestees in the nationwide protests of November 2019.

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Political Prisoner Mojgan Kavousi Transferred Back to Evin Prison from Kachooie Prison

On Wednesday, October 13, political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi was sent back to Evin Prison from Kachooie Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Kavousi was relocated to Karaj police detention center a while ago, and from there to Kachooie Prison.

In a phone call with her family, Kavousi informed them about this relocation.  The reason for her transfer to Kachooie Prison is still unknown.

On July 26, 2021, Branch 28 of the appellate court in Mazandaran Province issued an order to transfer the political prisoner to a prison in Alborz Province for the remainder of her sentence.

“Due to  COVID-related restrictions making family visitation difficult, Mrs Kavousi asked for transferring to Noshahr where her family are living,” an informed source told HRANA. “On July 13, 2021, they transferred her to Noshahr but after spending one-night in police detention centre, they sent her back to Tehran. Considering that her family are residing in either Tehran or Noshahr, it is not clear why she should be transferred to a prison in Alborz Province.”

On November 20, 2019, Mojgan Kavousi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in the mid-fall of the year, from her home in Noshahr. After being held three weeks in detention, she was sent to Noshahr Prison. On December 19, 2019, she was released on bail.

The Revolutionary Court in Noshahr sentenced her to 6 months on a charge of “the propaganda against the regime”, 33 months on a charge of “membership in opposition parties” and 30 months on a charge of “provoking to disturb the public order”. During the appeal process, the sentence was increased by seven months due to the influence of the prosecutor.

Mojgan Kavouci is a writer, researcher and follower of Yarsanism.

Soheil Arabi and Behnam Moosivand Refuse to Appear in Court

On Wednesday, October 6,  prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi and political prisoner Behnam Moosivand refused to appear on the court holding for the unjustified new cases opened against them during their imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the deputy head of Rajai Shahr Prison Valiollah Muhammadi threatened them with a beating following their refusal.

“Disturbing prison order” and ” offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran” have been listed as among the new charges. According to an informed source, on the same day, these two prisoners were interrogated online.

While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi has been convicted on the charges of two new cases.

In the first new case, On May 24, 2021, he was indicted on the charge of “agitation against the regime and Disturbing public opinions” via a video conference by Branch 3 of the Evin Investigation Office.

In the second new case, Soheil Arabi was condemned to 2 years imprisonment, paying a fine, and a ban from leaving the country and once every three times appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court. His court session to address these charges was held on July 28.

Since November 7, 2013, he has been held in detention as well as prison and has never been granted leave.

On February 1, 2018, the intelligence officials raided Behnam Moosivand’s home and transferred him to the detention facility of the intelligence ministry in Evin Prison, known as section 209. He was released on bail on March 19, 2018.

Thereafter, in September 2019, branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced him to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security, and to one year on a charge of “agitation against the regime”. The verdict was upheld at appeal. On June 14, 2020, he appeared at the executive branch of Evin Prison to serve his six-year sentence.

Monireh Arabshahi Forcefully Transferred Back to Kachooye Prison Before Completion of Medical Treatment

On Monday, October 4, civil activist Monireh Arabshahi was forcefully transferred from the hospital back Kachooye Prison in Karaj by judge order, despite not having completed her treatment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ms. Arabshahi had been on medical leave since August 4.

Ms. Arabshahi’s medical issues have been ongoing. On May 3, 2020, Arabshahi was granted leave on bail for 500 million tomans to receive surgery to remove her thyroid gland, after which she was sent back to prison.

Yasamin Ariaani, Arabshahi’s daughter and an outspoken opponent of the compulsory hijab in Iran, who had been released after serving out her sentence on February 14, 2019, was arrested again on April 10, 2019 on new charges.

One day after the arrest of her daughter, Mrs. Arabshahi was also arrested and both were relocated to Gharchak Prison. Subsequently,  both were sent to Evin Prison and finally they end up in Kachooye Prison in Karaj.

Branch 28 of the revolutionary court has convicted this mother and daughter to a total of 16 years in prison, which were later reduced to a total of 9 years and 7 months. They were charged with “assembly and collusion against national security”, “propaganda against the regime”,  and “provoking and provision of impurity and indecency”.

Civil Activist Arsham Rezai in Transferred to Quarantine Ward of Rajai Shahr Prison after Positive COVID-19 Test

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has confirmed that yesterday, September 29, civil activist Arsham Rezai was relocated to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj after testing positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 surge in Iran’s prisons has been a major threat to the health and safety of their inmates, who frequently do not receive timely or adequate medical care from authorities.

Arsham Rezai was arrested on January 7 of 2019 by the regime’s intelligence and security forces. On November 13 of that year, he was released on bail for 2 billion Rial (approx. 8000 dollars).

On February 26, 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary court sentenced Mr. Rezai, without informing the defendant’s attorney that the court session was taking place, to eight years and six months imprisonment on the charges “propaganda against the regime”, ” collusion against national security”, and ” offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. This is ruling violated  Article 134 of Iran’s penal code, which sets a maximum of 5 years as the severest punishment for the above-mentioned charges.

To serve his sentence, on October 18, 2020, he was arrested and transferred to a solitary confinement cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. Finally, he was relocated to a public section of this prison on December 19 2020.

On January 20 of this year, on new charges, the revolutionary court sentenced him to an additional 15 months imprisonment (which was later reduced to 11 months on appeal) and 4 months penal labor.

Two Men Spared from Execution, One Sentenced to Death

Recently, two men facing death sentences were spared from conviction while a third was sentenced to death.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Dideban,  one man in Tehran was sentenced to death on a charge of murder on Wednesday, 29 September.

Two men were spared from execution in separate criminal lawsuits, in Urmia and Karaj respectively. Both cases were ruled upon exacting satisfaction from the “avenger of blood”, meaning that the victim’s relative or closest acquaintance agreed to refrain from demanding the perpetrators’ execution.

A man indicted for murder was sentenced to the death penalty. He was detained after one man was stabbed to death in a street fight that took place in a park in Islamshahr, July 2018. This 30-year-old man, named Mahmoud, has denied the charge of first-degree murder and claimed that his actions were self-defense.

According to IRNA, a death-row inmate in Urmia Prison, after 11 years imprisonment, could exact the satisfaction of ‘blood avengers’ with the mediation of elders of the community.

The second spared inmate was a 20-year-old Meysam, who was sentenced to death on a charge of killing a 21-year-old man in a fight. After 5 years, he could exact the satisfaction of the victim’s parent by paying 2.5 billion tomans as reparation.