Majid Mousavi Muhammerah and Abdoljalil Doraghi Sentenced to a Combined Ten Years in Prison

Branch 16 of the Court of Appeals in Khuzestan Province upheld the initial verdict against Majid Mousavi Muhammerah and Abdoljalil Doraghi. Each had been sentenced to five years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz City.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the court, headed by Judge Koosha, notified Muhammerah and Doraghi’s lawyer that the initial verdict was upheld. The defendants has were charged with “promoting Wahhabism (a fundamentalist movement within Sunni Islam)” and propaganda against the regime”.

“As the attorney of the defendants, I have not received a verdict letter and hence have not been able to ask for a retrial. The Court of Appeals held a session without the attendance of defendants and the attorney, which is in violation of a fair trial. Also, the issued verdict was upheld regardless of newly invoked pieces of evidence and was merely based on what was presented in the initial trial,” their lawyer, Iman Soleymani, told HRANA.

“They did not even let me make a copy of the documents. They hardly even let me review it,” he added.

Muhammerah and Doraghi were arrested by security forces and held in solitary confinement for six months in the detention centre at disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence in Ahvaz City.

They are residents of Ahvaz and worked at a bike repair and falafel shop, respectively.

Fisher Shot Dead by Military Forces in Hoveyzeh

On Wednesday, November 17, a fisher was shot dead by military forces in Hoveyzeh County.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 32-year-old Ahmad Savari, a resident of Rafi-Shahr in Khuzestan Province, was shot dead by military force while he was fishing in Hawizeh Marshes.

HRANA’s annual human rights report has specifically documented cases in which military forces’ use of live ammunition against citizens has led to their injury or death.

According to the 2020 report, 36 cross-border laborers (kolbars), 5 cross-border fuel carriers (sukhtbars) and 33 other citizens have been shot dead by military forces and border guards in the last year. In addition, 130 people have been injured of whom 109 are Kolbars, 5 are Sukhtbars, and 16 are citizens.

 

 

The Uprising of the Thirsty; An Analysis of the 2021 Khuzestan Protests

The July 2021 Iranian protests were a continuation of protests that have been erupting sporadically since 2016.

The driving force behind the July/August uprising was to protest the perennial water shortages and rolling blackouts stemming from mismanagement of resources, fueling public anger. The latest round of protests erupted on 15 July, starting in Khuzestan soon spreading to other provinces including Isfahan, Lorestan, Eastern Azerbaijan, Tehran, and Karaj. These protests have been coined the ‘Uprising of the Thirsty’.

As nearly 5 million Iranians in Khuzestan are lacking access to clean drinking water, Iran is failing to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to water, which is inextricably linked to the right to the highest attainable standard of health; both are protected by the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESR), to which Iran is a signatory. It is a common cause that Iran’s water crisis has reached a critical point. Even the regime’s state-run media have acknowledged the dire situation, with at least 700 villages out of water.

According to the state-run Aftab News on July 4, 2021, “Of Iran’s population of 85 million, about 28 million live in areas with water shortages and are under pressure in this regard, mainly in the central and southern regions of the country. Water shortages have affected all sections of society, from urban households to agricultural and rural communities.”

It did not take long for the protests to take on a political character, with protesters in various cities calling for the end of the current regime and expanding the subject matter of their protests from water shortages to deteriorating living conditions.

One protester told HRA, “My ideal outcome is to see a regime official resign in response to our suffering. We are tired of all of this misery, poverty, dehydration, neglect, lies, and empty promises.

A protester living in Tehran told HRA, “Besides supporting [the people of] Khuzestan, we are protesting unemployment, high prices, poverty, and the existing problems in the country. We can no longer bear the hardships of life created by unworthy officials. The authorities must address the problems…

In the two weeks of the uprising, Human Rights Activists (HRA) verified 129 videos documenting the protests, 361 arrests, 6 deaths, and several more wounded. HRA’s Spreading Justice team (HRA-SJ) additionally identified individual violators associated with the violent crackdown. The following report analyses the events that occurred as a result of the uprising, those responsible, and concludes with a call for accountability noting that without action, this cycle of abuse will only continue.

Read the full report here.

_________________________

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

Media Activist Mehrnoosh Tafian Sentenced to Six Months in Court of Appeals

Media activist and Ahvaz resident Mehrnoosh Tafian was sentenced to six months and eleven days in prison by the court of appeals in Khuzestan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, from this prison term, three months and one day have been suspended for one year.

Mehrnoosh Tafian received three months and one day in prison on charges of “spreading lies with the purpose to disturb public opinions”. On a charge of “propaganda against the regime”, the court of appeal reduced the initial verdict from one year to three months and ten days imprisonment.

For the above-mentioned charges, the initial verdict of the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz was three months and ten days imprisonment and one year respectively.

In October 2020, the IRGC’s intelligence agents raided and inspected her house. They confiscated her cell phone and some other belongings. After one month, she was summoned to appear at IRGC’s Intelligence Organization in Ahvaz for interrogation. On November 1, 2020, when she appeared at Branch 13 of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the revolutionary Court, she was sent to Sepidar Prison because she failed to provide the required bail.

Mehrnoosh Tafian is graduated from News College and living with her two sons in Ahvaz.

Brothers Ali-Muhammad Muhammadi and Eslam Muhammadi Executed in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz

On the morning of Tuesday, October 19, two brothers who had previously been convicted of murder were executed in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoners’ mother died of a heart attack, which is believed to have been induced by the execution of her children.

HRANA has identified the brothers as 45-year-old Ali-Muhammad Muhammadi and 38-year-old  Eslam Muhammadi, both residents of Ramhormoz County in Khuzestan Province.

According to an informed source, the brothers were arrested in regards to a group fight that happened in June 2005, in a Patak-e Jalali village in Khuzestan Province.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, including three juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of carried-out executions, dubbed as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

The execution of the Muhammadi brothers has not been announced by officials or reported by domestic media in Iran as of this writing.

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Several Civil Activists Arrested During a Rally at Site of Pouya Bakhtiari’s Death in Karaj

Today, Wednesday, August 18, during a gathering of civil activists at the site of Pouya Bakhtiari’s death in Karaj, several of those in attendance were arrested and then released an hour later.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Narges Mohammadi, Pouran Nazemi, and Nahid Shirbisheh were among the arrested.

Nahid Shirbisheh is the mother of Pouya Bakhtiari who was one of the victims of the November 2019 national protests in Iran.

Recently, a lawsuit was opened against Ms. Nazemi and Ms. Mohammadi charged in Branch 2 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office, along with seven other civil activists.

These activists were arrested in Tehran on July 20, during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan, and were released hours later.

 

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

This week, nationwide protests continued in Iran following the widespread protests in Khuzestan. A number of labor protests took place as well. According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, employees of Haft-Tappeh Agro Industry Co. continued their strike into a 5th week. Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.


Saturday, August 7

Several residents of Damash village from Amarloo district of Rudbar city, a group of workers of Sepahan Isfahan Cement Factory, medical intern students in Kermanshah, bakers in Zanjan, and several workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company for a 26th consecutive day, held rallies in which they called on their demands to be addressed.

Residents of Damash village from Amarloo district of Rudbar:

Workers of Sepahan Isfahan Cement Factory:

 

Medical intern in Kermanshah:

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

Sunday, August, 8


Several workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. for a 27th consecutive day, a group of Caspian Financial Institution shareholders in Tehran, a group of Steel Fund retirees in Isfahan and Khuzestan, a number of medical interns for the second consecutive day in Kermanshah, workers,  personnel of Hoveyzeh Water and Sewerage in Khuzestan Province, and a group of employees of Saveh Fire Department held protest rallies on Sunday.

 

People in the city of Junqan in support of Habib Fadaei:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Palm farmers in Khuzestan Province:

 

Bakers in Yazd:

Wednesday, August 11

On the 30th day of their strike in Shush, several workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested.  In Tehran, teachers of Literacy Movement Organization of Iran protested and called on their demands be addressed.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

Teachers of Literacy Movement Organization:

 

 

Thursday, August 12

Several workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co for the thirtieth first day of their strike in Shush protested and called on their demands be addressed.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co went on strike for the 32 days on the row to protest the non-compliance with their demands.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

This week, nationwide protests continued in Iran following the widespread protests in Khuzestan. A number of labor protests took place as well. According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, employees of Haft-Tappeh Agro Industry Co. continued their strike into a 4th week. Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, July 31


Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company continued their strike for a 19th consecutive day in Shush on Saturday. A group of workers of Rudbar Municipality in Gilan Province and a group of employees and engineers of East Azerbaijan thermal and gas power plant in Tabriz held protest rallies called on their demands to be addressed. Also, following the nationwide protests of the Iranian people, citizens held protest rallies in the cities of Ahvaz, Tehran, and Golestan of Tehran.

 

Citizens of Tehran protesting front of the Tehran City Theater:

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:







 


Sunday, August 1 and Monday, August 2

A group of employees of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, and a number of farmers in Isfahan protested on Sunday and Monday. A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also continued their strike for a 21st day in Shush.

 


Farmers of Isfahan:

Operational staff of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company:





Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 


Tuesday, August 3


A number of bakers in Baharestan city in Tehran Province, several contractor workers of Isfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel, and a group of official employees of Iranian Offshore Oil Company in Qeshm and Bahregan protested this Tuesday. A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also protested for a 22nd day in Shush.

 

 

Bakers in Baharestan:

 
Contractor workers of Isfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel:

 
Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company in Shush:

 
Employees of Iranian Offshore Oil Company in Qeshm and Bahregan:

Wednesday, August 4


A group of Izeh ranchers protested on Wednesday, as well as a number of employees of the Bahrgansar oil field. Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also continued their strike for the 23rd day in Shush.

 

 

Ranchers of Izeh:

 
Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. in Shush:





Thursday, August 5


On the 24th day of the strike, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry in Shush marched in the streets.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. in Shush:

Friday, August 6


A number of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co in Shush protested for a 25th day in a row. 

 

Hamshahri Newspaper: During the Protests, 300 People were Arrested in Susangerd Alone

Hamshahri newspaper, which is owned by Tehran Municipality, published a report yesterday stating that at least 300 have been arrested during the recent protests in the city of Susangerd alone.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the report acknowledges that at least 12,000 people were present at a protest rally in Susangerd–a noteworthy distinction amid denials of unrest from many official sources.

According to the report, the day after the first day of the protests, July 15, Khuzestan Governor Qassem Soleimani Dashtaki denied everything about the protest, saying, “Some seek to provoke the people and publish fake images of the protests in cyberspace.” He claimed, “There were no protests in the cities of Khorramshahr and Susangerd.”

Subsequent events showed that the governor’s words were wrong. The Hamshahri newspaper also reported that the protests were peaceful until the fourth day in Susangerd and surrounding cities but escalated into violence with the arrival of troops and special forces.

Until that day, no provincial or government officials were willing to speak to the people. Finally, on the fourth day, with the arrival of the non-native special police unit in the Susangerd area, the atmosphere changed. The police were aimed at stopping protests by any means necessary. Citizens wondered why the special unit had been summoned to the city, given the peaceful nature of their protests.

According to the Hamshahri report, 2018 statistics showed that Khuzestan was the highest ranked province in number of protests, with about 300 union and non-union gatherings and sit-ins in that year alone. Given the high capabilities and abundance of resources within the province, it should be one of the wealthiest regions, but decades of mismanagement and exploitation have left Khuzestan with abysmal rates of unemployment and poverty. Regarding the water issue, citizens have been protesting, in various ways, for more than 20 years, but nothing has been done.

Lawsuit Filed Against 9 Civil Activists Including Narges Mohammadi After Protests in Tehran

New cases have been opened against civil activists Arash Sadeghi, Arash Keykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Narges Mohammadi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni in Branch 2 of Evin Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the lawsuits have been filed in the aftermath of the activists’ demonstration of solidarity with the people of Khuzestan in Tehran.

On July 20, these civil activists were beaten and arrested during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan in Tehran and were released hours later.

The activists were informed of the opening of a new case against them via text message. The text message states that the reason for filing a case is “participation in an illegal gathering in front of the Ministry of Interior”.

Public rallies began on the night of Thursday, July 15, in Khuzestan province to protest the frequent water cut and mismanagement of officials in the Khuzestan Province. The protests have spread to at least 41 cities in two weeks. HRANA has previously reported on these protests.