Appeals Court upholds Kiumars Marzban’s Sentence of 23-year and 9 Months Prison Term

Posted on: October 14th, 2019

On October 13, 2019, appeals court upheld Kiumars Marzban’s sentence of 23 years and nine months imprisonment. On August 24, 2019, Kiumars Marzban, a detained 26-year-old writer and satirist, was sentenced to 23 years and nine months in prison by the preliminary court in Tehran. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Kiumars Marzban should serve 11 years in prison.

His lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, confirmed the appeals court’s verdict and added that the appeals court hearing was convened without Marzban or his lawyer presence and without hearing his defense. Aghasi said: “We did not receive any response to our appeal statement. For instance, he was charged with “cooperating with a hostile state” while even Iranian authorities consider the organization that he wrote for as a nonprofit organization.”

Kiumars Marzban began his career making short films. He directed eight short film between 2005-2009. He left Iran in 2010 and while living in Malaysia, he hosted a comedy podcast called “Sangtab Radio”. He published few books such as short stories titled “kham bodam, pokhteh shodam, balk eh pasandideh shodam” (I was Raw, I Became Ripe and Pleasant) and “aziz jan” (My Dear).

Kioomars Marzban returned to Iran in 2017. On August 26, 2018, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps officers raided Marzban’s residence, arrested him, and confiscated his several personal items included laptop and cellphone. He is a prisoner at Evin Prison for a year now. His trial was scheduled for March 3, 2020 but it was held in late July 2019 at the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for “cooperating with a hostile state”, seven years and six months in prison for blasphemy, a year and half imprisonment for “propaganda against the state”, three years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader and the Founder of the Revolution”, and nine months imprisonment for “insulting authorities”.

First six months of Ebrahim Raisi as Justiciary Chief of Iran; 1000 years of prison sentences and 1500 lashes for activists

Posted on: September 13th, 2019

Ebrahim Raisi is a former Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi from 2016 to 2019 and a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 executions which were series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across the country. He succeeded Sadegh Larijani as the Judiciary Chief (the head of judicial system of Iran) in 2019. Being appointed as the Judiciary Chief by the Supreme leader, Ebrahim Raisi claimed that he wants the Iranian people to taste “the sweet flavor of justice” by reforming the judicial system to bring more justice and fairness. Six months after being appointed to the new position, the verdicts of political prisoners indicate that the pressure is increased on the civil rights activists and opposition groups in Iran. During six months of Ebrahim Raisi in office, political activists were sentenced to 1,027 years in prison and 1428 lashes.  Therefore, the verdicts targeting civil rights activists and opposition groups were increased by 119% compared to a similar time period during his predecessor, Sadegh Larijani, who was in office for nine and half years. Although Larijani faced massive demonstrations such as uprisings across the country in January 2017 and August 2018, protests in the Khuzestan province, and Dervishes protests which Raisi has not faced any yet.

Statistics Comparison of Verdicts with the Former Judiciary Chief

The following is a summary of verdicts between March 8, 2019 to September 8, 2019 which was gathered and analyzed by the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI): According to statistics, during this period, both sentences against political and civil activists or years of sentences were increased. 211 political or civil activists including advocates of freedom of expression, women rights activists, syndicates activists, students, ethnicity rights activists, labor rights activists, minority rights advocates, and religion activists were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court across the country to 1027 and six months of imprisonment, 418 million and 350 thousand Tomans of fines, and 428 lashes. Out of these numbers, 966 years and 8 months in prison sentences and 30 years and 10 months are suspended prison sentences. In comparison to the same period when Larijani was the Judiciary Chief, March 8 to September 8, 2018, 278 political and civil activists were sentenced to 468 years and one month in prison, 254 million Tomans fines, and 891 lashes. This comparison is based on the numbers of individual cases but mass sentences for the arrestees of uprisings such as 232 verdicts of Gonabadi dervishes in the case of so-called “Golestan Haftom” have been excluded. Overall, these statistics indicated that although the number of arrestees has been decreased in Raisi’s term but the average number of verdicts in comparison to the same period in the Larijani’s term has been increased.

The Names of 211 Activists Who Were Sentenced to Prison Term or Lashes During Ebrahim Raeissi’s term

Kiumars Marzban, Shima Babai Zeydi, Dariush Abdar, Mahmood Masoumi, Behnam Mousavand, Saeed Eghbali, Mojgan Lali, Saeed Seyfi Jahan, Shaghayegh Makai, Nader Afshari, Anoushah Ashouri, Ali Johari, Marzieh Amiri, Ishaq Rouhi, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeissi, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, Aras Amiri, Nejat Bahrami, Sadegh Zibaklam, Hamed Ayenehvand, Roozbeh Meshkinkhat, Mohammad Reza Aghajari, Nima Saffar, Khalil Karimi, Mehdi Moghadari, Golraki Ebrahimi Irai, Athena Daemi, Mohammad Reza Khatami, Mohammad Potaiesh, Khadijeh (Leila) Mirghafari, Reza Makian (Malek), Hashem Zeinali, Simin Eyvazzadeh, Ehsan Kheybar, Abdul Azim Arouji, Mohsen Haseli, Mohsen Shojai, Azam Najafi, Parvin Soleimani, Sharmin Yomni, Sara Saei, Arshia Rahmati, Masoud Hamidi, Ali Babai, Ismail Hosseini Koohkamarai, Farideh Toosi, Zahra Modarreszadeh, Amir Mahdi Jalayeri, Mohammad Najafi, Javad Lari, Rahim Mohammadpour, Masoud Kazemi, Sahar Kazemi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Milad Mohammad Hosseini, Abdollah Ghasimpour, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibi, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khand Mahabadi, Keyvan Bajan, Yousef Salahshour, Davood Mahmoodi, Mohammad Asri, Siavash Rezaian, Najaf Mehdipour, Behrooz Zare, Ata’ollah Ahsani, Abbas Nouri Shadkam, Ali Bagheri, Masoud Ajloo, Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Kianoush Ghahramani, Nariman Noroozi, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, Amir Mahdi Sedighara, Ali Amin Amlashi, Barzan Mohammadi, Arsham Rezai, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Michael White, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Nader Fotourehchi, Farhad Sheykhi, Mardas Taheri, Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, Rahman Abed, Asghar Amirzadegani, Hamid Reza Rahmati, Eghbal Shabani, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Fatemeh Mohammadi, Bahman Kord, Sina Darvish Omran, Ali Mozafari, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Mojtaba Dadashi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Hossein Janati, Omid Asadi, Sahand Moali, Mohammad Mirzai, Bapir Barzeh, Shirko Ali Mohammadi, Keyvan Nejadrasoul, Tohid Amir Amini, Kianoush Aslani, Abbas Lesani, Mobinollah Veysi, Mojtaba Parvin, Kazem Safabakhsh, Rahim Gholami, Jafar Rostami, Aref Mohammadi, Peyman Mirzazadeh, Samko Jafari, Behzad Shahsavar, Siamand Shahsavar, Salman Afra, Shaker Maravi, Khaled Hosseini, Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, Hasan Saeedi, Hossein Ansari Zadeh, Feisal Saalebi, Saab Zahiri, Adel Samaei, Esmail Jaadeleh, Bani Naami, Omid Azadi, Rostam Abdollah Zadeh, Ali Bani Sadeh, Nasrin Javadi, Tofigh Mahmoudi, Davood Razavi, Amanollah Balochi, Farough Izadi Nia, Moein Mohammadi, Sheida Abedi, Firouz Ahmadi, Khalil Malaki, Simin Mohammadi, Bijan Ahmadi, Maryam Mokhtari, Saghar Mohammadi, Sohrab Malaki, Bahman Salehi, Sofia Mombini, Negin Tadrisi, Kheirollah Bakhshi, Shabnam Issa Khani, Shahryar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Monika Alizadeh, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha aramarzi, Pooneh Nasheri, Saba Kord Afshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Mojgan Keshavarz, Vida Movahed, Matin Amiri, Maryam Amiri, Atefeh Rangriz, Edris Kasravi, Taher Sufi, Haleh Safarzadeh, Alireza Saghafi, Yousef Jalil, Fatemeh Bakhtari, Zaman Fadai, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohsen Haghshenas, Nahid Khodakarami, Raheleh Rahimipour, Alireza Kafai, Mohammad Dorosti, Salar Taher Afshar, Oldoz Ghasemi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Hossein Habibi, Hossein Ghadyani, Mir Mousa Ziagari, Sajad Shahiri, Jafar Pekand , Hamid Balkhkanloo, Ghafour Barham, Vali Nasiri, Sahar Khodayari, Amin Seybar, Esmael Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar.

It should be noted that in addition to aforementioned names, several other activists such as detained environmentalists, arrestees of the International Labor Day’s protest, Baha’i citizens, and supporters of opposition groups are waiting for their verdicts. Based on the outcome of the first six months of Raisi as the Chief Justice of Iran, the continuous increase of the verdicts in the following six months is predictable. On the other hand, according to several lawyers, Raisi is trying to implement a rule in which the appeal’s courts will be in session only after obtaining permissions from the Supreme Leader. Thus, appeals courts will acknowledge the primary verdict without reserving a chance for lawyers and convict to defend.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Background

In 1981, 20-year old Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj. Later in 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran. He was a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 political prisoners’ executions across the country. Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s prosecutor from 1989 to 1994. In 1994-1995, he was appointed as the head of the General Inspection Office. From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as the First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran. He was later appointed as the Attorney-General of Iran in 2014-2016. He has also served as the Special Clerical Court prosecutor since 2012. He became the Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi on 7 March 2016 after the death of his predecessor Abbas Vaez-Tabasi. He is the second person to serve this office from 1979.  Raisi ran a presidential campaign in February 2017 but after losing the presidential election, he was appointed by Ali Khamenei as a member of Expediency Discernment Council.

The 1988 executions of the Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those who were killed were supporters of the Mujahedin Khalgh but supporters of other leftist factions such as Communist party were executed as well. The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in the modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup. Different sources put the number of victims between 2500 and 30000. Most of the people who were executed had already served their sentences in prison. Hussein-Ali Montazeri, deputy of Supreme Leader of Iran between 1985-1989, named Ebrahim Raisi as one of the people who was in administration of the executions which according to Montazeri, was implemented by a four-men commission, later known as the “death committee”. According to Montazeri, the commission consisted of Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, Morteza Eshraghi, and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi.

The Updated Identities of 38 Prisoners with National-Security Charges in Ward 7 of Evin Prison

Posted on: September 6th, 2019

The following list contains the name of the prisoners with national-security charges who are currently imprisoned in ward 7 of Evin Prison and have charges such as “relationship with enemy states” and “espionage”. Most of these prisoners are in the ward 7 but some of them are locted in wards 4 and 8 of Evin Prison. Many of these prisoners have denied their charges and believe their charges are based on political intentions. In this list, there are many dual-citizens or prisoners with permanent residence permit of a foreign country.

Most of the prisoners with national-security charges are tried based on the Article 501 (espionage) or the Article 508 (collaboration with an enemy state) of the Islamic Penal Law. Due to lack of transparency in the trial process by the judicial system and uncertainty in having a fair trial, this list is created according to charges pressed by the judicial system against these prisoners. Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA) is unable to confirm or reject such charges. HRANA updates the list of the prisoners based on different categories, charges, and geographical location periodically in order to inform its audience and support victims of human rights violations.

The following is the updated identities of 38 prisoners with national-security charges in the ward 7 of Evin Prison:

 

  1. Amir Hossein (Iman) Seyrafi, was sentenced to a seven-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with a hostile government”. He is a computer engineer and his expertise are in cyber security.
  2. Amir Salimi Aghdam was sentenced to a five-year prison term on the charge of “espionage”. He is a professor with a jurisdiction doctorate degree.
  3. Babak Al-Ebrahim was sentenced to a three-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a master’s degree in economy from Germany.
  4. Javid Javidnia was sentenced to a 10-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a doctoral degree in geophysics from the Netherlands.
  5. Ahmad Reza Jalali (Djalali) was sentenced to death on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He is a Swedish-Iranian dual citizen and a university professor.
  6. Anoush Ashouri is sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with a hostile government of the United Kingdom”.
  7. Hamidinia was sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with a hostile government”. He is a foreign affairs specialist and a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  8. Reza Jokari was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He is a physics engineer and an employee of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.
  9. Shahab Manzouri was sentenced to six years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United Kingdom”.
  10. Xiyue Wang was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of espionage for the United States. He is a Chinese American dual citizen.
  11. Mokhtar Salehi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He is an Iranian Kurd and has a high school diploma.
  12. Sattar Sheykh was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a doctoral degree in art from Tehran University of Art.
  13. Ali Kebritsaz Tavakoli was sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”.
  14. Mohammad Ali Babapour was charged with “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America”. His does not have a sentence yet.
  15. Seyed Javad Noorjamali was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He is a computer engineer and a network administrator.
  16. Shahab Damiri was sentenced to a 10-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He was a wrestling captain.
  17. Ali Asgari was sentenced to a seven-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with a hostile government”.
  18. Ali Kashefi was sentenced to a 10-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He is a professor of Sharif University.
  19. Kamran Ghaderi was sentenced to a 10-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Vienna in Austria.
  20. Mohammad Asnaashari was sentenced to a three-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a master’s degree in computer programming.
  21. Mohammad Javad Zarei was sentenced to a 7-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America”.
  22. Mehdi Zarei was sentenced to a 10-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America”.
  23. Ali Johari was sentenced to a 10-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”.
  24. Kiumars Marzbain was sentenced to 25-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America”.
  25. Farid Faridnia, a Kurdish citizen, was sentenced to a seven-year prison term on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”.
  26. Manouchehr Mohammad Ali was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with a hostile government”. He has a doctoral degree in French literature.
  27. Masoud Kiani was sentenced to five years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has doctorate in dentistry from Ukraine.
  28. Mehdi Ahmadi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America”. He has a master’s degree in cyber security from the University of Virginia.
  29. Najaf Hesari, a Kurdish citizen, was sentenced to three years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”.
  30. Ali Azarifar was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a doctoral degree in programming from Australia.
  31. Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi was charged with “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He does not have a sentence yet.
  32. Amir Rahimpour was charged with “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America” and his sentence is still unknown. He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
  33. Afshin Salehi was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer.
  34. Mohammad Amini was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States of America”. He has a master’s degree in computer.
  35. Jalil Baroghi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
  36. Mohammad Omidi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He was a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  37. Masoud Mosaheb was charged with “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”. He does not have a sentence yet.
  38. Mohammad Amin Nasab was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United Kingdom”. He is an Iranian-British dual citizen.
  39. Majid Nikafraz was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of “collaboration with the hostile government of Israel”.

This list only contains the national-security related prisoners in this ward.  Other political prisoners with charges such as “assembly and collision”, “propaganda against the state”, and “missionary” are also held in this ward.

Kiumars Marzban Was Sentenced to 23-year and Nine Months Prison Term

Posted on: August 25th, 2019

On August 24, 2019, Kiumars Marzban, a detained 26-year-old writer and satirist, was sentenced to 23 years and nine months in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Kiumars Marzban should serve 11 years in prison.

Kiumars Marzban began his career making short films. He directed eight short film between 2005-2009. He left Iran in 2010 and while living in Malaysia, he hosted a comedy podcast called “Sangtab Radio”. He published few books such as short stories titled “kham bodam, pokhteh shodam, balk eh pasandideh shodam” (I was Raw, I Became Ripe and Pleasant) and “aziz jan” (My Dear).

Kioomars Marzban returned to Iran in 2017. On August 26, 2018, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps officers raided Marzban’s residence, arrested him, and confiscated his several personal items included laptop and cellphone. He is a prisoner at Evin Prison for a year now. His trial was scheduled for March 3, 2020 but it was held in late July 2019 at the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for “cooperating with a hostile state”, seven years and six months in prison for blasphemy, a year and half imprisonment for “propaganda against the state”, three years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader and the Founder of the Revolution”, and nine months imprisonment for “insulting authorities”.

HRANA reached out to his lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, and he confirmed the news and that the sentence for 11 years imprisonment for “cooperating with a hostile state” will be implemented. He said “I requested appeal on behalf of my client, and due to the reform of the provisions in Article 450 of the criminal procedure law, according to which the appeals courts are canceled, it was delegated to the court. The charge of “cooperation with the hostile government of the United States of America” is not true for my client and the other charge “propaganda against the state” is based on this charge”.

 

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 12, 2019

Posted on: January 12th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 12th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Seyed Hassan Agha Miri, an Iranian cleric, was sentenced to defrocking and two years of suspended imprisonment because of his interviews and speeches in the governmental media.

(2) Reza Malek, a political prisoner in the Evin prison, has been denied medical care for his severe backache. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for ‘disrupting the public mind’,’insulting the Supreme Leader’,and ‘propaganda against the state’.

(3) Three Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers) have been shot by the border patrol in Urmia and Baneh. Aghil Ebrahimi, Hassan Rasouli, and Hedayat Mohammadi were injured in this incident.

(4) In the past couple of days, a resident of Kamyaran and two residents of Oshnavieh who were arrested earlier, were released on bail. Two other residents of Sarvabad county and one resident of Sanandaj were arrested.

(5) An Azerbaijani minority rights activist, Ali Gholami, was summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Ardabil. He is a writer and poet who was arrested in the International Mother Language Day protest in 2018.

(6) In the past three years, 20 nurses have died because of overwork. Last week, a 24-year-old nurse died due to working long hours in the Fars province. Shortage of nurses in Iran impacts patient care and nurses’ health.

(7) The attorney of Kiyumars Marzban, author and satirist, confirmed that his case was sent to the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. He was arrested on August 26th. His charges are ‘propaganda against the state’ and ‘sulting the sacred’.

(8) Ahmad Taghavi, a retired teacher and a union activist, was released on bail today. He was arrested on December 24 for an unknown reason.

(9) A chemistry professor, Mehrorang Ghaedi, was exonerated of charges in Yasuj. The judge added that criticizing Iranian authorities would not be considered as ‘propaganda against the state’.

(10) Masoud Shamsnejad, a lawyer and professor, was arrested and has been transferred to the Intelligence Office while the security guards raided his home and confiscated his belongings. He was under pressure for the cases he accepted to defend.

(11) Masoud Kurdpour is a civil right activist who had been a teacher for 22 years and was laid off for his activism-related charges in 2009. He was exonerated by the appeal court but he is still banned from his profession. He has requested the president to help in his case.

(12) In a bus rollover in Gilan, 14 industrial workers were injured. Also, four workers died or were injured in Yazd, Tehran, and Zanjan because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(13) The workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Mill, Mas Home Appliance, and bankrupt Rasht Parsan Company have at least two months of unpaid wages.

(14) Mostafa Daneshjou, the detained lawyer of the Gonabadi Dervishes, was denied medical care for his severe heart disease. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on December 16, 2018.

(15) The prosecutor of Fardis published a video of a man was saved from execution and wrote ” Telegram saved him from gallows.” He was accused of murder and a fundraising in cyberspace helped him pay the blood money to the victim’s family.

(16) A biographical film of Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani was banned due to her ongoing judicial case.