Update on Kurdish Citizens in IRGC Intelligence Detention

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On October 28th and 29th, respectively, political prisoners Mohammad Ostadghader and Houshmand Alipour were permitted visits from their families for the first time since their arrest on August 3rd of this year.
On August 7th, Iranian national television broadcast footage of the young men confessing to an armed attack on a security post in Saqqez. Both stand charged of membership in a Kurdish opposition group, while their supporters assert that these “confessions” were violently coerced.
During the family’s visit earlier this week, security agents reportedly prevented Ostadghader and Alipour’s families from obtaining their signatures on attorney retainer forms.
No update is currently available on Alipour’s pending hearing in investigations court, which was scheduled for October 4th and later postponed.
Alipour’s brother Hejar published a letter earlier this month describing Houshmand’s judicial ordeal, writing, “The Islamic Republic pummeled and stifled the dreams of a young man, and we cannot stand by as they try to take his life.”
On September 10th, Amnesty International issued a statement that read: “On 3 August, Houshmand Alipour and Mohammad Ostadghader, from Iran’s Kurdish minority, were arrested by security forces near Saqqez, Kurdistan province, on suspicion of taking part in an armed attack against a security base in that city. Mohammad Ostadghader was shot and injured during the arrest but has been denied medical care. The pair were held in an unknown location without access to their families or lawyers.”
Houshmand Alipour is from Sardasht, West Azerbaijan Province. Mohammad Ostadghader is from Saqqez, Kurdistan province, near the border with Iraq and home to Iran’s Kurdish minority.

Court Compounds Prison Sentence of Afrin Battle Detainees

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The 11-year prison sentences of Afrin Battle detainees Rahim Mahmoudi Azar and Mostafa Ghader Zeinab were compounded Sunday, September 30th by an additional one-year prison term each, ruled in Branch 103 of the General Court of Urmia, on a charge of “crossing the border illegally.”
Both men were fighting among the ranks of a Kurdish military group in Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan earlier this year when they were wounded and extradited to Iran. A close source told HRANA that starting March 8, 2018, they were interrogated for five weeks straight, first for a week at Evin Detention Center and then for a month in Urmia’s Intelligence Office.
In July, Branch 3 of Urmia Revolutionary Court in northwestern Iran sentenced each of them to 11 years in prison for their opposition-group connections, which in court translated to charges of “membership in anti-regime groups,” “collusion and conspiracy,” and “propaganda against the regime.” The sentence was later upheld in appeals court.
A source close to both men previously told HRANA that Zeinab and Azar sustained their injuries during a Turkish offensive on Afrin. It was at the hospital in Aleppo, he said, that their legal troubles began to unfold: “Upon realizing their nationalities, Syrian authorities handed them over to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”
Both men have been denied the right to appoint lawyers of their choice and attended their court session with a public defender.
Azar is currently detained in Urmia. Zeinab is free on bail.

Ramin Hossein Panahi Sews Lips Shut, Declares Hunger Strike

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The lawyers of Ramin Hossein Panahi, a Kurdish political prisoner who has been sentenced to death, announced on August 27th that he had sewn his lips together and begun a hunger strike in protest to the violation of his legal rights.
Hossein Panahi’s lawyers published a statement today explaining that their client has been denied the right to appeal and the right to amnesty, among others. According to the statement, Hossein Panahi had been transferred to Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison on August 13th for unidentified reasons and has been unreachable since his transfer out of Rajai Shahr.
One of Hossein Panahi’s lawyers, Hassan Ahmadiniaz, elaborated in the statement the four motivations behind his client’s hunger strike:
1- Deprivation of legal rights, including medical treatment outside the prison as requested by the authorities of the Sanandaj Central Prison clinic,
2- Unlawful cessation of his phone contacts and visitations with family and lawyers,
3- Deprivation of customary prisoners’ rights and access to prison facilities,
4- The unlawful and unjust nature of the sentence in light of the necessity to reassess his charges through the customary legal channels.
In their statement, Hossein Panahi’s lawyers appeal to articles 477 and 474 of the penal code, requesting that their client’s execution be stopped so that “legal avenues to appeal may be explored for his sentence, or the client may benefit from amnesty.”
Ahmadiniaz revealed in June 2018 that Hossein Panahi’s request for a retrial had been rejected.
Hossein Panahi was convicted of “Acting against national security by violating the rights of others” and sentenced to death by Branch One of Sanandaj’s Revolutionary Court. The Supreme Court confirmed this sentence in late March and forwarded it to the Enforcement Department.
The statement, signed by Ahmadiniaz, Maziar Tatayi, and Osman Mozayan, indicates that Hossein Panahi will continue his strike until his demands are met.

Journalist Massoud Kordpour returns to prison

HRANA News Agency – On August 25, 2014, Massoud Kordpour returned to Mahabad Prison at the conclusion of his furlough. His request for an extension has been denied.
On November 9, the Revolutionary Court in Mahabad convicted Massoud and Khosro Kordpour on charges of conspiracy and incitement against the Islamic regime. Both brothers are two jailed Iranian journalists and Kurdish activists.
The judge sentenced Massoud to three years in prison on charges of conspiracy and six months for incitement. Likewise, Khosro received five years on charges of conspiracy and one year for incitement. Khosro was exiled to a prison in Tabriz to serve his term.
Currently, Massoud is behind bars in Mahabad Prison, and Khosro is in Tabriz Prison. “Khosro has been denied furlough so far,” a member of the family said. “He is being held with regular inmates.”

Namegh Mahmoudi was beaten on the way to hospital

HRANA News Agency – One of the prison guards beat Namegh Mahmoudi, a Kurdish political prisoner, as he was being transferred to the hospital.
Continue reading “Namegh Mahmoudi was beaten on the way to hospital”

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