Eleven Women’s Rights Advocates Sentenced to Over 60 Years in Combined Imprisonment

The Revolutionary Court in Rasht has delivered verdicts, sentencing eleven women’s rights advocates to a cumulative imprisonment exceeding 60 years and 6 months.

Judge Mehdi Rasekhi, presiding over the trial, sentenced Zohreh Dadras to nine years, six months, and two days for her alleged involvement in “forming a group to act against national security”. Forough Saminia, Sara Jahani, Yasamin Hashdari, Shiva Shah Sia, Negin Rezaie, Azadeh Chavoshian, Zohreh Dadras, and Matin Yazdani each received sentences of six years and 47 days for charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security.” Additionally, Hooman Taheri and Jelveh Javaheri were each sentenced to one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime.”

The trial commenced on February 29, 2024. These individuals were initially detained during a mass arrest of citizens in Gilan Province on August 16 and 17, 2023. Subsequently, they were released on bail from Lakan Prison in Rasht pending the conclusion of legal proceedings.

Workers’ Rights Activist Sharifeh Mohammadi Endures 105 Days of Detention Amidst Uncertain Legal Status

Sharifeh Mohammadi, a prominent advocate for workers’ rights, has been held in custody for over 105 days with an ambiguous legal standing at Lakan Prison in Rasht.

Her husband, Sirus Fathi, disclosed that Mohammadi underwent surgery for her toe, which unfortunately sustained irreparable damage due to infection resulting from delayed treatment.

Regarding her legal situation, Fathi emphasized that despite baseless accusations, judicial authorities have denied Mohammadi bail, despite there being no substantial evidence in her case to warrant such denial.

The Ministry of Intelligence apprehended Mohammadi at her Rasht residence on December 5, 2023. Subsequently, she was transferred from Lakan Prison to Sanandaj Prison on December 30, 2023, only to be returned to Lakan Prison later on.

The motives behind Mohammadi’s arrest and the specific charges against her remain undisclosed at present.

Three Political Prisoners Held in Prolonged Detention for Over 13 Months

Hafez Forouhi, Arman Sedghi Sabet, and Mehdi Mirzaie have been trapped in legal limbo for over 13 months at Lakan Prison in Rasht.

A source close to one of the individuals’ families informed HRANA that the Rasht Criminal Court held a session on February 14, 2024, addressing multiple charges, including “membership in anti-regime groups.” Despite the court session, the judge dismissed their release on bail, opting to extend their detention further.

They were initially arrested by security forces in Rasht last year and later transferred to Lakan Prison on January 19, 2023.

Women’s Rights Advocate Tina Deljoo Commences Sentence in Lakan Prison, Rasht

On January 30, 2024, women’s rights advocate Tina Deljoo initiated her one-year sentence at Lakan Prison in Rasht.

The Revolutionary Court of Rasht imposed the sentence, alleging “propaganda against the regime,” citing Deljoo’s activities on her Instagram page as evidence during the trial.

Deljoo was initially arrested in Rasht and later released on bond from Lakan Prison, where she has now begun serving her sentence.

As per HRA’s annual report for 2023, 44 women were arrested for their involvement in activities related to women’s rights. Moreover, a total of 20 activists received sentences amounting to 182 months of imprisonment, coupled with fines totaling seventeen million six hundred thousand Iranian Rials. These sentences encompass 152 months of actual imprisonment and 30 months of suspended imprisonment, with appellate courts issuing 64 months of these sentences. Additionally, two individuals were sentenced to 222 lashes.

Execution of Eight Inmates for Various Crimes in Recent Days

In recent days, eight inmates have been executed in Qom, Mashhad, Isfahan, Rasht, and Zahedan for offenses including drug-related crimes and murder.

On January 17, 2024, Islam Amaneddin, a 29-year-old Afghan, was executed in Qom prison for a murder conviction dating back three years, as reported by Etemad Newspaper. Another execution reported by Etemad involved Mohsen (last name unknown), who was convicted of killing a man during a group altercation in Mashhad Prison.

On Saturday, January 20, three inmates were executed in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan, according to Iran Human Rights Organizations. The hanged individuals were identified as Nouri Zamani, 32, Fathollah Jurkesh, 30, and Hossein-Ali Kootahi, with separate drug offense convictions.

The same organization also documented the execution of Eslah Allahbakhsh, 36, an Afghan national, and Hamid Ebadi, both convicted of drug-related crimes in Lakan Prison, Rasht, on the same day.

Lastly, Haal Vsh reported the execution of 23-year-old Hassan Gorgij in Zahedan Prison, who was convicted of murder three years ago.

In 2023, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered the execution of  746 individuals. Out of these, 6 were carried out in public. Among the executed individuals whose genders were identified, 597 were male and 20 were female. Additionally, 2 juvenile offenders, defined as individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crimes, were also executed. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s annual report.

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Manouchehr Fallah Receives 22-Month Prison Sentence for Political Charges

Manouchehr Fallah has been sentenced to a term of 22 months and 17 days by the Rasht Revolutionary Court, following charges related to his political activities.

Presiding over the court, Judge Mehdi Rasekhi has imposed a one-year, three-month, one-day sentence for the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran” and a seven-month, sixteen-day sentence for “spreading propaganda against the regime.”

Sources close to Fallah’s family have disclosed that additional charges are currently under review by the Rasht Criminal Court as part of another aspect of his legal case.

The arrest of Fallah traces back to July of this year when authorities apprehended him at Rasht airport, subsequently incarcerating him in Lakan Prison. In September, he commenced a hunger strike in protest against the uncertainty surrounding his legal status.

Before his arrest, Fallah, a professional tattoo artist, had been residing in Kish Island.

Twelve Inmates Executed Across Various Prisons

In a recent escalation of capital punishment, a total of twelve inmates faced execution in different Iranian prisons. The executions took place at Qezel Hesar Prison in Karaj, Lakan Prison in Rasht, Kashan Prison, and Khorramabad Prison.

On Wednesday, Qezel Hesar Prison recorded the highest number of executions, totaling seven inmates. Among them, three individuals, including one identified by HRANA as Hamed Bakhshayesh, were convicted of murder, while two others received the death penalty for drug offenses. Another inmate, Ayoub Karimi, a Sunni prisoner, faced charges of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through sympathizing with Salafism.” HRANA is actively working to identify the seventh executed inmate.

On Wednesday, Qezel Hesar prison witnessed the highest number of executions, totaling seven inmates. Among them, three individuals, including one identified by HRANA as Hamed Bakhshayesh, were convicted of murder, while two others received the death penalty for drug offenses. Another inmate, Ayoub Karimi, a Sunni prisoner, faced charges of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) and spreading corruption on earth through sympathizing with Salafism.” HRANA is actively working to identify the seventh executed inmate.

On November 25, 2023, Mohsen Sedaghat, and Geda-Ali Saber Motlagh (62) were also executed in Lakan Prison in Rasht. Motlagh was a political prisoner in the 1980s. In 2020-2021, he was rearrested and sentenced to death. He was accused of killing a government official which he was consistently refuted. Sedaghat was convicted of murder.

Lastly, Iran Human Rights Organization reported the execution of Masoud Basak, aged 33, in Kashan Prison and Morad Biranvand, aged 40, and Morad Geravand in Khorramabad Prison.

 

Execution Carried Out in Rasht’s Lakan Prison for Drug Offenses

On October 17, 2023, Rasht’s Lakan Prison witnessed the execution of an inmate found guilty of drug-related offenses.

HRANA has identified the executed prisoner as Ketabi; however, his first name remains unknown.

At the time of writing, no official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have reported on this execution.

According to data compiled by the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), between October 10, 2022, and October 8, 2023, a total of 659 individuals were executed by hanging in Iran, representing a 24% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Seven of these executions were conducted publicly. Concerningly, many of the defendants were denied access to a fair trial and due process. For details and statistics, read HRANA’s report.

Inmate Executed for Drug-Related Offenses in Rasht

On Thursday, October 12, an inmate convicted of drug-related crimes was executed in Lakan Prison, Rasht.

The individual who met this unfortunate end has been identified as Hossein Mohammadi, a 52-year-old resident of Bukan County.

Hossein Mohammadi had been incarcerated for 15 years prior to his execution.

At the time of writing, no official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have reported on these executions.

According to data compiled by the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), between October 10, 2022, and October 8, 2023, a total of 659 individuals were executed by hanging in Iran, representing a 24% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Seven of these executions were conducted publicly. Concerningly, many of the defendants were denied access to a fair trial and due process. For details and statistics, read HRANA’s report.

 

Sunni Prisoner Hamzeh Darwish Attempts Suicide, Currently Hospitalized

On Thursday, August 10, Hamzeh Darwish, a Sunni prisoner incarcerated at Lakan Prison in Rasht, attempted suicide through a pill overdose. He is presently receiving medical care at a hospital in Rasht.

A relative of the detainee informed HRANA: “On Thursday, around 12:30, our family was notified by a call from Lakan Prison that Darwish had attempted suicide by ingesting 12 diazepam pills. This desperate act was a form of protest against the unjust 14-year exile sentence imposed on him. He has since been transferred to Razi Hospital in Rasht. Despite his critical health condition, he remains physically restrained with handcuffs and ankle cuffs.”

According to the same source, security personnel are impeding the family’s ability to enter the hospital and visit Darwish. “After frequent inquiries,” the source continued, “the family has learned that medical procedures were performed, including gastric lavage, and unfortunately, his level of consciousness has declined to a score of 3.”

The Rasht Revolutionary Court has recently handed a 14-year prison sentence in exile to Darvish. This decision was reached based on a verdict issued by presiding Judge Ahmad Darvish Goftar on July 30. According to the judgment, Darvish has been sentenced to five years for “assembly and collusion against national security,” five years for “assisting in deliberate destruction to defy the regime,” two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” and two years for “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Due to the charge of “setting fire to a prison building,” he is to serve his sentence in exile in Ramhormoz, Khuzestan province. The period of his detention has been taken into account.

The verdict restricts visitation rights to only his family and relatives during his time in exile. The ruling stipulates that, upon expressing genuine remorse, he may be eligible for a pardon from the Supreme Leader after serving one year in exile.

The verdict is subject to appeal at the Supreme Court of Iran within 20 days of its issuance.

Darvish’s journey through adversity began in 2014 when he was deceived by ISIS forces into traveling to Turkey and later to Syria, as he claims. Following a period of confinement in an ISIS jail, he managed to escape and returned to Iran, where he surrendered himself to security forces.

After spending a year in detention, he was initially released on bail. However, he was subsequently rearrested and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. On May 11, 2020, he was transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison to Lakan Prison, where he continues to serve his ongoing sentence.