HRANA Report: COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway in Iranian Prisons

A number of prisons, including Evin in Tehran, Rajai Shahr in Karaj, Qarchak in Varamin, Lakan in Rasht, Urmia in Urmia, and Qom Coastal Prison, have been examined as a statistical sample in this report.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the vaccination of inmates in different prisons throughout the country has started this month.

A number of prisons, including Evin in Tehran, Rajai Shahr in Karaj, Qarchak in Varamin, Lakan in Rasht, Urmia in Urmia, and Qom Coastal Prison, have been examined as a statistical sample in this report.

According to reports received by HRANA, in some prisons in the country, prisoners have been forced to receive the Iranian vaccine “Barekat”, and many others have refused to receive the Barekat vaccine due to doubts about production conditions and the lack of WHO approval. In some prisons, vaccination has been partially abandoned due to the lack of enough dosage per the Ministry of Health.

Although this action of the Prisons Organization has given a bit of hope to the prisoners and their families, reports received by HRANA from various prisons across the country indicate that -regardless of the quality and type of vaccine used- a small percentage of inmates have been vaccinated and that most of the inmates still have not been vaccinated against COVID.

Prisoners in the women’s ward of Lakan Prison in Rasht were vaccinated with the Barekat vaccine. According to an informed source, the vaccination process has started in this prison in late July this year; first the prison officials, then the male prisoners, and finally the female prisoners have been vaccinated.

As of this writing, a small percentage of inmates in Urmia Prison are vaccinated. An informed source about the vaccination process in this prison told HRANA, “At first, the Iranian vaccine Barekat was sent for Urmia prison, but prisoners refused to inject, then a small number of Chinese vaccines arrived which only was enough for a few. Though the vaccine was given to all prisoners in the political prison, and any of them who wished was vaccinated.”

According to the source, prison officials, along with a limited number of other detainees were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Since mid-August of this year, some prisoners in various wards of Evin Prison have received the first dose of the vaccine. Initially, the vaccination was carried out with the Barakat vaccine, but this process was stopped due to the refusal of many prisoners to inject the Iranian vaccine. A few days later, some prisoners were injected with the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. According to an informed source, in many wards of the prison, even prisoners with underlying diseases who are at risk of infection have not been vaccinated yet.

Political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj have also been injected with the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine. According to an informed source, in other wards of the prison, vaccination was going on based on the age priority and people with underlying diseases until prison officials announced that the vaccination would be halted and postponed until the Ministry of Health and the Prisons Organization were able to provide the vaccine.

The HRANA investigation shows that most of the prisoners in Qarchak Prison in Varamin have been injected with the Sinopharm vaccine, but new inmates, whose numbers are very high, are still not vaccinated as there are not enough vaccines for them.

In Qom Coastal Prison, only the clergy prisoners being held in the special ward for clergies have been fully vaccinated. According to an informed source, 20 prisoners in this ward, along with a small number of prisoners from other wards, have been vaccinated so far. Prisoners in Bushehr Prison in Bushehr Province have not yet received any vaccine.

These are the reports from prisons while in early August, Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, head of the Prisons Organization, claimed on his Twitter account that 50 percent of the country’s prisoners had been vaccinated.

Although the prisoners’ vaccination could help to control the spread of coronavirus in prisons, the effectiveness of vaccination is still unclear as spaces in prisons are closed, pre-and post-vaccination health protocols are not met, principles of quarantine are not observed, and prison populations are large. Also, some prisoners have received the Iranian Barekat vaccine, whose effectiveness is highly questionable.

The negligence of the authorities towards the situation of sick prisoners, lack of proper medical care in prisons, the strictness of the authorities in sending prisoners to medical leave and hospitals, and the lack of adequate sanitary facilities in prisons have all contributed to and intensified the spread of the disease.

 

Atena Daemi Denied the Right to Make Telephone Calls in Lakan Prison in Rasht

Civil activist Atena Daemi is being denied the right to make phone calls in Lakan Prison in Rasht.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Daemi went on a hunger strike on August 12 in protest of repeated telephone cuts and prison mismanagement.

She ended her strike on August 17 following the fixation of telephone cuts, and the release of prisoners whose release was delayed for weeks. Now, however, it appears that prison authorities are once again denying the activist phone access.

Ensieh Daemi, Atena’s sister, said on her social media page, “They have taken Atena’s phone card, and they have deprived her of the right to contact us. After being six years in prison, Atena could guess [knew] that they may deprive her of making phone calls, but she was happy that the phone cuts will be fixed, and the rest of the prisoners can make phone calls, and freedom will be restored.”

Athena Daemi Ends Hunger Strike in Lakan Prison in Rasht

Yesterday, August 17, imprisoned civil activist Atena Daemi  ended her hunger strike in Lakan Prison in Rasht.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ms. Daemi had been on a hunger strike since Thursday, August 12, in protest of repeated telephone cuts and prison mismanagement.

She has ended her strike following the fixation of telephone cuts, and the release of prisoners whose release was delayed for weeks.

Atena Daemi on a Hunger Strike in Lakan Prison in Rasht in Gilan Province

On August 12, civil activist Atena Daemi went on a hunger strike in Lakan prison in Rasht in protest of repeated telephone cuts and prison mismanagement.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, it is said that the head of the prison has not been seen in the prison for about 4 weeks, and his absence has slowed down the release process of many prisoners.

According to an informed source, the frequent interruption of the prison phone raised concerns among Atena’s family members, and her parents had to travel to the Lakan Prison to visit Atena while they were infected with the coronavirus to confirm her well being.

Atena (Fatemeh) Daemi was sentenced to 14 years in prison on May 15, 2015, by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, on charges of conspiracy against national security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the leadership. After the appeal and application of Article 134, 5 years of prison were enforceable to her.

In 2018, while enduring her sentence in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, she and Golrokh Ebrahimi faced a new case, they were sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to an additional 2 years and 1 month in prison after applying Article 134.

In July 2020, Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mohammad Reza Amouzad, sentenced Ms. Daemi to two years in prison and 74 lashes for a new lawsuit filed against her while imprisoned. The case was opened by the complaint of the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC against Ms. Daemi.

In March 2021, the Supreme Court overturned a request for a retrial of Atena’s lawyers. Atena Daemi and her family members have also faced numerous other security and judicial cases and pressures. In March 2021, Atena was transferred in handcuffs and shackles from Evin Prison to Lakan Prison in Rasht in Gilan Province.

This is not the young activist’s first hunger strike. Atena Daemi once went on a hunger strike in 2015, which led to health problems and removal of her gallbladder. Her previous hunger strike experience has increased her family’s concern.

Lakan Prison Officials Turn off Air Conditioning in Women’s Ward and Cut Inmates’ Quarantines Short

Following the transfer of 9 new female prisoners to the quarantine ward of Lakan Prison in Rasht, 15 residents of the quarantine ward were transferred to the public ward before the end of their quarantine period.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, air conditioning in the women’s ward was also turned off for at least 8 hours during the day. The lack of air conditioning, coupled with steadily rising summer temperatures have created conditions under which it is nearly impossible for the inmates to wear masks.

According to an informed source, after protesting, prisoners were told that they would be sent directly to public wards without quarantine, even if other new entrances arrived.

It is worth mentioning that civil activist Athena Daemi, who was deported from Evin Prison to Lakan on March 17, 2010, was kept in quarantine for 23 days.

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A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 6, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 6th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The third court hearing of eight environmentalists on the espionage-related charges will be on February 12. Moreover, five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”.

(2) A prisoner accused of murdering his brother-in-law, was sentenced to death in Tehran. Meanwhile, another prisoner was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Damavand after being imprisoned for five years.

(3) More than three protests were organized across the country on February 6, 2019. The customers of SAIPA, an Iranian automaker in Tehran, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Kermanshah, and the members of Controlsazeh Zayanderud Company who are applicants of the Mehr Affordable Housing project in Fuladshahr in the Isfahan province have held separate protests to request their demands.

(4) Meisam Bahramabadi was arrested by security forces on the charge of “propaganda against the state” by chanting and writing anti-governmental slogans on a wall in Tehran on January 30.

(5) The appeals court hearing of Davoud Razavi, a member of the Syndicate of the Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Drivers was on Tuesday. He is accused of “collusion and assembly to act against national security” by participating in the minimum-wage demonstrations and publishing photos from these demonstrations.

(6) More than 40 workers of Abezhdan municipality, in Andika county in Khuzestan have eight months of unpaid wages. The retired employees of Iran Customs Administration are demanding their lands from the housing corporation since 1991.

(7) The prison officials have denied the transfer of Hamidreza Amini, the detained admin of a telegram channel, to a hospital for his urgent medical care. He was arrested in 2017 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison on the charge of “blasphemy”.

(8) The roof of a high school in Lakan district in Rasht went up in flames on February 5, 2019 and forced students and staff to evacuate.

(9) Two students died after a school bus crashed into a truck in Omidiyeh-Mahshahr highway in Khuzestan province.

(10) The prison officials have denied the transfer of Alireza Lak, a member of the Sufi mystical sect known as the Gonabadi dervishes, to a hospital for his urgent surgical care. Dervishes were shot with pellet guns in February 2018 and have remained in detention ever since. Through all this time, they have not received treatment for their injuries, which left pellets scattered throughout their bodies.

(11) Two workers died and two others were injured in Yazd, Tehran, and Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(12) Kavous Seyed Emami’s family willing to respond to accusations on national television. In a lawsuit filed by them, against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting regarding a program aired which falsely portrayed him.

(13) The attorney of Esmail Bakhshi reported that he is facing new charges of “propaganda against the state”, “spreading lies” , and “insulting the authorities”. He was rearrested after the broadcast of his confessions on the national television.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 5, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 5th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) At least eight protests were organized on February 5, 2019 in Iran. The municipality workers of Abezhdan city in Khuzestan province and Towhid city in Ilam province, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Kermanshah and Ilam, the workers and employees of Ayson Project in Tabriz, the investors of Sekeh Samen website, the members of the Cooperative Housing Company of the workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, and taxi drivers in Khorramabad have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) A Baha’i citizen, Roya Hasanzadeh, was arrested at her home in Manjil and transferred to Lakan prison in Rasht. She was released on bail on February 4, 2019. Baha’i is Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority and are systematically persecuted by the government.

(3) During the last nine months, 98 child marriages have been registered in Ilam province according to the head of Welfare Organization of this province, Zahra Hemmati.

(4) Tohid Ghoreishi, Sunni prisoner of Rajaee Shahr prison, refused to attend the court session protesting the insufficient period between him being informed and the session date and also not having access to a lawyer.

(5) A student, Aynaz Hatamian, was transferred to the hospital after being beaten by her teacher in Meshginshahr. Her skull is cracked and her eye and forehead are swollen.

(6) Mohammad Hossein Khalil Ardakani, a Karaj councilman, was released on bail. He was arrested on Monday on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(7) Tehran council members, Nahid Khodakarami and Seyed Mahmoud Mirlohi, were summoned to the prosecutor’s office. Khodakarami is charged with “promoting de-veiling” and Mirlohi is charged with “disrupting the public mind” and “spreading lies”.

(8) The Sanandaj Revolutionary Court renewed the detention of 10 arrested citizens for another month. Among the arrested are Kurdistan’s environmental activists. They are identified as Hadi Kamangar, Fazel Gheitasi, Reza Asadi, Rashed Montazeri, Hossein Kamangar, Isa Feizi, Amanj Ghorbani, Zaniyar Zamiran, and Farhad Mohammadi.

(9) Jamal Kermani (Mohammad Mobin Mohabbatian), a resident of Mahshad, is serving his one-year prison term in Vakilabad prison. He was arrested during the mass uprisings of January 2018.

(10) The death sentence of Mohiadin Ebrahimi, a political prisoner of Urmia prison, has been canceled and his lawyer has been informed. He had been sentenced to death on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(11) A man wearing a white shroud (as a symbol of readiness of martyrdom) was arrested while chanting and writing anti-governmental slogans on the wall of Turkish Embassy in Tehran. The target of his slogans were the Supreme leader and other authorities.

(12) Four construction workers were injured in Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace.

(13) Four poachers were arrested in Tarom and Salas-e Babajani. Tarom county is in Zanjan province and Salas-e Babajani is a city of Kermanshah province.

7 prisoners were hanged in Rasht

HRANA News Agency – 7 prisoners have been hanged in the Rasht prison on charge of drug trafficking.

 

According to report by the Department of Justice of the Gilan province, Jahangir Gorgij the son of Afzal, Hashem Bahar Ali the son of Mahmoud, Shahram Hassan Zade the son of Abbas, Nemat Rajabi the son of Ramazan Ali, Farhad Shirazi the son of Akbar, Mohammad Zarei the son of Zeynolabedin, Turaj Amini the son of Yousef have been hanged this morning in the Rasht prison. Continue reading “7 prisoners were hanged in Rasht”