Political Defendants Varisheh Moradi and Pakhshan Azizi Stage Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Varisheh (Varisha) Moradi and Pakhshan Azizi have initiated a hunger strike in Evin Prison to protest prolonged detention without a court hearing and Moradi’s relocation to security Ward 209, controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence.

Despite being detained for nine months, there has been no clarity in their legal proceedings.

Confirming their hunger strike, a source close to their families informed HRANA that Moradi was recently banned from making phone calls and family visits by the order of Judge Abolqasem Salavati. She was moved from the Women’s Ward to Ward 209 on May 14, and both Azizi and Moradi initiated their hunger strike the following day.

Moradi was apprehended by security forces on August 1, 2023, in the suburbs of Sanandaj. Later in August, she was transferred from a detention facility in Sanandaj to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. After completing the interrogation process on December 26, 2023, she was relocated to the Women’s Ward within the prison.

In February 2024, Moradi was indicted by Branch 5 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Tehran on charges of armed rebellion (Baghi) due to suspected membership in a political opposition party. However, the court session was annulled due to the absence of the counselor.

Azizi, a resident of Mahabad, was arrested on August 4, 2023, by security forces in Tehran. She was interrogated for four months in Ward 209 of Evin Prison before being relocated to the Women’s Ward. In February 2024, Azizi was also indicted for “membership in anti-regime groups,” under review by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Iman Afshari.

This is not the first time Azizi has faced arrest and judicial confrontation, as she was previously arrested by security forces on November 16, 2009, and detained for four months until her release on bail.

16-Year-Old Mobin Sheykheh-Pour Arrested by Ministry of Intelligence in Urmia

On May 1, 2024, Mobin Sheykheh-Pour, a 16-year-old, was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in Urmia, as Kurdpa reports.

Sheykheh-Pour was reportedly arrested after his presence at the Ministry of Intelligence office in Urmia. This follows a prior summons last month to the Ministry’s office in Mahabad, where he underwent interrogation and physical assault. The details of his condition and the charges against him are still undisclosed.

According to 2023 data compiled by the Department of Statistics, at least 130 individuals under the age of 18 were detained by security institutions.

Sunni Death-Row Prisoner Moved to Solitary Confinement Ahead of Possible Execution

Khosrow Besharat, a Sunni prisoner on death row, was transferred to solitary confinement in Ghezel Hesar Prison on May 1, raising concerns about his possible imminent execution.

His family is gravely worried as five other prisoners from the same case, Ghasem AbastehAyoub KarimiDavoud Abdollahi, Farhad Salimi, and Anvar Khezri were executed in the same prison. The latter was executed today, May 1.

The case stems from the assassination of Abdolrahim Tina, the Imam of a mosque in Mahabad, in September 2008. In January and February 2010, Besharat and six other Sunni suspects were arrested in connection with the killing.

Initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Mohammad Moghiseh, Besharat’s sentence was initially overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was then reassigned to Branch 15 of the same court, presided over by Judge Salavati, who reinstated the death sentences for Besharat and six other defendants. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the death sentences for Besharat and his co-defendants on February 3, 2020.

Execution of Sunni Prisoner Anvar Khezri in Ghezel Hesar Prison

On May 1, 2024, Anvar Khezri, a death-row Sunni prisoner, was executed in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj after spending over fourteen years imprisonment.

A source close to his family confirmed the execution and noted that Khezri’s family is traveling to Mahabad for the funeral.

In the same legal case, four other Sunni prisoners—Ghasem Abasteh, Ayoub Karimi, Davoud Abdollahi, and Farhad Salimi—had been previously executed in the same prison.

The case dates back to September 2008 when Abdolrahim Tina, the Imam of a mosque in Mahabad, was assassinated by unidentified individuals. In January and February 2010, Khezri and six other Sunni suspects were arrested in connection to the assassination.

Khezri faced multiple charges during his detention, including enmity against God (Moharebeh), allegedly for sympathizing with Salafism—a charge he consistently denied. After spending fourteen months without resolution, Khezri was moved to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he stayed until his transfer to Ghezel Hesar Prison in August of the same year.

Initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Mohammad Moghiseh, the verdict was overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was then assigned to Branch 15 of the same court, presided over by Judge Salavati, who reinstated the death sentences for Khezri and six other defendants. This time, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for Khezri and his co-defendants.

Soran Mahmoudi Sentenced to Three Years for Political Charges

The Revolutionary Court of Mahabad has sentenced Soran Mahmoudi, a resident of Piranshahr, to three years in prison on political charges, according to a report by Kurdpa.

Judge Doosti, who presided over the case, sentenced Mahmoudi to three years for “membership in a group aiming to undermine national security.” Mahmoudi was initially arrested by security forces in September 2023 and was released on bail in November while awaiting legal proceedings.

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Saman Oveisi Arrested by IRGC Intelligence in Mahabad

According to a report by Kurdpa, Saman Oveisi was summoned by IRGC Intelligence in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province, in recent days and subsequently arrested after his arrival. He was then taken to an undisclosed location.

Oveisi, aged 21, was reportedly summoned via phone. The reason for his arrest, his current whereabouts, and the allegations against him remain unknown at this time.

Data compiled by the Department of Statistics and Publications of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reveals that IRGC Intelligence has been implicated in 392 cases of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests.

Mohammad-Taher Hosseinpour Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison on Political Charges

According to a report by Kurdpa, Mohammad-Taher Hosseinpour has been handed a 13-year prison term by the Revolutionary Court of Mahabad.

Judge Doosti, presiding over Branch 1 of the Mahabad Revolutionary Court, notified Hosseinpour of his conviction for “collaboration and membership in an anti-regime political party.”

Hosseinpour was apprehended by security forces in Naqadeh on August 23, 2023. Following 40 days of interrogation, he was transferred to Naqadeh Prison. This isn’t his first encounter with arrests and convictions stemming from his activism.

Execution of Three Inmates in Mahabad and Kashan

In recent days, two death-row inmates in Mahabad Prison and one in Kashan Prison were executed for murder.

Kurdpa disclosed that on March 7, 2024, Fakhredin Mangur-Nejad, a resident of Oshnavieh, and Abbas Dadvar, from Mahabad, faced the death penalty for their involvement in murders dating back four years.

The Iran Human Rights Organization also reported the execution of Salim Bagheri, a 37-year-old individual in Kashan Prison on March 6. As per sources cited in the report, Bagheri was found guilty of taking someone’s life three years ago amid a financial dispute.

No official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have provided coverage of these executions at the time of writing. The lack of official information raises concerns about transparency and accountability. In 2023, 66% of HRANA’s reports on executions lacked official announcements by judicial authorities and went unreported by media inside Iran, highlighting a troubling lack of transparency in due process.

Moreover, 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.

Hossein Hosseinpour Sentenced to Eleven Months in Prison

Hossein Hosseinpour, a resident of Mahabad, received an 11-month prison sentence after originally being sentenced to one year, following a plea of no contest. The verdict, based on charges of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” cites Instagram posts as evidence.

Arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz in August 2023, Hosseinpour underwent the interrogation process in a detention facility before being transferred to Adelabad Prison. In January 2024, he was relocated to Prison No. 2 in Shiraz.

During the 2022 nationwide protests, Hosseinpour suffered injuries to his right eye from an airgun bullet fired by regime forces, undergoing four surgeries since then. Despite contracting an infection in his eye during detention, he has been denied access to necessary medical treatment.

In December 2023, he was indicted on charges of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” leading to the initial one-year sentence, later reduced to 11 months. The case highlights ongoing concerns about the treatment of individuals involved in the protests and their access to adequate medical care.

Sunni Prisoner Farhad Salimi Executed in Ghezel Hesar, Karaj

On January 23, 2024, Sunni Prisoner Farhad Salimi was executed in Ghezel Hesar, Karaj, following more than 13 years of incarceration.

In this legal case, three other Sunni defendants—Ghasem Abasteh, Ayoub Karimi, and Davoud Abdollahi—were executed on November 5, November 29, 2023, and January 2, 2024, respectively.

A source close to Salimi’s family informed HRANA that they had not received any phone calls from him in the days leading up to the execution, and the family was not formally notified about the carrying out of the sentence.

The unnamed source, citing security concerns, expressed, “A psychological game was played with the Salimi family; no official took responsibility to inform them about his whereabouts, status, or any plans they had for him. The family was not even formally notified about the execution; we only learned about it through his fellow inmates. The family is actively seeking further inquiries and custody of the body.”

The roots of the case trace back to September 2008 when Abdolrahim Tina, the Imam of a mosque in Mahabad, was assassinated by unidentified individuals. In January-February 2010, Salimi and six other Sunni suspects were arrested in connection to the assassination.

During his detention, Salimi faced multiple charges, including enmity against God (Moharebeh), allegedly through sympathizing with Salafism—a charge he consistently refuted. After spending fourteen months in legal limbo, Salimi was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, where he remained until his relocation to Ghezel Hesar Prison in August of the current year.

Initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Mohammad Moghiseh, the verdict was later overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was then assigned to Branch 15 of the court, presided over by Judge Salavati, who reinstated the death sentences for him and six other defendants—Anvar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh, Davoud Abdollahi, Khosro Besharat, Ghasem Abasteh, and Ayoub Karimi. This time, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for him and his co-defendants.