Lawyer Saleh Nikbakht Receives One-Year Sentence and Social Media Restrictions

Saleh Nikbakht has been sentenced to one year in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court and faces restrictions on his social media activities.

Presided over by Judge Mohammad-Reza Amoozad, the Tehran Revolutionary Court delivered this verdict to Nikbakht for “spreading propaganda against the regime.” Additionally, he has been prohibited from engaging in social media activities for a duration of two years.

According to sources cited by HRANA, Nikbakht’s refusal to accept the forensic report concerning the cause of Mahsa Amini’s death was cited as evidence supporting this charge. Nikbakht, who served as Amini’s lawyer, found himself embroiled in this legal case following a complaint filed by the Ministry of Intelligence, primarily due to his interviews with media outlets outside Iran.

On March 11, 2023, Nikbakht was indicted at Evin Courthouse and subsequently released on bail.

Notably, Nikbakht has represented Mahsa Amini and several political prisoners, including Jafar Panahi, Eskandar Lotfi, and Masoud Nikkhah, in legal matters.

A Comprehensive Report of the First 82 days of Nationwide Protests in Iran

  HRANA – Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old young woman, was arrested by the morality police for the crime of improper hijab. Her arrest and death in detention fueled nationwide protests in Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. The following 486-page report is dedicated to the statistical review, analysis, and summary of the first eighty-two days of the ongoing protests (September 17 to December 7, 2022). In this report, in addition to the geographic analysis and the presentation of maps and charts, the identity of 481 deceased, including 68 children and teenagers, an estimated of 18,242 arrested along with the identity of 3,670 arrested citizens, 605 students and 61 journalists or activists in the field of information is compiled. In addition, the report includes a complete collection of 1988 verified video reports by date and topic. The report examines protests across 1115 documented gatherings in all 31 provinces of the country, including 160 cities and 143 universities.


Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a young 22-year-old woman from Saqqez, Kurdistan was visiting Tehran, when she was taken into custody on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, by the Morality Police officers at the Haqqani metro station in Tehran. The reason for her arrest: not properly observing the strict Islamic dress code. Mahsa/Zhina was taken to the infamous detention center of Moral Security Police known as Vozara.
Shortly after Mahsa’s arrest, she went into a coma with level three concussion, and her partially alive body was transferred to the intensive care unit of Kasra Hospital. Given the track record of the police and Guidance Patrols in mistreating the arrestees and similar previous incidents, with the believe that Mahsa was beaten during the arrest people were outraged.

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Unpersuasive explanations given by the Central Command of the Islamic Republic Police Force (FARAJA) in defense of its actions regarding the death of Mahsa, the past performance of the police force, along with widespread dissatisfaction with the existence of a body called the Moral Security Police, fueled widespread protests in Iran.
The widespread protests sparked at the time Mahsa Amini was announced dead in front of Kasra Hospital on Argentina Street in Tehran, and then quickly spread to the streets despite the intimidating presence of Iran’s security forces. The protests intensified after Mahsa’s burial in a Saqqez cemetery. To the extent that after eighty-two days of nationwide protests between September 17, 2022, to December 7, 2022, they have spread to Iran’s all 31 provinces, 160 cities, and 143 major universities.
The protests did not stay limited to Mahsa’s death, it rather, quickly targeted the Iranian government’s political and ideological foundations. These protests were violently quashed by the anti-riot police and Iran’s militia force (Basij). teargas, pellets, and live ammunition were used in the repression of protestors. This widespread crackdown has led to the death of dozens of people and the wounding of hundreds of protestors.
Despite sever communication restrictions imposed by the Islamic Republic, this report attempts to give a clearer picture of the first 82 days of the protests between September 17, to December 7, 2022. It’s worth mentioning at the time of this report the protests are still ongoing in various forms.

Table of Contents



For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

Teachers Eskandar Lotfi and Masoud Nikkhah Arrested

On October 8, 2022, security forces arrested Lotfi and Masoud Nikkhah, the members of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Mariwan and one day later transferred them from Mariwan to Evin Prison in Tehran.

These teachers union activists were arrested at their houses in Mariwan.

On May 1, 2022, Lotfi and Nikkhah were also arrested by security forces and then released on bail on August 20.

The reason for these arrests and the charges are still unknown.

Detained French Nationals Indicted in Iran

The spokesperson of Iran’s judiciary announced the indictment of two French individuals, Cécile Kohler and Jacques Paris. Earlier, Iran state TV had accused the two of having relations with the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations and recent nationwide teachers’ protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, two French nationals  Cécile Kohler and Jacques Paris have been indicted.

The spokesperson of the judiciary, Masoud Setayeshi said that on May 8, 2022, the French citizens were arrested and briefed on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”.

A few days after the arrest, Iran state TV claimed that the two French nationals are associated with teachers union activists, Eskandar Lotfi, Masoud Nikkhah, Shaban Mohammadi and Rasoul Bodaghi and accused them of “organizing protests to cause “unrest, chaos, and social disorder”.

Cécile Kohler is a member of the French education union FNEC FP-FO.

Teacher Union Activists Shaaban Mohammadi and Masoud Nikkhah Transferred from Sanandaj to Evin Prison in Tehran

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, two detained teacher union activists, Shaaban Mohammadi and Masoud Nikkhah were transferred from a detention center in Sanandaj to Evin Prison in Tehran. These inmates had been arrested on May 1, 2022, with another teacher Eskandar Lotfi. Shaaban Mohammadi was released on that day but arrested again later on May 11, 2022.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Saturday evening, June 4, 2022, in a phone call, two detained teacher union activists, Shaaban Mohammadi and Masoud Nikkhah informed their families about their relocation from Sanandaj to Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to an informed source, during the call, security agents interrupted and cut the phone connection so that the Ward in which they are held is not revealed, as it may reveal the institution responsible. 

On Sunday, May 1, 2022, security forces arrested Masoud Nikkhah and Eskandar Lotfi in Sanandaj. They went on hunger strike right after the arrest. On May 11, 2022, Masoud Nikkhah was released on bond but one day after he was arrested again.

Three weeks ago, in a report, a state-controlled TV channel tried to connect the recent detention of two French citizens, Cécile Kohler and her husband, to nationwide teachers’ protests and these teachers’ activists. In response, in a statement, the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association condemned these attempts to make such connections and allegations. 

On Sunday, May 1, in response to a call by the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, the retired and active teachers in 45 cities assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Education. In Mariwan and Bushehr, these protests were attacked and several protestors were arrested. 


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HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran. Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations

Saturday, May 7

A group of ranchmen in various cities such as Shahroud, Qazvin, Isfahan, Arak, Qom, Shiraz, Yazd, Kerman and Mashhad gathered and protested before the building of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad in each city. In Shiraz, the protestors rallied in the streets after gathering.

They chanted “livestock in Rials, the expenditures in dollars”, and “ranchmen are bankrupt.” to protest against the high prices of animal and poultry feed.

In response to a call for protest against inflation and surging prices in media, in Khuzestan Province, people in Shadegan, Susangerd and Izeh demonstrated. In this regard, in Susangerd, at least 20 people were arrested by security forces. in Izeh City, The police used tear gas to crack down on the protests.

A group of residents of the village Sheykh Taqqeh in Kurdistan Province held protests in their village against destroying farming lands for setting up factories.

They said: “Instead of using the place of Zagros Steel Company which shut it down under various pretexts, now they want to destroy farmlands to set up a factory. The closed factory location suits best this new factory. It is already equipped with gas and water and is near the railway. We are wondering why they want to build the factory on our farmlands.”

A number of staff of the contractor companies who are working for the Ministry of Energy gathered before the Administrative and Recruitment Affairs Organization in Tehran to demand official contracts with the Ministry. They argued that according to the regulations and enactments, all employees who have been recruited through passing the National recruitment exams should receive official employment contracts with government organizations of the Ministry of Energy.

A group of workers of the Coal Mining Galanderoud in Mazandaran Province held protests before the Iranian Mining Products and Supplies Company in Tehran.

According to the protestors, the employer forces them to come under contract with the contractors rather than the company itself.

The workers of contractor companies who are working as welders in Gas Tank Manufacturing projects as well as the Electrical and instrumentation workers working for Gachsaran Petrochemical Company went on strike. They asked for unpaid wages, the end year bonuses and a work schedule of 20 days on/10 days off.

Sunday, May 8

A number of retired workers of Haft-Tappeh Complex gathered before the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour, and Social Welfare office in Shush City. They said that after one year of the employer’s failure to meet their demands, they filed a complaint to the Ministry of Labour. But the process goes through very slowly.

The Social Security pensioners gathered and protested before the Social Security Organization’s offices in Ahvaz, Mashhad, Kermanshah, Ardabil, Rasht and Arak.

Some of their demands include raising pensions to stand above the poverty line, implementing an already enacted plan to close wage disparities, addressing supplementary insurance issues, and paying the end year bonuses.







A number of workers of the Tabriz Petrochemical Company gathered before the company entrance to protest against the wage gap between the office personnel and workers.

Monday, May 9

In Mariwan, dozens of teachers and educators gathered before the Ministry of Education in support of two detained teachers Eskandar Lotfi and Masoud Nikkhah.

On May 1, 2022, security protests arrested two teachers and members of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Mariwan Eskandar Lotfi and Masoud Nikkhah. They went on hunger strike right after the arrest.

A number of citizens who have pre-purchased the apartments from the construction project Damon Darya 2 protested before the Kish Free Zone Organization. These protestors asked the managers to fulfil their commitments and complete the construction project after ten years.

The personnel of Sepah Bank gathered in Isfahan to protest against low wages and other demands.

For the second consecutive day, the workers of the Gachsaran Petrochemical Company went on strike and gathered at work premises. They asked for unpaid wages and other benefits.



Tuesday, May 10

A group of Administrative staff of Ali-Nasab Hospital in Tabriz gathered at the hospital premises to ask for receiving the extra payments that had been allocated merely to medical staff during Coivd-pandemics.

The green maintenance workers of the Municipality of Shiraz gathered and protested before the City Council Building. They protested against irregularities in payments, low wages and the lack of job security.

A group of the candidates for the residency exam protested to change the exam date.

A number of mini-bus drivers in Bandar-Abbas went on strike to protest against the fuel shortage.

Wednesday, May 11

For the third consecutive day, the workers of Gachsaran Petrochemical Company went on strike and gathered before the headquarters of Gachsaran Oil and Gas Company. One of the protestors told HRANA: “Today in this gathering, we the workers who have temporary job contracts ask for levelling up wages adequately because this 10 per cent increase is less than the annual increase in the minimum wage.”









A group of shareholders of Bank Day gathered before the Central Bank in Tehran to ask for their demands. They chanted slogans for resigning the bank managers.

The workers of the contractors who are working for Adish Refinery Company in Kangan, Bushehr Province, joined the 1401 Campaign and went on strike. Many workers in the oil industry have recently launched a protest campaign to ask for raising wages.

A number of pharmacists assembled and protested before Food and Drug Administration in Tehran. They protested against the low wages determined by the Pharmacist Association and not holding elections for this association under the pretext of Coivd-19 pandemics for two years.

The residents of two villages in Shiraz County gathered and protested before the governorate building in Shiraz City. They protested against the poor quality and saline water caused by a salt dome along the river.  Despite frequent requests, the local authorities have done nothing to remove this salt dome.

Thursday, May 12

As a backlash to the new wave of inflation, citizens in several cities such as Shahrekord, Andimeshk, Izeh and Junqan poured into the streets. The police and security forces cracked down on the protests and used tear gas and live ammunition to scatter the protesting crowds.

In response to the call of the Coordinating Council of Iranian teacher Unions, both retired and working teachers in dozens of cities held protests before the Ministry of Education in each city and the parliament in Tehran. The protestors chanted slogans in support of detained teachers.



Kurdish Citizens Injured and Killed in Border Regions

HRANA News Agency – During the last few days, three Kurds were injured and killed when Iranian forces opened fire at them.


According to a report by Radio Zamaneh, on Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Chakv and Spekan regions of Sardasht [Iranian Kurdistan], the military forces shot a Kurdish citizen and injured him.  This individual has been identified to be Sargard, son of Mohammad.


Additionally, on the evening of Thursday, May 12, 2011, Karvan Saidi, a Kurdish citizen, was shot at and killed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard while he was driving into the city of Marivan [Kurdistan Province].  Eyewitnesses have reported that Karvan Saidi wasn’t carrying anything in his vehicle when the Revolutionary Guard opened fire at him.


Kurdish news sources have also reported that on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Masoud Nikkhah, a traveling salesman at Dovlehbi border region in Marivan [Kurdistan Province], was wounded and transferred to one of the hospitals in this city.


Meanwhile, on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, because of mine explosions in areas near towns of Marivan and Divandarh in Kurdistan Province, three Kurdish citizens were injured.  It must be noted that the majority of people who are injured and killed in the borders of Kurdistan are traveling salesmen and vendors.