Political Prisoners Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and Kamal Jafari Yazdi Beaten in Valkilabad Prison

On June 20 and June 21, political prisoners Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and Kamal Jafari Yazdi were beaten in Vakilabad prison in Mashhad.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sepehri and Yazdi were beaten and insulted by the new head of Ward 1.6 in Valkilabad prison.

Teachers’ union activist Javad Lal Mohammadi told HRANA that Ali Timaji, the new head of the ward, broke Sepehri’s teeth in the beating.

53-year-old Mr. Jafari Yazdi is a university professor with a notable military record. He fought and was taken prisoner in the Iran-Iraq war, and holds a doctorate in strategic management.

In April 2019, Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad sentenced him to a total of 13 imprisonments including 10 years in prison on a charge of “forming a group with the intention of overthrowing the regime”, 1 year in prison on a charge of “Propaganda against the regime”,  and 2 years in prison on a charge of “Insulting the leadership”.  The sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad sentenced Mr. Sepehri to 6 years in prison. The sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeals of Khorasan Razavi Province in April of last year.

In 2019, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and 13 other civil activists published a letter calling for the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. Following the publication of the letter, some of its signatories were arrested and others were pressured by authorities. Nine charges have been filed against the activists, including “Insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, “Insulting the sacred”, “Insulting the leadership”, “Disturbing the public mind”, “Cooperating with foreign media”, and “Participating in illegal gatherings”.



Political Prisoner Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi Sentenced to 2 Additional Years

Political prisoner Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to two additional years in prison in a new case recently opened against him.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the new charges against Mortazavi include “propaganda against the regime” and “disturbing public order”.

Mortazavi, who lost his leg during the Iraq-Iran war, was transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj in early April. During the move, prison authorities took his prosthetic leg and did not return it.

Under the pretext of finally giving back his leg, officials then transferred Mortazavi to solitary confinement in Rajai Shahr on April 20th, where he is currently being held. He has been denied requests for sick leave and denied the right to make phone calls while in solitary confinement. His leg has still not been returned.

In mid-August 2019, Abdol Rasoul Mortazavi and 13 civil society activists published an open letter and requested the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. He was subsequently sentenced to 26 years in prison, from which 11 years are enforceable.

Mohammad Nourizad, Hashem Khastar, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and several other signatories to the statement are also currently serving prison sentences.

14 civil rights activists received long-term prison sentences

A letter signed by 14 civil rights activists was published in July-August of 2019 demanding resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. After this letter was published, some of the signees were arrested and some were under pressure. Currently, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, Mohammad Nourizad, Javad Laal Mohammadi, Seyed Hashem Khastar, and Fatemeh Sepehri who signed this letter are still in detention and some were released on bail.

On February 1, 2020, eight arrestees who signed the letter requesting Ayatollah Khamenei’s resignation, were sentenced to a total of 90 years imprisonment, six years ban from leaving the country, and six years of exile by Branch 4 of Mashhad’s Revolutionary Court. Their detailed sentences are as the following:

Seyed Hashem Khastar: 16 years imprisonment, three years exile to Nikshahr, and three years ban from leaving the country

Mohammad Nourizad: 15 years imprisonment, three years exile to Izeh, and three years ban from leaving the country.

Abdolrasoul Mortazavi: 26 years imprisonment

Mohammad Hossein Sepehri: 6 years imprisonment

Fatemeh Sepehri: 6 years imprisonment

Hashem Rajai, Morteza Ghasemi, and Mohammad Hosseinpour: each was sentenced to a one-year prison term

In addition, Javad Laal Mohammadi was sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment on February 4, 2019.

Moreover, on February 5, 2020, Mohammad Mahdavifar, civil rights activist and a signee of the letter was sentenced to 9 years in prison by Branch 102 of the Penal Court 2 Aran and Bidgol.

These sentences were issued for the charges of “establishing an unlawful group and propaganda against the state”. The sentences for “insulting the Supreme Leader and the Founder of the Islamic Republic” are still in process.

On February 3, 2020, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi and on February 4, Javad Laal Mohammadi were arrested.

It should be noted that they were arrested together on August 11, 2019, in front of a courthouse in Mashhad.


A letter of 14 women civil rights activists

In August 2019, another letter was published under the title of 14 women civil rights with content similar to the aforementioned letter, requesting Ayatollah Khamenei’s resignation. After this letter was published, the security forces arrested Zahra Jamali on August 24, Giti Pourfazel on August 19, Shahla Entesari on August 22, and Shahla Jahanbin on August 21.

Eventually, Shahla Jahanbin on November 13, Shahla Entesari on November 10, and Giti Pourfazel on November 13 were each temporarily released on a 500 million Toman bail before completion of the prosecution from Evin Prison.

Four civil rights activists, Shahla Jahanbin, Zahra Jamali, Giti Pourfazel, and Shahla Entesari, who wrote an open letter in summer of 2019 and requested Ayatollah Khamenei’s resignation, were sentenced each to six years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court for the charges of “assembly and collusion against the national security” and “propaganda against the state”.

Among them, Ms. Giti Pourfazel who is an attorney and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was also sentenced to two years ban from membership in parties and social/political groups.

A Report of Detained Activists in Mashhad

14 civil rights activists were arrested on August 11, 2019 in front of a courthouse in Mashhad. They were protesting the 13-years imprisonment sentence for a university professor, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, by his appeals court when they were arrested. Three of them were released on bail and the other 11 people are still in prison.

According to the written judgment published on October 2, 2019, the name of the 14 detained activists are as following:

Abdolrasoul Mortazavi, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, Hashem Rajai, Gholam-Hossein Boroujerdi, Mohammad Nourizad, Reza Jangi, Javad Laal Mohammadi, Morteza Ghasemi, Pooran Nazemi Moezabadi, Houriyeh Farajzadeh Tarani, Zahra Soleymanian, Seyed Hashem Khastar, Gholam-Ali Hosseinpour, and Fatemeh Sepehri.

Houriyeh Farajzadeh was released on bail on September 27, 2019 while Gholam-Hossein Boroujerdi and Pooran Nazemi were temporary released on bail earlier.

Kamal Jafari Yazdi is a university professor residing in Mashhad who was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Branch 4 of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court in mid-April 2019. He was initially sentenced to ten years in prison for “forming an illegal group against national security,” two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader,” and one year for “propaganda against the regime”. The Appeals Court has upheld a preliminary court verdict against him on August 19, 2019. He was arrested to serve his sentence on August 30, 2019. On the verdict of the appeals court, it was mentioned that his sentenced was not reduced because of his interviews and the demonstration of his friends in front of the court.

On August 11, several civil rights activists showed up at his appeals court in Mashhad to express solidarity with him and they were arrested. Men were transferred to the ward 1-6 and women were transferred to the women ward of Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad. They were transferred to the Intelligence Department Detention Center after three days. Fars News Agency also confirmed their arrest. Their case was transferred from Sorkhrud’s Branch 3 of Public Court to the Branch 903 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad. They were charged with “disturbance in public order” through demonstration, and “propaganda in favor of opposition groups”.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 4, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 4th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than eight protests were organized across the country. The workers of inter-city rail in Ahvaz, the customers of the Iranian automaker companies SAIPA, Iran Khodro and Sanat Khodro Azarbaijan Group in Tehran, the investors of Caspian financial institution in the cities of Mashhad, Rasht and Tehran, Zagros Railway workers and employees in Andimeshk, taxi drivers in Dorud, and the customers of Sekeh Samen website in Tehran have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) Mahmoud Abdollahi, a prisoner in Urmia prison, was transferred to the main prison ward after was kept for 21 days in solitary confinement on the charge of “cooperation with an opposition group”.

(3) Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, a teacher in Mashhad, who published a video to protest the arrest of teachers, workers, and union activists was summoned to the court on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “spreading lies”.

(4) Mahmoud Behzadirad, the lawyer of Narges Mohammadi, requested medical furlough for her. The prison officials have denied her transfer to hospital for her urgent medical need although the Evin prison general prosecutor has granted this permission.

(5) The appeals court confirmed the 27-month prison term sentence given to an Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, Mohammad Abdolmohammad-Zadeh, who was charged with “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state”.

(6) The head of Razavi Khorasan Intelligence and Public Security Police (PAVA) reported the arrest of 40 massage therapists who have been advertising in cyberspace.

(7) The court of appeals will review Nasrin Sotoudeh’s sentence. She is a predominant human rights lawyer who has security-related charges. One of her criminal charges is putting a flower bouquet by the electricity junction box in Enghelab street.

(8) Parvin Mohammadi’s request to set a bail bond for her, was denied by the court. The detained vice-president of the Free Union of Workers in Iran was arrested on January 29 and was transferred to the Kachoui prison in Karaj to serve her one-month detention.

(9) Tayeb Roozmehr was executed in Quchan on the charge of murder and another prisoner was sentenced to death by hanging in Alborz province.

(10) A Baha’i citizen, Mohammad Reza Teyfouri, was arrested on December 16, 2018 and was transferred to the Isfahan prison to serve her one-year prison term for proliferation of a movie about Baha’is. Meanwhile, Hamed Rezvani’s whereabouts is still unknown. He was interrogated several times in the last 10 years about his contacts with Baha’is.

(11) Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, claimed “there are no political prisoners in Iran”.

(12) The Supreme Court changed the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member death penalty to ten years in prison. Arsalan Khodkam was charged with “collaborating with an anti-regime party through espionage,” allegedly on behalf of a Kurdish opposition party. According to Hrana, the married, 50-year-old resident of Mahabad was formerly a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), which eventually “surrendered to the forces of the Islamic Republic.” Later, in the 2000s, he switched allegiance by joining the IRGC, which he served for 16 years before being accused of spying on behalf of the KDP.

(13) A member of Isfahan’s city council, Mehdi Moghaddari, was sentenced to six-month in prison for tweeting in support of a detained councillor in Shiraz, Mehdi Hajati. Hajati was arrested on the charge of “supporting Baha’is”.

(14) According to a member of Islamic Parliament Research Center, Abdolreza Azizi, workers have lost 70 percent of their purchasing power.

(15) Marivan Karkuki (Najaf Abdolrahman), an Iraqi citizen, is serving seventh year of his sentence in Rajaee shahr prison in Karaj. He was sentenced to 33 years and three months imprisonment on the charge of “Moharebeh” (enmity against god).

(16) A 20-year old girl and her 2-year old niece suffer serious injuries after an acid attack in Qazvin. Meanwhile, they were denied urgent medical treatment by the hospital because their insurance, refused to cover the acid attack medical care.

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