Concerns Increase about Atena Daemi’s Condition in Rasht Prison After Two Months Incommunicado

After two months in detention, civil activist Atena Daemi is still incommunicado in Rasht’s Lakan Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, her family has not heard from her or received updates about her condition in two weeks, and it seems she is being denied access to phone calls, mounting concern about her situation.

On August 12, in protest against the intentional and frequent interruption of prison phone lines and the poor conditions within the prison, Atena Daemi went on a hunger strike. She broke her hunger strike after five days, after authorities restored her access to a telephone. However, according to an informed source, even at the time, she had been allowed to have only five minutes of phone time with the presence of a prison guard or at the office of the head of the prison.

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 “assembly and collusion against national security, propaganda against the regime, and offensive statements against the supreme leader”. The verdict was reduced to seven years in the court of appeal, from which five years is enforceable grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic penal code.

She began serving her prison term in December 2016. In 2018, while enduring her sentence in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, she and Golrokh Ebrahimi, another civil activist, faced a new case, for which they were sentenced to an additional three years and seven months in prison by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

The verdict was upheld by the court of appeal. By applying Article 134, two years and one month of this term are enforceable. Additionally, they were condemned to a two-year prohibition from membership in political groups and parties.

Once again, in July 2020, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran opened a new case and sentenced her to two years imprisonment and flogging of 74 lashes. Her request for a retrial was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Iran in March 2021. She and her family have been frequently under pressure by security forces and judiciary officials.

On March 16 of this year, she was transferred from Evin Prison to Lakan Prison in Rasht.


Khosro Sadeghi Boroujeni Being Denied Medical Treatment in Evin Prison

Imprisoned writer and journalist Khosro Sadeghi Boroujeni has been denied access to medical treatment by prison authorities despite his poor health condition.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Boroujeni is currently enduring a five-year sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran.

“It is been over a month that he (has been) experiencing a poor health condition,” an informed source told HRANA. “He went several times to prison healthcare (for treatment), but he has not received any adequate treatment despite having body aches, insomnia, dizziness and nausea.”

Khosro Sadeghi Boroujeni was arrested and interrogated after being summoned to the Branch 2 of Evin’s prosecutor’s office on May 8, 2019. He was later temporarily released from Evin Prison on a bail of 300 million tomans.

Boroujeni’s trial was on July 28, 2019. According to the verdict ordered by the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, which was presided over by judge Mohammad Moghiseh, Boroujeni was sentenced to five years imprisonment on a charge of “assembly and collusion with an intention to commit a crime against the national security”, one year of prison for the charge of “propaganda against the regime”,  and to two years imprisonment on a charge of “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, adding up to a total of eight years imprisonment. This sentence was later reduced to seven years after the charge of “propaganda against the regime” was dropped upon appeal.

Boroujeni has been conducting research on neoliberalism and the political economy of Iran and has written several articles on these subjects in recent years. His essay “Critique of Neoliberalism” was published by H&S Media Publishing Company in the UK. His other book “Globalization and Inequality” was published by Porsesh Publishing Company in 2011.

Khaled Pirzadeh on Day 9 of Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

Khaled Pirzadeh has been on a hunger strike since May 31 in the Greater Tehran Prison.  This demonstration, Pirzadeh’s second hunger strike of the year,  is in response to prison officials’ denial of visitations and leave in the 25 months since his imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirzadeh has suffered from low blood pressure, digestive problems, and severe pain in his muscles, joints, and eyes as a result of the hunger strike.

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike following the failure of authorities to fulfill their promise to agree to parole. Pirzadeh ended his hunger strike in March after authorities promised that his demands would be met, but they did not follow through.

In May of 2019, the political prisoner was sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, to 5 years in prison, and an additional 2 years for “insulting the leadership”.  According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, of the 7 total years, 5 can be enforced on Pirzadeh on the charge of “conspiracy and collusion”.

Khaled Pirzadeh underwent foot surgery in August 2020. His legs and spine were severely damaged during detention and required further surgery and physiotherapy. He was also barred from being hospitalized in December 2020 despite having a heart problem.

Prison officials have now asked Pirzadeh to end his strike and promised to address Mr. Pirzadeh’s demands, as before. Whether Pirzadeh accepts their offer given the dubious precedent they have set remains to be seen.