Alireza Nikzadeh Summoned to Endure his Sentence

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Alireza Nikzadeh Damavandi, a Gonabadi dervish, was summoned to the Second Branch of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Semnan to endure his sentence.

According to the notification issued on July 20, Mr. Nikzadeh was asked to appear in the aforementioned branch within 5 days to serve his 6-month prison sentence. He was summoned despite not having been informed that his prison sentence had been finalized, and he was not given a chance to file an appeal.

Regarding the latest situation of Mr. Nikzadeh, an informed source told HRANA, “Mr. Nikzadeh suffers from heart, kidney, and neurological diseases, and the doctors have issued a certificate stating that he is unable to bear the imprisonment. However, agents went to Mr. Nikzadeh’s home and asked him to show up for execution of the sentence.”

Alireza Nikzadeh, born in 1961, has a history of arrest and conviction. In 2018, the First Branch of the Semnan Revolutionary Court sentenced him to three years in prison on charges of propaganda activities against the regime and insulting the leadership. He was released from prison after serving part of the sentence.

Alireza Nikzadeh Damavandi was arrested by security forces on March 30 of this year while holding a poster demanding the release of Mohammad Nourizad, a political prisoner and Gonabadi dervish.

Mohammad Nourizad Sent on Medical Leave from Evin Prison after 102 Day Hunger Strike

Yesterday, July 8, civil activist Mohammad Nourizad was sent on medical leave from Evin Prison on a bail of 800 million tomans following a 102 day hunger strike.

Nourizad’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, confirmed the news on his social media, stating, “It is interesting [strange] that they did not consider one person’s sponsorship sufficient, so I and the client’s brother took care of the bail. Mr. Nourizad has to start treatment on Saturday.”

Previously Aghasi had told HRANA, “My client has lost 55 pounds following a 102-day hunger strike and a 105-day medicine strike and is experiencing severe hearing loss; he has been wounding himself every day as a sign of objection; he has fainted 37 times.”

Mohammad Nourizad suffers from myriad underlying diseases such as asthma, heart problems, and high blood pressure.

Lawyer Says Mohammad Nourizad is in Critical Condition in Evin Prison

Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, Mohammad Nourizad‘s lawyer, told HRANA that his client is in critical condition in Evin Prison and that the duration of his hunger and drug strike has put him in serious danger.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Aghasi emphasized that his client has lost 55 pounds and is experiencing severe hearing loss.

Aghasi stated that although the prison prosecutor recently agreed to send him on leave, Nourizad has refused the offer, stating that he will continue his strike until his request for his and his son’s unconditional release is fulfilled.

Ali Nourizad, Mohammed’s son, was arrested by security forces in Tehran in January 2020 for protesting a rally against the downing of a Ukrainian plane by the IRGC, and for expressing sympathy with the victims’ families.  He was released on bail a month later. The Tehran Revolutionary Court eventually sentenced him to 3 and a half years in prison. This sentence was upheld by the Tehran Court of Appeals. He has been serving out his sentence in Greater Tehran since October of last year.

Mr. Nourizad wants to be acquitted of all charges that were unjustly issued against him.

Mr. Aghasi added: “I really demand that the case of Mr. Nourizad and other people, who are known as the signatories of the leadership resignation statement from whom 11 are my clients, to be processed and judged by a fully independent judiciary so they can see how arguments about the convictions and issued sentences are completely incorrect.”

Earlier this year, UN experts expressed concern over the health condition of Mohammad Nourizad in Evin Prison and called for his immediate release.

66-year-old Nourizad is an Iranian director, screenwriter, journalist, and activist. Nourizad became an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic a decade ago and has since been arrested and imprisoned several times for his civic work and visits to families of political prisoners.

As Mr. Aghasi stated, Nourizad has been wounding himself every day as a sign of objection; he has fainted 37 times. According to Aghasi, his conversations with his client and even the insistence of Nourizad’s wife and child did not work, and it seems that he has made his decision.

“I do not want my name to be on the list of those who are indifferent to current affairs,” Nourizad has said in a meeting with his lawyer. “And I am willing to give my life for it.”

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.

UN Experts Express Concern Over the Health Condition of Mohammad Nourizad in Evin Prison

On Tuesday, May 4th, UN experts issued a statement expressing concern over the health condition of civil activist Mohammad Nourizad and calling for his immediate release from Evin Prison. Javid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Niels Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and several other UN experts stated that Mr. Nourizad has been in critical condition for some time, and continued deprivation of treatment could prove fatal.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, UN experts have stated that Mr. Nourizad’s case is “emblematic of the situation many Iranian political activists face in detention” , citing the transfer of Mr. Nourizad to Loghman Hospital in Tehran, on April 14, 2021, after fainting. The statement reveals that once revived, Mr. Nourizad “found someone injecting him with an unknown substance, that he did not consent to or was informed of”. Nourizad was denied information about the substance or its purpose from officials, despite his explicit requests.

66-year-old Nourizad is an Iranian director, screenwriter, journalist, and activist. Nourizad became an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic a decade ago, and has since been arrested and imprisoned several times for his civic work and visits to families of political prisoners.

In mid-August 2019, 14 activists, including Nourizad, signed a letter calling for the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. Several signatories were arrested, and others were pressured after the letter went public. Mr. Nourizad was arrested by security forces on August 11, 2019, along with several union and civil activists and sent to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad (he was later transferred to Evin Prison, where he currently resides).

In the first part of his case, Mr. Nourizad was charged by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, presided by Judge Mansouri, on charges such as “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, insulting sacred values, insulting the leadership, disturbing public opinion, cooperating with foreign media, and participating in illegal gatherings”, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, 3 years of exile to Izeh, and a 3-year ban from leaving the country. Branch 35 of the Appeals Court in Razavi Khorasan Province revised the verdict to 15 years in prison, 2 years of exile to Izeh, and a 2-year ban on leaving the country.

In August 2020, in the second part of his case, he was sentenced by Branch 2 of the Mashhad Criminal Court to 8 months imprisonment, 74 lashes, and exile to Tabas on the charge of “disturbing public order” for appearing in front of the building where Kamal Jafari Yazdi was appearing; and sentenced to another 74 lashes on a charge of “spreading lies”. This verdict was confirmed by the Court of Appeal of Khorasan Razavi Province.

In May of this year, Mr. Nourizad announced that he has been sentenced to another year in prison on a charge of defending the rights of Baha’i citizens living in Ivanki, prompting this public concern. Mohammad Nourizad suffers from myriad underlying conditions, including asthma, heart problems, and high blood pressure. The forensic medicine organization previously ordered his release for medical reasons. According to these UN experts, considering Nourizad’s critical health condition and overwhelming consensus from professionals,  he cannot stay in prison.

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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”.

Iranian Authorities Detain Lawyers and Civil Rights Activists

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A number of lawyers and civil rights activists who had gathered in front of the Iranian Parliament building to protest both the Caspian Sea Agreement and the Guardian Council’s vetting process were arrested last Saturday, August 18th.

Mohammad Nourizad was among a group of detainees that were released a few hours later. Among three lawyers taken into custody, one — Masoud Javadieh — posted bail and was released the following day. Lawyers Ghasem Shole-Saadi and Arash Keykhosravi were transferred to the Great Tehran Penitentiary after being charged at Branch 5 of the Evin prosecutor’s office.

Mr Nourizad, a 66-year-old Iranian director, screenwriter, and journalist, had been taken into custody earlier this year in connection to his visits with the family of political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Sanandaj Central Prison. Previously considered a religious radical, Nourizad joined with critics of the Islamic regime in the early 2000s and has continued in recent years to meet with the families of political detainees.

Upon his release on Saturday, Nourizad noted to reporters that Shole-Saadi had been interrogated for sharing a video, and conjectured that officials were building a case against him for that reason. In the video in question, Shole-Saadi can be heard voicing support of the late Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, whose efforts to nationalize Iran’s oil industry were thwarted more than 70 years ago. In the recording, Shole-Saadi vows to appear before the Iranian Parliament building in protest of the Guardian Council’s vetting process.

Notably, Ghasem Shole-Saadi previously served two terms in the Islamic Consultative Assembly and was convicted of “insulting the leadership of the Islamic Republic” via a letter he notoriously published in 2002. He has been imprisoned several times on charges from the Revolutionary Court for “propaganda against the regime”.

Arrested Participants of Reyhaneh Jabbari’s Memorial Released

HRANA News Agency – All of the people who had been arrested by security forces during the memorial of Reyhaneh Jabbari, in Behsht-e-Zahra, were released. Previously HRANA had reported that security forces had used violence and broken many of the provided equipment for the ceremony, dismantled the platform and gathered the chairs and told the guests to leave.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), plainclothes forces with the support of security police intervened and stopped the anniversary of Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution to be held on her tomb, and arrested Sholeh Pakravan, Mohammad Nourizad and some of the attendees. Continue reading “Arrested Participants of Reyhaneh Jabbari’s Memorial Released”

2 Civil Rights Activists Arrested in front of Evin Prison

HRANA News Agency – Police arrested Mohammad Nourizad on the second day of his 24-hour-sit-in in front of Evin Prison, along with Davood Ne’mati. Davood Ne’mati has written that the police arrested and dropped them out in another place but Mohammad Nourizad returned and planned to spend the night in front of Evin prison.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Mohammad Nourizad civil rights activist, said earlier that he would run a twenty-four hour protest in front of Evin prison against the travel ban and holding his assets illegally by the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence. Continue reading “2 Civil Rights Activists Arrested in front of Evin Prison”