Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi and Mehdi Mahmoudian Still in Detention in Evin Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, lawyers and civil activists Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi, and Mehdi Mahmoudian are still in detention weeks after their arrest.

The citizens are being held in Ward 241 of Evin Prison under the supervision of the intelligence service of Judiciary.

On August 14, several lawyers and civil activists, including Mostafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb, Maryam Afrafraz, and Leila Heydari, were arrested during a meeting at the office of the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights in Tehran.

Leila Heydari and Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb were released on bail a day after their arrest, and Mohammad Reza Faghihi and Maryam Afrafaraz were released on bail on August 29, but Nili, Kaykhrosravi, and Mahmoudian remain in detention.

These lawyers and civil activists have been accused of “running an illegal organization” under Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code. Apart from being allowed to contact their families on the first day of their detention, these citizens have been largely denied the right to make telephone calls.

“They Arrest first, Then Look for a Reason”: Security Forces Search Homes of Detained Lawyers and Civil Activists Raising Concerns of Fabricated Evidence

"Eleven security officers who raided Arash Kaykhosravi's father's house today closed his room’s door for a few minutes and did not allow family members to enter. This is the prelude to 'gathering evidence' through embedding the evidence in the room. They arrest first, then look for a reason."

In recent days, a number of civil activists and lawyers have been arrested under dubious pretenses, many of whom are still in detention.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, some of the arrested have had their homes searched by security forces, raising concerns of fabricated evidence.

On Saturday, August 14 Arash Kaykhosravi, Mostafa Nili, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kasb, Leila Heidari, Mehdi Mahmoudian, and Maryam Afrafaraz were arrested by security forces in Tehran and taken to an unknown location. Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb and Leila Heydari were released hours after their arrest, but the others remain in detention.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 25, security forces searched the home of lawyer Mostafa Nili and the home of Arash Kaykhosravi’s father.

Saeid Dehghan, Mr. Kaykhosravi’s lawyer, wrote on his social media page, “Eleven security officers who raided Arash Kaykhosravi’s father’s house today closed his room’s door for a few minutes and did not allow family members to enter. This is the prelude to ‘gathering evidence’ through embedding the evidence in the room. They arrest first, then look for a reason. They took the CCTV camera with them so that there is no evidence of their attack.”

On the same day, the house of Mohammad Reza Faghihi was searched by security forces. Earlier, Mr. Nili’s lawyer, Zahra Minouei, expressed that she does not have access to her client’s case.

“Because I am not a trusted lawyer accepted by the judiciary in security cases, they have not allowed accessing my client’s case,” Minouei said. “After the release of the videos related to Evin Prison [by hackers], the mental condition of my client’s family is not good and their concerns have been greatly increased.”

Arash Kaykhosravi, Mostafa Nili, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kasb, and Leila Heidari are lawyers, Mehdi Mahmoudian is a journalist and member of the Central Council of the Etihad Mellat party, and Maryam Afrafaraz is a civil activist and a member of the Imam Ali Charity Association.

Regarding the reason behind these arrests, an informed source earlier said that the lawyers and activists were talking in a meeting about the negligence of the officials and its contribution to the spread coronavirus, and expressed possible complaints against some officials. But they had not reached a complete conclusion and were arrested.

Five Lawyers and 2 Activists Arrested by Security Forces in Tehran

On Saturday, August 14 Arash Kaykhosravi, Mostafa Nili, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kasb, and Leila Heidari, Mehdi Mahmoudian, and Maryam Afrafaraz were arrested by security forces in Tehran and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, The citizens’ personal belongings were confiscated at the time of arrest by security forces.

Arash Kaykhosravi, Mostafa Nili, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kasb, and Leila Heidari are lawyers, Mehdi Mahmoudian is a journalist and member of the Central Council of the Etihad Mellat party, and Maryam Afrafaraz is a civil activist and a member of the Imam Ali Charity Association.

Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb and Leila Heydari were released hours after their arrest. Five others are still in detention.

The reasons behind the citizens’ arrests and their whereabouts are not known as of this writing, and the number of detainees is likely to be higher.