At Least Four Civil Activists Detained for Several Hours Following a Protest Rally in Tehran

On Wednesday, September 8, a number of civil activists were arrested in a protest rally related to the recent changes in Afghanistan and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Narges Mohammadi, Ahmad Reza Haeri, Pouran Nazemi, Vida Rabbani were among the arrested activists.

The rally was marred by violence by security and police forces. The mobile phones of several protesters were confiscated and only returned on condition of deleting the taken videos and photos. Some Afghans are said to be among the detainees.

Protesters carried placards and chanted slogans in support of Panjshir resistance and Afghan women, and against the Taliban and the Islamic Emirate.

The arrested activists were released after a couple of hours, on the evening of the same day.

Recently, Branch 2 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit against Ms. Nazemi and Ms. Mohammadi, and seven other activists. These activists were also arrested and detained for a couple hours on July 20 during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan in Tehran.

 

Several Civil Activists Arrested During a Rally at Site of Pouya Bakhtiari’s Death in Karaj

Today, Wednesday, August 18, during a gathering of civil activists at the site of Pouya Bakhtiari’s death in Karaj, several of those in attendance were arrested and then released an hour later.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Narges Mohammadi, Pouran Nazemi, and Nahid Shirbisheh were among the arrested.

Nahid Shirbisheh is the mother of Pouya Bakhtiari who was one of the victims of the November 2019 national protests in Iran.

Recently, a lawsuit was opened against Ms. Nazemi and Ms. Mohammadi charged in Branch 2 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office, along with seven other civil activists.

These activists were arrested in Tehran on July 20, during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan, and were released hours later.

 

Lawsuit Filed Against 9 Civil Activists Including Narges Mohammadi After Protests in Tehran

New cases have been opened against civil activists Arash Sadeghi, Arash Keykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Narges Mohammadi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni in Branch 2 of Evin Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the lawsuits have been filed in the aftermath of the activists’ demonstration of solidarity with the people of Khuzestan in Tehran.

On July 20, these civil activists were beaten and arrested during a rally in support of the people of Khuzestan in Tehran and were released hours later.

The activists were informed of the opening of a new case against them via text message. The text message states that the reason for filing a case is “participation in an illegal gathering in front of the Ministry of Interior”.

Public rallies began on the night of Thursday, July 15, in Khuzestan province to protest the frequent water cut and mismanagement of officials in the Khuzestan Province. The protests have spread to at least 41 cities in two weeks. HRANA has previously reported on these protests.

Civil Activists Released Hours After Arrest in Tehran During March Supporting Khuzestan

On Tuesday, July 20, civil activists Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni, were released from custody a couple of hours after their arrest.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the activists were beaten and arrested while marching in support of the people of Khuzestan.

Before their arrest, they had said in a video that a number of them had been beaten in front of the Interior Ministry by military forces.

During the last six days, people in Khuzestan province have been protesting frequent water cuts, and lack of water resources management in the cities of Ramhormoz, Shavur, Karkheh, Chamran, Kut Seyed Naeem, Shush, Ahvaz, Abadan, Hamidiyeh, Bostan, Susangard, Mahshahr, Khorramshahr, Shadegan, Kut Abdollah, Mollasani, Hoveyzeh, Abu Homeyzeh, and Veys.

Activist Arrests and Tear Gas: Khuzestan Protests Continue Into Sixth Day

Today, July 20, the widespread protests in Khuzestan over the ongoing water crisis continued for a sixth consecutive day. Since the start of the protests on Thursday, provincial authorities have confirmed that at least two civilians have been killed by military forces.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, today’s protests took place in the cities of Izeh, Khorramshahr, Ahvaz, Shadegan, Abadan, Susangard, and Behbahan. HRANA received reports of shootings and internet shutdowns in some areas, as well as a report of the death of a protester, but neither have been confirmed as of this writing.

Today a number of prominent civil activists also gathered in Tehran to voice their support for the protesters in Khuzestan, and were met with violence from security forces. Activists Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pooran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni were arrested by security forces in Tehran and taken to an unknown location.

Below is our updated map of the protests of the last five days.

Watch our compilation of footage from the protests.

Read our fact sheet for more info on what is going on in Khuzestan.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

Several Activists Arrested in Tehran Following a Rally in Support of Protesters in Khuzestan

Several activists were arrested in Tehran following a rally in support of the citizens of Khuzestan amidst the ongoing protests over water shortages in the province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the arrested activists have been identified as Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pooran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni.

The detention of these citizens was violent and accompanied by beatings. Earlier today, in a video, Narges Mohammadi stated, “We wanted to gather in front of the Ministry of Interior to protest the killing of innocent – thirsty people in Khuzestan, but we were treated violently by security forces and some of us were beaten. Now we are marching in a street in Tehran to support the people of Khuzestan.”

During the last six days, people in Khuzestan Province have been protesting the frequent water cuts and mismanagement of water sources in at least 20 cities.

Since the second day of the protests, provincial officials have confirmed that two citizens, 30-year-old Mostafa Naeemawi from Shadegan, and 17-year-old Ghasem Naseri (Khaziri) from the Kut Abdollah area of Ahvaz, were killed during the protests. HRANA has received reports, which have yet to be verified, of a third civilian additionally being shot dead by military forces.

The exact status of the detained activists and their whereabouts are unknown at the time of writing.

Narges Mohammadi Sentenced to 30 Additional Months in Prison, Flogging, and Fines

On May 19, less than a year after completing a five year sentence and being released from Zanjan Prison, human rights activist Narges Mohammadi was sentenced by Branch 1177 of the Criminal Court in the Quds Judicial Complex in Tehran to 30 more months in prison, 80 lashes, and two fines.

In March, HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, reported that Narges Mohammadi had published an open letter in response to her latest summons to the Evin Courthouse.

“I have not attended any hearing,” Mohammadi said in the letter. “I will not accept the verdict issued by the court and I definitely will disobey.”

According to HRANA, Mohammadi is facing a slew of protest-related charges, including “Propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran through the issuance of a statement against the death penalty”,  “Sit-down strike in the prison office”, “Breaking glass”, “Libel and assault”, and “Rebelling against the prison administration who asked to end the sit-down strike”.

In December 2019, Mohammadi and seven other political prisoners in the women’s ward of Evin Prison announced in a letter that they would go on a sit-down strike in support of bereaved families who lost loved ones in November 2019 national protests. Evin Prison officials threatened to deport Mohammadi and others who participated in the strike to prisons known for their harsher conditions. She was transferred from Evin Prison to Zanjan Prison in December 2019.

After five years and six months in prison, Narges Mohammadi was finally released from Zanjan in October 2020. Mohammadi has since been denied a passport and barred from leaving the country to visit her husband and children even though her previous conviction did not mention a supplementary ban on international travel.

Whether Mohammadi’s latest sentence is carried out given her refusal to accept the charges remains to be seen.

Coronavirus outbreak in Iranian prisons

On February 29, 2020, Ebrahim Raisi, the Chief Justice of Iran, issued a circular laying out policies to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in prisons.  This order mandates giving 15 -30 days furlough to prisoners with sentences less than five years. Another part of this order is about reducing entries into prisons, temporary releases, and public activities in prisons. In addition, this order mandates to increase alternative sentences and suspended prison terms instead of imprisonments.

Although the Chief Justice of Iran announced that the prisoners with less than five years prison term will be granted furlough, the prison authorities are not cooperative with political prisoners and prisoners of conscience to implement this regulation. As an example, Esmaeil Abdi and Negin Ghadamian were sentenced to five years imprisonment and after spending four and three years in prison respectively, they were not granted any furlough. Nazanin Zaghari’s husband reported that she is suspected to have Coronavirus. She is serving the 4th year of her five-year imprisonment sentence. Reportedly, three women were diagnosed with Coronavirus in Evin Prison.

The number of prisoners suspected of having coronavirus is increasing. Several prisoners suspected of having coronavirus were identified in Urmia, Khorramabad, Gorgan, Sanandaj, Qom, and other prisons.

 

A letter from political prisoner’s families

With the current spread of Coronavirus in prisons in Iran, some of the families of the political and security prisoners have written a letter to the judicial authorities on February 26, 2020, requesting furlough for prisoners until this crisis (Coronavirus) is over in the prisons. Considering the closed environment of the prison, malnutrition of the prisoners, shortage of medical care and facilities, high density of prisoners, and the occurrence of some cases suspected to be related to coronavirus has raised concerns of the families of prisoners.

The families of the following prisoners have signed this letter:

Mahmoud Beheshti Langeroudi, Esmaeil Abdi, Mohammad Habibi, Narges Mohammadi, Amir Salar Davoudi, Farhad Meisami, Roeen Otoufat, Jafar Azimzadeh, Shahnaz Akmali, Majid Azarpey, Atena Daemi, Sam Rajabi, Morad Tahbaz, Niloufar Bayani, Abdolreza Kouhpaieh, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Taher Ghadirian, Neda Naji, Mehrdad Mohammadnejad, Mohammad Abolhasani, Peyman Koushkbaghi, Aras Amiri, Jafar Fazel, and Alireza Golipour.

In some of the prisons, such as Khorramabad or Sanandaj Prisons, the prisoners asked the authorities to provide them with medical and hygiene necessities and to quarantine the prisoners who are suspected to be infected and have threatened that if this negligence is continuous, they will go on hunger strike. Other prisons such as Karaj, Tabriz, Evin and many other prisons across the country are also demanding similar precautions.

 

A death in Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary

It should be noted that on the same day, a prisoner of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary who had symptoms similar to that of Coronavirus passed away after the prison authorities delayed in transferring him to the hospital to receive proper medical care. His name was Hamid Reza and he was 44 years old. He was convicted of a financial felony who was serving his sentence in Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary. He was initially diagnosed with symptoms of flu but after a few days, he started to cough and eventually passed away in the prion.

In addition, 60 prisoners of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary who were working in the kitchen or service sector, were transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison. Moreover, 7 other prisoners in section 5 ward 2 have Coronavirus symptoms; they were kept in the medical ward without receiving medical care and were not transferred to the hospital.

 

Evin Prison and the violation of the Prisoners Classification Regulation

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, Milad Arsanjani, Jamil Ghahremani, and 15 other arrestees of the last November’s protests who were kept in Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary, were moved from their cell after an inmate was diagnosed with Coronavirus in their cell. Amir Hossein Moradi returned to prison on February 29, 2020, after spending a week in the hospital for another disease. He returned to his cell but after an hour he was transferred to the medical ward for his positive test results of Coronavirus. Although they were told that they will be transferred to Yaft Abad Hospital, they were transferred to ward 1 of this prison, which belongs to the prisoners who committed violent crimes. In June 2019, Alireza Shir Mohammadi, a political prisoner, was fatally stabbed in this ward by two other inmates of this ward who were charged with a drug felony. After this incident, the prison authorities moved other political prisoners from this ward to avoid future incidents. This is against prisoners’ segregation rule. According to a close source “section, 1 of the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary has 10 wards and one suite which had been used as an exile to punish the prisoners who get in the fight or carry drugs. Since 2018, the political prisoners have been transferred to this suite. This suite has limited facilities and does not even have access to prison commissaries. Their door should be locked all the time however, in the case of Mr. Shir Mohammadi, the warden intentionally did not lock the door which was illegal.

Alireza Shir Mohammadi, a 21-year-old political prisoner at the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary was murdered in prison on June 10, 2019. He was attacked by two other prisoners, who were later convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The prisoner in question was stabbed in the neck and stomach and died before arriving at the hospital. Shir Mohammad Ali was arrested on July 14, 2018, and was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of “blasphemy”, “insulting the former and current Supreme Leaders”, and “propaganda against the state”.  He was detained in a solitary confinement cell for 36 days after being arrested. His bail was set at 80 million Tomans but the Revolutionary Court illegally rejected his release on bail. Throughout his prosecution process, he did not have access to an attorney because of his financial conditions. He was waiting for the decision of the appeal’s court when he was murdered. He protested his detention along with non-political prisoners and went on a hunger strike on March 14, 2019, which ended on April 16 after prison authorities accepted his demands. He also wrote open letters criticizing the “unsafe” and “inhumane” conditions of Greater Tehran’s Penitentiary Prison. He wrote an open letter five days into his hunger strike on March 18, 2019. In this letter, he explained the awful condition he was experiencing in prison. In addition, he claimed that he was denied regular social rights that any prisoner is entitled to have. However, his main request, reflected in this letter, was to be transferred to another prison (Evin prison). No judicial authorities or prison officials reacted to his open letter. 

A prisoner of ward 4 of Evin Prison was transferred to an unknown place for his positive test results of Coronavirus. He kept with several other prisoners and political prisoners of this ward who are on hunger strike and are more vulnerable to this disease.

 

Khorramabad and Ghezel Hesar Prisons

On March 1, 2020, the prisoners of Khorramabad Prison have started a sit-in to protest not being sent to furlough although Coronavirus has spread in this prison. There is a shortage of access to medical care and hygiene products for the diagnosis and treatment of Coronavirus. Several prisoners who have symptoms of this disease did not receive any treatment and were kept with other prisoners. Several prisoners who went on furlough were returned to prison. A close source to a family of a prisoner in this prison told HRANA that a sick inmate with severe coughs received neither medical care nor disinfecting substances and hygiene products such as alcohol, mask, and gloves.

Two prisoners of Qezelhesar Prison, Basat Ali Khazaei, and Gholamhossein Abolfavaei were moved to the quarantine section in the health ward due to having positive test results of Coronavirus. They were charged with drug felony and kept in a ward with 500 other inmates.

 

Rajai Shahr and Urmia Prisons

The prisoners are deprived of medical care, disinfecting substances, and hygiene products such as alcohol, mask, and gloves.  Payam Shakiba, Mohammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi, and Majid Asadi are serving their third year in prison. Arash Sadeghi, who is diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma (bone cancer), has had an infection in his right hand, digestion issues, and because of his weak immune system should be prioritized to be granted a furlough. Saeed Shirzad is spending the last months of his prison sentence.

On March 2, 2020, Mohammad Ghanbardoost, a political prisoner, was transferred to the hospital due to having symptoms of coronavirus disease. He kept with other political prisoners and may infected others. He was arrested on August 16, 2017, and was sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of “cooperating with Takfiri groups”.

Several Coronavirus suspected patients in Urmia Prison were transferred to hospitals outside the prison. One Urmia prisoner died in hospital, but prison authorities claimed that he was infected outside the prison.

 

Update on political prisoners temporary releases

On March 3, 2020, Mohammad Karimi granted a furlough and temporarily released until April 3, 2020. Mr. Karimi was sentenced to one-year imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state” which was upheld by the appeals court. on July 3, 2020, he was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison to serve his sentence.

On March 2, 2020, Shahnaz Akmali, political prisoner, was granted a furlough and temporarily released until April 3, 2020. She was arrested on January 15, 2020. She was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and was banned from having any social media account, membership in any group, and leaving the country on the charge of “propaganda against the state”. An appeals court upheld her sentence without hearing either Ms. Akmali or her attorney. She is the mother of Mostafa Karim Beygi one of the people who was killed by security forces during green movement uprising in 2009.

On February 29, 2020, Reza Gholamhosseini, a political prisoner of Bandar Abbas Prison, was granted a furlough and temporarily released until April 3, 2020. He was arrested on September 25, 2019, and was sentenced to three years imprisonment on the charges of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting supreme leader”. His sentence was reduced to 18 months later because he did not request an appeal.

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.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 27, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 27th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Abbas Lesani, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, started a hunger strike in the quarantine ward of the Ardabil prison. He is also banned from visiting his family. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison on the charge of ‘propaganda against the state’.

(2) An official in the Baruj county’s judicial department announced that there have been two alternate sentences to imprisonment for two convicts in the northern Khorasan province. They are obliged to plant medicinal herbs and Galbanum in the public lands.

(3) The court announced its verdict for two news agencies, Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) and Pars News website. They were accused of ‘distributing falsehood and lies’. Both of the news agencies were found guilty.

(4) The court for Mohammad Javad Motamedinejad was in session today. He was arrested last June during the truck drivers’ strike. He was charged with “supporting the protesting drivers” and “disturbing the public order and businesses”.

(5) The workers of Zagros Steel Contractor company have unpaid wages left from five years ago.

(6) Isa Saharkhiz has been notified of his six-months imprisonment sentence. He is obliged to appear in the court within the next five days to begin his sentence. He was accused of “insulting the head of Judicial system”.

(7) A 33-years-old prisoner who has been accused of murder and was sentenced to death, was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Gonbad-e Kavus.

(8) Mohammad Behzadirad, the lawyer of Narges Mohammadi, confirmed that the prison officials have denied her transfer to hospital for her urgent medical care although the Evin prison general prosecutor has granted this permission.

(9) Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi, a population expert and dual Australian-Iranian citizen, who was detained on charges of “social espionage” and “collaborating” with the West, was released. Population control policies, have been a subject of debate in Iran .

(10) During the uprising in January 2018, dozens of citizens in Dehdasht in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province were arrested. Seven of the arrested were sentenced to fines and flogging. They are accused of “disturbing the public order”.

(11) The head of Department of Environment of the Razavi Khorasan province announced that 845 poachers were arrested in the last 10 months. Similarly, two poachers were arrested, and four others are prosecuted in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province.

(12) A construction worker died in Ilam because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(13) More than six protests were organized across the country. The bankrupt contractors in Kermanshah, the customers of Kerman Khodro in Tehran, the workers of Ahvaz inter-rail and their families in Ahvaz, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Tehran, the investors of SekehSamen website in Tehran, and several people with law degree have held separate protests to request their demands.