First six months of Ebrahim Raisi as Justiciary Chief of Iran; 1000 years of prison sentences and 1500 lashes for activists

Posted on: September 13th, 2019

Ebrahim Raisi is a former Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi from 2016 to 2019 and a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 executions which were series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across the country. He succeeded Sadegh Larijani as the Judiciary Chief (the head of judicial system of Iran) in 2019. Being appointed as the Judiciary Chief by the Supreme leader, Ebrahim Raisi claimed that he wants the Iranian people to taste “the sweet flavor of justice” by reforming the judicial system to bring more justice and fairness. Six months after being appointed to the new position, the verdicts of political prisoners indicate that the pressure is increased on the civil rights activists and opposition groups in Iran. During six months of Ebrahim Raisi in office, political activists were sentenced to 1,027 years in prison and 1428 lashes.  Therefore, the verdicts targeting civil rights activists and opposition groups were increased by 119% compared to a similar time period during his predecessor, Sadegh Larijani, who was in office for nine and half years. Although Larijani faced massive demonstrations such as uprisings across the country in January 2017 and August 2018, protests in the Khuzestan province, and Dervishes protests which Raisi has not faced any yet.

Statistics Comparison of Verdicts with the Former Judiciary Chief

The following is a summary of verdicts between March 8, 2019 to September 8, 2019 which was gathered and analyzed by the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI): According to statistics, during this period, both sentences against political and civil activists or years of sentences were increased. 211 political or civil activists including advocates of freedom of expression, women rights activists, syndicates activists, students, ethnicity rights activists, labor rights activists, minority rights advocates, and religion activists were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court across the country to 1027 and six months of imprisonment, 418 million and 350 thousand Tomans of fines, and 428 lashes. Out of these numbers, 966 years and 8 months in prison sentences and 30 years and 10 months are suspended prison sentences. In comparison to the same period when Larijani was the Judiciary Chief, March 8 to September 8, 2018, 278 political and civil activists were sentenced to 468 years and one month in prison, 254 million Tomans fines, and 891 lashes. This comparison is based on the numbers of individual cases but mass sentences for the arrestees of uprisings such as 232 verdicts of Gonabadi dervishes in the case of so-called “Golestan Haftom” have been excluded. Overall, these statistics indicated that although the number of arrestees has been decreased in Raisi’s term but the average number of verdicts in comparison to the same period in the Larijani’s term has been increased.

The Names of 211 Activists Who Were Sentenced to Prison Term or Lashes During Ebrahim Raeissi’s term

Kiumars Marzban, Shima Babai Zeydi, Dariush Abdar, Mahmood Masoumi, Behnam Mousavand, Saeed Eghbali, Mojgan Lali, Saeed Seyfi Jahan, Shaghayegh Makai, Nader Afshari, Anoushah Ashouri, Ali Johari, Marzieh Amiri, Ishaq Rouhi, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeissi, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, Aras Amiri, Nejat Bahrami, Sadegh Zibaklam, Hamed Ayenehvand, Roozbeh Meshkinkhat, Mohammad Reza Aghajari, Nima Saffar, Khalil Karimi, Mehdi Moghadari, Golraki Ebrahimi Irai, Athena Daemi, Mohammad Reza Khatami, Mohammad Potaiesh, Khadijeh (Leila) Mirghafari, Reza Makian (Malek), Hashem Zeinali, Simin Eyvazzadeh, Ehsan Kheybar, Abdul Azim Arouji, Mohsen Haseli, Mohsen Shojai, Azam Najafi, Parvin Soleimani, Sharmin Yomni, Sara Saei, Arshia Rahmati, Masoud Hamidi, Ali Babai, Ismail Hosseini Koohkamarai, Farideh Toosi, Zahra Modarreszadeh, Amir Mahdi Jalayeri, Mohammad Najafi, Javad Lari, Rahim Mohammadpour, Masoud Kazemi, Sahar Kazemi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Milad Mohammad Hosseini, Abdollah Ghasimpour, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibi, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khand Mahabadi, Keyvan Bajan, Yousef Salahshour, Davood Mahmoodi, Mohammad Asri, Siavash Rezaian, Najaf Mehdipour, Behrooz Zare, Ata’ollah Ahsani, Abbas Nouri Shadkam, Ali Bagheri, Masoud Ajloo, Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Kianoush Ghahramani, Nariman Noroozi, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, Amir Mahdi Sedighara, Ali Amin Amlashi, Barzan Mohammadi, Arsham Rezai, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Michael White, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Nader Fotourehchi, Farhad Sheykhi, Mardas Taheri, Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, Rahman Abed, Asghar Amirzadegani, Hamid Reza Rahmati, Eghbal Shabani, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Fatemeh Mohammadi, Bahman Kord, Sina Darvish Omran, Ali Mozafari, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Mojtaba Dadashi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Hossein Janati, Omid Asadi, Sahand Moali, Mohammad Mirzai, Bapir Barzeh, Shirko Ali Mohammadi, Keyvan Nejadrasoul, Tohid Amir Amini, Kianoush Aslani, Abbas Lesani, Mobinollah Veysi, Mojtaba Parvin, Kazem Safabakhsh, Rahim Gholami, Jafar Rostami, Aref Mohammadi, Peyman Mirzazadeh, Samko Jafari, Behzad Shahsavar, Siamand Shahsavar, Salman Afra, Shaker Maravi, Khaled Hosseini, Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, Hasan Saeedi, Hossein Ansari Zadeh, Feisal Saalebi, Saab Zahiri, Adel Samaei, Esmail Jaadeleh, Bani Naami, Omid Azadi, Rostam Abdollah Zadeh, Ali Bani Sadeh, Nasrin Javadi, Tofigh Mahmoudi, Davood Razavi, Amanollah Balochi, Farough Izadi Nia, Moein Mohammadi, Sheida Abedi, Firouz Ahmadi, Khalil Malaki, Simin Mohammadi, Bijan Ahmadi, Maryam Mokhtari, Saghar Mohammadi, Sohrab Malaki, Bahman Salehi, Sofia Mombini, Negin Tadrisi, Kheirollah Bakhshi, Shabnam Issa Khani, Shahryar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Monika Alizadeh, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha aramarzi, Pooneh Nasheri, Saba Kord Afshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Mojgan Keshavarz, Vida Movahed, Matin Amiri, Maryam Amiri, Atefeh Rangriz, Edris Kasravi, Taher Sufi, Haleh Safarzadeh, Alireza Saghafi, Yousef Jalil, Fatemeh Bakhtari, Zaman Fadai, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohsen Haghshenas, Nahid Khodakarami, Raheleh Rahimipour, Alireza Kafai, Mohammad Dorosti, Salar Taher Afshar, Oldoz Ghasemi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Hossein Habibi, Hossein Ghadyani, Mir Mousa Ziagari, Sajad Shahiri, Jafar Pekand , Hamid Balkhkanloo, Ghafour Barham, Vali Nasiri, Sahar Khodayari, Amin Seybar, Esmael Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar.

It should be noted that in addition to aforementioned names, several other activists such as detained environmentalists, arrestees of the International Labor Day’s protest, Baha’i citizens, and supporters of opposition groups are waiting for their verdicts. Based on the outcome of the first six months of Raisi as the Chief Justice of Iran, the continuous increase of the verdicts in the following six months is predictable. On the other hand, according to several lawyers, Raisi is trying to implement a rule in which the appeal’s courts will be in session only after obtaining permissions from the Supreme Leader. Thus, appeals courts will acknowledge the primary verdict without reserving a chance for lawyers and convict to defend.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Background

In 1981, 20-year old Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj. Later in 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran. He was a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 political prisoners’ executions across the country. Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s prosecutor from 1989 to 1994. In 1994-1995, he was appointed as the head of the General Inspection Office. From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as the First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran. He was later appointed as the Attorney-General of Iran in 2014-2016. He has also served as the Special Clerical Court prosecutor since 2012. He became the Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi on 7 March 2016 after the death of his predecessor Abbas Vaez-Tabasi. He is the second person to serve this office from 1979.  Raisi ran a presidential campaign in February 2017 but after losing the presidential election, he was appointed by Ali Khamenei as a member of Expediency Discernment Council.

The 1988 executions of the Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those who were killed were supporters of the Mujahedin Khalgh but supporters of other leftist factions such as Communist party were executed as well. The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in the modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup. Different sources put the number of victims between 2500 and 30000. Most of the people who were executed had already served their sentences in prison. Hussein-Ali Montazeri, deputy of Supreme Leader of Iran between 1985-1989, named Ebrahim Raisi as one of the people who was in administration of the executions which according to Montazeri, was implemented by a four-men commission, later known as the “death committee”. According to Montazeri, the commission consisted of Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, Morteza Eshraghi, and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi.

Four Months Report of Workers’ Conditions in Iran

Posted on: June 20th, 2019

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – The following is a four months overview of workers’ rights violations in Iran between February and May 2019, per information compiled and verified by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI).

Domestic restrictions in Iran on independent human rights reporting make it difficult to capture the full extent of these issues on the ground. The following overview draws on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources, including other human rights associations operating outside of Iran’s borders.

 

Monthly Report of Workers in Iran in February 2019

Several workers were arrested and faced trial in February. Also, the purchasing power of workers was steadily decreased in this month. Abdolreza Azizi, a member of the Social Affairs Committee of the Iranian Parliament stated that workers have lost 70 percent of their purchasing power. Tens of workers died or were injured because of the lack of work safety and hundreds of them were laid off. Another ongoing problem for workers was having unpaid wages this month.

The unpaid wages were issues of concern for many of Iranian workers, for instance, workers of Borujerd Saman Tile, nurses of Azadi Hospital in Tehran, Abejdan (in Andika county) municipality workers, workers of Rasht, Sedeh, Ilam, Shadegan, and Parsabad-e-Moghan municipalities, workers of Jahan Vegetable Oil Factory, South Pars Gas Field workers, workers of the Saham-e-Edalat cooperative company, nurses of Namazi Hospital in Shiraz, technical workers of Iran Railways, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry, Tehran subway, and Mashhad telecommunications had unpaid wages during this month.

Moreover, some of the workers in Iran Powder Metallurgy Complex, factories in Asaluyeh and Pars Saveh tire factory were fired or laid off this month. 500 workers of factories in Qazvin province were suspended and 800 workers were laid off in Asaluyeh as well. On the other hand, 52 workers died or were injured because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces.

Three prominent labor activists, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Jafar Azimzadeh, and Parvin Mohammadi were detained. The request of temporary release on bail for Parvin Mohammadi was denied by the Branch 102 of Fardis’s Criminal Court. Esmail Bakhshi, the detained labor activist of Haft Tappeh, faced three new charges: “spreading lies”, “propaganda against the state”, and “insulting to authorities”. Esmail Bakhshi’s attorney, Farzaneh Zilabi was summoned to the Branch three of the Shush county’s Revolutionary and General prosecutor’s office. In the same month, officers of Shush prosecutor’s office physically attacked Bakhshi’s sister and handcuffed his mother. This happened when his family was following up on his lawsuit. Later the family of this labor activist were summoned to the court.

In February, the attorney of several workers of Arak HEPCO reported that the cases of seven workers of this company were transferred to the Revolutionary Court. In 2018, 15 workers were sentenced to prison and lashes after last year’s protests. The appellate session of Davood Razaei, a board member of the syndicate of workers of Tehran and suburbs bus company, was held in the Branch 36 of Tehran Appellate Court. He was sentenced to five years in prison by the Branch 26 of the Revolution Court. Eghbal Shabani, labor activist in Sanandaj was arrested and Zaniar Dabaghian, another labor activist from Sanandaj, was sentenced to one-year prison term. A journalist was arrested in Qazvin because of reporting workers’ news in this month.

 

Monthly Report of Workers in Iran in March 2019

Several workers and activists were arrests, summoned, sentenced, received lash sentences, and were fired during this month.  Because of the lack of work safety, many workers died or were injured. Also, it has been stated that tens of thousands of workers encountered financial hardship because of their unpaid wages.

47 workers died or were injured because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. The workers of Takestan Wire company, Ajand construction company, Chame Shir dam in Gachsaran, Travers technical buildings lines, Andimeshk municipality, Choghazanbil world heritage site, Kurdistan’s Zagros Steel Contractors, and Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry have unpaid wages in this month.

Ali Kashefi, chairman of Mashhad laundries union, reported that 50 businesses were closed, and their workers were unemployed; due to last year’s high inflation. Some of the waste collectors of Sadra municipality who already have three months of unpaid wages and were protesting for their unpaid wages were fired. At the middle of March, which is the Persian new year, chairman of the pioneers of labor union of workers society announced that at least 97300 workers had unpaid wages prior to the New Year’s Eve.

Jafar Azimzadeh, chairman of the Free Workers Union was sentences to 30 lashes. Parvin Mohammadi, vice president of this union was released on bail. Meanwhile, Esmail Bakhshi was transferred from Shush prison to Sheiban prison in Ahvaz.

Moreover, several citizens were arrested protesting against firing waste collectors of Sadra municipality. Rahim Khodabakhshi, general secretary of Shiraz University’s Arman union, Ehsan Ziaraty, head of Shiraz University’s Basij Student Organization, and Hamid Mohammadpour, former secretary of Arman union were among the detainees. Ebrahim Abbasmanjazi, one of the workers of Haft Tappeh was summoned to Shush’s prosecutor’s interrogating office by a notice. After interrogation and charging accusations, he was temporarily released.

The Banch 36 of Tehran’s Appeals Court sentenced Davood Razavi, member of Tehran ‌Bus Company’s workers’ labor union board, to five years in prison. According to the verdict, this decision is suspended for five years. Also, Maziar Seyyednejad, a labor activist who was arrested 3 months ago for workers’ protests in Khuzestan, was released from Sheiban prison of Ahvaz on bail until completion of the juristic process. He was treated terribly during his prison time.

Two other labor activists, Ghodratollah Jalalvand and Reza Amjadi, were arrested in this month by security officials and were moved to an unknown location. Reza Amjadi was released after a few days by bail until completion of the juristic process.

 

Monthly Report of Workers in Iran in April 2019

One of the most important news in this month was arresting and summon of labor activists and the security authorities’ pressure to prevent celebratory events for the international Labor Day. Tehran Bus Company’s workers’ union invited workers to protest by the Parliament building on May 1st. Some of the businesses were shut down and a lot of workers were laid off in this month, because of high inflation and rising costs of production.

105 workers died or were injured because of the lack of work safety. The worker of Oshnavieh municipality, Iran Powder Metallurgy factory, Ilam industrial slaughterhouse, Tehran Metro lines 1 and 4 services, Ahvaz Steel,Rasht and Sari municipalities, Cement production factory of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, Iranian railway company, Dehdasht hospital, Iran telecommunication company, and teachers of the schools outside Iran had unpaid wages this month. Chief executive officer of Hamshahri institute, the official news agency of Tehran municipality, stated that 104 of this institute’s personnel were laid off. 50 workers of Mojan engineering company, construction contractor of the central sewage treatment plant in the Bandar Emam petrochemical plant and 35 other workers in Keyvan food industries in Hamadan province were laid off.

Executive secretary of Mazandaran province worker’s house announced Neka Choob company was out of business and its workers were laid off. Tehran Bus Company’s workers’ union invited the workers to attend a protest by the Parliament on May 1st, in commemoration of the international Labor Day.

Amir Amirgholi, Sanaz Allahyari and Amirhosein Mohammadifar, members of “Gam”, a labor right defendant magazine, were detained. Thus, detention was one of the most important news on workers in April. Amir Amirgholi and Esmail Bakhshi were transferred from Ahvaz prisons to Evin prison in Tehran and their investigation trial was held in the Evin prosecutor’s office. Three labor activists, Ghaleb Hoseini, Mozafar Salehnia and Ahmad Taghizadeh, in the cities of Sanandaj and Urmiah were summoned by these cities ‘security authorities before labor’s day. Twelve labor activists in Jahannama Park of Karaj were arrested as well. Four of them, Parvin Mohammadi, Valeh Zamani, Alireza Saghafi, and Haleh Safarzadeh, were detained.

 

Monthly Report of Workers in Iran in May 2019

‏ The most important news in this month was the arrest of more than 50 labor activists and citizens on the international labor’s day celebration in May, by the Parliament. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers were laid off because of businesses’ shut down. In this month, Reza Shahabi attended the General Conference of Labor in Dijon/France.

106 workers died or were injured because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. On the other hand, more than 50 workers of “Navard Ivan” steel company who were working for more than 10 years in this factory, were laid off because of this factory being out of business. Also, more than 100 workers of Mahshahr Pipe Mill and Kurdistan Alborz tire, and 140 workers of Mahshahr petrochemical plant were laid off in this month. Meanwhile, 263 laid off workers of Asaluyeh South Pars, who had unpaid wages and premiums, wrote a letter to the minister of oil and demanded their rights. They wrote in their letter, that they “collect bread waste” for living.

‏In this month, Reza Shahabi attended the 52nd  Congress of the General Confederation of Labor in Dijon/France as the representative of the Tehran Bus Company’s workers’ union. He reported that Farahnaz Shiri, the first female bus driver in Tehran Bus Company was fired because of her gender. He also spoke about the problems and limitations of workers in this company.

‏Unpaid wages of the teachers around the country, workers of Ghoo vegetable oil company of Tehran, Ilam slaughterhouse, RSTC of Arak, Tabriz, and Shazand, Mahabad and Tabas municipalities, sugar beet farmers of Naghdeh sugar production company, coal mine workers of Malach Aram mine, physicians of Yazd University of Medical Sciences, and Karj Imam Khomeini hospital workers, wee one of the other problems which workers were encountering this month.

‏More than 50 people were arrested during the international labor day’s ceremony which was held by the Parliament. Despite release of some of the detainees by bail, some others like Marzie Amiri, Keyvan Samimi, Hasan Saidi, Atefe Rangriz, Nasrin Javadi, Nahid Khodaju, Neda Naji and Farhad Sheykhi were in custody, being in prions for about a month.

Representatives of labor unions of many countries around the world attending the 52nd Congress of the General Confederation of Labor in Dijon/France and Amnesty International, released two separated statements and demanded setting detainees of international Labor Day free without any conditions. Cases of labor activists, Esmail Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Sanaz Allahyari, Amirhossein Mohammadifar, Asal Mohammadi and Ali Nejati, were sent to the Tehran’s Revolution Court. Although a bond was set for the detainees, the head of Evin prosecutor’s office prevented their release on bail. In addition, two labor activists in Sanandaj, Tofigh Mohammadi and Eghbal Shabani, were sentenced to two years in prison. More than 10 workers of Haft Tappeh were arrested or summoned by security authorities. There exact number of these workers is not known. They were arrested or summoned because of protesting the Islamic Labor Council of Haft Tappeh. Eshagh Rouhi, a labor activist from Sanandaj who was arrested at the same time of international Labor Day, was unable to pay the set bail and was held in prison. The trial of labor activist, Maziar Seyyednejad, was held in this month by the Revolution Court of Ahvaz.