A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 4, 2019

Posted on: February 4th, 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 14, 2019

Posted on: January 14th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 14th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Five Kulbars (Kurdish back carriers) have been shot by border patrol in Sardasht and Baneh. Namagh Gholami died and Sirvan Hassanzadeh, Jabbar Ahmadi, Karzan Aminzadeh, and Shahryar Khezri were injured in this incident. Moreover, three other Kulbars died or were injured in Salmas and Sardasht in West Azerbaijan province. Ayob Amini died and Hashem lost his hands due to hypothermia. In addition, Osman Ramezani died of drowning in the river.

(2) Ali Rabiei, the former labor minister, shows concerns about protests in 160 cities in January 2018. He added that people’s dissatisfaction, injustice, and dysfunctional politics caused these uprisings.

(3) At least five protests were organized on January 14, 2019. Educators in Tehran, the workers of inter-city rail in Ahvaz, the customers of SAIPA Company in Tehran, the shareholders of the bankrupt financial institution of Caspian, and the customers of Sekeh Samen website in Tehran have been demanding their requests in separate protests.

(4) A worker of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (NSIG) in Ahvaz, Behzad Alikhani, was released today. Three workers of NSIG are still in prison. More than 43 workers of NSIG have been arrested on December 16, 2018.

(5) At least four prisoners were executed in Rajaei Shahr prison in Karaj. Mohsen Rezaei, Reza Farmanjou, and Baratali Rahimi were executed on Wednesday. They were transferred to solitary confinement on Monday.

(6) 219 poachers have been arrested in the South Khorasan Province in the last 10 months. More than one thousand and 573 animals and their carcasses were confiscated from them.

(7) Yazd court of appeals sentenced two Baha’i citizens to two years imprisonment, combined. Mehran Bandi Amirabadi and Mehran Eslami Amirabadi were sentenced to prison terms and exile on the charge of ‘propaganda against the state’ earlier.

(8) Alireza Golipour has not received access to medical care in Evin prison. Although he has severe seizures and a prison doctor requested his transfer to the hospital due to his deteriorating health condition, he was not transferred to the hospital.

(9) Nazanin Zaghari and Narges Mohammadi , prisoners of conscience, began three-day hunger strike in protest of denial of medical care. They suffer from serious health conditions which have been exacerbated in prison due to authorities’ refusal of medical care to them.

(10) Iraj Mohammadi was summoned to the intelligence office and was arrested in Miandoab on January 13, 2019. He had been released from prison after completing a ten-year sentence, in October.

(11) Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian human rights lawyer, was being banned from having visitors. She is imprisoned on   security-related charges.

(12) Expulsion of Shirin Baninejad, a Baha’i Computer Science student, from Azad University of Andisheh (Sama) due to her faith. Bahai students in Iran routinely experience denial of entrance to university or expulsion during their studies.

(13) Saeed Sadeghifar, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, is summoned to the Ardabil Revolutionary Court on January 23. He was charged with ‘forming an illegal group to disrupt national security’. Asgar Akbarzadeh, Rahim Gholami, and Ali Vaseghi, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activists, have been also summoned to the Ardabil court.

(14) A 36-year old prisoner accused of murder, was spared from hanging on gallows by paying the blood money and consent of next of kin. He was spending 12 years in prison.

(15) A worker and a firefighter were injured in Tehran because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in workplaces.

(16) The workers of Farnakh and Mahnakh Company have 180 billion Rial [approximately one million and 80 thousand USD] unpaid wages.

(17) Mohammad Karimi, a labor activist, was released from Bukan prison after 13 months of imprisonment. He was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison in November 2018.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 19, 2018

Posted on: December 19th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 19th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed human rights lawyer, who was sentence to five years imprisonment earlier this year, will face prosecution on her new charges on December 23. Also, Nader Fatourehchi confirmed that he faced persecution over his criticism of prison conditions after his detention in Fashafoyeh Prison. His court day will be on December 23, 2018.

(2) More than four protests were held in Iran.  Workers of Zanjan Bus Company, retired teachers and the education personnel of Kermanshah, and participants of entrance exam at Medical Branch of Islamic Azad University held protests on December 19, 2018.

(3) Iranian Parliament Committee on Culture requested investigation and additional information from Judiciary and intelligence department about Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, the imprisoned Iranian activist who died after a 60-day hunger strike.

(4) Siamak Namazi and Baquer Namazi ‘s appeals were denied. Siamak was sentenced to 10 years in prison for collaborating with a foreign government. Baquer who was a governor before the revolution is suffering from heart disease.

(5) A theatrical performance was canceled in Islamic Azad University of Quchan because of a mixed-gender play on the scene.

(6) On December 19, 2018, 11 detained workers of Iranian National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz were released on bail. Their names are the following: Seyed Habib Tabatabaei, Javad Gholami, Mohsen Baloti, Mehdi Tahmasbi, Kourosh Esmaeili, Ali Emami, Abdolreza Dasti, Sohrab Naami, Hossein Asakereh, Fariborz Sheikhrobat, and Seyed Ali Javadpour. On December 16, more than 43 workers of Iranian National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz had been arrested.

(7) City service workers of Borujerd have nine months of unpaid wages. Borujerd is a city in Lorestan province.

(8) Mohammad Mehdi Zamanzadeh,an internet activist, was temporary released from jail. Zamanzadeh, Mohammad Mohajer and Alireza Tavakoli were arrested in September 2018 and have been sentenced to five years imprisonment being accused of blasphemy related charges.

(9) Mehran Zahrakar is a detained author who is serving his two years sentence on charge with ‘insulting supreme leader’. He has been published several socio-political books.

(10) Shaho Sadeghi, a labor activist who was accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ for participating in International Workers’ Day protest, began serving his sentence on December 19,2018.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 18, 2018

Posted on: December 18th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 18th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) On December 17th, 2018 in the National Steel Company workers protest, more than 42 workers have been arrested. The names of 10 more people are as the following: Hossein Asakereh, Meisam Al-Mahdi, Seyed Majid Mousavi, Amir Dehghan, Ahmad Bavi, Behzad Alikhani, Seyed Mostafa Mousavi, Majid Jalali, Arash Mohammadpour, and Behzad Shahbazi.

(2) Sepideh Gholian, a social rights’ activist, was released on bail. She looks very pale and weak after her release. She was arrested on November 18th while she was supporting the strike of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers.

(3) A fire broke out accidentally at “Osveh Hasaneh” kindergarten in Zahedan. The fire broke out in a faulty oil stove being used for heating a classroom. Students Mona Khosroparast, Saba Arabi, and Maryam Nokandi died and Yekta Mirshekar is severely burnt.

(4) A United Nation committee on human rights approved a resolution on December 17th, 2018 urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention and expressing serious concern about its use of death penalty. Iran was urged to end widespread and serious restrictions including on freedom of assembly of political opponents, human rights defenders, labor leaders, environmentalists, academics, filmmakers, journalists, bloggers, social media users and others. The resolution strongly urges Iran to eliminate discrimination against women in law and practice and expresses “serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.”

(5) Nazanin Zaghari requested parole but has not yet received any response from the judiciary officials. She is a British-Iranian dual citizen who has been detained in Iran since 3 April 2016. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment and has served half of her sentence now. She is also inneed of acute medical care.

(6) Two activists, Ansar Advaei 27 years old and Fardin Advaei 24 years old, were released in Uraman District in Sarvabad County and the two others, Hamid Ahmadi and Zaniyar Moradi remain in prison there. The reasons for these four citizens’ arrest, are still unknown.

(7) Hamid Ahmadi Maledeh, a juvenile offender who is accused of murder in a street fight was sentenced to death. He has been serving 11 years in the Rasht prison and was transferred three times to solitary confinement for execution but still is waiting on the death row.

(8) One of Nasrin Sotoudeh ‘s criminal charges is putting a flower bouquet by the electricity junction box in Enghelab street. She is a predominant human rights lawyer who has security-related charges.

(9) Farokh Abdi, a social network activist who was sentenced to 15 months in prison earlier this year and faced another 15 months conviction from another court in Urmia, was sentenced to five years imprisonment in an appeal court.

(10) A construction worker died in Yasuj due to unsafe workplace.

(11) According to Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 round-up of deadly attacks and abuses against journalists published on December 18, 2018, Iran still holds its position as one of the five largest prisons for journalists in the world. In this year, Hengameh Shahidi, Tahereh Riahi, Zeinab Karimian, Saleh Deldam, Morad Saghafi, Ramin Karimian, Alieh Matlabzadeh, Asal Emailzadeh, Bakhtiar Khoshnam, Mehdi Khazali, Abdolreza Davari, Sasan Aghai, Yaghma Fashkhami, Mohammad Mohajer, Alireza Tavakoli, Mohammad Mehdi Zamanzadeh, Saeed Mojtaba Bagheri, Javad Jamshidi, Nima Keshvari, Saeed Naghdi, Ali Ahmadinia, and Soheil Arabi are some of journalists, reporters or citizen journalists who have been arrested in 2018.

(12) City service workers of Karun and Zanjan cities have at least six months of unpaid wages.

(13) Another labor activist, Aram Mohammadi who was accused of “propaganda against the state” for participating in international Labor Day protest, began serving his sentence today.

(14) Mohammad-Reza Khatami was prosecuted because of his claims in an interview with Aparat (a video sharing service) that a voter Fraud was observed during 2009 presidential election.

(15) Retired personnel of various governmental organizations held protests in Tehran and other cities for their financial hardship.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 14, 2018

Posted on: December 14th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 14th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Seven Iranian Kulbars and Several Horses Were Killed or Injured

(2) No Information About a Political Prisoner, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeisi’s Whereabouts

(3) Two Inmates Were Beaten in Zahedan Prison

(4) A Citizen Was Arrested in Zabol Accused of Intentionally Creating “Anxiety and Unease in the Public’s Mind”

(5) A Citizen Was Saved from Execution in Kermanshah After Eight Years in Jail

(6) The European Parliament Demanded the Immediate Release of Nasrin Sotoudeh

(7) More from Iran


(1) Seven Iranian Kulbars and Several Horses Were Killed or Injured

Five Kulbars were killed in Baneh and Urmia. Javad Golabi, a 35 years old Kulbar died in an avalanche. Mohammad Maroufi 20 years old and Rahman Ketabi 45 years old and two other Kulbars were injured by the border patrol on December 14, 2018. Moreover,  two other Kulbars were killed or injured in this week. Hadi Nemati, a 29 years old, was injured by border patrol shoot in Khoy borderline. Another Kulbar, Zanyar Azizzadeh from Piranshahr, died of hypothermia in border mountains on December 11, 2018.

(2) No Information About a Political Prisoner, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeisi’s Whereabouts

Mohammad Saber malek Raeisi was transferred from Ardabil prison to an unknown place on December 12, 2018. The prison officials told the prisoners of his ward that he won’t return for the next 10 to 15 days. He added that Raeisi has been punished for leaking prison news. It should be noted that Raeisi and eleven other prisoners had written an open letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran and disclosed human rights violations in their prison which caused them  threats and deprivation from prison officials. According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Mohammad Saber Malek Raisi was arrested at the age of 15 on September 24, 2009, as a hostage to return his brother back to Iran. After enduring one-year detention in the Intelligence office in Zahedan, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in exile without access to a lawyer. Then he was deported to Urmia prison and after many months of his transfer, he was denied the opportunity to meet and contact his family.

(3) Two Inmates Were Beaten in Zahedan Prison

Two prisoners, Esmail Sanchuli and Mohammad Keykhah who are accused of Moharebeh through armed robbery, were transferred to quarantine ward have been severely beaten on December 13, 2018. They have been injured and were moved back to their ward without any medical care.

(4) A Citizen Was Arrested in Zabol Accused of Intentionally Creating “Anxiety and Unease in the Public’s Mind”

The Sheriff of Zabol county said that a 35 years old man, accused of intentionally creating “anxiety and unease in the public’s mind” in cyberspace, was arrested in Zabol on December 13, 2018. He added that Iranian Cyber Police investigated and reported him to the judicial system.

(5) A Citizen Was Saved from Execution in Kermanshah After Eight Years in Jail

A prisoner who was charged with murder and was held in prison for the past eight years, was saved from death with the help of elders and the forgiveness and consent of the next of kin at the gallows.

(6) The European Parliament Demanded the Immediate Release of Nasrin Sotoudeh

On December 13th, 2018, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the Iranian government to immediately and unconditionally release the human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. In their statement it has been declared that Iran is not only arresting dissidents, human rights defenders, and labor leaders, but their lawyers as well, criminalizing their fundamental freedoms. The statement specifically condemned the juvenile offenders’ executions, Baha’i religious community institutionalized discrimination, the arrest of Iranian with a dual European nationality. They requested the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Nasrin Sotoudeh, Farhad Meisami, and other political and religious prisoners, arrested protests’ participants, detained labors, human rights activists, environmental activists, feminist activists, and stop torturing and abusing prisoner. Furthermore, they requested the right to counsel and freedom of religion for everyone, to stop executions, and to cooperate with international human right officials.

(7) More from Iran

The detained labor activist, Ali Nejati who is a member of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Argo-Industrial workers’ Syndicate was transferred to hospital. He was arrested 14 days ago and is suffering from heart disease.

The prisoners of Shiraz prison wrote an open letter about Vahid Sayadi Nasiri ‘s death. They expressed their solidarity with him.

A 50 years old worker had a fatal fall in a water well in Chahar Fasl village in Razavi province.

Profiles: the Women’s Section of Evin Prison

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The 17 prisoners held on political or security-related charges in the Women’s Ward of Tehran’s Evin Prison live with deplorable conditions, compromised hygiene, and paltry nutrition. The following is a brief exposé of their quality of life, followed by a snapshot of their individual case files.

Many of these prisoners are mothers pained by the distance from their children, a pain that is only exacerbated by the prison chief’s refusal to grant them access to the phone on days of the week that their children are home from school. While the prisoners were granted permission from prosecutors to open the Saturday-to-Wednesday phone schedule to any day of the week, the chief, who goes by “Chaharmahali,” has refused to loosen up the former protocol.

In another blatant disregard of court orders, prison authorities refuse to send prisoners to outside medical clinics even when prosecutors and deputy prosecutors order or grant permission for the transfers. Prison authorities justify their refusal by saying that the prison clinic has its own doctors, or will recruit them as necessary; yet prisoners needing help from a psychologist, eye doctor, or internal specialist wait months to be seen.

These women are effectively hindered from providing even the most basic care to themselves, as clinic authorities refuse to distribute basic medicine or first aid kits to inmates. Many–insulted by the stipulations from Khani, the clinic head, that they take all of their nightly medication in one supervised sitting–have quit their medications in protest, and are experiencing aggravated symptoms as a result.

Evin Prison dentistry operates in less-than-sterile conditions and exposes patients to remarkably high risk for infections. Cavity fillings are expensive there, putting patients out as much as 20 million rials (approximately $114 USD) or preventing them, for lack of means, from getting the fillings they need. Many of the Evin women have trouble footing the bill, as the now-unemployed breadwinners of their households or as the wives of men who are also behind bars.

Prison food rations are growing more pitiful by the day. Forty-day rations of dry food items that are distributed to prisoners are depleted without fail within half that time. In the last six months, meat and vegetables have been cut from the prisoners’ diets.

Hygiene and cleaning items are also in short supply. Most prisoners run out, and those who can’t afford the pricey prison shop simply do without.

Deputy prosecutor Rostami oversees political and security prisoners and recently took up his position in Evin’s prosecutorial office. While he has verbally engaged to welcome prisoner families into his office on Sundays and Tuesdays, complaints from these families suggest that he is chronically unavailable, impassive to their requests, and generally unaccountable. Complaints lead nowhere, families say; requests for furlough or conditional release are routinely ignored.

Prison authorities rarely visit the Women Section, and tend to either lose or ignore any letters from its inmates.

Who are the women of Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward?

1- Maryam Akbari Monfared (born 1975)

Convicted of enmity against god, gathering and colluding against national security and propagating against the regime through working with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), Monfared is serving a suspended sentence of 15 years.

Monfared was arrested December 31, 2009, following a widespread Ashura demonstration during the holy month of Muharram. She was tried the following May and sentenced by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Salavati. She denied the accusations against her.

Monfared has been shuffled around different penitentiaries over the course of her imprisonment, inducing the solitary cells of Ward 209, the Methadone Ward, the Women’s Ward, Rajai Shahr Prison, and Qarchak Prison in Varamin. After writing several letters to clerics, prison authorities, and Ahmad Shaheed, then the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, she was returned to Evin’s Women’s Ward and has remained there since.

Two of Maryam’s brothers were executed in 1981 and 1984 for their connections to the MEK. Another younger brother and a sister were also executed during the 1988 massacre.

Maryam, a mother of two, has been barred from conditional release and has not received a single day of furlough since she began her sentence in 2009.

2- Zahra Zahtabchi (born 1969)

Zahra Zahtabchi was issued a 10-year suspended sentence for Baqi (violation) and enmity against god through support of the MEK.

Zahtabchi was arrested with her husband and daughter on October 16, 2013. She came to Evin’s Women’s Ward after spending 14 months in the solitary cells of Ward 209. On December 8, 2014, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts sentenced her to 12 years in prison. The sentence was reduced to 10 years in appeals court.

Her two daughters are Narges, 22 and Mina, 15.

In 2016, three years after her arrest, she went on furlough for three days.

3- Fatemeh Mosana (born 1967)

Fatemeh Mosana was sentenced to 15 years for Baqi and enmity against god through support of the MEK in Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Ahmadzadeh. Her husband Hassan Sadeghi received the same sentence.

Mosana, Sadeghi, and their child were arrested January 28, 2013, by Intelligence Ministry forces. The child was released after six weeks.

Mosana spent 75 days in the solitary cells of Ward 209 before her transfer to the Women’s Ward.

On January 13, 2014, she was temporarily released on bail. Some of her family’s property, including Sadeghi’s shop and their personal house, was seized by the authorities.

On September 30, 2015, she was re-arrested and taken to the Women’s Ward. She has two children who currently live with their ailing grandmothers.

Mosana, who suffers from ulcerative colitis and severe nervous migraines, has never been granted furlough.

4- Narges Mohammadi (born 1972)

Narges Mohammadi is serving a 16-year sentence, compounded by a six-year sentence on a previous case.

Narges was first arrested in 2002 and then released on bail after a week. For that case, she received a one-year sentence.

In May 2010, she was arrested and held for weeks in the solitary cells of Evin’s Ward 209 before being released on a bail of 1 billion rials. In 2011, she was convicted of gathering and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime, which carried a sentence of 11 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to six years in appeals court.

She started serving her sentence in 2012, which began with one month in solitary confinement and four months in exile in Zanjan. She was released due to health conditions before being re-arrested in 2015 to resume her sentence. At that point, authorities opened up a new case file against her, convicting her anew of gathering and collusion, and of propaganda against the regime, with the additional charge of establishing LEGAM, a campaign to abolish the death penalty. Collectively her charges earned her 16 years in prison, but by Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code, she should only serve 10 [i.e. the sentence corresponding to the heaviest among her multiple charges].

She has two children, and on the prosecutor’s orders is barred from having contact with her husband.

She suffers from pulmonary embolism and was granted a three-day furlough on September 29th.

5- Reyhaneh Haj Ebrahim Dabagh

Born in 1982, Reyhaneh Haj Ebrahim Dabagh is serving a 15-year exile imprisonment sentence, ruled by Judge Salavati in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court on charges of enmity against god through support of the MEK, gathering and colluding, and propaganda against the regime.

Ebrahim Dabagh has been in prison since early 2010. She suffers from ulcerative colitis and has served exile time in Qarchak and Rajai Shahr prisons. Her husband Ahmad Daneshpour and her father-in-law Mohsen Daneshpour are awaiting trial in Evin’s Section 350. They are both said to have been sentenced to capital punishment.

After seven years in prison, Ebrahim Dabagh went on furlough for the first time in December 2016, and was briefly freed on bail. On August 15, 2018, she was sent back to Women’s Ward to serve the rest of her sentence.

6- Azita Rafizadeh (born 1980)

As part of a 2011 crackdown on the Baha’i academic community, security agents raided the homes of managers and professors at the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), including Azita Rafizadeh’s. In the raid, her religious books, personal writings, and electronic devices were confiscated.

Rafizadeh was sentenced in 2014 to four years in prison on charges of acting against national security and membership in “the illegal Baha’i organization.” Her husband Peyman Kooshkbaghi was sentenced to five years in prison at the same time.

She presented hersef to Evin’s prosecutors in 2015 to begin her sentence. On February 28, 2018, her husband was detained without reason in Evin’s section 8 while trying to arrange a visit with her. Rafizade and Kooshkbaghi have a 10-year-old son name Bashir who in absence of his parents has been trusted to the care of another family.

7- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (born 1979)

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year suspended sentence on charges of gathering and collusion against national security.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at the airport while visiting Iran on holiday in 2016. After a day in IRGC’s detention center, she was transferred to Kerman prison, and two months later to Tehran, where Judge Salavati issued her prison sentence in July of that year. A few months later, she was sent to the Women’s Ward.

On August 23rd, she was granted a three-day furlough after two and a half years in prison. She has a four-year-old daughter.

8- Aras Amiri (born in 1986)

A student of London’s Kingston University, Amiri was arrested by Intelligence Ministry forces on March 14, 2018, and released two months later after posting a 5000 million rial bail. On September 7, 2018, she was summoned and subsequently arrested by Evin prosecutors, after which she was sent to the prison’s Women’s Ward. She has denied the “gathering and collusion against national security” accusations against her and is still awaiting trial.

9- Golrokh Ebrahimi Irayi (born 1980)

Irayi was sentenced to six years in prison, which was reduced to 2.5 years based on amnesty and Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code. She was convicted of insulting the sacred and gathering and collusion against the regime. Earlier this year, she was exiled to Varamin’s Qarchak prison, and was brought back to Evin after going on hunger strike.

On September 6, 2014, Golrokh was arrested along with her husband, Arash Sadeghi. She spent two days in an IRGC safe house and then 20 days in the solitary cells of Evin’s Section 2A, which is under IRGC jurisdiction. She was released on a bail of 800 million rials.

Judge Salavati sentenced her to six year in prison while she was undergoing surgery in the hospital.

On October 24, 2016, the IRGC arrested her without a warrant. Her husband Arash Sadeghi was also arrested and sentenced to 19 years in prison. He is currently in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison and has undergone operations for cancer.

Arash and Golrokh have been forbidden from seeing each other for the past 8 months.

10- Nasrin Sotoudeh (born 1963)

According to Sotoudeh’s lawyer, she has been sentenced to five years in prison for espionage (a charge that does not figure on her charge sheet), a complaint from Kashan prosecutorial interrogators, and an arrest order from Branch Two of Evin’s interrogators. She currently awaits trial.

Sotoudeh was first arrested September 2010 and sentenced to 11 year in prison, a 20-year ban from the bar association, and 20-year travel ban. Appeals court reduced these sentences to six years in prison and a 10-year ban from the bar. She was in Evin prison from 2010 to 2013 on charges of “acting against national security.” Upon her release, lawyer’s court banned her from the bar for three years, which she protested in 2014 by organizing a sit-in in front of the Bar Association. Because of her sit-in, her attorney privileges were reinstated.

On June 13th of this year she was arrested in her home and taken to Evin prison. Her husband Reza Khandan is being held in Evin’s Section Four. Two of her children, Mehrave and Nima, are currently in the care of family friends.

11- Negin Ghadamian (born 1983)

Ghadamian was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence on a conviction of against national security through membership in “the illegal Baha’i organization.”

On May 24, 2011, Negin was arrested by security forces and released on a bail of 500 million rials. In February 2013, along with eight other Baha’i citizens, she was convicted in absentia of working with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education and sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Moghise. On December 16, 2017, she was arrested at the airport and sent to the Women’s Ward of Evin prison to serve her sentence.

12 – Masoumeh (Mino) Ghasemzade Malakshah (born 1976)

Malakshah and her ex-husband, Amir-Mehdi Tabasi were arrested in 2011 by the Intelligence Ministry agents. Both were detained and later released on bail on espionage charges after travelling to the Israeli embassy in Turkey and applying for residency in Israel. Both Malakshah and Tabasi were sentenced to 10 years, a sentence which was confirmed in appeals court in 2017.

Malakshah was taken to the Women’s Ward of Evin prison. Tabasi is detained in a different ward of same prison.

13- Ruqayya Haji Mashallah (born 1981)

Mashallah is awaiting trial on charges that are currently unclear.

Of Iranian origin, Mashallah is a citizen of Bahrain. She was arrested in May 2018 in Mashhad and taken to Evin’s Women’s Ward on June 27th of the same year. Her Bahraini husband has only been able to meet with her once since her arrest. She a mother to three children.

14- Leila Tajik (born 1973)

Tajik was arrested by IRGC’s Intelligence Department on September 5, 2017. She was taken to the Women’s Ward earlier this year after spending seven months in an IRGC safe house. Her husband, who is said to be a retired employee of IRGC’s Intelligence Department, is also under arrest. She awaits trial on charges of espionage.

Tajik and her spouse have two children aged 16 and 19.

15 – Atena (Fateme) Daemi (born 1988)

Daemi was arrested on October 21, 2014.

On May 15, 2015, Judge Moghise of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to 14 year in prison on charges of collusion and gathering against national security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the Supreme Leader. Her sentence was reduced to five years with application of Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code.

After her arrest and before her trial, she spent 86 days in the solitary cells of Section 2-A. On February 15, 2016, she was released on a bail of 5500 million rials. Her sentenced was reduced to seven years in appeals court in August of 2016.

Daemi was arrested in her father’s house that November, and cases against her two sisters and one of her brother-in-laws immediately followed. She went on hunger strike for 54 days until the charges against them were dropped. So far she has been acquitted of two case files that have been opened against her.

In January of this year, she was taken to Varamin’s Qarchak prison after being assaulted. On May 9th, she was taken back to Evin’s Women’s Ward. She has thus far been denied furlough and has yet to request parole.

16- Elham Barmaki (born 1968)

On December 28, 2011, Barmarki was arrested on the street and spent three months in the solitary cells of Section 209. She was then released on bail and was later acquitted.

On July 23, 2012, she was arrested again, this time spending 14 months Section 209 solitary cells. On September 29, 2013, she was transferred to the Women’s Ward.

In Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Moghise, Barmaki was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fines of 25,000 Euros, 70,000 USD, and 400 million rials. She has two children, Amir-Parviz and Anita, who both live abroad. She was released once on furlough in March 2017 for the Persian New Year. Her request for parole has been rejected.

17 – Sotoudeh Fazeli (born 1953)

Fazeli was arrested in early 2011 by the Intelligence Ministry. She spent 31 days in Evin’s Section 209 before being released on bail in 2011. Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Salavati, sentenced her to three years in prison on charges of “enmity against god by supporting the MEK.” She has been held in the Women’s Ward since June 29, 2016.

Fazeli suffers from eye and muscle problems, among other health conditions. She was released on a short furlough in 2016. Her requests for parole have been repeatedly rejected.

Since the beginning of the new Persian calendar year in 2018, 15 new prisoners have entered the Women’s Ward, including Zahra Zare, Negar Zarei, Mandana Azarmah, Akram Gholami, Aliyah Eghdamdoost, Akram Mirsane, Raha Fasayi, Parisa Rahmati, Batool Ezati and Arefe Aziz. A number of these women have been already released.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Reaches 50th day on Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Farhad Meysami has not had a single meal, or any food at all, for 50 days and counting, as his health condition continues to deteriorate.

A civil rights activist imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, Meysami announced his hunger strike August 1st, one day after his arrest by Iranian authorities, in protest of their refusal of the attorney of his choosing. Despite the decline of his health during the hunger strike, authorities have yet to send him to a hospital.

HRANA reported on Meysami’s weight loss and poor physical state on September 8th.

Mohammad Moghimi–lawyer of fellow Evin prisoner Reza Khandan, and incidentally, the attorney Meysami would have appointed if given the choice–said his client called him from Evin to report that Meysami’s strike had put him in mortal danger, and that he needed a transfer to the hospital right away.

Moghimi said that authorities’ denial of Meysami’s attorney of choice puts them in conflict with Iranian law. Once initial interrogations are over, each prisoner has a right to a lawyer of his or her choosing, according to Moghimi’s reading of Article 48 of Iranian penal code.

Meysami was arrested in his personal study on July 31st. He was originally charged with “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security,”; “propaganda against the regime”; and “insulting hijab, a necessary and sacred element of Islam.”

On September 3rd, however, Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s interrogation department claimed that charges have since changed, with the last one replaced with “spreading corruption and prostitution.”

Meysami, who suffers from ulcerative colitis, has said that during his hunger strike he will take only the medication that treats this condition, as he has taken for the past 18 years. Meysami has previously said that he would break his hunger strike only if his friend and fellow inmate Reza Khandan, who was arrested after Meysami’s hunger strike began, is released unconditionally.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both asked for Meysami’s release.

Tensions Mount over Unlawful Execution of Three Kurdish Political Prisoners

Posted on: September 12th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Shock, sorrow, and censure over the executions of Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi continue to pour in from both international institutions and Iranian citizens in-country, further straining relations between Iranian authorities and the human rights activist community at large.

A number of Kurdish opposition groups have sounded the call to strike to Kurdish regions of Iran, inviting fellow Kurds to protest their comrades’ executions.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has stated, “I deeply deplore the executions last week of three Iranian Kurdish prisoners despite the serious concerns raised by Special Procedures mandate holders that they were not afforded fair trials, and were subjected to torture.” Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, has also condemned these executions.

Imprisoned civil rights activist Atena Daemi was among a number of imprisoned civil rights activists publishing separate letters expressing sorrow and outrage over the men’s deaths. Golrokh Iraee and Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, two more imprisoned activists, wrote and published their own messages of protest and sympathy, with Sotoudeh likening their executions to the *political massacres of 1988.

Some of these letters have reportedly incited blowback from prison authorities, who have subjected Daemi and Iraee to repeated non-routine body searches after their letters were published. When these women inquired about the reason for the searches, they learned the order for frisking had been issued by the Prison’s Director. A Prosecutor Assistant has since promised to investigate.

Excerpts from the letters of Sotoudeh and Iraee, translated into English by HRANA, are below.

Nasrin Sotoudeh:

“The judicial system has executed three Kurdish compatriots. Our Kurdish compatriots have been plagued by oppression for decades. The verdict and sentences of the Revolutionary Court, condemning these three compatriots to die, was the product of an unlawful process that runs counter to Human Rights principles and the laws of the Islamic Republic. In at least one of these trials, had due process been respected, the defendant may very well have been acquitted.

Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were on hunger strike when they were hanged, another testament to the inherent brutality of the judicial system, who itself is supposed to protect us from violence.

I extend my condolences to our Kurdish compatriots, who have had a steadfast, crucial presence in the cultural promotion of Iran; to all Iranians; and, in particular, to the families of Moradi, Moradi, and Panahi. I hope that in heeding the diverse manifestations of Iran’s judicial violence, the urgent need to renounce all forms of it will become clear.”

Golrokh Iraee

“[Their death] invites the wrath of Kurdistan’s Children […] Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi, freedom fighters, Kurdistan’s immortal resistance, teachers of patience and persistence, have left behind a lesson in determination. They were hanged while on hunger strike, in protest of their mistreatment at the hands of authorities; they stood up to the monsters of despotism and reactionarism.

They unmasked those traitors who call themselves statesmen and rulers. Let it be known that the time for lip service has passed. To hold them accountable, we must act.”

****

After being hanged to death in an undisclosed location in Tehran on September 8th without notice to their lawyers, the bodies of the Moradis and Hossein Panahi were *confiscated by the Iranian authorities. The Ministry of Intelligence has since threatened the men’s surviving family members.

Ahmad Amouee, journalist and former prisoner of conscience, published an account of the Moradi and Moradi families’ visit to Tehran’s main cemetery, Behesht-e Zahra, where officials had summoned them to bid farewell to their sons’ bodies. Their final resting place remains unknown.

* In the summer of 1988, on the orders of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran at the time, thousands of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners were executed after inquisition-style interrogation sessions. Almost all of these prisoners had already been tried and were either serving their sentence or, having completed their sentence, were awaiting release. All were buried in unmarked, often secret, mass graves.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Enters 38th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The health condition of Farhad Meysami — who declared hunger strike the day after his arrest on July 31st in protest to his detention and the denial of his right to a lawyer of his choice — is in steady decline.

A source close to the matter told HRANA, “His blood pressure dropped very low on Saturday, September 8th. The doctor recommended he be treated in a hospital or the prison clinic, saying that his vital signs would remain unstable otherwise. He has lost 14 kilograms [30 pounds] since the start of his hunger strike, and weighs 64.5 kilograms [142 pounds] now.”

Suffering from intestinal colitis that he has been treating with medication for the past 18 years, Meysami has announced that his diet will be limited to that medicine, and will only end his hunger strike if Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, is unconditionally released.

Meysami was arrested by security forces in his personal library on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and during his interrogation was charged with “Collusion and conspiracy to threaten national security,” “Disseminating propaganda against the regime,” and “Insulting the hijab, an essential sacrament of Islam.” On Monday, September 3rd, Branch 7 of Evin Court added “Propagation of corruption and decadence” to his charging document.

Human Rights Watch previously issued a statement in which they mentioned Meysami’s ordeal, asking Iranian authorities to stop the repression of human rights defenders and immediately release those who are being persecuted for their peaceful expressions of dissent.

Amnesty International also appealed to Iranian authorities, opposing their crackdown on civil society and unlawful detention of lawyers and human rights activists including Farhad Meysami. They demanded these prisoners’ immediate release, and that authorities provide every detainee with access to a lawyer of their choice at the time of their arrest.

Iran, an open-air prison for lawyers: A report

Posted on: September 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – This past week has seen a sharp increase in the arrests of lawyers in Iran, many among them specialists in defending civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights activists.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi shed light on this trend in an exchange with HRANA, stating that Iranian officials and its judiciary aim to create a climate of intimidation in which citizens find it easier to turn a blind eye to government abuses of power.

“[Authorities] prefer no one dare protest [their] unlawful actions,” Ebadi said.

She went on to note that arrests of lawyers not only put innocent people behind bars, but they also leave the lawyer’s clients–often prisoners of conscience and other political detainees–defenseless.

Ebadi drew on historical context to explain that authorities of the early Islamic Republic recognized legal scholars and independent lawyers as “nuisances,” or impediments to illicit activity, from the outset. This wariness on the part of the Iranian authorities led an appointee of the Judiciary to close the Iranian Bar Association for 18 years.

When authorities finally sanctioned elections for the Bar Association’s new board of directors, their permission roughly coincided with the passing of a law mandating all members be pre-approved by a Judiciary-controlled organ called the Disciplinary Court of Judges. Ebadi cites this filtering as the reason behind the Bar Association’s lack of autonomy, as it is known to refrain from advocating for its arrested members.

The following is a list of legal practitioners affected by this recent wave of repression.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, lawyer and human rights activist

Nasrin Sotoudeh was among the first lawyers arrested on June 13th of this year. She was arrested in her home and subsequently taken to Evin Prison.

According to lawyer Payam Derafshan, who was arrested himself on August 31st and has since been released, Sotoudeh is being held on three counts: a five-year sentence for espionage, which does not figure on her formal charge sheet; a lawsuit brought by a prosecutorial interrogator in the central Iranian city of Kashan; and an arrest order issued by Branch 2 of the Interrogations Unit.

The prosecutorial interrogator recently doubled down on his accusations against Sotoudeh, presenting new charges of “helping to form house churches,” “inciting the organization of a referendum,” and “attempts to organize gatherings.”

Sotoudeh declared hunger strike on August 25th to protest both her arrest and the judicial pressures being placed upon her family, relatives, and friends.

Abdolfatah Soltani, lawyer, activist, and human rights defender

Soltani’s September 10, 2011 arrest was followed by a sentence of 18 years in prison and a 20-year ban from the Iranian bar association. According to an Iranian court, his trespasses include his acceptance of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, statements he made to the media about his casework, and his role as co-founder of the Center for Supporters of Human Rights (CSHR).

Soltani’s prison sentence was reduced to 13 years in an appeals court. Pursuant to the principle of concurrent sentences per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, his sentence was reduced again to 10 years, and his 20-year Bar-association ban was reduced to two.

Years of enduring poor living conditions in prison, including being cut off from nutritious food and [potable] water, have taken a toll on Soltani: he now suffers from a host of health issues including broken teeth, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome, and [abnormal] blood pressure fluctuations.

The formal record of Soltani’s charges equates his human rights activities to “acting against national security.” Ten of the accusations being levelled against him are listed below:

1- Forming the illegal anti-security body CSHR
2- Giving interviews to counter-revolutionary media and foreign enemies
3- Acting against the regime on the pretext of human rights
4- Waging anti-regime psychological campaigns via published statements
5- Portraying Baha’i cult members as victims
6- Publishing human rights reports, all while cognizant of their adverse impact on Iranian national security and foreign politics and of their potential exploitation by the enemies of the revolution
7- Slandering the judiciary regarding testimonies extracted by torture and intimidation in prison
8- Disseminating disparaging news about the country and compromising public faith in the judiciary
9- Defending human rights cases and extremist clients on a pro bono basis
10-Anti-Islamic propagandizing and violating the principles of Islam by indiscriminately condemning execution sentences and implicitly rejecting the principle of Qesas [retribution] by calling it violent

While Soltani was in prison, his daughter Homa died of a heart attack on August 3rd at the age of 27. He was granted restricted furlough to attend her funeral.

Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi, lawyers and human rights activists

On August 18th, a number of protestors were detained during a public demonstration before Tehran’s Parliament building in protest to both the Caspian Sea treaty and the vetting of election candidates by the Guardian Council. Three lawyers–Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi, Arash Kaykhosravi, and Masoud Javadieh–were among those detained.

Several arrestees were released within hours, and Javadieh was released on bail the following day. Sholeh-Saadi and Kaykhosravi, facing charges from Branch 5 of the Evin prosecutor’s office, were sent to Great Tehran Penitentiary.

On August 21st, Sholeh-Saadi and Kaykhosravi, were sent again to the Evin prosecutor’s office, shackled and in prison garb. They were read their charges (“gathering and collusion against national security”), issued a one-month arrest order, and returned to prison.

Sholeh-Saadi is a legal scholar and former member of parliament. He had previously been convicted and jailed for “insulting the Supreme Leader” in a letter he infamously published in 2002.

Kaykhosravi has taken on such high-profile cases as that of lawyer Mohammad Najafi and Kavous Seyed Emami, the university professor and environmental activist who died in Evin Prison on February 8th. Prison authorities claimed Emami had committed suicide.

Kaykhosravi has since been transferred to Evin Prison.

Payam Dorafshan and Farokh Forouzan, lawyers

Attorneys Payam Dorafshan and Farrokh Forouzan were arrested in the home of their imprisoned colleague Arash Kaykhosravi on August 31st.

Dorafshan was among a group of lawyers suing Bijan Ghasemzadeh, interrogator in Branch Two of the Culture and Media court, for his decision to ban the popular messaging app Telegram. Forouzan works in children’s rights.

Both have since been released. The reason for their arrest remains unclear.

Mohammad Najafi, lawyer and human rights activist

On July 29th, Branch 102 of the Second Criminal Court in the central Iranian city of Arak sentenced lawyer Mohammad Najafi and dozens of other citizens to prison terms for participating in January’s Shazand County protests.

Najafi was convicted of “disrupting order and public peace by taking part in illegal gatherings” and sentenced to one year in prison plus 74 lashes. Prior charges of “publishing false information to disrupt the public conscience” brought the prison sentence to a total of two years.

Najafi is among those investigating the death of a protestor in January’s Shazand protests. He publicly spoke out about the death of Vahid Heydari, a citizen who died while in the custody of authorities after being arrested in Arak.

Zaynab Taheri

Lawyer Zaynab Taheri was arrested on June 19th, one day after the execution of her client Mohammadreza Salas Babajani, a Sufi Dervish prisoner convicted of killing three police officers. She had publicly advocated for Babajani on social media.

She was arrested by the Culture and Media court and convicted of both “publishing falsehoods to disrupt the public conscience” and “propaganda against the regime.” She was released on bail August 8th.

On August 31st, the International Federation of Human Rights, known by its French acronym FIDH, expressed concern over the harassment of Taheri by judicial authorities, asking Iranian officials to cease their harassment of her and other human rights defenders.

Taheri’s clients included Salas Babajani, Mohammad Ali Taheri, and Ahmadreza Jalali.

Hoda Amid, lawyer and women’s rights activist

On the morning of September 10th, security forces arrested Hoda Amid in her home along with Najmeh Vahedi, another women’s rights activist with a formal education in sociology who was with Amid at the time. Amid and Vahedi are known to have organized educational training workshops for women inquiring about their rights in marriage contracts.

The precise reason for Amid’s arrest and her current status remain unknown.