Amir Hossein Moradi Offered Release on Bail

Earlier this Tuesday, October 26, the court granted bail to Amir Hossein Moradi, who was arrested in relation to the nationwide protests of November 2019.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Moradi is currently hospitalized for a skin disease. Based on this court order, if he pays the required 4 billion tomans bail, he will be set free upon being discharged from the hospital. This has been confirmed on the personal social media page of Babak Pak-Nia, Moradi’s lawyer.

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were sentenced to death by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, before a global outcry led to the re-examination of their case.

On Jun 24, 2020, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)  announced that the death sentence of the three political prisoners had been upheld by the Supreme Court. On July 14, 2020, the spokesman of the Judiciary officially announced the confirmation of their death sentences and said that the sentences had been sent to the prosecutor’s office for execution.

However, according to the lawyers, permission to enter the trial and study the case was given to them on July 15, 2020–weeks after HRANA reported that the death sentence had been confirmed in the Supreme Court.

Less than an hour after the official confirmation of the death sentences for Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, “#Don’t_execute” became the world’s top trend with hundreds of thousands of tweets. Human Rights Watch, US President Donald Trump, the Writers’ Association of Iran, and others all reacted to this news. The hashtag has now been used more than ten million times.

The following day, UN human rights experts issued a statement and condemned the death sentences. The statement expressed that Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were tortured and forced to confess and that these forced confessions were later used against them in their trials. HRANA has previously conducted numerous conversations with informed sources and extensive research to determine what happened to the prisoners in the various processes of activity up to the conviction.

On July 19, 2020, the three defendants’ lawyers issued a joint statement announcing that the case had been referred to a different branch for retrial after the Supreme Court’s acceptance of Article 477.

In mid-December of 2020, in the aftermath of the global outcry, the young activists’ request for a retrial was finally accepted by Branch 1 of the Supreme Court and their death sentences were finally overturned.

The retrial process since has been comparably unstructured. The cases were submitted to Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran for retrial following overturn of their death sentnece, but, due to turnover in the head of the branch, the court session was postponed to May 12. Once again, the court session was cancelled due to the absence of the second judge. In July, their court session was postponed for a fourth time.

Moradi’s release would mark a rare victory in the ongoing legal battle facing so many of those who were involved in the nationwide protests of November 2019.

Political Prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi Released on Leave from Evin Prison

On Wednesday, October 14, political prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi was released on furlough from Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemi has been enduring her one and a half year prison sentence since August 9, 2020. On July 20 of this year, after testing positive for COVID-19, she was also granted furlough.

Arezoo Ghasemi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in November 2019. She was released on bail until August 9, 2020, when she was sent to Evin Prison to serve her sentence.

The Branch 28 of the revolutionary court, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghayeseh sentenced her to three years imprisonment on a charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. This sentence was subsequently reduced to one and a half years after applying the “Punishment Reduction Law”.

During the wave of protests of November 2019 in dozens of cities, which broke out initially in protest of an unprecedented fuel price surge, hundreds were killed and seven thousand were arrested by regime forces.

Since Ghasemi will have served out her term by the end of the furlough, she will not return to prison.

Saeed Afkari Beaten and Arrested on the Anniversary of the Execution of Navid Afkari

On Sunday, September 12, Saeed Afkari, the brother of Navid Afkari, was beaten and arrested by six plainclothes officers and taken to an unknown location in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, he was released after a couple of hours.

Mr. Afkari tweeted the day before that the security forces were pressuring the Afkari family to stop Navid Afkari’s execution anniversary. Following this tweet, Mr. Afkari’s twitter account has become unavailable.

It is also said that during Mr. Afkari’s arrest, security forces beat his sister, Elham Afkari.

Navid, Vahid, and Habib Afkari were arrested in 2018 in connection with the nationwide protests in August 2018. The brothers have been repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations. Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz at dawn on September 12, 2020. Habib and Vahid have been sentenced to long imprisonment.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari Sentenced to Imprisonment and Exile

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, the father of Pouya Bakhtiari, one of the victims of the November 2019 nationwide protests, was sentenced to imprisonment and exile.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 77 days after his arrest, Bakhtiari called his family and announced that he had been sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison and 2 years and 6 months in exile.

He was transferred from the detention center of a security institution to the Central Penitentiary in Karaj after the sentence was issued.

Bakhtiari was detained by security forces on April 29, after being beaten at his home in Tehran. One week after the arrest, Gholam-Hossein Ismaili, a spokesman for the judiciary, called Bakhtiari and his family “counter-revolutionaries” and charged them with “acting against national security”.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari has been protesting the killing of his son by security forces in November 2019. Pouya Bakhtiari was born September 10, 1992, and was shot dead on November 16, 2019 in Phase 4 of Mehrshahr, Karaj.

According to his father, Pouya, along with his sister and mother, joined a protest march on the second day of the nationwide protest against the increase in gasoline prices. He was shot in the head, and he died before reaching the hospital.

As of this writing, the details of the verdict and the charges against Mr. Bakhtiari are not known.

5 Activists and Family Members of Afkari Brothers Beaten and Temporarily Detained by Adelabad Officials

Prison authorities reacted violently to a gathering of social activists and relatives of political prisoner brothers Vahid and Habib Afkari in front of Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists (HRA), several participants, including the Afkari brothers’ mother and sister, were beaten and detained by security forces for several hours.

Narges Mohammadi, Jafar Azim Zadeh, Pouran Nazemi, Nahid Shirbisheh (Mother of Pouya Bakhtiari, who was shot killed in 2019 nationwide protests) and Sakineh Ahmadi (mother of Ebrahim Katabdar, a protester who was killed in 2019 nationwide protest) were also identified as among the arrested by Ms. Mohammadi’s husband Taghi Rahmani.

On June 12, Saeed Afkari, the brother of Vahid and Habib Afkari, released a statement on the incident.

“Officers severely beat my mother, my sister, my father, my aunts, and others. The cell phones were confiscated, my sister and one of the women were arrested,” Saeed wrote. “They were released a couple of hours later.”

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Political Prisoner Reza Sarvelaiti Serving out Sentence in Greater Tehran Prison

Political prisoner Reza Sarvelaiti is currently enduring his sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sarvelaiti is one of the detainees of the November 2019 nationwide protests.

In September 2020, Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Amouzad, sentenced Mr. Sarvelaiti to 10 years imprisonment on charges of burning public property, insulting the supreme leader, and disrupting the public order. Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar, later reduced the sentence to eight years.

Reza Sarvelaiti was sent to Tehran prison to endure his 8-year sentence, in November 2020.