Mehdi Mohammadi Fard Sentenced to Six Years and Six Months

Mehdi Mohammadi Fard has been handed a six-year and six-month prison sentence by the Sari Revolutionary Court. His arrest dates back to the 2022 nationwide protests.

HRANA received this information through a source with close ties to his family. The court convened on October 1, 2023.

Initially, Mohammadi Fard faced dual death sentences on charges of “spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God.” However, this ruling was subsequently overturned, leading to the case being referred to another court branch for review.

Additionally, Mohammadi Fard received a six-month sentence for “propaganda against the regime,” two years for “incitement of people to engage in hostilities,” one year for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” and four years for “participation in activities that undermine national security.”

Mehdi Mohammadi Fard, who is approximately 20 years old, was detained by the Iranian Public Security Police in Nowshahr during the protests.

Mehrnaz Khorrami Arrested in Nowshahr

Mehrnaz Khorrami was apprehended at her residence in Nowshahr on the 22nd of September by security forces. She was later transferred to the detention facility operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Sari.

A source with connections to her family shared with HRANA the news of Khorrami’s arrest by IRGC authorities in Nowshahr, located in Mazandaran province. Presently, the motive behind her detention and the specific charges levied against her remain undisclosed.

Elham Farshad Recevies Three Years and Eight Months in Prison

The Nowshahr Criminal Court has issued a three-year, eight-month prison sentence to Elham Farshad. The exact charges against her remain undisclosed.

Elham Farshad, 29 years old, was arrested at her residence on July 13, 2022, by security forces. Subsequently, she was released on bail, amounting to 500 million Tomans (approximately 10,000 dollars).

Her arrest is connected to a confrontation with a cleric who had been harassing her due to what he deemed an improper dress code. This incident gained significant attention within Persian communities on social media.

Security Forces Detain Four Family Members of Deceased Protester Hananeh Kia

Masoumeh Azari, Helia, Vahid, and Amir Kia Kojuri – four family members of Hananeh Kia, who was killed by regime forces during the nationwide protests of 2022 – have been apprehended at their residence and subsequently transported to an undisclosed location.

A source, with close ties to the Kia family, disclosed to HRANA that on the evening of Sunday, August 27, Vahid, Helia, and Amir Kia, all siblings of Hananeh, as well as their mother Masoumeh Azari, were arrested at their residence in Nowshahr, Mazandaran province.

The specific grounds for these detentions and the whereabouts of their confinement remain undisclosed at this time.

Hananeh Kia, a 22-year-old, was shot dead by security forces on September 21, 2022, during protests in Nowshahr.

As the approaching anniversary of the 2022 nationwide protests, commonly referred to as the Mahsa Amini Protests looms, families of the victims are grappling with heightened pressures stemming from security and judicial entities. For more details, please refer to HRANA’s report on the arrest of some family members.

Two Citizens Arrested by Security Forces in Nowshahr County

On August 2, 2023, Meisam Gholami, a former political prisoner and one of the detainees of the nationwide protests in 2022, was arrested along with his friend Mehdi Seifi by security forces in Nowshahr County. Both individuals were taken to an undisclosed location.

According to a source close to one of the families, who spoke to HRANA, Meisam Gholami was arrested at his workplace in Nowshahr County, and shortly after, Mehdi Seifi was also detained. Their mobile phones and some personal belongings were confiscated by the agents.

Meisam Gholami’s initial arrest took place on October 1, 2022, during the nationwide protests in Kabudarahang, Hamedan Province. He spent 14 days in detention before being released on bail from Alvand Prison in Hamedan. The trial session addressing his charges was held on February 15, 2023, at the Revolutionary Court of Kabudarahang County.

Meisam Gholami, 37 years old, has a history of previous detentions and imprisonments due to his activist activities.

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Former Political Prisoner Ali-Asghar Hassani-Rad Arrested by IRGC Intelligence

In a recent development, former political prisoner Ali-Asghar Hassani-Rad has been arrested by IRGC intelligence and taken to an undisclosed location.

A reliable source close to his family confirmed the involvement of the IRGC intelligence unit in the arrest. The incident occurred approximately two months ago when security forces visited his mother’s residence but failed to apprehend him due to his absence. Since then, Hassani-Rad had been in hiding in Nowshahr.

The reasons behind his arrest, his current location, and the specific charges against him remain unknown at this time.

Notably, this is not the first time Ali-Asghar Hassani-Rad has faced arrest. In May 2020, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 16 years and seven months in prison, with seven years enforceable. Additionally, he was banned from leaving the country, joining political groups, and engaging in social media/media activities.

However, following the “pardon and commutation” directive, Hassani-Rad was granted amnesty, leading to his release from Evin Prison on February 15, 2023.

Iranian Supreme Court Overturns Death Sentence of Protestor Javad Roohi

HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency – the Iranian Supreme Court has overturned the three execution sentences and other punishments previously imposed on Javad Roohi, who was arrested during nationwide protests in Nowshahr.

Roohi’s lawyer, Majid Kaveh, confirmed that Branch 9 of the Iranian Supreme Court responded to Roohi’s request for a retrial and annulled the verdict issued by the Sari Revolutionary Court. The case has now been referred to another court branch for further review.

Back in January 2023, Roohi was handed three death sentences on charges including “spreading corruption on earth,” “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” for burning the Quran, blasphemy, arson and destruction of property, as well as “insulting people to unrest and assembly and collusion against national security.”

One of the main accusations against Roohi was setting fire to a traffic police station using a Molotov cocktail in Nowshahr. The judge further alleged that he played a leading role in the “unrest” and considered his participation in street dancing during the protests as a criminal act. Roohi has vehemently denied all these accusations. Despite presenting a strong defense, the court dismissed Roohi’s arguments as “pointless” and sentenced him to death.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hejab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, were arrested.

 

Eight Businesses Closed in Nowshahr and Rasht for Failing to Observe Hijab Rules

The Police Chief of Nowshahr announced that three cafe restaurants were closed for playing live music and failing to observe Hijab rules. Similarly, five businesses were closed in Rasht for the same reason.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRNA, three cafe restaurants were closed for improper Hijab, playing live music and serving alcoholic beverages.

This Police chief also warned tourists coming to Mazandaran Province about not observing Ramadan rules and improper Hijab.
Also, Rokna News Agency reported that in Rasht, five shops were closed for failing to observe Hijab rules.

Imposing a certain lifestyle on citizens stands in blatant violation of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which entitles everyone to the right to life, liberty and security of person. Additionally, Article 12 of this declaration affirms, “One shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

18-Year-Old Mehdi Mohammadi-Fard Sentenced to Death over Protests

The Revolutionary Court of Sari sentenced Mehdi Mohammadi-Fard to death on the charges of “spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God (Moharebeh).” He was previously arrested at protests in Nowshahr.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mehdi Mohammadi-Fard, age 18, was sentenced to death (two times for two counts).

Along with this death sentence, Mohammadi-Fard received six months for “propaganda against the regime,” two years for “inciting people to murder and disrupt national security,” and one year for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran.”

According to a report obtained by HRANA, Mohammadi-Fard has been denied the right to choose his lawyer. Also, an informed source told HRANA that all his confessions had been extracted under torture and ill-treatment.

Mohammadi-Fard was arrested at protests on September 30, 2022, in Nowshahr.

HRANA has detailed the legal cases of 58 citizens sentenced to death or under the impending threat of death sentence over protests. Read this report here.

 

 

 

Nationwide Protests in Iran Continues on Day Nine

On September 25, the nationwide protests continued nine days after the death of Mahsa Amini. Demonstrations continued in at least 19 cities and universities, as the number of arrests and the individuals injured or killed increased. There were disruptions and outages in internet and phone services and social media was filtered. 

On September 24,25, 2022, despite the heavy presence of riot police and plainclothes security agents, people held demonstrations in many cities, including Shahin-Shahr, Karaj, Shiraz, Amol, Babol, Sanandaj, Tehran, Fardis, Isfahan, Tabriz, Zahedan, Fuman, Sabzevar, Qaen, Shahr-e-Rey, and Nowshahr. 

The Sharif University of Technology and the University of Tehran students held protests on campus, chanting slogans  such as “Death to the dictator”, “Jailed student should be freed”, and “We will fight, we will die, but we will take back Iran.”

The two maps below show the geographical distribution and concentrations of the protests until the seventh day of protests. 

On September 25, the Coordination Council of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association issued a statement asking teachers and students all over Iran to join the general strike.

 It is estimated that many individuals have been arrested, as 450 arrests were reported only in the city of Sari. However, HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, is still working on fact-checking and reviewing the reports independently. HRANA has identified and verified 48 individuals arrested so far.

There were also reports of several individuals killed as a result of the brutality of the security apparatus. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported 41 deaths, of which HRANA has identified 38.

The map below shows the distribution of the death toll as of the seventh day of protests.

Below is a compilation of the videos gathered on the eighth and ninth days of protests in Iran.