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 December 7, 2018

Posted on: December 7th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 7th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Two Citizens Were Saved from Execution

(2) An Execution in Bandar Abbas

(3) Security Agents Did not Allow People to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja’far Pouyandeh Murders

(4) A Transgender Character Was Censored in an Iranian TV Series

(5) Two Citizens Were Saved from Execution

(6) More from Iran

   


(1) Two Citizens Were Saved from Execution

An individual who was arrested with a murder charge, finally was saved from execution in jail by the help of judicial authorities and victim’s family’s consent. This citizen had spent the last 17 years waiting for the execution in prison. The murder took place in 2001 in one of the villages of Sarab that is a city in East Azarbaijan province. In another case, a prisoner who was accused of murder and was sentenced to death, by the intercession of Imam of Friday prayers of Andimeshk and forgiveness of the next of kin, was saved from the gallows. Khodakaram Rahimi, the head of Andimeshk’s judiciary office said “we have 15 million cases in the judicial office and with the help of reconciliation committees, they are investigating precisely and quickly. Andimeshk is a city in Khuzestan province.

(2) An Execution in Bandar Abbas

Jamshid Agha Rahimi, a prisoner who was accused of murder was executed on December 4th,2018 in the Bandar Abbas central prison. An informed source said: Jamshid was a resident of Haji Abad. 15 days before his execution, he was transferred from Haji Abad to the Bandar Abbas prison. He was accused of murdering a man who harassed Jamshid’s sister in 2014. His execution has not been announced from Iran’s media yet.

(3) Security Agents Did not Allow People to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja’far Pouyandeh Murders

Earlier this week, Iranian Writers Association invited people to commemorate 20th anniversary of Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja’far Pouyandeh murders in Emamzadeh Taher cemetery in Karaj in Alborz province. But today, security agents came to the cemetery and did not allow people to mark the anniversary of their deaths. Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja’far Pouyandeh were among the victims of chain murders in Iran. The chain murders of Iran were the assassination in the string of disappearances and suspicious deaths of intellectuals and political figures in the second half of 1998. After Mokhtari was reported missing, the body of Mohammad Ja’far Puyandeh was found near Karaj. The case of these four individuals became known as the chain murders.Prior to their murder, Dariush and Parvaneh Foruhar, leaders of the Iran Nation Party, were brutally murdered in their house.

(4) Masoud Babapour Faced Prison

A political activist, Masoud Babapour, was sentenced to 13 years in prison and was banned from social rights for two years with the charges of propaganda against the regime and acting against the national security. He was arrested on November 27th, 2009 and after several months of interrogation, was sentenced to two years in prison back then.

(5) A Transgender Character Was Censored in an Iranian TV Series

Nima Shabannejad, the actor who played a transgender character in an earlierly- banned Iranian TV series, Mamnoee, announced his disagreement on the censorship of his role in this TV series.

(6) More from Iran

The Ministry of Oil has decreased natural gas allowance per household by the verge of winter.

Teachers in Kermanshah announced their solidarity with the worker and student protests.

A teacher who had physically punished a student in a school in Hamedan was suspended and the school’s principal and his assistant principal were dismissed.

Activist Eghbal Ahmadpour Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Posted on: October 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Urmia Revolutionary Court Branch 3 sentenced Anbi village resident Eghbal Ahmadpour to five years in prison on a charge of “acting against national security through membership in Kurdish opposition parties” on Thursday, October 4, 2018. He was denied access to a trial lawyer.

Security forces arrested Ahmadpour on September 11, 2018. According to an informed source, he was interrogated and held in solitary confinement for 12 days before being sent to Urmia Prison Ward 13, known as the youth ward.

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018), 6883 citizens were arrested in Iran on ideological or political grounds.

Anbi village is in Urmia county.

Alcohol Charges Evolve into Death Sentence for Urmia Political Prisoner

Posted on: September 24th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Forty-two-year-old political prisoner Mohyeddin Ebrahimi has been convicted of cooperating with a Kurdish opposition party and sentenced to death by Judge Ali Sheikhloo in Branch 2 of Urmia’s Revolutionary Court. He is currently being held in Section 12 of Urmia Prison in northwestern Iran.

A close source told HRANA that Ebrahimi has been recovering from three gunshot wounds for the better part of a year in the Urmia Prison clinic. He was shot during his arrest on October 23, 2017, at the Iran-Iraq border, where he was found to be carrying a walkie-talkie and accused of alcohol possession.

HRANA’s source indicated the court was flippant in its verdict on Ebrahimi’s case, verbally presenting the charge of “cooperating with a Kurdish opposition party” — punishable by death — while skipping over portions of the judicial process provisioned by law, e.g. formal questioning, providing him with a hard copy of his charge sheet, or the hearing of any statements in his defense.

Ebrahimi’s record shows a history of alcohol charges: a 2010 arrest for which he spent 11 months in Urmia prison before being acquitted, and a 2014 charge that was eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita.

Mohyeddin Ebrahimi is from the village Alkaw, near the city of Oshnavieh, West Azerbaijan Province.

State of Mental Health Critical for Zahedan Political Prisoner Held Six Years Without Trial

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A hostage of judicial bureaucracy for six years and counting, political prisoner Meysam Chandani, 28, has recently experienced a serious psychological downturn, a close source told HRANA.

“He is suffering from severe psychological illness due to the pressures of incarceration, the living conditions inside, and his legal limbo,” the source said. “He makes noises throughout the day and night, behaves strangely, and has caused problems for his ward mates.”

Currently held in section 4 of Zahedan Prison in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, home to Iran’s Baloch minority, Chandani was arrested six years ago by the Ministry of Intelligence forces of Saravan county and charged with “acting against national security,” “Moharebeh (enmity against God) through armed activities,” and “membership in an opposition group.” Unable to post his 5 billion toman (approximately $1,250,000 USD) bail, he has been waiting on his sentencing–or any updates at all–ever since.

In the meantime, prison officials refuse to attend to his medical needs, which according to eyewitnesses reports are growing more serious by the day.

While prison management has no direct responsibility to nudge the judiciary about lagging case files, they have been slow to address the prison’s dearth of communication channels with the judiciary and its general lack of social aid workers, shortcomings which make the follow-up process too difficult for some prisoners to undertake themselves.

Overpopulation has become a prevailing issue at Zahedan prison, where officials routinely disregard or postpone consideration of prisoner requests for sentencing reduction via part-time sentence schedules, furlough, and conditional pardon.

HRANA has previously reported on general lack of medical treatment in Zahedan Central Prison, based on interviews with eyewitnesses. The prison also hosts many who suffer from legal limbo like Chandani. This is in direct contravention of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights–of which Iran is a signatory–which guarantees arrestees the right to a prompt trial and to be promptly informed of the extent and nature of any charges on which they are being detained.

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.

Lawyer Sues Client’s Trial Judge, Citing Abuse of Criminal Procedure Code

Posted on: September 18th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Mostafa Tork Hamedani, attorney of Hengameh Shahidi, imprisoned journalist and human rights activist, has filed suit against the judge presiding over his client’s case.

Hamedani told Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) that “once Ms. Shahidi’s case was referred to the court, I presented myself to register as her attorney, but the judge would not appoint me. So I have filed a formal complaint against this judge at the Government Employees’ Court and the Judges’ Disciplinary Court for unlawfully barring a certified lawyer from representing a client.”

Reporting that requests from himself, Shahidi, and Shahidi’s mother to appoint him as her attorney have been submitted and summarily rejected, Hamedani has continued to speak on his client’s behalf, announcing that Shahidi is still in custody and that her case has been forwarded to Revolutionary Court.

According to Hamedani, authorities are inappropriately applying a law intended to stipulate defendants’ choice of lawyers in the case of national-security crimes. “[…] the amendment to *section 48 [of criminal procedure code] only applies during preliminary investigations. Once the case is sent to a court, the amendment no longer applies. [The law] is crystal clear on this.”

ISNA quoted a report from the Tehran Prosecutor’s office stating that Shahidi was arrested June 26, 2018 on the island of Kish in Persian Gulf. It reads, “The judiciary was pursuing the defendant, who was arrested by police while attempting to conceal her face with a mask.”

In a statement released in late June, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said “[We] condemn the police violence and arbitrary arrests to which citizen-journalists have been subjected during this week’s protests in Tehran. RSF also condemns the latest arrest of journalist and blogger Hengameh Shahidi.”

Ministry of Intelligence forces arrested Shahidi on March 9, 2017, citing her collaboration with a media network.

Hamedani said that the Ministry of Intelligence was the plaintiff in the above case, and that Shahidi’s arrest warrant was issued by Branch 2 of Culture and Media Court. She was released on August 28, 2016 after six months in detention.

* In national security cases, amendment 48 to Iranian’s Code of Criminal Procedure obliges the defendant to choose a lawyer from a list pre-approved by the judiciary. Iranian authorities leverage “national security” charges against most political prisoners.

Nine Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran

Posted on: August 29th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In the last few weeks, a number of prisoners across the country have declared hunger strike. HRANA has prepared a bulletin on their cases, previously reported in detail.

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Lawyer and human rights activist

Nasrin Sotoudeh started a hunger strike on August 25th in protest to her arrest and the judicial pressures being placed on her family, relatives, and friends.
She published an open letter outlining her reasons for the strike.

Ramin Hossein Panahi
Political prisoner

Sentenced to death, Ramin Hossein Panahi was recently transferred to Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison and declared hunger strike on August 27th by sewing his lips together. He is protesting his sentence and multiple violations of his legal rights. His lawyers published a statement sharing the reasons behind the strike. According to them, his whereabouts have been unknown since his August 26th transfer out of Rajai Shahr.

Farhad Meysami
Civil rights activist

Farhad Meysami was arrested July 31st by security forces. He started a hunger strike August 1st, protesting his arrest and the constraints being placed on his choice of attorney. He was transferred from Evin’s Quarantine Ward to the General Ward on August 26th, where he is reportedly suffering from low blood pressure and drastic weight loss.

Namegh Deldel
Prisoner of conscience

Sunni prisoner Namegh Deldel from hall 21, Ward 7 of Rajai Shahr Prison has been suffering from an injury to his right leg. In protest of his restricted access to medical care, including the prison’s refusal to transfer him to an outside hospital, he has been on hunger strike for more than a month.

Farhad Ariai (Sahrapeyma)
Political prisoner

Farhad Ariai (Sahrapeyma), a political prisoner in the Workers’ Ward of Urmia Prison, is in the sixth year of his seven-year sentence. Eligible for early release per Article 134 on the serving of concurrent sentences, he declared hunger strike on August 15th when the court refused to review his request thereof. According to a credible source, Ariai was transferred to the quarantine ward immediately after starting his hunger strike.
Ariai also declared hunger strike last year when prison officials denied his request for furlough. In response to that strike, prison staff forcibly handcuffed and transferred him to the Workers’ Ward of the prison, where he remains to this day.

Seyed Ghassem Abasteh
Prisoner of conscience

Seyed Ghassem Abasteh, a Sunni prisoner in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison, started a hunger strike on July 17th to protest his inadequate medical care and the prison’s denial of his access to a clinic. Despite developing asthenia and severe weight loss as of the fifteenth day of his strike, prison authorities continue to ignore his pleas.

His poor health condition has been repeatedly reported on, and in March, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. His condition has deteriorated to the point that he struggles to speak and breathe.

Abasteh is married with two children. He was arrested in early 2010 and sent to solitary confinement in Urmia Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. He spent eight months there before being transferred to Evin Prison, where he spent six months in the solitary cells of wards 240 and 209. After 14 months, he spent another 20 days in Ward 350 of Evin before finally being transferred to Rajai Shahr on April 8, 2012.

He faces charges such as “militant activity”, accused of backing Salafi groups. He denied such involvement, saying the charges are baseless.

He has been awaiting trial since his 2016 prison sentence from Judge Moghiseh was nullified. He has thus far spent eight years in prison without due process.

Saman Rahmani

Saman Rahmani, a prisoner in the Health Ward of Saqez Prison, is on the verge of losing his arms after suffering an injury, yet continues to be denied the rights of furlough and access to a clinic. He started a hunger strike on July 20th in protest.
“Rahmani was to be sent to Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison for care, but prison authorities changed their minds,” a credible source told HRANA.

When authorities promised him medical care earlier this year, he stopped the hunger strike he had started in June for the same reasons.

Farshid Nasseri
Prisoner of conscience

Sunni prisoner Farshid Nasseri of Rajai Shahr started a hunger strike on June 16th to demand his right to furlough. Twenty-eight days later, his condition had severely deteriorated. He suffers from back and neck problems, in addition to psychological issues stemming from his years spent in prison.

Verya Saed Moochashmi

On August 19th, on orders from a Ward chief penalizing their refusal to end their hunger strike, five prisoners from Ward 3 of Rajai Shahr were beaten and sent to solitary confinement. They were reportedly striking to protest issues with their respective legal cases.

HRANA understands these prisoners to be Verya Saed Moochashmi, Hossein Esmaeili, Saeed Moradpour, Mojtaba Kounani, and Alireza Kounani. As of yesterday, August 27, 2018, Moochashmi is the sole among the group to continue the strike.

In 1998, Moochashmi, then 17, was sentenced to death and 80 lashings when he was convicted of aiding and abetting murder. He has so far served 21 years in prison.

Majid Tavakoli and Riaz Sobhani return to prison

Posted on: August 31st, 2014

HRANA News Agency – Majid Tavakoli and Riaz Sobhani have returned to Rejai Shahr Prison at the conclusion of their three-day furlough. Both prisoners were granted a leave on August 23 and required to report back to prison on August 25. Their requests for an extension have been denied.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Tavakoli was arrested on December 7, 2009, following his speech at Amir Kabir University against the results of Iran’s presidential election. (more…)