Political Prisoner Sasan Niknafs buried after Death in Greater Tehran Prison

The body of Sasan Niknafs, a political prisoner who died in Greater Tehran Prison on Monday, was buried.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Tehran Prisons Organization claims that the place of death was Firoozabadi Hospital in Tehran. However, an informed source stated that in reality, Niknafs’ body was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.

Sasan Niknafs was suffering from myriad mental and physical health problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and severe depression. By most definitions, Niknafs was unfit to serve time in prison, but his mother’s efforts to obtain a certificate of intolerance were unsuccessful until after his death. Moreover, despite the clear urgency of his condition, Prison officials significantly delayed sending Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison. He died on June 7.

 

Reports Indicate the Death of Sasan Niknafs in Prison; The Family is Worried and Waiting for Prison Officials to Respond

As of Monday, June 7, reports indicate that political prisoner Sasan Niknafs has died in the Greater Tehran Prison due to medical negligence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, prison officials significantly delayed sending Mr. Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison, despite the clear urgency of his condition.

Niknafs has long suffered from diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and psychological problems.

The political prisoner was finally transferred to the prison’s health center two days ago where he reportedly died.

Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals sentenced Niknafs to eight years in prison on charges of conspiracy against the country’s security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic and the leadership. 5 years of imprisonment applied to him after applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

36-year-old Niknafs, father of two girls aged 8 and 9, endured eleven months of incarceration in poor physical and psychological condition. According to his lawyer, during a recent meeting, the effects of self-harm were visible on his hands.

Prison authorities have not officially announced the news of his death at the time of this writing despite repeated inquiries from his family and lawyer.

 

 

Narges Mohammadi Sentenced to 30 Additional Months in Prison, Flogging, and Fines

On May 19, less than a year after completing a five year sentence and being released from Zanjan Prison, human rights activist Narges Mohammadi was sentenced by Branch 1177 of the Criminal Court in the Quds Judicial Complex in Tehran to 30 more months in prison, 80 lashes, and two fines.

In March, HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, reported that Narges Mohammadi had published an open letter in response to her latest summons to the Evin Courthouse.

“I have not attended any hearing,” Mohammadi said in the letter. “I will not accept the verdict issued by the court and I definitely will disobey.”

According to HRANA, Mohammadi is facing a slew of protest-related charges, including “Propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran through the issuance of a statement against the death penalty”,  “Sit-down strike in the prison office”, “Breaking glass”, “Libel and assault”, and “Rebelling against the prison administration who asked to end the sit-down strike”.

In December 2019, Mohammadi and seven other political prisoners in the women’s ward of Evin Prison announced in a letter that they would go on a sit-down strike in support of bereaved families who lost loved ones in November 2019 national protests. Evin Prison officials threatened to deport Mohammadi and others who participated in the strike to prisons known for their harsher conditions. She was transferred from Evin Prison to Zanjan Prison in December 2019.

After five years and six months in prison, Narges Mohammadi was finally released from Zanjan in October 2020. Mohammadi has since been denied a passport and barred from leaving the country to visit her husband and children even though her previous conviction did not mention a supplementary ban on international travel.

Whether Mohammadi’s latest sentence is carried out given her refusal to accept the charges remains to be seen.

Farzin Rezaei Roshan Transferred to Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital

Exiled political prisoner Farzin Rezaei Roshan, who has been held in solitary confinement in Rajai Shahr Prison since May 10, was recently transferred to Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Roshan was sent to Rajai Shahr Prison on the pretext of being transferred to a hospital, and then held in one of its solitary confinement cells until his move to Aminabad.

Roshan was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in June 2017 and held in Ward 2A of Evin Prison until he was released on bail 8 days later. Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, sentenced Roshan to four years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the system and assembly and collusion against national security”.

Roshan was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison to endure his sentence in March, 2019. He had been imprisoned until his transfer to Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital, where he currently resides.

UN Experts Express Concern Over the Health Condition of Mohammad Nourizad in Evin Prison

On Tuesday, May 4th, UN experts issued a statement expressing concern over the health condition of civil activist Mohammad Nourizad and calling for his immediate release from Evin Prison. Javid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Niels Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and several other UN experts stated that Mr. Nourizad has been in critical condition for some time, and continued deprivation of treatment could prove fatal.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, UN experts have stated that Mr. Nourizad’s case is “emblematic of the situation many Iranian political activists face in detention” , citing the transfer of Mr. Nourizad to Loghman Hospital in Tehran, on April 14, 2021, after fainting. The statement reveals that once revived, Mr. Nourizad “found someone injecting him with an unknown substance, that he did not consent to or was informed of”. Nourizad was denied information about the substance or its purpose from officials, despite his explicit requests.

66-year-old Nourizad is an Iranian director, screenwriter, journalist, and activist. Nourizad became an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic a decade ago, and has since been arrested and imprisoned several times for his civic work and visits to families of political prisoners.

In mid-August 2019, 14 activists, including Nourizad, signed a letter calling for the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. Several signatories were arrested, and others were pressured after the letter went public. Mr. Nourizad was arrested by security forces on August 11, 2019, along with several union and civil activists and sent to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad (he was later transferred to Evin Prison, where he currently resides).

In the first part of his case, Mr. Nourizad was charged by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, presided by Judge Mansouri, on charges such as “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, insulting sacred values, insulting the leadership, disturbing public opinion, cooperating with foreign media, and participating in illegal gatherings”, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, 3 years of exile to Izeh, and a 3-year ban from leaving the country. Branch 35 of the Appeals Court in Razavi Khorasan Province revised the verdict to 15 years in prison, 2 years of exile to Izeh, and a 2-year ban on leaving the country.

In August 2020, in the second part of his case, he was sentenced by Branch 2 of the Mashhad Criminal Court to 8 months imprisonment, 74 lashes, and exile to Tabas on the charge of “disturbing public order” for appearing in front of the building where Kamal Jafari Yazdi was appearing; and sentenced to another 74 lashes on a charge of “spreading lies”. This verdict was confirmed by the Court of Appeal of Khorasan Razavi Province.

In May of this year, Mr. Nourizad announced that he has been sentenced to another year in prison on a charge of defending the rights of Baha’i citizens living in Ivanki, prompting this public concern. Mohammad Nourizad suffers from myriad underlying conditions, including asthma, heart problems, and high blood pressure. The forensic medicine organization previously ordered his release for medical reasons. According to these UN experts, considering Nourizad’s critical health condition and overwhelming consensus from professionals,  he cannot stay in prison.

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

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

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

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

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.