Khadijeh Mehdipour Beaten in Ilam Prison

On February 10, political prisoner Khadijeh Mehdipour was beaten by several prisoners of violent crime in Ilam Prison. Mehdipour is currently held in a ward where she is housed alongside prisoners of violent crime, which is in violation of the prison rules.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mehdipour was beaten by her three fellow inmates.

According to an informed source, the beating was instigated by the head of the prison. Mehdipour has been hurt in her eyes.

Confirming this news, Public Relations of the Ilam Prison Organization in an announcement claimed that after watching a documentary about Qasem Soleimani and the marching following his death, Mehdipour uttered offensive statements against Soleimani, leading to a quarrel with one of her fellow inmates.

He claimed further that this quarrel occurred without any instigation from prison officials and no one got hurt seriously.

Mehdipour is currently serving her 20 month sentence in Ilam Prison.

On October 10, 2021, the IRGC’s intelligence agents arrested her at her uncle’s house and transferred her to Ilam Prison after two days of interrogation.

Finally, she was sentenced to 20 months in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. She was acquitted of the charge of “advocating for anti-regime groups”.

She had earlier faced other arrests and convictions. On October 3, 2020, the security forces arrested her in Ilam City and thereafter she was fined 3 million tomans in exchange for imprisonment.

Inmates of Maragheh Prison Held in Poor Conditions

The inmates of Maragheh Prison are held in very poor conditions. Some of their problems include poor heating on cold days, co-housing political prisoners with prisoners of violent crimes and a shortage of sanitary services and beds. Moreover, the head of the prison has been ordered to deny adequate medical treatment to an inmate with a methadone addiction.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, prisoners in Maragheh Prison are held in poor, ill-equipped conditions and suffer from various problems.

Currently, about 1200 inmates are held in Maragheh Prison. This prison consists of four wards for men and one for women. Ward No. 1 houses inmates on death row and Ward No. 2 houses prisoners who are still in due process and awaiting their verdict.

An informed source explained the condition of Ward No. 4 to HRANA:

“140 inmates are held in this ward, while it has only 104 beds. Hence, some of the inmates have to sleep on the cold floor. Other wards have the same problem, which in cold days makes things harder for those [who] sleep on the floor.”

This ward has only three sanitary services for 140 inmates. The informed source also stated that the heating system can hardly warm the rooms and that inmates have to sleep with three blankets in order to keep themselves warm.

“Akbari, the head of the prison, has been ordered to refuse to accept any request, such as for furlough from the inmates with methadone addiction, until they [stop addiction]. Nonetheless, they do not provide these inmates with any adequate addiction treatment” the source added.

Our sources told a story of an inmate who used 20cc of methadone per day. They were forced to quit and consequently contracted a severe mental disorder. They have been hospitalized for two months.

The other problem is that political prisoners and prisoners of violent crimes are held in the same ward, which is in violation of prison rules.

Political Prisoners in Urmia Prison Still on Hunger Strike After 10 Days

Political prisoners in Urmia Prison are on the tenth day of their hunger strike. Since December 12, about forty-seven political prisoners have been on hunger strike in protest of an order from the prison director that would move them to a new high security ward with insufficient space and poor equipment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoners went on sit-down strike on December 22nd. They protested before the prison guard office and after a few hours, went back to their ward after prison officer promised to address their demands.

In a shared open letter, these prisoners announced that they would continue their hunger strike until order for their relocation to a new ward is revoked.

According to an informed source, the head of the prison had announced that within two next weeks, they will be transferred to a newly built high-security ward. Daily time outside will be reduced to two hours.

In Iran’s prisons, hunger strikes are common among prisoners despite causing long-term physical and mental impairment. Hunger strikes are used as a last resort to achieve urgent demands such as unlawful long-term detention without trials, violations of prisoners’ rights and infringement in due process.

 

Update on Political Prisoners’ Living Conditions in Rajai Shahr Prison

This report sheds light on the situation of 27 political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison. Some of these prisoners are suffering from poor health conditions due to lengthy imprisonment or being beaten in detention.

Rajai Shahr Prison, previously known as Gohardasht Prison, is located in Karaj City in Alborz Province. Although the prison is built for housing the inmates convicted of violent crimes, for years it has been used by security forces as an exile prison for political and prisoners of conscience.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Rajai Shahr Prison, like many other prisons of the country, has long failed to provide inmates with adequate medical treatment.

Rajai Shahr Prison is composed of 10 wards with three salons for each ward. There are two types of salons in each ward.

Salon type 1: In the ’80s, the cells of this salon were used as solitary confinement. This salon contains 30-35 small size cells in each of which two or three inmates are housed.

Salon type 2: These Salons are composed of 15 large rooms in each of which 5 to 7 inmates are held. In each salon, there are three toilets, three bathrooms and a room to be used as a shared kitchen.

The Canteen (prison commissary) of the prison is run by the companies affiliated with the Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization. The store sells products that are marked up 10 to 20 percent. Last year, prices decreased somewhat due to complaints from inmates, but after a while, the store increased the prices again. Products not available in the Canteen are available only on written request, which must be approved by the head of the prison.

Despite being classified as a jailhouse for housing the inmates convicted of violent crimes, Rajai Shahr Prison has additionally been used for a high number of political prisoners. Considering the long history of violence against political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the monitoring of this infamous prison by human rights activists is of great importance.

It is worth mentioning that along with political prisoners held in Salon No. 10, there is a salon allocated to Sunni-faith prisoners, who mostly are imprisoned for national-security-related charges. HRANA is working on a report about their latest situation as well.

Currently, 24 political prisoners are housed in Salon No. 10 in Rajaie Shahr Prison. The latest updated list of these prisoners goes as follows:

1. Saeed Masouri, arrested on January 8, 2001, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through membership in The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. In 2003, the Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to the death penalty, which later was reduced to life imprisonment. Dr. Saeed Masouri was born in 1965. He is serving the twenty-first year of his sentence.

2. Afshin Baymani, arrested on September 5, 2000, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to death which later was reduced to life imprisonment. Afshin Baymani is now serving the twenty-second year of his sentence.

3. Motalleb Ahmadian, arrested on October 5, 2010, on a charge of “membership in one of opposition political groups”. He has sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court.

4. Hamzeh Savari was arrested on September 2, 2005, on the charge of ” enmity against God (Moharebeh) and acting against national security”. The Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz sentenced him to capital punishment, which later was reduced to life imprisonment. He was 16 years old at the time of arrest and currently he is serving the seventeenth year of his prison sentence.

5. Mohammad Ali (Piruz) Mansouri, arrested in September 2007, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment. Following his heart attack, on September 9, 2021, he was granted furlough for the first time after fourteen years.

6. Hassan Sadeghi, arrested on January 28, 2013, on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran “. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment and the confiscation of his property (an apartment and a store). He is 58 years old and serving the ninth year of his sentence. Also, he had been spending in prison from 1981 to 1987.

7. Abolghasem Fouladvand, arrested in 2031 on a charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment. He is 59 years old and currently serving the eighth year of his sentence.

8. Soheil Arabi, arrested on November 7, 2013, on charges of ” blasphemy”, “propaganda against the regime”, “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. In his first case, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. For the second case, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, two years exile in Borazjan and paying a fine for 4 million tomans, on the charge of “spreading lies in the purpose to disturbing public opinions and the propaganda against the regime” and one year and eight months on the charge of ” destruction of state property”. In addition, for another new case, he has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, paying a fine, being banned from leaving the country and once every three times mandatory appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court.

9. Saeed Eghbali, arrested on February 1, 2018, on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison, which was upheld on appeal. Currently, he is serving the second year of his prison sentence.

10. Behnam Moosivand, arrested on February 1, 2018, on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison. The court of appeal upheld the sentence. Currently, he is serving the second year of his prison sentence.

11. Reza Mohammad-Hosseini, arrested in May 2019, on charges of ” assembly and collusion, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran, illegal border crossing, illegally entering the county, disobeying the orders of the agents.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 16 years and 6 months imprisonment, which was upheld on appeal. While he was serving his term in prison, in a new case he was sentenced to flogging with 50 lashes on the charge of “offensive statements against the on-duty-government officer”. He is serving the third year of his sentence.

12. Mehdi Meskin Navaz, arrested on May 5, 2019, on charges of “assembly and collusion, acting against national security, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment and two years of compulsory residency in Ghahraj city in Kerman Province and prohibition from membership in political parties and groups. Currently, he is serving the third year of his sentence. As of this writing, Meskin Navaz has been transferred to the quarantine section after testing positive for Covid-19.

13. HooshangRezaie, arrested in 2010 on a charge of “membership in Komola (Kurdistan’s Organization of the Communist Party of Iran), spying, murder and adultery.” The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to death which was later reduced to 15 years imprisonment. Hooshang Rezaie was transferred to the quarantine section after testing positive for Covid-19.

14. Ahad Barzegar, arrested in 2019 on charges of “advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to six years imprisonment. According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest enforceable punishment for this charge is only five years. He is serving the second year of his sentence. He has also been imprisoned in the ’80s for political-related charges.

15. Ali Eshagh, arrested on November 21, 2019, and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on a charge of “membership in Fedaian Organisation (Minority)”. He was born in 1950. He had also been spending in prison from 1983 to 1989 for the same charge.

16. Arash Nasri, arrested on December 19, 2019, on charges of “membership in Komola (Kurdistan’s Organization of the Communist Party of Iran) and Khabat (The Organization of the Iranian Kurdistan Struggle), illegal border crossing, illegally entering the country, holding illegal firearms”. Currently, he is waiting for his trial. These accusations are based on the publication of two photos on her personal Instagram account with the clothes of the mentioned groups.

17. Iraj Hatami, arrested on October 18, 2010, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of spying for the U.S.A. He had been working in Iran’s Ministry of Defense, from 1991 to 2004. Since two years and three months of his detention period in the military Detention Center has not been subtracted from his sentence term, he is still in prison. To protest, in June of this year, he went on a hunger strike.

18. Arsham (Mahmood) Rezaei, arrested on January 7, 2019, on charges of “propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion to act against national security, offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years and six months imprisonment, which was upheld by the appellate court. According to article 134 of Iran’s penal code, five years as the severest punishment is enforceable for the above-mentioned charges. He is serving the first year of his sentence. Recently, he has been transferred to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj after testing positive for COVID-19.

19. Nasrollah Lashni, arrested in 2014 on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years imprisonment and two years prohibition from political activities. This verdict was upheld by the appellate court. In October 2020, as punishment for not returning to prison after a furlough, he was sentenced to flogging of 40 lashes, which was reduced to 30. In addition, he has two open cases with the charges of “illegal border crossing” and “membership in one of opposition political parties”.

20. Ali Musa-Nejad Farkoosh, arrested on January 10, 2019, on charges of “assembly and collusion to commit a crime and act against national security, offensive statements against current and former supreme leader of Iran and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment. According to article 134 of Iran’s penal code, 5 years as the severest punishment is enforceable for the above-mentioned charges. He is serving the first year of his sentence. A while ago, he was granted furlough for medical treatment.

21. Farzin Rezaei Roshan, arrested in June 2017, on charges of “assembly and collusion to act against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to four years imprisonment. He is serving the second year of his sentence.

22. Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi, arrested in August 2019, on charges of “forming illegal political groups, propaganda against the regime and offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 26 years imprisonment from which 11 years as severest punishment are enforceable.

23. Pouria Vahidian, arrested on November 21, 2020, on charges of “collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran.” He is still waiting for issuing verdict by the court. Earlier in July 2018, he has been also sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment on the charges of “collaboration with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran through writing political slogans on walls.” Back then, he was released after serving one year of his term.

24. Amir Doorbin Ghaziani, arrested on December 13, 2013, arrested on November 21, 2020, on a charge of spying for the U.S.A. The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. He is serving the eighth year of his sentence.

Currently, there are three political prisoners being housed in other wards.

1. Farhad Fahandezh, arrested on August 16, 2012, on charges of “Propagation of the Baha’i Faith and directing Baha’i organizations.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. He was born in 1959. Currently, he is serving the ninth year of his sentence. Earlier, he was arrested in 1983 and spent 6 years in prison.

2. Farhad Meysami, arrested on July 31, 2018, on charges of “assembly and collusion to commit a crime against national security and propaganda against the regime.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years imprisonment and two years prohibitions from membership in political groups and parties, engagement in media and leaving the country. By enforcing Article 134 of the Islamic penal code, five years of this sentence is enforceable. He is serving the fourth year of his sentence.

3. Arjang Davoudi, arrested on November 9, 2002, on charges of “forming illegal political groups and membership in one of opposition political parties, offensive statements against the supreme leader of and high-ranking regime officials.” The Revolutionary Court sentenced him to fifteen years and eight months imprisonment which later was reduced to ten years and eight months on appeal. In 2012, on the new charge of “advocacy for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”, he was sentenced to death. The verdict was revoked in the supreme court of Iran and instead changed to five years imprisonment in an exile prison in Zabol. Also, he had been spending a while in Bandar-Abbas Prison.

It is worth mentioning two other political prisoners who have been recently released from Rajai Shahr prison. Peyman Arefi was arrested in May 2009 on the charges of ” insult against Prophet of Islam and advocacy for Kingdom Assembly of Iran “. The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment in exile. A few months ago, he was released on probation with an electronic tag on his ankle. In September of this year, Asghar Padashi was released from the Rajai Shahr prison after serving three years of his ten years prison term. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment and paying a fine of 34000 dollars on the charges of “spying for Mossad.”

From the above-listed political prisoners, 15 inmates suffer from serious diseases or injuries.

As domestic law, as well as international law and other human rights documents, affirms, each prisoner has the right to receive adequate medical treatment. Various articles of Iran’s Executive regulations of the Prisons Organization have specified inmates’ disease and treatment. Nonetheless, Rajai Shahr prison officials violate the rights of these political prisoners for adequate medical treatment and endanger political prisoners’ lives.

 

 

Mohammad Ali Mansouri Sent on Leave after Enduring 14 Years in Prison

On Thursday, September 9, Mohammad Ali (Piruz) Mansouri was sent on leave for the first time after serving 14 years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mansouri is a political prisoner in poor health who has been serving out his sentence in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Previously, on September 3, following a heart attack, Mr. Mansouri was transferred to a hospital in Karaj, where he was shackled to the bed despite his condition.

Mansouri was arrested in September 2007 after attending the 19th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Abolghasem Salavati, sentenced Mr. Mansouri to 17 years in prison, transfer to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, and a fine of 150,000 tomans on a charge of “communicating and collaborating with the People’s Mujahedin Organization (MEK)”. The sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

In May 2018, on the pretext of [conducting] “activities inside the prison” such as going on a hunger strike, inciting prisoners, and writing a statement in support of the Sunni prisoners, Mr. Mansouri was charged with “community and collusion against the regime” and sentenced to another five years in prison.

 

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Three Political Prisoners Sentenced to Additional Prison Time and Lashes in Urmia Prison

Political prisoners Nayeb Hajizadeh Yangjeh, Keyhan Mokarram al-Nabi, and Nayeb Askari were sentenced to a new sentence of prison time and flogging in connection with a recently opened case against them.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoners are currently being held in Urmia Prison in West Azerbaijan Province.

According to Branch 119 of the Criminal Court of Urmia, these prisoners were each sentenced to three months in prison and 50 lashes on a charge of “disrupting the prison order”.

According to HRANA’s report in July, per an informed source, the lawsuit was filed at the request of Urmia Prison Director Amir Sohrabi after several political prisoners protested the beating of Nayeb Hajizadeh by two prisoners accused of violent crimes.

It was said that one of the assailants was also summoned to the court as a witness in the case.

Khaled Pirzadeh Transferred from Greater Tehran Prison to an Unknown Location

Political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh was transferred from the quarantine section of the Greater Tehran Prison to an unknown location on Wednesday, July 14th.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on June 14, Mr. Pirzadeh was sent on sick leave with a promise of connected parole. He was returned to Evin Prison on July 7.

Khaled Pirzadeh’s lawyer, Ali Sharifzadeh, made the announcement in a note on his social media and expressed his concern about Mr. Pirzadeh’s transfer due to his illness and said the prison’s organization is responsible for Mr. Pirzadeh’s health.

Pirzadeh had gone on a hunger strike for a 3rd time on June 10, protesting the lack of medical treatment, denial of his request for parole, and his 25-month imprisonment.

Three Political Prisoners Facing New Charges of Questionable Legitimacy After Protesting the Beating of Nayeb Hajizadeh Yangjeh

On Monday, July 12, political prisoners Nayeb Hajizadeh Yangjeh, Kayhan Mokaram Al-Nabi, and Nayeb Askari were faced with new charges after protesting the beating of Hajizadeh Yangjeh.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, per an informed source, the lawsuit was filed at the request of Urmia Prison director Amir Sohrabi after several political prisoners protested the beating of Nayeb Hajizadeh by two prisoners accused of violent crimes.

It is said that one of the assailants was also summoned to the court as a witness in the case.

During the briefing session, the three accused were briefed on the alleged charges of “disturbing the order of the prison” and “blasphemy”.

Nayeb Hajizadeh was arrested by security forces in August 2019 and sentenced to 7 years and six months in prison shortly after being charged for membership in an opposition group. Kayhan Mokarram Al-Nabi was arrested by security forces in January 2020 and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of membership in an opposition group.

Nayeb Askari was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in Urmia in April this year and was transferred to prison in June. Mr. Askari has been charged with collaborating with an opposition party.

Political Prisoner Kamran Ghasemi Insulted and Beaten by Officers During Family Visitation in Urmia Prison

On June 26, political prisoner Kamran Ghasemi was beaten by prison officers after objecting to the inappropriate treatment of his family by the agents during their visitation in Urmia Prison in West Azerbaijan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human rights Activists, Kamran Ghasemi has spent the past two years in the detention facilities of security institutions and Urmia Prison. He was transferred from the youth to the political ward of Urmia Prison in May this year.

“Officers beat Mr. Ghasemi in front of his family, then kicked him out in a very inappropriate manner,” a source close to the family said. “After other political prisoners protested this incident, in response, the chief of prison transferred 15 inmates of violent crimes under his command to the door of the political prisoners and threatened that protesters will be dealt with, in case of any objection. Amir Sohrabi, the director of Urmia Prison, uses such methods to prevent political prisoners from protesting.”

In November of last year, Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia sentenced Kamran Ghasemi to 10 years and 1 day in prison on charges of acting against national security by being a member of an opposition group.

Court Hearing Postponed Again for Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeed Tamjidi

On May 12th, the court hearing for political prisoners Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, detained since the national protests of November 2019, was postponed for a second time.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prosecutor’s representative, defendants, and lawyers were all present, but the hearing was unable to proceed in the absence of a second judge. The hearing has not yet been rescheduled.

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were previously sentenced to death by the Tehran Revolutionary Court. They were also sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 222 lashes.

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 sentence 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 news agency reported that the death sentence was 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 overturned.

The case was then referred to Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, but, due to a change of chief judge of the branch, the first hearing was postponed from March to May 12th.

Now, it has been postponed from May 12th to a date that has yet to be determined.