Tyranny on Prisoners of Conscience at Rajai Shahr

Posted on: October 24th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- This past August, Rajai Shahr Prison authorities ordered the transfer of political prisoners to Ward 10, where prisoners’ already-tight rations on climate control, fresh air, and nutrition have reportedly been cut even slimmer.

It is a running suspicion that prison authorities seek to dismantle the political ward, breaking down these prisoners’ spirits so that they will be more amenable to being dispersed among different wards.

Ward 10 currently houses 18 prisoners charged with political and security-related crimes. Four more political prisoners are being held in lateral sections. Of these 22, seven are in need of medical care.

A cold chill is already creeping through the walls of the hillside prison, boding the incoming flu season from which political prisoners stand unprotected, a close source told HRANA. “The need for heating equipment is felt all across the prison, but on [Prison Head] Gholamreza Ziayi’s orders, the political prisoners can’t have access to heaters. While prisoners pay for heaters out of their own pockets, the director has forbidden their delivery or use in the political ward.” Prison authorities have reportedly even gone as far as banning heaters in common areas that political prisoners might flock to for refuge, i.e. the prison library, gym, or store.

A letter underlining the dire need for climate control addressed to Ziyai from a previous prosecution assistant responsible for overseeing prison affairs, did nothing to change his mind, the source said.

Political prisoners got the brunt of the opposite heat extreme this past summer when they were denied access to any form of a cooling system. While their repeated requests managed to obtain three refrigerators for the ward, Ziyai underlined that they would have access to more equipment and amenities if they requested to be transferred to different wards.

Political detainees have thus far held fast to regulations requiring prisoners charged with different offenses to be housed in separate wards. Their resistance against integrating with prisoners accused of petty theft, drug-related crimes, or violent offenses has contributed to continued daily frictions between authorities and their cohort.

Meanwhile, the assessment of food provided to these political prisoners is even more scathing than the Rajai Shahr usual. Sources say that prisoners eat vegetarian by default, limited to plain rice with soy or lentils at lunchtime. Though the dinner menu promises to be more substantial — bean or lentil stew, or Ash [a thick Iranian soup] — sources say that the dishes hardly live up to their names, and prisoners in the cohort are rarely, if ever, served produce.

Deprivation of fresh air is also being leveraged against them, sources say. The regular 2-to-5:30 recreation period previously enjoyed by political prisoners in mixed groups has been eliminated entirely since their transfer to Ward 10. “Fresh airtime has been denied [to them] on direct orders from Ziayi, despite the fact that the recreation area is empty between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.”, an anonymous source said.

Warden and Internal Director Vali Ali Mohammadi has abdicated from addressing prisoners’ complaints, stating that he defers to the authority of Ziayi and his secretary/chauffeur. “In other words,” a source said, “the slightest request, like for food or stationary, has to pass by Ziayi and his secretary.”

Though seasoned in-group attrition tactics, authorities at Rajai Shahr have not shied away from more targeted brutality to get their point across. Multiple sources have reported aggressive body searches, harassment and verbal abuse of prisoners’ families, and the placement of arbitrary, extreme restrictions to wear down individual inmates. In one such instance, Supervising Prosecution Assistant Rostami placed a long-term prohibition on visits between Hassan Sadeghi and his imprisoned wife; in another, medical attention to the bone cancer and infected surgery site of Arash Sadeghi were repeatedly postponed and denied. Deprivations like Sadeghi’s may become more widespread: two weeks ago, an official prison order came into effect, invalidating all approved transfers of ailing prisoners to [outside] medical facilities.

The respective situations of a number of Rajai Shahr prisoners of conscience are compiled in the lists below

1. Majid Assadi, accused of assembly and collusion [against national security]. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 6 years. Anticipated release date: 2021. Has been incarcerated for two years without furlough.

2. Afshin Baimani, accused of Moharebeh [enmity against God] through cooperation with the MEK. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 18th year of incarceration without furlough.

3. Mohammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi, accused of being a MEK sympathizer, and of assembly and collusion against the regime. Arrested on 2016, sentenced to 11 years. Anticipated release date: 2027. Has been incarcerated for two years without furlough.

4. Ebrahim Firouzi, accused of assembly and collusion and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2013, sentenced to 7 years. Anticipated release date: 2019. Currently in 5th year of incarceration without furlough.

5. Abolghassem Fouladvand, accused of Moharebeh through supporting the MEK. Arrested in 2013, sentenced to 15 years. Anticipated release date: 2028. Currently in 5th year of incarceration without furlough.

6. Gol Mohammad Jonbeshi, accused of cooperation with the Taliban. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 3 years. Anticipated release date: 2019. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

7. Latif Hassani, accused of forming an illegal group to act against national security. Arrested in 2012, sentenced to 8 years. Anticipated release date: 2020.

8. Saeed Massouri, accused of Moharebeh through membership in the MEK. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

9. Mohammad Ali (Pirouz) Mansouri, accused of Moharebeh through support of the MEK. Arrested on 2007, sentenced to 22 years. Anticipated release date: 2028. Currently in 11th year of incarceration without furlough.

10. Asghar Pashayi, accused of espionage. Arrested in 2008, sentenced to 10 years. Anticipated release date: 2018. Release pending his payment of a fine. Currently in 10th year of incarceration without furlough.

11. Farhang Pourmansouri, accused of hijacking a plane. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 18th year of incarceration without furlough.

12. Shahram Pourmansouri, accused of hijacking a plane. Arrested in 2000, sentenced to life. Currently in 18th year of incarceration without furlough.

13. Houshang Rezaei, accused of Moharabeh through membership in Komele [Kurdish opposition group]. Arrested in 2010, sentenced to death. Currently in 8th year of incarceration without furlough.

14. Arash Sadeghi, accused of propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion, insulting the supreme leader, and disseminating lies. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 11.5 years. Anticipated release date: 2027. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

15. Hassan Sadeghi, accused of Moharebeh through cooperation with the MEK. Arrested in 2013, sentenced to 11.5 years. Anticipated release date: 2028. Currently in 5th year of incarceration without furlough.

16. Hamzeh Savari, accused of moharebeh and acting against national security. Arrested in 2005, sentenced to life. Currently in 13th year of incarceration without furlough.

17. Payam Shakiba, accused of assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 11 years. Anticipated release date: 2027. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

18. Saeed Shirzad, accused of assembly and collusion against national security, damaging prison property, and disrupting prison order. Arrested in 2014, sentenced to 6.5 years. Anticipated release date: 2020. Currently in 4th year of incarceration without furlough.

Baha’is incarcerated in Ward 11:

1. Vahed Kholousi, accused of assembly and collusion against national security, Baha’i membership, activism, and proselytizing, propaganda against the regime, and activism in defense of Baha’i student rights. Arrested in 2015, sentenced to 5 years. Anticipated release date: 2020. Currently in 3rd year of incarceration without furlough.

2. Afshin Seyyed Ahmad, accused of assembly and collusion and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2016, sentenced to 3 years. Anticipated release date: 2019. Currently in 2nd year of incarceration without furlough.

3. Farhad Fahandoj, accused of Baha’i proselytizing and involvement in Baha’i associations. Arrested in 2012, sentenced to 10 years. Anticipated release date: 2022. Currently in 6th year of incarceration without furlough.

4. Afif Naimi, accused of assembly and collusion, blasphemy, and propaganda against the regime. Arrested in 2008, sentenced to 10 years. Anticipated release date: 2018.

Ailing prisoners deprived of medical care:

1. Majid Assadi: gastrointestinal disease, duodenal ulcers
2. Shahram Pourmansouri: herniated disc, syringomyelia requiring immediate surgery (per doctor)
3. Mohammad Banazadeh Amir Khizi: joint pain
4. Hassan Sadeghi: joint pain
5. Aboulghassem Fouldadvand: arterial plaque requiring hospitalization (per doctor)
6. Arash Sadeghi: chondrosarcoma, surgical site infection in the right arm
7. Saeed Shirzad: herniated disk, lower back spasm

Against doctor’s orders, authorities take Arash Sadeghi back to prison after surgery

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Arash Sadeghi, a human rights activist imprisoned in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, underwent a critical operation on September 12th for malignant bone cancer at Imam Khomeini hospital and was returned to prison just three days later, against the orders of his doctor.

According to an informed source, an individual introducing himself a judicial official insisted on the early transfer against the clear orders of doctors.

Sadeghi’s doctor had instructed that he be hospitalized under close medical supervision for at least 25 days following a very difficult surgery, said the source. According to the source, the doctor explained that Arash needs to stay in the hospital as he requires a medical team in case of stroke, infection, or severe fever. Furthermore, the medical team needs the 25 days to determine whether a patient will require chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or additional surgery.”

A source with information about Sadeghi’s condition told HRANA that specialists had determined Sadeghi needed to be hospitalized three days prior to his surgery, due to an irregular heartbeat and severe weakness, so Sadeghi could be prepared for the intensive surgery through proper nutrition and vitamin injections.

The surgical department had contacted the prison several times on September 8th, asking for Sadeghi’s transfer. Prison officials claimed, however, that the prosecution office had not issued the necessary permits for his early hospitalization. Just one day remaining until his surgery, the authorities finally transferred Sadeghi to the hospital on September 11th.

The source added that there was a heavy presence of plainclothes agents, whose organizational affiliation was unclear, in the cancer department of the hospital since early Tuesday, before Arash arrived.

Sadeghi’s surgery time had been given to another patient due to his late transfer, however, the doctor responsible for Sadeghi reportedly managed to secure an operating table. Sadeghi underwent a 7.5-hour operation, beginning on the morning of Wednesday, September 12th. Doctors removed a bone tumor from his right arm and collarbone, and samples were collected from areas suspected of metastasis, such as his rib cage and underarm. Bone taken from his pelvis was mixed with platelets and special [injectable] cement to replace the removed sections of his arm bone.

The source said that agents imposed restrictions on Sadeghi from the moment the surgery ended, thus complicating his recovery process. They prevented his stay in the recovery room as required by post-surgery procedure.

“While he was still unconscious, they handcuffed and shackled his left hand and leg, and blockaded the area around his bed, a move that prevented his doctor’s required constant checkups, and which was protested by his doctor,” the source said.

According to the source, Sadeghi suffered from wounds similar to bedsores from having to lie on his back due to handcuffs on one hand and operation bandages on the other.

Sadeghi was allowed to use the bathroom only three times a day, accompanied by three agents each time. The inhumane conditions and the restrictions imposed on Sadeghi provoked negative reactions from the hospital staff, and in several cases led to verbal altercations between them and the security agents.

Arash Sadeghi was not allowed any visitors during his stay at the hospital. His wife, Golrokh Iraee, remains imprisoned at Evin Prison serving a six year sentence.

Crackdown on Women’s Rights Activists Continues: Najmeh Vahedi held on ghost charges for 11 days running

Posted on: September 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Since women’s rights activist Najmeh Vahedi was arrested 11 days ago, her family has been struggling to learn more about the reasons behind her arrest on September 1st.

In a brief interview with HRANA, Najmeh’s brother Reza said, “In a one-minute phone conversation with my sister on Tuesday September 4th, she was only able to tell us that she didn’t know her charges or why she had been arrested. We keep inquiring [with authorities], and are getting anxious because it’s been 11 days and we still don’t know what’s going on.”

Najmeh Vahedi earned a BS in sociology from Tehran Allameh University and an MS in sociology from Tehran Alzahra University. She is now in her third semester of Women’s Studies at Tehran Allameh Tabatabai University.

On September 3, 2018, HRANA published a report on the detention of this women’s rights activist by security forces at her home.

Over the past few weeks, civil rights activists–especially women’s rights activists–have been pursued by authorities with a renewed fervor. Women’s rights activist Rezvaneh Mohammadi and women’s rights activist and attorney Hoda Amid were among those detained recently.

Vahedi and Amid had reportedly held educational training workshops for women inquiring about their rights in marriage contracts. At the time of this report, no further information was available on their respective charges, nor on the conditions facing them in custody.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on September 5th of this year asking Iranian authorities to stop the repression of human rights defenders like Amid and Vahedi and to immediately release those who are in custody for peaceful expressions of dissent.

Amnesty International also voiced their opposition to this civil crackdown last week, demanding that affected prisoners be immediately released and that defendants not be limited to a list of regime-designated attorneys.

Labor Activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh Released on Bail

Posted on: September 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On September 11, 2018, labor activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was released on a bail of approximately $4,000 USD (400,000,000 Rials) and is awaiting trial.

Ebrahimzadeh was arrested by security forces near Kermanshah (western Iran) and transferred to the local detention center of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Friday, August 17, 2018.

On August 31st, Ebrahimzadeh’s case garnered international attention when a statement from Canadian Union of Postal Workers President Mike Palecek condemned his arrest and demanded his immediate release.

In a previous report, a source close to Ebrahimzadeh’s family told HRANA that he was apprehended “en route to assist survivors of the Kermanshah earthquake.”

Ebrahimzadeh, born in 1977 in Oshnavieh (West Azerbaijan province), has been detained several times since 2008 in cases related to his labor activism. In May 2017, HRANA announced his release from Rajai Shahr Prison after serving a seven-year sentence.

January Protests: Third Day of Hunger Strike for Prisoner Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour

Posted on: September 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour, a political prisoner being held at Nashtaroud Prison of Tunekabon, has been on hunger strike for three days.

For her participation in the January protests in Tunekabon, Ahmadpour was sentenced in the city’s Revolutionary Court, and Branch 101 of its Penal Court, to 10 months in prison. She has been serving her sentence since August 14, 2018.

Ahmadpour declared hunger strike on Monday September 10, 2018 in protest to a lack of medical attention, authorities’ refusal to allow her access to the prison phone, and of prison authorities, who have reportedly threatened to develop a new case file against her.

An informed source elaborated to HRANA, “When they didn’t let Ahmadpour use the phone, it led to an argument. Instead of escalating the matter for handling by authorities, Mrs. Sha’bani the guard got involved, insulting the prisoner and threatening to get prison and security authorities to pursue further charges against her.”

One day after the incident, the guard told Ahmadpour that a new case file had been opened against her, charging her with blasphemy, even while the content of Ahmadpour’s altercation with Sha’bani was reportedly limited to their disagreement over use of the phone.

The source added, “Ahmadpour is anemic, and is supposed to receive seven units of blood every month. Due to her anemia, she has a high chance of developing leukemia and has to receive regular monthly injections as a preventative measure. Despite these conditions and supporting medical documentation, the prison authorities have not permitted her to be transferred to the hospital for her treatments.”

Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour is a 46-year-old resident of Tunekabon. A peddler by trade, she was arrested along with 14 other residents during the January 2018 countrywide rallies known as the January Protests. The Revolutionary Court of Tunekabon sentenced eight of these arrestees to 28 months’ imprisonment, divided among the defendants. Branch 101 of Criminal Court No. 2 of Tunekabon, presided by Judge Ebrahimi, also sentenced six of the arrestees to 24 collective months of prison time.

Ahmadpour was sentenced May 2, 2018 in Branch 101 of Tunekabon Criminal Court No. 2 to serve six-months prison sentence on a charge of “disrupting the public peace through participation in an illegal gathering.” On August 11, 2018, Tunekabon’s Revolutionary Court compounded the sentence with four months’ imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime.” As evidence against her, the court cited a combination of law enforcement reports and images and video taken during the January protests in Tunekabon.

Prisoner of Conscience Atena Daemi Rebukes Authorities, Eulogizes Executed Kurds

Posted on: September 12th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – From the walls of Evin Prison, detained civil rights activist Atena Daemi has written a letter in response to the executions of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Loghman Moradi, and Zanyar Moradi, three Iranian Kurdish political prisoners who were hanged to death in secret on Saturday, September 8th.

The executions of the Moradis and Panahi drew outrcry from human rights institutions internationally. The attorneys representing them called their convictions and executions — the latter which took place without the mandatory notice to, or presence of, their lawyers — legally ambiguous under both Iranian and international law. Caught unawares, none of the families were present during their sons’ final moments, as the executions were carried out at an undisclosed location in Tehran. The Ministry of Intelligence has since issued detention threats to the family members of the deceased men.

Condemning Iranian authorities for their treatment of the three men, and extending her condolences to their families, Atena Daemi’s letter joins the many voices of outrage over the course of the young mens’ fate. Daemi, imprisoned since 2014, is serving a seven-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime,” “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” and “insulting the supreme leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] as well as the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini.”

The text of Atena Daemi’s eulogy, translated into English by HRANA, is below:

They killed our loved ones, and claim with pride that in doing so they have administered justice.

The “justice” they refer to is not the one represented by Lady Justice holding a fair and balanced scale. It is instead a man — a man with a turban on his head [a cleric], whose forehead bears the mark of the clay which grazes his head during prayers. He is blindfolded, not as a sign of impartiality, but of blindness to the truth. In one hand is a rosary. In the other, a scale suspended by a noose.

These scales are so unbalanced that one tray is a speck in the heavens, while the other is laden with dead bodies dragging it deep into the ground. This “justice” they invoke has been neither seen nor heard in *40 years.

In this troubled time – a time of economic turbulence, poverty, and unemployment – what problem was solved by murdering these three beloved men? Has their killing soothed any of the ailments suffered by the Iranian people?

Your majesties– where is this mania taking you? By deceit and without warning, you led our loved ones to the killing fields. Even in the short lives granted them, you wouldn’t offer them peace. While they were still **hungry and thirsty, you cut their lives short. How it must have incensed you to your core to never see them falter. As you, dry-eyed, pitied them in their walk to the gallows to die for the ideals, their heads were held high, their steps steady…

How insolently you watch our loved ones draw their last breaths! It must burn you to hold them hostage from their families and brand them as terrorists, only to see them rise as steadfast symbols of democracy for the rest of us. For nine years, they showed friendship to inmates of different creeds and beliefs; they were endeared to their fellow prisoners, loved by us, and cherished by the Iranian people.

Before the start of religious months of Moharram and Safar(1) each year, you prepare yourself for mourning with a savage display. Drunk and armed with handguns, you launch into a monologue about Imam Hussein, who, lips dry from thirst, was beheaded by Yazid. What a repugnant contradiction–what abhorrent hypocrisy! You mirror Yazid’s troops, and for the past 40 years, you have tightened ropes around resolute throats, pulled the stool from beneath the feet of persistent and patient youth. You instigate sectarian war between Sunni and Shiites. Then, your pockets brimming with billions, you pretend to be mourning Hussain.

I am sure that you know your savage acts only dig you deeper into public contempt. Your path is one of self-annihilation. Today, you only dug your graves deeper. You did not kill Zanyar, Loghman, and Ramin. You have only endeared them in our hearts, inspiring the world into mourning the true martyrs of our time.

You have tarnished Iran’s standing and dignity in the world. They see us as a terrorist country for the cutthroat, blood-thirsty, and rapacious actions of a select and powerful few. How long and how far will you continue on this road? Dream on about imposing war on your people: they will rise to the challenge again and again. Stop your killing machine. Lift your lead boots from the throats of Iran and Kurdistan.

How tightly you cling to your towering throne, oblivious to the fact that you could tumble from your high horses at any moment to the miry earth below. Throughout history, many who rode high thought of themselves as invincible, only to take refuge in sewage tunnels, where they were tracked down and punished for their crimes.

Iran is a pile of live embers cloaked in a thin layer of ash. Lest your actions arouse the flames that lie beneath.

We congratulate the steadfast families of these martyrs.

Atena Daemi – Evin Prison Women Ward
September 8th, 2018

(1) Months in the Islamic lunar calendar commemorated by Shiite Muslims in mourning of Imam Hussein, the 3rd Shiite Imam, who was killed in battle against Yazid (Imam Hussain has come to symbolize the force of Good while Yazid stands for Evil).

* The Islamic Republic of Iran was founded after the Iranian Revolution approximately 40 years ago
** Zanyar and Loghman Moradi and Ramin Hossein Panahi were all reportedly on hunger strike before they were executed.

Dervish Hunger Striker Transferred to Prison Clinic

Posted on: September 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mojtaba Biranvand, a Dervish prisoner who went on hunger strike after being attacked by prison officials in the Great Tehran Penitentiary, was transferred to the prison’s clinic on September 7, 2018, after experiencing a steep drop in blood pressure.

Steadfast to the terms of his hunger strike, Biranvand has declined both intravenous treatment and transfer to an outside hospital. He was moved to declare a hunger strike after he and his comrades were violently raided by prison guards during a sit-in protest and transferred to solitary confinement cells. HRANA previously published an open letter from the Dervish prisoners outlining their terms of protest.

As punishment for his participation in protests against the restrictive measures imposed on Gonabadi Dervish spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh, Biranvand was previously sentenced to seven years in prison and two years in exile, to be served in the southeastern province of Sistan & Baluchestan.

Three Women’s Rights Activists Detained in Three Days

Posted on: September 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Rezvaneh Mohammadi is the third women’s rights activist to be taken into custody by authorities in the past three days.

A source close to Mohammadi’s family told HRANA that she was arrested by security forces for unknown reasons on the evening of Monday, September 3, 2018.

Mohammadi’s arrest comes only two days after the arrests of activists Najmeh Vahedi and Hoda Amid, an attorney, on September 1st. The two were reportedly arrested for hosting training workshops for women inquiring about their rights in marriage contracts. At the time of this report, no further information was available on their conditions or the reasons behind their arrests.

Mohammadi, Vahedi, and Amid join a recent wave of citizens detained for their active and public defense of human rights. Lawyers Arash Kaykhosravi, Payam Dorafshan, Farrokh Forouzan, and Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi were detained in August. Dorafshan and Forouzan have since been released.

Authorities deny familial visit between cancer-afflicted prisoner of conscience and his detained wife

Posted on: September 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Iraee, a husband-wife pair of civil rights activists currently serving time in separate prisons, have been denied the right to see each other despite Sadeghi’s recent diagnosis of chondrosarcoma.

Separated by about 30 miles–Sadeghi held in Rajai Shahr in Karaj, and Iraee in the women’s ward of Evin prison in Tehran–have been permitted one visit, in June 2018, arranged in the interest of persuading Iraee to end her hunger strike.

An informed source told HRANA that in the wake of Sadeghi’s recent diagnosis, “Mr. Rostami, the assistant prosecutor in charge of Evin political prisoners, consented to the couple’s visit. [Rajai Shahr Prison Director] Gholamreza Ziaei, however, has opposed Sadeghi’s transfer to Evin for such visit. He cited Sadeghi’s activism in prison as the reason for his objection.”

Sadeghi’s recent diagnosis of chondrosarcoma, a malignant bone and joint cancer, has only heightened his loved ones’ anxiety over an already-shaky prognosis: in addition to bone cancer, Sadeghi suffers from asthma, acute ulcerative colitis, arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, kidney shrinkage, severe wounds in his large and small intestine, and IBS. His regime of 20 daily medications includes mesalazine, sulfasalazine, warfarin, clopidogrel, propranolol, pantoprazole, suprastine, domperidone, and bismuth subcirate. He went on a 72-day hunger strike in October 2016 to protest his wife’s arrest and incarceration over a story she had written in a private journal, and has yet to fully recover from the physical fallout of long-term starvation.

Sadeghi is serving a 19-year prison sentence imposed by the Revolutionary Court, while Iraee began serving her six-year sentence on October 24th, 2016. Since the recent Iranian New Year, or “Nowruz” celebration in March, her sentence was reduced to two and a half years.

On the orders of Evin Prison Director Chaharmahali, Sadeghi was previously transferred from Evin Prison to Rajai Shahr as a punitive measure. Iranian law has provisions allowing for monthly inter-prison visits between kin who are detained within the jurisdictions of Tehran and Alborz Province.

Charges Evolve against Hunger Striking Civil Rights Activist

Posted on: September 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Farhad Meysami, a civil rights activist who has been held in Evin Prison since July 31st and declared a hunger strike the next day, now faces a new charge: “Assembly and collusion to disturb national security.”

Meysami, who has lost a significant amount of weight and suffers from low blood pressure, announced that he will resort to a liquid-only hunger strike. He explained his strike was a protest of the arrest of Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, earlier this week, as well as the authorities’ interrogation and home searches of civil rights activists Mohammed Reza Farhadpour and Zhila Karamzadeh Makvandi.

A source close to Meysami told HRANA that “despite visits from officials who attempted to persuade him to end the strike, such as the Assistant Prosecutor, the prison ward director, the prosecutor’s representative, and Director General of the detention centre Mr. Chahrmahali, Meysami is determined to continue. He will only be ingesting his colitis medication, as he has been doing for past 18 years.”

The source added that Meysami “would only end his hunger strike if Reza Khandan is unconditionally released.”

The same source indicated that Meysami, who is being held in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, was taken to Branch 7 of Evin Court on September 3, 2018, where he learned the charges and evidence against him had evolved. Court officials announced that day that he was being charged with “Assembly and collusion to disturb national security,” for– according to the investigator–a campaign Meysami was organizing with Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iranians living abroad. Other charges included “Propaganda against the regime,” brought in relation to a speech Meysami gave at Isfahan University and articles he had published. Meysami also faces the charge of “Propagation of corruption and decadence,” a charge thought to stem from his possession of a pin-back button that reads “I protest mandatory veiling.”

HRANA previously reported on Meysami’s arrest and interrogation ordeal. His interrogators have referred to him as a “Teacher of Civil Disobedience.”