Qom Seminary Lecturer, Mohammad-Taghi Akbarnejad, Arrested by IRGC Intelligence

In a recent development, Mohammad-Taghi Akbarnejad, a lecturer at Qom Seminary, has been arrested by IRGC Intelligence agents in Qom and taken to an undisclosed location.

The grounds for his arrest and the specific location of Akbarnejad’s detention remain unknown.

It is worth noting that Akbarnejad has previously faced legal scrutiny for his activism, adding a layer of complexity to the current situation.

Execution of Eight Inmates for Various Crimes in Recent Days

In recent days, eight inmates have been executed in Qom, Mashhad, Isfahan, Rasht, and Zahedan for offenses including drug-related crimes and murder.

On January 17, 2024, Islam Amaneddin, a 29-year-old Afghan, was executed in Qom prison for a murder conviction dating back three years, as reported by Etemad Newspaper. Another execution reported by Etemad involved Mohsen (last name unknown), who was convicted of killing a man during a group altercation in Mashhad Prison.

On Saturday, January 20, three inmates were executed in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan, according to Iran Human Rights Organizations. The hanged individuals were identified as Nouri Zamani, 32, Fathollah Jurkesh, 30, and Hossein-Ali Kootahi, with separate drug offense convictions.

The same organization also documented the execution of Eslah Allahbakhsh, 36, an Afghan national, and Hamid Ebadi, both convicted of drug-related crimes in Lakan Prison, Rasht, on the same day.

Lastly, Haal Vsh reported the execution of 23-year-old Hassan Gorgij in Zahedan Prison, who was convicted of murder three years ago.

In 2023, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered the execution of  746 individuals. Out of these, 6 were carried out in public. Among the executed individuals whose genders were identified, 597 were male and 20 were female. Additionally, 2 juvenile offenders, defined as individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crimes, were also executed. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s annual report.

Execution of Four Inmates Takes Place in Qom, Khorramabad, and Isfahan for Drug Offenses

Recently, four individuals on death row were executed in prisons located in Qom, Khorramabad, and Isfahan.

On December 12, Sajjad Haghi Zadeh, 37, was executed in Khorramabad Prison for drug offenses. Haghi Zadeh had been sentenced to death three years ago.

Vahid Haji Pour, 40, another inmate convicted of drug offenses two years ago, was executed in Isfahan Prison on December 13, as reported by the Iran Human Rights Organization.

In Qom Prison, two inmates faced execution for drug-related crimes. On December 12, 38-year-old Bahram Seyed Zadeh, a father of one, and on December 15, Davoud Brahui (Brahooie), 41, father of four, were both executed.

At the time of writing, no official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have reported on these executions.

According to data compiled by the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), between October 10, 2022, and October 8, 2023, a total of 659 individuals were executed by hanging in Iran, representing a 24% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Seven of these executions were conducted publicly. Concerningly, many of the defendants were denied access to a fair trial and due process. For details and statistics, read HRANA’s report.

Report on Abolfazl Pour-Hosseini’s Condition in Central Prison of Karaj

Abolfazl Pour-Hosseini, a follower of Iranian mysticism known as Erfan-e-Halgheh, has recently been sentenced to three years in prison with an additional two years of suspended imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court. He is currently imprisoned in the Central Prison of Karaj.

A source close to Pour-Hosseini’s family provided HRANA with details about this verdict. Moreover, Pour-Hosseini faces charges of “propaganda against the regime and inciting people to act against national security” in a separate case under review by the Karaj Revolutionary Court.

According to this source, Pour-Hosseini has rejected the charges and declined to sign the charge sheet.

On June 13, 2023, IRGC Intelligence forces in Karaj arrested Pour-Hosseini, detaining him in the Central Prison of the city. According to a statement from one of his friends to HRANA, Pour-Hosseini was distributing a leaflet about Erfan-e-Halgheh at the time of his arrest.

Pour-Hosseini had previously been arrested in 2022 for attending a meeting of this mysticist group in Qom, being released on bond after a period of detention. Aged approximately 47, Pour-Hosseini is the father of one daughter and anticipates becoming a father once again.

Notably, concerns persist about the violation of freedom of religion in Iran, exemplified by cases like Pour-Hosseini’s. This incident adds to ongoing apprehensions regarding the protection of religious rights in the country.

 

Comedian Zeinab Mousavi Arrested on Allegations of Blasphemy

Zeinab Mousavi, a well-known Iranian comedian and parody artist, has been arrested under orders from the Tehran prosecutor’s office, facing allegations of blasphemy in connection with a satirical video.

According to Dideban Iran, Mousavi is accused of committing blasphemy in her satirical videos that were shared on social media.

Mousavi is widely recognized for her portrayal of the parody character known as the Empress of Kuzcoo. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time she has faced legal issues, as she was previously arrested by security forces in Qom on October 12, 2022. She was subsequently released on bail the following month. During her detention, Mousavi spent 25 days in solitary confinement.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

Seven Executions Carry out Across Various Prisons in Iran

In recent days, seven inmates, including a woman, met their fate through executions carried out in Tabriz, Shiraz, Qom, Birjand, and Zahedan Prisons.

According to the Iran Human Rights Organization, on Tuesday, September 5, Ali Abbas Najari (Najjari), aged 37, was executed in Shiraz’s Adelabad Prison. He had been convicted of murder three years ago.

The Rokna News Agency also reported the execution of an inmate, identified only by his first name, Saeed, aged 34, in Tabriz Prison. He was found guilty of taking a life during a group altercation four years ago.

On Friday, September 8, a female inmate, who had been convicted of murder, was executed in Qom Prison, as reported by the Iran Human Rights Organization.

Furthermore, Haal Vsh reported the execution of Saeed Sanjarani, aged 23, who had been convicted of drug-related crimes in Birjand Prison on September 10. Additionally, three inmates, one of whom was identified as Mohammad Narui (Narooie), aged 27, were executed in Zahedan Prison on September 9. Narui had been convicted of murder three years ago, while the other two were found guilty of murder in a joint case seven years ago.

In 2022, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered 457 reports related to the death penalty. This included 92 death sentences, including the conviction of 6 people to public execution and 565 execution sentences were carried out, 2 of which have been carried out in public. Based on the announced identifications of some of the executed individuals, 501 were male and 11 were female. In addition, 5 juvenile offenders were executed in 2022, meaning they were under the age of 18 at the time they committed the crime.

 

Four Inmates Executed in Qom, Babol, Zahedan, and Imminent Execution Awaited in Zabol

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on July 30, an inmate identified as Hamid Asgarinia, convicted of rape, was executed in Qom Prison.

Also, the Chief Justice of Qom province, citing from Fars News Agency, announced the execution of another inmate for rape in this prison took place in the last ten days.

According to Haal Vsh, on July 30, in Zahedan Prison, Baydollah Gorgij, 43, met a tragic fate as he was executed for drug-related crimes. In Babol Prison, Mohammad Arbab, 30, an Afghan national, also was hanged due to the same charges. Both executions took place without prior notice to their families, depriving them of a final visitation.

Adding to the alarming situation, Asadollah Amini, 32, another Afghan national, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Zabol Prison, where he awaits an imminent execution for drug-related crimes.

In 2022, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered 457 reports related to the death penalty. This included 92 death sentences, including the conviction of 6 people to public execution and 565 execution sentences were carried out, 2 of which have been carried out in public. Based on the announced identifications of some of the executed individuals, 501 were male and 11 were female. In addition, 5 juvenile offenders were executed in 2022, meaning they were under the age of 18 at the time they committed the crime.

 

 

 

 

Maryam Bani-Razi Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging for Breaking Hijab Rules  

Maryam Bani-Razi, a resident of Qom, was sentenced to over eight months, 148 lashes and additional punishments for not complying with the compulsory Hijab.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Persian BBC, Maryam Bani-Razi was sentenced to imprisonment.

Bani-Razi was given ten days in prison for removing her headscarf in public, eight months and 74 lashes for “disturbing public order,” and another 74 lashes and the two-year termination of her job as a nurse for “committing an outrage on public modesty.”

In November-December 2022, a video surfaced showing Bani-Razi in a bank without a headscarf.”

 

Poisoning of Schoolgirls Continue: 37 Girls Hospitalized in Pardis, Tehran Province

In the last incident of serial poisoning of school students, 37 schoolgirls were poisoned and hospitalized with an unidentified toxic gas, in Pardis county, Tehran Province. In recent weeks, in a series of incidents, hundreds of schoolgirls have been hospitalized due to respiratory poisoning in several cities across Iran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Tasnim, 37 schoolgirls were poisoned and hospitalized in a school in Pardis, Tehran Province.

The Governor of Pardis stated, “Right after reporting the poisoning, emergency forces reached the spot and transferred the poisoned school students to the hospital.”

“37 students were hospitalized, all of them have recovered from poisoning and are now in good health condition,” Reza Karimi Saleh added.
He also stated that the police’s preliminary investigation has detected some suspicious activities, which will be reported publicly after conclusive findings.

In recent weeks, similar suspicious poisoning incidents took place in several schools in cities like Qom and Borujerd.

A member of the Health and Medical Commission of Iran’s Parliament called these incidents “intentional.” Moreover, one of the deputies of Iran’s ministry of health stated that with these attacks, “some want all schools, especially girls’ schools, to be closed down.”

Also, Mohammad-Taghi Fazel Meybodi, a religious scholar and university professor, called these incidents intentional attacks organized by “religious groups.”

Two Workers Killed, One Severely Injured Due to Unsafe Workplace Conditions

On December 2, two workplace accidents in Qom and Bandar Lengeh cities left two workers dead and one severely injured.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Tasnim News Agency, a lift inside a food production factory based in Qom City malfunctioned and fell, leading to the death of a female worker inside.

“Following this accident, the judiciary ordered closure of the factory until safety deficiencies are fixed,” the Director-General of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare of Qom City commented.

The same day, two fishermen in Bandar Lengeh City died after four fishing boats caught fire.

“Around 13:30, in a wharf, due to a technical problem in the engine, a fishing boat caught on fire and the fire spread to three adjacent boats. In this accident, a fisherman lost his life and another was severely injured,” commented Bandar Lengeh’s governor, Ahmad Sheybani.