First six months of Ebrahim Raisi as Justiciary Chief of Iran; 1000 years of prison sentences and 1500 lashes for activists

Posted on: September 13th, 2019

Ebrahim Raisi is a former Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi from 2016 to 2019 and a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 executions which were series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across the country. He succeeded Sadegh Larijani as the Judiciary Chief (the head of judicial system of Iran) in 2019. Being appointed as the Judiciary Chief by the Supreme leader, Ebrahim Raisi claimed that he wants the Iranian people to taste “the sweet flavor of justice” by reforming the judicial system to bring more justice and fairness. Six months after being appointed to the new position, the verdicts of political prisoners indicate that the pressure is increased on the civil rights activists and opposition groups in Iran. During six months of Ebrahim Raisi in office, political activists were sentenced to 1,027 years in prison and 1428 lashes.  Therefore, the verdicts targeting civil rights activists and opposition groups were increased by 119% compared to a similar time period during his predecessor, Sadegh Larijani, who was in office for nine and half years. Although Larijani faced massive demonstrations such as uprisings across the country in January 2017 and August 2018, protests in the Khuzestan province, and Dervishes protests which Raisi has not faced any yet.

Statistics Comparison of Verdicts with the Former Judiciary Chief

The following is a summary of verdicts between March 8, 2019 to September 8, 2019 which was gathered and analyzed by the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI): According to statistics, during this period, both sentences against political and civil activists or years of sentences were increased. 211 political or civil activists including advocates of freedom of expression, women rights activists, syndicates activists, students, ethnicity rights activists, labor rights activists, minority rights advocates, and religion activists were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court across the country to 1027 and six months of imprisonment, 418 million and 350 thousand Tomans of fines, and 428 lashes. Out of these numbers, 966 years and 8 months in prison sentences and 30 years and 10 months are suspended prison sentences. In comparison to the same period when Larijani was the Judiciary Chief, March 8 to September 8, 2018, 278 political and civil activists were sentenced to 468 years and one month in prison, 254 million Tomans fines, and 891 lashes. This comparison is based on the numbers of individual cases but mass sentences for the arrestees of uprisings such as 232 verdicts of Gonabadi dervishes in the case of so-called “Golestan Haftom” have been excluded. Overall, these statistics indicated that although the number of arrestees has been decreased in Raisi’s term but the average number of verdicts in comparison to the same period in the Larijani’s term has been increased.

The Names of 211 Activists Who Were Sentenced to Prison Term or Lashes During Ebrahim Raeissi’s term

Kiumars Marzban, Shima Babai Zeydi, Dariush Abdar, Mahmood Masoumi, Behnam Mousavand, Saeed Eghbali, Mojgan Lali, Saeed Seyfi Jahan, Shaghayegh Makai, Nader Afshari, Anoushah Ashouri, Ali Johari, Marzieh Amiri, Ishaq Rouhi, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeissi, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, Aras Amiri, Nejat Bahrami, Sadegh Zibaklam, Hamed Ayenehvand, Roozbeh Meshkinkhat, Mohammad Reza Aghajari, Nima Saffar, Khalil Karimi, Mehdi Moghadari, Golraki Ebrahimi Irai, Athena Daemi, Mohammad Reza Khatami, Mohammad Potaiesh, Khadijeh (Leila) Mirghafari, Reza Makian (Malek), Hashem Zeinali, Simin Eyvazzadeh, Ehsan Kheybar, Abdul Azim Arouji, Mohsen Haseli, Mohsen Shojai, Azam Najafi, Parvin Soleimani, Sharmin Yomni, Sara Saei, Arshia Rahmati, Masoud Hamidi, Ali Babai, Ismail Hosseini Koohkamarai, Farideh Toosi, Zahra Modarreszadeh, Amir Mahdi Jalayeri, Mohammad Najafi, Javad Lari, Rahim Mohammadpour, Masoud Kazemi, Sahar Kazemi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Milad Mohammad Hosseini, Abdollah Ghasimpour, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibi, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khand Mahabadi, Keyvan Bajan, Yousef Salahshour, Davood Mahmoodi, Mohammad Asri, Siavash Rezaian, Najaf Mehdipour, Behrooz Zare, Ata’ollah Ahsani, Abbas Nouri Shadkam, Ali Bagheri, Masoud Ajloo, Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Kianoush Ghahramani, Nariman Noroozi, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, Amir Mahdi Sedighara, Ali Amin Amlashi, Barzan Mohammadi, Arsham Rezai, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Michael White, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Nader Fotourehchi, Farhad Sheykhi, Mardas Taheri, Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, Rahman Abed, Asghar Amirzadegani, Hamid Reza Rahmati, Eghbal Shabani, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Fatemeh Mohammadi, Bahman Kord, Sina Darvish Omran, Ali Mozafari, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Mojtaba Dadashi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Hossein Janati, Omid Asadi, Sahand Moali, Mohammad Mirzai, Bapir Barzeh, Shirko Ali Mohammadi, Keyvan Nejadrasoul, Tohid Amir Amini, Kianoush Aslani, Abbas Lesani, Mobinollah Veysi, Mojtaba Parvin, Kazem Safabakhsh, Rahim Gholami, Jafar Rostami, Aref Mohammadi, Peyman Mirzazadeh, Samko Jafari, Behzad Shahsavar, Siamand Shahsavar, Salman Afra, Shaker Maravi, Khaled Hosseini, Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, Hasan Saeedi, Hossein Ansari Zadeh, Feisal Saalebi, Saab Zahiri, Adel Samaei, Esmail Jaadeleh, Bani Naami, Omid Azadi, Rostam Abdollah Zadeh, Ali Bani Sadeh, Nasrin Javadi, Tofigh Mahmoudi, Davood Razavi, Amanollah Balochi, Farough Izadi Nia, Moein Mohammadi, Sheida Abedi, Firouz Ahmadi, Khalil Malaki, Simin Mohammadi, Bijan Ahmadi, Maryam Mokhtari, Saghar Mohammadi, Sohrab Malaki, Bahman Salehi, Sofia Mombini, Negin Tadrisi, Kheirollah Bakhshi, Shabnam Issa Khani, Shahryar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Monika Alizadeh, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha Faramarzi, Pooneh Nasheri, Saba Kord Afshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Mojgan Keshavarz, Vida Movahed, Matin Amiri, Maryam Amiri, Atefeh Rangriz, Edris Kasravi, Taher Sufi, Haleh Safarzadeh, Alireza Saghafi, Yousef Jalil, Fatemeh Bakhtari, Zaman Fadai, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohsen Haghshenas, Nahid Khodakarami, Raheleh Rahimipour, Alireza Kafai, Mohammad Dorosti, Salar Taher Afshar, Oldoz Ghasemi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Hossein Habibi, Hossein Ghadyani, Mir Mousa Ziagari, Sajad Shahiri, Jafar Pekand , Hamid Balkhkanloo, Ghafour Barham, Vali Nasiri, Sahar Khodayari, Amin Seybar, Esmael Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar.

It should be noted that in addition to aforementioned names, several other activists such as detained environmentalists, arrestees of the International Labor Day’s protest, Baha’i citizens, and supporters of opposition groups are waiting for their verdicts. Based on the outcome of the first six months of Raisi as the Chief Justice of Iran, the continuous increase of the verdicts in the following six months is predictable. On the other hand, according to several lawyers, Raisi is trying to implement a rule in which the appeal’s courts will be in session only after obtaining permissions from the Supreme Leader. Thus, appeals courts will acknowledge the primary verdict without reserving a chance for lawyers and convict to defend.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Background

In 1981, 20-year old Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj. Later in 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran. He was a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 political prisoners’ executions across the country. Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s prosecutor from 1989 to 1994. In 1994-1995, he was appointed as the head of the General Inspection Office. From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as the First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran. He was later appointed as the Attorney-General of Iran in 2014-2016. He has also served as the Special Clerical Court prosecutor since 2012. He became the Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi on 7 March 2016 after the death of his predecessor Abbas Vaez-Tabasi. He is the second person to serve this office from 1979.  Raisi ran a presidential campaign in February 2017 but after losing the presidential election, he was appointed by Ali Khamenei as a member of Expediency Discernment Council.

The 1988 executions of the Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those who were killed were supporters of the Mujahedin Khalgh but supporters of other leftist factions such as Communist party were executed as well. The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in the modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup. Different sources put the number of victims between 2500 and 30000. Most of the people who were executed had already served their sentences in prison. Hussein-Ali Montazeri, deputy of Supreme Leader of Iran between 1985-1989, named Ebrahim Raisi as one of the people who was in administration of the executions which according to Montazeri, was implemented by a four-men commission, later known as the “death committee”. According to Montazeri, the commission consisted of Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, Morteza Eshraghi, and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 24, 2019

Posted on: January 24th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 24th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The court was in session for five Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activists, Rahim Gholami, Asgar Akbarzadeh, Ali Vaseghi, Mehdi Houshmand, and Saeed Sadeghifar on the charge of “establishing illegal groups with the intention to disturbing national security”.

(2) Davoud Azizi was released from Zahedan prison after 17 months. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment on the charge of “acting against national security”.

(3) Kiana Rezvani and Kimia Mostafavi, Baha’i citizens, were released on bail. They had been arrested in Kerman on January 19, 2019.

(4) Mahmoud Naji began hunger strike on Tuesday protesting unfulfillment of his requests by the prison authorities. He went on a hunger strike for the same cause earlier on December 11, 2018 and ended it on December 25.

(5) A convict in the Golestan province received an alternate sentence for imprisonment. He is sentenced to perform free public service and 200 hours of fire extinguishing. He caused injury to someone by his careless driving.

(6) A seventh-grade student in Qazvin was transferred to a hospital after being beaten by the school’s headmaster. The student’s parents filed a complaint to the head of the education department of Qazvin and the headmaster has resigned.

(7) A prisoner was executed in the Tabas prison on the charge of murder. In 2018, at least 236 people have been executed and 195 people have been sentenced to death in Iran.

(8) One worker died and three others were injured in Khomeyni Shahr, Bardaskan, and Shahrud because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. In addition, 11 people were injured in a buses accident carrying workers in Saveh.

(9) Two prisoners accused of murder, were spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Tehran. They were spending nine years in prison.

(10) More than nine protests were organized all over the country. The retired educators and teachers in Isfahan, Karaj, Kermanshah, Ardabil, and Khorramabad, the investors of Padideh Shandiz in Mashhad, the workers of Marivan municipality, farmers of Lordegan County in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, and the workers and residents of Shemshak Ski Resort have held separate protests to request their demands.

(11) The families of Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian visited them in Ahvaz. One of the detainees indicated that they had been beaten. They were rearrested after the broadcast of their under-torture confessions on the national television.

(12) More than 40 lawyers, on January 24 the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, wrote an open letter to the head of the Judicial system and requested the release of the detained lawyers.

(13) Amnesty International published a report on the extent of Iran ‘s repression of dissent in 2018: over 7,000 protesters, students, journalists, environmental activists, workers and human rights defenders were arrested.

The Arrested Civilians in Ardabil Released after 24 Hours

Posted on: July 19th, 2016

HRANA News Agency – More than 25 activists from Ardabil, who had been arrested by the police on July 8, were released on July 9.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), all the activists from Ardabil who had been arrested after departure to Sabalan area by the police on July 8, were released on July 9. (more…)

25 Civilians Arrested in Ardabil

Posted on: July 19th, 2016

HRANA News Agency – On July 8, more than 25 Turkish (Azeri) activists were arrested by the police in the city of Ardabil. It is said that they wanted to hold a ceremony called ecotourism in Sabalan mountain slopes and in Shervan valleys.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), more than 25 Turkish (Azeri) activists who wanted to hold a ceremony called ecotourism in Sabalan mountain slopes and in Shervan valleys, were arrested by intelligence forces of the police in Meshkinshar and were taken to a police detention center in the city, on July 8. (more…)

5 Civil Rights Activists Went to Ardebil Prison

Posted on: April 6th, 2016

HRANA News Agency – Five civil rights activists named Rahim Gholami, Ali Vaseghi, Ali Kheyrjoo, Morteza Parvin, Mehrdad Shahbazi and Behruz Shahbazi were sent to Ardebil prison for serving their three-months-imprisonment and thirty lashes sentences.

According to the report of the Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), each of these activists had been sentenced to three months in prison and thirty lashes in November 2015 on charges of “disturbing the public order and welfare by ethnic and nationalist slogans in the football stadium”. (more…)

Three civil rights activists released from Meshkin Shahr Prison

Posted on: August 31st, 2014

HRANA News Agency – Three civil right activists who were arrested in Sabalan hillside were released on one hundred million Rials bail from Meshkin Shahr jail.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), three civil right activists who were arrested in Sabalan hillside with the names of Rahim Gholami, Maisam Joulani and Hasan Joulani were released from Meshkin Shhar prison on one hundred million Rials bail, on August 27. (more…)

Arrested Azeri activists on hunger strike in Meshkin Shahr Prison

Posted on: August 21st, 2014

HRANA News Agency – National-Civic Azerbaijani activists, who had been arrested in Sabalan’s hillside and were transferred to Central prison in Meshkin Shahr, went on hunger strike.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on 14th August, a number of National-Civic activists from Ardabil province had planned to climb Sabalan peak in accordance with their every year trend, but security guards prevented most of them of climbing by blocking Sabalan Sanctuary’s rout. (more…)

A number of Azeri nationalist-civil activists have been arrested

Posted on: August 18th, 2014

HRANA News Agency – Many Azeri nationalist-civil activists in Ardabil province, who were planned to climb Sabalan peak, the same as previous years, have been arrested by security and intelligence forces.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), while some nationalist-civil activists of towns and cities in Ardabil province were planned to climb Sabalan peak, like past years, the security and intelligence service forces blocked their way to Sabalan station and prevented them from climbing. Also, they have arrested the activists who could reach to Sabalan station, around 8 pm, on August 11. (more…)

Tens of Turk activists have been arrested in Ahar

Posted on: February 22nd, 2014

HRANA News Agency – At least 50 citizens and Turk ethnic activists who had attended on the international mother tongue day’s gathering, have been arrested.


According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), tens of civil and political activists who had gathered on mother tongue day, in Akbar Abolzadeh’s house, have been arrested by intelligence service forces. (more…)

Political Activists Arrested in Ardabil

Posted on: August 28th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – On Sunday, August 28, 2011, intelligence and security agents stormed Abbas Lasani’s place of business.During this raid, a number of guests were beaten and detained.Abbas Lasani is an Azerbaijani political activist and leader.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Rahim Gholami, a well-known journalist, and Mohammad Badali are amongst those assaulted and then arrested.

Previously, Abbas Lasani was detained in June 2007 for leading peaceful demonstrations in Ardebil, following a string of protests in Azerbaijan.He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 50 lashes.After serving time, he was released.

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, demonstrations were held in Ardabil and Tabriz against a proposal made by the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran (the Iranian Parliament) in order to address the crisis of Lake Urmia drying up fast.Peaceful demonstrations by Azerbaijani citizens turned violent when Iranian security forces interfered with the gathering to save Lake Urmia.Dozens of protesters were arrested.

Abbas Khazarlu, Nasser Alilo, Asgar Mahmoudlo, Behnam Haghi, Afshin Nori, Hossein Nouri, Arsalan Hosseinzadeh and Roghieh Hosseinzadeh are amongst those detained.