Soheil Arabi and Behnam Moosivand Go on a Hunger Strike in Rajai Shahr Prison

Yesterday, October 19, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi and civil activist Behnam Moosivand went on hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the political prisoners are protesting their beatings by prison guards and their transfer to the quarantine section of the facility. Rajai Shahr Prison head Allah-Karam Azizi reportedly ordered the beating of the two inmates.

“Allah-Karam Azizi…ordered the executive officer Ghasem Sahraie and other guards to beat them because of their objection against a body search,” an informed source told HRANA. “They were (beaten) and (kicked) to the abdomen and testicles. Due to the injuries, Soheil and Behnam could not go to the court.”

On October 6, the political prisoners refused to appear on the court holding for the unjustified new cases opened against them during their prison term, of which the charges included “disturbing prison order” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”.  In response to this refusal, the deputy head of Rajai Shahr Prison Valiollah Muhammadi threatened them with a beating.

Soheil Arabi has been imprisoned without leave since November 7, 2013. While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi has been convicted on charges from two new cases.

In the first new case, On May 24, 2021, he was indicted on the charge of “agitation against the regime and Disturbing public opinions” via a video conference by Branch 3 of the Evin Investigation Office.

In the second new case, Soheil Arabi was condemned to 2 years imprisonment, paying a fine, and a ban from leaving the country and once every three times appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court. His court session to address these charges was held on July 28.

On February 1, 2018, the intelligence officials raided Behnam Moosivand’s home and transferred him to the detention facility of the intelligence ministry in Evin Prison, known as section 209. He was released on bail on March 19, 2018.

Thereafter, in September 2019, branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced him to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, and to one year on a charge of “agitation against the regime”. The verdict was upheld at appeal. On June 14, 2020, he appeared at the executive branch of Evin Prison to serve his six year sentence.

 

Soheil Arabi and Behnam Moosivand Refuse to Appear in Court

On Wednesday, October 6,  prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi and political prisoner Behnam Moosivand refused to appear on the court holding for the unjustified new cases opened against them during their imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the deputy head of Rajai Shahr Prison Valiollah Muhammadi threatened them with a beating following their refusal.

“Disturbing prison order” and ” offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran” have been listed as among the new charges. According to an informed source, on the same day, these two prisoners were interrogated online.

While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi has been convicted on the charges of two new cases.

In the first new case, On May 24, 2021, he was indicted on the charge of “agitation against the regime and Disturbing public opinions” via a video conference by Branch 3 of the Evin Investigation Office.

In the second new case, Soheil Arabi was condemned to 2 years imprisonment, paying a fine, and a ban from leaving the country and once every three times appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court. His court session to address these charges was held on July 28.

Since November 7, 2013, he has been held in detention as well as prison and has never been granted leave.

On February 1, 2018, the intelligence officials raided Behnam Moosivand’s home and transferred him to the detention facility of the intelligence ministry in Evin Prison, known as section 209. He was released on bail on March 19, 2018.

Thereafter, in September 2019, branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced him to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security, and to one year on a charge of “agitation against the regime”. The verdict was upheld at appeal. On June 14, 2020, he appeared at the executive branch of Evin Prison to serve his six-year sentence.

Inmate Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj

A man named Jafar was recently executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoner had previously been sentenced to death for murder, and the sentence was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Revolutionary Court of Tehran Reverses Supreme Court’s Ruling and Sentences Davoodi to 30 Years Once Again

Although the supreme court overturned the sentence of 30-year imprisonment and 111 lashes issued by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran against lawyer-turned-defendant Amirsalar Davoodi, Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court later reaffirmed the previous verdict.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Davoodi’s defense attorney Amir Raisian has said he will appeal the verdict.

Raisian wrote in a note on his social media page, “Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, believing that the ruling of the Supreme Court was wrong, confirmed the original ruling (of Branch 15).”

Amirsalar Davoodi a lawyer, has represented many cases of prisoners and political defendants, including Soheil Arabi and Saeed Shirzad.

After applying Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, Davoodi could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Two Prisoners Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison

At dawn on Wednesday, July 14, two prisoners were executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights (IHR), the prisoners have been identified as Afshin Gheydar and Mohammad Abdol Rahim.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

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Lawyer and Defendant Amirsalar Davoodi to Face Retrial on July 13

The retrial of lawyer Amirsalar Davoodi will be held on July 13 in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Davoodi’s request for a retrial was accepted in June of this year. After awaiting a verdict for nearly three years, he was released from Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on a bail of 2 billion Tomans.

Amirsalar Davoodi was arrested by security forces in November 2018 and was transferred to Evin Prison after being charged.

In April 2019, Vahid Meshgani Farahani, Mr. Davoodi’s lawyer said 8 – 9 charges are filed against Mr. Davoodi, including forming a group to overthrow the regime, cooperating with hostile states, propaganda against the regime, spreading lies, insulting officials and the leadership, and several other charges, two of which have been referred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal.

In June 2019, on charges of conspiracy against national security, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Mr. Davoodi to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes. The sentence was confirmed by the court of appeals in August of that year.

Mr. Davoodi’s wife had previously stated that  15 out of 30 year prison sentence for Mr. Davoodi was for setting up a group on the social media application Telegram.

190 days after his arrest, Mr. Davoodi was transferred from the detention center of the Judiciary’s Intelligence Protection Organization to the General Ward of Evin Prison in June 2019.

Davoodi had defended many cases of prisoners and political defendants, including Soheil Arabi and Saeed Shirzad.

Civil Activist Saeed Eghbali’s Hearing Permanently Damaged Amid Ongoing Medical Negligence in Rajai Shahr Prison

On June 19, civil activist Saeed Eghbali was sent to visit a doctor in Amir Alam Hospital after months of deprivation of medical care in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the specialist doctor stated that due to lack of timely medical attention and the severity of the infection, Eghbali will permanently lose 70% of his hearing. If the medication does not control the infection by next month, surgery will be needed to prevent it from spreading.

Mr. Eghbali was arrested at the beginning of a ten-day annual celebration for the Islamic Revolution’s Victory in 2018.

Eghbali has been enduring a 5-year sentence in prison since June 2020. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced Mr. Eghbali to 5 years in prison on the charges of “conspiracy to act against the security of the country” and to 1 year in prison on a charge of “propaganda activities against the regime”.

This sentence was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals. Using Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 5 years imprisonment is enforceable to him on a charge of “Conspiracy to act against the security of the country”.

Saeed Eghbali wrote an open letter from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj in May of this year. Below is an excerpt from the letter:

I was told,  “We arrested you on this date to let you know that you are too small to act against the regime”. All the harassment that the security system inflicted on me was because I had protested; I used my rights as a citizen to make changes to the condition of my country. When I realized what was going on, I decided to protest the system that knows no rights for its people. I was and am from a social class that has been oppressed and denied for decades.

Political Prisoner Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi Sentenced to 2 Additional Years

Political prisoner Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to two additional years in prison in a new case recently opened against him.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the new charges against Mortazavi include “propaganda against the regime” and “disturbing public order”.

Mortazavi, who lost his leg during the Iraq-Iran war, was transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj in early April. During the move, prison authorities took his prosthetic leg and did not return it.

Under the pretext of finally giving back his leg, officials then transferred Mortazavi to solitary confinement in Rajai Shahr on April 20th, where he is currently being held. He has been denied requests for sick leave and denied the right to make phone calls while in solitary confinement. His leg has still not been returned.

In mid-August 2019, Abdol Rasoul Mortazavi and 13 civil society activists published an open letter and requested the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. He was subsequently sentenced to 26 years in prison, from which 11 years are enforceable.

Mohammad Nourizad, Hashem Khastar, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and several other signatories to the statement are also currently serving prison sentences.

Arjang Davoodi Transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj in Eighteenth Year of Imprisonment

Last week, 69-year-old political prisoner Arjang Davoodi was transferred from Zahedan Prison in Sistan and Baluchestan Province to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary and then to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in 2016  Mr. Davoodi was transferred to Zabol and then Zahedan Prisons in Sistan and Baluchestan Province to serve his sentence in exile.

Davoodi is currently serving his 18th year in prison.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 11, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 11th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Tohid Ghoreishi was transferred to Evin prison after an attack to Sunni prisoners’ ward in Rajai-shahr prison by the Special Forces. He is facing new accusations while serving the last months of his seven years sentence.

(2) Esmail Bakhshi ‘s lawyer confirmed that none of the Iranian authorities have reached out to him regarding his complaint. He wrote a letter explaining his torture in prison and called on the Minister of Intelligence for a debate concerning torture and abuse in prisons.

(3) In a bus rollover in Assaluyeh on Thursday, 13 workers of Bushehr Petrochemical Company were injured.

(4) Nasrollah Lashani a political prisoner, ended his hunger strike. He was on hunger strike since January 7, 2019, protesting mistreatment by the prison officials and being banned from having visitors. Lashani is a Nationalist-Religious Activist who was accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ and was sentenced to six years in prison. He was beaten and insulted in front of his wife and his 8-years-old son during a family visit on December 26, 2018.

(5) Expulsion of Shayan Manavi, a Baha’i Civil Engineering student from Azad University of Qods due to his faith. Baha’i students in Iran routinely experience denial of entrance to university or expulsion during their studies.

(6) The parliament authorities have shown concern about Zahra Navidpour ‘s death. She accused a member of parliament for repeatedly raping her. She reported that there were several women who had been raped by Salman Khodadadi but did not file a complaint, fearing their lives.

(7) Mostafa Mostafavi, a Sunni prisoner, had been held for 27 days in a solitary confinement of the intelligence office before he was transferred to Urmia prison. He is accused of ‘cooperation with Kurdish opposition groups’.

(8) A prisoner who was sentenced to death on the charge of murder, was saved from the gallows by the intercession of Imam of Friday prayers and forgiveness of the next of kin in Andimeshk after six years.

(9) A manager of a clothing retailer was arrested and her business was closed down in Astaneh-ye Ashrafiyeh in Gilan province because of advertising in social media. In October, several photographers were arrested in Shiraz because of ‘inappropriate content’ in their Instagram account.

(10) Several customers of the Iranian automobile manufacturers in protest to the company’s false promises to deliver their purchased car and fulfilling their demands, have been protesting for three consecutive days in the international auto fair in Tehran.

(11) Nour Mohammad Shimvaari, a prisoner of Zahedan prison, was severely beaten and injured by prison wardens. His wrist was fractured, and he was denied medical care.