Political prisoner Abdolrasoul Mortazavi, currently serving an eleven-year sentence in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan, has been handed an additional two-year sentence for a new legal case initiated while in prison.
Confirming the recent ruling, a source close to Mortazavi’s family informed HRANA that the Karaj Revolutionary Court sentenced him to two years. The legal case was triggered by Mortazavi’s voice message titled “Joking with the world leader of the clowns,” recorded in Rajai Shahr Prison in April-May 2022.
Rapper Saman Seydi (Yasin), arrested during the nationwide protests of 2022, has been held in Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, for over 300 days, with no clear indication of further legal proceedings.
Despite his requests, Seydi has not been permitted to have representation from a private lawyer. Judge Salavati has denied his lawyer access to the case documents, hindering his defense.
The arrest of Seydi took place on October 2, 2023, in Tehran during the protests, following which he was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison.
On November 8, 2023, Seydi was convicted on several charges, including “enmity against God (Moharebeh), assembly and collusion against national security,” and sentenced to death. However, the Supreme Court of Iran later overturned this verdict, leading to the transfer of his legal case to another court branch for retrial.
Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests
The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hejab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, were arrested.
On July 12, 2023, political prisoners Fatemeh Mosanna and Hassan Sadeghi were finally released from Evin and Rajai Shahr Prison, marking the end of their grueling eight-year incarceration.
A reliable source close to the families of the couple revealed to HRANA that they had been granted amnesty under the “pardon and commutation” directive, following the proposal made by the head of the Judiciary in February 2023. This initiative aimed to pardon or reduce the sentences of select prisoners, acting in accordance with Article 110, paragraph 11 of Iran’s constitution. The proposal received approval from Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.
The couple’s arrest took place on January 28, 2013, during the funeral of Sadeghi’s father. Their daughter and underage son were also apprehended and interrogated, but were subsequently released.
Following their trial at Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, both Mosanna and Sadeghi were sentenced to 15 years in prison, with the additional penalty of having their personal property, business, and house seized. This verdict was upheld on appeal.
Mosanna’s own history with imprisonment dates back to 1980 when she was just 13 years old. Alongside her mother, she was arrested and imprisoned for three years. Tragically, during that time, her three brothers, Ali, Mostafa, and Morteza, as well as her brother’s wife, were executed in prison on charges of “enmity against God” and “advocating for The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran.”
Sadeghi also faced imprisonment in 1981, enduring a six-year sentence. He suffered severe beatings at the hands of prison agents, which have had lasting effects on his health.
On July 12, 2023, Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj witnessed the execution of five individuals, one of whom was a woman, all convicted of murder.
HRANA has identified the executed woman as Fatemeh Yousefabadi. Just one day before her execution, she was transferred from Qarchak Prison to solitary confinement in Rajai Shahr Prison, where the final verdict was carried out.
HRANA is working on identifying three other inmates.
At present, no official sources or media outlets within the country have reported on these executions.
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.
Payam Vali, a Baha’i citizen, is currently serving a six-year sentence in Ghezel Hesar Prison, located in Karaj. He has been denied access to make a phone call to his family, as ordered by prison officials.
According to a reliable source who spoke to HRANA, Vali’s phone card has been blocked. He is also prohibitd from purchasing any item from the prison store. The source revealed that this prohibition was imposed after Vali gave a message via phone addressing the speakers of the Iranian Parliament.
In addition, another source close to Vali’s family informed HRANA that since late May, he has only had one visitation with his family. Furthermore, other prisoners have been threatened to refrain from providing Vali with their phone cards.
On September 24, 2022, security forces arrested Vali at his residence in Karaj, subsequently conducting a search of his house and detaining him in Rajai Shahr Prison. He was later relocated to Ghezel Hesar prison.
On May 10, 2023, the Alborz Court of Appeals sentenced Vali to six years for “collaboration with adversary countries,” three years and one month for “inciting people to commit violence,” and eight months for “propaganda against the regime.” According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the first charge carries an enforceable prison term of six years. It is worth noting that Vali had initially been sentenced in February 2023 to ten, five, and one-year terms for the respective charges mentioned above.
According to HRANA annual report, from the full human rights reports regarding the violation of religious minorities’ rights, 64.63% belonged to the violation of the rights of Baha’is.
The deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.
HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency- In a recent development, Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb, a civil rights activist currently detained in Evin Prison, has been sentenced to five years and eight months of imprisonment along with additional penalties by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
The verdict issued by Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court states that Ahmadi Ragheb has been sentenced to five years for charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and eight months for “propaganda against the regime.” Furthermore, he has been subjected to restrictions, including a ban on engaging in civil and political activities, using a cell phone, and traveling abroad for a period of two years.
If the verdict is upheld during the appeal process, in accordance with Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the initial count of five years in prison will be enforced.
An informed source, speaking with HRANA, revealed that “Previously, Ahmadi Ragheb had refused to attend the court due to being subjected to handcuffs and ankle cuffs during the transfer. Yesterday, he was brought to the court with handcuffs and informed that the verdict had been issued in absentia as he had been absent from the court proceedings on three occasions.”
The source further added, “Following the reception of this verdict, Ahmadi Ragheb has requested a retrial. It is important to note that he has been facing these legal actions based on a complaint filed by an IRGC official.”
On February 3, 2023, Ahmadi Ragheb was released from Rajai Shahr prison after completing his previous sentence. However, in March 2023, he was re-arrested during a protest against poison attacks on schools and subsequently transferred to Evin Prison.
HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency- On May 28, 2023, workers’ rights activist Farhad Sheikhi was apprehended at his residence in Hashtgerd, Karaj, and taken to an undisclosed location.
According to Sheikhi’s lawyer, Erfan Karam Veisi, it was revealed that agents from the Ministry of Intelligence were responsible for his arrest.
This is not the first time Sheikhi have faced arrest and legal action for his activism. Last time, on January 21, 2023, security forces arrested him and jailed him in Rajai Shahr Prison. He was relocated to the Central Prison of Karaj after 16 days.
This worker’s rights activist was released under the “pardon and commutation” directive on February 7, 2023.
On May 25, 2023, political prisoners Meysam Dehbanzadeh, Reza Nowrouzi and Majid Roshan-Nejad were beaten by prison officers at Great Tehran Penitentiary.
On May 25, 2023, Meysam Dehbanzadeh, Reza Nowrouzi, and Majid Roshan-Nejad, political prisoners at Great Tehran Penitentiary, were subjected to a violent beating by prison officials.
Their legal representative, Erfan Karam Veisi, reported, “Yesterday, at approximately 11 am, my clients were assaulted by six prison guards in Ward Type 5. Dehbanzadeh endured repeated strikes from batons on his head and body. He was then shackled to a bar for an entire day. Despite his injuries, the prison infirmary only provided him with a pill and refused proper medical attention. Currently, he is held in another ward.
On May 3, 2023, they were transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison to Great Tehran Penitentiary. These prisoners had previously faced an attack from a violent crime prisoner on May 10, 2023.
Nowrouzi is presently serving a five-year sentence and received an additional punishment of 74 lashes and a fine in August 2022, for “disturbing prison order.”
On May 20, 2023, Shahrooz Sokhanvari was executed in Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, as reported by Mizan, the judiciary’s news agency. Sokhanvari was found guilty of allegedly “international human trafficking” and “spreading corruption on earth.”
Prior to his execution, Sokhanvari was placed in solitary confinement for three days.
On May 19, 2022, the Iranian police announced the extradition of Sokhanvari, also known as Alex, to Iran. The judiciary accused him of trafficking women for sexual exploitation, stating that he had been apprehended in Malaysia and handed over to the Iranian police by Interpol.
Notably, in recent years, several women who were accused of aiding Sokhanvari have been incarcerated with severe charges.
In recent weeks, the number of execution has been alarmingly raised. According to reports obtained by HRANA, at least 57 prisoners, including two women and two prisoners of conscience, have been executed in various Iranian prisons from April 28 to May 9, 2023.
HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency- Hamzeh Savari Laftah, a political prisoner serving a life sentence in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison, continues to face health challenges as he battles lung disease while being denied adequate medical care.
According to a reliable source interviewed by HRANA, SSavari has not received the necessary medical attention for his lung disease during his imprisonment.
The source added, “Last year, prison officials denied his request for temporary release to attend his mother’s funeral.”
Arrested at the age of 16 on September 2, 2005, Savari was initially sentenced to death by the Ahvaz Revolutionary Court on charges of “spreading corruption on earth, enmity against God (Moharebeh), and acting against national security.” However, the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.
Throughout his time in prison, Savari has been coping with various health issues, including knee lumps, lumbar disc problems, spinal issues, and varicocele.