Juvenile Offender Arman Abdolali in Imminent Danger of Execution in Rajai Shahr Prison

Arman Abdolali, who was previously sentenced to death for a murder charge from when he was a child, is in imminent danger of execution in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, despite his denial of having committed the crime, and despite the fact that the victim’s body was never found, the criminal court of Tehran Province sentenced Abdolali to death. The verdict was upheld twice by the supreme court of Iran.

Abdolali was reportedly transferred to a solitary confinement cell, as is the protocol for inmates on death row in the days before their execution, yesterday. In July of this year, his lawyer had informed about the forwarding Abdolali’s case to the Executive Branch of Tehran Criminal Court.

“Iran continues to use the death penalty for crimes committed by people under the age of 18, in violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Amnesty International expressed in a statement, calling for Iranian authorities to halt Abdolali’s execution.

In 2013, when he was underage, Arman Abdolali was indicted on the charge of murdering his girlfriend, Ghazaleh Shakur. During interrogation, he confessed to killing her but later on, he denied the charges and pleaded his innocence.

After the first confirmation of the sentence, Abdolali’s lawyer claimed him as innocent and asked for a retrial, which was granted by the Supreme Court of Iran. In the second retrial, the death sentence was upheld after six months both by the Supreme Court of Iran and thereafter by an appellate court.

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,  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 and prison and 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.

World Day Against the Death Penalty: Annual Report on Execution in Iran 2020-2021

On the World Day Against the Death Penalty, the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) has published its annual report , in efforts to sensitize the public about the situation of the death penalty in Iran.

HRANA’s Statistics Center relies on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources. It also incorporates disclosures to the media by judicial authorities announcing or confirming prisoner executions, and as such is exposed to a margin of error representing efforts by the Iranian authorities to omit, conceal, or restrict the collection of such data.

Between October 8, 2020, and October 9, 2021, executions and the death penalty have been the focus of 253 HRANA reports. Over this time period, the Iranian authorities issued the death penalty sentence to 90 individuals and have already carried out 266 executions.

Click here to download report in PDF format

Women account for only 9 of the 266 HRANA-confirmed execution victims this year. In addition, 3 juvenile offenders, under the age of 18 when they allegedly committed the crime they were charged with, were executed.

The report includes a breakdown of executions by capital offense: 55.8% were charged with murder, 33.5% were charged with drug and narcotic offenses, 3.4% were charged with Rape, 4.8% were charged with armed robbery/offenses classified as “corruption on earth”, 1.5% were charged with political or security-related offenses, and 0.74% had unknown charges.

The chart below displays execution numbers by the province in which they took place. According to this chart, Khorasan Razavi had the highest number of executions at 17.7%.  Alborz and Sistan and Baluchestan came in second and third, with 13.2% and 9.4% respectively.

The chart below depicts the distribution of executions’ information sources. The chart indicates that 82% of HRANA-confirmed executions were not announced by the official Iranian sources. Undisclosed executions are referred to as “secret” executions.

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Click here to download the report in PDF format.

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at skylar@hramail.com

Civil Activist Arsham Rezai in Transferred to Quarantine Ward of Rajai Shahr Prison after Positive COVID-19 Test

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has confirmed that yesterday, September 29, civil activist Arsham Rezai was relocated to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj after testing positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 surge in Iran’s prisons has been a major threat to the health and safety of their inmates, who frequently do not receive timely or adequate medical care from authorities.

Arsham Rezai was arrested on January 7 of 2019 by the regime’s intelligence and security forces. On November 13 of that year, he was released on bail for 2 billion Rial (approx. 8000 dollars).

On February 26, 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary court sentenced Mr. Rezai, without informing the defendant’s attorney that the court session was taking place, to eight years and six months imprisonment on the charges “propaganda against the regime”, ” collusion against national security”, and ” offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. This is ruling violated  Article 134 of Iran’s penal code, which sets a maximum of 5 years as the severest punishment for the above-mentioned charges.

To serve his sentence, on October 18, 2020, he was arrested and transferred to a solitary confinement cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. Finally, he was relocated to a public section of this prison on December 19 2020.

On January 20 of this year, on new charges, the revolutionary court sentenced him to an additional 15 months imprisonment (which was later reduced to 11 months on appeal) and 4 months penal labor.

Inmate Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj

An inmate whose identity is not known as of this writing was recently executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Javan newspaper, the man had previously been sentenced to death for murder by Branch 12 of the Tehran Criminal Court

Branch 15 of the Supreme Court of Tehran upheld the death sentence and had sent it to the prosecutor’s office branch for the execution of judgment.

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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Prisoner Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj

On Wednesday, September 15, a prisoner who had previously been sentenced to death for murder was executed in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activist, quoting Rokna, six years after the incident, this sentence was referred to the Judgment Execution Branch after being approved by the Supreme Court, and it was carried out last Wednesday.

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.

 

Inmate Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Alborz Province

An inmate was recently executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Alborz Province after serving eight years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, Mr. Maksani had previously been sentenced to death for murder.

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.

As of this writing, Maksani’s execution has not been announced by any Iranian media or official sources.

 

Mohammad Ali Mansouri Sent on Leave after Enduring 14 Years in Prison

On Thursday, September 9, Mohammad Ali (Piruz) Mansouri was sent on leave for the first time after serving 14 years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mansouri is a political prisoner in poor health who has been serving out his sentence in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Previously, on September 3, following a heart attack, Mr. Mansouri was transferred to a hospital in Karaj, where he was shackled to the bed despite his condition.

Mansouri was arrested in September 2007 after attending the 19th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Abolghasem Salavati, sentenced Mr. Mansouri to 17 years in prison, transfer to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, and a fine of 150,000 tomans on a charge of “communicating and collaborating with the People’s Mujahedin Organization (MEK)”. The sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

In May 2018, on the pretext of [conducting] “activities inside the prison” such as going on a hunger strike, inciting prisoners, and writing a statement in support of the Sunni prisoners, Mr. Mansouri was charged with “community and collusion against the regime” and sentenced to another five years in prison.

 

HRANA Report: COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway in Iranian Prisons

A number of prisons, including Evin in Tehran, Rajai Shahr in Karaj, Qarchak in Varamin, Lakan in Rasht, Urmia in Urmia, and Qom Coastal Prison, have been examined as a statistical sample in this report.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the vaccination of inmates in different prisons throughout the country has started this month.

A number of prisons, including Evin in Tehran, Rajai Shahr in Karaj, Qarchak in Varamin, Lakan in Rasht, Urmia in Urmia, and Qom Coastal Prison, have been examined as a statistical sample in this report.

According to reports received by HRANA, in some prisons in the country, prisoners have been forced to receive the Iranian vaccine “Barekat”, and many others have refused to receive the Barekat vaccine due to doubts about production conditions and the lack of WHO approval. In some prisons, vaccination has been partially abandoned due to the lack of enough dosage per the Ministry of Health.

Although this action of the Prisons Organization has given a bit of hope to the prisoners and their families, reports received by HRANA from various prisons across the country indicate that -regardless of the quality and type of vaccine used- a small percentage of inmates have been vaccinated and that most of the inmates still have not been vaccinated against COVID.

Prisoners in the women’s ward of Lakan Prison in Rasht were vaccinated with the Barekat vaccine. According to an informed source, the vaccination process has started in this prison in late July this year; first the prison officials, then the male prisoners, and finally the female prisoners have been vaccinated.

As of this writing, a small percentage of inmates in Urmia Prison are vaccinated. An informed source about the vaccination process in this prison told HRANA, “At first, the Iranian vaccine Barekat was sent for Urmia prison, but prisoners refused to inject, then a small number of Chinese vaccines arrived which only was enough for a few. Though the vaccine was given to all prisoners in the political prison, and any of them who wished was vaccinated.”

According to the source, prison officials, along with a limited number of other detainees were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Since mid-August of this year, some prisoners in various wards of Evin Prison have received the first dose of the vaccine. Initially, the vaccination was carried out with the Barakat vaccine, but this process was stopped due to the refusal of many prisoners to inject the Iranian vaccine. A few days later, some prisoners were injected with the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. According to an informed source, in many wards of the prison, even prisoners with underlying diseases who are at risk of infection have not been vaccinated yet.

Political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj have also been injected with the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine. According to an informed source, in other wards of the prison, vaccination was going on based on the age priority and people with underlying diseases until prison officials announced that the vaccination would be halted and postponed until the Ministry of Health and the Prisons Organization were able to provide the vaccine.

The HRANA investigation shows that most of the prisoners in Qarchak Prison in Varamin have been injected with the Sinopharm vaccine, but new inmates, whose numbers are very high, are still not vaccinated as there are not enough vaccines for them.

In Qom Coastal Prison, only the clergy prisoners being held in the special ward for clergies have been fully vaccinated. According to an informed source, 20 prisoners in this ward, along with a small number of prisoners from other wards, have been vaccinated so far. Prisoners in Bushehr Prison in Bushehr Province have not yet received any vaccine.

These are the reports from prisons while in early August, Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, head of the Prisons Organization, claimed on his Twitter account that 50 percent of the country’s prisoners had been vaccinated.

Although the prisoners’ vaccination could help to control the spread of coronavirus in prisons, the effectiveness of vaccination is still unclear as spaces in prisons are closed, pre-and post-vaccination health protocols are not met, principles of quarantine are not observed, and prison populations are large. Also, some prisoners have received the Iranian Barekat vaccine, whose effectiveness is highly questionable.

The negligence of the authorities towards the situation of sick prisoners, lack of proper medical care in prisons, the strictness of the authorities in sending prisoners to medical leave and hospitals, and the lack of adequate sanitary facilities in prisons have all contributed to and intensified the spread of the disease.

 

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.