Researcher Mohammad Khani Imprisoned in Evin

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, social researcher and translator Mohammad Khani was taken to Evin Prison in Tehran to serve a four-year sentence. Previously, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran had sentenced him to four years imprisonment and additional punishments. This verdict was upheld on appeal.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, social researcher and translator Mohammad Khani was taken to Evin Prison for sentencing.

On July 3, 2021, the Tehran Court of Appeal upheld the verdict against Khani. Earlier, he had been sentenced to three years and six months in person on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security” and six months on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.”

Based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, three years and six months sentence, as the most severe of multiple charges, is enforceable.

As additional punishments, Khani was banned from civil and political activities for two years, six months of social work for children with mental disabilities, and confiscation of some of his personal belongings, including his research archive, for two years.

On October 1, 2020, IRGC Intelligence arrested Khani at his house and transferred him to Ward 2A of Evin prison. During the arrest, they searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings. On November 11, 2020, Khani was released on bail.

Mohammad Khani is a PhD student in Welfare and Social Policy at Allameh Tabataba’i University.

Prisoner of Conscience Soheil Arabi Released From Rajai Shahr Prison

On Tuesday, November 16, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi was released from Rajai Shahr Prison after completing his sentence and sent to Borazjan to await the court decision about his two-year exile sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Soheil Arabi was sent to Borazjan City accompanied by a police guard. It is yet to be decided whether he should stay in exile in Borazjan, and if so, how long. Because Arabi’s prison term was longer than the sentence required, either the difference will be subtracted from the current exile period, or the charge will be dropped altogether.

Arabi has been imprisoned since November 7, 2013, and never been granted leave. On January 21, 2020, he was relocated from Evin Prison to the Greater Tehran Prison.

While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi was convicted on charges from two new cases. In the first case, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to five years imprisonment on the charge of “blasphemy, propaganda against the regime and an offensive statement against the Supreme Leader”. For the second case, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, two years of exile in Borazjan City, and paying a fine of 4 million tomans on a charge of “spreading lies in the purpose to disturb public opinion and propaganda against the regime”, and one year and eight months on the charge of “the destruction of public property”.

On September 18, 2020, Arabi was punitively relocated from the Greater Tehran Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. On October 20, 2020, after being held for 33 days in a solitary confinement cell, in a phone call to his family, he informed them about his relocation to the detention center at the disposal of IRGC, known as Ward 2 A of Evin Prison. On November 8, 2020, he was sent back to a solitary confinement cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. After 9 days, he was sent to the public ward of this prison.

Writer and Philosophy Researcher Nima Ghasemi Sentenced to Four years and Eight Months

Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran recently sentenced writer and philosophy researcher Nima Ghasemi to four years and eight months imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemi, a resident of Tehran, was sentenced to 4 years in prison on a charge of “assembly and collusion against the regime” and eight months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime “.

In the trial, Ghasemi’s notes and posts published on social media were invoked in support of these charges against him.

From this verdict, if upheld by the court of appeal, a severest punishment of four years is enforceable, grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

On February 8 of this year, Nima Ghasemi was arrested by security forces at his home and transferred to the public section of Evin Prison. At the time of arrest, the security agents searched his house and confiscated several of his belongings including his written notes and laptop. On March 13, he was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings.

Nima Ghasemi is has a PhD in Philosophy from Shahid Beheshti University.

 

 

Political Prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar Sentenced to Death by Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Recently, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced political prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar to death. Rezaiefar’s trial began on December 28, 2020.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, political prisoner Kamran Rezaiefar has been sentenced to death on the charge of the so-called “spreading corruption on earth”. He was notified about his charges in September of this year.

In January 2020, Kamran Rezaiefar was arrested by the security forces on a charge of “association with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK)”. He was released on bail after enduring 77 days in solitary confinement in wards 240 and 209 of Evin Prison.

In June 2020, he was arrested again this time for a charge of “spreading corruption on earth” and transferred to Evin Prison.

 

Arash Gangi Detained and Sent to Evin Prison to Endure 11 Year Sentence

On Monday, November 1, translator and board member of the Iranian Writers’ Association (IWA) Arash Gangi was sent to Evin Prison to endure his 11-year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, recently, PEN America in a statement condemned Arash Gangi’s summons and asked for the quashing of this “wildly disproportionate” sentence.

Gangi had been previously sentenced to eleven years in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of five years is enforceable.

Following the summons he received on October 16 of this year, Arash Gangi appeared at the Executive Unit of Evin prison and from there he was sent to Evin Prison.

On December 22, 2019, the security forces raided his house, and then arrested and transferred him to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is at the disposal of the intelligence ministry.  Security agents searched his house and confiscated some of his personal belongings during the arrest.

After a while, he was transferred from the Ward 209 to the public section of Evin Prison. On January 19, 2020, he was released on a bail of 450 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

In the first court session, on June 14, 2020, the judge increased the bail to 3 billion tomans, and hence he was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison until providing the new bail. He was released on bail on June 21, 2020.

In the second court session, which took place on November 29, 2020, only his attorney attended the court and Mr Ganji could not appear at the court due to having COVID-19 symptoms.

Ultimately, in December 2020, the court, headed by judge Mohammad-Reza Amoozad, sentenced Gangi to five years in prison on a charge of “assembly and collusion in purpose to act against national security”, one year on a charge of “propaganda against the regime” and five years on a charge of “membership in and collaboration with one of the ant-regime groups.”, for a total of 11 years imprisonment. In February 2021, this verdict was upheld by the court of appeals of Tehran.

According to Naser Zarafshan, Mr. Gangi’s lawyer, all these charges were invoked from his translation of a book under the title of “A Small Key Can Open A Big Door: The Rojava Revolution”, which is about Kurdistan upheavals in Syria.

The non-governmental organization IWA was founded by a group of intellectual writers in 1968, originally with the objective of promoting freedom of speech and fighting against censorship.

Although IWA was banned in 1981 by the Iranian authorities, a group of writers created a “consulting assembly” to revive the banned IWA in 1993. On September 8, 1996, 12 writers who had gathered to draft a new charter for the IWA were arrested, interrogated and warned not to hold further meetings for the advancement of the IWA. Since then, the members and board members of IWA have been subject to systematic persecution, long prison sentences and even targeted killing from 1988–98, when certain Iranian dissident intellectuals who had been critical of the Islamic Republic disappeared and their bodies found afterwards.

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Political Prisoner Injured After Protest by Self-Immolation in Evin Prison

On Wednesday, October 27, political prisoner Mehdi Darini was injured by self-immolation and hospitalized in the healthcare center of Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Darini’s demonstration was in protest of prison authorities’ refusal to release him on probation. He is currently enduring the second year of a five year term in Evin Prison in Tehran.

An informed source told HRANA that Darini had previously warned prison officials about his intentions if the interrogator refused to consider his demand to be released.

During the last interrogation, in response to his stating his intention to go on a hunger strike, the interrogator reportedly said, “All the better; the regime has already too many hungry mouths to feed.”

35-year-old Mehdi Darini, a production engineer, was sentenced to five years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on a charge of ” blasphemy” and one year on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”. According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a severest punishment of five years is enforceable.

Amir Hossein Moradi Offered Release on Bail

Earlier this Tuesday, October 26, the court granted bail to Amir Hossein Moradi, who was arrested in relation to the nationwide protests of November 2019.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Moradi is currently hospitalized for a skin disease. Based on this court order, if he pays the required 4 billion tomans bail, he will be set free upon being discharged from the hospital. This has been confirmed on the personal social media page of Babak Pak-Nia, Moradi’s lawyer.

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were sentenced to death by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, before a global outcry led to the re-examination of their case.

On Jun 24, 2020, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)  announced that the death sentence of the three political prisoners had been upheld by the Supreme Court. On July 14, 2020, the spokesman of the Judiciary officially announced the confirmation of their death sentences and said that the sentences had been sent to the prosecutor’s office for execution.

However, according to the lawyers, permission to enter the trial and study the case was given to them on July 15, 2020–weeks after HRANA reported that the death sentence had been confirmed in the Supreme Court.

Less than an hour after the official confirmation of the death sentences for Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, “#Don’t_execute” became the world’s top trend with hundreds of thousands of tweets. Human Rights Watch, US President Donald Trump, the Writers’ Association of Iran, and others all reacted to this news. The hashtag has now been used more than ten million times.

The following day, UN human rights experts issued a statement and condemned the death sentences. The statement expressed that Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were tortured and forced to confess and that these forced confessions were later used against them in their trials. HRANA has previously conducted numerous conversations with informed sources and extensive research to determine what happened to the prisoners in the various processes of activity up to the conviction.

On July 19, 2020, the three defendants’ lawyers issued a joint statement announcing that the case had been referred to a different branch for retrial after the Supreme Court’s acceptance of Article 477.

In mid-December of 2020, in the aftermath of the global outcry, the young activists’ request for a retrial was finally accepted by Branch 1 of the Supreme Court and their death sentences were finally overturned.

The retrial process since has been comparably unstructured. The cases were submitted to Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran for retrial following overturn of their death sentnece, but, due to turnover in the head of the branch, the court session was postponed to May 12. Once again, the court session was cancelled due to the absence of the second judge. In July, their court session was postponed for a fourth time.

Moradi’s release would mark a rare victory in the ongoing legal battle facing so many of those who were involved in the nationwide protests of November 2019.

Zia Nabavi’s One-Year Sentence Upheld by Court of Appeals

Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals in Tehran recently upheld a one year sentence for student activist Zia (Zia-el-din) Nabavi.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran had initially convicted Nabavi on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

The sentence included one year in prison including other unconventional punishments like monthly attendance of martyrs’ burial grounds in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, disabled veteran sanatorium, emotional control courses and the prohibition of leaving the country for two years.

On February 25, 2020, Nabavi was arrested by security forces in Tehran and released on bail on March 2, 2020. He had previously faced other arrests and convictions due to his non-violent activities.

Farangis Mazloum Summoned by Evin Court to Endure Eighteen Month Sentence

Yesterday, October 19, civil activist Farangis Mazloum was summoned to serve her 18-month prison sentence by Branch 1 of the Executive Unit of Evin Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mazloum was asked to appear at this branch within five days from the date of the summons’ issuance. Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court had sentenced her to 18 months in prison.

Mazloum is the mother of prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi, who recently began a hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.

On July 22, 2019, Farangis Mazloum was arrested at her sister’s home and transferred to the detention center at the disposal of the ministry of intelligence, known as Ward 209 of Evin prison. On October 8, 2019, she was released on bail of 250 million tomans (approx. 9300 US dollars) until the end of legal proceedings.

She was indicted by Branch 6 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Evin Prison.

Initially, the Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran held the trial in absentia and sentenced her to six years imprisonment. In this court, six other people related to this court case were also sentenced to imprisonment. After Mazloum’s objection, in a retrial, the Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on August 25 and 28 2020 changed the sentence to 18 months in prison.

She was sentenced to one year on a charge of ” assembly and collusion to commit a crime through associating with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”, and 6 months on a charge of “propaganda against the regime in favor of opposition political groups”.

This verdict was upheld by the appellate court. By applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of one year from this sentence is enforceable.

 

Five Political Defendants Sentenced to a Total of 38 Years in Prison

Political defendants Nahid Taghavi, Somayeh Kargar, Bahareh Soleimani, Nazanin Mohammad Nejad, and Mehran Raouf were sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to a total of 38 years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  the court hearings of these citizens, along with Ms. Elham Samimi, another defendant of this case, were held on April 28 and June 13.

Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced Nahid Taghavi and Mehran Raouf to 10 years and eight months in prison on charges of “participation in the management of an illegal group and propaganda activities against the regime”.

Somayeh Kargar and Bahareh Soleimani were sentenced to 6 years and eight months on charges of “participation in the management of an illegal group and propaganda activities against the regime”, and Nazanin Mohammad Nejad to 3 years and 4 months each on a charge of “participation in the management of an illegal group and propaganda activities against the system”. As of this writing, the status of Elham Samimi’s case is not known.

In October 2020, HRANA reported the arrest of Ms. Taghavi, Ms. Somayeh Kargar, Mr. Mehran Raouf, and Ms. Bahareh Soleimani by IRGC intelligence forces, as well as the arrests of Ms. Mohammadnejad in December and Elham Samimi in November last year. Nahid Taghavi and Mehran Raouf are still in custody.