Siamak Amini Sentenced to Imprisonment on Political Charges

The Revolutionary Court of Tehran has sentenced Siamak Amini to four years and three months in prison, along with a two-year travel ban and additional penalties.

The verdict, issued on May 8, 2024, by Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, sentences 63-year-old Amini to three years and seven months for “assembly and collusion to undermine national security” and eight months for “spreading propaganda against the regime.” The detention period will be subtracted from his prison term. Additionally, Amini is banned from leaving the country, joining civil/political groups, and using smartphones for two years.

His support of the nationwide protests in 2022 on social media and association with anti-regime groups have been cited as the basis for these charges.

If the verdict is upheld on appeal, according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code—which dictates that in cases of multiple charges, the harshest punishment shall be enforced—he will spend three years and seven months in prison.

Confirming Amini’s conviction, a source close to his family informed HRANA that at the beginning of last winter, IRGC intelligence agents raided his residence, conducted a search, and confiscated some of his personal items. He was then interrogated three times and ultimately released on bail of 500 million tomans, approximately $10,000. Amini suffers from an inflammatory disorder known as Behcet’s syndrome, which makes incarceration particularly challenging for him.

Siamak Amini, a resident of Tehran, is married and was previously incarcerated for five years in the 1980s as a political prisoner.

Mahmood Mehrabi, a Political Prisoner, Receives Death Sentence

Mahmood (Mahmoud) Mehrabi has been sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in Isfahan on charges of “spreading corruption on earth.” He is currently held at Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan.

Babak Eslami Farsani, Mehrabi’s legal representative, relayed that Branch 5 of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court issued the death sentence. Farsani highlighted that they were only informed of the decision at court, with no written verdict provided. He expressed hope that the Supreme Court would address the perceived shortcomings in the ruling. The court justified the sentence by accusing Mehrabi of “widespread dissemination of false information on Instagram.”

Mehrabi was first detained by security forces on February 1, 2023, in Isfahan, and was temporarily released on bail on March 16, 2023, only to be rearrested at his home shortly after.

In September 2023, Mehrabi faced a series of additional charges, including propaganda against the regime, incitement of police and military forces to disobedience, incitement to war, crimes against national security, and insulting the founder and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In January of this year, he was further charged with publishing confidential information and committing acts of blasphemy, including insulting Shia Imams.

Mehrabi has a history of arrests and convictions linked to his activism.

Update on Political Prisoner Shirin Beyraghdar’s Legal Status in Vakilabad Prison

Shirin Beyraghdar is presently serving her term at Vakilabad Prison.

Initially apprehended by security forces at her shop in Mashhad in June-July 2022, Beyraghdar spent approximately six months in detention before being released on bail amounting to one billion tomans (roughly 20,000 dollars).

Following her release, the Revolutionary Court in Mashhad convicted her on charges including “forming groups to act against national security,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” and “propaganda against the regime.” Pursuant to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, she received a sentence of four years and six months for the primary charge.

In June-July 2023, Beyraghdar commenced serving her sentence at Vakilabad Prison.

Legal Advocate Golaleh Vatandoost Receives over Six-Year Prison Sentence

According to Kolbar News, Golaleh Vatandoost, a legal practitioner, has been sentenced to six years, seven months, and twenty days by the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj.

Vatandoost faced multiple charges, including “propaganda against the regime on the Internet,” as well as allegations of forming, running, and being a member of groups acting against national security, along with charges related to membership in anti-regime groups.

Her arrest by security forces in Sanandaj occurred on October 3, 2022. After spending 26 days in custody, she was released on bail set at one billion toman, approximately equivalent to 20,000 dollars.

It is noteworthy that Vatandoost had previously encountered legal issues due to her activist endeavors.

The Human Rights Advocates’ (HRA) annual report for 2023 reveals that Iranian judicial institutions collectively imposed sentences totaling 25,124 months on citizens for exercising their rights of expression.

Iran Protests: 93 People Arrested at Protests Receive Prison Sentences in Qazvin

The Chief Justice of Qazvin Province announced that this province’s Revolutionary Court and Criminal Court have recently sentenced 93 people arrested at recent protests to jail terms.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA, 93 people were convicted for participating in protests.

According to this judicial official, these individuals are convicted of charges of ‘assembly and collusion against national security, ‘propaganda against the regime on the Internet,’ ‘inciting people for insurrection and murder,’ ‘advocating for anti-regime groups and organizations,’ ‘spreading falsehood on the Internet,’ and ‘disturbing the public order.’

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, about 18600 people, including journalists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, have been arrested. For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

Revolutionary Court Orders the Seizure of Singer’s House

Recently, the Revolutionary Court ordered the confiscation of Iranian pop singer Hassan Shamaizadeh’s House in Tehran. The court cited “obtained by illegitimate means” as the reason.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, singer Hassan Shamaizadeh stated on social media that his house in Iran has been seized by the order of the Revolutionary Court.

The Revolutionary Court argues that the house can be confiscated because it was bought through singing, which is considered to be illegitimate according to Sharia law.

Pictures circulated on social media showing the house is demolished.

Shamaizadeh had warned last month about the authorities’ plan to take over this property, pleading with the public for help.

Hassan Shamaizadeh, age 79, is a famous Iranian pop singer and songwriter who fled Iran to the US after the Revolution in 1979. The practice of seizing personal property has been the regime’s common practice.

Journalist Hossein Roointan Sentenced to Ten Years Imprisonment 

The Court of Appeals of Bushehr changed the initial sentence against Hossein Roointan from 20 to 10 years imprisonment. Initially, he had been sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Dashtestan. Based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the five years prison sentence is the maximum punishment enforceable for him.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, journalist and political activist Hossein Roointan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

According to this verdict, Mr. Roointan has been sentenced to one year on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, five years for “blasphemy against the imams and the prophet’s family”, two years for “offensive statements against the former and current Supreme Leader of Iran” and two years for “spreading lies and disturbing public opinion”.  From the above counts, the punishment of five years for blasphemy will be enforceable for him.

In the trial, running online campaigns and calling for illegal gatherings were presented as evidence for the charges.

On October 17, 2017, the Ministry of Intelligence agents arrested Mr. Roointan in Dashtestan. After one month, he was released on the bail amount of 200 million tomans.

Hossein Roointan, age 58, a resident of Dashtestan, had previously faced arrests and convictions due to his civil activities.

Zahedan Court Considers Case File Deficiencies of 3 Death Row Prisoners

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Judge Mashhadi presided over two lengthy court sessions September 24th and 25th in order to resolve deficiencies in the case files of Zahedan prisoners Abubakr Rostami, Sajjad Baloch and Bandeh Chakerzehi (Chakeri), who were issued death sentences in August 2017 from Branch One of Zahedan’s Revolutionary Court.
In the initial trial, all three were charged with “acting against national security by collaborating with anti-regime groups” and “Moharebeh” (enmity against God).
An informed source told HRANA that authorities at the court sessions, which lasted more than five hours each, pored over evidence submitted against the prisoners by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). So far, the evidence submitted is not anticipated to adequately support their convictions. “Barring any more reliable documentation to substantiate the claims of the IRGC representative, including documentation of the location of their arrest, it is looking more likely that they could be acquitted of the Moharebeh charge,” the source said.
When the last court session drew to a close, the three prisoners were transferred back to Zahedan Prison and told that the court’s decision–or request for further information–would be forwarded to them in the prison.
On August 30, 2018, HRANA reported on the transfer of death row prisoner Abubakr Rostami back to the general ward. He had been sent August 28th from Zahedan’s Ward 4 to the Detention Center of the Intelligence Office of the IRGC for unknown reasons.
Earlier, Baluch, Chakerzehi, and Rostami proclaimed their innocence in an open letter, saying that the accusations against them were baseless, and relating physical and psychological tortures they had experienced at the hands of the IRGC. All three were arrested December 13, 2017, in Pakistan.
In the aforementioned letter, Rostami wrote of his trip to Pakistan, which was planned amid arrangements for a study abroad: “Due to border limitations, I was forced to travel through Pakistan to get to [another] foreign country, but I was arrested midway and handed over to the IRGC,” he wrote.
A second-year medical student at Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Rostami has spent the past three years in prison.

“We still can’t believe it” Imprisoned Lawyer Reacts to Death of Homa Soltani

Human Rights Activists’ News Agency (HRANA) — Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist who has been detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since June 13th on charges of collusion and propaganda against the regime, has written an open letter in reaction to the sudden death of Homa Soltani, daughter of fellow Evin prisoner Abdolfattah Soltani who is also a lawyer and activist. Ms Soltani recently died from a heart attack at the age of 27.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prominent human rights lawyer who has a history of arrests and imprisonment for her outspoken defense of human rights. Below is the English translation of Ms Sotoudeh’s letter:

My darling girl, my dear Homa,

It has been three days since you flew away from this world and we still can’t believe it. In our disbelief, we still wish that it could be a lie. Ah, if only it could be a nightmare, if only…

The women’s prison mourns for you. You had lost the embrace of your father years ago, my dear one. You know what, Homa? A father’s embrace gives one security and you were without it for years. This was something no one else could give you.

Many only knew about the seven years that you had been deprived of your father thanks to the revolutionary courts of injustice. But as far as I remember, your father was always dealing with his cases – cases for activists, colleagues and those they made against himself. You were raised with this news around you, you grew up like this and anxiety filled your childish existence. The temptation of human rights, the rights of dissidents, the rights of the accused and the rights of this person or that didn’t leave your father, Abdolfattah Soltani, alone. He had so honestly given his honor to the community of lawyers that he had forgotten himself and his family; how sad is this story.

Your father was once sentenced to three months in prison. Another time, the revolutionary court of injustice gave him five years but the appeals court repealed it. But the machinery of violence didn’t stop working against this freedom-loving lawyer. During the election crisis of 2009, they once more sought him first and he had to spend two months in detention. He was freed and two years later again arrested. Prison, prison, prison…

I don’t think of what made your father tick because I know it so well. I think of the world of your childhood, your teenage years, your youth; how innocently it was crushed under the weight of our ideals and their violence.

My dear Homa,

What happened to you every time your father was arrested? To you, your sister, brothers and mother?

I have asked myself many times: If Homa had her father by her side every morning when she woke up; if her father took her to university, school or work on some days and was with her throughout her daily problems; if they had dinner together at nights and then slept under the same roof; would the same happen to Homa? No, never…

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Women’s Prison
August 2018

***

Abdolfattah Soltani, who is being held in Evin Prison, was granted a furlough to take part in his daughter’s funeral.

Amnesty International reacted to Homa’s death and asked for the immediate release of Abdolfattah Soltani and all human rights defenders.

On August 5th, Saeed Dehqan, Mr Soltani’s lawyer, wrote to President Hassan Rouhani to say his client had been arrested by the political decisions of people such as former judge Saeed Mortazavi.

Mr Soltani is spending his seventh year in Evin. He has contracted many illnesses in prison.

Abdolfattah Soltani was first arrested on September 10, 2011. He was accused of having accepted the International Nuremberg Human Rights Award, speaking to the media about his clients and taking part in the founding of the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison and barred from practising law for 20 years. An appeals court reduced his sentence to 13 years and it was further reduced to 10 years based on the provisions of the new Iran penal code. His disbarring has also been reduced to two years.

Conditional Release for Political Prisoner Mohammad Mozaffari

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mohammad Mozaffari, political activist serving a two-year sentence since June 18, 2018, was conditionally released from Tehran’s Evin Prison. A source close to Mr Mozaffari confirmed his temporary release to HRANA.

According to HRANA, Mr Mozaffari was sentenced on May 3, 2016, by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Salavati, to a two-year prison term, a 2,000,000 Tomans cash penalty (approximately $600 USD) and 74 lashes. His lashing sentence was reportedly carried out on August 5, 2018.

Mohammad Mozaffari was arrested on February 15, 2015, and transferred to the Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence Unit in Evin Prison. After three months of interrogations, he was transferred to Ward 8 of this prison until his release on July 12, 2015.