A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 2, 2019

Posted on: February 2nd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 2nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Karim Mohebbi was executed in the central prison of Tabriz on the charge of murder and another prisoner was sentenced to public hanging in Gilan.

(2) More than four protests were organized across the country. Educators in the cities of Karun and Bavi, the customers of two Iranian automakers, Iran Khodro (IKCO) and Kerman Motor, the students of Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch in Tehran, and the investors of the project of Shahid Keshvari in Isfahan have held separate protests to request their demands.

(3) A landmine explosion severely injured a citizen in the city of Dehloran. More than 42 thousand square kilometers of the lands in the Iran‘s western provinces contain landmines left from the Iran-Iraq war. Dehloran is in the Ilam province.

(4) Five Baha’i residents of Shiraz have been sentenced to six months imprisonment, each, on the charge of “propaganda against the state”. They were identified as the following: Farhad Sarafraz, Shahram Mansour, Vahid Dana, Saeed Abedi, and Adib Haqpajouh.

(5) An Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, Hakimeh Ahmadi, is in prison since October 18, 2018. According to Hrana, she underwent hospital treatment for rib cage and finger injuries which have been occurred in the Intelligence detention in Marand County. Security forces entered Ahmadi’s home on October 18th, threatening both her and her spouse with a weapon. She was arrested and transferred without explanation to an undisclosed location. In a video which was published on October 30th, Ahmadi’s husband, Gholamreza Ghorbani, related news of her hospital transfer, explaining that authorities had refused to disclose where she had been admitted, forbade him from visiting, and advised him that pending treatments would be at his and Ahmadi’s expense.

(6) Expulsion of Sepehr Shahidi Ghamsari, a Baha’i civil engineering student from Sina Higher Education Institute in Kashan due to his faith. Baha’i students in Iran routinely experience either denial of entrance to university or removal from student lists during their studies. Numerous reports are published annually regarding the barring of Baha’i citizens from education.

(7) Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami filed an appeal against their conviction. They have been sentenced to six years in prison each, and were banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism.

(8) The second court session of eight environmentalists on the espionage-related charges was in session in Tehran. Moreover, five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”.

(9) A detained Baha’i citizen, Maryam Ghafarmanesh , was arrested on September 16th, 2019. Her family did not receive any answer to why, and for how long, she will be held in prison. She was one of the eight Baha’i citizen who were arrested and transferred to Evin prison between September 16th and October 17th. They were identified as Parvan Manavi, Elham Salmanzadeh, Hooman Khoshnam, Payam Shabani, Peyman Manavi, Maryam Ghaffarmanesh, Jamileh Pakrou (Mohammad Hossein) and Kianoush Salmanzadeh.

(10) Jafar Azimzadeh, the leading member of the Free Union of Workers in Iran, was transferred to Evin prison to serve his six-year prison term. Moreover, Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsanirad have been acquitted of charges of “acting against national security” in June 2018. In 2016 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison over charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security through organizing an illegal group’.

(11) Hossein Rezaei, a teacher and the secretary of the teachers’ union in Bushehr, who was arrested on January 26, was released on bail. He had been summoned twice to the intelligence office and was interrogated in January.

(12) The workers of Saman Tile Manufacturing Company in Borujerd, have more than four years of unpaid wages. The workers of IranPetroTech have also unpaid wages and 12 workers of this company have been laid off last month.

(13) A labor activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, has been detained for one month and a half, although his family provided his bail bond which has been set for 200 million Toman [approximately 20 thousand USD]. He had been released from prison last year after finishing his seven years sentence.

(14) The special needs students’ transportation vehicle crashed, leaving eight injured in Sharafkhaneh in Shabestar County in the East Azerbaijan Province.

(15) Iran has six thousand disabled veteran women of Iran-Iraq War and more than six thousand women had been killed in this war. These women and their families have been treated unequally by the government and the society in comparison with men veterans.

(16) Saeed Malekpour’s mother wrote an open letter to Tehran’s Prosecutor General to request her son’s release after serving ten years in prison. A Canadian resident and alumna of Sharif University was arrested in 2008, during a trip to Iran on blasphemy-related charges. According to Hrana, the Cyber Unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), accusing Malekpour of managing Persian-language pornographic websites, arrested him during a trip to Iran to visit his family and sentenced him to death plus seven and a half years in prison, on counts of “propaganda against the regime,” “blasphemy,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” “insulting the president,” “contacting opposition groups” and “corruption on earth.” Malekpour’s death penalty sentence was eventually reduced to a life sentence. Throughout his legal proceedings, Malekpour has insisted that case analysis by a computer and internet expert would absolve him of the charges.

(17) Hamid Askari, a singer, was banned from working and the rest of his concerts have been canceled because of featuring a female vocalist and guitar player, Negin Parsa, in his concert. Women are prohibited from singing or playing musical instruments solo in Iran.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 22, 2019

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 22nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than nine protests were organized across the country. Retired educators and other retired government employees, Ghoflkar Company workers in Alborz, the municipality workers in Lowshan, Marivan, Borujerd, and Andimeshk, the workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Rasht, and the contractors of Tehran municipality have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) Placed 1st in the Iranian University Master Studies Entrance Exam, Amir Reza Alipour Hashtali Amoli, was sentenced to six months in prison on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(3) In the last nine months, 56 workers died and 112 have been injured in the work-related incidents in East Azerbaijan province, which is a four percent increase over a year. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(4) 72 people have been arrested in a “mix gender party” in Sari. The detainees were transferred to the court. They may be able to get out of jail by posting bail, otherwise they would be imprisoned.

(5) Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a professor of journalism, was summoned to the Evin’s prosecutor’s office. He was an editor of several newspapers, including Kian, Toos, Jame’eh, Neshat, and Asr-e Azadegan.

(6) A Human rights lawyer, Mohammad Najafi, was sentenced to 19 years imprisonments. He is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 16 more years imprisonment for his new charge of “spreading lies and disturbing public opinion”.

(7) Behzad Shahsavar and Siamand Shahsavar, prisoners of the Intelligence detention center in Urmia, have been transferred to Naqadeh prison. They were accused of “corporation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(8) 23-year-old, Amin Pishdad, was transferred to Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad. He had been arrested last year on blasphemy and espionage related charges and was sentenced to ten years in prison which was reduced in the appeals court to eight months.

(9) A Baha’i citizen, Soheil Haghdoost, was sentenced to four months imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state” for announcing and following up regarding his business’s forced closure. Also, he has been sentenced to a year in prison in March 2018.

(10) Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami have been sentenced to six years in prison each, and were banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism.

(11) The workers of Assaluyeh Pars Petrochemical Company, who were protesting their layoffs, have been arrested.

(12) Five students in Kashan were transferred to a hospital for gas poisoning because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in heater installation in the school.

(13) Three thousand villages in Sistan and Baluchestan do not have water distribution network. 46 percent of population in this province have access to the water sources.

(14) Members of the Iranian Writers Association, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bazhan have been arrested. They were summoned to the court on the “encouraging immorality or prostitution” and security-related charges, were imprisoned because they could not post a bail.

(15) 180 workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail have 18 months of unpaid wages. Kayson Project Management Company paid one months of their unpaid wages but there are still concerns that the remaining will be left unpaid.

(16) A prisoner accused of murdering his friend was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Tehran. He was spending 6 years in prison.

(17) Mohammad Hosseinzadeh, civil rights activist, was released on bail. He was arrested with Arsham Rezaei and Majid Hosseini on the charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “collusion against the state”. The two others’ whereabouts is still unknown.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 23, 2018

Posted on: December 23rd, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 23rd, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Iranian border patrol shot a 27-year-old Kurdish kulbar, Ali Mamveisi, in Sardasht. He was severely injured and was transferred to a hospital in Urmia.

(2) A 36-year-old woman committed suicide by self-immolation on December 22 in Kooy-e Saadi district in Ahvaz.

(3) In the last two days, six workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group were released. More than 43 workers were arrested on December 19.

(4) A prisoner charged with murder was saved from death with forgiveness of the next of kin in Khuzestan.

(5) Behrouz Farzandi , a Baha’i prisoner of war and disabled veteran of Iran-Iraq war, has been denied his degree after completing a bachelor program in Business Administration.

(6) A citizen was severely injured after a mine exploded in Dehloran city in Ilam province.

(7) The Supreme Court rejected the death sentence of Marjan Davari, a 52-year-old translator and scholar in Shahr Ray women’s prison, who was sentenced to death on charge of ‘corruption on earth’ in 2017. She was a translator in the Rah-e-Marefat institution.

(8) Detained civil rights activist Reza Khandan was released on bail. His charges are “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “encouraging prostitution by promoting non-observance of the hijab.”

(9) Esmail Bakhshi, a labor activist, returned to his workplace. He was a worker of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Argo-Business and was released on bail on December 12. He was detained for 40 days in prison.

(10) Nader Fatourechi’s court was on session on December 23. He confirmed that he faced persecution over his criticism of prison conditions after his detention at Fashafoyeh Prison. He was released on bail.

(11) A woman suffers serious injuries after an acid attack by her 20-years old step-son in Tehran. The two had financial disputes.

(12) The director of burn prevention research center: 40 percent of the burn patients are children and more than 15 percent of them are the women who are the victims of self-immolation.

(13) In a statement, more than 600 teachers requested immediate investigation of the causes and the responsible authorities in a Zahedan kindergarten fire. They warned that more than half of the schools in the country are unsafe.

(14) The appeal court of a Baha’i painter, Shahriar Cyrus, who was arrested on June 2015 and was sentenced to five years in prison will be in session on December 25th. He was accused of ‘assembly and conspiracy against the state’ by offering painting classes. He was a student of Aydeen Aghdashlou, Rouyein Pakbaz, and Ahmad Vakili and had been teaching painting for many years. He has also published articles on philosophy and art history in Iranian newspapers.

(15) More than 60 workers in Iranian Rail Industrial Development Company (IRICO) have been laid off due to company’s financial problems.

(16) Two workers died due to an unsafe workplace in Dehdasht and Gonabad.

Open Letter: Reza Khandan Echoes Public Support of an Ailing Farhad Meysami

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Imprisoned civil rights activist Reza Khandan has published a letter calling attention to fellow activist Farhad Meysami’s mistreatment by prison authorities, who are reportedly unmoved by the steep decline of Meysami’s health since he declared hunger strike on August 1st.

Since forcibly taking Meysami to the prison clinic on September 26th, prison authorities have kept him in quarantine-like conditions, restricting all of his contacts with the outside. In protest of his arrest, as well as authorities’ refusal to appoint the lawyer of his choice, Meysami has already been on hunger strike for more than 75 days.

Medical doctors, publishers, bookshop owners, and university graduates numbering 1400 in all have published an open letter raising their own concerns over Meysami’s condition and pleading for his immediate release. The voices of two teachers incarcerated at Evin also got behind what has become a burgeoning public campaign for, at the very least, Meysami’s transfer to an outside medical facility.

The full text of Khandan’s letter, translated into English by HRANA, is below:

Dear Compatriots,

Fellow human rights activists,

It has been 75 days since Dr. Farhad Mesyami started his difficult and worrisome hunger strike. Three weeks ago, he was forcibly transferred to the prison clinic from the general ward. Reportedly on orders from the prosecutor’s office, and with the cooperation of the clinic’s director, prison officials have repurposed the clinic into a security detention unit where patient spaces can be used as solitary confinement cells.

Currently, Farhad Meysami is being held in one of those rooms under tight security controls. In his frail state he has reportedly been subjected to inhumane treatment whereby, against his will and without the presence of family or a lawyer, he was strapped to a bed and given injections.

In these instances, we must hold accountable not only judiciary authorities but also the Ministry of Health and the President himself, who has sworn to protect the rights of the people.

Moreover, we must advocate that medical professionals be held accountable, those who have in an unprofessional and unprincipled manner taken action against the will of the patient, heeding any and all orders [from authorities], however unethical they may be.

Farhad Meysami’s health and life is at risk now more than ever, and it is urgent he is transferred to a hospital outside the prison for medical care.

Reza Khandan, October 14, 2018, Ward 4 of Evin Prison

****

Reza Khandan Khandan was arrested in his home by security forces on September 4, 2018, before being charged in Branch 7 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Interrogation office. He was summoned to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court on October 5th but refused to attend as an act of protest against the unlawfully late subpoena.

Reza Khandan Spurns Second Illegitimate Court Summons

Posted on: October 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- In the face of the legal obligation to summon defendants a minimum of one week before their hearings, authorities summoned imprisoned civil rights activist Reza Khandan Friday, October 5th for a hearing in Revolutionary Court Branch 15 the very next day.

Khandan, who is married to imprisoned civil rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, said he refused to respond to the unlawful summons. “Almost all prisoners are sent to the court in this manner. Some of them even attend court without a defense lawyer, because they can’t contact one on such a limited time frame.”

In a note yesterday, Khandan’s lawyer Mohammad Moghimi wrote that his client was within his right not to show up, as provisioned in Section 343 of Criminal Procedure Code. “[…] Such a trial is illegitimate,” Moghimi said.

Khandan was arrested by security forces in his home on Tuesday, September 4th after ignoring a September 3rd summons unlawfully issued by phone. He was charged at Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s office and sent to prison the same day.

On September 22, 2018, HRANA reported on the referral of Reza Khandan’s case from Revolutionary Court to Evin Court in order to resolve deficiencies in his case file.

According to HRANA reports, Ministry of Intelligence security forces searched the homes of Mohammadreza (Davoud) Farhadpour, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and Khandan’s sister on Saturday, August 18th. The forces reportedly confiscated pin-back buttons reading “I am against forced veiling” along with letters that Sotoudeh had written to Khandan from prison.

Profiles: the Women’s Section of Evin Prison

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The 17 prisoners held on political or security-related charges in the Women’s Ward of Tehran’s Evin Prison live with deplorable conditions, compromised hygiene, and paltry nutrition. The following is a brief exposé of their quality of life, followed by a snapshot of their individual case files.

Many of these prisoners are mothers pained by the distance from their children, a pain that is only exacerbated by the prison chief’s refusal to grant them access to the phone on days of the week that their children are home from school. While the prisoners were granted permission from prosecutors to open the Saturday-to-Wednesday phone schedule to any day of the week, the chief, who goes by “Chaharmahali,” has refused to loosen up the former protocol.

In another blatant disregard of court orders, prison authorities refuse to send prisoners to outside medical clinics even when prosecutors and deputy prosecutors order or grant permission for the transfers. Prison authorities justify their refusal by saying that the prison clinic has its own doctors, or will recruit them as necessary; yet prisoners needing help from a psychologist, eye doctor, or internal specialist wait months to be seen.

These women are effectively hindered from providing even the most basic care to themselves, as clinic authorities refuse to distribute basic medicine or first aid kits to inmates. Many–insulted by the stipulations from Khani, the clinic head, that they take all of their nightly medication in one supervised sitting–have quit their medications in protest, and are experiencing aggravated symptoms as a result.

Evin Prison dentistry operates in less-than-sterile conditions and exposes patients to remarkably high risk for infections. Cavity fillings are expensive there, putting patients out as much as 20 million rials (approximately $114 USD) or preventing them, for lack of means, from getting the fillings they need. Many of the Evin women have trouble footing the bill, as the now-unemployed breadwinners of their households or as the wives of men who are also behind bars.

Prison food rations are growing more pitiful by the day. Forty-day rations of dry food items that are distributed to prisoners are depleted without fail within half that time. In the last six months, meat and vegetables have been cut from the prisoners’ diets.

Hygiene and cleaning items are also in short supply. Most prisoners run out, and those who can’t afford the pricey prison shop simply do without.

Deputy prosecutor Rostami oversees political and security prisoners and recently took up his position in Evin’s prosecutorial office. While he has verbally engaged to welcome prisoner families into his office on Sundays and Tuesdays, complaints from these families suggest that he is chronically unavailable, impassive to their requests, and generally unaccountable. Complaints lead nowhere, families say; requests for furlough or conditional release are routinely ignored.

Prison authorities rarely visit the Women Section, and tend to either lose or ignore any letters from its inmates.

Who are the women of Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward?

1- Maryam Akbari Monfared (born 1975)

Convicted of enmity against god, gathering and colluding against national security and propagating against the regime through working with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), Monfared is serving a suspended sentence of 15 years.

Monfared was arrested December 31, 2009, following a widespread Ashura demonstration during the holy month of Muharram. She was tried the following May and sentenced by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Salavati. She denied the accusations against her.

Monfared has been shuffled around different penitentiaries over the course of her imprisonment, inducing the solitary cells of Ward 209, the Methadone Ward, the Women’s Ward, Rajai Shahr Prison, and Qarchak Prison in Varamin. After writing several letters to clerics, prison authorities, and Ahmad Shaheed, then the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, she was returned to Evin’s Women’s Ward and has remained there since.

Two of Maryam’s brothers were executed in 1981 and 1984 for their connections to the MEK. Another younger brother and a sister were also executed during the 1988 massacre.

Maryam, a mother of two, has been barred from conditional release and has not received a single day of furlough since she began her sentence in 2009.

2- Zahra Zahtabchi (born 1969)

Zahra Zahtabchi was issued a 10-year suspended sentence for Baqi (violation) and enmity against god through support of the MEK.

Zahtabchi was arrested with her husband and daughter on October 16, 2013. She came to Evin’s Women’s Ward after spending 14 months in the solitary cells of Ward 209. On December 8, 2014, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts sentenced her to 12 years in prison. The sentence was reduced to 10 years in appeals court.

Her two daughters are Narges, 22 and Mina, 15.

In 2016, three years after her arrest, she went on furlough for three days.

3- Fatemeh Mosana (born 1967)

Fatemeh Mosana was sentenced to 15 years for Baqi and enmity against god through support of the MEK in Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Ahmadzadeh. Her husband Hassan Sadeghi received the same sentence.

Mosana, Sadeghi, and their child were arrested January 28, 2013, by Intelligence Ministry forces. The child was released after six weeks.

Mosana spent 75 days in the solitary cells of Ward 209 before her transfer to the Women’s Ward.

On January 13, 2014, she was temporarily released on bail. Some of her family’s property, including Sadeghi’s shop and their personal house, was seized by the authorities.

On September 30, 2015, she was re-arrested and taken to the Women’s Ward. She has two children who currently live with their ailing grandmothers.

Mosana, who suffers from ulcerative colitis and severe nervous migraines, has never been granted furlough.

4- Narges Mohammadi (born 1972)

Narges Mohammadi is serving a 16-year sentence, compounded by a six-year sentence on a previous case.

Narges was first arrested in 2002 and then released on bail after a week. For that case, she received a one-year sentence.

In May 2010, she was arrested and held for weeks in the solitary cells of Evin’s Ward 209 before being released on a bail of 1 billion rials. In 2011, she was convicted of gathering and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime, which carried a sentence of 11 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to six years in appeals court.

She started serving her sentence in 2012, which began with one month in solitary confinement and four months in exile in Zanjan. She was released due to health conditions before being re-arrested in 2015 to resume her sentence. At that point, authorities opened up a new case file against her, convicting her anew of gathering and collusion, and of propaganda against the regime, with the additional charge of establishing LEGAM, a campaign to abolish the death penalty. Collectively her charges earned her 16 years in prison, but by Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code, she should only serve 10 [i.e. the sentence corresponding to the heaviest among her multiple charges].

She has two children, and on the prosecutor’s orders is barred from having contact with her husband.

She suffers from pulmonary embolism and was granted a three-day furlough on September 29th.

5- Reyhaneh Haj Ebrahim Dabagh

Born in 1982, Reyhaneh Haj Ebrahim Dabagh is serving a 15-year exile imprisonment sentence, ruled by Judge Salavati in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court on charges of enmity against god through support of the MEK, gathering and colluding, and propaganda against the regime.

Ebrahim Dabagh has been in prison since early 2010. She suffers from ulcerative colitis and has served exile time in Qarchak and Rajai Shahr prisons. Her husband Ahmad Daneshpour and her father-in-law Mohsen Daneshpour are awaiting trial in Evin’s Section 350. They are both said to have been sentenced to capital punishment.

After seven years in prison, Ebrahim Dabagh went on furlough for the first time in December 2016, and was briefly freed on bail. On August 15, 2018, she was sent back to Women’s Ward to serve the rest of her sentence.

6- Azita Rafizadeh (born 1980)

As part of a 2011 crackdown on the Baha’i academic community, security agents raided the homes of managers and professors at the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), including Azita Rafizadeh’s. In the raid, her religious books, personal writings, and electronic devices were confiscated.

Rafizadeh was sentenced in 2014 to four years in prison on charges of acting against national security and membership in “the illegal Baha’i organization.” Her husband Peyman Kooshkbaghi was sentenced to five years in prison at the same time.

She presented hersef to Evin’s prosecutors in 2015 to begin her sentence. On February 28, 2018, her husband was detained without reason in Evin’s section 8 while trying to arrange a visit with her. Rafizade and Kooshkbaghi have a 10-year-old son name Bashir who in absence of his parents has been trusted to the care of another family.

7- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (born 1979)

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year suspended sentence on charges of gathering and collusion against national security.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at the airport while visiting Iran on holiday in 2016. After a day in IRGC’s detention center, she was transferred to Kerman prison, and two months later to Tehran, where Judge Salavati issued her prison sentence in July of that year. A few months later, she was sent to the Women’s Ward.

On August 23rd, she was granted a three-day furlough after two and a half years in prison. She has a four-year-old daughter.

8- Aras Amiri (born in 1986)

A student of London’s Kingston University, Amiri was arrested by Intelligence Ministry forces on March 14, 2018, and released two months later after posting a 5000 million rial bail. On September 7, 2018, she was summoned and subsequently arrested by Evin prosecutors, after which she was sent to the prison’s Women’s Ward. She has denied the “gathering and collusion against national security” accusations against her and is still awaiting trial.

9- Golrokh Ebrahimi Irayi (born 1980)

Irayi was sentenced to six years in prison, which was reduced to 2.5 years based on amnesty and Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code. She was convicted of insulting the sacred and gathering and collusion against the regime. Earlier this year, she was exiled to Varamin’s Qarchak prison, and was brought back to Evin after going on hunger strike.

On September 6, 2014, Golrokh was arrested along with her husband, Arash Sadeghi. She spent two days in an IRGC safe house and then 20 days in the solitary cells of Evin’s Section 2A, which is under IRGC jurisdiction. She was released on a bail of 800 million rials.

Judge Salavati sentenced her to six year in prison while she was undergoing surgery in the hospital.

On October 24, 2016, the IRGC arrested her without a warrant. Her husband Arash Sadeghi was also arrested and sentenced to 19 years in prison. He is currently in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison and has undergone operations for cancer.

Arash and Golrokh have been forbidden from seeing each other for the past 8 months.

10- Nasrin Sotoudeh (born 1963)

According to Sotoudeh’s lawyer, she has been sentenced to five years in prison for espionage (a charge that does not figure on her charge sheet), a complaint from Kashan prosecutorial interrogators, and an arrest order from Branch Two of Evin’s interrogators. She currently awaits trial.

Sotoudeh was first arrested September 2010 and sentenced to 11 year in prison, a 20-year ban from the bar association, and 20-year travel ban. Appeals court reduced these sentences to six years in prison and a 10-year ban from the bar. She was in Evin prison from 2010 to 2013 on charges of “acting against national security.” Upon her release, lawyer’s court banned her from the bar for three years, which she protested in 2014 by organizing a sit-in in front of the Bar Association. Because of her sit-in, her attorney privileges were reinstated.

On June 13th of this year she was arrested in her home and taken to Evin prison. Her husband Reza Khandan is being held in Evin’s Section Four. Two of her children, Mehrave and Nima, are currently in the care of family friends.

11- Negin Ghadamian (born 1983)

Ghadamian was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence on a conviction of against national security through membership in “the illegal Baha’i organization.”

On May 24, 2011, Negin was arrested by security forces and released on a bail of 500 million rials. In February 2013, along with eight other Baha’i citizens, she was convicted in absentia of working with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education and sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Moghise. On December 16, 2017, she was arrested at the airport and sent to the Women’s Ward of Evin prison to serve her sentence.

12 – Masoumeh (Mino) Ghasemzade Malakshah (born 1976)

Malakshah and her ex-husband, Amir-Mehdi Tabasi were arrested in 2011 by the Intelligence Ministry agents. Both were detained and later released on bail on espionage charges after travelling to the Israeli embassy in Turkey and applying for residency in Israel. Both Malakshah and Tabasi were sentenced to 10 years, a sentence which was confirmed in appeals court in 2017.

Malakshah was taken to the Women’s Ward of Evin prison. Tabasi is detained in a different ward of same prison.

13- Ruqayya Haji Mashallah (born 1981)

Mashallah is awaiting trial on charges that are currently unclear.

Of Iranian origin, Mashallah is a citizen of Bahrain. She was arrested in May 2018 in Mashhad and taken to Evin’s Women’s Ward on June 27th of the same year. Her Bahraini husband has only been able to meet with her once since her arrest. She a mother to three children.

14- Leila Tajik (born 1973)

Tajik was arrested by IRGC’s Intelligence Department on September 5, 2017. She was taken to the Women’s Ward earlier this year after spending seven months in an IRGC safe house. Her husband, who is said to be a retired employee of IRGC’s Intelligence Department, is also under arrest. She awaits trial on charges of espionage.

Tajik and her spouse have two children aged 16 and 19.

15 – Atena (Fateme) Daemi (born 1988)

Daemi was arrested on October 21, 2014.

On May 15, 2015, Judge Moghise of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to 14 year in prison on charges of collusion and gathering against national security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the Supreme Leader. Her sentence was reduced to five years with application of Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code.

After her arrest and before her trial, she spent 86 days in the solitary cells of Section 2-A. On February 15, 2016, she was released on a bail of 5500 million rials. Her sentenced was reduced to seven years in appeals court in August of 2016.

Daemi was arrested in her father’s house that November, and cases against her two sisters and one of her brother-in-laws immediately followed. She went on hunger strike for 54 days until the charges against them were dropped. So far she has been acquitted of two case files that have been opened against her.

In January of this year, she was taken to Varamin’s Qarchak prison after being assaulted. On May 9th, she was taken back to Evin’s Women’s Ward. She has thus far been denied furlough and has yet to request parole.

16- Elham Barmaki (born 1968)

On December 28, 2011, Barmarki was arrested on the street and spent three months in the solitary cells of Section 209. She was then released on bail and was later acquitted.

On July 23, 2012, she was arrested again, this time spending 14 months Section 209 solitary cells. On September 29, 2013, she was transferred to the Women’s Ward.

In Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Moghise, Barmaki was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fines of 25,000 Euros, 70,000 USD, and 400 million rials. She has two children, Amir-Parviz and Anita, who both live abroad. She was released once on furlough in March 2017 for the Persian New Year. Her request for parole has been rejected.

17 – Sotoudeh Fazeli (born 1953)

Fazeli was arrested in early 2011 by the Intelligence Ministry. She spent 31 days in Evin’s Section 209 before being released on bail in 2011. Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Salavati, sentenced her to three years in prison on charges of “enmity against god by supporting the MEK.” She has been held in the Women’s Ward since June 29, 2016.

Fazeli suffers from eye and muscle problems, among other health conditions. She was released on a short furlough in 2016. Her requests for parole have been repeatedly rejected.

Since the beginning of the new Persian calendar year in 2018, 15 new prisoners have entered the Women’s Ward, including Zahra Zare, Negar Zarei, Mandana Azarmah, Akram Gholami, Aliyah Eghdamdoost, Akram Mirsane, Raha Fasayi, Parisa Rahmati, Batool Ezati and Arefe Aziz. A number of these women have been already released.

53 Days into Solidarity Hunger Strike, Ailing Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Stands His Ground

Posted on: September 25th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- In protest of the imprisonment of his comrade Reza Khandan, civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami has now been starving himself for 53 consecutive days.

In a visit to the Evin Prison clinic September 22nd, according to a close source, doctors noted Meysami’s 42-pound weight loss and steep drop in blood pressure and urged him to be admitted to the clinic. Meysami refused, persistent in his requests to be transferred to an outside hospital.

Shortly thereafter, prison authorities, including the prison director, came to visit Meysami, who reiterated to them the sole condition in which he will end his hunger strike: the dropping of all charges against Reza Khandan.

Farhad Meysami was arrested in his personal study on July 31st. He was originally charged with “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security,”; “propaganda against the regime”; and “insulting hijab, a necessary and sacred element of Islam.”

On September 3rd, however, Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s interrogation department claimed that charges have since changed, with the last one replaced with “spreading corruption and prostitution.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both asked for Meysami’s release.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Reaches 50th day on Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Farhad Meysami has not had a single meal, or any food at all, for 50 days and counting, as his health condition continues to deteriorate.

A civil rights activist imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, Meysami announced his hunger strike August 1st, one day after his arrest by Iranian authorities, in protest of their refusal of the attorney of his choosing. Despite the decline of his health during the hunger strike, authorities have yet to send him to a hospital.

HRANA reported on Meysami’s weight loss and poor physical state on September 8th.

Mohammad Moghimi–lawyer of fellow Evin prisoner Reza Khandan, and incidentally, the attorney Meysami would have appointed if given the choice–said his client called him from Evin to report that Meysami’s strike had put him in mortal danger, and that he needed a transfer to the hospital right away.

Moghimi said that authorities’ denial of Meysami’s attorney of choice puts them in conflict with Iranian law. Once initial interrogations are over, each prisoner has a right to a lawyer of his or her choosing, according to Moghimi’s reading of Article 48 of Iranian penal code.

Meysami was arrested in his personal study on July 31st. He was originally charged with “gathering and collusion aimed at disrupting national security,”; “propaganda against the regime”; and “insulting hijab, a necessary and sacred element of Islam.”

On September 3rd, however, Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s interrogation department claimed that charges have since changed, with the last one replaced with “spreading corruption and prostitution.”

Meysami, who suffers from ulcerative colitis, has said that during his hunger strike he will take only the medication that treats this condition, as he has taken for the past 18 years. Meysami has previously said that he would break his hunger strike only if his friend and fellow inmate Reza Khandan, who was arrested after Meysami’s hunger strike began, is released unconditionally.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both asked for Meysami’s release.

Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Enters 38th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: September 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The health condition of Farhad Meysami — who declared hunger strike the day after his arrest on July 31st in protest to his detention and the denial of his right to a lawyer of his choice — is in steady decline.

A source close to the matter told HRANA, “His blood pressure dropped very low on Saturday, September 8th. The doctor recommended he be treated in a hospital or the prison clinic, saying that his vital signs would remain unstable otherwise. He has lost 14 kilograms [30 pounds] since the start of his hunger strike, and weighs 64.5 kilograms [142 pounds] now.”

Suffering from intestinal colitis that he has been treating with medication for the past 18 years, Meysami has announced that his diet will be limited to that medicine, and will only end his hunger strike if Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, is unconditionally released.

Meysami was arrested by security forces in his personal library on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and during his interrogation was charged with “Collusion and conspiracy to threaten national security,” “Disseminating propaganda against the regime,” and “Insulting the hijab, an essential sacrament of Islam.” On Monday, September 3rd, Branch 7 of Evin Court added “Propagation of corruption and decadence” to his charging document.

Human Rights Watch previously issued a statement in which they mentioned Meysami’s ordeal, asking Iranian authorities to stop the repression of human rights defenders and immediately release those who are being persecuted for their peaceful expressions of dissent.

Amnesty International also appealed to Iranian authorities, opposing their crackdown on civil society and unlawful detention of lawyers and human rights activists including Farhad Meysami. They demanded these prisoners’ immediate release, and that authorities provide every detainee with access to a lawyer of their choice at the time of their arrest.

Nasrin Sotoudeh’s charges: A closer look

Posted on: September 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Human rights lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is entering the second week of her hunger strike, has been imprisoned since June 14th, 2018 in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Sotoudeh’s temporary detention warrant has been renewed twice in this 86-day stretch. She did not post the bail granted to her and remains in custody in the Evin Prison women’s ward. Her husband Reza Khandan, who had been publicly supporting her on social media, was arrested himself on September 4th.

Summary of Current Proceedings

According to lawyer Payam Dorafshan, who himself was imprisoned from August 31st until his release on September 6th, Sotoudeh is being held on three counts:

· A five-year sentence on an espionage charge that didn’t figure in her indictment
· An unspecified charge from a court investigator in Kashan (a city located in central Iran)
· An arrest warrant by Branch 2 of the Interrogations Unit

Sources close to Sotoudeh believe she has been arrested for carrying out her responsibilities as an attorney by defending the rights of those charged for protesting mandatory veiling.

Sotoudeh’s husband Khandan revealed in July that his wife was deprived the right to appoint her own legal counsel. Her attorney of choice was rejected by judicial authorities on the basis of a new law which, in cases of those accused of national security crimes, restricts defendants to choose a lawyer from a pre-approved list.

In late July, Sotoudeh was served a charge for which she has already been doled a five-year prison sentence: membership in LEGAM, a Persian abbreviation for the Step-by-Step Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty in Iran.

In a letter from prison, Sotoudeh then announced that she refused to go to court, an action which, according to Khandan, provoked judicial authorities to bring new charges against her.

An investigator– together with the Assistant Prosecutor and the Evin Prison Director of the Execution of Sentences — visited Sotoudeh’s prison ward on August 25th to “complete the case.” Over the course of their visit, the investigator leveled three new accusations against Sotoudeh: assisting in the foundation of Christian house churches, incitement to hold referendums, and attempts to hold gatherings and sit-ins.

Following the visit, Sotoudeh wrote an open letter to announce her hunger strike, decrying both her own arrest and the pressures that judiciary authorities are reportedly placing on her family, relatives, and friends, e.g. the arrest of civil rights activist Farhad Meysami and the search of her own home as well as those of activists Mohammad Reza Farhadpour, Zhila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and her sister-in-law.

Her temporary detention warrant was renewed the second time on September 1st. Three days later, her husband Reza Khandan was arrested in his home by security forces after refusing to respond to a telephone court summons, allegedly from the Intelligence Bureau, that he had exposed as unlawful on his social media account.

Khandan was later charged in Branch 7 of Evin Prison Court with “Collusion against National Security,” “Propaganda against the regime,” and “Propagation of unveiling in public”. With a bail set at 700 million IRR (approximately $50,000 USD), he joined his wife in Evin Prison, albeit in a different ward. The couples’ children are now without a guardian.

International Reaction

Sotoudeh’s arrest in June incited lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi to write a protest letter to Javaid Rehman, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, asking him to use all the legal means at his disposal to fight for Sotoudeh’s release.

Amnesty International issued a statement July 5th declaring that Sotoudeh was being persecuted “in connection with her work as a lawyer defending women who have peacefully protested against compulsory veiling (hijab). She is a prisoner of conscience.”

On September 4th, 2018, after the arrest of her husband and the announcement of her hunger strike, Amnesty International issued another statement:
“The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release both Nasrin Sotoudeh and Reza Khandan…The international community, including the EU, must do everything in their power to expedite the release of these two human rights defenders.”

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, was emphatic in his defense of Sotoudeh, stating, “first the authorities jail Nasrin Sotoudeh on bogus charges, then harass, intimidate, and threaten her family and friends, and now arrest her husband. These callous actions illustrate the lengths to which Iranian authorities will go to silence human rights lawyers, even targeting their families” (2).

Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Background

Nasrin Sotoudeh Langroudi was born on June 9th, 1963 in Tehran, Iran. She is a legal expert, licensed lawyer, and social activist with a master’s degree in International Law. She has actively participated in several civic campaigns and associations, such as the Defenders of Human Rights Center, One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws Against Women, the Step-by-Step Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Child Rights’ Protection Association. She has represented many victims of child abuse, as well as human and women’s rights activists and juvenile offenders facing the death penalty. Sotoudeh has frequently been lauded as a human rights champion and is a recipient of the EU’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

With her husband Reza Khandan, she has a daughter, Mehraveh, and one son, Nima.

Sotoudeh was previously arrested in August 2010, when she was issued an 11-year prison sentence, 20-year travel ban, and 20-year ban from practicing law. She appealed the sentence to six years in prison with a 10-year ban on practicing law. She spent September 4th, 2010 to September 18th, 2013 in Evin Prison on charges of “Acting against national security.” Immediately upon her release, her licence to practice law was revoked for three years. In response, she staged a sit-in before the Iranian Bar Association building. Joined in support by several other lawyers, the sit-in resulted in the restoration of her licence.