Prison Sentence of Saba Kord Afshari Reduced to Five Years 

Recently, the Supreme Court of Iran commuted the prison sentence of civil activist, Saba Kord Afshari to five years while she was in prison. She was acquitted of the charge of “promoting corruption and obscenity through appearing without a headscarf in public.” Based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the five years prison sentence is the maximum punishment enforceable for her.

Afshari is a civil activist and prominent critic of the compulsory hijab in Iran. She was convicted for her civil activities and in February of 2019, she was freed after serving her sentence. On June 1, 2019, she was arrested at her home and transferred to prison after completing an interrogation.

On August 27, 2019, Afshari was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to 15 years imprisonment for “promoting corruption and obscenity through appearing without a headscarf in public”, 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “assembly and collusion to act against national security”. 

This verdict, which was increased two and half times more due to a previous record, was corrected and reduced from 15 years to 7 years and 6 months.

On December 9, 2020, she was transferred from Evin Prison to exile to Qarchak Prison.

International Women’s Day: An Overview on Women Rights and Its Defenders in Iran

In many countries, International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is designated to commemorate women’s historical struggle for rights, honor their sacrifices and celebrate their cultural and political achievements. The Islamic Republic of Iran, however, refuses to follow this path. The regime never agreed to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and its law blatantly violates the most fundamental rights of women, including the right of women to make decisions relating to their bodies and clothing choices, as well as equal opportunities in both social and economic realms.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in the absence of any protective laws and punishments against “honor killings”, both domestic and non-domestic violence against women is widespread. Women’s rights defenders and gender equality advocates are frequently subjected to pressure and arbitrary detention by regime security forces, leading to prosecution, unfair trials and convictions by judicial authorities. Currently, many women’s rights activists await verdicts, and others are serving sentences in prison— often in the same ward as prisoners of violent crimes, jeopardizing their safety.

According to HRANA’s Annual Analytical and Statistical Report on Human Rights in Iran, based on 90 registered reports by the Department of Statistics, at least 43 women reported physical and sexual abuse in the last year. In addition, there were 24 reported cases of honor killings, eight self-immolations, three acid attacks, and four cases where women’s rights activists were summoned to judicial and security organizations. There were 20,187 reported cases of domestic abuse against women and 13 murders. This report also details that seven women were detained for reasons related to women’s rights and at least four women’s rights activists were sentenced to a total of 282 months in prison.

It is worth mentioning that this data is merely collected from media reports. The real figures are likely much higher and more daunting, as many domestic violence cases are never reported to legal authorities.

Women’s Rights Violations

Honor Killings:  An honor killing is the murder of an individual, often a girl or woman, by a family member or relative in an attempt to restore the honor of the family. The victim’s act, such as refusing forced marriage, being the victim of a rape, getting a divorce, or adultery, is deemed traditionally or religiously shameful or dishonorable by the family or community.

In Iran’s law system, the punishment for murder is usually decided by the “blood avenger”, most often the father, as he is the first degree male relative. Consequently, the perpetrator in an honor killing is either identical to or related to the blood avenger. Thanks to this legal flaw, many honor killers get away without heavy punishment.

For example, Romina Ashrafi, age 13, was beheaded by her father in an honor killing. His father was sentenced to nine years in prison, which is considered a light sentence compared to the death penalty, normally a routine punishment for homicide in Iran.

Violence Against Girls and Women- Iran is one of the four countries in the world that has not recognized the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Through the efforts of a number of women’s rights activists, a bill known as the Protection, Dignity, and Security of Women Against Violence was approved by the government on January 3, 2021. However, when the bill was drafted in Hassan Rouhani’s first cabinet, 40 of the 90 articles of the bill were removed. Former Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, announced that the bill was not presented Parliament for approcal five months after the approval of the cabinet. Recently, Shiva Ghasemipour of the Women’s Faction in Parliament announced that the bill was handed over to the Judiciary for further review.

Bodily Autonomy- In February of 2022, the Medical Equipment Department imposed a regulation whereby pharmacies all over the country were prohibited to provide contraceptives pills without a prescription. The regulation addresses department deputies at medical universities, prohibiting them from distributing free or subsidized birth control or contraceptive implantation. It also prohibits the promotion of contraceptive pills and treatments. In an effort to implement the Rejuvenation of The Population And Support of Family bill such regulations aim to make birth control and abortion harder for women to access. These restrictions on providing contraceptive pills, contraceptive-related services and strict rules against abortion blatantly violate the inalienable rights of women to make decisions relating to their bodies and increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and vaginal cancer.

Forced Veiling- Among other restrictions, forcing women to wear a veil is one of the most flagrant violations of women’s rights. As UN Human Rights Council asserts, any coercion pertaining to women’s clothes signifies the blatant violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by the government. Nonetheless, Iran’s regime, both in law and practice, not only forces women to wear a veil but also prosecutes and suppress women who oppose the compulsory veil. While Iran’s law cites punishments ranging from a fine of 50,000 tomans to two months imprisonment, citizens are in practice faced with more serious and groundless accusations such as “spreading corruption on earth” which can be punishable up to 10 years in prison. All these penalties stand in violation of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Right to Education- According to the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child’s CEO, in Iran, about one million children in poor areas are deprived of school. From them, 49,000 children are barred from education due to either lacking birth certificates or being forced to work. These numbers vary wildly each year. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of children out of school tripled.

Besides poverty, lack of birth certificates and child labour, some girls are barred from school by families who are adhere to traditional norms and prejudices. In 2020, 4142 girls left school because of child marriage or family disallowance.

Cultural Rights- Iran’s regime prohibits women from dancing and singing in the public, which violates Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which asserts the right of everyone to take part in cultural activities. Despite women being legally allowed to be in sports stadiums, they face many obstructions by authorities in practice.

Marriage and Family Rights- In violation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which asserts the abolition of any gender discrimination in the law system, Iranian women are legally subjected to discrimination in many aspects of their family life, such as divorce and child custody. Married women require their husband’s permission to receive passports and leave the country.. Additionally, they do not have the right to choose where they live. The law allows the man to bar his wife from working outside the home if he considers the work in conflict with “family values”. In addition, as a duty of marriage, women are obliged to satisfy their husband’s sexual desires, arguably denying the right to consent during marital intercourse.

The UN Human Rights Council has stated that these discriminative laws violate Article 23.4 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Women’s Rights Activists

Convicted (But Not Imprisoned) Women’s Rights Activists

 

Tahmineh Mofidi

On January 2, 2021, women’s rights activist Tahmineh Mofidi was arrested by IRGCS intelligence agents at her house and transferred to Ward 2-A of Evin Prison On February 2, 2021, she was released on bail of 1.5 billion tomans until the end of legal proceedings. Thereafter, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to three years and seven months in prison and a fine of 15 million tomans on charges of “acting against national security through assembly and collusion” and “promotion of sexual perversion on social media”. Based on her refusal to appeal, as well as Article 34 of the Islamic Penal Code where only the severest punishment from multiple counts is enforceable, the verdict was reduced to a fine of 37 million tomans.

During the trial, actions such as writing the stories of women who have been the victim of sexual assault, advocating for a symbolic protest against the compulsory veil known as “Girls of Enghelab Street”, and coaching without a veil were invoked to support these charges. Initially, she was also accused of “promoting impurity and indecency ” which later was changed to “promotion of sexual perversion on social media”.

 

Imprisoned Women’s Rights Activists

 

Yasaman Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi

Yasaman Aryani and her mother Monireh Arabshahi, both civil activists and outspoken opponents of the forced veil, are currently serving sentences in Kachooie Prison in Karaj City. On April 10, 2019, one day after the arrest of her mother, Aryani was arrested and transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin City. They both were relocated to Evin Prison on August 13, 2019, and transferred again on October 21, 2021 to Kachooie Prison in Karaj.

On August 7, 2021, each was sentenced to 16 years in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime” and “provoking impurity and indecency”. These verdicts were reduced for each to nine years and seven months in prison. Per 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of five years and six months is enforceable. Arabshahi is still imprisoned and denied adequate medical treatment, despite being certified intolerant of punishment, and both an endocrinologist and neurologist asserting her need for lumbar disc and thyroid surgery.

On February 23, Aryani, who is co-housed with prisoners of violent crimes, was beaten by some fellow prisoners.

 

Saba Kord Afshari and Raheleh Ahmadi

Civil activists Saba Kord Afshari and her mother Raheleh Ahmadi were arrested on June 1 and July 10 2019, respectively. On August 27, 2019, Afshari was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on the charge of “promoting corruption and obscenity by appearing without a headscarf in public”, one year and six months on the charge of “propaganda against the regime” and seven years and six months on the charge of “assembly and collusion to act against national security”, totaling 24 years imprisonment.

This verdict was increased two and half times more due to a previous record, before finally being corrected in March of last year and reduced from 15 years to 7 years and 6 months. Per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of seven years and six months is enforceable.

On January 26, 2021, she was violently relocated from Ward 8 to Ward 6 of Qarchak Prison. Currently, she is held in the same ward as prisoners of violent crimes, which violates Iran prison rules.

On December 10, 2019, Ahmadi was sentenced to three years and six months in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security through collaboration with anti-regime media” and eight months on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”. Ahmadi was granted medical furlough after contracting COVID-19 on February 16. Afshari was also granted short term furlough one day after she was beaten by a prisoner of violent crime on February 20, and was therefore able to meet her mother on furlough.

Aliye Motallebzadeh

On November 26, 2016, Aliye Motallebzadeh, photographer and women’s rights defender, was arrested during her appearance at the Ministry of Intelligence office after phone summons. She was detained in Ward 209 at the Ministry of Intelligence’s disposal until December 19 2016, when she was released on bail of 300 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings.

The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to three years imprisonment for the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.” This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals.

On October 11, 2020, Motallebzadeh was sent to Evin Prison to serve her sentence after appearing at Evin Courthouse. On January 10, she was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin City to serve the rest of her sentence in exile. On February 23, she was granted medical furlough after contracting COVID-19.

 

Women’s Rights Activists Who Are Awaiting Imprisonment

 

Nahid Shaghaghi, Akram Nasirian, Maryam Mohammadi and Asrin Darkaleh

All four activists were arrested by security forces; Akram Nasirian on April 29, 2019, Nahid Shaghaghi on May 15, 2019, Maryam Mohammadi on July 8, 2019 and Asrin Darkaleh on July 28, 2019. They all were released on bail from May to August. Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced the activists to a total of 16 years and 8 months imprisonment. Per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of three years sentence on one count was enforceable for each. This was later reduced on appeal to two years and three months each. Recently, they were summoned by the Executive Unit of Evin Courthouse to serve their sentences.

 

Raha (Raheleh) Askarizadeh

On November 28, 2019, journalist, photographer and women’s rights activist Raha (Raheleh) Askarizadeh was arrested at Imam Khomeini International Airport while leaving the country. On December 31 of that year, she was released on bail until the end of legal proceedings. Initially, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to two years imprisonment, a two year ban from leaving the country and a two year prohibition from political activities in media, political groups and social media. The verdict was upheld on appeal. In April of 2021, she was summoned by the Executive Unit of Evin Courthouse to serveher sentence.

 

Najmeh Vahedi and Hoda Amidi

On September 1, 2018, women’s rights activists, Najmeh Vahedi and Hoda Amidi were arrested by IRGC intelligence agents and then released on bail in November of that year. For the charge of “collaboration with the hostile country (U.S.) against the regime regarding women and family issues”, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Hoda Amidi to eight years imprisonment, two years prohibiti

on of membership in political groups and parties, prohibition of political activities in media and on the internet, two years ban from leaving the country, two years prohibition of the exercise of the profession as a la

wyer. For the same charge, Najmeh Vahedi was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, two years prohibition of membership in political groups and parties, prohibition of political activities in media and on the internet, two years ban from leaving the country.

These verdicts were upheld on appeal. Running the educational workshops for women on setting out preconditions in marriage such as having the right to divorce (in order to restore the denied rights on divorce for women), was invoked during the trial as examples of the above-mentioned charges.

 

Atsa Ahmadai Rafsanjani

On January 20, 2019, the Baha’i resident of Tehran was arrested by security forces at her house and transferred to a solitary confinement cell in Ward 241 of Evin Prison at the disposal of the Judiciary’s counterintelligence. On March 6, 2019, she was released on bail of 200 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings. In May 2021, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to four years imprisonment on the charge of “formation of a group to act against national security through registering an NGO on women empowerment”, three years in prison on the charge of “assembly and collusion to act against national security”, and one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

She was condemned for the first charge despite the Ministry of Interior had already rejecting her request to form an NGO due to being Baha’i. If the verdict is upheld on appeal, four years imprisonment for the first count is enforceable per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

 

_________________________

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

Imprisoned Civil Activist Saba Kord Afshari Attacked in Qarchak Prison

On February 20, imprisoned civil activist Saba Kord Afshari was attacked by one of her fellow inmates in Qarchak Prison. Afshari’s attacker is a prisoner of violent crime. Due to co-housing with prisoners of violent crime, which violates prison rules, political prisoners and prisoners of conscience’s life and safety are jeopardized. On Monday, Afshari was granted furlough for a short period.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, an informed source told HRANA that “Today at 12:30 an inmate charged with a violent crime attacked Saba from behind in the corridor. She tried to choke Saba by encircling the arm around her neck. One of the inmates, however, helped Saba to free herself from the attacker. All this time, the guards are just watching. The verbal quarrel between Saba and this inmate had been neglected before as well”.

Afshari is a civil activist and prominent critic of the compulsory hijab in Iran. She was convicted for her civil activities and in February of 2019, she was freed after serving her sentence. On June 1, 2019, she was arrested at her home and transferred to prison after completing an interrogation.

On September 5, 2019, Afshari was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to 15 years imprisonment for “promoting corruption and obscenity through appearing without a headscarf in public”, 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “assembly and collusion to act against national security” . This totals 24 years in prison along with social deprivation. After applying Article 134 and adjusting the sentences, the severest punishment of 7 years and 6 months in prison is enforceable.

This verdict, which was increased two and half times more due to a previous record, was finally corrected and reduced from 15 years to 7 years and 6 months.
 
On May 8 of this year, 22 year old Afshari went on a 10 day hunger strike to protest against increasing pressure on her family as well as the families of fellow political prisoners, and to demand the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi. Upon finishing her strike, the young activist said: “I am fully aware that human lives are of no value to the Islamic Republic, so I am ending my hunger strike, but I am still seeking to fulfill my demands.”

On December 9, 2020, she was transferred from Evin Prison to exile to Qarchak Prison.

Saba Kord Afshari Sent on 15 Day Leave from Qarchak Prison in Varamin

Yesterday, imprisoned civil activist Saba Kord Afshari was sent on a 15-day leave from Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, yesterday, August 11, the activist was allowed medical leave after receiving a positive COVID test.

Saba Kord Afshari is a civil activist and prominent critic of the compulsory hijab in Iran. On September 5, 2019, Afshari  was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by judge Iman Afshari, to 15 years imprisonment for “promoting corruption and obscenity through appearing without a headscarf in public”,  and 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “assembly and collusion with an intent to commit a crime against national security” to a total of 24 years in prison along with other social deprivations, from which, after applying Article 134 and adjustment of the sentences, the most severe punishment of 7 years and 6 months in prison is enforceable to her.

On May 8 of this year, 22-year-old Kord Afshari began what would be a 10 day hunger strike to protest the increasing pressure on her family and family of fellow political prisoners, and to demand the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi. Upon finishing her strike, the young activist said, in a statement, “I am fully aware that human lives are of no value to the Islamic Republic, so I am ending my hunger strike, but I am still seeking to fulfill my demands.”

Despite the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 within Iran’s prison system, inmates are frequently deprived of adequate and timely medical treatment.

Saba Kord Afshari Gives Statement Upon End of Hunger Strike

Saba Kord Afshari, an activist imprisoned in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, has given a statement since ending her hunger strike on May 17.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 22-year-old Kord Afshari had been on a hunger strike since May 8 to protest the increasing pressure on her family and family of fellow political prisoners, and to demand the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi.

Kord Afshari has written a letter explaining her physical condition and the reasons why she ended the strike. Below is the full letter, which was provided to HRANA to be published:

 

” For years, protests and strikes have been answered with beatings and bullets. For years, when we have opened our mouths to talk about the oppression of our rights and beliefs, the only answers we have received have been arrest, solitary confinement, physical and mental torture, imprisonment, and execution.

It has been years of families seeking justice for the murder and imprisonment of their children, and then receiving nothing but the same treatment.

For years [the regime] has been trying to destroy thoughts, reason, and the right to choose. It has tried to spread dogmatism and to turn its people into unquestioning robots.

But they can never inject us with what is in their rusty brains. They cannot impose upon us the ideas that even they themselves do not believe. They treat our raised fists with guns and weapons, and they destroy the pens that express our beliefs and aspirations.

The same goes for prisons. They use a variety of methods to silence the prisoner, whose only tool to fight is hunger strike and sit-down strike. Demands are met with violence.

 You destroyed our bodies and our pens; but how can you destroy the thoughts that we are not afraid to express? The struggle for freedom does not end with pressure or threats, but instead finds a way to prevail in a stormy environment.

On May 8, 2021, I started a hunger strike demanding an end to the pressure on families of political prisoners and the release of my mother, Raheleh Asl Ahmadi; but unfortunately, my physical condition is not good.

I am fully aware that human lives are of no value to the Islamic Republic, so I am ending my hunger strike, but I am still seeking to fulfill my demands.

Oppression has never lasted and it never will.”

 

Saba Kordafshari / May 17, 2021 / Qarchak prison in Varamin.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Now is definitely not the time to stop reading!

Civil Activist Saba Kord Afshari on Hunger Strike in Qarchak Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, civil activist Saba Kord Afshari went on a hunger strike on Saturday, May 8th.

22-year-old Kord Afshari, currently imprisoned in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, went on said strike to protest the increasing pressure on her family and other political prisoners in the aftermath of her public criticism of the compulsory hijab.

Kord Afshari demands the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, who was sent to Evin Prison for giving information about her daughter’s [Saba’s] living conditions in Qarchak.

While in Evin Prison, Raheleh Ahmadi developed a ruptured disc which relegated her to a walker, likely due to chronic stress after her daughter’s imprisonment. Ahmadi was granted medical leave on bail on March 14th, but was denied by prison authorities the two-month recovery period recommended for her surgery.

On April 3, 2021, Saba Kord Afshari was granted a short-term leave on a bail and returned to prison on April 10. On that same day, Ahmadi was returned to Evin Prison.

Kord Afshari’s embroilment in the penal system has been ongoing . In February 2019,  the young activist was released from the women’s ward of Evin Prison from her previous conviction. In June 2019, she was again detained by security forces and was later transferred to prison after interrogations.

In August 2019, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced Saba to 15 years imprisonment on the charge of “spreading depravity by uncovering a hijab and walking without a hijab”; 1 year and 6 months in prison on the charge of “Propaganda against the regime;” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “Gathering and colluding with the intention of committing a crime against the security of the country”– a total of 24 years in prison along with other social deprivations.

Due to the multiplicity of offenses and previous criminal record, each of the charged sentences were cumulative, of which 15 years in prison was enforceable.

With a correction of judicial misconduct that had caused two and half times to increase in the sentences, and with punishment reduction law, 7 years and 6 months imprisonment will be enforceable.

Saba Kord Afshari has suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding several times before. This, along with the hunger strike has raised concerns about her health among her family members.

First six months of Ebrahim Raisi as Justiciary Chief of Iran; 1000 years of prison sentences and 1500 lashes for activists

Ebrahim Raisi is a former Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi from 2016 to 2019 and a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 executions which were series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across the country. He succeeded Sadegh Larijani as the Judiciary Chief (the head of judicial system of Iran) in 2019. Being appointed as the Judiciary Chief by the Supreme leader, Ebrahim Raisi claimed that he wants the Iranian people to taste “the sweet flavor of justice” by reforming the judicial system to bring more justice and fairness. Six months after being appointed to the new position, the verdicts of political prisoners indicate that the pressure is increased on the civil rights activists and opposition groups in Iran. During six months of Ebrahim Raisi in office, political activists were sentenced to 1,027 years in prison and 1428 lashes.  Therefore, the verdicts targeting civil rights activists and opposition groups were increased by 119% compared to a similar time period during his predecessor, Sadegh Larijani, who was in office for nine and half years. Although Larijani faced massive demonstrations such as uprisings across the country in January 2017 and August 2018, protests in the Khuzestan province, and Dervishes protests which Raisi has not faced any yet.

Statistics Comparison of Verdicts with the Former Judiciary Chief

The following is a summary of verdicts between March 8, 2019 to September 8, 2019 which was gathered and analyzed by the Department of Statistics and Publication of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI): According to statistics, during this period, both sentences against political and civil activists or years of sentences were increased. 211 political or civil activists including advocates of freedom of expression, women rights activists, syndicates activists, students, ethnicity rights activists, labor rights activists, minority rights advocates, and religion activists were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court across the country to 1027 and six months of imprisonment, 418 million and 350 thousand Tomans of fines, and 428 lashes. Out of these numbers, 966 years and 8 months in prison sentences and 30 years and 10 months are suspended prison sentences. In comparison to the same period when Larijani was the Judiciary Chief, March 8 to September 8, 2018, 278 political and civil activists were sentenced to 468 years and one month in prison, 254 million Tomans fines, and 891 lashes. This comparison is based on the numbers of individual cases but mass sentences for the arrestees of uprisings such as 232 verdicts of Gonabadi dervishes in the case of so-called “Golestan Haftom” have been excluded. Overall, these statistics indicated that although the number of arrestees has been decreased in Raisi’s term but the average number of verdicts in comparison to the same period in the Larijani’s term has been increased.

The Names of 211 Activists Who Were Sentenced to Prison Term or Lashes During Ebrahim Raeissi’s term

Kiumars Marzban, Shima Babai Zeydi, Dariush Abdar, Mahmood Masoumi, Behnam Mousavand, Saeed Eghbali, Mojgan Lali, Saeed Seyfi Jahan, Shaghayegh Makai, Nader Afshari, Anoushah Ashouri, Ali Johari, Marzieh Amiri, Ishaq Rouhi, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeissi, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Kamal Jafari Yazdi, Aras Amiri, Nejat Bahrami, Sadegh Zibaklam, Hamed Ayenehvand, Roozbeh Meshkinkhat, Mohammad Reza Aghajari, Nima Saffar, Khalil Karimi, Mehdi Moghadari, Golraki Ebrahimi Irai, Athena Daemi, Mohammad Reza Khatami, Mohammad Potaiesh, Khadijeh (Leila) Mirghafari, Reza Makian (Malek), Hashem Zeinali, Simin Eyvazzadeh, Ehsan Kheybar, Abdul Azim Arouji, Mohsen Haseli, Mohsen Shojai, Azam Najafi, Parvin Soleimani, Sharmin Yomni, Sara Saei, Arshia Rahmati, Masoud Hamidi, Ali Babai, Ismail Hosseini Koohkamarai, Farideh Toosi, Zahra Modarreszadeh, Amir Mahdi Jalayeri, Mohammad Najafi, Javad Lari, Rahim Mohammadpour, Masoud Kazemi, Sahar Kazemi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Milad Mohammad Hosseini, Abdollah Ghasimpour, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour, Alireza Habibi, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khand Mahabadi, Keyvan Bajan, Yousef Salahshour, Davood Mahmoodi, Mohammad Asri, Siavash Rezaian, Najaf Mehdipour, Behrooz Zare, Ata’ollah Ahsani, Abbas Nouri Shadkam, Ali Bagheri, Masoud Ajloo, Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Kianoush Ghahramani, Nariman Noroozi, Rezvaneh Ahmad Khanbeigi, Amir Mahdi Sedighara, Ali Amin Amlashi, Barzan Mohammadi, Arsham Rezai, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Michael White, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Nader Fotourehchi, Farhad Sheykhi, Mardas Taheri, Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, Rahman Abed, Asghar Amirzadegani, Hamid Reza Rahmati, Eghbal Shabani, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, Fatemeh Mohammadi, Bahman Kord, Sina Darvish Omran, Ali Mozafari, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Mojtaba Dadashi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Hossein Janati, Omid Asadi, Sahand Moali, Mohammad Mirzai, Bapir Barzeh, Shirko Ali Mohammadi, Keyvan Nejadrasoul, Tohid Amir Amini, Kianoush Aslani, Abbas Lesani, Mobinollah Veysi, Mojtaba Parvin, Kazem Safabakhsh, Rahim Gholami, Jafar Rostami, Aref Mohammadi, Peyman Mirzazadeh, Samko Jafari, Behzad Shahsavar, Siamand Shahsavar, Salman Afra, Shaker Maravi, Khaled Hosseini, Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, Hasan Saeedi, Hossein Ansari Zadeh, Feisal Saalebi, Saab Zahiri, Adel Samaei, Esmail Jaadeleh, Bani Naami, Omid Azadi, Rostam Abdollah Zadeh, Ali Bani Sadeh, Nasrin Javadi, Tofigh Mahmoudi, Davood Razavi, Amanollah Balochi, Farough Izadi Nia, Moein Mohammadi, Sheida Abedi, Firouz Ahmadi, Khalil Malaki, Simin Mohammadi, Bijan Ahmadi, Maryam Mokhtari, Saghar Mohammadi, Sohrab Malaki, Bahman Salehi, Sofia Mombini, Negin Tadrisi, Kheirollah Bakhshi, Shabnam Issa Khani, Shahryar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Monika Alizadeh, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha Faramarzi, Pooneh Nasheri, Saba Kord Afshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Mojgan Keshavarz, Vida Movahed, Matin Amiri, Maryam Amiri, Atefeh Rangriz, Edris Kasravi, Taher Sufi, Haleh Safarzadeh, Alireza Saghafi, Yousef Jalil, Fatemeh Bakhtari, Zaman Fadai, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohsen Haghshenas, Nahid Khodakarami, Raheleh Rahimipour, Alireza Kafai, Mohammad Dorosti, Salar Taher Afshar, Oldoz Ghasemi, Jafar Azimzadeh, Hossein Habibi, Hossein Ghadyani, Mir Mousa Ziagari, Sajad Shahiri, Jafar Pekand , Hamid Balkhkanloo, Ghafour Barham, Vali Nasiri, Sahar Khodayari, Amin Seybar, Esmael Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, Amir Amirgholi, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Mohammad Khanifar.

It should be noted that in addition to aforementioned names, several other activists such as detained environmentalists, arrestees of the International Labor Day’s protest, Baha’i citizens, and supporters of opposition groups are waiting for their verdicts. Based on the outcome of the first six months of Raisi as the Chief Justice of Iran, the continuous increase of the verdicts in the following six months is predictable. On the other hand, according to several lawyers, Raisi is trying to implement a rule in which the appeal’s courts will be in session only after obtaining permissions from the Supreme Leader. Thus, appeals courts will acknowledge the primary verdict without reserving a chance for lawyers and convict to defend.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Background

In 1981, 20-year old Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj. Later in 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran. He was a member of so-called “death commission” during the 1988 political prisoners’ executions across the country. Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s prosecutor from 1989 to 1994. In 1994-1995, he was appointed as the head of the General Inspection Office. From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as the First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran. He was later appointed as the Attorney-General of Iran in 2014-2016. He has also served as the Special Clerical Court prosecutor since 2012. He became the Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi on 7 March 2016 after the death of his predecessor Abbas Vaez-Tabasi. He is the second person to serve this office from 1979.  Raisi ran a presidential campaign in February 2017 but after losing the presidential election, he was appointed by Ali Khamenei as a member of Expediency Discernment Council.

The 1988 executions of the Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those who were killed were supporters of the Mujahedin Khalgh but supporters of other leftist factions such as Communist party were executed as well. The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in the modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup. Different sources put the number of victims between 2500 and 30000. Most of the people who were executed had already served their sentences in prison. Hussein-Ali Montazeri, deputy of Supreme Leader of Iran between 1985-1989, named Ebrahim Raisi as one of the people who was in administration of the executions which according to Montazeri, was implemented by a four-men commission, later known as the “death committee”. According to Montazeri, the commission consisted of Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, Morteza Eshraghi, and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi.

Saba Kord Afshari was sentenced to 24-year prison term

Saba Kord Afshari, a detained women rights activist in Evin prison, was sentenced to 24-year prison term at the Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court led by judge Iman Afshari. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Saba Kord Afshari should serve 15 years in prison.

Saba Kord Afshari was arrested for her involvement in women’s rights advocacy, including protesting against the compulsory Hijab. On 1 June 2019, she was arrested by security forces at her home in Tehran and transferred to Vozara detention Center. The police confiscated some of her belongings, such as her cell phone and her laptop. On 2 June 2019, she appeared before Branch 21 Revolutionary Court in Tehran where she received her formal chargers. She was charged with “gathering and collusion against national security” through supporting political prisoners, “’propaganda against the state’ through collaborating with opposition and subversive groups”, “promoting corruption and prostitution through appearing without a headscarf in public”. She was then transferred to Qarchak prison in Varamin and was detained for a month of which she served 11 days in solitary confinement. She did not have access to an attorney from the time she was arrested until the day of trial. On 2 July 2019, she was transferred to a detention center of the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps(IRGC) for further interrogations.

Saba Kord Afshari was informed about her indictment on 7 August 2019 in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. She was tried on August 19 at the Tehran Revolutionary Court as scheduled. She did not have access to a lawyer until the day of her trial on August 19th, 2019, when she met her lawyer in front of the Judge. She was transferred to the court blindfolded and in handcuffs by the officers of IRGC. On August 26, 2019, she was sentenced to 24-year prison term by Branch 26 Tehran Revolutionary Court led by judge Iman Afshari. She was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the charge of “promoting corruption and prostitution through appearing without a headscarf in public”, one and a half year in prison for the charge of “propaganda against the state”, and seven years and six months in prison for the charge of “gathering and collusion against national security”. It should be noted that she has had stomach disorders for a few years. Her anxiety attacks cause muscle contractions, which require urgent injections and oxygen therapy.

Saba Kord Afshari was arrested for the first time on 2 August 2018, alongside 50 others, during a series of protests that occurred July-August 2018 against the deterioration of Iran’s economy as well as the corruption within the government. She was first transferred to Qarchak prison in Varamin and later, in October 2018, to Evin prison’s women’s ward. In August 2018, she was sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of “disrupting the public order” at the Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court led by Judge Moghiseh. She was released on 14 February 2019 when Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pardoned a large number of prisoners in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

On 1 June 2019, Saba Kord Afshari’s mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, was summoned to the prosecutor’s office where she was threatened that they had an arrest warrant for her if she did not cease her activities, and that it could be used at any time. Raheleh Ahmadi was arrested on 10 July 2019 on the charges of “propaganda against the state”, “collaborating with opposition and subversive groups”, “promoting corruption and prostitution”. These charges were related to her publishing of information on social media about the arrest of her daughter. On 13 July 2019 she was released on bail of 700 million Toman [approx. 58 thousand dollars]. Ms. Raheleh Ahmadi appeared for her trial on 4 August 2019 in Branch 21 Revolutionary Court in Tehran which was led by Judge Haji Moradi. She defended her action by stating that she published information on her daughter’s case because Iranian Media and the Judiciary refused to take any action to help her daughter. She has yet to receive a verdict on her case and was told to register on the Justice Department online portal for her summons, where she will be given the date to appear in court for her verdict.

Saba Kord Afshari’s Mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, Was Arrested

Raheleh Ahmadi, Saba Kord Afshari’s mother, was arrested by security forces on July 9, 2019. According to their family, she is arrested to put pressure on her detained daughter who has denied having a forced video confessions in the past few weeks. Ahmadi was taken to a court where her accusations were explained as “propaganda against the state”, “collaboration with foreign media”, and “encouraging corruption and prostitution”. She was then transferred to the Qarchak prison. However, as of now, her whereabouts are unknown.

Saba Kord Afshari, 22-year old former political prisoner and detained activist in Qarchak prison in Varamin was transferred to an unknown place ten days ago. According to her family, she has not had any contact with her family since her arrest and her whereabouts is still unknown.

Kord Afshari was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019 at her home in Tehran and was transferred to Vozara detention Center. Her house was searched by security forces and some of her belongings such as her cell phone and her laptop were confiscated. She appeared in the Branch 21 Revolutionary Court in Tehran and her accusations were explained as “gathering and collusion against national security through collaborating with foreign media”, “propaganda against the state through collaborating with opposition and subversive groups”, “encouraging corruption and prostitution through appearing without a headscarf in public”. She was detained for a month of which she has to serve at least 10 days in solitary confinement.

Kord Afshari was arrested along 50 others during last July-August uprising protesting the current economic deterioration and corruption on August 2, 2018 and was transferred to Varamin’s Gharachak prison. She was later transferred to Evin prison’s Women’s Ward in October 2018 and was charged with “disrupting the public order” and was sentenced to one year in prison at the Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court led by Judge Moghiseh. She was released on February 14, 2019 when Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had pardoned a “large number” of prisoners in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

Saba Kord-Afshari was arrested

Saba Kord-Afshari, former political prisoner, was arrested at her home by security forces and was transferred to Vozara detention Center. Her house was searched by security forces and some of her belongings such as her cell phone and her laptop were confiscated. There has been no information on the reason of her arrested and the arresting authorities.

She was arrested along 50 others during last July-August uprising protesting the current economic deterioration and corruption on August 2, 2018 and was transferred to Varamin’s Gharachak prison. She was transferred to Evin prison’s women’s ward in October 2018 and was charged with “disrupting the public order” and was sentenced to one year in prison at the Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court led by Judge Moghiseh.