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

Posted on: September 13th, 2019

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 aramarzi, 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.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 8, 2019

Posted on: January 8th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 8th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than four protests were organized on January 8, 2019. The workers of city services in Dezful, customers of SAIPA and other automakers in Tehran, shareholders of the bankrupt Caspian Finance Institution in Rasht, and residents of Kerman held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) A 24-year-old nurse, Saeed Alian, died due to working long hours in Larestan county in the Fars province. Shortage of nurses in Iran impacts patient care and nurses’ health.

(3) Gharib Hoveizavi and Meisam Ali Ghanavati, workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG), were released on bail in Ahvaz. More than 43 workers of INSIG have been arrested on December 16, 2018.

(4) In the last week, Milad Rahimi, Mehdi Kanisoori, and Barezan Babakri, all 17 years old, were beaten and arrested by the security forces in Baneh in Kurdistan province. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(5) Elham Ahmadi, a detained Gonabadi Dervish, sentenced to 148 lashes. She is serving her sentence of two years imprisonment and is accused of ‘defamation and insulting prison officials’ because of publishing a voice recording in which she describes the disastrous life of the prisoners in Gharchak prison.

(6) A Kurdish poet, Hossein Bagheri known as Jakan Baran, was summoned to a court and charged with ‘propaganda against the state and blasphemy’. He is unable to walk and lost his right kidney.

(7) Zahra Navidpour who accused a member of parliament of repeatedly raping her, was found dead. She reported that there were several women who have been raped by Salman Khodadadi but did not file a complaint about this, fearing for their lives.

(8) Esmail Faghir Dadzehi and Khalil Shahbakhsh, prisoners of Zahedan prison, were severely beaten and injured by prison wardens.

(9) An indictment charged an elementary school official with ‘child molestation’. He threatened and sexually abused several students in the school in the district four of Isfahan.

(10) Seven residents of Jabbarand village, have been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment, combined. Jafar Rasoulpour, Bahman Dandansaz, Mohammad Leilaneh, Mohammad Soyrou, and Rasoul Mohammad Amini were sentenced to one-and-a-half-year imprisonment. Vafa Heydari and Ayob Ahmadi were sentenced to five years in prison. They were accused of ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’. Jabbarand is a village of Sardasht county in the West Azerbaijan province.

(11) Arsham Rezaei and Mohammad Hassanzadeh were arrested by security agents in Tehran. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(12) Employees of the South Pars gas field were going on a strike since January 1st to protest not being paid for several months. In addition, 280 thousand people were laid off and 150 thousand were suspended in auto part manufacturing units in last year.

(13) The New York Times reported the arrest of a US citizen in Mashhad. Michael R. White, 46, was arrested in late July while he was visiting his Iranian girlfriend.

(14) Salah Sharifzadeh, a detained Bukan resident, has been transferred to Urmia prison after four months of interrogation in detention. He was accused of ‘cooperation with Kurdish opposition groups’.

(15) Sahar Kazemi was transferred to Sanandaj prison and Madeh Fathi is undergoing interrogation in the Intelligence Department. They were arrested in November and the reason of their arrest is still unknown.

(16) Hossein Miri Nazarlou, a cyber activist, is serving his sentence of eight years imprisonment in Evin prison. He is accused of ‘propaganda against the state’ and blasphemy related charges.

(17) A Kulbar (Kurdish back carriers), Hoda Feqh Mahmoudi fatally fell off the mountains in Sardasht. He was escaping from border patrol agents.

(18) Environmental Protection Agency reported catching 345 poachers in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province in the last nine months.

(19) Three workers were injured in a fire at their workplace in Gachsaran because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(20) A prisoner charged with murder in Miandoab was saved from gallows by the victim’s family’s consent after spending 10 years in prison. Miandoab is a city in the West Azerbaijan province.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 9, 2018

Posted on: December 9th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 9th,2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Executions in Urmia, Qazvin and Karaj

(2) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Bail

(3) More Arrests Related to Chabahar Attack

(4) Highest Poverty Rate of the Rural Areas is in Three Provinces

 (5) Jail Time and Lashes for Worker Protesters

(6) Shirin Ebadi Wrote an Open Letter to the “Defender of Human Rights Center”

(7) A Baluch Prisoner Was Transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

(8) 64 Workplace-related Deaths Were Reported in the Last Eight Months

(9) Delayed Paychecks and Layoffs in Three Businesses

(10) Setting the Court Session Date for Aryasb Bavand and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah

    

(1) Executions in Urmia, Qazvin and Karaj

In the morning of December 9, 2018, a prisoner in Urmia prison was transferred to a solitary confinement until his execution. He was accused with drug crimes. Moreover, Qazvin prosecutor confirmed the execution of two prisoners in Karaj and Qazvin. He added that the person who was executed on December 9 was accused of rape and the other person who was accused of murder was executed on December 4th.

(2) Two Sunni Prisoners Were Released on Bail

Two Sunni prisoners were released on bail from Urmia prison on Sunday December 9, 2018. Rasoul Shaier and Abdolvahed Salamat, were released on bail after two-years imprisonment. They were sentenced to five years in prison by the branch 10 appeal court in West Azerbaijan. In addition, two citizens were released on bail in Kermanshah and Salas-e Babajani cities. The other four are still in prison. 30 years old Salar Ahmadi was released on a 300-million-Tomans[$25000] bail. He was arrested in late November. Ali Sohrabilak, a 29 years old physic student, was released on a 280-million-Tomans [$24000] bail. He was arrested by the intelligence department in October 14th and was accused of, “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Moreover, Fahimeh Zandi and Sahar Kazemi who were arrested earlier this month are still in prison.

(3) More Arrests Related to Chabahar Attack

The chief of police announced that 10 more people were arrested in Zahedan, in relation to the Chabahar attack. Baluch’s activists campaign reported that security officers attacked Adham Narani’s house in Kaffe Baluchi village in Sarbaz city and had beaten and arrested him and his guests. In addition, the intelligence officers arrested two citizens separately in their workplace in Sanandaj and transferred them to an unknown place. According to Kurdistan democracy and human right center on December 8th, Vahid Azimi and Habib Ahmadi were beaten and arrested for “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(4) Highest Poverty Rate of the Rural Areas is in Three Provinces

The highest poverty rate in rural areas is in Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad, Ilam, and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces. The parliament research center reported that the caloric intake for 65 percent of the people who live in these provinces is less than 2100. In Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad, nutrition-based poverty is significant. The poverty rate for Kohkiluie and Boyerahmad’s urban area is 2.8 and for rural area is 2.1. The poverty rate in this province is 2.49. Moreover, the lowest poverty rates are in Tehran and Alborz provinces.

 (5) Jail Time and Lashes for Worker Protesters

15 workers of Ilam Petrochemical company were sentenced to imprisonment and lashes. Judiciary Office has sentenced 15 workers of Ilam Petrochemical company to imprisonment and lashes. They were charged with disturbing public order because of their participation in a protest which was organized in April.In addition, a financial criminal, Hamid Bagheri Darmani, was sentenced to death.10 more financially-related criminals were also sentenced to imprisonment and fines. The convicted names are reported as the following: Mohsen Ranjbar for bribery and corruption to seven year and half of imprisonment and 74 lashes, Manuchehr Pourfar and Esmaeil Nasrollahi to 10 years imprisonment, Mehdi Rezaie to three years imprisonment, Naser Habibinasab to one year imprisonment, AsgarBarati to five years imprisonment, Hossein Mansouri Ghiri and Mahmoud Pourmand to eight years imprisonment, Amir Kamali Sarvestani  and Mir Mohammad Akhoundzadeh, an Afghan citizen, to 20 years imprisonment and deportation. All the above were faced to criminal fines. The chairman of Samenolhojaj Financial institute was sentencedto 15 years in prison.

(6) Shirin Ebadi Wrote an Open Letter to the “Defender of Human Rights Center”

Shirin Ebadi who received the Nobel Prize for Peace, wrote an open letter to the “defender of human rights center” on Wednesday, December 5th. She requested Javid Rehman, United Nations special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran, to acquire all possible means to help releasing the workers in Iran.

(7) A Baluch Prisoner Was Transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

MohammadSaleh Shahdadzehi, a Baluch prisoner, was transferred to Rajaie Shahr prison in Karaj. He was arrested by the intelligence officers in in Iranshahr city earlier in June 2017.  A person close to Shahdadzehi told that he was detained in the Intelligence Office’s detention center for 7 months and had been tortured to confess that he had killed a Basij member.

(8) 64 Workplace-related Deaths Were Reported in the Last Eight Months

In the last eight months, 64 workers have died in their workplaces in Mazandaran province. Ali Abbasi, the director of forensic medicine department of Mazandaran province confirmed that Sari with 10 deaths, Amol with 9 and Tonekabon with 8 deaths had the highest number of workplace-related deaths while Savadkuh county, Neka, and Jooybar and Galoogah counties had the lowest with one death. Moreover, a middle-aged worker in Mahabad city was killed because of falling from an elevator while two other workers were injured in a mine in Khorasan Razavi province.

(9) Delayed Paychecks and Layoffs in Three Businesses

55 workers of the social emergency unit of Golestan province Welfare Organization have not received their salaries from June.Also, the workers of Sanandaj municipality announced that their salaries payments are delayed and expressed their concerns. In addition, 30 workers of Sadid factory in Tehran were laid off.

(10) Setting the Court Session Date for Aryasb Bavand and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah

The second hearing session of the accusations of Aryasb Bavand, a political prisoner in ward 4 of Evin prison, and Mahizadeh Poshtpanah was held in the Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati. Bavand’s accusations are “Forming a group to act against the national security, propaganda against the regime and dissemination of falsehood”. He and Poshtpanah were arrestedwhen returning to Iran