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 18, 2019

Posted on: January 18th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 18th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2019 “Iranian authorities carried out arbitrary mass arrests and serious due process violations during 2018 in response to protests across the country over deteriorating economic conditions, perceptions of corruption, and the lack of political and social freedoms. Authorities tightened their grip on peaceful activism, detaining lawyers, human rights defenders, and women’s rights activists.”

(2) Mohammad Dorosti, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, has been tried in absentia and was sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was charged with “propaganda against the state”.

(3) Kurdistan’s appeals court was summoned a trade unionist, Yadollah Samadi on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “membership in the opposition groups”. He is the head of the Syndicate of Workers of Sanandaj Bakers.

(4) Salman Afra was released on bail in Marivan. He was detained for two months on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”. Moreover, Ata Rahmanzadeh was arrested and transferred to Saqqez prison to serve his three months sentence.

(5) Alireza Tavakoli, a detained cyber activist, was release from Evin prison after finishing his two and a half years prison term. He was suffering from severe diseases during his time in prison and was denied access to medical care.

(6) The prisoners’ fight in Urmia prison which was galvanized by the authorities of prison, was caused multiple injuries. Several Sunni prisoners, Ahmad Ghanbardoust, Mohammad Ghanbardoust, Mohammad Hosseinpour, Adel Salimi, and Pouria Azadtoosi who were sentenced to five years imprisonment, Rasoul Shiri, Mohammad Shiri, and Ebrahim Moradi who were sentenced to three years in prison, and Mohammad Nikzad who was sentenced to one and a half year imprisonment, have been injured in Urmia prison.

(7) Mehdi Khanipour, a political prisoner in Ahvaz Sheiban prison, began his hunger strike to protest the refusal of his request to attend at his father’s funeral. He was arrested in 2014 and was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. He is accused of “Moharebeh” by being a member of Al-Ahwazieh group.

(8) Amir Amirgholi, political prisoner and member of “Gam” editorial board was transferred to Evin prison, section 209. Amir Hossein Mohammadifar and Sanaz Allahyari, the editors of Gam, were arrested on January 9, 2019.

(9) Two Iranian-Americans, Emad Sharghi and Bahareh Amidi, had been arrested in March on the espionage-related charges. They were released on bail after nine months but still under a travel ban. Sharghi is a businessman and the founder of Dubex Company.

(10) After prosecutor general, has called Esmail Bakhshi tortures in prison, ‘the rumors’, Hassan Sadeghi, a political prisoner, wrote about his experience of several years of mistreatment and torture such as Falanga torture (beatings on the foot soles) in prison which caused him severe diseases.

(11) A 33-year-old worker of Dezful Steel Company had a fatal fall in his workplace. Another worker in Bafq died because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace.

(12) Saeed Shirzad, a political prisoner in Rajaee Shahr prison in Karaj, has been refused urgent medical care despite doctors requested his transfer to hospital for his severe kidneys’ failure a month ago. While the prosecutor’s office has assured that he would receive treatment, prison authorities have prevented this transfer.

(13) Kourosh Karampour, a teacher and a poet, was released on bail on Tuesday. He was beaten and arrested in Abadan, because of his interviews in support of teachers’ strikes and protests in the last few months. More than thousand writers and civil rights activists issued a statement expressing concern about his situation earlier.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 3, 2019

Posted on: January 3rd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 3rd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Kourosh Karampour, a teacher and a poet, was beaten and arrested in Abadan. He had been summoned to Ministry of Education because of his interviews in support of teachers’ strikes and protests in the last few months.

(2) Mohsen Valadkhani, a detained Telegram activist, was released from prison after finishing his one-year sentence. He was charged with ‘insulting the Supreme Leader’ and ‘propaganda against the state’.

(3) Child abuse in Mashhad caused the death of a six-year-old girl. Hadiseh was transferred to a hospital on December 25th and died yesterday. Her body shows signs of torture such as burn wound infections on her genital and the rest of her body.

(4) Ahmad Taghavi, a retired teacher and a union activist, was arrested in the city of Abhar in Zanjan province. The reason of his arrest and his whereabouts are unknown.

(5) Four Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activists were released on bail in Sarab. Sahand Moali, Vahid Nourahmadi, Heidar Mazinani, and Mohammad Ranjbari had been arrested on December 31.

(6) Mehdi Yarrahi, a pop singer, was banned from working because he wore work costume of the workers of Iran National Steel Company on the stage. Also, “Jame Sabz”, the producer company of his new music video “Pareh Sang”, in which he pointed out Khuzestan issues, was suspended.

(7) The head of Housing Foundation in Golestan province reported that approximately 128 thousand houses and schools in villages are prone to natural disasters. This would cause catastrophes and villagers’ migration.

(8) Four human rights organizations published an annual report of Military forces monitoring in remote areas: more than 300 injuries and deaths in 11 provinces.

(9) Mohsen Farahmand and Mohammad Dadresi were released on bail in Marivan. Hamid Parvazeh, Mohammad Parvazeh, and Salman Afra are still in prison. They are accused of ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’ and were denied access to a lawyer.

(10) Majid Khomami Asl was executed in Nowshahr today. He was charged with murder in a so-called honor-killing.

(11) Two mines were shut down over environmental pollution concerns.

(12) Department of Environment reported the arrest of 44 poachers in Mahabad and 199 poachers in Ardabil during the last eight months.

(13) 12 students were poisoned by a nonstandard gas heater in a Valiasr school of Tabriz. Two of them were transferred to hospital. Nonstandard heaters used in schools reportedly have caused catastrophes.

(14) One worker died and three were injured because of unsafe workplaces in Tabriz and Yazd on January 3, 2019.

(15) Hasan Shahreza, a detained Gonabadi dervish, was denied medical care in Fashafuieh prison. He has several shots of police shotgun in his body since he was arrested 10 months ago. Detained dervishes reportedly tried to take out bullets by tuna can lid.

(16) The city services workers of Borujerd, Dorud, Aleshtar, Kuhdasht, Chaghabal, and Khorramabad in Lorestan province have 115 billion Toman [$11M] unpaid wages combined. They have at least five months unpaid wages.