Environmental Activist Amanj Ghorbani Arrested in Kamyaran City

On December 21, environmental activist Amanj Ghorbani was arrested by security forces in Kamyaran City.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghorbani was summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence and arrested at appearance.

The reasons for his summons and subsequent arrest are unknown at the time of writing.

Earlier in 2018, he was arrested and sentenced to 3 months in prison by Sanandaj’s Revolutionary Court.

Hassan Ghorbani, Brother of Heidar Ghorani, Arrested By Security Forces

On December 19, security forces arrested Hassan Ghorbani following the execution of his brother, Heidar Ghobrani, in Sanandaj Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, an informed source revealed that “security forces refused to deliver Heidar Ghorbani’s body to his family and instead buried him secretly”.

Heidar Ghorbani was a political prisoner who was sentenced to death for alleged “armed insurrection against the regime” (Baghi). Last Sunday, he was executed in Sanandaj Prison despite international outcry.

Political Prisoner Heidar Ghorbani Executed in Sanandaj Prison

On the morning of December 19, political prisoner Heidar Ghorbani was executed in Sanandaj Prison. He was convicted for “armed insurrection against the regime” (Baghi) and sentenced to the death penalty. This execution was carried out despite international outcry, including from UN human rights experts, to halt the execution.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghorbani’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, confirmed the news of the execution. He told HRANA that “by order of chief justice, Heidar Ghorbani’s case had been sent to Kurdistan’s Chief Justice for further examination. They told us yesterday that they will notify both Iran’s chief justice as well as his family about the result of this examination. I talked to Mr Ghorbani just yesterday morning. Nonetheless, they executed him today at 4 am. His family was told to come to the cemetery but they did not deliver the body to his family”.

Pointing out that the charge of “armed insurgency” is not supported by substantial evidence, he added that, “despite these legal considerations and the request for retrial by the Supreme Court, they carried out the execution under pressure by some authorities”

On September 30, 2016, several members of the IRGC were killed by gunmen in a village in Kamyaran County. Ghorbani was arrested on October 16, 2016 along with two others.

A regime TV channel broadcasted Ghorbani’s forced confession in March of 2016. In the broadcast, security and judicial officials accused him of murdering several members of the IRGC. However, Ghorbani only confessed that he had been forced to transport several armed members of Kurdish anti-regime parties.

In October 2019, he was tried on the charges of “assisting in murder, assault with a deadly weapon, helping offenders to escape from law enforcement, involvement in premeditated murder, attempted murder, affixing a license plate to another car, attempted kidnapping, and the acquisition of stolen property”. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for every three charges.

However, Branch 1 of Sanandaj’s Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death on the charge of “armed insurgency”. This verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court and the case was delivered to the Public and Revolutionary Court in Kamyaran. On August 12, his lawyer asked for a retrial, which was rejected by Branch 27 of the Supreme Court. When the conviction was publicized, Sanandaj Prison officials banned him from visitation.

IRIB Denies that Khosro Jamalifar’s Suspicious Death in Sanadaj Prison was Result of Guard Brutality

A few days after HRANA’s report on the death of Khosro Jamalifar due to being beaten by prison officers in Sanandaj Prison, in response, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) claimed in a report that Jamalifar fainted from a sudden headache and died in the hospital. Their statement stands at odds with reports from numerous informed sources.

To support the claim, the report published video footage of a moment when the inmate fell on the floor in his solitary confinement cell. This claim stands at odds with what informed sources reported to HRANA: that Khosro Jamalifar was beaten brutally by prison officers before being taken back to his cell, and died in prison rather than the hospital.

The IRIB also did not mention that following day, his body was buried secretly without waiting for the forensic report and delivering the body to his family. His family was also threatened into silence.

Some eyewitnesses who have seen the injuries on his head told HRANA that, contrary to IRIB’s claim, such wounds cannot be caused by a head collision with a bed frame.

On November 2, 26-year-old Khosro Jamalifar, who had previously been indicted on a murder charge and was awaiting the verdict, died from a strike to the head sustained during the beating.

According to an informed source, Jamalifar became involved in a quarrel with a fellow inmate in the quarantine section of Sanandaj. Thereafter, as an informed source told HRANA, “Prison officers began to beat him with batons which led to his death. In this incident, the failure of the prison nurse, named Abdollahi, to send (Jamalifar) to the healthcare center in a timely manner also played a role in his death.”

In the aftermath of Jamalifar’s killing, Sanandaj inmates are calling for authorities to take accountability and conduct a real investigation.

Iran’s prisons are notorious for their frequent incidents of brutality from authorities.  Acts of violence such as this one are at serious odds with the basic responsibility of prisons to provide for the safety and health of their inmates.  Institutions’ reluctance to conduct thorough investigations into acts of violence from their officials only perpetuates, and often even reinforces, a culture of abuse within Iran’s carceral system.

Inmate Beaten to Death By Prison Officers in Sanandaj Prison

On the evening of Tuesday, November 2, an inmate was brutally beaten to death by officers in Sanandaj Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 26-year-old Khosro Jamalifar, who had previously been indicted on a murder charge and was awaiting the verdict, died from a strike to the head sustained during the beating.

The incident broke out after Jamalifar became involved in a quarrel with a fellow inmate in the quarantine section of Sanandaj.

Thereafter, as an informed source told HRANA, “Prison officers began to beat him with batons which led to his death. In this incident, the failure of the prison nurse, named Abdollahi, to send (Jamalifar) to the healthcare center in a timely manner also played a role in his death.”

In the aftermath of Jamalifar’s killing, Sanandaj inmates are calling for authorities to take accountability and conduct a real investigation.

“Since there are many CCTV cameras in corridors, the prisoners demand from the Prison organization and judiciary authorities to investigate the incident,” the informed source said. “However, until now, they have not received any response and the prison is at a high-security level.”

Iran’s prisons are notorious for their frequent incidents of brutality from authorities.  Acts of violence such as this one are at serious odds with the basic responsibility of prisons to provide for the safety and health of their inmates.  Institutions’ reluctance to conduct thorough investigations into acts of violence from their officials only perpetuates, and often even reinforces, a culture of abuse within Iran’s carceral system.

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Aram Fathi and Soraya Haghdoost Released on on Bail of 100 Million Tomans

Today, Monday, June 28, Aram Fathi and Soraya Haghdoost, two detained citizens from Marivan, were released on a bail of 100 million Tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, the two citizens were arrested by security forces on Thursday, June 17th. Ms. Haghdoost was transferred to Sanandaj Prison after her arrest, and Mr. Fathi was transferred to Marivan Prison.

Aram Fathi, a resident of Marivan with a history of arrests and convictions, was  arrested by security forces at his home arrest.

Soraya Haghdoost, also citizen of Marivan, was arrested by security forces on Thursday, June 17, and transferred to Sanandaj Prison.

As of this writing, no information is available on the charges against the citizens.

Baha’i Citizen Zabihollah Raoufi Begins Prison Term in Sanandaj

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On the morning of Wednesday, October 31st, Baha’i Sanandaj resident Zabihollah Raoufi, age 69, went to Sanandaj Prison to begin his one-year prison sentence.

In July, Branch 4 of Sanandaj Appeals court — for the charge of “propaganda against the regime” — sentenced Raoufi to one year in prison and one year of exile to Minab County, Hormozgan Province.

An informed source told HRANA that Raoufi was escorted to prison this morning by an entourage of his loved ones.

Raoufi’s wife Parvaneh Rahmani faces one year in prison on the same charge. Her case is currently under review in Kurdistan Province Appeals Court.

On September 8, 2015, Raoufi was arrested in his home by security forces and released on a bail of 300 million Rials [approximately $2,000 USD] six days later. He was also detained in 2009 and sentenced to a year in prison, again on charges of propaganda against the regime. This sentence was appealed to a six-month term of exile to Tuyserkan, Hamedan Province.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Sanandaj Prisoners Denied Medical Treatment for Serious Injuries

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Sanandaj Prison authorities are denying medical care to three inmates in dire need of treatment and surgery.

Shahram Takhsa of Kermanshah, shot in the leg while running from police five months ago, has never been treated for his injuries. He has been transferred to solitary confinement since declaring a hunger strike in protest on October 10th. In response to his request for a hospital transfer, a judge reportedly replied, “As you stand accused of murder and will be probably executed anyway, treatment and transfers would be gratuitous.”

Omid Saeed Moucheshmi, held for financial crimes, is being denied treatment for fractured left fingers.

Gholamreza (aka Shouresh) Morovati has been denied transfer to the hospital for surgery since suffering an ACL rupture on July 30, 2018.

Sanandaj has not transferred any of its prisoners to outside health facilities for the past month and a half. As an excuse for denying such requests, authorities are reportedly falling back on the case of a prisoner who escaped whilst being transferred to Ghods psychiatric hospital 45 days ago.

Motaleb Ahmadian, Political Prisoner Ailing with 22 Years to Go

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- A prisoner in his eighth year of a 30-year sentence is in urgent need of medical care.
Evin prisoner Motaleb Ahmadian, 31, suffers from orchitis [infection and inflammation of the testes]. The infection recently spread to his bladder, a close source revealed, adding that the diagnosis was confirmed during ultrasonography tests Ahmadian underwent while on transfer to Telaghani hospital. His illness requires treatments that would drain excess fluid from the infection sites; uncontrolled, an infection of this type could lead to cancer. He is currently on the prison doctor’s waiting list for a medical transfer to undergo surgery, which he must pay out of his own pocket at an estimated 20 million tomans [approximately $1,500 USD].
Ahmadian was convicted on multiple counts: Moharebeh [enmity against God] through membership in a Kurdish opposition group; illegal entry into the country while armed and supporting a military group; and aiding and abetting murder. The charges stem from armed clashes in Saghez in 2010 that resulted in the death of a policeman and a civilian.
In August 2018, Branch 1 of Kurdistan provincial criminal court sentenced Ahmadian to eight years in prison for “aiding and abetting murder” and ordered him to pay half of the murder victims’ “blood money” [a designated sum owed to the families of homicide victims]. He was given an additional year and fined 20 million tomans [approximately $1,500] USD] on assault charges. Initially ordered to serve his sentence in exile in the southern city of Minab, he was instead transferred from Sanandaj to Tehran’s Evin Prison for reasons that were not disclosed.
Ahmadian, a Baneh native, was originally arrested October 5, 2010, after which he spent 230 days in solitary confinement. On May 3, 201,6 he was transferred to Saghez Prison after another prisoner made statements linking him to a weapon that was found there. This charge held water for some time, despite the material implausibility of smuggling a weapon from Sanandaj, where Ahmadian was held, to Saghez, more than 120 miles away. He was eventually acquitted and transferred back to Sanandaj.
Further back, Ahmadian was fined 100,000 tomans [approximately $300 USD] and sentenced to a year in prison for illegal border crossings in 2008 and 2011.
Saghez, Sanandaj, and Baneh are located in the province of Kurdistan on Iran’s border with Iraq. It is home to Iran’s Kurdish minority.

Death Row Prisoner Denied Medical Care in Sanandaj

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Gholamreza (Shoresh) Morovati, imprisoned in Sanandaj Central Prison, has been denied access to medical care despite a serious injury to the tendons of his feet for more than two weeks. Mr Morovati injured his foot in a sporting accident in Saghez Prison, but instead of being transferred to the prison’s clinic, Iranian authorities moved him to solitary confinement. Eleven days later, Mr Morovati was reportedly transferred to Sanandaj Prison without receiving any medical care.

Gholamreza Morovati was sentenced to death on murder charges in connection to an armed robbery, he has been imprisoned for the past nine years. Last year, he was transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison to Saghez Prison after he had protested the unclear situation of his case.

Mr Morovati reportedly requested from the authorities to execute him as a result of not being able to tolerate prison conditions.