Inmate Executed in Saqqez Prison

An inmate convicted of murder was executed in Saqqez Prison on April 25, 2024, as reported by Kurdpa.

Farzad Khademi, a resident of Saqqez in Kurdistan province, received a death sentence for murder approximately three years ago.

No official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have provided coverage of this execution at the time of writing. In 2023, 66% of HRANA’s reports on executions lacked official announcements by judicial authorities and went unreported by media inside Iran, highlighting a troubling lack of transparency in due process.

In 2023, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered the execution of 767 individuals. Out of these, 7 were carried out in public. Among the executed individuals whose genders were identified, 21 were female. Additionally, 2 juvenile offenders, defined as individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crimes, were also executed. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s annual report.

Safa Aeli, Mahsa Amini’s Uncle, Sentenced to Imprisonment and Additional Penalties

Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Saqqez handed down a five-year, six-month prison term and additional penalties to Safa Aeli, maternal uncle of Mahsa Amini.

Aeli received a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence for charges related to “assisting in assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.” In addition, he has been prohibited from leaving the country for two years and mandated to write an article focusing on the topic of the deceased police and military forces.

Confirming this news, Aeli’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht informed HRANA that three years and six months of this sentence is enforceable. On September 5, 2023, security forces arrested Safa Aeli. He was released on bail from Saqqez Prison on October 17, 2023. He was denied access to a lawyer and family visits during his detention.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hijab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students, and civil rights activists, were arrested. Additional understanding can be acquired by examining the report provided by HRANA.

 

Multiple Executions in Rafsanjan, Sanandaj, and Saqqez

Reports confirm the recent execution of four inmates across Rafsanjan, Sanandaj, and Saqqez.

On December 4, 2023, Iran Human Organization disclosed the execution of Amir Alikhani, found guilty of murder, at Rafsanjan Prison in Kerman Province. Subsequently, on December 6, Kamal Elhami, aged 43, faced execution at Saqqez Prison for a rape conviction dating back five years.

As per Kurdpa, on December 6, 2023, two inmates, Sirus Heydari (60) and Khaled Roohi, were executed at Sanandaj Prison. Heydari had been convicted of murder four years ago, while Roohi faced the same charge 12 years prior.

No official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have provided coverage of these executions at the time of writing. The lack of official information raises concerns about transparency and accountability in the execution process.

According to data compiled by the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), between October 10, 2022, and October 8, 2023, a total of 659 individuals were executed by hanging in Iran, representing a 24% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Seven of these executions were conducted publicly. Concerningly, many of the defendants were denied access to a fair trial and due process. For details and statistics, read HRANA’s report.

Lawyer Naser Sargeran Arrested

On October 11, 2023, security forces apprehended Naser Sargeran, a lawyer living with a visual impairment, in Saqqez, subsequently relocating him to the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility in Sanandaj.

According to a report by Kurdpa, Sargeran was taken into custody at his residence in Saqqez. It’s important to note that in addition to his legal profession, Sargeran also serves as a university lecturer and is an advocate for disability rights.

The specific reasons behind this arrest, as well as any charges that may have been filed against him, remain unknown at this juncture.

Keyvan Rahimi Arrested in Saqqez

Keyvan Rahimi was apprehended by security forces on October 5, 2023, and subsequently taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Saqqez, according to a report by Kurdpa.

The grounds for his arrest and the specific allegations against him remain undisclosed as of now.

In September-October 2021, Rahimi was handed an eight-month prison sentence by the Saqqez Revolutionary Court on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.”

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Report on the Anniversary of Death of Mahsa Amini

On Saturday, September 16, 2023, the nation observed the anniversary of the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, marked by scattered protest gatherings amidst an environment of heightened security, leading to the detention of several individuals across various cities in the country.

Reports obtained by HRANA reveal an extensive police presence and increased security measures in multiple urban centers, including Saqqez, Sanandaj, Tehran, Ardabil, Rasht, Arak, and Lahijan.

Despite these security measures, sporadic gatherings took place in cities such as Karaj and Kermanshah. In Tehran, attempts by some citizens to organize protest gatherings were met with intervention by security and military forces.

Local sources have reported that traders and shopkeepers in several Kurdish cities, including Sanandaj, Saqqez, Divandareh, Dehgolan, and Baneh, staged strikes by refraining from their daily activities. Additionally, residents of Saqqez received threatening text messages from the Ministry of Intelligence, warning of potential legal consequences if they participated in gatherings or rallies.

Several news outlets, including Dideban, have reported instances of gunfire being heard during the Kermanshah protest.

Furthermore, local human rights sources in the Kurdish region have documented an incident involving an individual named Fardin Jafari, who sustained injuries after entering a restricted area and subsequently being struck by gunfire from security forces. Shortly after this incident, Mehdi Ramezani, Deputy Governor of Kurdistan, confirmed the shooting but refuted reports of a fatality. He asserted that Saqqez remained entirely calm, with no gatherings or protests transpiring. Ramezani attributed the shooting of Fardin Jafari to his “entry into a restricted military area and disregard for warnings.” Jafari has since been hospitalized and underwent surgery due to the severity of his injuries.

Security forces also briefly detained and then released Amjad Amini, Mahsa Amini’s father after he left his home today.

Ramezani justified the brief detention of Amjad Amini by alleging that “several members of a ‘terrorist group’ had planned to ‘assassinate’ Amjad Amini on his way to visit his daughter’s burial site. Security forces intervened and apprehended them, foiling their sinister plot.” However, IRNA, the official news agency of the Islamic Republic, contradicted the Deputy Governor of Kurdistan by denying any short-term detention of Amjad Amini.

Ramezani also reported the detention of several individuals in various cities of Kurdistan Province on charges related to their alleged membership in anti-regime groups. He explained, “These individuals were detained early on Saturday as they filmed and photographed businesses and industrial facilities. Security forces identified and subsequently detained them.”

The Public Prosecutor of Ardabil also informed the media of the detention of two individuals in the city on charges of “actions against national security.”

Furthermore, an intelligence official affiliated with the IRGC issued a statement announcing the detention of several individuals in Marvdasht county. These individuals were apprehended for what the statement described as “widespread propaganda and inscribing protest slogans on city walls aimed at disturbing public opinion.”

The Public Prosecutor and Revolution Prosecutor of Qarchak county also reported the detention of one individual on the charge of “membership in anti-regime groups” in their jurisdiction, along with several other detentions across various counties in Tehran Province.

Meanwhile, the IRGC’s intelligence unit in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province reported the detention of fifteen individuals in this region, citing their alleged intention to incite insecurity.

HRANA has received reports indicating that, in commemoration of the anniversary of the protests, thirteen inmates in Qezal Hesar Prison in Karaj have embarked on a hunger strike.

Prior to this, Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi, incarcerated students, had publicly announced their intention to undertake a three-day hunger strike in solidarity with nationwide protests.

Additionally, on Saturday, some female inmates at Evin Women’s Ward ignited their scarves within the prison compound as a symbolic protest act.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hijab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students, and civil rights activists, were arrested.

 

Safa Aeli, Mahsa Amini’s Uncle, Taken into Custody

On September 5, 2023, Safa Aeli, the uncle of Mahsa Amini, was apprehended by security forces and subsequently transported to an undisclosed location.

A source informed HRANA that today, at approximately 13:00, ten intelligence agents in three vehicles came and arrested Aeli at his residence. Additionally, this source provided details regarding the mounting pressure and threats faced by Mahsa Amini’s family from security institutions.

Presently, the specific grounds for Aeli’s detention and his current whereabouts are unknown. Safa Aeli is a Saqqez resident and the maternal uncle of Mahsa Amini.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hijab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students, and civil rights activists, were arrested.

Teacher Union Activist Soleiman Abdi Receives Eight-Month Prison Sentence

Soleiman Abdi, a member of the Teachers’ Trade Association in Saqqez and Ziviyeh, has been handed an eight-month prison sentence by the Saqqez Revolutionary Court, according to reports from Kurdpa.

Abdi was found guilty of “propaganda against the regime.”
In a separate legal case, the Criminal Court of Saqqez convicted him of “disrupting public order and safety,” resulting in an initial sentence of eight months in prison and 70 lashes. However, this sentence was later commuted to 720-hour community service, with the flogging punishment suspended for two years.

On March 19, 2023, security forces apprehended Abdi at his residence, and he was subsequently released on bail from Saqqez prison on April 10, 2023.
Soleiman Abdi has faced prior arrests related to his activities as a teacher union activist.

Three Inmates Convicted of Murder Executed across Different Prisons

On August 26 and 27, 2023, three inmates who had previously been found guilty of murder faced execution in separate instances across Zarand, Saqqez, and Aligudarz.

According to HRANA, on August 26, Milad Yazdanpanah, 30 years old, was executed in Zarand Prison, located in Kerman province. Sources close to his family informed HRANA that Yazdanpanah had been sentenced to death six years ago following a conviction for murder.

Kurdpa reported the execution of Vafa Kharamani, an inmate, on August 27, in Saqqez prison. Two years prior, he had received a death sentence for committing murder.

Finally, Iran Human Rights Organization reported the execution of Sobhan Efterkhareddin, aged 35, in Aligudarz, situated in Lorestan Province, on August 27. Efterkhareddin had been found guilty of murder approximately three and a half years ago.

At the time of writing, no official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have reported on these executions.

In 2022, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered 457 reports related to the death penalty. This included 92 death sentences, including the conviction of 6 people to public execution and 565 execution sentences were carried out, 2 of which have been carried out in public. Based on the announced identifications of some of the executed individuals, 501 were male and 11 were female. In addition, 5 juvenile offenders were executed in 2022, meaning they were under the age of 18 at the time they committed the crime.

 

Workers’ Rights Advocate Othman Esmaeili Sentenced to 39-Month Prison Term

In a recent development reported by Kolbar News, workers’ rights activist Othman Esmaeili has been handed a 39-month prison sentence by the Saqqez Revolutionary Court.

Esmaeili’s sentencing comprises seven months and 15 days for “propagating against the regime” and an additional 31 months and 15 days for his alleged involvement as a member of an “anti-regime group.” As per the provisions outlined in Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 31 months and 15 days of his total sentence will be carried out.

Esmaeili was arrested by security forces on February 8, 2023, and subsequently released from Saqez Prison on April 17, 2023. During his period of detention, both legal representation and family visitation were reportedly denied.

It’s worth noting that he has a history of previous arrests and incarceration for his activism.