Azerbaijani-Turk Activist Milad Jalili Begins Prison Term for Political Rap

On June 5, 2024, Azerbaijani-Turk activist Milad Jalili commenced his eight-month prison sentence at Tabriz Prison. This sentence was confirmed by Branch 32 of the Appellate Court of East Azerbaijan Province.

In a video on his personal page, Jalili shared that he had begun serving his term. Originally arrested on November 28, 2023, by security forces in Tabriz, where he resides and is known as a rapper, Jalili was initially released on bail on January 29, 2024.

The Revolutionary Court of Tabriz had sentenced him for “propaganda against the regime by performing political rap music in support of convicted secessionists.” However, he was acquitted of the charges related to “acting against national security through inciting people to cause unrest.” The appellate court upheld this verdict.

Execution of Three Inmates in Tabriz Prison for Drug Offenses

On April 27, 2024, three inmates were executed in Tabriz Prison for drug-related crimes, according to the Iran Human Rights Organization.

The inmates were identified as Amir Moharrami, 36, Davoud Namyari, 33, and Sohrab Hokmabad. Moharrami was arrested and convicted two years ago, while Namyari and Hokmabad were convicted three years ago.

Two days before the executions, the report stated that along with the three executed inmates, two other death-row inmates—a man and a woman—were also moved to solitary confinement in anticipation of their executions. However, they were later returned to the public ward of the prison. The woman was convicted of murder, while the man faced charges related to drug offenses. The report did not disclose their identities.

No official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have provided coverage of these executions at the time of writing.

The reports from the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists for the year 2023 reveal a concerning prevalence of executions for drug offenses in Iran, constituting 56.4% of the total executions. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s report.

Couple Executed for Drug Offenses in Tabriz Prison

According to the Iran Human Rights Organization, a couple was executed in Tabriz Prison on March 18, 2024, for their involvement in drug-related crimes.

Yasin Zolfaghari and his unidentified wife, coming from Jolfa, East Azerbaijan province, were convicted in the same legal case before facing execution.

No official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have provided coverage of their executions 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.

The reports from the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists for the year 2023 reveal a concerning prevalence of executions for drug offenses in Iran, constituting 56.4% of the total executions. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s report.

Execution Carried Out in Tabriz Prison for Drug Conviction

Tabriz Prison officials executed an inmate convicted of drug-related offenses on March 25, 2024, as reported by the Iran Human Rights Organization.

The executed inmate has been identified as Abbas Aghaie (Aghayi), aged 36, from Tabriz. He was sentenced to death for drug offenses 28 months ago.

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

The reports from the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists for the year 2023 reveal a concerning prevalence of executions for drug offenses in Iran, constituting 56.4% of the total executions. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s report.

Azerbaijani-Turk Activist Karim Esmaeil-Zadeh Receives Six-Month Imprisonment

The Tabriz Revolutionary Court has sentenced Azerbaijani-Turk Activist Karim Esmaeil Zadeh to six months in prison. Co-defendants Abdullah Ansari and Ebrahim Rezaie have been acquitted of charges in this legal case.

The verdict finds Esmaeil-Zadeh guilty of “inciting people to violence on the Internet,” with the detention period to be subtracted from the overall prison term.

On August 16, 2023, security forces arrested these individuals as they entered a football stadium in Tabriz. Three days later, they were released on bail from Tabriz Prison. Subsequently, Esmaeil-Zadeh was re-arrested on August 27 in Tabriz, only to be released on a second bail from the city’s prison.

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Morteza Nour-Mohammadi Detained for Over 70 days in Legal Limbo

Morteza Nour-Mohammadi Naradrli (Nazarlu) remains in a state of legal uncertainty, having been detained for more than 70 days in the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility in Tabriz.

According to a source close to his family, HRANA learned that Nour-Mohammadi has recently been formally charged by the Public and Revolutionary Court. Additionally, the bail required for his temporary release has been escalated to 700 million Tomans, approximately 14,000 dollars.

Initially accused of the political charge of “assembly and collusion against national security,” Nour-Mohammadi now faces an additional legal challenge, being charged with “membership in a group to act against national security.”

On September 9, 2023, Nour-Mohammadi, a resident of Shabestar, was apprehended by security forces at the National Organization for Civil Registration in Sufian city and subsequently detained in Tabriz Prison. After a period, he was moved to a detention facility.

Nour-Mohammadi had publicly revealed that the Civil Registration office had denied issuing a birth certificate for his newborn child with the name “Hunai.” This denial was attributed to the Iranian regime’s stringent restrictions on name selection, particularly those with ethnic or foreign origins.

Azerbaijani-Turk Activist Saleh Mola-Abbasi’s Prison Sentence Confirmed on Appeal

The Court of Appeal for East Azerbaijan Province has upheld a 91-day prison sentence for Azerbaijani-Turk activist Saleh Mola-Abbasi.

Earlier this year, in July, Mola-Abbasi was initially handed this verdict on charges of “disseminating false information to disrupt public order.”

Saleh Mola-Abbasi’s arrest occurred at his residence in Ahar on October 9, 2022, when he was apprehended by security forces. Following approximately one month of incarceration in Tabriz Prison, he was released on bail, which amounted to 1.2 billion tomans. The court session that ultimately led to his sentencing took place on July 10, 2023.

It is noteworthy that Saleh Mola-Abbasi has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to his activist endeavors.

Student Activist Armita Pavir Arrested and Detained in Tabriz

Student activist Armita Pavir has been arrested and is currently being held at Tabriz Prison.

Pavir had previously received a summons to appear in court to face various charges.

Armita Pavir is currently pursuing a degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Azarbaijan Shahid Madani.

This is not the first time Pavir has found herself in legal trouble. She was previously arrested on October 31, 2022, when security forces apprehended her in front of the university entrance. After posting bail in the amount of 250 million tomans (approximately 5000 dollars), she was released on December 8, 2022.

Unfortunately, her troubles have continued. On June 28, 2023, she was once again arrested, by security forces this time at her residence. After several hours of interrogation, she was released.

Azerbaijani (Turk) Activist Saleh Mola-Abbasi Sentenced to Three Months in Prison

Ahar Criminal Court has handed down a three-month prison sentence to Azerbaijani (Turk) activist Saleh Mola-Abbasi.

The verdict was delivered by Judge Khadivi, who informed Mola-Abbasi’s lawyer, Asghar Mohammadi, that his client has been found guilty of “spreading falsehood to disturb public opinions.”

The arrest of Saleh Mola-Abbasi took place at his residence in Ahar on October 9, 2022, by security forces. After spending approximately one month in Tabriz Prison, he was released on bail with 1.2 billion tomans. On July 10, 2023, the court session was convened, leading to his sentencing.

It is pertinent to mention that Mola-Abbasi has a history of previous arrests and convictions linked to his activism.

Lawyer Sina Yousefi Sentenced to Imprisonment and Paying a Fine

Branch 112 of the Tabriz Criminal Court sentenced Sina (Hossein) Yousefi, attorney at law, to 91 days imprisonment and paying a 15-million-toman fine.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, lawyer Sina Yousefi was sentenced to three months imprisonment.

Yousefi received this sentence for “spreading falsehood on the Internet.”

“Giving unrealistic statistics” on arrests over recent protests in a tweet was presented to the court as an example of this charge.

For another part of his legal case, Yousefi has been sentenced to six months and a ban from leaving the country for two years.
Yousefi, who is the vice chairman of the human rights commission of the Azerbaijan Province bar association, clarifies, “Since so many people came to the commission asking for representing the arrestees over protests, we decided to establish a ‘defense committee’… Now, for doing my job, I have faced the charge of forming an illegal group.”

Yousefi, age about 38, was arrested by security forces on October 15, 2022. Twelve days later, he was released on bail from Tabriz Prison.