Widespread Protests Continue in Iran, Rallies Held in Tehran and Karaj

Posted on: July 26th, 2021

On Monday, July 26, citizens in Tehran and Karaj held protest rallies in which protesters chanted slogans against the current situation in the country. According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, today’s protests fall on the first day after a week-long holiday in Tehran,  Iran’s capital, and Alborz Province.

Hamidreza Goodarzi, the deputy security director of Tehran Province, said that the situation has returned to normal and attributed the protests only to the power outage in a cellphone market center in Tehran. Tehran Governor Anoushirvan Mohseni Band-Pey has threatened to identify the protests’ organizers.

During these rallies, protesters chanted slogans such as “From Karaj to Khuzestan, unity, unity”, “Death to the dictator”, “Shame on Khamenei, leave the power”, “Iranians will die but won’t accept humiliation”, “The mullah must go away”, “Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, we are all together,” “Zealous Iranians, support, support” and “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I give my life for Iran.”

The gathering of Tehran citizens faced a large presence of police forces and efforts to disperse the people.

A source familiar with the Tehran protest rally told HRANA, “First, a rally started in the streets in Tehran with anti-government slogans; then, shop holders in the cell phone market chanted against the government after the power outage.”

Despite the release of videos of marches and protests by hundreds of Tehranians, Fars News Agency, the media close to the IRGC, released a short video of these rallies and said the number of attendees is only about 50 shop holders and the reason for the protest is only the two hours power outage.

From the night of Thursday, July 15th, public rallies in protest of water shortage and mismanagement of officials began in Khuzestan province and spread to more than 30 cities. On Saturday, July 24, citizens of Tabriz showed their support for the protests in Khuzestan by holding street protests and marches. Many were arrested during the protests in Tabriz.

Citizen from Tehran Executed on Saturday

Posted on: July 23rd, 2021

On Saturday, July 17th, a prisoner from Tehran was executed. Few details are available about the execution.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  quoting Rokna news, the prisoner was executed on a charge of murder.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

The report does not mention the identity of the accused or the place of execution.

Civil Activists Released Hours After Arrest in Tehran During March Supporting Khuzestan

Posted on: July 22nd, 2021

On Tuesday, July 20, civil activists Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni, were released from custody a couple of hours after their arrest.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the activists were beaten and arrested while marching in support of the people of Khuzestan.

Before their arrest, they had said in a video that a number of them had been beaten in front of the Interior Ministry by military forces.

During the last six days, people in Khuzestan province have been protesting frequent water cuts, and lack of water resources management in the cities of Ramhormoz, Shavur, Karkheh, Chamran, Kut Seyed Naeem, Shush, Ahvaz, Abadan, Hamidiyeh, Bostan, Susangard, Mahshahr, Khorramshahr, Shadegan, Kut Abdollah, Mollasani, Hoveyzeh, Abu Homeyzeh, and Veys.

Khuzestan Update: IRIB Confirms that Citizen was Shot and Killed During Last Night’s Protests in Izeh

Posted on: July 21st, 2021

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) confirmed that a citizen was killed during last night’s protests in Izeh, Khuzestan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Actiists, the IRIB report did not specify the identity of the killed citizen. However, it described his death as a result of a “suspicious” shooting—notably vague phrasing, considering that the overwhelming majority of gunfire throughout the protests has come from government forces.

Widespread protest rallies in Khuzestan started Thursday, July 15, in response to the negligence of officials that led to frequent cuts of drinking water and the drying of Karun River.

The demonstrations against the water cuts and lack of proper resource management continued yesterday into their sixth day. Rallies were held in Susangard, Behbahan, Abadan, Izeh, Ahvaz, Khorramshahr and Shadegan.

Hassan Nabovati, acting governor of Izeh, stated that one police officer was killed and another injured during the protests in Mahshahr last night.

As released videos show, the protests in Izeh were disrupted by violence from military forces. There were reports of military officers spraying tear gas and opening fire at protesters.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari Sentenced to Imprisonment and Exile

Posted on: July 21st, 2021

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, the father of Pouya Bakhtiari, one of the victims of the November 2019 nationwide protests, was sentenced to imprisonment and exile.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 77 days after his arrest, Bakhtiari called his family and announced that he had been sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison and 2 years and 6 months in exile.

He was transferred from the detention center of a security institution to the Central Penitentiary in Karaj after the sentence was issued.

Bakhtiari was detained by security forces on April 29, after being beaten at his home in Tehran. One week after the arrest, Gholam-Hossein Ismaili, a spokesman for the judiciary, called Bakhtiari and his family “counter-revolutionaries” and charged them with “acting against national security”.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari has been protesting the killing of his son by security forces in November 2019. Pouya Bakhtiari was born September 10, 1992, and was shot dead on November 16, 2019 in Phase 4 of Mehrshahr, Karaj.

According to his father, Pouya, along with his sister and mother, joined a protest march on the second day of the nationwide protest against the increase in gasoline prices. He was shot in the head, and he died before reaching the hospital.

As of this writing, the details of the verdict and the charges against Mr. Bakhtiari are not known.

Two Death Sentences Issued to Defendant in Tehran

Posted on: July 15th, 2021

A defendant in Tehran was sentenced to death and lashes by the city’s criminal court on charge of murder under the “Qisas” (eye for an eye) principle of Islamic sharia law.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Javan Online, he was also sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on a charge of “moharebeh”. Moharebeh, or “waging war against God”, is another pillar of Sharia law that is typically applied to those suspected of connection to any acts against the state.

The defendant was sentenced to death and lashes by the Criminal Court and the Revolutionary Court in separate sentences.

According to the report, the defense attorney of one of the victims said, in reference to the sentence issued for the defendants in this case,  “The first defendant in this case was sentenced to death and lashes, and the other defendants were sentenced to long prison terms, lashes and deportation to place with a bad climate.”

“The verdicts have not yet been finalized and needs to be considered by the Supreme Court,” he added. “The cases are about to be sent to the Supreme Court.”

Maziar Seyednejad Still in Detention One Month After Arrest

Posted on: July 9th, 2021

A month after the arrest of labor activist Maziar Seyednejad, he is still in detention and his fate is unknown.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Seyednejad was arrested on June 7 by security forces at his home in Tehran.  From there, he was as transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, one of the solitary confinement cells of the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center.

A few days after his arrest, during a brief phone call under the supervision of security forces, Seyednejad informed his family that he is unaware of the reasons for his detention. Despite the family’s inquiries, the reasons for the arrest and the charges against the labor activist are unknown at the time of writing.

Recently, Branch 16 of the Court of Appeals in Khuzestan Province upheld Mr. Seyednejad’s 3-year prison sentence.

Lawyer and Defendant Amirsalar Davoodi to Face Retrial on July 13

Posted on: July 9th, 2021

The retrial of lawyer Amirsalar Davoodi will be held on July 13 in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Davoodi’s request for a retrial was accepted in June of this year. After awaiting a verdict for nearly three years, he was released from Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on a bail of 2 billion Tomans.

Amirsalar Davoodi was arrested by security forces in November 2018 and was transferred to Evin Prison after being charged.

In April 2019, Vahid Meshgani Farahani, Mr. Davoodi’s lawyer said 8 – 9 charges are filed against Mr. Davoodi, including forming a group to overthrow the regime, cooperating with hostile states, propaganda against the regime, spreading lies, insulting officials and the leadership, and several other charges, two of which have been referred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal.

In June 2019, on charges of conspiracy against national security, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Mr. Davoodi to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes. The sentence was confirmed by the court of appeals in August of that year.

Mr. Davoodi’s wife had previously stated that  15 out of 30 year prison sentence for Mr. Davoodi was for setting up a group on the social media application Telegram.

190 days after his arrest, Mr. Davoodi was transferred from the detention center of the Judiciary’s Intelligence Protection Organization to the General Ward of Evin Prison in June 2019.

Davoodi had defended many cases of prisoners and political defendants, including Soheil Arabi and Saeed Shirzad.

Two Death Sentences Issued in Tehran

Posted on: July 8th, 2021

Two death sentences were recently issued in Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Shargh Newspaper, a man was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer he committed in April, 2004. Mehdi was sentenced under Qisas (“eye-for-an-eye”),  a pillar of Islamic sharia law .

It took 14 years following the incident until police officers discovered that Mehdi had started a secret new life in the city of Bonab and arrested him. Now, three years after his arrest, Mehdi has been sentenced to death, five years in prison, and 50 lashes.

According to HRANA, quoting Shahrvand Newspaper, another man was sentenced to death in Tehran on a charge of Moharebeh. Moharebeh, loosely translated as “waging war against God”, is a pillar of Islamic sharia law that is typically applied to those suspected of connection to any acts against the state.

Per the report, in late May 2017, detectives from the capital’s police station began investigating the case, and several men were arrested for extortion.

The case was sent from the Theft Court to the Revolutionary Court after a confession was obtained from the accused. Finally, the judge sentenced the leader of the extortionists to death.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1st and December 20th of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed. One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

University of Tehran Reverses Expulsion of Imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish Student Kasra Nouri

Posted on: July 7th, 2021

On July 5, the University of Tehran reversed its decision to expel Gonabadi Dervish graduate student Kasra Nouri .

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Nouri had previously been expelled from the University of Tehran for “truancy”, or, missing class while serving out a sentence in Adelabad Prison.

This expulsion violated the Constitution and the International Convention on Cultural and Social Rights, which holds that students must be allowed to continue their education following the completion of a prison sentence.

After repeated follow-ups by Shokufeh Yadollahi, Kasra Nouri’s mother, a letter was received from the University of Tehran canceling the expulsion of the imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish. According to the letter, Nouri will be permitted to continue his studies after he has endured the entirety of his sentence.

Farshid Yadollahi, Kasra Nouri’s lawyer had previously mentioned that Mr. Nouri’s expulsion from the university was against the constitution and the International Convention on Cultural and Social Rights and emphasized that, “When Kasra Nouri went to prison, the family informed the university, meaning everyone knew he was in prison.”