Two Inmates Sentenced to Death, Two Other Spared from Execution

Two inmates were recently sentenced to death in Tehran and Gorgan, while reportedly two other inmates on death-row were recently spared from execution.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting IRIP News Agency, on Wednesday, October 13, the Judiciary spokesperson announced the conviction of two inmates to the death penalty in Tehran and Gorgan. In another report, he announced that two on death-row inmates were spared from execution.

Without providing any details about the court, which has issued these sentences, Zabihollah Khodaeyan commented, “these inmates have been convicted for their association with a network of human traffickers.” However, since other the defendants of this case, have been convicted to lengthy prison terms, he added that “the verdict is not final”.

According to Iran Newspaper, an inmate in Greater Tehran Prison was spared from execution after he could exact satisfaction from the victim’s family in a meeting. The inmate, named Shayan, had been previously convicted for stabbing a man to death.

According to Rokna, In Gorgan, a 30-year-old man was spared from execution by exacting satisfaction from the victim’s family through the mediation of deputy of the criminal executive branch in Golestan Province and members of Dispute Resolution Council. As Chief Justice of Golestan Province pointed out, this is the fourteenth death-row inmate who has been spared from execution this year by the mediation of the Dispute Resolution Council.

 

 

Political Prisoners Beaten After Being Held in Ward for Inmates Convicted of Violent Crimes

On Friday, October 8, in Greater Tehran Prison, a number of political prisoners were beaten by fellow inmates convicted of violent crimes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, contrary to the laws of the prison, these political prisoners are being housed in the same ward as the prisoners of violent crimes.

In the incident, Shapur Ehsani-rad, Pouya Ghobadi, Ismail Gerami, Akbar Bagheri and Akbar Faraji were injured and a few were hospitalized.

The political prisoners held in this ward had already complained and asked the prison officials to relocate them to other wards.

Workers’ rights activist, Shapur Ehsani-rad is serving his six-year sentence. Despite poor health condition and backache, he has been denied furlough for medical treatment.

Political prisoner, Pouya Ghobadi is serving his five-year sentence. In August of this year, the trial addressing the second part of his for the charge of ” enmity against God” was held.

Recently, in the court of appeal, workers’ rights activists Ismail Gerami was sentenced to five years imprisonment and flogging of 74 laches and paying a 20-million fine.

In 2018, Akbar Bagheri was sentenced to a nine-year imprisonment. The court of appeals upheld the verdict without making any changes.

On February 10, 2019, Akbar Faraji was arrested by security forces for online political activities and sentenced to six years imprisonment by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. This verdict was upheld by Branch of 36 of Appellate Court. On September 6, 2020, he was arrested to serve his term in Greater Tehran Prison.

 

Soheila Hijab Beaten in Garchak Prison While on Hunger Strike

Several inmates convicted of violent crimes recently beat political prisoner Soheila Hijab while she was on a hunger strike in Gharchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hijab had been on a hunger strike since September 19 in protest of the increasing pressure on political prisoners and the intrusion of interrogators and other Judicial officers into court processing. Following promises from authorities, she ended her hunger strike on October 3.

“One of the shift officers on purpose opened the door of section 3 where inmates convicted for robbery are held,” an informed source told HRANA. “Several inmates of this section encroached into the section where she was located and took her to their section. They tore her winding-sheet which she was wearing as a sign of protest and forced her to eat in order to broke her strike. Once she resisted, they beat and took her back to her own section by dragged her on the floor.”

Mrs Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and then released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court convicted her to 18 years imprisonment on charges of “propaganda against the regime, illegal assembly, incitement of public opinions to riot and organizing unlawful political groups”.

This long imprisonment stands at odds with Article 134 of Iran’s penal code whereupon the severest enforceable punishment is 5 years.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred her to Gharchak Prison in Varamin city to serve out her sentence.

In December 2020, the revolutionary court held a new session for new indictments such as ” propaganda against the regime” and “incitement of public opinions”. Her phone calls while in detention were published online and presented in court as evidence for the above-mentioned charges. Mrs Hijab has been once arrested in Shiraz and released by granting pardon after five-month imprisonment.

 

 

HRANA Recap: Recent Hunger Strikes in Iranian Prisons

Khalid Pirzadeh on a hunger strike in the Greater Tehran Prison

 

On May 31, political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike for the second time this year in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirzadeh has been denied visitations and leave in the 25 months since his imprisonment.

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike following the failure of authorities to fulfill their promise to agree to parole. Pirzadeh ended his hunger strike in March after authorities promised that his demands would be met.

In May of 2019, the political prisoner was sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, to 5 years in prison, and an additional 2 years for “insulting the leadership”.  According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, of the 7 total years, 5 can be enforced on Pirzadeh on the charge of “conspiracy and collusion”.

Khaled Pirzadeh underwent foot surgery in August 2020. His legs and spine were severely damaged during detention and required further surgery and physiotherapy. He was also barred from being hospitalized in December 2020 despite having a heart problem.

 

 

Iraj Hatami on a hunger strike in protest of continued imprisonment in Rajai Shahr Prison 

 

On May 30, Iraj Hatami, currently being held in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, went on a hunger strike to protest his continued imprisonment and the fact that previous time served in detention has not been counted towards his 10 year sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  Hatami was arrested by security forces in October 2010 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of “collaborating with a hostile US government”.

Before his arrest, Hatami worked for the Ministry of Defense and spent two years and three months in military detention. Had this time been counted by prison officials, Hatami’s 10 year sentence would have ended last year. Mr. Hatami suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

 

 

Farzad Samani on a hunger strike in the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center in Urmia

 

Farzad Samani, a student detained in one of the IRGC intelligence detention centers in Urmia, went on a hunger strike on May 30.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Samani has been on a hunger strike to protest pressure from the IRGC’s intelligence services and the extension of his and Sakar Eini’s imprisonment for the sixth consecutive time.

The undergraduate student was arrested in his dormitory at Kharazmi University in Karaj in December 2020, and was later transferred to the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center in Urmia.

So far, no information is available on the charges against Samani and Eini.

 

 

Hossein Hashemi on a hunger strike in Tehran Prison after his punitive transfer

 

On Tuesday, June 1, political prisoner Hossein Hashemi went on a hunger strike in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  Hashemi is one of the detainees from the November 2019 nationwide protests.

Per the report, Hashemi was taken from the ward under the pretext of going to interrogation, but was then transferred to the 4th section of the Greater Tehran Prison, which holds prisoners accused of violent crimes.

It is said that Mr. Hashemi’s transfer took place following a verbal argument with Eliassi, the supervising prosecutor of the Evin court. Eliassi had previously threatened to move Hussein Hashemi to a place where he would regret his actions.

 

 

Abolfazl Ghasali went on a hunger strike in Evin prison in Tehran

Tehran resident Abolfazl Ghasali, currently serving out a sentence in Evin Prison, has been on a hunger strike since May 27.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasali demands to be granted leave of absence during the COVID-19 outbreak, release on parole due to family’s financial problems, and a retrial.

Ghasali has had several nosebleeds since the day he started the hunger strike. The prisoner is also said to have suffered heart and lung problems during his detention due to poor nutrition and poor prison conditions. He also went on a hunger strike in December last year to protest the failure to address his needs.

In 2018, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, sentenced Ghasali to a total of 7 years in prison on charges of “Gathering and colluding and disturbing public order with the intention of committing a crime against national security”, and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

3 years and 6 months of imprisonment are enforceable under Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

 

The Greater Tehran Penitentiary; The Corona Virus Crisis, And The Deprivation of Hundreds Of Prisoners Of Drinking Water

HRANA News Agency: The water supply has been cut off at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5 since last night, and hundreds of prisoners have been deprived of access to drinking water. Furthermore, 52 prisoners at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 1 have fallen ill with COVID-19. Additionally, a prisoner at the Prison’s Wing 5, Hall 4, has been vomiting blood and showing symptoms similar to those of the Corona virus. The return of prisoners from leave [into the general prison population] without first being quarantined is among the most significant reasons for the spread of the Corona virus in the country’s prisons, including the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.

According to a report by HRANA News Agency, the news arm of the Human Rights Activists in Iran, the water supply has been cut off at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5 since last night, and hundreds of prisoners have been deprived of access to drinking water.

The cutting off of hot water at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5, Ward 2, Hall 1, since nearly two weeks ago, has caused problems in cleaning and maintaining hygiene at the Hall. Furthermore, since 11 o’clock last night, the water supply has been cut off at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5, and prisoners have been deprived of access to drinking water there. The Hall’s emergency supply of water was also depleted on the morning of June 19, and prison authorities have locked the Halls’ doors at this Wing in order to prevent prisoners from protesting.

A source close to the family of a prisoner incarcerated at the Penitentiary stated to HRANA: “Initially, the cutting off of hot water created problems for prisoners, and especially affected older individuals, who have subsequently caught colds or pneumonia due to bathing with that same [cold] water. Additionally, the drinking water supply has been depleted in Wing 5 and the conditions have gotten much worse than before for prisoners.”

Water conditions have never been that good in this Prison [to begin with]. The water supply for bathing is shut off for sometimes 17 to 18 hours a day. Based on the experience of past years, it seems that these shut-offs will become even more intense gradually and as it gets warmer. In the past week, two emergency water faucets have been installed for handwashing. Showers can only be used 4 to 6 hours a day, as a result of which, many prisoners do not get a chance to use the showers for between 2 to 5 months. Prisoners can only use hot water after 12 midnight. Water pressure is also not sufficient, and it is not possible to supply the Prison with adequate amounts of hot water due to persistent problems between the Prison authorities and the Shahriar region Municipality. As the weather has gotten warmer since last week, some days the Prison’s water supply is available for only 2 hours and the water is completely shut off most of the time.

Furthermore, the number of Prisoners infected with the Corona virus at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary is on the rise. 52 prisoners at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 1 have fallen ill with COVID-19. Additionally, a prisoner at the Prison’s Wing 5, Hall 4, has been vomiting blood and showing symptoms similar to those of the Corona virus.

The overcrowding in the Penitentiary has resulted in the spread of contagious illnesses like COVID-19.

The return of prisoners from leave without spending time in quarantine is among the most significant reasons for the spread of the Corona virus in prisons all across the country, and especially in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.

HRANA had previously addressed the health and hygiene conditions at this Prison in a comprehensive report. There is an infirmary in each wing of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, but the prisoners are deprived of access to a doctor or a nurse most of the day, and only a single prisoner (with or without any specialty) has been selected as the person in charge of the infirmary. Every few days, three prisoners are chosen from among individuals in a twenty-person cell to go to the infirmary, and even these people, [as few in numbers as they are], get minimal examination by the doctor or the nurse and are simply given a pill by the person in charge of the infirmary before they are taken back to the ward.

Prisoners suffering from illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis are kept in a separate cell in Wards 1 and 2 of Wing 2, without being given any special privileges or facilities, especially during the spread of the Corona virus, and they use the same toilets and showers as the rest of the prison population. This can put these individuals’ lives at greater risk compared to other prisoners.

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