Amir Hossein Moradi Offered Release on Bail

Earlier this Tuesday, October 26, the court granted bail to Amir Hossein Moradi, who was arrested in relation to the nationwide protests of November 2019.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Moradi is currently hospitalized for a skin disease. Based on this court order, if he pays the required 4 billion tomans bail, he will be set free upon being discharged from the hospital. This has been confirmed on the personal social media page of Babak Pak-Nia, Moradi’s lawyer.

Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were sentenced to death by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, before a global outcry led to the re-examination of their case.

On Jun 24, 2020, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)  announced that the death sentence of the three political prisoners had been upheld by the Supreme Court. On July 14, 2020, the spokesman of the Judiciary officially announced the confirmation of their death sentences and said that the sentences had been sent to the prosecutor’s office for execution.

However, according to the lawyers, permission to enter the trial and study the case was given to them on July 15, 2020–weeks after HRANA reported that the death sentence had been confirmed in the Supreme Court.

Less than an hour after the official confirmation of the death sentences for Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, “#Don’t_execute” became the world’s top trend with hundreds of thousands of tweets. Human Rights Watch, US President Donald Trump, the Writers’ Association of Iran, and others all reacted to this news. The hashtag has now been used more than ten million times.

The following day, UN human rights experts issued a statement and condemned the death sentences. The statement expressed that Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi were tortured and forced to confess and that these forced confessions were later used against them in their trials. HRANA has previously conducted numerous conversations with informed sources and extensive research to determine what happened to the prisoners in the various processes of activity up to the conviction.

On July 19, 2020, the three defendants’ lawyers issued a joint statement announcing that the case had been referred to a different branch for retrial after the Supreme Court’s acceptance of Article 477.

In mid-December of 2020, in the aftermath of the global outcry, the young activists’ request for a retrial was finally accepted by Branch 1 of the Supreme Court and their death sentences were finally overturned.

The retrial process since has been comparably unstructured. The cases were submitted to Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran for retrial following overturn of their death sentnece, but, due to turnover in the head of the branch, the court session was postponed to May 12. Once again, the court session was cancelled due to the absence of the second judge. In July, their court session was postponed for a fourth time.

Moradi’s release would mark a rare victory in the ongoing legal battle facing so many of those who were involved in the nationwide protests of November 2019.

One Worker Killed, Two Others Injured due to Unsafe Workplace Conditions

In recent days one worker lost his life and two others were injured due to due to unsafe workplace conditions.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ILNA, spokesperson of the Tehran Fire Department Jalal Maleki announced the severe injury of one firefighter during a recent firefighting operation.

“At 1:24 am, the Fire Department was called on about an extensive fire in a commercial building and immediately firefighters of five stations dispatched to the spot,” Maleki commented. “The building had three floors as well as an attic. On the third floor, five stores were totally burned and the fire (had) spread to the attic. When the firefighters reached on spot, the fire had swept through the entire third floor. They began immediately to extinguish the fire with regard to all (safety) issues. But a part of the roof was demolished and one of the firefighters who was wounded was transferred to the hospital.”

According to IRIB, a fire incident in a cotton products factory in Garmsir City caused injury to a worker.

“Two teams were dispatched to the spot and extinguished the fire after thirty minutes,” the head of the fire department in Garmsir City commented.

According to him, a man about 70 years old was injured from the fire and subsequently transferred to a hospital.

According to ISNA, the head of the fire department of Mashhad City additionally announced the death of a young worker due to the debris falling in a building during the demolition process.

According to him, for unknown reasons, the debris fell on a worker and killed him, after which firefighters pulled his body from the debris.

Zia Nabavi’s One-Year Sentence Upheld by Court of Appeals

Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals in Tehran recently upheld a one year sentence for student activist Zia (Zia-el-din) Nabavi.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran had initially convicted Nabavi on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

The sentence included one year in prison including other unconventional punishments like monthly attendance of martyrs’ burial grounds in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, disabled veteran sanatorium, emotional control courses and the prohibition of leaving the country for two years.

On February 25, 2020, Nabavi was arrested by security forces in Tehran and released on bail on March 2, 2020. He had previously faced other arrests and convictions due to his non-violent activities.

Citizen Sentenced to Forty Lashes for Stealing Three Packs of Cashews

A board member of Tehran University revealed a lawsuit wherein in recent weeks a criminal court condemned a citizen to 40 lashes, along with other punishments, just for stealing three packs of cashews.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a board member of Tehran University publicized the court order in which a citizen has been convicted to 40 whips.

This verdict stands in blatant violation of the international covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Article 7 prohibits “torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment”.

Despite being a party to the international covenant, Iran’s regime regularly uses inhuman and humiliating punishments like flogging.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Friday, October 15

In Isfahan, a number of farmers assembled at the office of parliament member Hossein Mirzaie to protest the mismanagement in addressing water shortage. In response to the member of parliament (MP) who had recommended rain praying as the only solution, these farmers asked him to pray.

“We are waiting for the MP to come here and do rain prayer,” the farmers stated. “We go here on sit-down strike until it rains.”

 

A number of construction workers for a project to build a freeway tunnel from Manjil to Rasht City went on strike to protest against their employer who broke his promise regarding paying delayed wages. According to the workers, after fifteen days, the employer has yet to fulfill his promise to pay four months of unpaid wages.

About 800 workers working on the Shafa Rud dam in Gilan Province additionally went on strike last Friday to ask for the payment of their wages, which are seven months delayed.

“Since last year, I have been trying to address their issues,” Hassan Muhammad Yari , the MP of Talesh City, stated in Parliament. “Many times, I gave speeches in the parliament; however, so far there has been no one to listen. Therefore, these workers went on strike to reach their demands and I will join them from next week.”

Saturday, October 16

A group of workers of Ahvaz municipality protested on Saturday, first in front of the parliament building in Tehran and then at the office of the president. Reportedly, 69 recently-temporarily-laid-off workers of Ahvaz Municipality demanded to return to work. The workers have not been paid for the last six months and are facing a four month suspension from work.

Sunday, October 17

Workers of the Tehran Bus Company, along with the stakeholder of the housing cooperative of this company, assembled in front of the judiciary building in Tehran. The housing cooperative set up Sepidar construction projects 2 and 3 aiming to provide these bus drivers with housing, but 10 years after its introduction the project remains unfinished.

A number of people who have lost money to Cryptoland, a cryptocurrency exchange, assembled in front of the parliament building and demanded the return of their money

A number of retirees of the pension fund of the steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the building of this corporation in Isfahan. They asked for the improvement of their pension funds in proportion with the poverty line, closing the gap in pension incomes and addressing issues in regard to supplementary insurance.

Bus and minibus drivers working in the transport service of Southern Pars assembled and protested against low wages in comparison to increasing transportation costs.

Monday, October 18

Some personnel of Ahvaz Water and Wastewater Company assembled in front of the company building to protest the upcoming merger with Khuzestan Water and Water Waste company, among other issues. They said that the merger would worsen the financial situation of the company and the quality of their service as happened after the merger of with rural Water & Wastewater Company with its counterpart in the province.

Tuesday, October 19

A number of citizens assembled in front of the parliament building to protest against unfair family laws especially “Mehrieh”, which relates to the certain amount of money or possession paid by the groom before marriage or later at any time on request of the bride.

A group of workers working in ShafaRud dam assembled in on company property in Rezvanshahr City. These workers have not been paid for seven months and more than 700 workers have been laid off due to the shutdown of the project.

A number of workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled and protested on company property. They have been on strike for 23 days. These workers demand payment of their delayed wages, an immediate return of the company from the private sector to public, the return of laid off workers to work, extension of the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, and the carrying out of repair operations.

 

The workers of Hadid Mobtakeran Company assembled and protested unpaid wages, which have been delayed by two months. 

 

A number of customers of Azvico company (Azarbaijan Vehicle Industry), who had pre-purchased cars protested in front of the building of Economic Crimes Court in Tehran. These citizens have not yet received their purchased car after three years.

 

A group of people, who lost their investment in the Aftab Project, assembled in front of Rey City Court.

 

A group of poultry farmers assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad in Tehran in protest of high incubator costs and government-imposed fixed prices.

A group of people who have not yet received their pre-ordered cars after several years from Persian Khodro Company, Ramak Khodro Company, Seyf Khodro Company, and Karma Company protested on Tuesday.

 

Workers of the private companies which are working as contractors for Bushehr Petrochemical Company went on strike once again. They demanded increased wages, changing shift-work schedule to 20 days work, 10 days off, improvement of worker accommodations and food. It is worth mentioning that since June 19, these workers have launched a campaign to call all oil industry workers to join the strike.

Wednesday, October 20

A number of depositors of Caspian, a finance and credit institution, assembled in front of the building of the Liquidation Board in Tehran. They said that after six years, this finance institution refuses to return their investments. 

“Today we assembled in front of the building of Liquidation Board,” one of the participants in this protest commented. “Once they did not respond, we went inside and they cut off the power of the building to force us to leave.”

Thursday, October 21

A number of workers for a garment factory Sabalan assembled in front of the governorate building in Ardabil to demand their unpaid wages, which have not been paid for three months. These workers say that while the company spends a lot of money on erecting pavilions, building restaurants in company premises, other expenses for tourist attractions, and paying some former politicians apparently as Consultants or board members, they do not pay workers’ wages.

A group of women’s rights activists and other citizens assembled at the Faezeh Maleki-Nia’s burial place in Dolat-Abad village to ask for the repeal of discrimanatory laws against women. On Sunday, October 3, 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki was burned to death by her father in Sanandaj City.

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Farangis Mazloum Summoned by Evin Court to Endure Eighteen Month Sentence

Yesterday, October 19, civil activist Farangis Mazloum was summoned to serve her 18-month prison sentence by Branch 1 of the Executive Unit of Evin Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mazloum was asked to appear at this branch within five days from the date of the summons’ issuance. Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court had sentenced her to 18 months in prison.

Mazloum is the mother of prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi, who recently began a hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.

On July 22, 2019, Farangis Mazloum was arrested at her sister’s home and transferred to the detention center at the disposal of the ministry of intelligence, known as Ward 209 of Evin prison. On October 8, 2019, she was released on bail of 250 million tomans (approx. 9300 US dollars) until the end of legal proceedings.

She was indicted by Branch 6 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Evin Prison.

Initially, the Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran held the trial in absentia and sentenced her to six years imprisonment. In this court, six other people related to this court case were also sentenced to imprisonment. After Mazloum’s objection, in a retrial, the Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on August 25 and 28 2020 changed the sentence to 18 months in prison.

She was sentenced to one year on a charge of ” assembly and collusion to commit a crime through associating with The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”, and 6 months on a charge of “propaganda against the regime in favor of opposition political groups”.

This verdict was upheld by the appellate court. By applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest punishment of one year from this sentence is enforceable.

 

Soheil Arabi and Behnam Moosivand Go on a Hunger Strike in Rajai Shahr Prison

Yesterday, October 19, prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi and civil activist Behnam Moosivand went on hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the political prisoners are protesting their beatings by prison guards and their transfer to the quarantine section of the facility. Rajai Shahr Prison head Allah-Karam Azizi reportedly ordered the beating of the two inmates.

“Allah-Karam Azizi…ordered the executive officer Ghasem Sahraie and other guards to beat them because of their objection against a body search,” an informed source told HRANA. “They were (beaten) and (kicked) to the abdomen and testicles. Due to the injuries, Soheil and Behnam could not go to the court.”

On October 6, the political prisoners refused to appear on the court holding for the unjustified new cases opened against them during their prison term, of which the charges included “disturbing prison order” and “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”.  In response to this refusal, the deputy head of Rajai Shahr Prison Valiollah Muhammadi threatened them with a beating.

Soheil Arabi has been imprisoned without leave since November 7, 2013. While serving out the seven and a half year sentence, Soheil Arabi has been convicted on charges from two new cases.

In the first new case, On May 24, 2021, he was indicted on the charge of “agitation against the regime and Disturbing public opinions” via a video conference by Branch 3 of the Evin Investigation Office.

In the second new case, Soheil Arabi was condemned to 2 years imprisonment, paying a fine, and a ban from leaving the country and once every three times appearance at the Supervision and Follow-up office of Judiciary by Branch 26 of Tehran’s revolutionary court. His court session to address these charges was held on July 28.

On February 1, 2018, the intelligence officials raided Behnam Moosivand’s home and transferred him to the detention facility of the intelligence ministry in Evin Prison, known as section 209. He was released on bail on March 19, 2018.

Thereafter, in September 2019, branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced him to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, and to one year on a charge of “agitation against the regime”. The verdict was upheld at appeal. On June 14, 2020, he appeared at the executive branch of Evin Prison to serve his six year sentence.

 

New Details Emerge on Inhumane Treatment of Lawyer and Human Rights Activist Payam Derafshan

Saeed Dehghan has revealed more details about the arrest of his colleague, lawyer and human rights activist Payam Derafshan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Dehghan claims in a note on his personal social media page that on June 7, 2020, 17 security agents raided Derafshan’s office and arrested him.

The post says, the agents took him to a so-called safe house and then, from there, to a solitary confinement cell in detention center No 2A. There they injected him with an unknown drug causing seizure and subsequent hospitalization.

“Not just a human rights activist, (Derafshan) was the secretary of the commission for the Protection of Lawyers, which is devoted to protects the lawyers who face security and judicial issues,” Derafshan’s note reads. “On June 7, 2020, 17 security forces raided his office, inspected the office and confiscated his personal computer and other documents…From the very time of arrest through the interrogation process, the interrogators of IRGC’s intelligence unit wanted to find out why he accepted Kavous Seyed-Emami’s case…They transferred him with a blindfold to a safe house rather than a detention centre. In addition to denying access to a phone call and informing his family and lawyer, his confinement in a dark cell without any windows in summertime put the maximum mental and corporeal pressure on him. Thereafter, they transferred him to detention centre No 2A, which is at the disposal of IRGC.  Being held in a cell with always-on-bright lamps, noisy ventilation and stinky toilet and long interrogation were making sleeping hard for him.”

When Mr. Derafshan complained about this situation, he was reportedly threatened with an electric shocker and then taken to prison healthcare where he was injected with an unknown drug. This injection caused a seizure, tongue biting and subsequent fainting and internal bleeding.

According to the note, they transferred him to the hospital the following day for surgery on his tongue. Thereafter, they extended the detention period and sent him back to the public ward of Evin Prison without providing any medical treatment for recovery time after surgery. When he got seizures again, they hospitalized him in a psychiatric hospital where he received electric shocks, which not only exacerbated his seizure problem, but also caused brain damage and consciousness disorders.

On July 6, 2020,  the Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Iman Afshari sentenced Payam Derafshan to two years and six months imprisonment on the charge of “the propaganda against the regime, spreading lies and disturbing public opinions and carrying illegal shocker and sprays”. He was exonerated on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. The verdict was upheld on appeal but reduced to two years grounded on the applicability of “Punishment Reduction Law”.  After issuing the sentence, he was sent on furlough and after serving one-third of his term, he was released on probation to complete the treatment process.

In a previous case, Branch 1 of Karaj Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to two years imprisonment and two years occupational deprivation as a lawyer on the charge of “offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”. The imprisonment was reduced to one year on appeal. The conviction was held in suspension. It is unknown whether, after the last final conviction, this previous conviction will come out of suspension.

Payam Derafshan has been the lawyer of many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience such as Muhammad Najafi, Vida Movahed, Nasrin Sotoudeh,  Kavous Seyed-Emami’s family, Fatemeh Khishavand, Sekineh Parvaneh and a number of arrestees in the nationwide protests of November 2019.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, October 9

In Rameshk city, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, a number of citizens assembled in front of a copper mining company called “Rameshk” to protest the company’s confiscation of their pieces of land without providing compensation.

Sunday, October 10

On the thirteen day of their strike, Haft-Tappeh’s workers assembled in front of the governorate building in Shush city and then marched in the streets. They chanted “this
revolutionary government has just empty slogans”.

These workers demand paying delayed wages, immediate returning the company from the private sector to state section, returning fired workers to work, extending the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, carrying out repair operations.

A group of depositors of Caspian, a finance and credit institution, assembled in front of the building of the Central Bank in Tehran to protest against the sham investment scheme of the institution and ask for the return on their investment.

A number of retirees of the pension fund of steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the company’s buildings in Isfahan and Khuzestan. They asked for levelling up their pension in proportion with the poverty line, enjoying adequate benefits and the supplementary insurance as set by the by-laws of this corporation.

 

Monday, October 11

For the second consecutive day, a number of workers of Jovein cement company in Mashhad assembled at company premises to ask for implementing Job Classification Plan and holding the employers to his promises.

A group of poultry farm workers assembled in front of the Governor’s office in Shahrekord city in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. They protested against the high costs of feeding and chicks for incubators in comparison to the low chicken prices.

On the fourteenth consecutive day, Haft-Tappeh workers assembled in front of the governorate building in Shush city and then marched in the streets.

The contracted workers the company SAAPEC in Asaluyeh went on strike and assembled in company premises in protest against two-months unpaid wages.

For the second consecutive day, a number of citizens in Rameshk city, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, assembled in front of a copper mining company Rameshk. Reportedly, to build a copper mine site, this company has confiscated their pieces of land without paying any compensation.

Tuesday, October 12

The workers of Abnieh Fanni, a railway company in the Azerbaijan zone, which are working on rail lines of counties Salmas, Jolfa, Azarshahr, Marand and Ajabshir, went on strike in protest against the two-month delay in payment and employer’s contribution in the health insurance. According to these workers, their problems began when the project was outsourced to private-sector companies.

On the fifteenth consecutive day of the strike, workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled at their workplace. These worker demands, among other things, paying delayed wages, immediate returning the company from the private sector to state section, returning fired workers to work, extending the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, Carrying out repair operations.

The workers of the Isfahan municipality assembled to ask for levelling up wages and other demands in front of the municipality headquarter.

In front of the building of the Tehran Planning and Budget Organization, a number of last-year-retired teachers protested unpaid pension income.

Wednesday, October 13

A number of school service personnel working for the Ministry of Education of Qom assembled in the premises of the Ministry of education’s building. They protested low wages,forced and unpaid overworking, cutting off work uniform quota and the lack of promotion and other job-related improvements for those who have obtained the university degree

On the sixteenth day of their strike, Haft-Tappeh’s workers assembled in front of Labor office in Shush city.

A number of contractual teachers assembled in front of the Provincial Government building in Shahrekord in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. These teachers protested against the lack of job security and low wages in comparison to teachers who are hired by the ministry of education. They demanded to come under contract with the ministry of education.

Thursday, October 14

In response to the call of the Coordinating Council of Iranian teacher Unions, working and retired teachers and educators in at least 40 cities assembled to ask for their demands.

A number of workers of the municipality in Khorramshahr city assembled to ask for six
months unpaid wages.

The workers of private companies which are working as contractors on coal mines in Kerman assembled in front of the Provincial Government building. They asked for implementing the Job Classification plan and other demands.

The retirees of Gilan Ministry of Health assembled in the premises of the University of Medical Sciences in Rasht to ask for closing pension gap and other demands.

On the Seventeenth day of their strike, the workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled at their workplace.

Political Prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi Released on Leave from Evin Prison

On Wednesday, October 14, political prisoner Arezoo Ghasemi was released on furlough from Evin Prison in Tehran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemi has been enduring her one and a half year prison sentence since August 9, 2020. On July 20 of this year, after testing positive for COVID-19, she was also granted furlough.

Arezoo Ghasemi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in November 2019. She was released on bail until August 9, 2020, when she was sent to Evin Prison to serve her sentence.

The Branch 28 of the revolutionary court, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghayeseh sentenced her to three years imprisonment on a charge of “assembly and collusion against national security”. This sentence was subsequently reduced to one and a half years after applying the “Punishment Reduction Law”.

During the wave of protests of November 2019 in dozens of cities, which broke out initially in protest of an unprecedented fuel price surge, hundreds were killed and seven thousand were arrested by regime forces.

Since Ghasemi will have served out her term by the end of the furlough, she will not return to prison.