Omar Sharifi Bukani Arrested in Tehran and Transferred to Unknown Location

On Thursday, November 11, security forces arrested Tehran resident Omar Sharifi Bukani and then transferred him to an unidentified location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, security forces arrested 70-year-old Sharifi Bukani without a warrant at his home in Tehran.

Mr. Sharifi Bukani was reportedly arrested once previously, in 1992, on a charge of “membership in one of the opposition political parties” and then sentenced to seven years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Mahabad City. He was released in 1998 after serving out his sentence in Urmia Prison.

The reasons for yesterday’s arrest, along with Mr. Sharifi Bukani’s current whereabouts, are unknown as of this writing.

Man Shot Dead by Regime’s Military Forces in Border Area of Urmia County

Earlier this Tuesday, November 2, a man was shot dead by military forces in border areas of Urmia county.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, the victim has been identified as Veisi Badini, a resident of the village Soorkan. Badini was married and has two children.

Military forces reportedly began to shoot directly towards Veisi Badini, who was pasturing livestock, without any warning beforehand. In the aftermath of their shooting, the forces did not allow any medical treatment, which led to his death from bleeding. As of yet, they have refused to deliver the body to Badini’s family.

HRANA’s annual human rights report has specifically documented cases in which military forces’ use of live ammunition against citizens has led to their injury or death.

According to the 2020 report, 36 cross-border laborers (kolbars), 5 cross-border fuel carriers (sukhtbar) and 33 other citizens have been shot dead by military forces and border guards in the last year. In addition, 130 people have been injured of which 109 are kolbars, 5 are sukhtbars, and 16 are citizens.

Political Prisoner Saeed Sangar Released After 21 Years in Prison

On Saturday, October 30, political prisoner Saeed Sangar was released on parole from Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sangar’s release comes after 21 years of imprisonment.

On August 31, 2000, Sangar was arrested. However, in his legal case, October 29 of that year has been wrongly recorded as the arrest date.

On November 18, 2000, the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj, headed by judge Fatemi, sentenced him to death on the charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through membership in The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran”. Following this conviction, Sangar was transferred from the detention center of the ministry of intelligence in Sanandaj to ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was held in solitary confinement cells until 2003. In the fall of 2003, the appellate court changed the verdict to life imprisonment and sent him to Urmia Prison.

Years later, on December 23, 2016, the executive branch No. 4 of the Department of Justice in Sanandaj reduced the verdict to 18 years imprisonment.

In 2017, a new case was opened against him for the charge of “propaganda against the regime”  of which, however, he was later acquitted.

Despite that by December of 2020, not only he had served out two years more than his 18-years sentence, he was sentenced again to 11 months imprisonment sentence on the charge of ” propaganda against the regime and in favor of dissident groups against the regime”. This sentence was reduced to eight months, which led to his final release this Saturday, October 30.

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 23

A group of contracted teachers and educators from the counties of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province assembled in front of the government building in Shahrekord to protest this year layoffs.

“126 teachers have been fired this academic year,” one protestor stated at the demonstration. “These layoffs happened only to the educators of this province. The teachers with the same conditions, all over the county, continue their work.”, he added.

Sunday, October 24

Workers for a heap leaching project at the copper mine Sungun Varzaghan assembled and protested their unpaid benefits this Sunday. 

Monday, October 25

In various cities across the country, judiciary personnel assembled in front of their local justice buildings and protested worsening job conditions and the failure of authorities to address their demands.

These protests were held in Tehran, Zanjan, Hamedan, Qom, Arak, Babol, Borujerd, Chaedgan, Firuzabad, Kerman, Khandab, Kuhrang, Meybod, Lenjan, Sari, Mehr, Nahavand, Urmia, Paveh, Rumeshkan, Semirom, Shahrekord, Shirvan,Shut, Taft, Razan, Eslamshahr, and Tuyserkan.

A group of patients with the blood disorder thalassemia assembled in front of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education building in Tehran. They protested the shortage of medicine and the institution’s shortcomings in addressing their issues.

A number of retirees on the pension fund of steel corporation Fulad traveled from various cities to Tehran and assembled in front of the pension fund building. As a symbolic act, they spread tablecloths without any food to show they hardly afford living costs. They asked for a pension above the poverty line, free medical treatment and closing the gap in pension incomes. They claimed that Fulad’s pension fund has breached regulations.

A group of teachers and educators in Rafsanjan City who has passed the recruitment exam taken by the Ministry of Education assembled in front of the building of this ministry in Rafsanjan.

“We are 62 teachers and all have been passed the recruitment exam, nonetheless, we have not been recruited,” one of the teachers commented. He added,  “Given that the Ministry of Education needed more than 200 teachers and there are a lot of local labour forces to be hired, why do they recruit from other cities?”

A number of athletes and paralympic medalists assembled in front of the government building in Damghan City. They protested the mismanagement of the county Ministry of Sport and Youth, as well as a shortage of sports facilities. According to these protestors, the sport salon allocated to them is often closed and each time they have to wait three hours for using the salon.

Bus and minibus drivers working in the transportation service of Southern Pars (Asaluyeh and Bandar-e Kangan) assembled outside the premises of the refineries. They protested against low wages in comparison to increasing transportation costs.

“Our wage is lower in comparison to the vehicle depreciation costs,” one protestor said, “and even though it is not enough, they delay payment.”

A number of young job seekers in Shushtar city assembled in front of the Karun Agro-industry Complex. They asked for recruitment of local job seekers in this industry complex. They find it unfair that, despite having several big corporation in this city, many skilled and educated workers remain jobless.

Some personnel of the Real Estate Registration Organization of Iran assembled and protested in front of the office of a member of the parliament in Qazvin.

A group of market workers in the border village Sheykh Salleh assembled to protest against the assigning  of border affairs to a non-native company.

Tuesday, October 26

A number of workers of Omidiyeh Water and Wastewater Company assembled in front of the government building of this city.

These workers said that despite promises from supervisors, they have four-month unpaid wages. Moreover, the end of year bonuses and three years end of service benefits have not been paid. They have protested several times in the past, but every time, they have not received an adequate response from authorities.

The retirees of Imam Khomeini hospital in Karaj assembled in front of this hospital to promote their demands on Tuesday.

For the second day, the retirees of the pension fund of the steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the pension fund building in Tehran.

A group of retirees and working personnel of airline company Homa assembled in front of the building of Iran Ministry of Roads & Urban Development. They asked for fair and timely wages. According to these protestors, not only is the pension insignificant, but also there have been significant payment delays.

A number of farmers from eastern Isfahan assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad. They protested not receiving their water shares and rights.

Workers of contractor companies delivering services like gardening, maintenance and transport for Pars Oil and Gas Company assembled in Asaluyeh to demand increased wages, supplementary insurance, and implementation of the Job Classification plan.

In Isfahan and Yazd Provinces, a number of people with hearing impairment assembled in front of the buildings of the State Welfare Organization of Iran. They cited livelihood problems, including denial of right to housing and insurance, as the reasons for their protest.

Wednesday, October 27

For the third consecutive day, a group of workers of Gachsaran Petrochemical Company protested at their workplace and then in front of the government building of Gachsaran.

They said that the contractors discriminates against the native laborers and threatens them to be fired. Reportedly, these contractor companies have raised the wage of non-native labor but not the native ones.

Some personnel of the Azad University, unit “Yadegare Imam” in Shahr-e-Rey city assembled and protested at the university premises to protest ongoing mismanagement. Reportedly, this protest turned somewhat violent.

A number of people who have lost their money in their accounts with Cryptoland, a cryptocurrency exchange, protested in front of the Tehran Courthouse. They demanded that legal processing return their losses.

A number of disabled war veterans assembled in front of the building of the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs in Tehran. They protested poor living conditions and the non-implementation of some protective laws

Thursday, October 28

A number of workers of Khorramshahr municipality assembled in front of the building of the municipality to protest against a six-month delay in payment and other demands.

In Isfahan, a number of people with hearing loss assembled in front of the buildings of the State Welfare Organization of Iran.

A number of workers of the Kut-Abdollah municipality protested in front of the Governorate building of Khuzestan Province. They asked for the payment of their delayed wages.

Three Political Prisoners Transferred from Urmia Prison to an Unknown Location

Sunni political prisoners Mohyedin Ebrahimi, Mohyedin Tazehvared and Davood Jabbari were recently transferred from Urmia Prison to an unidentified location. Given that two of these prisoners have been sentenced to death, this relocation raises concerns about them.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the whereabouts and conditions of these prisoners are unknown as of this writing. This relocation took place following the confirmation of the death sentences for Mohyeldin Ebrahimi and Mohyeldin Tazehvared. They have asked for a retrial.

On October 23, 2017, Mohyedin Ebrahimi was wounded by direct fire from an Iranian officer at Iraq’s border and arrested on a charge of smuggling alcoholic beverages. Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia subsequently sentenced him to death. Following an overturn of the verdict by the supreme court of Iran, the case was sent back to Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court for re-examination. The supreme court confirmed the verdict, and the death sentence was upheld.

On October 29, 2018, Mohyedin Tazehvared was arrested by security forces and transferred to Urmia Prison until the end of legal proceedings. He was also sentenced to death by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia. Until now, his request for a retrial has not been answered.

On June 4, 2017, Davood Jabbari was arrested and then sentenced to 18 years imprisonment on the charge of “membership in ISIS (Daesh)”.

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Golaleh Moradi Still in Detention After Six Months

After six months, Piranshahr resident Golaleh Moradi is still in detention in Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, no court session has been held as of yet. Moradi has has been denied conditional bail as well as access to a lawyer throughout her detention.

On April 17 of this year, Golaleh Moradi was arrested along with her two children and transferred to a detention center in Urmia City. Her children were released after completing the interrogation process, but Moradi was then relocated from the IRGC detention facility to Urmia Prison in June.

“She has been under pressure for confession,” an informed source stated.

 

 

Sunni Prisoner Zaher Roozkhun Released on Bail

On Thursday, October 14, Sunni prisoner Zaher Roozkhun was released temporarily on bail until the end of criminal proceedings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Mahabad resident Zaher Roozkhun was released on bail for 350 million tomans (approx. 13,000 US dollars). He has been denied access to lawyer and family visitation during the detention.

Roozkhun had been previously arrested by security forces before too on August 29, 2021. After completing the interrogation process, he was sent from a detention center in Urmia to Mahabad Prison.

As of writing this, the reason for his arrest and the charges is unknown.

 

Supreme Court Confirms Shaker Behruz’s Death Sentence Despite Evidence Pointing Towards His Innocence

Branch 31 of the Supreme Court of Iran recently confirmed the death sentence of political prisoner Shaker Behruz, who is currently being held in Urmia Prison, despite a strong alibi pointing to his innocence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 31 of the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence of 33-year-old Shaker Behruz last Tuesday, October 5. The verdict was confirmed in spite of the alibi statements of 12 witnesses, all of whose testimonies the court refused to hear.

The indictment alleges that Behruz murdered a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

According to an informed source, security agents threatened the victim’s family’s, who was an IRGC member, to cut their allowance from the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, if they refused to accuse Behruz.

Another informed source close to the victim’s family also said that the family does not believe he is guilty and are ready to testify to his innocence.

Twelve eye-witnesses signed a statement expressing their readiness to testify that Mr. Behruz was in his shop when the crime was committed. Despite all the above, the court convicted the defendant without the presence of the family as accusers and hearing of eye-witnesses.

 

 

Sentence Alternatives to Prison, Such as Purchasing Supplies for Under-Equipped Schools, Introduced in Urmia

The head of Branch 119 of the Criminal Court of Urmia recently announced that the county’s criminal justice system is introducing a number of sentence alternatives to prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kargar Online, the judicial official has sentenced several men to purchase educational supplies internet packages and cell phones for school children in poor areas instead of serving time.

It is worth mentioning that Chapter 9 of the new enactment of the Islamic penal code has also highlighted similar alternative sentences.

Accordingly, under certain conditions and with the defendant’s consent, judges may enact these kinds of alternative sentences.

Two Men Spared from Execution, One Sentenced to Death

Recently, two men facing death sentences were spared from conviction while a third was sentenced to death.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Dideban,  one man in Tehran was sentenced to death on a charge of murder on Wednesday, 29 September.

Two men were spared from execution in separate criminal lawsuits, in Urmia and Karaj respectively. Both cases were ruled upon exacting satisfaction from the “avenger of blood”, meaning that the victim’s relative or closest acquaintance agreed to refrain from demanding the perpetrators’ execution.

A man indicted for murder was sentenced to the death penalty. He was detained after one man was stabbed to death in a street fight that took place in a park in Islamshahr, July 2018. This 30-year-old man, named Mahmoud, has denied the charge of first-degree murder and claimed that his actions were self-defense.

According to IRNA, a death-row inmate in Urmia Prison, after 11 years imprisonment, could exact the satisfaction of ‘blood avengers’ with the mediation of elders of the community.

The second spared inmate was a 20-year-old Meysam, who was sentenced to death on a charge of killing a 21-year-old man in a fight. After 5 years, he could exact the satisfaction of the victim’s parent by paying 2.5 billion tomans as reparation.