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.

Citizen Arrested by Security Forces Without a Court Order in Oshnavieh

On Sunday, September 19, Hassan Ghodrati, a native of Oshnavieh in West Azerbaijan Province, was arrested by security forces.

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, the citizen was transferred to a security detencion center in Urmia following the arrest.

45-year-old Ghodrati is a husband and father of five.

According to the report, security forces arrested him without a court order.

As of this writing, the reasons for the arrest and the charges against him are unknown.

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Inmate Executed in Zanjan Prison on Drug-Related Charges

This Tuesday, September 21, Mr. Jodat Rabt (Jodatian) was executed in Zanjan Prison on drug-related charges.

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Rabt was a native of Sheshmal village in the Urmia area. He was a husband and father of three.

Rabt was arrested four years ago on drug-related charges and later sentenced to death by the judiciary.

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. One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders.

An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Amin Hassanpour Violently Arrested by Security Forces in Urmia

On Thursday, September 16, 22-year-old Amin Hassanpour from Urmia was violently arrested by security forces without a court order.

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Center of Democracy and Human Rights in Kurdistan, Hassanpour was transferred to an unknown location following his arrest, during which he was reportedly beaten.

As of this writing, no information is available on the reasons for Hassanpour’s arrest or the charges against him.

Elmira Habibi goes on a Hunger Strike in Urmia Prison

On Saturday, August 28, a defendant named Elmira Habibi went on a hunger strike in the women’s ward of Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 33-year-old Elmira Habibi,  a native of Urmia, was imprisoned after being convicted of financial crimes.

Ms. Habibi has been on a hunger strike to protest her unfair trial and the lack of accountability from officials.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

A number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements. According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, employees of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company continued their protests for a 7th week. Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, August 21

A group of workers of Azarkam Company in Urmia, a number of dismissed workers from security department of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co in the management office of this company, and for the 40th day in a row, the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co in Shush, held protest rallies this Saturday.

Workers of Azarkam Company in Urmia:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Dismissed staff of security department of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Sunday, August 22

A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co for the 41st consecutive day, as well as several young people from Qala-e-Chenan village of Kut Abdollah district in Khuzestan called for their demands to be addressed this Sunday.

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

People of Qala-e-Chenan village:

 

Monday August 23

This Monday, several workers in Asaluyeh in Pars Special Economic Energy Zone, a group nurses in the cities of Tehran and Sari, a group of medical staff in Babol, a number of municipal gardeners in Kut Abdollah, and a group of shareholders of the Pardis-e-Rasht Housing Investment Company held protest rallies.

Nurses in Tehran and Sari:

Medical staff in Babol:

Tuesday August 24


A group of workers of Bostan Municipality located in Dasht-e Azadegan city of Khuzestan, and a number of bus drivers in Qazvin in protest rallies called on their demands to be addressed.

Bus drivers in Qazvin:

Wednesday August 25


A group of bus drivers in Urmia, and workers of the oil project in Izeh in protest rallies called on their demands to be addressed.

Bus drivers in Urmia:

 

Workers of the oil project in Izeh:

Thursday August 26

A group of farmers in East Isfahan rallied yesterday, Thursday, August 26.

Farmers in Isfahan:

 

Nayeb Askari on a Hunger Strike in Urmia Prison to Protest Authorities’ Refusal to Transfer him to a Hospital

Today, August 26, political prisoner Nayeb Askari went on a hunger strike in Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Askari went on a hunger strike to protest the prison authorities’ refusal to send him to the hospital throughout his battle with kidney disease.

An informed source spoke to HRANA about the reasons for Mr. Askari’s hunger strike.

“Mr. Askari, who suffers from kidney disease, has been denied being sent to the hospital despite the prison doctor’s diagnosis following opposition of the prison’s supervisor judge,” the source said. “Askari has gone on a hunger strike to protest.”

Nayeb Askari was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in Urmia in April and transferred to one of the detention centers of this security institution. He was eventually transferred from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center to the city prison in June, after completing the interrogation process. Mr. Askari has been charged with “collaborating with an opposition party”.

On July 12, Branch 119 of the second Criminal Court in the city of Urmia sentenced Mr. Askari. Nayeb Hajizadeh Yangjeh, and Keyhan Mokarram al-Nabi, to three months each in prison and 50 lashes on a charge of “disturbing the order of the prison” after they protested the beating of Nayeb Hajizadeh by two prisoners accused of violent crimes.