Morteza Parhizgar Released on Probation from Vakilabad Prison

On Sunday night, October 10, political prisoner, Morteza Parhizgar was released on probation from Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Parhizgar was released after spending three years and nine-month in prison and receiving 74 lashes.

On December 30, 2017, Morteza Parhizgar was arrested by security forces amid protests across the country.

After nine months, in December 2018, Branch 131 of criminal court and Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, each in a separate case, sentenced him to nine years imprisonment and flogging of 74 whips. They convicted him  on the charges of ” offensive statements against the supreme leader of Iran”,  ” disrupting public order through participation in unlawful assemblies”, “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, ” propaganda against the regime “, “arson of police motorcycles in the purpose of opposing the regime.”

During the nationwide protests in December 2017, numerous citizens in various cities across the country were arrested and interrogated. At least 35 people were killed by police and five thousand were detained.

Wave of Mass Executions Sweeps Prisons in Northeast Iran

HRANA, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists, has received several reports in the last two weeks regarding mass executions in prisons in the north of the country, including Taybad, Torbat-e Jam, and Mashhad prisons.

According to received reports, the executed prisoners were mostly foreign nationals with drug-related charges.Today, Thursday, September 23, nine prisoners were transferred for the execution of the death sentence in Torbat-e Jam prison, of which, eight were executed. The identity of one of them, 22 years old Mohammad Sadeghi, has been verified by HRANA.

Last week, at least seven prisoners were executed in Mashhad prison. Two of the executed men had family ties with Mohammad Sadeghi. Also, at least five have been executed in Taybad prison in recent days, according to reports received by HRANA. Because many of the executed are foreign nationals, information is difficult to obtain about their identities. The identities of these individuals are still being investigated by HRANA.

Iran ranks first in the world in 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.

The execution of these prisoners has not been announced by the Iranian media or official sources as of this writing, nor authorities have provided transparent information.

Inmate Executed in Vakilabad Prison on Charge of Murder

At dawn on Sunday, September 5, a prisoner named Karamat who had previously been sentenced to death for murder was executed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad.

According to  HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the sentence was upheld by Branch 31 of the Supreme Court.

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.

Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi Detained by Security Forces in Rezvanshahr

At noon on Wednesday, September 1, writer, teacher, and civil activist Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi was arrested by intelligence agents in Rezvanshahr and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, meanwhile, Vahedian’s daughter’s home in Mashhad was searched and inspected by security forces and some personal belongings were confiscated.

Mr. Vahedian has previously been arrested and convicted for his writings and activistm. He was arrested in Mashhad in October 2018 and later charged by Branch 903 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad with “acting against national security”, and “attempting to overthrow the regime”. He was released on bail of 350 million tomans from Vakilabad prison in Mashhad in December 2018.

Shortly after his interrogation, in August 2019, Vahedian was again arrested and transferred to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad . He was one of the 14 signatories of a letter of request for the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader. Mr. Vahedian was released on bail from Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad in July 2020.

The Return of Genghis Khan the Mongol is one of Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi’s published books.

Activists Hashem Amini and Nosrat Beheshti Arrested; Javad Lal Mohammadi and Fatemeh Sepehri Still in Detention

Activists Hashem Amini and Nosrat Beheshti were recently arrested by security forces, while activists Javad Lal Mohammadi and Fatemeh Sepehri are still in detention.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hashem Amini, a civil activist native of Bajestan, was arrested and transferred to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad on Wednesday, August 4, after being summoned by the Gonabad prosecutor’s office. Meanwhile, Nosrat Beheshti, a retired activist living in Mashhad, was detained by security forces at his home and then taken to an unknown location.

Amini was previously arrested by security forces at his home in Bajestan on June 17 and had been transferred to the Mashhad Intelligence Detention Center. He was released on bail from the Gonabad Intelligence Bureau in Khorasan Razavi Province on Thursday, July 8.

Nosrat Beheshti had previously been detained for signing the resignation request letter of Ali Khamenei the supreme leader in 2019.
Javad Lal Mohammadi and Fatemeh Sepehri are still in custody. These citizens were arrested by security forces on Sunday, August 1, during a protest rally in support of the people of Khuzestan in Mashhad.

Fatemeh Sepehri and Javad Laleh Mohammadi, are also signatories of the request letter for the Supreme Leader’s resignation, and they had previously been arrested and convicted for it.

According to a source close to the families of the two civil activists, Ms. Sepehri informed her family about her detention in the Mashhad Intelligence Office detention center on a short call. However, Javad Lal Mohammadi has not contacted his relatives since his arrest. Mr. Lal Mohammadi’s family follow-up has been inconclusive.

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Supreme Court Confirms Sentence for Two Defendants in Mashhad

The Supreme Court recently confirmed the sentences of two defendants, a man and a woman, in Mashhad.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Khorasan Newspaper, the pair allegedly conspired to commit a murder together amidst an extramarital affair, and were charged with first and second degree murder respectively.

Sakineh, the second-degree defendant, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her role in the murder, and 99 lashes for having an extramarital affair.

Mustafa, the first-degree defendant, was sentenced to death by hanging for murder, one year in prison for possession of an illegal weapon, and 99 lashes for having an extramarital affair.

The defendants objected to the verdict issued by the judges of Criminal Court One, and the case was sent to the Supreme Court. Judges of Branch 20 of the Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

Ali-P Executed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad on Charge of Murder

At dawn on Monday, July 5, a prisoner who had previously been sentenced to death on a charge of murder was executed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Khorasan newspaper, the report identifies the prisoner as Ali-P, 45, who killed his wife in August 2009.

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 report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary. Human rights organizations call these “secret executions”.

Azim Karimzai Executed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad

At dawn on June 25, a prisoner was executed in Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad in Razavi Khorasan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting The Baloch Activists Campaign, Azim Karimzai, son of Mullah Sharif, had been previously sentenced to death on drug-related charges.

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.

According to the report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary. Human rights organizations call these “secret executions”.

Karimzai’s execution has not been announced by Iranian media or official sources at the time of this writing.

 

Political Prisoners Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and Kamal Jafari Yazdi Beaten in Valkilabad Prison

On June 20 and June 21, political prisoners Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and Kamal Jafari Yazdi were beaten in Vakilabad prison in Mashhad.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sepehri and Yazdi were beaten and insulted by the new head of Ward 1.6 in Valkilabad prison.

Teachers’ union activist Javad Lal Mohammadi told HRANA that Ali Timaji, the new head of the ward, broke Sepehri’s teeth in the beating.

53-year-old Mr. Jafari Yazdi is a university professor with a notable military record. He fought and was taken prisoner in the Iran-Iraq war, and holds a doctorate in strategic management.

In April 2019, Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad sentenced him to a total of 13 imprisonments including 10 years in prison on a charge of “forming a group with the intention of overthrowing the regime”, 1 year in prison on a charge of “Propaganda against the regime”,  and 2 years in prison on a charge of “Insulting the leadership”.  The sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad sentenced Mr. Sepehri to 6 years in prison. The sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeals of Khorasan Razavi Province in April of last year.

In 2019, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and 13 other civil activists published a letter calling for the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei. Following the publication of the letter, some of its signatories were arrested and others were pressured by authorities. Nine charges have been filed against the activists, including “Insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, “Insulting the sacred”, “Insulting the leadership”, “Disturbing the public mind”, “Cooperating with foreign media”, and “Participating in illegal gatherings”.

 

 

Benjamin Berier Indicted on Charges of Espionage and Spreading Propaganda Against the System

Benjamin Berier, arrested last May and held in Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad since, has been indicted more than two months after giving his last defense to the Mashhad Prosecutor’s Office.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Berier’s lawyer Saeed Dehghan wrote in a note on his social media that Benjamin Berier has been found guilty on charges of spying and spreading propaganda against the system. His other two charges of drinking and spreading depravity were dropped.

According to Dehghan, photographing forbidden areas, and asking the question “Why is the hijab mandatory in the Islamic Republic but optional in other Islamic countries?” are the reasons for the accusation of spying and propaganda against the regime.

Berier’s lawyer previously told HRANA, “Despite the ambiguities and contradictions in his charges against Mr. Berier, his case has not been allowed access to a lawyer thus far, which is a catastrophe.”

Mr. Dehghan also told HRANA that translational errors from a particular French publication have exacerbated the suspicion among officials.

“In a news story published by the French newspaper Figaro, Berier’s use of the common word “drone” has been misinterpreted as a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle)–Mr. Berier is a tourist who used a ‘helicam’ for photography,” Dehghan said. “The use of this word by the newspaper Figaro has caused this misconception by some media. Figaro also reported Mr. Berier is a French Iranian citizen while he actually is a French citizen.”