Political Prisoner Narges Adibi Denied Medical Leave from Evin Prison

Posted on: June 22nd, 2021

Political prisoner Narges Adibi has been denied medical leave from Evin Prison despite having numerous medical problems.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ms. Adibi suffers from bronchitis, asthma, and severe joint pain.

Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, sentenced Adibi to 8 years in prison on charges of conspiracy, insulting the leadership, insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, and propaganda against the regime.

Branch 54 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Babaei, reduced the sentence to 3 years and 6 months in May of last year.

58-year-old Narges Adibi is the daughter of Hussein and mother of two children. She was arrested in July of last year and transferred to Evin Prison to serve out her sentence, where she has been held since.

 

Mojgan Kavousi Ends Hunger Strike After 10 Days

Posted on: May 27th, 2021

On the evening of May 25, political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi ended her hunger strike in Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Kavousi had been on hunger strike since May 16 in protest of prison officials’ arbitrary behavior sending prisoners on leave during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Kavousi has been incarcerated for more than a year without leave. Her family has traveled from out of town to visit her but have been denied in-person visits and has only been permitted to meet through a cabin, behind glass.

Mojgan Kavousi Finishes 9th Day of Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Posted on: May 25th, 2021

Yesterday, May 24, was the ninth consecutive day of hunger strike for political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Kavousi has been on hunger strike since May 16 in protest of prison officials’ arbitrary behavior sending prisoners on leave during the outbreak of COVID-19.

45-year-old Kavousi is the daughter of Akbar and mother of two girls. Ms. Kavousi is a researcher, translator, and follower of the Yarsan faith.

The activist was arrested by security forces at her home in Nowshahr during the nationwide November Protests of 2019. She was released on a bail and later  sentenced to two years in prison on charges of “inciting the people to disrupt the order and security of the country”.  Ms. Kavousi was banned from leaving the country in September 2019, according to the Nowshahr Intelligence Office.

In May 2020, Kavousi was summoned to the women’s ward of Evin Prison to serve out her sentence, where she has been held since. Kavousi suffers from gastrointestinal disease, hemorrhoids, and cardiac arrhythmias. Given her previous conditions, a hunger strike of this duration could cause permanent damage.

Narges Mohammadi Sentenced to 30 Additional Months in Prison, Flogging, and Fines

Posted on: May 24th, 2021

On May 19, less than a year after completing a five year sentence and being released from Zanjan Prison, human rights activist Narges Mohammadi was sentenced by Branch 1177 of the Criminal Court in the Quds Judicial Complex in Tehran to 30 more months in prison, 80 lashes, and two fines.

In March, HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, reported that Narges Mohammadi had published an open letter in response to her latest summons to the Evin Courthouse.

“I have not attended any hearing,” Mohammadi said in the letter. “I will not accept the verdict issued by the court and I definitely will disobey.”

According to HRANA, Mohammadi is facing a slew of protest-related charges, including “Propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran through the issuance of a statement against the death penalty”,  “Sit-down strike in the prison office”, “Breaking glass”, “Libel and assault”, and “Rebelling against the prison administration who asked to end the sit-down strike”.

In December 2019, Mohammadi and seven other political prisoners in the women’s ward of Evin Prison announced in a letter that they would go on a sit-down strike in support of bereaved families who lost loved ones in November 2019 national protests. Evin Prison officials threatened to deport Mohammadi and others who participated in the strike to prisons known for their harsher conditions. She was transferred from Evin Prison to Zanjan Prison in December 2019.

After five years and six months in prison, Narges Mohammadi was finally released from Zanjan in October 2020. Mohammadi has since been denied a passport and barred from leaving the country to visit her husband and children even though her previous conviction did not mention a supplementary ban on international travel.

Whether Mohammadi’s latest sentence is carried out given her refusal to accept the charges remains to be seen.

Saba Kord Afshari Gives Statement Upon End of Hunger Strike

Posted on: May 21st, 2021

Saba Kord Afshari, an activist imprisoned in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, has given a statement since ending her hunger strike on May 17.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 22-year-old Kord Afshari had been on a hunger strike since May 8 to protest the increasing pressure on her family and family of fellow political prisoners, and to demand the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi.

Kord Afshari has written a letter explaining her physical condition and the reasons why she ended the strike. Below is the full letter, which was provided to HRANA to be published:

 

” For years, protests and strikes have been answered with beatings and bullets. For years, when we have opened our mouths to talk about the oppression of our rights and beliefs, the only answers we have received have been arrest, solitary confinement, physical and mental torture, imprisonment, and execution.

It has been years of families seeking justice for the murder and imprisonment of their children, and then receiving nothing but the same treatment.

For years [the regime] has been trying to destroy thoughts, reason, and the right to choose. It has tried to spread dogmatism and to turn its people into unquestioning robots.

But they can never inject us with what is in their rusty brains. They cannot impose upon us the ideas that even they themselves do not believe. They treat our raised fists with guns and weapons, and they destroy the pens that express our beliefs and aspirations.

The same goes for prisons. They use a variety of methods to silence the prisoner, whose only tool to fight is hunger strike and sit-down strike. Demands are met with violence.

 You destroyed our bodies and our pens; but how can you destroy the thoughts that we are not afraid to express? The struggle for freedom does not end with pressure or threats, but instead finds a way to prevail in a stormy environment.

On May 8, 2021, I started a hunger strike demanding an end to the pressure on families of political prisoners and the release of my mother, Raheleh Asl Ahmadi; but unfortunately, my physical condition is not good.

I am fully aware that human lives are of no value to the Islamic Republic, so I am ending my hunger strike, but I am still seeking to fulfill my demands.

Oppression has never lasted and it never will.”

 

Saba Kordafshari / May 17, 2021 / Qarchak prison in Varamin.

Civil Activist Saba Kord Afshari on Hunger Strike in Qarchak Prison

Posted on: May 17th, 2021

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, civil activist Saba Kord Afshari went on a hunger strike on Saturday, May 8th.

22-year-old Kord Afshari, currently imprisoned in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, went on said strike to protest the increasing pressure on her family and other political prisoners in the aftermath of her public criticism of the compulsory hijab.

Kord Afshari demands the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, who was sent to Evin Prison for giving information about her daughter’s [Saba’s] living conditions in Qarchak.

While in Evin Prison, Raheleh Ahmadi developed a ruptured disc which relegated her to a walker, likely due to chronic stress after her daughter’s imprisonment. Ahmadi was granted medical leave on bail on March 14th, but was denied by prison authorities the two-month recovery period recommended for her surgery.

On April 3, 2021, Saba Kord Afshari was granted a short-term leave on a bail and returned to prison on April 10. On that same day, Ahmadi was returned to Evin Prison.

Kord Afshari’s embroilment in the penal system has been ongoing . In February 2019,  the young activist was released from the women’s ward of Evin Prison from her previous conviction. In June 2019, she was again detained by security forces and was later transferred to prison after interrogations.

In August 2019, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced Saba to 15 years imprisonment on the charge of “spreading depravity by uncovering a hijab and walking without a hijab”; 1 year and 6 months in prison on the charge of “Propaganda against the regime;” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “Gathering and colluding with the intention of committing a crime against the security of the country”– a total of 24 years in prison along with other social deprivations.

Due to the multiplicity of offenses and previous criminal record, each of the charged sentences were cumulative, of which 15 years in prison was enforceable.

With a correction of judicial misconduct that had caused two and half times to increase in the sentences, and with punishment reduction law, 7 years and 6 months imprisonment will be enforceable.

Saba Kord Afshari has suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding several times before. This, along with the hunger strike has raised concerns about her health among her family members.

Open Letter: Golrokh Iraee Champions the Healthcare Rights of her Ailing Husband

Posted on: November 14th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Civil rights activist and Evin prisoner of conscience Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee has written an open letter to protest the IRGC’s continued medical blockade on her husband, Arash Sadeghi, who has been effectively deprived of chemotherapy since undergoing surgery for chondrosarcoma on September 12th.

The full text of Iraee’s letter, translated into English by HRANA, is below:

Authorities have offered no explanation for blocking visits and phone calls between me and my husband Arash Sadeghi. Since December 2017, the only contact we’ve had is a two-hour visit. And that was five months ago.

I have heard many reports that Arash is faltering in his battle with cancer. Only two days after undergoing surgery for his condition, he was harried out of the hospital against medical advice by the Sarallah IRGC [based in Tehran and responsible for securing the capital city]. Mal-equipped to counter the progression of Arash’s disease, the Rajai Shahr Prison clinic abdicated responsibility for his post-surgery care. Despite an infection to his surgery site, authorities have denied his request to be transferred to a hospital.

Specialists have stressed that the next stages of Arash’s treatment will require chemotherapy, and the state physicians in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) prison have asserted their inability to administer or monitor this treatment. No action has been taken to hospitalize him so that his chemo can begin.

Arash has been detained multiple times. He lost his mother to a raid by regime agents. He was denied the right to continue his studies and has been stripped of his civil rights. Finally, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison without any proof or evidence [of a crime]. Now he faces the rancor and spite of the Sarallah IRGC.

Arash is being denied medical care, one of the most basic rights promised to prisoners in the laws of the Islamic Republic.

Throughout our prison terms, we never asked to be spared their spite, but this time Arash’s life is at stake. My worst fear has come true, and we are well past the tipping point; I don’t know to what extent Arash’s health can be restored.

In the present circumstances, laws that profess to protect prisoners are unveiled as masks of humanity, a farce for the international stage. Despotism can no longer contain the true motive of these laws, which rulers make no effort whatsoever to enforce.

We cannot expect humanity from those who have already proven devoid of it. What matters is the fleeting sands of time, the dissipating moment, the joy that seems a more distant dream each day.

I am certain that with each display of callousness towards his health, Arash will be all the more emboldened. He will do as he has done with every other injustice, coercion, and anguish: he will overcome.

I thank every friend and organization standing shoulder to shoulder with us, and am grateful for the dear comrades who have stood by Arash in Gohardasht. May conscience break dawn on the dark night of ignorance.

Golrokh Iraee
Evin Prison
November 12, 2018

____________________________________________________________________________________

Golrokh Iraee was arrested along with her husband on September 6, 2014. First held at an IRGC safe house for two days, she then spent 20 days in the solitary cells of Evin’s Section 2A, under IRGC jurisdiction, before being released on a bail of 800 million rials [approximately $19,000 USD].

On October 24, 2016, the IRGC arrested Iraee again without a warrant. She was sentenced to six years in prison for blasphemy and “gathering and collusion against the regime.” She was later granted amnesty per Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code, which reduced her prison term to 2.5 years.

Iraee’s husband Arash Sadeghi is serving a 19-year sentence in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison.

Evin Prison Women’s Ward Denies Medical Care to Baha’i Negin Ghadamian

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Despite the blessing of Prosecution Assistant Rostami, Baha’i prisoner Negin Ghadamian is being denied extra-prison dental care for a severe gum infection, jaw pain, and toothache.

Prison authorities, including clinic head Agha Khani, have opposed Ghadamian’s medical transfer, insisting her treatment take place inside the prison.

The swelling population of the Women’s Ward places prisoners in increased medical precarity, as authorities — apparently arbitrarily — have barred external medical transfers almost entirely. An informed source told HRANA that prison dentistry relies on limited equipment, delivers mediocre care, and sticks patients with steep fees.

HRANA published a report on September 30th detailing the living conditions in the Women’s Ward at Evin. “Evin Prison dentistry operates in less-than-sterile conditions and exposes patients to remarkably high risk for infections,” the report reads. “Cavity fillings are expensive there, putting patients out as much as 20 million rials (approximately $114 USD) or preventing them, for lack of means, from getting the fillings they need.”

Security agents first arrested Ghadamian on May 24, 2011, after which she went free on 50 million tomans [approximately $12,000 USD] bail. In March 2012, she was sentenced in absentia by Judge Moghiseh on charges of “acting against national security through membership in the illegal Baha’i organization.” She was arrested at the airport on December 17, 2017, to serve her sentence.

Golrokh Iraee Calls Citizens to the Defense of Persecuted Activist Soheil Arabi

Posted on: October 18th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, a civil rights activist imprisoned at Evin, has written an open letter in response to the recent re-sentencing of Soheil Arabi, a prisoner of conscience in Great Tehran Penitentiary who has been held without furlough since November 7, 2013.

On new charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “disturbing the public mind,” Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 26 sentenced Arabi to three more years of imprisonment and three years of exile on September 22, 2018. Cited as evidence against him were voice files he allegedly sent from inside the prison, in which he can be heard comparing Evin to a torture chamber.

In her letter, Iraee accuses authorities of using the exile sentence to banish dissidents like Arabi from public memory.

Golrokh Iraee pictured here with husband and fellow prisoner of conscience Arash Sadeghi

While behind bars on separate charges in June of this year, Arabi was issued a six-month prison sentence by Judge Moghiseh on charges of “blasphemy” and “propaganda against the regime.” The charges stemmed from a case file opened up against Arabi and his ex-spouse Nastaran Naimi, who was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for “blasphemy” and “aiding and abetting.”

Iraee’s letter warns the Iranian public that apathy towards the extension of Arabi’s detainment would be ignoring symptoms of a malaise for which all Iranian citizens are responsible.

The full text of her letter, translated into English by HRANA, is below:

“He has been behind bars for years without having committed a crime. He is held captive by a vengeful system that has no tolerance for dissenting views, that stifles them instead in bondage, with physical and mental tortures.

Soheil Arabi was first detained on a misunderstanding that devolved into a blasphemy charge. After spending years behind bars and nearing the end of a sentence that tore his family apart (after the immoral and inhumane pressures they submitted him to, to break his spirit), yet another case file emerges, yet another prison sentence is leveled against him. After compounding his suffering with a ban on visits from his daughter, they now want to do with him what they did with Arjang Davoudi and Gholamreza Kalbi: exile him to the middle of nowhere, remove him from public memory, and let his existence perish into the abyss.

After the hunger strikes and beatings he endured in prison, Soheil’s condition is worrisome indeed. It is fitting that we be reminded, after commemorating the World Day against the Death Penalty, of Soheil’s initial execution sentence. He was made to suffer for a long time under the threat of execution, and the [long-term] imprisonment to which his death penalty was commuted, yet we are still witnessing concerted efforts to annihilate him with continued torture and new case files extending his imprisonment.

This method of eliminating activists, protesters, and dissenters may be the current status quo of the judicial system, but it is critical we consider these actions as the red flags that they are, and that we increase public sensitivity and attract the attention of international organizations so that we can put a stop to the annihilation of political and ideological activists. Abandoning them in this state renders us guilty of spreading the disease of our judicial system, and condoning the repetition of such crimes.

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, Women’s Ward of Evin Prison, October 2018.

***

Golrokh Iraee was arrested along with her husband on September 6, 2014. She was first held at an IRGC safe house for two days and then spent 20 days in the solitary cells of Evin’s Section 2A, which is under IRGC jurisdiction, before being released on a bail of 800 million rials. On October 24, 2016, the IRGC arrested Iraee again, without a warrant. Her husband Arash Sadeghi, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison, is currently in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison and has undergone operations for cancer. Iraee was sentenced to six years in prison, which was reduced to 2.5 years based on amnesty and Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code. She was convicted of “insulting the sacred” and “gathering and collusion against the regime.”

Exile and Death Sentences Await Leila Tajik and her Former Spouse

Posted on: October 11th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Leila Tajik, a prisoner in Evin’s Women’s Ward, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in exile on espionage charges. Her ex-husband, who reportedly served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and faced the same charge, was sentenced to death.

An informed source confirmed to HRANA that Tajik has been in custody for the past 13 months, and recently learned of her sentencing to exile in Karaj.

HRANA is in the process of confirming the identity of Tajik’s ex-spouse, who was arrested along with her on September 5, 2017, pursuant to a joint case opened up against the two by the IRGC. Following the arrest, Tajik was interrogated for seven months in an IRGC outpost.

An informed source previously told HRANA, “their children, Sabah, 16, and Sahand, 19, are hurting over the breakup of their family, and are feeling additional pressures from IRGC agents.”

News sources, including the Dolat-e Bahar [a news site associated with former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad], have reported the arrest of a number of security forces, mostly employed by the Ministry of Intelligence or the IRGC, accused of espionage, especially for Isreal.

Security and judicial authorities have been unforthcoming with any further details on Tajik or her ex-spouse’s status.