Imprisoned Azerbaijani Turk Activist Abbas Lesani Dispatched to Medical Clinic

Yesterday, October 21, due to acute pain in his knees and backbone, Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Lesani was dispatched to a medical clinic outside Ardabil Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Lesani was dispatched to a clinic for an MRI test due to acute pain in knees and backbone. This is the third time that he has been dispatched outside of the prison for treatment.

Lesani has been held in Ardabil Prison since January 2019. In two separate cases, he has been sentenced to ten years and ten months combined.

On May 25, 2021, he was sent off to the hospital for the treatment of painful backbone and knees.

On June 24, 2021, due to a number of medical problems including high blood pressure, he was sent off shortly to a medical clinic in Ardabil for a medical test. After echocardiography, he was diagnosed with stenosis (a widening of the opening of a heart valve). Therefore he requires further treatment outside of the prison.

On January 15, 2019, Abbas Lesani was summoned by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Tabriz and, following his appearance at the court, he was arrested and transferred to Ardabil Prison.

Thereafter, the Ardabil Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment and 2 years exile in Yazd City on a charge of “forming a group with the purpose to disrupt national security”.

This verdict was increased to 15 years imprisonment and two years exile on appeal. In July 2020, his appeal against the conviction to the supreme court of Iran was dismissed. Under Article 134, a maximum sentence of 10 years is enforceable. In addition, earlier Branch 1 of the court of appeal in Ardabil had dismissed the request of applying ” Punishment Reduction Law”.

In May 2019, in another case, Branch 26 of the Court of appeal in Eastern Azerbaijan sentenced Lesani to ten months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime and in favour of opposition political groups”.

Abbas Lessani has faced other arrests and convictions due to his civil activities. In the last instance, on July 2, 2018, together with three residents of Ardabil, he was arrested by the county intelligence agents, several days before holding an annual gathering in Babak Fort (a gathering to celebrate the Babak Khorramdin’s birthday).

He was reportedly arrested for publishing a video in which he had encouraged people to attend the gathering. After spending nine days in detention, Lesani was released on bail.

Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence Issued in Yazd

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Tasnim, the Supreme Court recently upheld the death sentence issued in Yazd.

Gholam-Ali Dehshiri, the Chief Justice of Yazd Province, announced a death sentence of a person who was “fortune-teller” on a charge of “corruption”, and said that this sentence had recently been upheld by 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.

Yasin Rezaeipour Executed in Yazd Prison on Drug-Related Charges

On Wednesday, September 1, a prisoner who had previously been sentenced to death on drug-related charges was executed in Yazd Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights (IHR), the identity of this prisoner is Yasin Rezaeipour, a native of Qazvin.

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.

As of this writing, the execution of Mr. Rezaeipour has not been announced by Iranian media or official sources.

Two Prisoners Executed in Yazd Central Prison

On Sunday, July 25, Sohrab Heydari and Amir Heydari were executed in Yazd Central Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Iran Human Rights (IHR), the two inmates were executed on drug-related charges.

Sohrab and Amir were cousins, according to informed sources, and had been in prison for four years on charges of carrying 200 kilograms of crystal meth.

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.

The execution of these two prisoners has not been announced by Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.

Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.

The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.

According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:

Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.

Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:

Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests:

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A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 6, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 6th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The third court hearing of eight environmentalists on the espionage-related charges will be on February 12. Moreover, five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”.

(2) A prisoner accused of murdering his brother-in-law, was sentenced to death in Tehran. Meanwhile, another prisoner was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Damavand after being imprisoned for five years.

(3) More than three protests were organized across the country on February 6, 2019. The customers of SAIPA, an Iranian automaker in Tehran, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Kermanshah, and the members of Controlsazeh Zayanderud Company who are applicants of the Mehr Affordable Housing project in Fuladshahr in the Isfahan province have held separate protests to request their demands.

(4) Meisam Bahramabadi was arrested by security forces on the charge of “propaganda against the state” by chanting and writing anti-governmental slogans on a wall in Tehran on January 30.

(5) The appeals court hearing of Davoud Razavi, a member of the Syndicate of the Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Drivers was on Tuesday. He is accused of “collusion and assembly to act against national security” by participating in the minimum-wage demonstrations and publishing photos from these demonstrations.

(6) More than 40 workers of Abezhdan municipality, in Andika county in Khuzestan have eight months of unpaid wages. The retired employees of Iran Customs Administration are demanding their lands from the housing corporation since 1991.

(7) The prison officials have denied the transfer of Hamidreza Amini, the detained admin of a telegram channel, to a hospital for his urgent medical care. He was arrested in 2017 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison on the charge of “blasphemy”.

(8) The roof of a high school in Lakan district in Rasht went up in flames on February 5, 2019 and forced students and staff to evacuate.

(9) Two students died after a school bus crashed into a truck in Omidiyeh-Mahshahr highway in Khuzestan province.

(10) The prison officials have denied the transfer of Alireza Lak, a member of the Sufi mystical sect known as the Gonabadi dervishes, to a hospital for his urgent surgical care. Dervishes were shot with pellet guns in February 2018 and have remained in detention ever since. Through all this time, they have not received treatment for their injuries, which left pellets scattered throughout their bodies.

(11) Two workers died and two others were injured in Yazd, Tehran, and Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in their workplaces. Iran ranked 102 in the workplace safety among other countries.

(12) Kavous Seyed Emami’s family willing to respond to accusations on national television. In a lawsuit filed by them, against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting regarding a program aired which falsely portrayed him.

(13) The attorney of Esmail Bakhshi reported that he is facing new charges of “propaganda against the state”, “spreading lies” , and “insulting the authorities”. He was rearrested after the broadcast of his confessions on the national television.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 15, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 15th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Abbas Lesani, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, was arrested after his court session. He was tried in absentia and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment on the charge of ‘propaganda against the state’.

(2) A car transporting student crashed leaving four students injured in Qaleh Ganj in the Kerman province.

(3) A report of mistreatment in Zahedan prison: Zobeir Hout, a prisoner with severe skin disease, was denied medical care. Alireza Bampouri, Zabihollah Rigi, and Rashid Ahourani have been beaten and transferred to quarantine, punitively.

(4) Mohammad Najafi court was in session today. He is a lawyer and human rights activist who is serving his three years sentence in prison and faced 74 lashes and 14 more years imprisonment for his new charges of ‘spreading lies and disturbing public opinion’.

(5) The attorney for the plaintiffs in the Social Security Organization case, Mostafa Turk Hamedani, was sentenced to 40 lashes and 6-months imprisonment for the complaint filed by Saeed Mortazavi, the former general prosecutor of Tehran.

(6) Two workers died and eight have been injured in their workplaces in the cities of Karchan and Yazd, because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(7) An accused individual in the city of Salmas received an alternative sentencing to prepare banner and brochures about ‘crime prevention’. Otherwise, he would be sentenced to support two recovering addicts and meet their basic needs.

(8) Saba Kord-Afshar, Yasaman Aryani, and Azar Heydari wrote an open letter from Evin prison about people’s financial and political situation. They were arrested in August 2018 while taking part in a public protest in Tehran.

(9) Amir Hossein Mohammadifar and Sanaz Allahyari who were arrested by the security forces on January 9, have been transferred to Evin Prison, section 209. They were working as editors of “Gam” journal.

(10) More than five protests were organized all over the country: several teachers in Yazd, firefighters in Abadan, workers of inter-city rail in Ahvaz, Nishabur municipality workers, and the shareholders of financial institution of Caspian.

(11) Habib Ahmadi, a labor activist, was released on bail after 40 days detention. He was charged with ‘cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group’.

(12) A prisoner was publicly executed in Falavarjan county in Isfahan province. He was accused of murdering a 5-year old girl, Melika. In 2018, at least 236 people have been executed and 195 people have been sentenced to death in Iran.

(13) A landmine explosion injured two army soldiers in Qasr-e Shirin city in the Kermanshah province. More than 42 thousand square kilometers of the lands in the Iran ‘s western provinces contain landmines left from the Iran-Iraq war.

Prisoner Executed in Yazd

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Prisoner Sami Mohtarami, 43, was executed in Ardakan Prison on the morning of Saturday, November 3, 2018.

An informed source confirmed the news of his death to HRANA. “The victim’s family had agreed to absolve him if he could pay the blood money, but he wasn’t able to,” the source said. “He was transferred to solitary confinement on Thursday, November 1, 2018, two nights before his execution.”

Convicted of murdering someone while stealing a car, Mohtarami had been detained in Ardakan Prison since 2015. He previously served a five-year sentence in Ardakan on drug-related charges.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. On the World Day against the Death Penalty (October 10th), the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) published its annual report, indicating that at least 256 citizens were executed in Iran between October 10, 2017, and October 9, 2018, 15 of which were public hangings. Sixty-eight percent of executions, referred to as “secret executions,” are not announced by the state or Judiciary.

Ardakan is located in the central district of Ardakan County, Yazd Province.

Six Prisoners Executed in Karaj, Khoy and Yazd

HRANA News Agency – A prisoner was executed in public in the city of Khoy, Qamsar square on October 26, 2017. At the same time, another prisoner was executed in Yazd. In spite of the obtaining consent and deadline for four prisoners in the Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj before the execution, four other prisoners charged with murder were executed on October 25, 2017.

According to three separate reports, six prisoners were executed in Iran in the last days of October. Continue reading “Six Prisoners Executed in Karaj, Khoy and Yazd”

Six prisoners were hanged in Yazd

HRANA News Agency – Five prisoners who were charged with drug trafficking, aligns with a prisoner, who was charged with murder, have been executed in Yazd, Thursday morning.

 

The head of justice and judiciary of Yazd said: “These 5 prisoners have been executed on charge of keeping, distributing, and carrying 396kg of different types of drugs.” Continue reading “Six prisoners were hanged in Yazd”