Telegram Activist Transferred to Intelligence Ward in Evin Prison

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Alireza Tavakoli, a Telegram activist who was held in Tehran’s Evin Prison for more than two years, was transferred yesterday from Ward 8 to a ward in the prison known as “209”, which is operated by the Ministry of Intelligence and does not fall under prison jurisdiction.

A source close to Mr Tavakoli told HRANA: “Alireza Tavakoli was transferred from Ward 8 to Ward 209, and the Ministry of Intelligence is likely to open a new prosecution against him.”

In July, Mr Tavakoli had written an open letter to Seyed Mahmoud Alavi, a cleric and Intelligence Minister appointed by Hassan Rouhani, regarding his five-year prison sentence, calling the verdict “outrageous”.

Alireza Tavakoli was arrested in 2016 on blasphemy charges along with two other Telegram activists, Mohammad Mohajer and Mohammad Mehdi Zaman Saleh. They were sentenced to a 12-year prison term each, but their sentences were reduced by an appeals court to five years each.

Mr Tavakoli suffers from joint and intestinal pain. Recently, judicial authorities opposed a request by the Ministry of Intelligence to conditionally release Alireza Tavakoli, Mohammad Mohajer and Mohammad Mehdi Saleh.

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