Monthly Archives: December 2011

4 Baha’i citizens held behind bars under very unsound conditions at Shiraz Pirbenoy prison

Human Rights House of Iran –  The 4 Baha’i citizens who are serving their sentences are kept under grueling prison conditions.

Even though prison officials at Pirbenoy prison in the city of Shiraz assured the prisoners, Vehdat Dana, Afshin Ehsenian, Farham Masoumi, and Keyvan Karmi, that the conditions would become better, they have gotten much worse.

Human Rights House of Iran reports that in the past days, Vehdat Dana, Afshin  Ehsanian, Farham Masoumi and Keyvan Karmi were transferred to Ward 1 of Shiraz Pirbenoy prison where they are being kept in a very cold cell with 30 other prisoners.

These 4 Baha’i prisoners are prohibited from exiting the cell, depriving them of any movement in the ward. They are banned from visitations and are not allowed to contact their families. Even though their families delivered their medications, the prisoners did not receive them due to the prison infirmary being closed. These conditions are especially dangerous for Vehdat Dana who is suffering from heart disease.

Branch 1 of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court handed down a 10-month prison sentence to these 4 Baha’i citizens on March 1, 2010 on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.” The sentencing was upheld at the Shiraz appellate court in August 2011. They were arrested in early December 2011 and transferred to Pirbenoy prison in Shiraz to serve their sentences behind bars.

Human Rights House of Iran

Baha'i prisoner

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki on hunger strike: “I am ready to pay any price.”

Human Rights House of Iran – Political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who is currently serving his 15-year sentence behind bars, has gone on hunger strike in protest of the authorities’ disregard for his serious medical needs. He has been barred from any medical furlough even though it is imperative that he receive the required medical attention for his deteriorating kidney disease.

Blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, in a letter to the Tehran prosecutor, made a strong stance against the widespread disregard of basic human rights in Iran and the abuse of political prisoners and their families.

Human Rights House of Iran has obtained the letter written by this activist who is on hunger strike. Following is the text of the letter.

Your Excellency, Mr. Jafari Dolatabadi,

Tehran’s Public and Revolutionary Courts Prosecutor,

With regards and greetings,

I Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, son of Seyed Ahmad, born on July 5, 1985, have sent you numerous letters pointing to issues such as my kidney disease, the manner of warrants and interrogations, the failure to provide transcripts of court rulings, the dire condition of political prisoners and ailing prisoners, the uncertain state of many political prisoners and the pressures imposed on them and their families, the arrests, solitary confinements and failure to adhere to the laws of the country.

Today due to the fact that I have not received any acknowledgement of my previous letters, I will continue my protest in a different manner.

Mr. Jafari Dolatabadi,

On the eve of the second year of my arrest (Decamber 13, 2009), I have embarked on a hunger strike starting on Friday December 10, 2011, which coincides with International Human Rights Day.

I have staged this hunger strike to protest all of the following:

-My being barred from obtaining medical furlough to receive treatment for my kidneys,

-Other political prisoners being deprived medical care such as Dr. Masoum Ferdis,

-The continued arrests and abuse of human rights activists such as Rozhin Mohammadi,

-The miserable environment of harassment and pressures imposed on the families of political prisoners,

-In sympathy of labor activist Reza Shahabi’s strike protesting his unknown state behind bars and his dismal physical condition,

-The gross violations of human rights and the complete disregard of basic human rights for political prisoners.

Mr. Prosecutor,

With two years passing since my imprisonment and my heavy silence, today in consideration of not only my own dire physical condition, but also that of others such as Reza Shahabi and Masoum Ferdis among many more, I have to say that one must not stay silent about the atrocious conditions and lack of human rights of political prisoners, lest bitter events such as losing Hoda Saber and Mogsen Dogmechi be repeated.

In any case, my health has been dangerously affected due to my illness and the miserable prison environment. My only recourse at this juncture is the last resort that any political prisoner can take towards asking for basic human rights. I have gone on hunger strike to declare my strong objection to the aforementioned facts.

I would like to again inform you and others of the dismal situation of political prisoners and I am prepared to pay any price to do so, even if it means loosing my life.

With respect.

Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

December 12, 2011

Evin Prison, Ward 350


Human Rights House of Iran

Hossein Ronaghi

Student Maziar Yazdanpanah begins his 6-month prison sentence

Human Rights House of Iran – Maziar Yazdanpanah, student at Mazandaran University, presented himself to the Babolsar Revolutionary Court to begin serving his 6-month prison sentence.

Maziar Yazdanpanah is a student at Mazandaran University who was arrested along with other students on June 16, 2009 after the disputed presidential elections. Security forces transferred Maziar to solitary confinement in the Sari Intelligence detention center where he was held for one month. He was also suspended from school for one term.

According to Human Rights House of Iran, Branch 101 of the Babolsar Revolutionary Court handed Maziar Yazdanpanah a 6-month suspended prison sentence and 14 lashes. But the appellate court has reversed the suspended verdict, requiring the student to serve the prison time.

Even though the verdict was issued 2 years ago, last week Maziar Yazdanpanah and several other students at Mazandaran University were informed that their suspended prison sentences were reversed, requiring them to serve their sentences. After a November gathering of students at the university, Maziar Yasdanpanah was barred from returning to his dormitory without being given any written warning.

In the past 2 years, despite scores of Mazandaran University students arrested or expelled from school, the students have continued to organize events and gatherings. The last event was held on November 17, 2011, when hundreds of students gathered to protest economic and labor conditions.

Human Rights House of Iran

Mazandaran University

Limbs of 2 convicted robbers amputated at Adel Abad prison in Shiraz

Human Rights House of Iran – The amputation sentences of the 2 prisoners were carried out per order of the Shiraz public prosecutor.

Per a report by [the government affiliated] Isna News Agency, the judiciary public relations office of Fars province disclosed that the foot amputation of an accused bank robber has been carried out. The Revolutionary Court of this province handed down the amputation sentence which was carried out at Adel Abad prison per the orders of the Shiraz prosecutor.

This report also stated “the prosecutor of the central province ordered another amputation sentencing carried out on an individual who was convicted of committing several robberies.”

The Shiraz public prosecutor stressed the importance of the implementation of Sharia law for criminals by a decisive judiciary. He said, “When dealing with major crimes, the Fars judiciary will determine and impose God’s punishment.”

He emphasized  the value of rapidly carrying out the sentences as a legal crime prevention strategy for deterring dangerous and serious crimes. He said the punishments would serve as a lesson for criminals.

Human Rights House of Iran

Iran prisoners

4 Gonabadi dervishes being held under perilous conditions in Pirbanan prison

Human Rights House of Iran – Farzad Darvish, Mohammad Ali Saadi, Mohammad Jalal Nikbakht, and Hojatollah Saidi are Gonabadi dervishes behind bars in Shiraz’s harsh Pirbanan prison.

According to Majzooban Noor website, Farzad Darvish, Mohammad Ali Saadi, Mohammad Jalal Nikbakht and Hojatollah Saidi, detained on October 8, 2011, are deprived of their most basic human rights while being held behind bars. They are constrained in an unsanitary environment with no access to health care or adequate nutrition. The 4 prisoners are in Pirbanan prison despite the efforts of their families to have them relocated to Adel Abad prison in Shiraz.

Pirbanan prison in the city of Shiraz is an unsound lockup facility that holds dangerous criminals, drug dealers and drug addicts.

It should be noted that prisoner Mohammad Ali Saadi is among the dervishes who were shot and wounded during an attack by government agents on Sep 4, 2011. On that day security forces opened fire on Gonabadi dervishes at the entry area of Kavar city, killing martyr Vahid Banani and injuring two others.

On July 12, 2011, Branch 1 of Servastan’s Public Court sentenced these four dervishes to 6 months behind bars and 40 lashes on the charges of “disturbing public order.”

Human Rights House of Iran

Reza Shahabi on 14th day of hunger strike

Human Rights House of Iran – Incarcerated trade union activist Reza Shahabi has been on hunger strike for over 2 weeks with no information about his condition.

Reza Shahabi is an employee and union member who has spent almost 19 months behind bars in Evin prison. He embarked on a hunger strike to protest being held with an unknown circumstance.

With the passing of 2 weeks since his hunger strike, his sister Zahra Shahabi expressed her worry for her brother’s physical condition in an interview with BBC Farsi. She said, “We were able to contact my brother by phone on December 4th, 2011 but he spoke with great difficulty and was in very poor health. The medical authorities have said that my brother is in need of surgery.”

Even though 5 months have gone by since her brother’s last court session, Mrs. Shahabi’s efforts to obtain any information about his situation form those in charge have been futile.

Labor activist Reza Shahabi was arrested on July 2010 and according to his sister the charge against him stems from “contacts with foreigners.”

Human Rights House of Iran

Reza Shahabi

Journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour detained

Human Rights House of Iran – Security forces arrested journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour at his home in Tehran.

Journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour who was arrested at his residence on Thursday contacted his wife today and told her he was about to be transferred to ward 350 at Evin prison.

According to Human Rights House of Iran, Judge Moghiseh presiding over Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court had previously handed down a one-year prison sentence to Ghorbanpour. The charges against him were “acting against the national security” by “propagating against the regime.” He was also accused of “corroborating with illicit resources” due to his cooperation with the news website Roozonline. This verdict was immediately upheld at the appellate court.

Farshad Ghorbanpour was arrested in the summer of 2007. He was held behind bars for a month before being released with a $260,000 bail.

Journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour was involved with various publications including HamMihan, Kargozaran, Farhikhtegan, Shahrvand Emrooz, and Mehrnameh.

Human Rights House of Iran