Monthly Archives: October 2012

Arrest of 4 Christian converts in Tehran

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Several days ago 4 citizens who converted to Christianity were detained in Tehran.

According to obtained reports, Shahab Samimi, his wife Fariba Karim Khani, Farshad Rahimdel and Yaser Mirza Zanjani were arrested on Friday and Sunday of the past week.

Per these reports on Friday October 26th, security agents raided the home of Mr. Samimi. During the raid they detained him, his wife Fariba Karim Khani and Mr. Farshad Rahimdel who was a guest at their house at the time. The agents conducted a search of the home and confiscated personal items such as computers, books, publications, CD’s, and their satellite receiver.

On Sunday October 28th, security agents raided the home of Yaser Mirza Zanjani, confiscated his personal and family belongings, and detained this Christian convert.

There is no news of the whereabouts or condition of these 4 Christian citizens. During the past several weeks, security agents arrested another 7 members of the Christian community in Fars province, cities of Shiraz and Kovar.

The harassment and arrest of Christian citizens continues while the report on October 24th by UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shahid to the UN Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Affairs) disclosed, “Since mid-year 2010 until the present, more than 300 Christians have been detained in Iran.”

Arrest of 4 Christian converts in Tehran 

Iran Christians


The cold season and the fuel problem at Evin prison

It is cold here,unjust one…

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Evin valley has one of the best climates in Tehran but when you are confined behind walls in winter and there is no fuel, the situation is slightly different, precisely what the prisoners had to endure last year. The antiquated heating system works with gasoline and due to shortages last year there were weeks of no heating. The shortages are supposedly due to subsidies augmenting the price of gasoline. The price became several times higher, rendering it out of the budget of the Prison Organization.

During the time 8,000 prisoners were enduring the cold, Evin prison officials under the Director of the prison’s Public Relations Unit denied the situation. Mohammad Pournabi who worked with the now banned newspaper Roozegar said, “There are no problems in any of the prison wards and if there were any, they have been fixed.”

He described the prison conditions as being “peaceful and normal.” He added that gasoline had been ordered and there would be no problem acquiring gasoline. But the reality was that the most famous prison in Iran, Evin, was facing obstaclesin acquiring gasoline. News shared from inside prison told of how cold it was, and how the inmates were deprived of warmth especially at nights when there were not enough blankets to keep them warm. Yet according to Mr. Pournebi, there were “enough blankets” provided to the prisoners.

The malfunction of the heating system added to the vast number of other problems in the prison facility. The overpopulation and lack of proper health care had made life behind these bars grueling. This is when Tehran’s mayor entered the picture and gave his word to the prisoners at Evin that parts of the prison would be reconstructed and renovated.

The mayor even took his comments one step further and declared his pride in this prison, adding it to an area of his accomplishments. The mayor was to build an exercise area and improve the landscaping and visiting areas. But it looks like he only implemented the improvement in the landscaping.

Due to the disclosure of the heating issue followed by the mayor’s claims of planned improvements, members of the City Council requested a report on the status of the facility. After the report was shared indicating the issues faced in the prison, the City Council decided to embark on fixing the infirmary, the water, the heating, and the showers in the prison.

The City Council made a recommendation for the proposed improvements to be placed in the year’s (1990) budget for the Prison Organizations but Mohammad BagherGhalibaf deemed it unnecessary to do so. Instead he made a promise to members of the City Council that the issues would be resolved within the city budget. Even though the speaker of Tehran’s City Council made a statement welcoming the mayor’s assurance in resolving the prison issues, in reality the mayor has accomplished nothing with the heating problem.

There are indications that the country’s officials view Evin as a facility that eventually needs to leave Tehran, therefore the appropriate urban services such as providing gasoline have been disregarded. The mayor of Tehran has reiterated this, and has discussed turning the land into a green zone.

The cold winter is not far from reaching Evin, where thousands of detainees can only hope that the Prison Organization will have enough of a budget to cover the cost of buying the necessary gasoline.

The cold season and the fuel problem at Evin prison 

Evin prison


Labor activist Behnam Keyvani and blogger Siyamak Namayeshi released on bail

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Labor activist Behnam Keyvani and blogger for the Green movement Siyamak Namayeshi were released on bail after months of incarceration.

Behnam Keyvani, a steel worker in Isfahan was arrested on April 20, 2012 on the eve of International Labor Day. Zabih Allah Bagheri and other labor activists and union members were also detained and transferred to the detention center at the Ministry of Intelligence in the province.

reports, upon detaining Mr. Keyvani, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided his residence and after a search they confiscated documents, albums, books and his personal computer.

This labor activist was released on October 16, 2012 with a bail of 50 million tomans.

According to CHRR news reports, on October 15, 2012 Siyamak Namayeshi, writer and blogger for the filtered Sabz Rah blog was released on bail of 100 million tomans after enduring 8 months of detention.

This Green movement activist was detained along with others in Mazandaran province during 25 Bahman mass protests.

Labor activist Behnam Keyvani and blogger Siyamak Namayeshi released on bail

Freedom


Arrest of Hassan Rezai Nejad, a specialist at a technology-engineering company

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – According to news sources Hassan Rezai Nejad, a specialist at a high tech engineering firm who works as a contractor at the Organization of Prisons, was arrested last week after being issued a summons.

The sources have reported that this tech expert who is a technician for security equipment at Evin prison was arrested on Wednesday October 17th. When RezaiNejad went to Evin per the summons order, he was arrested and transferred to the prison’s detention center.

Per reports, after arresting Hassan Rezai Nejad, security agents escorted him back to his residence and while terrorizing his family they conducted a search of his home and seized various personal and work related items before transferring him to prison.

There is still no news of the reason for Rezai Nejad’s arrest and his family’s efforts to obtain information about his situation and whereabouts have been futile.

Prior to this the Ministry of Intelligence arrested a group of individuals and afterwards announced that they were technical experts who had worked at various national security, defense, and military agencies.

Arrest of Hassan Rezai Nejad, a specialist at a technology-engineering company 

Prison chrr


Report updating status of female political prisoners in Evin prison

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – At 33 detainees, the women’s ward at Evin prison has reached the largest number of prisoners in the past 3 years. Some of the prisoners are suffering with psychological and physical maladies while many have been deprived of their right to furlough.

The new round of summons and arrests of political and civil female activists continues. In the past 2 months the number of female political prisoners has reached 33 as activists who had been detained during the events that took place after the contested presidential elections, have been summoned to serve their prison sentences. According to the detainees in the past years, the average number of prisoners in the women’s ward has been 28 and has never increased until now. In addition there is news that at least 10 more women will be transferred to this ward in the near future.

Below is a list of the 33 female detainees who are being held in the women’s ward at Evin prison.

1) Basma Al Jabouri – Iraqi citizen accused of spying, 5-year prison sentence, has served one year.

2) Bahareh Hedyayat – Student and women’s rights activist, member of the student organization Advar-e TahkimeVehdat, 10-year prison sentence, has served about 3 years.

3) BehnazZaker – Arrested at airport about 4 months ago before a scheduled flight to Sweden and kept in prison in undetermined circumstance.

4) RaheleZokayi – Among the lesser-known prisoners, one-year prison sentence for “propaganda against the regime.”

5) Reyhaneh Haj EbrahimDagagh – Among the detainees of the Ashura mass protests in 2009, 15-year prison sentence on charges of affiliation with MKO, has served 3 years with no furlough.

6) JilaBaniyaghoub–Journalist and women’s rights activist, who has been behind bars for over a month. She was sentenced to one year in prison on the charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “insulting the leadership.” Her husband BahmanAhmadiAmoui is also a journalist who is behind bars in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. He received a 5-year prison sentence of which he has endured 3.5 years.

7) JilaKaramzadehMakundi – Political prisoner, poet and member of the Mourning Mothers of Laleh Park, 2-year prison sentence, has served about 11 months.

8) ShabnamMadadzadeh – Political prisoner charged with affiliation with MKO and handed 5-year prison sentence. Arrested in February 2009 and has spent 3.5 years behind bars without the right to furlough.

9) Shiva NazarAhari – Human rights activist who was handed a 4-year prison sentence by the court. She was transferred to prison about a month ago. Previously, she spent over 100 days in solitary confinement and 9 months in women’s Ward 209 (Intelligence Ministry’s Ward), and 3 months in the women’s general ward of Evin prison.

10) SedighehMoradi – Political prisoner charged with affiliation with MKO, handed 10-year prison sentence of which she has served one year.

11) SoghraGholamnezad – Political prisoner who was transferred to the women’s ward at Evin about 3 months ago. She is serving a 2-year prison sentence handed by the Revolutionary Court on charges of affiliation with MKO.

12) FaezehHashemi – Political prisoner who was transferred to Evin 2 weeks ago to serve 6-month prison sentence.

13) FaribahKamalabadi – Baha’i prisoner who was an administrator at “Yaran-e Iran”, a Baha’i organization. She has been kept behind bars since her arrest in 2006. She was handed a 20-year prison sentence of which she has served 5 years without her right to furlough.

14) FaranHesami – Baha’i citizen with 5-year prison sentence. This mother of a 3-year old toddler was transferred behind bars about 3 months ago. Hesami was arrested when she went to Evin Prison’s Sentence Enforcement Unit to obtain a power of attorney for her incarcerated husband. Her husband Kamran Rahimian is an educator at the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (Baha’i Online University), serving a 4-year prison sentence at Rajai Shahr prison, on charges of “membership in the Baha’i community,” and “assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security.”

15) KobraBanazadehAmirkhizi – political prisoner handed 5-year prison sentence on charges of affiliation with MKO. She has served 4 years behind bars without her right to furlough.

16) KefayatMalekMohammadi – 60-year-old citizen arrested in 2009 during Ashura mass protests, charged with MKO affiliation, 15-year prison sentence of which she has served 3 years behind bars.

17) LadanMostofiMaab – Political prisoner with 2.5-year prison sentence, has served 2 years and 3 months without any furlough.

18) LevaKhanjani – Baha’i citizen banned from continuing her education, appeared at Tehran’s Evin Prison on Saturday, August 25, 2012 to begin serving her 2-year prison term.

19) MahboubehKarami – Political, women and human rights activist sentenced to 3 years in prison by branch 54 of the Revolutionary Appellate Court on February 2, 2011. She was charged with membership in a human rights organization, “propaganda against the regime,” and “gathering and collusion with intent to harm national security.” She has spent one and a half years in prison.

20) Maryam AkbariMonfared – Political prisoner with 15-year sentence on charges of affiliation with MKO. She has been in prison since her arrest 3 years ago without her right to furlough.

21) Maryam Jalili – Christian convert with 2.5-year prison sentence on the charge of changing her religion. She has spent about a year in prison without her right to furlough.

22) MotaharehBahrami – Detained in 2009 during Ashura protests. She was handed a 10-year prison sentence on charges of affiliation with MKO. She has spent about a year behind bars with no furlough.

23) MitraZahmati – Christian convert with 2.5-year prison sentence on the charge of changing her religion. She has spent about a year in prison without her right to furlough.

24) ManijehNajm Iraqi – Women’s rights activist, member of Iranian Author’s Club, worked as interpreter and author. Revolutionary Court handed a one-year prison sentence of which she has spent 5 months behind bars. She was charged with membership in Iranian Author’s Club and publishing their work. The allegations made against her were based on taking part in events for Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad Ja’farPouvandeh, AhmadShamlou.

25) ManijehNaserAllahi – Handed 3.5-year prison sentence on charges of following the Baha’’i faith. She has spent 2.5 years behind bars with only 3 days on furlough.

26) MahsaAmirabadi – Handed a 2-year prison sentence of which she has spent 5 months behind bars. Her husband MasoudBastani is a journalist also behind bars serving a 6-year prison sentence in Rajai Shahr prison. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime” and “collusion to disrupt national security.”

27) MahvashShariyati – Behind bars since 2008, serving 20-year prison term on charges of following the Baha’i faith and membership on board of Yarane Iran, which is a Baha’i organization.

28) NazaninDeyhimi – Transferred to prison about 2 weeks ago to serve 4-month sentence stemming from charge of taking part in post-election protests.

29) NegarHaeri – Political prisoner who was detained about 3 months ago and has been held without being charged. Her father MashaalaHaeri is serving a 15-year prison sentence behind bars in Raja’i Shahr prison on charges of affiliation with MKO.

30) Nasrin Sotoudeh – Lawyer and human rights activist serving 6-year prison sentence. She is also barred from practicing law for 10 years. She was charged with “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the regime,” and “membership in a human rights organization.” She has spent 2 years behind bars without her right to furlough.

31) NasimSoltanBaygi – Journalist and student activist handed 3-year prison sentence on charges of following the Baha’i faith. She has spent 1.5 years of her sentence behind bars.

32) NoushinKhadem – A lecturer at the Baha’i Science Institution, handed a 4-year prison sentence for being a follower of the Baha’i faith. She began serving her sentence on September 16, 2012.

33) HaniyehSanehFarshi – Political prisoner and blogger, 7-year prison sentence on charges of blasphemy, propaganda against the regime, acting against national security and insulting Islamic sanctities. She has served 2.5 years behind bars without her right to furlough.

According to information obtained by Committee of Human Rights Reporters, in the next few days another 10 women will be transferred to Evin prison. With the new wave of prisoners about to enter the facility and the many unknown prisoners who have not been listed in the news, it is predicted that the women’s ward in Evin prison will be over capacity. With the arrival of cold winter months and the lack of adequate medical care for political prisoners there is serious concern about the deficient conditions that the prisoners will have to endure.

Report updating status of female political prisoners in Evin prison 

Evin female prisoners


Vahid Aligholipour returned behind bars to serve prison sentence

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – On October 6, 2012, Vahid Aligholipour, a leftist student at Amirkabir (Polytechnic) University turned himself in at Evin to serve his one-year prison sentence. He is now behind bars in Ward 350 of Evin prison.

Vahid Aligholipour was arrested in 2009 during the events that took place after mass protests against the contested presidential elections of that year. He was held in temporary detention in Ward 209 of Evin prison for one month before being handed a one-year prison sentence from the court.

Committee of Human Rights Reporters CHRR

Vahid Aligholipour

Student activist Nasim Soltan Beigi has re-entered Evin prison to serve sentence

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Nasim Soltan Beigi former student activist at Allameh Tabatabai University entered Evin prison moments ago to serve her prison sentence.

On November 30 2010, this student activist was handed a 6-year prison term by the Revolutionary Court; 3 years for “propaganda against the regime,” one year for “assembly and collusion against national security”, and an additional 2-year suspended term added from a case in 1987. This 6-year sentence was sent to the court of appeals after Soltan Beigi’s objection.

Nasim Soltan Beigi was a leftist student who was among students arrested in a widespread crackdown on student activists in November 2007. She spent 56 days behind bars in ward 209 of Evin prison before being released on (about $50,000) bail. She had previously been arrested on June 12, 2006 and at that time was handed down a 2-year suspended prison sentence.

Student activist Nasim Soltan Beigi has re-entered Evin prison to serve sentence

Nasim Soltan Beigi