Category Archives: Minorities

Anvar Hossein Panahi granted furlough after six years in prison

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Anvar Hossein Panahi, Kurdish political prisoner was released from Sanandaj prison on bail on August 12th after spending 6 years in prison.

According to Ahmad Hossein Panahi, brother of the political prisoner in an interview with CHRR, the Revolutionary Court first sentenced Anvar Hossein Panahi, Kurdish social and political activist, to death. After tireless efforts and protests on the part of human rights activists, his death sentence was later commuted 6 years in prison. He was recently released on furlough with bail despite being 3 months shy of serving his full prison term.

Anvar Hossein Panahi, the Panahi family’s eldest son has a wife and 3 kids. He was detained by Security agents in the city of Qorveh on November 6, 2007 and was held incommunicado at the Ministry of Intelligence for 6 months while he was severely tortured. In March 2008 Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Hasan Babai handed the death sentence on the charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with god) and “acting against national security.”

In the past 6 years since the incarceration of Kurdish activist Anvar Hossein Panahi, more than 33 members of his family have been arbitrarily arrested. His brother Ashraf Hossein Pahani who was collecting evidence to substantiate his innocence was killed under suspicious circumstances while travelling to Tehran to deliver the evidence.

On April 14 2009 Branch 4 of the Appellate Court reduced the death sentence to 6 years in prison. During the past years since the incarceration of Kurdish activist Anvar Hossein Panahi, his family has faced summons, interrogations, endured constant harassment and threats, with over 30 members arbitrarily arrested.


آزادی انور حسین پناهی پس از گذشت ۶ سال از زندان

Anvar Hossein Panahi


Saeid Rezaie transferred back to prison from hospital despite needing aftercare

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Saeid Rezaie, one of seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders was hospitalized 2 weeks ago due to his gastrointestinal disorder, and was transferred back to Rajai Shahr prison on August 7th.

According to CHRR, after Mr. Rezaie underwent an array of tests in the medical facility, the physicians realized that he is also inflicted with heart issues with blockage in over 70% of his coronary artery. He underwent emergency heart surgery and the physicians ordered one month of after care in a quite and suitable location. Ignoring the doctor’s orders for post-op care, officials transferred Saeid Rezaie back to Rajai Shahr prison on August 7th.

Saeid Rezaie is an agricultural engineer, scholar and author who is one of the seven Baha’i leaders who were detained in 2008 and handed 20-year prison sentences stemming from the practice of their faith. The seven formed the now disbanded group, Yaran (friends of Iran), which served the country’s Baha’i community. They were arrested in early raids at their homes in 2008 and transferred to Evin prison where they were kept in solitary confinement for months while undergoing harsh interrogations. Saeid Rezaie had spent almost 5 years behind bars without being granted furlough before his recent transfer to the hospital. He is now back in Rajai Shahr prison post surgery despite his need for the recommended after care.


انتقال مجدد سعید رضایی از بیمارستان به زندان با وجود نیاز به مراقبتهای ویژه


Saeid Rezaie

Leva Khanjani granted prison furlough

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Jailed Baha’i citizen Leva Khanjani was granted temporary release from Evin prison on Wednesday July 11.

According to CHRR, Leva Khanjani, Bahah’i student banned from her education and sentenced to 2 years in prison, was finally granted furlough from Evin prison.

Leva Khanjani’s brother Foad is serving his 4-year prison sentence behind bars in Rajai Shahr prison. Leva Khanjani’s father, Alaeddin Khanjani was arrested by security forces on February 10, 2010 and was released on bail on March 16, 2010.

Leva’s grandfather Jamaleddin Khanjani is one of 7 jailed Baha’i leaders, and is spending his 20-year prison sentence behind bars in Rajai Shahr prison. All seven Baha’i leaders were sentenced to 20 years in prison after their May 2008 arrest during early morning raids on their homes. Jamaleddin Khanjani has spent months behind bars without furlough and was not even allowed to attend the funeral services of his wife.


Leva Khanjani granted prison furlough

لوا خانجانی به مرخصی آمد


Leva Khanjani

Probability of pardon for a number of Kurdish political prisoners prior to the upcoming elections

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – According to a judicial official from Kurdistan province, in the near future several political prisoners who have less than 6 months of their prison sentences remaining, will be granted early release before the upcoming presidential elections.

According to CHRR, a family member of Kurdish political prisoner Anwar Hossein Panahi said the following; “After we presented a petition with thousands of signatures and our local people insisted on the innocence of Anwar Hossein Panahi and demanded a follow-up on his case, a judiciary official from the Sanandaj Prosecutor’s Office told us that the Ministry of Intelligence had opposed any commutation in his sentencing.” He said regarding the new order for probable early release, “This pardon is within the parameters of a ruling that requires all prisoners with less than 6 months prison time remaining, to be released.”

Last week Kurdish prisoner Arsalan Oliyayi who was arrested in 2007 by security forces and had less than 6 months remaining in his prison term was released from Sanandaj Central Prison. Oliyayi and Panahi were both sentenced to death on charges of “acting against national security,” and “moharebeh” (enmity with god). Their death sentences were later commuted by the court of appeals to 6 years in prison.


Iran prisoners


Activists Adel Seymari and Majid Bavi arrested in Khuzestan

Committee of Human Rights Reporters –  Following the wave of arrests of minority Arab civilians in Khuzestan province, on Sunday, April 28th Adel Seymari and Majid Bavi were detained in the city of Ahvaz.

According to news sources, plainclothes officials equipped with wireless gadgets and weapons, entered the workplace of Adel Seymari and embarked on an aggressive search, prompting Mr. Seymari and a co-worker to object to their behavior. In response the officials beat them up and detained Adel Seymari.

The reports indicate that at the same time, a number of officials raided the home of Adel Seymari, conducted a massive search and confiscated personal items including his computer, camera, and family photo albums. The officials lashed insults at Adel Seymari’s family members during the raid and threatened them with serious consequences if they divulged what had occurred.

The report adds that also on Sunday April 28th, Majid Bavi, another Khuzestan Arab activist was arrested in the city of Ahvaz and taken to an undisclosed location. There is no reason provided for the arrests while the condition and whereabouts of the two men is unknown.

The two Arab activists were among the protestors against the death sentence and imminent threat of execution of five Ahwazi Arab citizens by the names of Mohammad Ali Amouri, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka, Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka, Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, and Hadi Rashidi.

In the past months a large number of Ahwazi Arab activists have been summoned and arrested in various cities of Khuzestan province, receiving heavy prison sentences in exile and the death penalty. In June, officials transferred four Ahwazi Arab prisoners from Karoun prison to an unknown location and notified their families that they had been executed.

Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, in his recent report drew attention to the plight of Ahwazi Arab citizens, stating that the five facing execution were tortured and not given a fair trial.


Activists Adel Seymari and Majid Bavi arrested in Khuzestan

بازداشت عادل سیمری و مجید باوی از فعالان مدنی عرب خوزستان

Iran prisoner

15-year old Ahwazi teenager killed in Ahvaz

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – On Friday April 12th, a 15-year old Ahwazi teenager by the name of Morteza Soweidi was killed by a gunshot to his head, and security forces arrested two citizens during a demonstration against the demolition of residential homes.

According to CHRR, security forces arrived with bulldozers in the Seyed Mousa area where the teenager lived to resume the illegal destruction of Ahwazi homes, prompting the residents to demonstrate against the demolitions. After Morteza Soweidi who lived at his home in the absence of his parents lost his life when he was struck in the head by a bullet, a clash ensued and security officials arrested two of the dead teenager’s relatives.

Other relatives who were contacted by CHRR confirmed that 15-year old Morteza Soweidi lost his life by the gunshot wound and named the perpetrator of the killing as Colonel Chabok Sawar.

As a result of extreme poverty in the Ahvaz region, during the past years many destitute Ahwazi Arab citizens have resorted to building cheap homes without obtaining the proper permits. Reports have been published about the oppression of citizens during the demolition process in these areas.

CHRR  15-year old Ahwazi teenager killed in Ahvaz

Five Ahwazi Arab death row prisoners launch hunger strike

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Hashem Shabaninejad, Hadi Rashedi, Mohammad Ali Amourinejad, Jaber and Mokhtar Alboshoka – death row prisoners and Rahman Asakareh, sentenced to 20 years in prison, have launched a hunger strike from behind bars.

According to CHRR, on March 2nd these prisoners launched a hunger strike in protest of their circumstances in Karoun prison in Ahvaz and in retaliation, their phone privileges were taken away rendering them incommunicado.

Hashem Shabaninejad is a poet, blogger, teacher of Arabic literature with a masters degree in political science from Ahwaz University; Hadi Rashed, has an M.A. in applied chemistry and is a chemistry teacher; Mohammad Ali Amourinejad is a blogger, student activist and former member of the Islamic Society of Isfahan University of Technology; Jaber Alboshoka is a computer science major and private in the military; Mokhtar Alboshoka is a worker at a stone mining company. All 5 men are Ahwazi Arab minority members from the southern province of Khuzestan. They were all members of the Al-Hiwar scientific-cultural institute, a group that has experienced harassment and many arrests.

On July 7, 2012 Branch 2 of the Ahwaz Revolutionary Court handed down death sentences to these five civil activists on the charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God), “propaganda against the regime,” and “endangering national security.” On January 9, 2013 their families were notified that the death sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court. In June 2012, four Ahwazi Arabs, three of whom were brothers, were executed on similar charges.

The Ahwazi Arab prisoners have maintained their innocence, stating that they were forced into false confessions under severe duress. Family members said in an interview with CHRR that the prisoners were held in solitary confinement for months, subjected to verbal epithets, abuse and intense physical torture to extract false confessions that were later retracted.

CHRR   5 Ahwazi Arab death row prisoners launch hunger strike

Ahwazi Arab prisoners