Category Archives: Students

Arrest and building case against Mohammad Yousefi

The “Black Spider” project extends to student activists.

Mohammad Yousefi

Mohammad Yousefi, graduate student at Tehran’s Amirkabir University majoring in shipbuilding has for two months been quietly held in detention controlled by the IRGC while officials of the Cyber Police are creating a case against the former Green activist.

According to Daneshjoonews, the commander of the Cyber Police security forces in a statement announced the arrest of a 37-year old Amirkabir University student referred to as “M.Y.”

The Cyber Police report said the arrest of Mohammad Yousefi was an outcome of a program called “Spider Project” uncovering management of Facebook pages that contain content with opposing values to that of the regime.

The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in its report claims Mohammad Yousefi “in his posts ridiculed the highest values and holy figures of the Shiite religion.”

The criminal case against the former student activist is due to the alleged management of “fake” Facebook pages associated with several artists, soccer players, and famous personalities and harassing them.

New Cyber Police security project called “Spider”:

Student activist and former Green political prisoner

Mohammad Yousefi, student at Amirkabir University (Tehran Polytechnic) was arrested previously in 2009 and spent some time behind bars in Evin prison.

The Cyber Police in its report refers to the ’09 arrest of the student activist, saying “the accused has a prior record of arrest by security forces during the time of sedition activities and has close ties to sedition collaborators. He played a large role in fomenting social unrest in cyberspace after the time of sedition.” Mohammad Yousefi was released in May 2010 after spending more than five months behind bars.

Intelligence agents detained the Green activist on December 7, 2009 as he attempted to enter the Amirkabir University campus. He was held in Ward 209 of Evin prison for some time during harsh interrogations before being transferred to Ward 350 of the facility. Judge Salavati sentenced him to four years imprisonment on the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security.”

Majid Tavakoli, another student activist from Amirkabir University was arrested at the same time and Yousefi was put under great pressure by security forces for his friendship with Tavakoli.

Due to a lack of proper paperwork, Branch 54 of the Court of Appeals later lowered Yousefi’s sentence to a 5-year suspended prison term and he was released after spending 161 days behind bars.

The silence and secrecy of Intelligence forces regarding Mohammad Yousefi’s detainment indicates that they are building a case against the former student activist.

The Cyber Police in the same report revealed the arrest of another individual referred to as “Ae.R.”

Source: Daneshjoonews

Mahdieh Golru released after three months in detention.

Mahdieh Golru was released today on 700 million tomans bail after spending three months in temporary detention.

The student activist who is banned from continuing her education at Allameh University was detained on October 26 during a raid of her home by IRGC forces. Several days before her arrest Golru had taken part in a peaceful gathering outside the Tehran parliament building in protest of the acid attacks that had taken place on women in Isfahan. To date the perpetrators have not been apprehended.

After Golru’s arrest a group of close to 700 civil activists signed a letter to president Rouhani urging him to exercise his power and apply the law to secure her immediate release.

Other groups within the country and abroad also voiced their concern and demanded that authorities release the activist. Amnesty International in an “urgent action” said the prisoner of conscience had not been given access to a lawyer during prolonged interrogations and demanded her unconditional release.

Previous to her last arrest, Mahdieh Golru who had been detained several times during the past years was released on May 19, 2012 after enduring 30 months behind bars stemming from her peaceful activism. The ban on her education was not lifted after her release despite her efforts.

It is noteworthy that the past weeks have seen a new wave of arrests targeting women’s rights and student activists. Among those recently detained by Intelligence agents are Zahra Khandan and Saha Mortezayi from Amirkabir University, and Fereshteh Toosi from Allameh University.

Source: Daneshjoonews

Mahdieh Golru

Mahdieh Golru transferred to a 2-person cell in Ward 2A of Evin prison

According to the Jaras news website, Mahdieh Golru, political and civil activist who has been held behind bars for over 50 days in Evin prison has been transferred to a double occupancy cell. However the double cells are the same size as those used for solitary confinement.

The activist was arrested on October 26th after taking part in a peaceful rally across the parliament building following a wave of acid attacks on women in the city of Isfahan. She was held in solitary confinement while undergoing interrogations for about 45 days before being transferred to a double occupancy cell.

A few weeks ago about 300 civil activists signed a letter to the president demanding that Mahdieh Golru be immediately released. In the letter they said, “She is one of hundreds of people who acted completely within the frameworks of the law, and through a civil manner conveyed to authorities their worry about the acid attacks that had taken place in the city of Isfahan. She is a well-known civil rights activist who joined other civil and women’s rights activists on October 22nd in a sit-in gathering across the parliament in an effort to bring attention to the plight of women who face the terror of being attacked with acid. But unfortunately 4 days after these peaceful demands, on October 26th Mahdieh Golru was arrested and to date she is being held in solitary confinement. Mahdieh Golru’s aim was simply to echo the voices of young women who were distressed and outraged by the acid attacks that had taken place.”

Golru was previously detained in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the contested presidential elections and was handed a prison sentence of 2 years and 4 months, which was reduced to 2 years by the appellate court. While she was in prison, the student activist who is a member of the Right to Education Council was handed another 6 months for “propaganda against the regime” stemming from a letter she wrote from prison in commemoration of Student Day.

She was released after spending 30 months behind bars. After her release authorities refused to lift the ban on her education and she was not allowed to continue her studies at her university.

source: Jaras

Mahdieh Golru

Saba Sherdoust: Instead of arresting the perpetrators of the acid attacks, Mahdieh Golru was detained.

Daneshjoonews – While officials have made no arrests of the assailants who committed the recent acid attacks, their intense focus has been detaining those who spoke up against the attacks.

Mahdieh Golru who previously spent 30 months of her youth behind bars for her activism in support of the right to an education, is again in prison since her October 26 arrest by IRGC forces. Authorities have not disclosed the reason for her arrest but it is clear that it is not unrelated to Golru’s presence among crowds demanding that the government apprehend the perpetrators of the acid attacks.

The student activist who was banned from continuing her education at Allameh University is now also deprived of her freedom. We spoke to her friend, journalist Saba Sherdoust about the most recent updates on the condition of Mahdieh Golru.

According to Mrs. Sherdoust, her friend Mrs. Golru was arrested without notice as she was leaving her home on October 26th. She had taken part in a peaceful gathering outside the Tehran parliament building in protest of the recent acid attacks on women in Isfahan.

Mrs. Sherdoust, when and how did Mahdieh Golru get arrested?

Mahdieh was arrested on Sunday October 26th as she was leaving her home to go to work. It appears as though after seizing her, the officials took her back into her home and confiscated her personal items such as her cell phone and laptop computer.

What is the reason for her arrest and which government entity arrested her?

Before her arrest on Sunday, we had gathered across the parliament building on Baharestan Street alongside other women in protest of the acid attacks that had taken place against women in Isfahan. The next day Mrs. Golru got in touch with me and said that several unknown numbers, which she had not been able to answer because she was in her exercise class, had contacted her.

Considering her recent activities, I can say with certainty that Mrs. Golru was arrested for taking part in the rallies against acid attacks on women.

In addition as far as I know, Mrs. Golru’s activities were not political and were strictly geared towards social issues and women’s issues.

Were the security agencies sensitive to the issue of acid attacks or were they concerned about civil society becoming active again?

Both. When the outrage of the people triggered gatherings and turned into civil dissent, opposition to the acid attacks turned into what was deemed as a security issue. Others who were covering the protests were also arrested, among them an ISNA photographer and 2 other members of the press who had reported on the attacks.

On the other hand, the ruling establishment has intensified its pressure on civil activists in general. These events demonstrate that they will not tolerate activists taking any part in the civil arena. The rulers don’t wish see civil rights activists taking part in social issues, cooperating with NGO’s or taking part in non-violent rallies.

The fear of an increase in civil participation has resulted in heightened threats, summons and arrests, causing growing pressures on activists. Of course these conditions also existed during the presidency of Mr. Khatami. Foreign policy in the country moved forward as the internal pressures persisted. This goes on because being active and civil participation could pave the way towards democracy.

Has Mahdieh had any contact with the outside since her arrest and where is she kept?

She has made brief phone contacts about every 5 days to say how she is doing.

Considering she was arrested by the IRGC, she is being kept in the detention units under their control. To date she has not seen her attorney. But her family continues to follow-up on her situation with those in charge and at the prosecutor’s office.

Mahdieh Golru & Saba Sherdoust

Mahdieh Golru, detained activist allowed one brief phone call to her husband

The Jaras website reports that Mahdieh Golru, women’s rights and students’ rights activist who was detained in the wake of protests against recent acid attacks in the city of Isfahan, was allowed to make a very brief phone call to her husband Vahid Lalipour after being held incommunicado, and only reported that she was ok.

According to the Women Citizens Association, the arrest warrant for Mahdieh Golru was issued by Mr. Khorshidi from the Investigative Branch 2 of Evin prison and the court is reviewing her file. Per reports Mahdieh Golru has been transferred to a solitary cell in Evin prison but there is no indication of which ward she is being kept in.

Mahdieh Golru is a women’s rights activist who is a member of the Women Citizens Association. She was previously detained in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the presidential elections. She was released after spending 30 months behind bars.

On October 22, Golru took part in peaceful protests against the wave of acid attacks that had taken place in the city of Isfahan. She was among a crowd who gathered across the parliament building in Tehran and voiced their concern about the safety of women in public.

On October 26, security agents raided the home of Mahdieh Golru, and detained her after conducting a massive search. During the raid her personal items such as her computer were confiscated. Golru has been held incommunicado besides the brief phone contact with her husband and there is no news of her condition.


Mahdieh Golru

Mahdieh Golru, women’s rights activist arrested in wake of acid attacks

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Mahdieh Golru, student’s rights, human rights and woman’s rights activist has been arrested.

On the morning of October 26th, Intelligence agents raided the home of Mahdieh Golru and arrested her. During the raid, her personal items such as her computer were confiscated. At the same time her place of work was raided and items were also confiscated at that location.

In all likelihood Mahdieh Golru’s arrest is related to her protest of the recent acid attacks against women in the city of Isfahan. In the past weeks, a number of women in Isfahan were targeted by assailants on motorcycles and doused on the face and body with acid. The attacks had a similar pattern with two men on a motorcycle; one threw acid as the other was driving. Per various reports the attacks caused severe injuries and some of the victims were disfigured or blinded. Witnesses indicated that the women seemed to be targeted because they were deemed as not conforming to the Islamic dress code.

The acid attacks coincided with the recent proposal of a new law protecting agents who were assigned to ensure the public upheld the Islamic dress code. This along with the initial refusal of the authorities to acknowledge the attacks or make efforts to find the assailants has enraged the public and sparked a new wave of protests in various cities in Iran. In the past days Golru was among thousands in the city of Tehran who gathered across the parliament building and shouted slogans demanding that the government protect the safety of women in public.

Government officials have warned the public and news agencies to not associate the attacks with “bad hijab.” The hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami said, “sites and newspapers who have accused the Islamic regime and the faithful must be prosecuted.” A few days ago, ISNA photojournalist Arya Jafari who had taken pictures of the protests that were published on Iranian news sites along with AFP, was arrested.

Yesterday following the past few days of protests, hundreds of security forces thwarted a gathering planned to demand government protection for women. Riot police and security forces carrying batons and shields told the protestors they had to disperse because they didn’t have a permit to hold a rally. A group of the protesters later came back with their faces covered but were chased away by baton wielding security forces. Government officials have dismissed the acid attacks as a random act perpetuated by sick individuals.

Mahdieh Golru is among a group of women’s rights activists who have been vocal about the atrocities of the acid attacks. She along with other women’s rights advocates had received suspicious and threatening phone calls in the past days.

Mahdieh Golru, women’s rights activist and member of the Right to Education Council, was first arrested in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the disputed presidential elections. In August 2010 Branch 54 of the Tehran Court of Appeals upheld her sentence of 2 years in prison on the charges of “propaganda against the regime,” and “gathering and collusion with intent to harm national security.” On May 19, 2012, after spending 30 months behind bars, she was released. Student’s rights activist Mahdieh Golru is a “starred” student who despite her efforts has been banned from continuing her education.

On October 22, Mahdieh Golru in her last Facebook post before her arrest today, wrote of her experience before her 2009 arrest, during an altercation with security forces at her university; she was taunted and told she deserved to have acid thrown on her face.

In her post she wrote, “I am a woman. I am an Iranian woman who is afraid and is always worried.” She ended, “I am a woman, and these days, my womanhood scares me.”

Mahdieh Golru

Extension of medical furlough denied for Bahareh Hedayat despite kidney stone surgery

Bahareh Hedayat was summoned back to prison by the prosecutor’s office despite her need for aftercare after undergoing kidney stone surgery.

According to Kaleme, political prisoner Bahareh Hedayat was finally granted medical furlough for surgery last week but was summoned back behind bars by the prosecutor’s office despite presenting medical documents stating her need for surgery confirmed by the state medical examiner and prison medics.

As a result this political prisoner who was hospitalized yesterday and underwent a surgical treatment to remove her kidney stones has to return to prison per orders of the prosecutor’s office despite recommendation by the physicians that she receive two weeks of aftercare for her recovery.

Amin Ahmadian, Bahareh’s Hedayat’s husband discussed the situation with Kaleme. “Yesterday an extension of medical furlough for Bahreh and for [jailed journalist] Mr. Zeidabadi was refused even though for the past 3 months we have pursued a medical furlough for surgical treatment of kidney stones and we presented all the medical documents to the prosecutor’s office.”

He said, “All the documents were in order, the state medical examiner had confirmed everything and the prison infirmary corroborated the need for surgery. The prosecutor’s office saw all the medical documents, which were to be dispatched. Finally last week we were able to secure medical furlough. But even though we had all the legal medical documents that the prosecutor’s office had required which were verified by the physicians, the prosecutor’s office refused to allow the needed time.”

Bahareh Hedayat’s husband explained, “Yesterday we were contacted at Hasheminejad Hospital and told that she must return to prison. Bahareh was on the hospital bed and no matter how much we explained that she has just undergone a surgical treatment to remove kidney stones which has a process for aftercare, that if she returns to prison she could encounter complications, that prison does not have the needed facility to care for this illness- they did not relent and insisted she must go back to prison.”

Bahareh Hedayat, born in 1981, women’s activist and student activist at Tehran University of Economic Sciences, was a member of the Central Council and spokesperson for the Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat [Office for Strengthening Unity] student organization. She was arrested in December 2009 and after spending months in solitary confinement while being interrogated, in April 2010 Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghiseh sentenced Hedayat to 7.5 years in prison on charges of “gathering and collusion against the regime,” “insulting the leadership,” and “insulting the presidency and propagating against the regime.”

The Revolutionary Court also ordered a previous suspended 2-year prison sentence to be served. That sentence had been handed for “acting against national security by organizing a June 12 gathering in 2006.”  With this additional time Bahareh Hedayat was ordered to serve 9.5 years in prison. In August 2010, Branch 54 of the Tehran Appellate Court upheld the 9.5year prison sentence for Bahareh Hedayat.

Also while behind bars, this political prisoner along with Majid Tavakoli and Mahdieh Golrou were handed an additional 6-month prison term by another court on the charge of “propaganda against the regime” for writing material that was released from prison. This brought Bahareh Hedayat’s prison term to 10 years.

Bahareh Hedayat who is known as the symbol of Iranian students was held for a long time in the methadone ward of Evin prison among drug offenders in order to inflict additional stress and pressure. She was also denied her right to visitation for extended periods of time. In 2012 while behind bars, this student and women’s rights activist was awarded the inaugural Edelstam Prize by Sweden’s Harold Edelstam Foundation for “extraordinary courage and commitment to justice, and active against human rights violations in Iran.”


Bahareh Hedayat hospital