Petition Tag - iran

1. Free Iranian Christian Ebrahim Firouzi, Serving 5-Year Sentence For Peaceful Missionary Activities

MARCH 29, 2017--The five-year prison sentence against Christian convert Ebrahim Firouzi for his alleged missionary activities has been confirmed by the Appeals Court in Tehran, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
The ruling, issued on January 15, 2017, also requires Firouzi to spend two years in exile in the village of Sarbaz in a remote part of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, according to an informed source who spoke to CHRI on the condition of anonymity.
The 32-year-old welder has been held in Ward 12 for political prisoners in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, 32 miles west of Tehran, since 2014. He has been prosecuted three times since 2010 for converting from Islam to Christianity and allegedly organizing Christian religious meetings.
When he was first arrested in January 2010, interrogators offered Firouzi freedom if he declared himself a Muslim. He chose prosecution and was convicted by the Revolutionary Court in Karaj of “propaganda against the state” for his religious conversion and alleged missionary activities and sentenced to five months in prison with an additional five-month suspended prison sentence.
Firouzi was freed on June 8, 2011, but on March 8, 2012 he was arrested again for allegedly “attempting to create a website teaching about Christianity” (in order to convert people) and again charged with “propaganda against the state.”
He was sentenced to one year in prison and two years in exile by Judge Hassan Babaee of the Revolutionary Court in Robat Karim, 16 miles southwest of Tehran. The decision was upheld on appeal.
The third arrest took place on September 16, 2014. During interrogations in Evin Prison’s Ward 240, Firouzi was put under intense pressure to issue a false confession in return for freedom, but refused, according to an informed source.
In April 2015, Firouzi was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly “creating a group with the intention of disturbing national security” by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court.
Based on the decision by the Appeals Court, Firouzi will remain incarcerated until 2019.
Despite President Hassan Rouhani’s pledges during his election campaign in 2013 that “all ethnicities, all religions, even religious minorities, must feel justice,” the targeting of Christian converts has continued unabated under his administration.
SOURCE: Center For Human Rights In Iran

2. Free Iranian Youth Sina Dehghan, Sentenced To Death For "Insulting The Prophet'

Sina Dehghan, sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet” of Islam when he was 19-years-old, was tricked into signing his confession, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
Despite the severity of the charge, a court-appointed attorney who failed to defend him properly represented him during his trial, added the source, who requested anonymity for security reasons.
“During his interrogation, Sina was told that if he signed a confession and repented, he would be pardoned and let go,” said the source in an interview with CHRI on March 21, 2017. “Unfortunately, he made a childish decision and accepted the charges. Then they sentenced him to death.”
“Later he admitted that he signed the confession hoping to get freed,” said  the source. “Apparently the authorities also got him to confess in front of a camera as well.”
“Security and judicial authorities promised Sina’s family that if they didn’t make any noise about his case, he would have a better chance of being freed, and that talking about it to the media would work against him,” added the source. “Unfortunately, the family believed those words and stopped sharing information about his case and discouraged others from sharing it as well.”
“Sina is not feeling well,” continued the source. “He’s depressed and cries constantly. He’s being held in a ward with drug convicts and murderers who broke his jaw a while ago.”
“He was a 19-year-old boy at the time (of his arrest) and had never done anything wrong in his life,” added the source.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrested Dehghan on October 21, 2015 at a military barracks in Tehran after he made comments against Islam and the Quran on the LINE instant messaging application. He has been imprisoned in Arak Prison ever since.
Initially, Branch 1 of the Criminal Court in Arak sentenced Dehghan to death for “insulting the prophet” and 16 months in prison for “insulting the supreme leader.” The Supreme Court confirmed his death sentence in late January, according to the source.
Deghan’s co-defendants, Sahar Eliasi and Mohammad Nouri, were also convicted of posting anti-Islamic content on social media.
Nouri was issued the death sentence, which was upheld by the Appeals Court, but it is not known if the Supreme Court has issued a final ruling.
Eliasi was initially issued a seven-year prison sentence, which was later reduced to three years upon appeal.
According to article 262 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, insulting the prophet is punishable by death. However, Article 263 states that if the accused tells the court that his insults were the result of anger or a mistake, the sentence could be reduced to 74 lashings.
“Sina is allowed to contact his family by phone and receive visits,” the source told CHRI. “During the past year, his family has come from Tehran to visit him every week.”

3. Free Tehran Art Gallery Owners Karan Vafadari and Afarin Nayssari

March 10, 2017—Serious and baseless new charges have been brought against Karan Vafadari and Afarin Nayssari, the dual-national Iranian-American and his wife who have been imprisoned in Iran’s Evin Prison without any evidence of wrong doing or due process for almost eight months.
The couple, art gallery owners in Tehran who are prominent in the Iranian artistic and cultural community, were arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization at Tehran’s airport on July 20, 2016—ostensibly for serving alcohol in their home and hosting mixed-gender parties. The new charges, detailed in a blog by Vafadari’s sister, Kateh on March 8, 2016, include attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic and recruiting spies through foreign embassies.
Their imprisonment, the latest in a long string of cases, reflects the determination on the part of the Guards and their cohorts in the Judiciary to intimidate dual nationals from western countries and exact a brutal cost for those who dare interact with diplomats and foreigners from the West.
The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Karan Vafadari and Afarin Nayssari, whose imprisonment on completely unsubstantiated charges and without any evidence of wrongdoing represents a brazen defiance of the law.
“With complete impunity, the Guards and their accomplices in the Judiciary are destroying the lives of innocent people,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of CHRI. “They grab people and throw them into prison without any evidence or the ability to defend themselves, and then hand-pick a judge who will press home the attack with a conviction and harsh sentence.”
The case has been marked by continuous denials of due process from the start. As detailed in the blog by Vafadari’s sister:
Shortly after the couple’s arrest they were taken in handcuffs to their home and then to their gallery, where items of art were either confiscated or destroyed.
They were denied access to counsel for months and held for extensive periods in solitary confinement.
During intensive interrogations, Afarin Nayssari was told to spy on her friends in the art world and her husband; when she refused, she was returned to solitary confinement.
Most of the original charges were dropped by the prosecutor for lack of any evidence.
The earlier charges included serving alcohol in the home and organizing mixed-gender parties for diplomats—even though Vafadari is Zoroastrian and under Iranian law not subject to Islamic laws on alcohol and mixed gatherings.
The judge selected for the case was Abolqasem Salavati, a notoriously hardline judge routinely picked for dual national cases and other politicized cases in which the Guards and the Judiciary are seeking an unquestioning and harsh ruling.
At the preliminary hearing, the earlier charges dropped due to lack of any evidence were re-instated by Judge Salavati.
Judge Salavati did not allow the couple’s lawyer to be present at the preliminary hearing—and ordered the couple to dismiss their lawyer.
“Of course the Guards and the Judiciary are denying due process to those they imprison unjustly,” said Ghaemi, “because if they had to present evidence, allow full access to a lawyer, and let an independent Judiciary rule on the case, these people would all be immediately freed.”
The imprisonment of Vafadari and Nayssari also appears motivated by greed: the Islamic Republic has a long and documented history of unlawfully confiscating private property, especially that belonging to those with whom the authorities do not favor. The family of Vafadari reported continuous calls right after the couple’s arrest demanding money, and noted that the charges brought would allow the seizure of the couple’s extensive properties.
In a public letter by the former Italian Ambassador to Iran, Roberto Toscano, the Ambassador expressed outrage at Vafadari’s and Niasari’s arrest and refuted the authorities’ justification for their detention, saying that “One has to be truly gullible and the easy victim of propaganda” to accept such charges. He continued, “The reason must be a different one…political blackmail toward the US (of which they are also citizens), envy for their success, intimidation toward the Zoroastrian community, desire to grab their properties, [and] repression of contemporary art.”
Vafadari’s sister, Kateh, has implored “all those who stand for civil liberties, artistic freedom, minority rights and Iran’s self-determination…[to] write letters of support asking for Karan and Afarin’s immediate release” to Iran’s Permanent Mission to the UN and to Iran’s Head of the Judiciary.
SOURCE: Center For Human Rights In Iran

4. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Shahnaz Akmali, the Mother of Killed Street Protester

Iran's Regime Cruelly Dashes Hopes of Shahnaz Akmali's Family


Shahnaz Akmali's family went to court to submit a financial bail for her release today morning, but they have been told that there's no verdict issued for her release on bail, and she will be kept in jail.

The security agents have provided Shahnaz's family with repeated misleading information and made them perplexed and worry since her arrest. Such a scheme undertaken by the regime thugs has inflicted substantial pressure upon her desperate family.

This is only one of the numerous cases exercised by the regime thugs in order to impose pressure on the detainees and their families as a punishment to silence them into more silence. The regime practices many intimidating procedures against several imprisoned activists for years.

There's also another doubt over her transfer to hospital that officials told the family, says HRANA.

Shahnaz Akmali was allegedly transferred to hospital on Wednesday night for a few hours, according to the news.

However, in a phone call from Evin prison on Thursday, Shahnaz, who was arrested by security forces on Wednesday morning, notified her relatives that authorities have agreed to release her on bail estimated to be a $25,000 USD. The family was told that they should submit the demanded bail on Saturday, January 28, 2017, according to the news.

Shahnaz Akmali told her family that authorities has currently locked up her in Ward 209 of Tehran notorious prison, confirms HRANA.

Shahnaz Akmali, the mother of Moustafa Karimbeigi, a 26-year-old peaceful street protester who was shot and killed in Iran during the 2009 Ashura uprising, was reportedly arrested at her work place on the morning of Wednesday January 25.

According to sources close to the Karimbeigi family, Iranian regime authorities took Ms. Akmali to her house and confiscated all of Shahnaz's personal belongings. The HRANA news agency reported that at least five regime agents were involved in Shahnaz's arrest and transfer to an unknown location.

In this regard, Iranian activists have started #FreeOurMom to draw attention to the unlawful detention of Shahnaz Akmali, a brave & peaceful mother.

Iranian activists are deeply concerned about Shahnaz's situation and are calling on the international community to take action.

She is currently kept in cells of Ward 209 along with a few of inmates at Evin prison in Tehran. Ward 209 is a solitary confinement ward run by the regime's Ministry of Intelligence. Although ward 209 is inside Evin, it operates outside prison jurisdiction. Ward 209 is in the complete control of the Ministry of Intelligence, and they have immunity to do as they please.

In addition, Since the death her son, Shahnaz and her family have faced repeated threats by Iranian authorities and are under constant pressure and surveilance.

5. We shall not be silent in the face of genocide by the Turkish state

We shall not be silent in the face of genocide by Turkish state

For the last three months, the oppressive regime of Recep Tayhip Erdogan has massacred Kurdish civilians in Turkey using tanks, canons and other heavy weapons. According to reports by human rights organisations, hundreds of civilians including children, women and elderly have been killed by the Turkish army and police. Others have been taken into custody and suffered inhuman torture and mistreatment. The Turkish authorities have targeted the offices of the pro Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), mistreating hundreds of party members and imprisoning a large number of party officials.

On Sunday (January 10) the Turkish police attacked a house in Artmtan district of Van and executed 12 Kurdish youths by shooting them in the head. Sadly the war shows no sign of ebbing and is engulfing more areas while the United States and the European Union allow Turkey to commit these crimes. We the undersigned condemn the heinous crimes being committed against the Kurdish people in Turkey. We call on western states and human rights organisations to pressure the Turkish government to bring an end to these violations of basic human rights of the Kurdish people in Turkey. We call on the Kurds from east Kurdistan to organise protests outside the Turkish embassies and consulates across the world on 23rd of January to highlight the crimes being committed against our people in north Kurdistan by the Turkish state.

Monday 18 January 2016

6. Help Eight Political Prisoners under Hunger Strike

Eight political prisoners are under hunger strike in Iran. Their health is deteriorating fast.

7. Immediate release of human rights defender Narges Mohammadi

This letter was sent be sent by email to the Delegation for relations with Iran (European Parliament) the March 26, 2017.

You can add your signature to letter through this petition.

Sign and share widely! Thanks!

8. Free Austrian-Iranian Businessman Kamran Ghaderi, Sentenced to 10 Years On False "Spy" Charges

October 20, 2016 -- The wife of an Iranian-Austrian man sentenced recently by an Iranian court to 10 years in prison on spying charges has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that her husband is a "simple businessman" unjustly imprisoned.

Hanika Ghaderi's husband, businessman Kamran Ghaderi, was initially detained in Tehran in January but his conviction and sentence for espionage and cooperation with the United States were revealed earlier this week.

"How can they say something like that about Kamran? I don't understand," Ghaderi's wife said, adding that he had no ties to the United States and was not involved in politics.

She said the family is planning to appeal the sentence.

Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said on October 18 that the 52-year-old Ghaderi was among six individuals who received 10-year sentences for what he described as spying and working with the hostile government in Washington. The others include 80-year-old Iranian-American Baquer Namazi and his son Siamak Namazi, Farhad Abd-Saleh, Alireza Omidvar, and Nizar Zakka.

Ghaderi is the CEO of Avanoc, an IT management and consulting company that has worked in Iran for many years, his wife told Radio Farda.
"Everything he's [been] doing is legal," she added.

Hanika Ghaderi said her husband was among a number of Austrian businessmen and companies at an official Austrian-Iranian trade meeting in Tehran in 2015 that was attended by senior officials, including former Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
"He was working in Iran; it's not forbidden," she said.

She said Ghaderi, a father of three, was detained during a business trip to Iran and was being held at Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

The family did not publicize the case at the time on advice from Ghaderi's lawyer, she said, adding that he had assured them that her husband would be released.
Bu the prison sentence has prompted her to speak out in the media.

Her husband was allowed to call his mother in April for the first time since his arrest, she said. Since then, she added, Ghaderi's mother has been allowed to visit him in prison every second week.

Ghaderi's wife said that her husband has lost a lot of weight since his arrest.

9. Free Nazanin Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37 year old charity worker, was on holiday visiting her family in Iran. She was at the airport returning to the UK on the 3rd April when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

She has been transferred to an unknown location in Kerman Province, 1,000 kilometres south of Tehran, and is being held in solitary confinement.

Gabriella Ratcliffe her daughter (who has British citizenship only) has had her British passport confiscated, and is stranded in Iran with her grandparents.

Nazanin has not been allowed to access a lawyer or her daughter. She has not been able to call out of the country to speak to her husband, her British husband, and the Red Cross have not been able to make contact.

There have been no charges. Nazanin has informed her family that she has been required to sign a confession under duress, its content unknown. Her family have been informed that the investigation relates to an issue of ‘national security’.

It is hard to understand how a young mother and her small child on holiday could be considered an issue of national security. She has been to Iran to visit her family regularly since making Britain her home.

Nazanin currently works as a project manager for the Thomson-Reuters Foundation; which delivers charitable projects around the world. It does not work in Iran.

10. Halt Flogging of Iranian Journalist Mohammad Reza Fathi

AUGUST 22, 2016: Reporters Without Borders Reports that an appeal court in the city of Saveh, in central Iran, has upheld a lower court’s decision that the Saveh-based journalist and blogger Mohammad Reza Fathi should be flogged because of his posts about city officials.

Under the original ruling handed down on 13 April, Fathi was sentenced to 444 lashes (to be administered in six sessions of 74 lashes) on charges of defamation and publishing false information. In its 12 July ruling, the appeal court confirmed the decision to flog Fathi but modified the sentence. It sentenced him to three sessions of 77 lashes for defamation and three sessions of 76 lashes for publishing false information – for an increased total of 459 lashes.

But the appeal court added that only the second sentence (three sessions of 76 lashes) will be administered in accordance with article 134 of the new Islamic penal code (as amended in 2013), which says that when a defendant is given more than one sentence on criminal charges, only the sentence corresponding to the gravest charge is implemented.

11. Free Peaceful Iranian Political Activist, Author Kourosh Zaim, 77, Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison

AUGUST 22, 2016--The four-year prison sentence handed down to imprisoned author and peaceful political activist Kourosh Zaim has no legal basis and the 77-year-old should be immediately released because of his advanced age, his lawyer Giti Pourfazel told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

“This sentence, which was issued while he was imprisoned, seems to be the enforcement of a suspended sentence he had previously received, but the details are not clear,” said the prominent human rights lawyer. “These cases [against political prisoners] are handled unlawfully and the authorities don’t allow the lawyer or even the condemned person to access their file.”

Zaim, a leading member of the banned National Front, one of Iran’s oldest secular opposition parties, was arrested on July 16, 2016 and handed a four-year prison sentence a week later on July 23 without his lawyer’s knowledge. The pro-democracy activist was previously arrested on multiple occasions for his peaceful activities; he was detained for 47 days in 2006, 91 days in 2009 and 27 days in 2011.

In April 2012 Zaim was sentenced to three years in prison and banned from political and media activities for five years for “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state” by Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh of Branch 14 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, but the prison sentence was suspended for five years by the Appeals Court because of his old age.

Zaim was put on trial again on August 1, 2015 for “propaganda against the state” and sentenced to one year in prison by Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. 

“We filed an appeal against the one-year sentence, but Mr. Zaim was arrested again before the Appeals Court issued a final ruling. He also had a three-year suspended sentence. They seem to have combined his prison sentences and put them into effect,” Pourafzal told the Campaign. “In any case, we believe that their action is unlawful. His prison sentence [issued in 2015] was for a year, at most, and we had requested that he be freed as soon as possible considering the time he has already spent in prison and his inability to tolerate prison conditions in his advanced age,”

Zaim, who has written and translated many books on Iranian politics, was persecuted by the Pahlavi dynasty as well the Islamic Republic for his activities with the National Front. The group, founded by ousted former Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and other secular politicians in the 1940s, became an ally of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini one year before the 1979 revolution, but was banned in 1981 for opposing theocratic rule.

Giti Pourfazel, a prominent human rights lawyer, announced her retirement in July 2016 but is still handling the cases that were in process prior to her announcement.

12. Demand for Immediate & Unconditional Dismissal of Charges against Iranian Activist Amir Amirgholi

Iran's Authorities Issues a Heavy Sentence against Amir Amirgholi.

Amir Amirgholi, 33 arrested in the street by security forces under Branch 6 of Ghods Court warrant has been sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Judge Abolghasem Salavati handed down the sentence.

Amir is a dismissed student of the Islamic Azad University of Ghazvin and the son of Abbas Amirgholi. Officials had taken him to his father's house and seized his personal belongings: a laptop, cell phone and hard drive of his PC. He was transferred to Ward 8 after an intense two-month investigation in solitary confinement.

Branch 6 of Shahid Moghadas Court of Evin court chaired by Amin Naseri, where he was accused on vague charges of "assembly and collusion against national security", "blasphemy", "insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran", "propaganda against the regime of Iran".

Amnesty International has stated that Amir Amirgholi, Iranian activist was sentenced to 19 years and sex months incarceration on charges in connection with his peaceful activities, following an hour-long trial in early 2016. He is being held in prison under extremely poor conditions while waiting for his appointment with the appeals court.

The leftist activist was arrested and taken to the Evin prison on August 30, 2007, after taking apart on the anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Khavaran. He was then held in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison without access to legal counsel and with no contact with his family for 56 days. Almost a month after the arrest, he was granted permission to speak with his family in a brief phone call, stated Amnesty International He had reportedly served 16 days in solitary confinements at the Islamic Republic chambers.

Amirgholi was previously arrested in the peaceful demonstration supporting Kobani on September 2014. He was released after spending a night at the chambers of Intelligence and Public Security Police of NAJA, according to the reliable sources. According to the reports, he also was arrested by security forces in front of Milad Hospital; officials released him after a few days.

According to his family, it is of urgent concern at this time that Amir suffers from a pancreatic disorder and require medical attention. Previously he was held at Ward 8 of Evin prison alongside hardened criminals convicted of pirating, theft, embezzlement, fraud and forgery. Evin prison is notorious for it's poor treatment and torture of political prisoners.

Branch 36 of Tehran's Appeal Court will hold a retrial session to re-examine Amirgholi's verdict on August 3, 2016.

13. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Zeinab Jalalian

Imagine being arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. Now imagine being convicted for that crime, and sentenced to death for allegations of which there is no evidence. It is a worst-case scenario which one cannot possibly prepare themselves for.

Now take this scenario and add the frightening prospect of awaiting your sentence in an Iranian prison, sent there by the Islamic Regime.

This is the true and frightening story of Zeinab Jalalian. Wrongly described as a political activist, she was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to death for being an alleged member of the banned Kurdish Free Life Party of Kurdistan. (PJAK) Although Iran’s Supreme Court later reduced her sentence to life imprisonment, this is of little comfort to the 34 year old woman who has languished in prison now for the past 9 years. Plagued with continual health problems, she now suffers an eye aliment, which requires surgery that she has been denied. Zeinab is slowly losing her eyesight with no help on the horizon.

Consequently, due to her lengthy imprisonment and denial of proper medical care she has experienced other serious health problems and faced challenges most of us would consider a living nightmare. Over the past few years, she has suffered internal bleeding, and intestinal infection related to injuries sustained during torture. Zeinab had reportedly been placed under intense physical and psychological pressure to confess in front of a camera for her alleged crimes, a common practice in Iran for politically motivated cases. Her requests for medical furlough have been denied.

The severe injustices this young woman has faced are glaring. After her initial incarceration, she was denied proper legal representation and her trial lasted only a few minutes. A worldwide movement campaigning for Ms Jalalian’s release has been instigated by several humanitarian groups pointing out irregularities in the judicial proceedings leading to her condemnation, cruel treatment and urgent need for medical attention. This effort has been assisted recently through a petition by women’s rights activists through a petition as recent as September of 2015. However in March of 2016, requests to send her to a hospital or furlough had been rejected.

Zeinab Jalalian has struggled her entire life for the most basic of human rights. Like many women living under Islamic oppression in Iran she has no say in this terrifying ordeal; we cannot let her spirit be crushed, we must fight for her right to let the truth be known.

We need to be a voice for this courageous young woman who desperately needs our help.

14. Immediate & Unconditional Release of the Imprisoned Christian Convert Maryam Naghash Zargaran

Updated on June 21, 2016.

***Critical Condition of the Imprisoned Christian Convert Maryam Naghash Zargaran
- Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran, a prisoner of conscience, who is kept at the Women's Ward in the notorious Evin prison, is in grave danger of her life. Maryam had started a hunger strike on May 26 in protest against the systematic violence of her basic rights such as medical care, conditional release and her unknown fate in the prison, whereupon, she was transferred to the hospital because of her physical deterioration. Officials returned her back to the prison without any medical treatment as she was unconscious, HRANA reported.

Maryam, 35, suffers from atrial septal defect (ASD), diabetes, blood fat, severe pain in her ears and chronic dizziness. The Christian prisoner also contracted lumbar disc, arthritis, and anemia because of poor nutrition and inappropriate conditions in the prison.

Intelligence Service officials summoned Maryam in 2013 and she was taken to Evin prison. She endured severe tortures both physically and mentally during the investigating in the Islamic regime’s chambers of Iran. Officials kept her in an isolation place where she had not necessary sanitary facilities, BCR Group has learned.

Iran’s authorities accused her on the vague charges of “propaganda against the regime of Iran” at Branch 2 of the Shahid Moghadasi Court in Evin, but the officials released her on the bail of 23000 $ (70 million Rials) after 19 days of temporary detention.

She was sentenced to four years in prison for ambiguous charges as- acting against national security through assembly and collusion at Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, chaired by the infamous Judge Mohammad Mogheyseh.

After all complications and being denied medical attention or temporary release, she was released on bail for 33,000$ in June 6, 2016.

Finally, on June 6th, 2016, Maryam was returned again to Evin on June 27th, 2016, to serve her remaining sentence.

15. Shahram Ahmadi's Life is in Danger!

Shahram Ahmadi's Life is in Danger!

Rajai Shahr Prison has scheduled the eminent execution of 35 Sunni Kurdish men. Among these prisoners is Shahram Ahmadi. He is in imminent danger of execution after his lawyer's request for a retrial was rejected by Iranian authorities. Ahmadi is a political prisoner on death row in Karaj’s Rajai Shar Prison in Northern Iran. He has been on death row ever since he was arrested in Sanandaj by Iranian authorities on April 26th, 2009 after he was shot and injured by security agents. He was reportedly taken to the hospital and later transferred to a detention center in Sanandaj operated by the Ministry of Intelligence.

He has endured more than 40 months of solitary confinement, severely tortured and accused of relations with Salafi groups as well as the assassination of a Sunni Friday prayer Imam in Sanandaj. Mr. Ahmadi’s lawyer maintains his client has never possessed or used a weapon and has never harmed anyone. He added in his appeals about the psychological and physical tortures Ahmadi has endured in an attempt by authorities to extract false confessions from him. Mr. Ahmadi has written multiple letters from prison denying the assassination charge against him and claiming that he was arrested only because he is a preacher of Sunni Islam. Tragically, Mr. Ahmadi's brother, Bahram, was executed at Karaj's Ghezel Hesar Prison by Iranian authorities on December 27, 2012 along with nine other Sunni Muslim political prisoners. Bahram was reportedly arrested by Iranian authorities on September 19, 2009 when he was under the age of 18. On March 4, 2014 six other Sunni Muslim political prisoners were executed by Iranian authorities in Ghezel Hesar Prison: Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani, Kamal Molaei, Sedigh Mohammadi, and Hadi Hosseini.

In an unprecedented move, Iranian authorities reportedly transferred Mr. Ahmadi's case file from Sanandaj to branch 28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, presided by a corrupt judge by the name of Moghiseh. In accordance with the judicial process in Iran, the case file of defendants must be examined or investigated where the alleged crime was committed. Judge Moghiseh, based on forced confessions, reportedly sentenced Mr. Ahmadi to death.


جان شهرام احمدی در خطر است!

شهرام احمدی زندانی سیاسی محبوس در زندان رجایی شهر کرج در حالی هشتمین سال زندان خود را سپری می‌کند که از درد شدید در تنها کلیه‌اش رنج می‌برد و از اعزام او به بیمارستان ممانعت به عمل آمده است. لازم به ذکر است کلیه دیگر شهرام به هنگام بازداشت مورد اصابت گلوله قرار گرفت و به همراه قسمت‌هایی از روده وی طی عمل جراحی در روزهای ابتدایی بازداشت خارج شده است.

شهرام احمدی در تاریخ ۶ اردیبهشت ۸۸ توسط ماموران امنیتی بازداشت و طی مدت حبس خود که بالغ بر هفت سال است حتا یک روز مرخصی نیز نداشته و هم اکنون در زندان رجایی شهر کرج از حق داشتن مکالمه تلفنی و ملاقات نیز محروم است.
وی بیش از سه سال است که با خانواده خود ملاقات حضوری نداشته و این در حالی ست که در حدود هشت سال پیش که بازداشت شد، تازه ازدواج کرده و همسر وی همچنان پیگیر شرایط او و در تلاش برای رهایی شهرام از حکم اعدام است.
وی به هنگام بازداشت غیر از جراحت ناشی از شلیک گلوله، به شدت مورد ضرب و شتم قرار گرفته و بینی اش نیز شکسته بود.
وی در ۱۱ مهر ۱۳۹۰ در شعبه ۲۸ دادگاه انقلاب تهران توسط قاضی مقیسه در دادگاهی چند دقیقه ای و بدون اجازه دفاع از خود، به اتهام محاربه به اعدام محکوم شد.

در تاریخ ۱۲ تیر ۱۳۹۲ پرونده وی به دیوان عالی کشور ارجاع شد.
پرونده شهرام در ۷ مرداد ۱۳۹۲ از سوی دیوان عالی کشور نقض و جهت بررسی مجدد به شعبه ۲۷ دادگاه انقلاب تهران برگردانده شد.
وی در تاریخ ۱۷ مهر ۱۳۹۲ به سلول های انفرادی ۲۴۰ منتقل و نهایتا پس از یک دوره اعتصاب غذا به بند ۳۵۰ اوین انتقال داده شد.
شهرام در تاریخ ۲۶ اسفند ۱۳۹۲ مجدد به زندان رجایی شهر کرج منتقل و هم اکنون در سالن ۱۰ همین زندان تحمل حبس می‌کند.
دیوان عالی کشور در تاریخ ۱۵ مرداد ۱۳۹۴ حکم اعدام وی را نقض نموده اما در ۱۰ مهر همین سال حکم اعدام وی مجددا توسط قاضی مقیسه صادر شد.
نهایتا در ۴ آبان سال ۱۳۹۴ حکم اعدام شهرام احمدی در دیوان عالی کشور تایید و به اجرای احکام اوین ارسال شد.
بانکی مون، دبیر کل سازمان ملل در گزارش پایان سال ۹۴ با اشاره به پرونده شهرام احمدی، از این پرونده با عنوان یکی از موارد پر ابهام در دستگاه قضایی ایران یاد کرده است.
همچنین یادآور می‌شویم که خانواده شهرام نیز از آسیب های جدی پس از بازداشت وی در امان نمانده اند. برادر کوچک او، بهرام احمدی که در همان سال ۸۸ بازداشت شده بود، به منظور فشار بیشتر بر شهرام و در حالی که در زمان بازداشت کمتر از ۱۸ سال سن داشته است، در تاریخ ۷ دی ۱۳۹۰ در زندان قزل حصار کرج اعدام شد.
همچنین در سال ۸۸ خانواده شهرام و بهرام احمدی با فروش کل دارایی های خود به مبلغ ۷۰ میلیون تومان و پرداخت کل مبلغ به فردی که خود را وکیل معرفی کرده بود و ادعای ممانعت از صدور حکم را به ایشان داده بود در صدد نجات جان فرزندان خود بر آمدند. بعد ها دانستند آن فرد از ماموران امنیتی بوده و نزدیک شدنش به خانواده احمدی نیز جزئی از پروژه آنان جهت آسیب بیشتر رساندن به وی بوده است.
خانواده وی در تاریخ ۱۲ تیر ۱۳۹۲ درست در همان تاریخی که پرونده به دیوان عالی کشور ارجاع گردید، پس از بازگشت از ملاقات با وی دچار سانحه رانندگی شده و مادر و خواهر وی دچار ضربه مغزی و نهایتا خواهر وی قدرت تکلم خود را از دست داد و مادر که بعد از اعدام بهرام به شدت ضعیف و رنجور گردیده بود پس از تصادف هرگز سلامت خود را بدست نیاورد و تا کنون نیمی از بدنش فلج و قدرت بازیابی حافظه اش را نیز از دست داده است.
لازم به ذکر است نحوه خبر دار شدن این مادر آسیب دیده از اعدام فرزند کوچکترش بهرام احمدی به این شکل بود که سرباز سالن انتظار به ناگهان وی را از اعدام فرزندش مطلع نمود و آثار ناشی از شوک ناگهانی خبر اعدام فرزند نوجوانش همچنان بر سلامت ایشان آشکار است.
هم اکنون غیر از خطر اعدام، سلامت شهرام نیز در خطر است.
در ۱۳ دی ۱۳۹۲ تنها کلیه شهرام و روده های او دچار عفونت شد و همچنان با وجود مشکلات طاقت‌فرسای جسمی از اعزام وی به بیمارستان و حتا معاینه وی توسط پزشک نیز ممانعت به عمل می‌آورند. وی با بیماری های صعب العلاجی دست و پنجه نرم می‌کند و با استناد به مواد قانونی پذیرفته شده در نظام جمهوری اسلامی از لحاظ قانونی مسئولین موظف به اعزام وی به بیمارستان و برخورداری وی از مرخصی پس از درمان می‌باشند.
غیر از بیماری هایی که مداوا نمی‌شد و خود مصداق شکنجه می‌باشند، شهرام احمدی در حین بازداشت و پس از آن در سلول های انفرادی بارها مورد ضرب و شتم و اهانت قرار گرفته و آسیب های این شکنجه‌ها بر وی هویداست.

البته علاوه بر این شکنجه ها، وی زمان بسیار طولانی از مدت حبس خود را به شرح زیر در سلول‌های انفرادی گذرانده است:
مدت ۱۲ ماه انفرادی در زندان سنندج،
مدت ۲۱ ماه انفرادی در زندان زنجان،
و ۴۰ روز انفرادی در زندان اوین،
یعنی چیزی بالغ بر ۳۴ ماه از مدت حبس خود را در انفرادی و تقریبا در شرایط ایزوله گذرانده است.
همچنین وی بارها تهدید به اجرای حکم اعدام شده است.
زمانی که در سلول های انفرادی بند ۲۴۰ در شرایط نامساعدی نگهداری می‌شد و روزانه تنها یک وعده غذا در اختیار وی قرار میگرفت، هر صبح گاه به منظور اجرای حکم وی را از سلول ش خارج و با ایجاد فضای رعب و وحشت قصد بر هم زدن آرامش روانی وی را داشتند. همچنین پس از انتقال به بند ۳۵۰ اوین وی به همراه تعدادی دیگر از زندانیان عقیدتی (سنی مذهب) محکوم به اعدام، بارها توسط بازجوی وزارت اطلاعات (سربازجو داوری) هر یک در اتاق هایی جداگانه مورد بازجویی، اهانت و شکنجه روانی قرار می گرفتند و تهدید به اجرای حکم اعدام می‌شدند.
بر اساس آخرین اخبار رسیده وضعیت جسمی شهرام به شدت وخیم می‌باشد. وی از عفونت روده و کلیه رنج می‌برد و از آنجایی که یکی از کلیه های خود را در تیر اندازی حین بازداشت از دست داد، وضعیت بسیار نگران کننده ای دارد.
تعدادی از زندانیان سیاسی بند ۱۲ زندان رجایی شهر کرج طی نامه ای در اردیبهشت ماه ۱۳۹۳ خواستار لغو حکم اعدام وی گردیدند. (خالد حردانی، شاهرخ زمانی، سعید ماسوری، صالح کهندل، افشین حیرتیان، محمد بنازاده امیرخیزی، میثاق یزدان نژاد و حمید رضا برهانی از امضا کنند گان این نامه می‌باشند).
متاسفانه آمار اعدام های عقیدتی و سیاسی و همچنین بازداشت های خودسرانه و بی دلیل در نظام جمهوری اسلامی طی سالیان گذشته به کرات نشان داده، این نظام از هیچ گونه کینه توزی نسبت به قومیت ها و گرایشات اعتقادی کوتاهی نمی‌کند. پرونده سازی در مورد شهرام احمدی و پیش رفتن در آزار و اذیت او تا مرز بازداشت برادر نوجوان وی و پس از چندی اعدام او (بهرام احمدی) نشان از نبود آزادی عقاید و تبعیض فاحش میان قومیت‌ها دارد.
وی هرگز اتهاماتی که به او نسبت داده‌اند را نپذیرفته است. اتهام وی همکاری در ترور محمد شیخ الاسلام امام جمعه سنندج می‌باشد، در حالی که شهرام مدت ۵ ماه پیش از ترور شیخ الاسلام بازداشت گردیده و در زمان ترور در زندان بوده است. وی حتا زیر شدید ترین شکنجه‌ها نیز این اتهام و هر گونه اقدام مسلحانه‌ای را نپذیرفته و بارها طی نامه‌ای از زندان این اتهامات را ساختگی دانسته است.
جرم شهرام احمدی در درجه اول «کرد» بودن وی و پس از آن «سنی» بودن اوست. همچنین وی خواستار رفع تبعیض ها در سرزمین مادری خود بوده است و از این رو به پخش کتاب و شب نامه بر مبنای باور و اعتقاد خود اقدام نموده بود که منجر به بازداشت وی گردید.
دبیر کل سازمان ملل «بانکی مون» در پایان گزارش سالانه خود در اسفند ماه ۱۳۹۴ با اشاره به پرونده شهرام احمدی، از پرنده وی با عنوان یکی از نمونه پرونده های پر ابهام در دستگاه قضایی ایران یاد کرده است.
لازم به ذکر است علاوه بر همه موارد یاد شده شهرام احمدی با استناد به ماده ۱۸۳ محاربه به اعدام محکوم گردیده است و این در حالی ست که این ماده در حال حاضر از قوانین کشور حذف و طبیعتا حکم اعدام وی باید لغو گردد.

16. We Urge YouTube to reconsider its approach toward copyrighting videos produced by Iranian TV

Youtube take down videos which are a part of Iranian history such as: "Remembering late Shah of Iran on 27 July the day he passed away " which is a video slide show produced by myself from photos of the late Shah in which a small footage of recorded from BBC is included .


Most obvious case is allowing Account holder[ G1mena ] who claim having power of attorney from IRIB (Islamic Republic broadcasting ) to protect IRIB rights ,

The funniest point is that the [G1mena] claim only advertisement income of the videos , but allows the video to be online , for the sake of the huge amount of money he earns in expense of other account holders.

According to Youtube, [G1mena] is member of a certified network of You Tube named as Gold1 Network and use the credibility of that network for its copyright operation.

You Tube have to answer following points:

• while Iranian TV do not respect any kind of copyright law and use copyrighted pictures and music on its several satellite and Internet network such as ( all archives and live broadcast of Iranian TV are here :



• How You Tube protect interests of an organization such as IRIB which its general manager is in the list of human right abusers
according European court of human right :


,


• If Youtube believes that [G1mena] have a power from IRIB ( Iranian broadcasting TV) , how Youtube is certain of legality of the presented power of attorney of IRIB ? Have he any documents which prove that the signatory is eligible to sign on behalf of government of Iran ?

• Have Youtube verified who is eligible to sign on behalf of state run Iranian TV , with over 10 live channels ?

• Why circular 38 of the United States copyright offic regarding International copyright relation of United States with Iran which clearly say , there is no copyright relation with Iran , is denied by You Tube ?


I urge You Tube to reconsider its approach toward copyrighting videos produced by Iranian TV and release all claims made before on Iranian videos.

Respectfully Yours
Manuchehr Honarmand
User :agaahi - manuchehrh@gmail.com ( You Tube prevent me to I access my own account [agaahi] to dispute a claim )
User : Manuchehr lenziran - lenziranvideo@gmail.com

17. We Urge You Tube to reconsider its approach toward copyrighting videos produced by Iranian TV

16 March 2016

In the wake of United States detente with Islamic Republic of Iran,
Youtube dare to cooperate openly with abuser of human rights such as Islamic Republic broadcasting organization [IRIB] .

Youtube take down videos which are a part of Iranian history such as: "Remembering late Shah of Iran on 27 July the day he passed away " which is a video slide show produced by myself from photos of the late Shah in which a small footage of recorded from BBC is included .





Most obvious case is allowing Account holder[G1NMNA] who claim having power of attorney from IRIB (Islamic Republic broadcasting ) to protect IRIB rights ,

The funniest point is that the [G1NMNA] claim only advertisement income of the videos , but allows the video to be online , for the sake of the huge amount of money he earns in expense of other account holders.

According to Youtube,[G1NMNA] is member of a certified network of You Tube named as Gold1 Network and use the credibility of that network for its copyright operation.

You Tube have to answer following points:

• while Iranian TV do not respect any kind of copyright law and use copyrighted pictures and music on its several satellite and Internet network such as:
http://www.telewebion.com/en/live/mostanad/channel-mostanad-live-broadcast
http://www.telewebion.com/en/42649/%2B-Football.html

• How You Tube protect interests of an organization such as IRIB which its general manager is in the list of human right abusers
according European court of human right :

• If Youtube believes that [G1mena] have a power from IRIB ( Iranian broadcasting TV) , how Youtube is certain of legality of the presented power of attorney of IRIB ? Have he any documents which prove that the signatory is eligible to sign on behalf of government of Iran ?

• Have Youtube verified who is eligible to sign on behalf of state run Iranian TV , with over 10 live channels ?

• Why circular 38 of the United States copyright office regarding International copyright relation of United States with Iran which clearly say , there is no copyright relation with Iran , is denied by You Tube ?
htttp://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf

I urge You Tube to reconsider its approach toward copyrighting videos produced by Iranian TV and release all claims made before on Iranian videos.

Respectfully Yours
Manuchehr Honarmand
User :agaahi - manuchehrh@gmail.com
( You Tube prevent me to I access my own account [agaahi] to dispute several claim )
User : Manuchehr lenziran - lenziranvideo@gmail.com

18. Free Iranian American Father & Son Baquer and Siamak Namazi, Sentenced To 10 Years

October 18, 2016: Mizan News Agency, a website linked to Iran’s judiciary, reported today that Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer Namazi have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison. On October 16, the same news agency published a short video showing Siamak Namazi’s arrest as evidence of “America’s humiliation.”

According to Mizan, the two men were convicted of “cooperating with the hostile government of America.” Beyond that, no charges have been officially made public. In April, the Namazis’ lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, told IranWire that he had been denied access to his clients’ case files.
Some hardline media outlets have called the Namazis’ arrest “Iran’s biggest intelligence catch.” Today, the hardline paper Vatan called Siamak Namazi the “kingfish” of a “British-run” network.

Siamak Namazi is the head of strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum, which has its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates. He previously worked as an energy consultant for the Dubai-based Access Consulting Group. He was arrested in October 2015 during a trip to visit his family in Tehran. His 80-year old father, Baquer Namazi, was arrested on February 22, 2016, when he arrived in Iran to visit his imprisoned son.

On the eve of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Baquer Namazi was the provincial governor of Khuzestan. He later worked a representative of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in several African countries.

In February, Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, published an article reporting that Namazi was arrested in order “to uncover the complex layers of vast financial and intelligence corruption by a network that is associated with the UK and America.” The piece also stated that Baquer is accused of training his son Siamak in “espionage and infiltration and subversion operations.”

According to Fars News, one of the charges against Siamak Namazi was his founding of the “Non-Governmental Mutual Assistance Institute of Iran,” an NGO which it said was involved in organizing the “English-American riots,” a reference to the mass demonstrations that followed Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election.

Fars Reported that Siamak Namazi had also been charged with membership in, and extensive connections to agencies that are affiliated to the United Nations; connections to Gary Sick (an Iran specialist at Columbia University who served as member of the US National Security Council under presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan), membership of the Gulf/2000 Project (a project Gary Sick directs at Columbia University), close ties to US State Department spokesman Alan E. Eyre and to John D. Sullivan, director of CIPE (the Center for International Private Enterprise) and his connections to the Ford Foundation and NIAC (the National Iranian American Council).”

Tabatabaei told IranWire his client had rejected the charge of cooperation with a hostile government. “According to the Supreme Council of National Security, which responded to an inquiry about this, Iran does not consider the US to be a hostile government,” said Tabatabaei. “A ‘hostile government’ has a clear definition and legally it is the job of the Supreme Council of National Security to define it.”

Now, it seems that the Iranian Judiciary believes that it can decide by itself which government is hostile, and has convicted both men based on its own definition.
Since the Namazis’ arrest, American officials have repeatedly demanded their release. With this sentence, diplomatic efforts to secure their release must enter a new phase.
********************************************************************************************************************
March 3, 2016 The United Nations Children's Fund said on Thursday it is worried about the health and well-being of one of its former officials, an elderly man jailed in Iran for more than a week.

Baquer Namazi, whose son Siamak has been jailed in Iran since October, was himself arrested on Feb. 22 and taken to Tehran's Evin Prison, his wife said last week on social media. Both the elder Namazi and his son are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens.

Baquer Namazi, a former Iranian provincial governor, served as UNICEF representative in Somalia, Kenya, Egypt and elsewhere before retiring in 1996, UNICEF said in a statement.

"Current and former UNICEF colleagues are deeply concerned about the health and well-being of Baquer Namazi," the statement said. "We hope he will be reunited soon with his wife and loved ones."

Baquer Namazi is 80 years old and has a serious heart and other conditions which require special medication, his wife Effie Namazi said last week.

His son Siamak was most recently working for Crescent Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates, and previously headed a consulting business in Iran.

Iranian officials have not issued formal charges against either man. Friends of Siamak Namazi have said that he may have become a pawn in factional struggles among hardliners, pragmatists and reformers, each with economic and political interests.

Elections in Iran last week strengthened centrists and reformists allied with President Hassan Rouhani, but his scope to permit more social and political freedom is constrained by hardliners' control of the judiciary, security forces and state media.

SOURCE: Reuters

19. Reverse Jail, Flogging Sentence For Father of Saeed Zeinali, Iranian Student Missing Since 1999 Arrest

The 70-year-old father of a student who has not been heard from for 17 years since his arrest has been sentenced to 91 days in prison and 74 lashes for “disturbing public order” by allegedly participating in a gathering in support of an imprisoned spiritual leader. But Hashem Zeinali was only there to demand answers about his son and got mixed into the crowd, according to his wife.

Speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Akram Neghabi said the focus of her husband’s interrogation indicated that the authorities targeted Neghabi for seeking answers about their son rather than having any connection to the case of the spiritual leader, Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been persecuted for his alternative spiritual beliefs.

“My husband told the judge that he respects Mr. Taheri and his followers but my husband is searching for our missing son and that’s why he was in front of Evin Prison on that day holding our son Saeed’s picture,” Neghabi told the Campaign.

“During interrogations, the Revolutionary Guards told my husband that they had not arrested our son and he should take back his accusations, therefore they knew he was not a Taheri follower,” she said.

“The judge in this case is irrelevant. It was the interrogators who wanted this punishment for my husband. They know very well that my husband is not a follower of Mr. Taheri and he was not in front of Evin Prison to defend him,” Neghabi told the Campaign.

Neghabi said the lawyer defending her husband, Hashem Zeinali, had been informed of the sentence by telephone.

“We have 20 days to object to the sentence and we will do so. But if the Appeals Court rules in favor of the sentence, my husband is 70 years old, he cannot endure 74 lashes,” she said. “They should divide the lashes between family members so that all of us can bare it.”

On November 21, 2015, Hashem Zeinali was standing among a crowd of the relatives of prisoners and civil activists who often gather in front of Evin Prison holding placards and banners. Zeinali was independently protesting the lack of attention given to the case of his missing son but was rounded up with members of the Erfan-e Halgheh spiritual group, who were simultaneously protesting the imprisonment of their leader, Mohammad Ali Taheri.

Zeinali was held for ten days in Evin’s Ward 2-A, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization, and released on 500 million Iranian rials (about $16,500) bail.

Zeinali’s trial, along with members of the spiritual group, took place on February 19, 2016 at Branch 1060 of Tehran’s Second Criminal Court and was presided by Judge Dehghani.

Zeinali’s son, Saeed Zeinali, has not been heard from since a brief phone call three months after being apprehended from his Tehran home in front of his parents on July 10, 1999, in connection with widespread student protests that occurred at Tehran University five days earlier.

He was 23 at the time and studying computer science. The authorities have never acknowledged his arrest.

On January 3, 2016, Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said no evidence had been found to show Saeed Zeinali was ever arrested. But Saeed’s parents say they witnessed his arrest and have passionately campaigned for information about their son for more than a decade.

20. Reverse 6 Year Sentence for Esmail Abdi, General Secretary Of The Teachers Association of Iran

February 24, 2016--The secretary general of the Teachers Association of Iran, Esmail Abdi, has been sentenced to six years in prison for “propaganda against the state” and “collusion against national security” by Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court.

The verdict was issued to Abdi’s lawyer on Tuesday, February 14, 2016, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “His lawyer will appeal this decision within 20 days and his family hopes it will be reversed by the Appeals Court,” the source added.

“Mr. Abdi objected to his sentence and said he’s a teacher and had nothing to do with state secrets. What kind of secrets are they talking about? What sort of confidential documents could a teacher have and publish?” a source close to Abdi told the Campaign.

Labor activism in Iran is seen as a national security offense. Independent labor unions are not allowed to function, strikers are often fired and risk arrest, and labor leaders are consistently prosecuted under catchall national security charges and sentenced to long prison terms.

The source added that Abdi’s role as secretary general of the Teachers Association of Iran came under scrutiny after a May 2015 demonstration by teachers and their supporters in front of Parliament.

“He started getting warnings and summons from the Intelligence Ministry as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. They told him he would be arrested if he continued his activities. At that point Mr. Abdi decided to resign from his position as secretary general. Although his resignation was rejected by the board, in reality he wasn’t active anymore.

Even when the security forces complained about protest gatherings by teachers in April and May [2015], Abdi told them he had no involvement in them,” the source said.Labor protests in the teaching profession occurred frequently in Iran last year, as teachers protested wages that are below the official poverty level in Iran and the fact that their labor leaders were being put behind bars for their peaceful activism.

Abdi was arrested on June 27, 2015, by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization. He was held in solitary confinement for nearly a month in their Ward 2-A at Evin Prison and “interrogated for 15 hours each day,” the source told the Campaign.

Abdi had been previously arrested in 2011 and sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Hamidreza Azarpour in Islamshahr for “propaganda against the state” and “revealing national security secrets.” But the sentence was suspended for five years.

In addition to Abdi, four other members of the Teachers Association of Iran are currently serving time in prison: Ali Akbar Baghbani, Rasoul Badaghi, Alireza Hashemi and Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi.

21. Free Iranian Activist Ali (Amir) Amirgholi, Sentenced To 21 Years in Prison

Ali (Amir) Amirgholi, a dismissed student of the Islamic Azad University of Ghazvin, Iran, was sentenced to 21 years in jail at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran chaired by the infamous Judge Abolghasem Salavati.

Amirgholi was arrested in the street by security forces under a warrant of Branch 6 of the Ghods Court on December 1, 2014. Officials had taken him to his father's house and seized his personal belongings such as his laptop, cell phone and the hard disc of his PC. He was finally transferred to Ward 8 after enduring about two months of intense interrogation while held in solitary confinement of Evin Prison's Ward 209.

Branch 6 of the Evin court, chaired by Amin Naseri, had accused him on the vague charges of "assembly and collusion against national security", "blasphemy", "insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran", "propaganda against the regime of Iran". He suffers from Pancreas disorders, his relatives said.

The leftist activist had previously been arrested and taken to the Evin prison on August 30, 2007, after taking apart on the anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Khavaran. He had reportedly served 16 days in solitary confinements at the Islamic Republic chambers. He was also arrested in September 2014 for peaceful participation in a protest demonstration.
SOURCE: Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group

22. Free Iranian Tech Website Staffers Ali Asghar Honarmand, Hossein Nozari, Ehsan Paknejad and Abbas Vahedi

Four convicted staff members of a leading Iranian technology website who were free on bail while awaiting an Appeals Court verdict on their cases were taken to a prison in Kerman Province on February 17, 2016, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

“After explaining everything in front of the Appeals Court, the defense attorneys were hoping that their clients would all be acquitted, but now four of them have been taken to jail before a verdict has been issued on their appeal,” said the source.

Ali Asghar Honarmand, Hossein Nozari, Ehsan Paknejad and Abbas Vahedi—who wrote articles for the popular technology review website, Narenji (Orange)—were sentenced to 11 years, seven years, five years and two-and-a-half years in prison respectively in June 2014 for allegedly “designing sites, websites, and creating content for media hostile to the regime.”

The charges against them included “propaganda against the state” and “acting against national security.”

The Narenji staffers’ appeal was heard in Branch 1 of the Appeals Court in Kerman on November 30, 2015, but no verdict has been issued.

“The prosecutor claimed the company had developed websites for those involved in the [2009] Green Movement, but it was their occupation to build websites,” the source told the Campaign.

The Green Movement rose out of the peaceful protests against the widely disputed results of the 2009 presidential election in Iran. The movement is still a highly sensitive subject in Iran, referred to by hardliners as “the sedition.”

The source added that the technology professionals “were asked by customers to create sites for them but they had nothing to do with the content.”

Fourteen of the Narenji website’s workers were arrested on December 3, 2013 by the Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence Organization but only 11 were charged. In addition to the four mentioned above, Mehdi Faryabi, Amir Sadeghpour, Alireza Vaziri, Mohammad Mousazadeh, Mostafa Pourgharib and Maliheh Nakhaei were also arrested at the time, said the source.

Narenji was developed by Paat Shargh Govashir, a company launched by Ali Asghar Honarmand that aimed to provide news and information about Internet technology and related gadgets to the general public.

It quickly became one of the most popular technology sites in the country while receiving international recognition and awards.

23. Join Desmond Tutu & Noam Chomsky's Statement of Principle for Peace Between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Civil Society Statement of Principle for Peace Between Iran and Saudi Arabia (Initial co-signers: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Noam Chomsky)

We the undersigned hereby seek the support of all who desire genuine peace, joining all efforts to help move the increasingly volatile Middle East away from the brink of even deeper disasters. Through this statement of principled peace, we express our deep worry about the prospects of further escalations (especially in sectarian and ethnic realms) in the chronically conflicted relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

We condemn vigorously both the unjustifiable recent execution in Saudi Arabia of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr, and the equally shocking attack (claimed by the perpetrators to be a “spontaneous emotional reaction” to the execution) that damaged substantially the Saudi Arabian embassy/consulate buildings in Iran. We believe that embassies are ultimate refuges for peace, so they should remain inviolable at all times. So we share the view that this anti-diplomatic act of un-Islamic violence has not only shifted the blame (as to whose actions sparked the latest crisis) from Saudi Arabia to Iran, but also it is foundationally contrary to the spirit of nonviolence that characterized the civil struggles of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr.

We believe strongly that Saudi-Iranian collaboration toward peace, rather than deepening hostility, is most critically needed--particularly at this dangerous juncture in the history of our interconnected planet. Thus, we advocate and hope for such a collaboration, if for no other reason than struggling successfully against the horrific war crimes and terrorism committed around the world by the entity that self-righteously calls itself the “Islamic” State. So we urge all parties to the conflict to take immediate and longer-term healing actions (not mere gestures), while exercising maximum good will, restraint, and patience, and we extend our principled support, especially to the efforts by the Iranian and Saudi Arabian governments to reduce the temperature of this increasingly worrisome crisis.

Given the above, we support Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in his request of the country's judiciary to “immediately process” the court cases of those who actually attacked the Saudi Arabian embassy/consulate buildings, and to meaningfully pursue and prosecute those who ordered and orchestrated the perpetrators; so as to result in visible and just “punishments for [such] obvious crimes...[hence] preventing similar outrages” in the future, as Mr. Rouhani has stated accurately.

And we urge the government of Saudi Arabia to reciprocate such Iranian good will efforts by taking meaningful immediate steps toward restoration of mutual diplomatic relations (and economic, religious/cultural, tourism, sports, etc. ties) which were not severed by Iran, even after the horrible "Hajj/Mina stampede" of September 2015--in which 1/5th of the victims were Shiite Iranian pilgrims. We believe that given the region's profoundly interconnected destiny, Iran's role as a substantial power (and partner for peace) needs to be recognized and utilized, especially by Saudi Arabia.

In closing, we wholeheartedly invite all caring people around our distressed planet to sign this critical plea for principled peace--and please do kindly spread its word far and wide. We thank you.

Authored Jan. 8, 2016 by: Moji Agha (Mojtaba Aghamohammadi)
Iranian-American sufi monk and civility activist; Founder, Mossadegh Legacy Institute and its independently functioning initiative, the Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives -- Please see: http://mossadeghlegacyinstitute.blogspot.com/p/america-for-nonviolence-anv.html
Info/Contact: moji.agha [at] gmail.com

24. Free Iranian Music Distributors Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi

UPDATE APRIUL 7, 2017--Music producers Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian returned to Evin Prison in Tehran on April 4, 2017 after their request for an extension of their seven-day temporary leave was denied by the judiciary, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“The only change in the new year was that we walked uphill with new shoes,” said a note on Mehdi Rajabian’s Instagram page on April 6 under a photo of the brothers outside the prison. “Incarceration resumes. Goodbye.”
The request for an extension of their furlough was primarily for Mehdi Rajabian’s need for medical treatment, said the source.
“The medical examiner has confirmed that Mehdi is suffering from multiple sclerosis and we have sent the diagnosis to the court, which should rule that he’s not physically fit to be in prison or at least allow him to receive treatment in a hospital outside the prison,” added the source.
Furlough, temporary leave typically granted to prisoners in Iran for a variety of familial, holiday, and medical reasons, is routinely denied to political prisoners as a form of additional punishment.
The brothers and Yousef Emadi were managing partners of the now banned Barg Music, a popular digital music production and distribution service, when they were arrested by the Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence Organization on October 5, 2013.
They were charged with allegedly distributing underground music without a permit, working with female singers (prohibited from singing solo in Iran), and collaborating with “anti-revolutionary” Iranian musicians in exile.
In a trial that lasted only 15 minutes, Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 21 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced the three to six years in prison each in May 2015 for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state.”
Their sentence was reduced to three years in prison each upon appeal. They began serving it in June 2016.
Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian went on hunger strike in October 2016 for several weeks to protest the authorities’ continued refusal to provide them proper medical treatment, and the decision to separate them in different wards in Evin Prison.
The source told CHRI that the brothers had asked the warden to put them back in the ward for political prisoners after they were harassed and beaten by inmates in wards for non-political prisoners, but they have received no response.
According to Article 8 of Iran’s State Prisons Organization’s regulations, “All convicts, upon being admitted to walled prisons or rehabilitation centers, will be separated based on the type and duration of their sentence, prior record, character, morals and behavior in accordance with decisions made by the Prisoners Classification Council.”
SOURCE: Center For Human Rights In Iran
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2017/04/music-producers-returned-to-evin-prison-after-request-for-extended-medical-furlough-denied/
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URGENT UPDATE NOVEMBER 15, 2016--BROTHERS MEHDI AND HOSSEIN RAJABIAN ON PRISON HUNGER STRIKES, LIVES AT RISK!

Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian began a joint hunger strike on October 28, 2016. The brothers, who began serving a three-year prison sentence in June 2016 for allegedly distributing underground music, are demanding medical furlough (temporary leave) and being returned to the same prison ward they were initially placed together in at Evin Prison. On November 13 Mehdi Rajabian was transferred to the hospital after his health seriously deteriorated as a result of the hunger strike.

“The condition of both brothers has gotten worse since they began the hunger strike,” an informed source told the Campaign. “Hossein has a severe lung infection. He was in the hospital for five days before starting the hunger strike and doctors had said then that he needs further treatment. Mehdi is suffering from an illness similar to multiple sclerosis—it’s not clear. He has become very weak and can walk only with a cane.”
SOURCE: International Campaign For Human Rights in Iran
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/11/prisoners-of-conscience-on-hunger-strike/

URGENT UPDATE SEPTEMBER 8, 2016--Brothers Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian have launched a prison hunger strike to protest illegal medical neglect.

March 1, 2016--Three music distributors have each been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 200 million rials (approximately $6,600 USD) for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state” by a Tehran appeals court.

Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi were under intense pressure to make televised “confessions,” the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned.

Televised forced “confessions” in politically motivated cases, often extracted under the threat of or actual torture, are a common practice in Iran.

Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and filmmaker Yousef Emadi—all managers of BargMusic, one of the largest online producers and distributors of underground music in Iran since its launch in 2009—were sentenced by Judge Hassan Babaei of Branch 54 of Tehran’s Appeals Court. The court also sentenced them to a three-year suspended prison term.

The source told the Campaign that Judge Babaei described BargMusic as an agent of “social corruption” and accused its founder, Mehdi Rajabian, of ignoring 90 warnings for promoting illegal music, including songs by female singers. The judge also accused the three defendants of having contact with “political and anti-revolutionary” singers abroad.

“At the time of his arrest Mehdi Rajabian was recording the history of the setar [string instrument] in Iran. They confiscated all his work on hard drives when his personal music studio was shut down. Hossein Rajabian was also arrested when he had just finished his first film. They took away everything associated with the film, which was made with permission,” said the source.

The Appeals Court hearing, attended by a representative of the Revolutionary Guards, took place on December 22, 2015.

The sentence is final and has been passed on for enforcement, a source told the Campaign. The three are currently free on bail.

They were arrested by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization on October 5, 2013 and held for two months in solitary confinement at the Intelligence Organization-controlled Ward 2-A of Evin Prison.

Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi were initially sentenced to six years in prison and fined two billion rials (about $66,650 USD) in May 2015 by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 21 of the Revolutionary Court in a trial that lasted only 15 minutes.

SOURCE: International Campaign For Human Rights In Iran

Three music distributors have each been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 200 million rials (approximately $6,600 USD) for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state” by a Tehran appeals court.

Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi were under intense pressure to make televised “confessions,” the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned.

Televised forced “confessions” in politically motivated cases, often extracted under the threat of or actual torture, are a common practice in Iran.

Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and filmmaker Yousef Emadi—all managers of BargMusic, one of the largest online producers and distributors of underground music in Iran since its launch in 2009—were sentenced by Judge Hassan Babaei of Branch 54 of Tehran’s Appeals Court. The court also sentenced them to a three-year suspended prison term.

The source told the Campaign that Judge Babaei described BargMusic as an agent of “social corruption” and accused its founder, Mehdi Rajabian, of ignoring 90 warnings for promoting illegal music, including songs by female singers. The judge also accused the three defendants of having contact with “political and anti-revolutionary” singers abroad.

“At the time of his arrest Mehdi Rajabian was recording the history of the setar [string instrument] in Iran. They confiscated all his work on hard drives when his personal music studio was shut down. Hossein Rajabian was also arrested when he had just finished his first film. They took away everything associated with the film, which was made with permission,” said the source.

The Appeals Court hearing, attended by a representative of the Revolutionary Guards, took place on December 22, 2015.

The sentence is final and has been passed on for enforcement, a source told the Campaign. The three are currently free on bail.

They were arrested by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization on October 5, 2013 and held for two months in solitary confinement at the Intelligence Organization-controlled Ward 2-A of Evin Prison.

Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi were initially sentenced to six years in prison and fined two billion rials (about $66,650 USD) in May 2015 by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 21 of the Revolutionary Court in a trial that lasted only 15 minutes.

December 11, 2015--A Revolutionary Court in Tehran handed down prison sentences to three Iranian artists on charges of “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the regime” two years after they were initially arrest.

In early December, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced musician Mehdi Rajabian, founder of the alternative music website BargMusic, Yousef Emadi, manager of BargMusic, and Mehdi Rajabian’s brother, Hossein Rajabian, an independent filmmaker and photographer, to five years’ imprisonment for the insult charge and a further one year for propaganda.

Revolutionary Guards arrested the three on October 12, 2013 in the northern city of Sari. They were detained at Evin Prison’s Ward 2A, which is under control of the Guards. Before his arrest, Mehdi Rajabian was in the process of recording a musical history of Iran. Guards searched his studio and confiscated his recordings. His brother Hossein Rajabian was arrested after making his first feature film, which was confiscated, despite the fact that authorities had issued approval for the project.

Emadi and the Rajabian brothers were released on a bail of around $67,000 each after spending two months in solitary confinement. During their time in detention, they were reportedly pressured to confess to their crimes.

The accused were never taken back into custody after the release, though the case was ongoing and heard earlier this week.

They launched an appeal against the decision, which is now making its way through Branch 54 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Hasan Babaee. Human rights group have repeatedly accused both Babaee and Moghiseh of violating the human rights of Iranian defendants.

The 2013 arrests made international news, leading to more than 400 journalists, musicians and cinema artists to sign a letter calling for their release. Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, cited them in his list of political prisoners at the time.

25. Free Iranian Social Media Activist Ali Shariati, On Hunger Strike Against Harsh Sentence

URGENT UPDATE DECEMBER 145, 2016--After 43 days on hunger strike, political prisoner Ali Shariati, a long-time supporter of President Hassan Rouhani, has been hospitalized and is “critically ill,” his mother told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“Ali’s blood pressure suddenly dropped on Friday (December 9, 2016) and he was transferred to Taleghani Hospital, but no one told us,” said Shayesteh-ol-Sadat Shahidi. “On Saturday morning we got a call that he’s in the hospital, but then he was returned to the clinic in Evin Prison. He has become extremely thin.”
Ali Shariati, 30, went on hunger strike on October 31, 2016 after being taken to Evin Prison to begin a five-year prison sentence for “acting against national security by participating in a protest against acid attacks in front of [Parliament] on October 22, 2014.” He is protesting “against his forced return to prison to serve a sentence that has no legal basis,” Shahidi told the Campaign in November 2016.
“Ali has not committed any crime,” Shahidi told the Campaign in a recent interview. “He was one of the supporters of the government [of Hassan Rouhani]. I don’t understand how the supporter of a sitting president can be arrested for ‘acting against national security.’ If that’s the case, the 20 million people who voted for Mr. Rouhani should also be arrested.”
“Many people have demonstrated in front of Parliament,” she added. “Ali just protested once against acid attacks on women at a peaceful rally in front of Parliament, and they are calling it ‘acting against national security.’ It’s wrong to sentence him to five years in prison for this.”
Shariati was initially sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison by Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, but the sentence was reduced to five years upon appeal. 
Shariati was previously arrested on February 14, 2010 during a street protest against the widely disputed result of the 2009 presidential election and held for a month in solitary confinement in Evin Prison. Judge Yahya Pirabbasi of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to two years in prison and 74 lashes, but the Appeals Court later reduced the sentence to one year in prison, which Shariati served.
He was arrested again on June 13, 2014 and detained for a week before being released. Subsequently he was frequently summoned to the Intelligence Ministry for questioning until his final arrest on February 18, 2015. 
SOURCE: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/12/ali-shariati-12/

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URGENT UPDATE NOVEMBER 15, 2016--ALI SHARIATI AGAIN ON DRY HUNGER STRIKE, HEALTH IN GRAVE DANGER: Shariati, a civil rights activist, began his hunger strike on October 31, 2016 when he began serving a five-year prison sentence for protesting against acid attacks on women. As of November 9 he stopped drinking liquids, making him very weak, a source told the Campaign. Shariati is protesting against his “forced return to prison to serve a sentence that has no legal basis,” according to his mother, Shayesteh-ol-Sadat Shahidi.
SOURCE: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/11/prisoners-of-conscience-on-hunger-strike/

November 17, 2015-- Fourteen days after prisoner of conscience Ali Shariati embarked on a hunger strike to protest the judicial process of his case, he remains on strike inside Evin Prison. His condition was defined as “very worrying” after he lost partial consciousness on the third day of his wet (refusing food and water) hunger strike, a source close to him told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Shariati, who was a campaign worker during Hassan Rouhani’s presidential campaign, was transferred to Evin Prison’s clinic half-conscious and suffering from partial paralysis, the source said. Shariati began his hunger strike on November 4, 2015.

“They hooked him up to an IV, and he became a bit better but he said he will not stop his hunger strike until the authorities look into his demands,” added the source.

“His first demand is to be allowed to go free on bail until the final sentence is issued by the Appeals Court. Secondly he wants a professional review of his case because he believes he has received an unjust sentence based on irrational evidence,” the source told the Campaign.

Shariati, 29, was arrested for a third time on February 18, 2015, by Ministry of Intelligence agents at his home in connection with his postings on social media, including Telegram, that were critical of the government. He was held in solitary confinement for five months in Evin Prison before being moved to the facility’s public ward.

On September 11, 2015, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Shariati to 12 years and 9 months in prison for “propaganda against the state,” “acting against national security,” “insulting the president,” and “having a satellite dish at home.” Salavati is often hand-picked by the Judiciary to preside over politically motivated cases because of the harsh sentences he hands down.

Authorities in Iran have cracked down particularly hard on any dissenting opinion expressed on social media, a platform they have come to fear due to its near ubiquitous use among Iranian youth, as hardliners seek to maintain a repressive grip over the domestic sphere.

“Ali is [a] prisoner of conscience of the Rouhani Administration, even though he supports his government. He was very active in Mr. Rouhani’s campaign office,” the source close to Shariati said.

Ali Shariati, who has a bachelor’s degree in architecture, was first arrested on February 14, 2010, and held for a month in solitary confinement at Evin Prison. He was released on bail until his trial, presided by Judge Pir-Abbasi of the Revolutionary Court, when he was sentenced to two years in prison and 74 lashes. The Appeals Court reduced the sentence to one year in prison, which Shariati completed, but the lashing sentence was never carried out.

The second arrest took place on June 13, 2014. Shariati was held for a week and then released but he was frequently summoned to the Intelligence Ministry for questioning until his last arrest on February 18, 2015.

In a joint letter with fellow prisoner of conscience Majid Azarpey, who is also on hunger strike, Ali Shariati addressed President Rouhani and said: “You are the enforcer of the Constitution. We want you to end your inaction and take a stand against these witch hunts. Do not let these extremist forces help the enemies of our land with their injustices.”

26. Rescind Harsh Prison, Flogging Sentence for Iranian Filmmaker Keywan Karimi

UPDATE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2016: Iranian fimmaker Keywan Karimi said Monday that an appeals court had sentenced him to a year in prison, reducing his initial sentence of six years over "insulting sanctities" amid an ongoing crackdown on expression in the Islamic Republic. He aid he will still receive 223 lashes as stipulated in his original sentence. Both Karimi and his lawyer have said the sentence stems from unspecified "video clip" and a documentary film he directed called Writing on the City, which focuses on political graffiti in Iran from its 1979 Islamic Revolution to its contested 2009 election.

Karimi said the appeals court decision was final and could not be appealed.

"I have no intention of leaving the country and shall serve the sentence," he said.

Karimi is perhaps best known by international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film, The Adventure of the Married Couple. It played in some 40 film festivals, winning prizes in Spain and Colombia.
SOURCE: CBC
http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/iran-karimi-keywan-jail-1.3458180?__vfz=tc%3D5KHxzNHurEm
***
An award-winning Iranian filmmaker whose work focuses on the travails of modern life and political expression in the Islamic Republic has been sentenced to six years in prison and to 223 lashes for his movies.

The conviction of Keywan Karimi follows similar punishments for other artists and journalists in Iran, even as its moderate government moves toward detente with the West over its contested nuclear program. The case underscores both the murky limits of expression in Iran and the power hard-liners still maintain in the country.

"I don't know what happened that I should go to jail for six years," Karimi told The Associated Press. "I speak about the government, I speak about society, I speak about (graffiti), I speak about a labourer.

"Watch my movies and … (then) judge me."

Both Karimi and his lawyer Amir Raeisian say a court on Saturday sentenced the filmmaker on charges of "insulting sanctities" in Iran, whose elected government is ultimately overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The footage involved both a "video clip" and a film he directed called Writing on the City, which focuses on political graffiti in Iran from its 1979 Islamic Revolution to its contested 2009 election.

Iranian state media and officials have yet to comment on Karimi's case. Both Karimi and Raeisian say they will appeal. Karimi remains free for the time being.

Karimi is perhaps best known by international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film, The Adventure of the Married Couple. The short film, based on a story by Italian writer Italo Calvino, follows the grinding routine of a husband and wife working opposite shifts, she in a bottle factory and he at a mannequin store. Neither speaks, the only noise is the hum of the city they live in.

The film played in some 40 film festivals and won prizes in Spain and Colombia. The case against Karimi comes as hard-liners have accused moderate President Hassan Rouhani of failing to stop the spread of "decadent" Western culture in Iran.

In May 2014, authorities arrested a group of young Iranian men and women for a video of them dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy. While the arrests drew widespread criticism, including from the musician himself, those involved each received suspended sentences of six months in jail and 91 lashes.

Meanwhile, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, has been detained in Iran for 14 months and was recently convicted on charges that include espionage. He reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison.

For Karimi, he said his case made no sense as Tehran University had supported his work on filming and producing Writing on the City. In the time since, however, he said the university students involved in the project have shunned him over the trouble he's seen, including when authorities raided his home and destroyed some of the hard drives and a laptop holding his work.

"I don't know what will happen," he said Tuesday. "I'm really shaken about this judgment."

Karimi said another of his films, the short documentary Broken Border, also may have angered officials. That movie focuses on the smuggling of Iran's subsidized gasoline over the snowy Zagros Mountains separating the Islamic Republic from Kurdistan in Iraq.

The 18-minute movie needs only the film's one scene of dialogue in a rural classroom to explain it.

"Now what is a border?" a teacher asks.

A young student responds: "A border is where goods are smuggled."

27. Free Critcally Ill Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Hassan Tafah, Leukemia Patient

Hassan Tafah, 86-year-old prisoner in Rajaee Shahr prison, despite suffering from leukemia and having a punishment intolerance order, still remains in prison.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), HRANA September 6, 2015--Hassan Tafah, 86-year-old lawyer and prisoner of conscience in Rajaei-Shahr prison in spite of his critical illness and despite the passage of one year from the acceptance of punishment intolerance order, still is held in prison and is prevented from being released from prison, being sent on medical leave or even being transferred to the hospital.

An informed source about his situation told HRANA: “Although the “punishment intolerance order” for this prisoner has been upheld, and after a year of its issuance and also forensic medic’s previous request based on the necessity of releasing him because of his disease of leukemia and his age, he is still being kept in the prison.”

Hassan Tafah was arrested in 2008 by the security forces and was tried by Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 15, presided by Judge Salvati, on charges of espionage and propaganda against the regime, and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Tafah has consistently rejected the charges and denied involvement in politics.

According to Iranian labor activist and former prisoner of conscience Mansour Osanloo, who knew Mr. Tafah in prison and testified to his poor treatment, "He (Hassan Tafah) had a law office in Dubai and was considered a prominent lawyer. The [Iranian] Intelligence Ministry had asked him several times to use his office and connections in Dubai to purchase weapons and other material in violation of sanctions. He did not cooperate and for this reason they arrested him. We have lots of examples like this in prisons in Iran.”

28. Free Iranian IT Expert Arash Azad

Nearly two months after the arrest of information technology expert Arash Azad, who was detained at Imam Khomeini Airport by the authorities as he was leaving Iran on August 1, 2015, officials have released no information as to why he was arrested or the charges that he is being held under.

Arash Azad, who is the founder of the respected technology sites Weblogina and Zigzaglab.com, received a U.N. World Summit Youth Award in 2014 for Ladybug, a service aimed at increasing women’s participation in the Iranian information technology sector.

The Internet researcher Nariman Gharib told the Campaign, “We didn’t find out about Arash’s arrest until we started getting phishing emails from his personal account. Given the history of these kinds of arrests, he’s probably been arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.”

During the past two years, the authorities in Iran, led by intelligence organizations controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, have aggressively pursued and targeted Internet professionals and online activists, arresting them and working hand-in-hand with the Judiciary and Revolutionary Courts to sentence these individuals to long prison terms.

29. Stop the Iran Deal - Support Israel - Enter to Win a Trip to Israel!

Stand with Israel now by sending a letter of support to the Honorable Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, and enter for a chance to win a free trip to the Holy Land!

Go to this URL:

http://pages.jerusalemprayerteam.org/Iran-Petition-Wrap.html?OC=MWBR0815&EmailAddress=israeltrip@israelmail.com

Send this letter:

To the Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu and the People of Israel,

I stand with you today! As a Bible-believing Christian and friend of nation of Israel, I want to assure you that I am in full support of Israel's right to exist and defend herself. The promises of the God of Abraham to the Jewish people and their right to the land of Israel are still in full effect. Israel has the right to live in peace and safety. I am not just a Friend of Zion in name only, but in action as well.

I oppose and am speaking out against the deal that allows Iran's nuclear program to continue unimpeded. I am praying that God will work to defend Israel once again. And I pray that His hand will guide you as you lead the nation of Israel in these difficult days. I am obeying the command of God to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You are not alone!

30. Stop the treaty money going to Iran!

We, the American people and global citizens of the world demand the billions of dollars not be given too Iran.

Stop money that may support terrorist organizations like the Taliban, ISIS or ISL, all groups we fight.

The blood of American soldiers will continue to flow with the release of these funds.

Stop the insanity NOW!

We have been silent far too long. With your signature, we can effect change.