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Nahid Taghavi leaves Evin Prison on Medical Furlough

July 19, 2022

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Morad Tahbaz Conditionally Released; Amnesty Intl UK Demands Full Release for him and for still-imprisoned Mehran Raoof

August 1, 2022

On July 27, Iran released conservationist Morad Tahbaz on bail, monitored, according to his lawyer, by an electronic ankle bracelet. A UK-US-Iranian tri-national, Morad was arrested along with a large number of conservationists in 2018 on spurious national security charges. He was  sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In an article on July 27 in express.co.uk, Eilidh Macpherson, Amnesty International UK's Individuals at Risk Campaign Manager, said: "This is very encouraging news but we've been here before and we now need to see the UK pressing hard for Morad's full, unconditional release and permission for him to leave Iran along with his wife Vida."

She continued, "As well as Morad, Iran is still holding the British trade unionist Mehran Raoof behind bars on trumped-up charges – they both to be released as soon as possible."

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Narges Mohammadi Open Letter on Women's Activities for Freedom of Clothing

July 17, 2022

From @BurnTheCage, translated by IEC:

Narges Mohammadi, a human rights activist who is serving her sentence in Gharchak Varamin prison, wrote an open letter upholding the women's activities for the freedom of clothing and their opposition to the mandatory hijab she wrote: "Chief of the Judiciary has called women's efforts against the mandatory hijab, having the right to choose what to wear, an attempt to promote indecency, but they should know that the struggle of proud women in Iranian society is a righteous effort and a courageous struggle for their rights , not indecency."

In a part in her letter she discussed the restrictions created in Qarchak prison in Varamin just for women, just because they are women she stated that: "I have been imprisoned in a nowhere land called Qarchak penitentiary. In this prison, cucumbers, bananas and carrots are among the prohibited items because we are women and the shapes of these fruits are supposedly stimulating. Qarchak prison is a reflection of the institution of the government, which deprives women of even eating fruit because they are just women."

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Nahid Taghvi's continued deprivation of proper medical treatment in Evin Prison

July 3, 2022

The following news is a rough translation of this Farsi post from BurntThe Cage/Free the Birds.

Nahid Taghwi, a citizen of dual nationality imprisoned in Evin Prison, despite conducting an MRI test and confirmation of multiple herniated disc and hand carpal tunnel syndrome, was refused proper medical treatment and discharged to Dermaplan. Ms. Taghvi is receiving only home-based medicine despite needing specialist treatment for herniated discus. Maryam Claren, daughter of Nahid Taghvi, announced her mother's MRI test on Saturday, June 30. Based on this statement on Wednesday, July 1, the orthopedic surgeon diagnosed the carpal tunnel of the hand and multiple herniated discs. The issue is dangerously pressing on her vascular and nerve roots, he says. This dual-national citizen received only pain relief in transferring to Evin Prison on Monday, July 2, and again on Wednesday, July 2, she was treated with cortizone for carpal tunnel syndrome and her left hand was cast. #قفس_را_بسوزان_رها_کن_پرندگان_را Torture_prison_suppression #جمهوری_

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"Health Defender" lawyers, activists sentenced to years in prison

June 23, 2022

In a grotesquely unfair trial, three lawyers and two civil rights activists have been sentenced to up to 4 years in prison and suspensions from practicing law for intending to sue Iranian officials for negligent COVID-19 response.

Mustafa Nili, Arash Keykhosravi, Maryam Afrafaraz, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Mehdi Mahmoudian

“These individuals are being punished in order to send a message to the people of Iran: Seeking an accountable government in the Islamic Republic will land you in jail,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Read more at the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

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Narges Mohammadi: "There is no other way but to unite and protest"

June 1, 2022

Narges Mohammadi's statement, posted on Burn The Cage Instagram, translated by IEC.

Compatriot Abadani,

The collapse of the Metropolis Building has not only wounded your hearts and the hearts of the grieving families. It has left a wound on the lives of each and every one of us, like the wound of November 2019, like the wound left by the tragedy of the downing of the Ukrainian airliner and, and, and ...

The pain of this incident is not only the painful deaths of several innocent and hardworking people, but also the wounds of a dysfunctional, pompous tyranny, the wound of the plunder, looting, corruption and oppression of a government against people of all walks of life. Tyranny is destructive and knows no boundaries. The only way out is to protest, resist and unite against it.

The only way to survive is to protest, resist and unite against it.

From the corner of my place of exile in Qarchak [Prison], I send my support. My heart is with all of you dear ones (of Khuzestan). If I was out of this prison I would have been there and amplified your cry for justice.

The people are in sympathy with, will stand with Iran and Khuzestan.

Let us not leave them alone! In whatever ways, using whatever symbols, we should cry out against this oppression and not allow the protesters against this terrible tragedy in Abadan to be attacked and suppressed by the government. 

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New Wave of Arrests of Documentary Filmmakers Under Way in Iran

May 29, 2022

We want to let our readers know of this outrageous new attack on artists by the IRI.

On May 11, IranWire in English published a report on the arrests of documentary filmmakers.

On May 14, the award-winning filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof posted on Instagram a statement in defense of arrested filmmakers, signed by 57 figures in the field of film and cart.

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Unofficial translation of post by IEC:

"Once again, security agencies have stormed the residences and work of several filmmakers and began confiscating their personal and work supplies, questioning and arrests. ‎

"In all these years, not only widespread censorship, but also the involvement of security agencies in the field of cinema have brought the job security of filmmakers to the lowest possible level. the involvement of security agencies in the field of culture and art, economics and other matters while remaining out of their main duties and in a deviant move, activists have been investigated and harassed for critical attitudes. such a functioning of security agencies is clearly at the expense of national security and in contravention of freedom of expression and the rights of the nation. ‎

"We call for the release of all prisoners of opinion and the scope of culture and art, including documentary filmmakers."

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Prior Prisoner News

Narges Mohammadi Rearrested, Twitter Trolls Attack Her and Taghi Rahmani

April 13, 2022

On April 12, police raided the home of Narges Mohammadi, who had announced that she would have to turn herself in because the Islamic Republic of Iran threatened to seize the home of her bail guarantor, after her medical furlough. Police arrested her to complete serving a new sentence of 30 months and 80 lashes for organizing a prisoner sit-in during her last prison stay.

Narges (left), Taghi Rahmani (right). Photos: IranWire

On April 6, the Washington Post published an opinion piece with an interview of Narges, which included her statement, “Economic sanctions, because they weren’t targeted or based on adequate knowledge of the state, weakened Iranians economically more than they weakened the Iranian regime...” She further clarified this position on Instagram. A storm of vitriolic attacks on Twitter ensued, from different positions but mostly personal slanders against her and her husband Taghi Rahmani, with little or no discussion of substance around the issues. Taghi Rahmani responded that attacks like this are a security game that the IRI foments and benefits from.

Read more on IranWire.com in English or Farsi.

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Narges Mohammadi: "I am on the sixth day of absence and rebellion against returning to prison"

March 30, 2022

Narges Mohammadi, VP of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, posted the following statement on Instagram March 17, 2022, in Farsi and English. See our Update on her November 2021 trial, which condemned her to 30 months in prison and 80 lashes. Narges was released with bail on medical furlough after heart surgery in February, and was recently ordered back to prison.

Update from CHRI, 3/23/22

I do not recognize the system of religious totalitarianism, anti-justice courts, anti-human rights laws, and repressive court rulings. I use any means of civil disobedience.

I have been sentenced to imprisonment and flogging in the last two courts. In the first case, because of the protest against the shameless attacks of the religious government officials on my body, and in the second case, because of my emphasis on the right of association and the right to organize, both of which are among the most fundamental human rights.

The sentencing of political, civil, and trade union activists by non-independent courts is not for the sake of justice but repression and intimidation of the society. We, the people, must stand against it not only to realize the “right” but also to fulfill our “duty” and show our authority in the face of the illegitimate government.

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I believe that the repressive government’s vulgarity and authoritarianism should be challenged by the exercise of even minimum levels of peaceful civil power. We must strengthen and demonstrate the legitimate authority and the people’s fundamental rights in the face of the illegitimate regime. Obviously, human rights-violating systems have no legitimacy due to the apparent “crimes against humanity” and do not deserve obedience and respect. In this regard, civil disobedience against anti-human orders and laws is a civil and peaceful movement.

I do not accept the verdicts against me, and now I am on the sixth day of absence and rebellion against returning to prison. Unfortunately, yesterday I received a letter about confiscating my guarantor’s property, which shows that the authoritarian regime does not shy away from any inhuman or illegal act. I will disobey the prosecutor’s order to return to prison as long as my rebellion and disobedience do not lead to the confiscation of my guarantor’s property.  #CivilDisobedience

Narges Mohammadi
Tehran

***

نظام استبداد دینی، دادگاه های عدالت ستیز ، قوانین ضد حقوق بشری و آرا سرکوبگرانه دادگاه ها را به رسمیت نمی شناسم و از هر ابزاری برای نافرمانی مدنی استفاده می کنم.

در دو دادگاه اخیر به دلیل اعتراض به تعرض های بی شرمانه مردان حکومت دینی و در پرونده دوم به دلیل اصرار بر حق اجتماعات و حق داشتن تشکل که هر دو از اساسی ترین و بنیادی ترین حقوق مردم است، به زندان و شلاق محکوم شده ام. صدور آرا محکومیت علیه فعالان سیاسی و مدنی و صنفی توسط دادگاههای غیر مستقل، نه برای تحقق عدالت بلکه در راستای سرکوب و ارعاب جامعه است و ما مردم نه فقط در راستای احقاق “حق” بلکه برای ادای ” تکلیف” می بایست در مقابل آن سر خم نکنیم، بایستیم و اقتدار مردم را در مقابل قدرت نامشروع و قدرت بی پشتوانه مردمی حکومت، نشان دهیم.

بر این باورم که می بایست قدرت نمایی و اقتدار طلبی حکومت سرکوبگر را با اعمال حتی اندک قدرت مدنی ممکن و مسالمت آمیز به چالش کشید. مهم این است که اراده کنیم در مقابل اقتدار نامشروع حکومت، قدرت و اقتدار مشروع و حقوق اساسی مردم را تقویت کرده و نشان دهیم.

بدیهی است نظام های ناقض حقوق بشر به دلیل واضح و روشن ” جنایت علیه منزلت انسانی” حقانیتی نداشته و سزاوار تمکین و احترام نیستند و نافرمانی مدنی از فرامین و قوانین ضد انسانی، حرکتی مدنی، مسالت آمیز و به سوی صلح است.

آرا صادره علیه خود را نمی پذیرم و اکنون در ششمین روز غیبت و تمرد از بازگشت به زندان هستم و متاسفانه دیروز نامه ای مبنی بر توقیف اموال وثیقه گذارم را دریافت کرده ام که نشان از ضعف نهادی دارد که به جای تحقق عدالت به ستیز با آن بر پاست.

تا جایی که نافرمانی و تمرد و عدم تمکین از بازگشت به زندان موجب مصادره اموال وثیقه گذارم نگردد، از دستور دادستان برای بازگشت به زندان سرپیچی خواهم کرد

نافرمانی مدنی

نرگس محمدی

تهران

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Dual Nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori are free!

March 16, 2022
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Sepideh Gholian from Evin Prison: Say their names – Spread word of these women far and wide

March 14, 2022

In February, Sepideh Gholian sent a letter to the world from her cell in the women’s ward of Evin Prison. Currently her life hangs by a thread in an Evin Prison quarantine ward (see letter from her family.) See the latest IEC update on Sepideh.

The Farsi news site Akhbar-Rooz published the full text of her letter. Following is a translation by the IEC.

Sepideh Gholian

By way of introduction:

Torture, court corridors, solitary confinement and long journeys of deportation from one prison to another is the story of my life in recent years. The most painful moments, though, are the ones that caused despair and hopelessness for my loved ones and fellow prisoners. The suffering in Bushehr [a prison outside Tehran] suffering was so blatant that I could not see and live in this suffering without speaking out about it; Bari negotiated with the prison guard and Bari published a report on the “woman” situation in Bushehr Central Prison.

But I apologize for adding more pressure on my fellow prisoners in Bushehr prison, because I underwent the deceptive camera {{interview}} of the prison's organization and that inflicted more pain and disseminated more disappointment. I hope that the catastrophic conditions in Bushehr Prison will never again be inflicted on in any human being.

A prison deportee’s body fractures — and mine is now scattered from Tehran to Ahvaz and Bushehr, fragments of my existence left, there and there.

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In Sepidar [a prison in Ahvaz, Iran –ed.], I saw an Arab woman whose young son was killed by officers, denied her right to attend the funeral. Now, I only remember her scream: "God, you are not our God!" A cry unheeded in Sepidar, that at any moment can be heard from anyone else's mouth.

My mother, on our last visitation at Sepidar, brought bottles of milk and some other items for the unborn child of Elahe Dervishi. My mom said: "Sepideh! When she delivers her baby, it should be for you as if Tahora and Mehra [Sepideh’s brother and sister] were born." Becoming a mother means the birth of the new and a sign of hope, but becoming a mother in Sepidar is an exile to a desert full of despair at the end of the world. I stroked the belly of a goddess grown tired of slander and humiliation, filled with pain. [Devishi is the name of a goddess of Persian folklore –ed] She still did not know why, at the age of 18, such huge torment had been befallen her. I had yet to see Elahe’s son, who would be born Arabic-speaking, accused and convicted from the moment of birth.

But then my exile certificate arrived and I had to gather the pieces of my heart and and go to Bushehr carrying a world of heartache. I had to say goodbye to Mekieh, who was like my blood sister, Mekieh who had to repeat to interrogators the details of sexual intercourse with her husband. I later heard that she had been killed. When I left Sepidar, I became an exiled woman and remained in exile to this moment.

The days in exile were much longer. In exile, my bones were broken. They never allowed me to return to my homeland, Sepidar. They never let me be one with Sepidar.

I have put Haft Tapeh [where Sepideh was arrested covering the strike of sugar cane workers –ed.] in my eyes, the Arab people and Khuzestan in my heart in my heart. When I was deported to Bushehr, I saw a woman named Mahin Boland Krami. Mahin was a Kurd; she was like the mountains of her homeland, forgotten, sad and with many wounds on her body. Her head was rested on my legs and she was in pain till she died. She was killed simply because her tongue had spoken the truth.

Silence was no longer permissible nor possible. From childhood, I have spoken about the oppression I have seen. But the ongoing suffering in Bushehr prison was hard to believe, even for me who witnessed it. A woman called out from the crowd that it was time to find each other and hold each other’s hands. She was right. Standing on the edge of the abyss, I came back to life. You believed what I had witnessed. You stayed with us. We stayed together and you did not believe the cameras and the lies [referring to the interview the jailers forced her to give, which she recanted –ed].

The reasoning and evidence in the case was so obvious that even in the same courts of repression and blood, I was acquitted of the charge of spreading lies about Bushehr. A better way to put it is that each of us, who had found each other and held each other's hands, were acquitted.

From Evin:

Now I am a woman in love; very much in love. In addition to the fragrance of wood chips, the fragrance of sweets, I fall in love with the resistance of my beloved fellow prisoners. In the midst of the sufferings, a young and loving woman is doomed to pack again. Exile! The torture of going from one prison to another.

Today, I am again in love. Passion, dance and freedom have taken over my whole being, So I want to write to you about the sufferings of several other women, in hopes that you will remember not me, but these women, will speak of them and spread their names from one mouth to another, in hopes that one day, with their lovers, they may tell the story of their romances in their native languages, in neighborhoods that belong to them. Hope that we are happy at last. Let's dance and stand up in the four corners of Iran.

I. Maryam Haji Hosseini has been in prison for more than two years. Maryam is one of those who preferred the thirst of staying in her homeland to the temptation of leaving, hoping to have a part in development. She has told the officials that she is dissatisfied with the country's role in the world, so she stayed to do something about it. But the answer to this vision was to arrest Maryam and accuse her of spying for Israel. She was charged with “corruption on earth” and convicted and sentenced to execution.

She spent 412 days, that is, a year and a few months, in solitary confinement at a secret prison at the foot of the mountains. In an unknown place. Far away, with no word of her son Alireza. She has asked herself a thousand times why she hoped for the prosperity of a country that is so committed to the destruction of its sympathizers. After 412 days, she was transferred to the women's ward of Evin Prison on charges of corruption with a death sentence marked on her forehead.

Now, whenever any official arrives at the women's ward of Evin Prison, she requests for the thousandth time: “If there is a single shred of evidence proving my espionage, please execute me as soon as possible; I can no longer stand this scandal, please execute me.”

II. Niloufar Bayani has been in prison since she was 30 years old on charges of spying for the Mossad, the CIA, and any other institution that comes to mind of the Sepah [Army unit, in charge of these kinds of matters—ed]. She was a United Nations employee and a student at Columbia University. She has been held in solitary confinement for more than two years and is serving her fifth year in prison. During this time she was sometimes taken to the parking lot of empty apartments around the city, sometimes to a villa in Lavasan. The interrogator took Niloufar in these parking lots and empty villas to get her to confess to spying. She endured more than two years in solitary confinement and all kinds of tortures and psychological pressures.

When you think about it, the four pillars of your body tremble, everything starts to die and die and die, what you did and did not do and what you said and did not say become run together until you cannot tell what you are saying, whether it's a confession of espionage, or a confession to the murder of a supposedly living interrogator who is registering your confession to his own murder!

Niloufar, who has spent all her time and life loving nature, is now here and can only greet the fishes from a distance.

III. Nahid Taghavi, a dual citizen, came to Iran from Germany. She is a communist and longs for justice and freedom. But she was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison. Her child waits for her mother outside Iran. The mother does not have a visit, visitation rights, but does not raise an eyebrow. When she returns from her phone calls, she is so happy to have talked with her girl. Her daughter is worried about the prisoners. Worried about her mother's fellow prisoners. It seems that she also lives here in Evin Prison.

Her mother turns to me, her eyes bright with tears and excitement, and tells me that Maryam is no longer the same old Maryam. Now, her heart is in Evin. Her heart is with the people of Iran. Her heart beats for the freedom of Iran. Nahid was interrogated and tortured for months. She was given a medical furlough but that was taken away, which is itself is a case of torture. The reality of Nahid hugging her daughter, Maryam, is at the mercy of Iran-Germany relations! Nahid got Corona virus and was one of the few who did not receive medical leave. Nahid never cries unless a cellmate cries.

IV. Zohreh Sarv, a monarchist prisoner sentenced to seven years in prison. Zohreh was imprisoned in Qarchak for two whole years. Her release did not last more than two months, and she was re-arrested. A resilient and very sympathetic and kind woman. Zoher’s sick mother has no one but her and is waiting for her child to be released.

V. Shohreh (Leila) Gholikhani, a royalist/monarchist prisoner who has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison in absolute solitude. She has been presumed to be so lonely and helpless that they have seized all her assets, namely 21 million tomans of her mortgage equity have been taken away. God knows how much this woman mourned the loss of this money, her entire lifesavings. Only God knows.

VI. Glareh Abbasi has not spoken for a long time. She just screams, screams and in pain. Glareh has both rheumatism and osteoarthritis, suffers from spinal canal stenosis, and has five protruding lumbar discs. Add to this the pain of sciatica and heart failure, see what she has left but pain?

VII. Zahra Zehtabachi is the oldest female prisoner in Evin Prison. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, of which 9 years have passed. Only once during this time has she been sent on leave due to coronavirus. Mina, her daughter, was 11 years old when Zahra was arrested. Zahra was interrogated in solitary confinement for more than a year after her arrest. During this time, her husband and older daughter, Narges, were also arrested and harassed. Zahra's father is one of the victims of the bloody massacre of political prisoners in the 1980s.

VIII. Sepideh Kashani has been sentenced to six years in prison. Like Niloufar, she has been accused of espionage and has been held in solitary confinement for more than two years under the most severe psychological pressure and torture. Sepideh and Hooman were classmates, companions, colleagues, in conversations, spouses, companions, fellow travelers, sympathizers, in the same groups, consonants, coordinators, like-minded people, and companions. Because of the hum caused by some people's illusion of "complicity," they are both caged and bound. But as long as the source of the flow of their vast cycle of "togetherness" is the source of life and nature, these illusions will be transient.

Sepideh Gholian

February 2022, Evin Prison Women's Ward

Read more on Sepideh.

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Letter from Zeinab Jalalian on the occasion of March 8

March 12, 2022

Reprinted from Akhbar Rooz, March 10, 2022, translated by the IEC

Zeinab Jalalian, a Kurdish political prisoner sentenced to life in prison, wrote a letter on March 8 congratulating all women on International Women's Day and exposing the torture she faced at the Kermanshah Sepah/Army Intelligence Detention Center. The text of the letter is as follows.

Zeinab Jalalian

“With all my heart, I send March 8 congratulations to my patient mother, to the women who look forward to seeing their loved ones, and to the women of all the world.

When we look at the history, we see that throughout history, freedom-loving women have always fought against dictatorial regimes, and with their own blood, these brave women also wrote into history the 8th of March.

O oppressors, waiting and watching, when will you finally realize that you cannot stop our demand for justice by massacring, torturing and imprisoning us women? When a woman is born with freedom in her very being, no oppression can bring her to her knees.

I came to realize this when I was captured by the oppressors of the Islamic Republic. They tore apart my clothes on my body, shut my eyes, chained my hands and feet to an iron bed, and began torturing me terribly. They whipped me on the bottom of my feet, with a cable til my feet were terribly swollen and bruised. I was tortured so much that I could not feel anything anymore. My whole body was numb, I could no longer control my body, I had soaked my pants wet.

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Yes, it is a disgrace, but for whom: me or those who brought these calamities upon me? O awakened consciences, it is for you to judge who is guilty: me, the one with nothing but the desire for human freedom and equality, or those who tortured me so much for their own interests?! Judge for yourself, I am not as healthy as I was ten years ago and prison’s keys have tempered and polished my body. When the torturers were torturing me, all that was left for me was my thoughts and beliefs and my hope for women fighters and the future.

If I tell you that the pen is incapable of writing about my own suffering, I am not exaggerating, because I have only told you a small part of my torture. I hope my words have not saddened you on this precious day.

Sometimes I wonder where in the world I am, or what part of the history I am stuck in, that no matter how hard I try, I cannot find a way out. Is this what I deserve?! To witness the hanging of my compatriots and relatives and stay silent?! It is strangeWar, hatreds, hypocrisy, killing, murder and torture -- all are carried out as though it is ordinary, normal. And the oppressors justify each of their crimes - their justifications are the most painful part for me.

So, bold and determined women – shout what once was unspeakable! I do not wish death for anyone, not even the oppressors. But let us fight together against the oppressors, drive them out of our homeland. Let us not be ashamed tomorrow of remaining silent today, while women are losing their lives fighting for freedom and equality.

I am Zeinab, Zeinab Jalalian; A Kurdish woman who witnessed hundreds of crimes committed by the Islamic Republic in prison and witnessed accusations, insults, torture and, worst of all, the execution of ten of my fellow prisoners. Is there a greater pain than this?! Yet these oppressors want me to express my regrets! How can I express regret, regret for what? Regret that my eyes have seen their oppression and brutality? Believe me, whenever the oppressors increase their oppression and torture, I become bolder and more resilient."

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No More IRI’s Murder of Political Prisoners by Medical Neglect!

March 6, 2022

Demand Medical Release for All Political Prisoners In Need of Urgent Attention and Care

Given the unusual historic times with war in Ukraine, and our receipt of an urgent cry from family members of Sepideh Gholian, our campaign felt the need to just issue this simple and real time alert on the dire situation facing Iran’s political prisoners. We are publishing her family’s letter at the top of this alert, followed by selected excerpts from various news/human rights sources.  

Numerous family members of political prisoners and organizations in defense of human rights and writers and journalists have been raising an urgent outcry about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s practice of deliberately killing off and taking vengeance on political prisoners by denying them medical treatment.

We call on you to join with us – raise your voices and actions, in demanding the release of prisoners in need of medical care, as well as our ongoing fight to free them all!

No more murder by medical neglect as happened to poet Baktash Aptin!

Below are a few prominent examples from recent news.

*An urgent letter from the family of Iran’s political prisoner Sepideh Gholian, (whose case is highlighted in the IEC’s Emergency Appeal).

"We want to explain the situation briefly and clearly: It is enough to say in one sentence that Sepideh Gholian's life is in imminent danger.
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Sepideh had contracted the virus after the Omicron variant when it spread in the women's ward of Evin Prison, but it has become more severe.. Sepideh's body has become  so weak and unstable due to the prison transfer, her hunger strikes, the constant pressures of the past few years, plus untreated underlying chronic diseases -- such that even a cold can overwhelm her.
The effects of Omicron have caused Sepideh's body to reject most water and food due to indigestion, and secondarily to excrete it all (resulting in dehydration). Her body temperature has not yet returned to normal, and her weakness, lethargy, and jaundice are evident even from a distance. Due to this situation, with the help of the lawyer of the case, Mr. Raisian, we applied for medical furlough, which must be the right of a prisoner with a dangerous health condition. After much effort and insistence, the trial judge, while claiming  she had crossed a red line with her previous furlough, and was not entitled to another furlough, -- finally did agree to sign the form for her  medical release.

BUT the marathon continues -- from finding money for her bail to finding an expert and going through the paper work for her medical release.   Everything possible was done but at the last minute they said they would not give her medical leave. Simply put, Sepideh and the family's hopes were taken hostage by the judiciary so that they could show that they were firmly in charge and in power.
Powerful people who consider her revelations of torture and harassment of women in Bushehr prison as Sepideh having crossed a red line, they are using their power to destroy Sepideh's life in their prison.  
On the eve of International Women's Day, our Sepideh's life is still in danger."

* Denial of Medical Treatment for Ailing Political Prisoners in Iran Aimed at Crushing Dissent - excerpted from Center for Human Rights in Iran, March 3, 2022 https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2022/03/denial-of-medical-treatment-for-ailing-political-prisoners-in-iran-aimed-at-crushing-dissent/

“The continued denial of proper medical treatment to ailing political and civil rights activists in Iran is setting the stage for deliberate crimes against the many political prisoners in the country, including Sepideh Qoliyan, Soheila Hejab, Zeinab Jalalian, Arsham (Mahmoud) Rezaee, and Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi.

Fears for the lives of the activists are heightened by the fact that at least two political prisoners have already perished in Iranian state custody in the first few months of 2022 after being denied urgently required medical treatment: Baktash Abtin and Adel Kianpour.”

* Prominent Blogger Seved Hossein Ronaghi Maleki's Life In Danger -  excerpted from Committee to Protect Journalists, February, 2022
https://cpj.org/2022/02/prominent-blogger-seved-hossein-ronaghi-maleki-arrested-in-iran-after-critical-tweets/

Freelance blogger and freedom of expression activist, Seved Hossein Ronaghi Malekim was arrested in Iran after critical tweets February 24, 2022. . . The blogger was reportedly taken to Evin prison where he immediately went on a dry hunger strike (no food or liquid).  “Hossein’s life is at risk because he suffers from several health conditions including kidney, lungs, blood, and digestive issues and we don’t know if the kidnappers will give him his medicine. ” His current status is unknown.  

* Two Elderly Dual Nationals Among Five Sentenced to Prison in Iran, excerpted from Center for Human Right in Iran, August 4, 2021
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2021/08/two-elderly-dual-nationals-among-five-sentenced-to-prison-in-iran/

Elderly dual national prisoners Mehran Raoof, 66, and Nahid Taghavi, 64, were among five prisoners held on trumped-up charges who were sentenced to jail…as Iran’s overcrowded prisons remain rife with risk, with new COVID-19 infections continuing to shatter records throughout the country. “To condemn two peaceful, elderly people to prison under sham charges at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is raging throughout the country reveals the cruelty of the Iranian judicial system,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“These sentences indicate that the Iranian security establishment isn’t content with unlawfully harassing, jailing, and muzzling people, it also wants to endanger their lives,” he added. Covid continues to rage and kill in Iran’s prisons.  

* On March 1, 2022 #freeNahid organizer Mariam Claren launched a social media campaign to mark her mother’s 500th day of imprisonment.

These two cases were also highlighted in the Emergency Appeal that says

“Nahid Taghavi, rights activist, retired architect, and Iranian-German citizen, suffers from diabetes and hypertension. Her daughter Mariam Claren reports that her mother was kept in solitary confinement for 151 days, and was interrogated 80 different times for a total of 1,000 hours during her first 147 days of imprisonment.  Mehran Raoof, a British-Iranian citizen and labor rights activist, is “being held in prolonged solitary confinement,” according to AI.  Raoof was released from solitary confinement on June 12 but his health and safety has not been verified.”

International Outcry for Medical Furlough

All the international outcry had likely played a significant role in winning the recent medical furlough for Nasrin Sotoudeh, Narges Mohammadi and others, as well as the permanent release of Atena Daemi.  

We call on all people of conscience who finds this situation intolerable to not only sign, circulate but donate and help us publish the Emergency Appeal in campus, community, social, cultural and political publications. The Emergency Appeal is now available in six different languages available on our website. Do write us with your questions and efforts freeiranspoliticalprisonersnow@gmail.com.

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Sepideh Gholian Seriously Ill in Prison

February 28, 2022
Painting of Sepideh Gholian in the Clarion Alley Mural, San Francisco, CA

"Sepideh Gholian, a young civil rights activist jailed twice for her peaceful defense of Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory workers, has contracted Covid-19 in Evin Prison.

"According to news sources inside Iran, the prisoner of conscience has been unwell for more than two weeks, suffering from a fever, body aches and vomiting. She has also experienced diarrhea, vomiting, kidney pain and intestinal bleeding.

"After testing positive for Covid-19, Gholian was transferred to the prison quarantine ward but has yet to receive treatment. She was previously taken to hospital and underwent tests that concluded she needed surgery. Her family have repeatedly requested she be given medical leave, which has so far been denied."

Reported on IranWire.

#FreeSepideh!

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Narges Mohammadi hospitalized

February 19, 2022

Update: Narges Mohammadi was released on medical furlough after heart surgery, showing once again the potential of mass international outcry to pressure the IRI.

Taghi Rahmani, the husband of Narges Mohammadi, wrote on social networks this week (unofficial translation by IEC):

As of Wednesday, Narges Mohammadi suffers from severe respiratory problems. She was transferred to the hospital twice Thursday, a second time was diagnosed with a severe cardiovascular congestion, which is about 50 percent. Today Friday she had heart surgery.

But Qarchak prison is not a suitable place for any imprisoned patient. Because Qarchak prison is also a disease spreader even for a prisoner that is not sick." He has no exact information about Narges' situation and called her transfer to Qarchak "revenge".

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On February 14, Taghi Rahmani quoted Narges as saying, “In Qarchak prison, we are denied the basic needs of a human being, namely the right to breathe clean air and drink potable water." “When I arrived, I was put in solitary confinement. The water was so bad that I couldn't drink it. I was forced to drink tea, which made me feel nauseous and vomit. In prison, the same water is used for everything.”

RSF (Reporters Without Borders) reports that Qarchak, notorious for its appalling hygiene, currently holds at least 1,200 women. The latest Covid-19 wave has exacerbated the situation even more and has increased the risks for vulnerable prisoners. Mohammadi reported via her husband, “Those who test positive are quarantined in the prison gym, which is unheated and has no beds, without receiving any special care.”

The prison’s sewers emit not only an “unbearably” nauseating stench but also ammonia and another type of gas that cause respiratory problems among the detainees.

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Be the voice of Narges Mohammadi: video

February 2, 2022

IEC translation:

Narges Mohammadi, Iranian human rights activist, member of the Supreme Supervisory Council and the spokesperson of the Defenders of Human Rights Association was born on April 21, 1972. This human rights activist who is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence in Qarchak prison in Varamin, was convicted in a new case by the revolutionary court to 8 years and 2 months in prison, 74 lashes and deprivations of her socio-political activities. The European Union has condemned the sentence issued to her and stated that it wants Iran to fulfill its human rights obligations, adhere to international law and due to her deteriorating health condition, release her immediately.

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Hunger striking prisoners severely beaten at Greater Tehran Prison

January 28, 2022
update from Soheil Arabi
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Statement of Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike, from Evin Prison

January 23, 2022

The following is the IEC’s translation of an audio message from political prisoners now on hunger strike inside Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.  It was conveyed to supporters in Iran who recorded it, produced the video below, and are circulating it internationally with the hashtag #ChainHungerStrike.

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Although I have been dead for a hundred years,
I will stand at my grave
To take the heart out of the devil’s body,
By my fiery cry!

Only a day after the death of Baktash Abtin, a wave of support and an outcry for justice has begun for him and other prisoners killed in Iran.

The transfer of prisoners and their abduction to unknown places in order to break this solidarity continues, but solidarity with our hunger strike continues in Iran and abroad.

Hunger strikers Hamid Haj Jafar Kashani and Mahmoud Ali Naghi as well as Mohammad Abolhassani have been transferred to the Greater Tehran Prison.

We just found out that political activist and journalist Keyvan Samimi was transferred from Ward 4 of Hall 1 in the middle of the night on Thursday, January 20, without any prior notice.  He was inhumanly and forcefully beaten and threatened, according to his cellmates, in a brutal physical assault by guards who tore his clothing off.  He was then transferred to Ghezel Hesar (Golden Cage) Prison.

Keyvan Samimi is a political activist and journalist who has been arrested many times in previous years, before and after the revolution, and spent years in prison, for publishing exposures of the government in newspapers and magazines.

Because of the regime’s fear of unity and solidarity among prisoners, active prisoners are deported to other prisons. After the torture and killing of Sattar Beheshti in prison, the regime was forced to apologize and expel the entity’s police chief and the head of Evin prison.  The regime has never again accepted any responsibility for the killing of political activists in prison. The regime declares that all of them died of illnesses.

However, if prisoners who were ill had been taken to the hospital on time, these catastrophes could have been prevented.  The question has arisen, why is it only these political prisoners who are so easily killed in prison? Therefore, we felt that to enlighten the public that the political prisoners are on a hunger strike, starting after the death of Baktash Abtin, to communicate to the outside world in hopes of preventing the deaths and transfers of prisoners who are on hunger strike in Tehran and Evin prisons and other prisons throughout the country.

Statement by Political Prisoners Mohammad Abolhassani, Sina Beheshti, Hamid Kashani, Mohammad Turkman, Mahmoud Ali Naghi, Hossein Qashqaei, Reza Salavati, Milad Arsanjani, Shahab Soltanian, Mehran Delfan Azari, and Akbar Faraji

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PEN America: In Memory of Baktash Abtin

January 20, 2022

PEN America today posted this video commemorating its 2021 honoree, writer Baktash Abtin, who died Jan 8 of COVID-19 after prison officials refused for days to treat him, only sending him to a hospital when fellow prisoners created a ruckus that he was dying.

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Heidar Ghorbani Executed; Crowds Protest

December 20, 2021
AVA Today tweeted photos of crowds protesting Ghorbani's execution

On December 19, 2021, the IRI secretly carried out the execution by hanging of ethnic Kurd, Heidar Ghorbani, despite international outcry against his torture and sham trial.

BBC reported: "In a rare public display of defiance in Iran, protesters have shouted anti-government slogans outside the home of a Kurdish man who has been executed. Crowds gathered in Heidar Ghorbani's hometown of Kamyaran, in Kurdistan province, calling him a martyr."

During his 2016 trial for murder, armed rebellion, and membership in the banned Kurdish Democratic Party, no evidence was presented other than a false confession under torture.

Neither his family nor his lawyer were alerted prior to the execution. When Heidar's brother protested, he was arrested.

Heidar's father was executed in 1981.

Ghorbani was 47. Circulating on social media is a photo said to depict Heidar at 7 years old with his grandfather at the grave of Heidar's father, who was executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1981.

The IEC honors the memory of this hero of the people and vows to give urgency to our struggle to free Iran's political prisoners NOW.

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Baktash Abtin Hospitalized with Covid-19: PEN Demands His Release

December 16, 2021
Baktash Abtin

On December 9, 2021, the writer Baktash Abtin, serving a 6-year sentence for his participation in the banned Iranian Writers Association, was hospitalized with severe COVID-19 after fellow prisoners demanded it.

PEN America urgently demanded Abtin's release. This year PEN honored jailed writers Baktash Abtin, Kevyan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi with its 2021 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award.

IranWire reported a phone conversation with a political prisoner in Evin:

"Baktash has several underlying conditions and has been taken to hospital twice [before] for chronic pain, weight loss, and high blood pressure. These underlying issues have made his condition worse than that of other prisoners infected with virus. Some of his friends and I, after seeing his yellow face and his constantly falling unconscious, shouted and caused a ruckus so his interrogator would have to agree to transfer him. Any doctor with a conscience would order the release of prisoners and a cleanse of the wards.

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Arash Ganji on his way to Evin: "My heart is stronger than ever"

November 3, 2021

On Nov. 1, on his way into Evin Prison, Arash Ganji read an uplifting message to supporters. Here is a rough translation:

Dear comrades, in these last minutes of departure, I am not sure if I have fallen into tragedy or fortune/comedy: This morning I found out that it is a 1st of November, the day of the victory of Kobani (Kurdish group) and the definite defeat of ISIS. I am falling in that comedy because under shadow of the anniversary of that great victory, I am heading to prison, and tragedy because with the utmost happiness in my little heart I must start my prison sentence.

I assure you that my heart is stronger than ever, and I will start to celebrate, my celebration inside my heart, sincerely thankful of all comrades, especially comrades of the Iranian Writers Association for everything including sending me off here. The endless support of the comrades of the association during all this time and international solidarity of all writers has warmed mine and my family's hearts. And all of these keep reminding me that I am never alone. I appreciate your presence, long live the Iranian Writers Association.  And I present all the carnations of the world to you.

Watch the video in Farsi on YouTube.

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Arash Ganji summoned to serve 11 years sentence for translating a book

October 29, 2021

Writer and translator Arash Ganji has been summoned to serve a minimum of 5 years of an outrageous 11-year prison sentence. As our Emergency Appeal states:

"The Iranian Writers Association (IWA) has denounced the execution of prisoners of conscience, even as it is under extreme repression. Several members are imprisoned, including Arash Ganji, sentenced to 11 years for translating a book on the Kurdish struggle in Syria."

Ganji was arrested in 2019 in connection with his 2017 Farsi translation of A Small Key Can Open A Big Door: The Rojava Revolution, a collection of articles by different authors about Kurds in the Syrian civil war, and detained and interrogated in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Prison, upheld by an appeals court in February 2021.

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Ganji was sentenced to 5 years for “conspiracy to act against national security,” 5 years for “membership and cooperation with an anti-regime group,” and one year for “propaganda against the regime”,

Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director of Free Expression at Risk Programs at PEN America, stated: “From the start of this investigation, the Iranian government has been targeting Ganji with the baseless claim that his translation of a book poses a threat to national security. His wildly disproportionate sentence and imminent imprisonment are part of a broader pattern of legal harassment against writers in Iran, the latest blatant miscarriage of justice as authorities continue to lock up the literary community. Furthermore, Ganji suffers from serious health conditions likely to be dangerously exacerbated in prison."

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ALERT: Dangerous Development re Iranian Political Prisoner Sepideh Gholian

October 18, 2021

Sepideh Gholian - as pictured in the New York Review of Books ad, August, 2021

There has been an important dangerous development in the case of Iranian political prisoner Sepideh Gholian.  According to recent news reports, on Monday, October 11, thirty plainclothes Islamic Republic goons stormed her sister’s home, where she was staying during a medical leave, and brutally arrested and removed the 26-year-old Sepideh.  The police goons also confiscated the cell phones of everyone in her family.

Sepideh’s incredibly heroic story, including a 19 segment prison diary, is available in English and فارسی (Farsi) on the website IranWire. This includes the moving cry and challenge for the world to fight for all of Iran’s political prisoners that Sepideh issued in late 2019 when she was 23 years old.  It says in part:

You hear my voice from Iran. You hear my voice from among 1,500 innocent women prisoners of Gharchak prison. You hear my voice from among a throng of unknown women who are in prison on baseless charges. You hear my voice as a representative of women who live under injustice, whips and brutality. Gender discrimination has broken their backs and they have no way to freedom. Listen to my voice and listen good!

Stay tuned:  the International Emergency Campaign (IEC) wil report more fully on her situation in coming days at this website.

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Her case was referenced in our Emergency Appeal as an example of prisoners’ lives that are hanging in the balance and why we must act now with urgency:

Women prisoners are increasingly transferred to more remote prisons, limiting access by their family and lawyers. They include: Sepideh Gholian, a freelance journalist arrested for reporting and allegedly taking part in labor strikes. In early March 2021, she was suddenly transferred in chains from Tehran's Evin Prison to Bushehr Prison in southern Iran, more than 373 miles from her parents.

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Human Rights Lawyers, Activist to be Illegally Tried

October 13, 2021
Nili, Keykhosravi, Mahmoudian Photo @ICHRI

Lastest news: On October 13, the scheduled trial was postponed for Iranian defense lawyers Mostafa Nili and Arash Keykhosravi and civil rights activist Mehdi Mahmoudian (all three still detained after 23 days in solitary confinement while denied access to legal counsel and phone calls), along with Mohammad Reza Faghihi (lawyer), and Maryam Afrafaraz (civil activist), who are free on bail.

Their legal teams have been denied access to their case files, because “the state fears these courageous individuals,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran. “It wants to strip them of their power because they are the last lifeline of those targeted by the state for peaceful dissent.”

In response to their upcoming trial, Nili, Keykhosravi and Mahmoudian wrote a joint letter to the Central Supervisory Board on Proper Enforcement of the Law and Respect for Legitimate Freedoms and Protection of Citizens’ Rights detailing their unlawful arrest and detention and illegal raids on their homes.

"They continued to hold us under extraordinary and illegal conditions to put more pressure on us and to intimidate and terrorize the public,” the letter denounced.

“During solitary confinement inside the judiciary’s security ward we were subjected to psychological pressure only because on August 14, 2021, we refused to sign a pledge not to file a lawsuit against the supreme leader and other judicial and government officials."

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Full article on iranhumanrights.org

Kayhan Life article quotes from press conference

September 23, 2021
Kayhan Life captured this tweet from @IranPrisonEmerg

This well-researched article, which covers latest efforts at UN to free British dual nationals and UN Human Rights meeting in Geneva, spotlights the 9-21-21 Press Conference and Speak-Out in front of UN by our Campaign.

It quotes from the Appeal to the UN from the daughter of Nahid Taghavi, read at the conference, and interviews her about conditions of women prisoners, especially COVID infections. Also interviewed: family members of other British-Iranian dual nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori.

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Kayhan Life

Heidar Ghorbani's Death Sentence Upheld

August 20, 2021

From Burn_The_Cage:

Heidar Ghorbani, a Kurdish political prisoner, is in danger of execution. He was sentenced to death on charges of "armed insurrection against the regime."

Amnesty International has called for the immediate revocation of his death sentence, citing the torture of Heidar Ghorbani, a Kurdish political prisoner, to obtain a forced "confession", presented as evidence against him.

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2 Letters from Burn the Cage Free the Birds Movement

August 13, 2021

We received the following two letters from Burn the Cage/Free The Birds movement to the International Emergency Campaign. These are unofficial translations, edited slightly for clarity, of statements posted on burn_the_cage Instagram a few days after the sham verdicts issued by Branch 26 of Iran’s Islamic court to several other political defendants, https://revcom.us/a/711/iec-nahid-taghavi-mehran-raouf-sentenced-to-11-years-in-prison-en.html.

We want to share these with our readers now, and urge everyone to closely follow further developments in this high stakes case for the people.

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Below, we are reprinting letters from Mohammad Hajinia and Nafiseh Malekijoo.  They are both defendants in the same Branch 26 court case as the others listed in their letters.  Both of them are not inside Iran at this time, but both were convicted and sentenced in absentia. Mohammad Hajinia is a student studying and living outside of Iran, and Malekijoo left Iran before the recent sentencing. The following are their statements:

"I, Mohammad Hajinia, is studying abroad. I recently woke up one morning and found out that I had been sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison by Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran.  This sentence was issued along with [the sentences of] seven other political defendants named Nahid Taghavi, Mehran Raouf, Somayeh Kargar, Bahareh Soleimani, Nazanin Mohammadnejad, Elham Samimi and Nafiseh Malekijoo.

I was not in Iran at the time of the security forces' raid on the homes of the seven. I was not in Iran during their arrests, their solitary confinements and lengthy interrogations, and finally during their trial and sentencing. I was not even aware I was accused.

But before this, I had the good fortune to meet, talk, discuss and be friends with some of the defendants in this case. Our occasional interaction was an intellectual, friendly and fruitful one. We now know that they have been sentenced to prison and put in long solitary confinement because of their thoughts and opinions....The arrest and conviction of these people and all those who are in prison because of their thoughts and ideas is deeply reactionary and unjust and should be condemned.

According to the indictment, I was charged with "participating in the administration of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) in order to disrupt security and propaganda activities against the holy system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Without being present and without even having information about my indictment and the process of my case, I have been sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison. Such cases and empty verdicts are not new. They are repetitions of the "death commission" themes that are played daily. We are familiar with it, but we are not accustomed to it.  We will not get used to it. "                                                            

Mohammad Hajinia August 6, 2012

“I am Nafiseh Malekijoo. According to Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary court, I was sentenced along with seven other political prisoners, Nahid Taghavi, Mehran Raouf, Somayeh Kargar, Bahareh Soleimani, Mohammad Hajinia, Nazianin Mohammadnejad and Elham Samimi. I was indicted in absentia.

On the evening of October 25, 2020…the security forces attacked my house with an insidious trick that surprised me.  Then they forced their way into the house and they beat me mercilessly.  They had come to inspect the house, and at first they were one man and one woman but their numbers gradually increased. I do not remember exactly how many there were. They were moving back and forth, curiously watching everything and my every move, sort of my life was under their magnifying glass….

They confiscated my handwritten notebooks, my communications tools, and my identification documents including my passport ... They came to inspect the house and said "You are just a defendant!"  But reality said it was my house, with its doors and walls that held my memories, my friends, my loved ones.

I was suddenly summoned for a night interrogation, in my own space….After the house was searched, the security forces told me to show up at a place that was not a judicial center, one of their "safe houses" a few days later.  But I did not go.  I was forced to exile myself [from Iran]. I lived in hiding for months and swallowed my fiery anger at our situation, alone.  I waited for a written summons, and my written summons was issued at a time when I had dared to bite the bullet and was ready to leave everything behind with all my regrets. I left….

I knew politically that I would make the news of this trial in absentia and declare the trials of all my co-defendants illegal and inhumane.  I was sentenced to a total of six years and nine months in prison "for membership in the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist, Leninist,Maoist) in order to disrupt security and propagate against the holy order of the Islamic Republic of Iran."  In addition, it goes without saying that the manner in which I was tried in absentia without access to an indictment, a lawyer, etc., shows the injustice and cruelty of the Iranian judicial system and the entire Islamic Republic.

The people involved in this [court] case have been sentenced to imprisonment with reactionary trials in unjust…terms.  I condemn the government from afar with my own voice.  

I have always stood with my co-defendants when they were in long-term solitary confinement, when they were being prosecuted, and when their temporary detention was illegally extended. Now that there is no need to explain it, I did not hesitate to sympathize with them.  I did not know all of them, but some of them have enriched my mind enough that for the rest of my life, I will not forget what the Islamic Republic did and is doing with "us."  And of course I will not forget the loud and pleasant voices we can have to raise up again and again.  Let's shout for liberation.

For the release of all political prisoners,

Nafiseh Malekijoo, August 10, 2021

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CHRI: Two Elderly Dual Nationals among five sentenced to prison in Iran

August 4, 2021

August 4, 2021 – Elderly dual national prisoners Mehran Raoof, 66, and Nahid Taghavi, 64, were among five prisoners held on trumped-up charges who were sentenced to jail in Iran today. The sentences come as Iran’s overcrowded prisons remain rife with risk, with new COVID-19 infections continuing to shatter records throughout the country.

“To condemn two peaceful, elderly people to prison under sham charges at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is raging throughout the country reveals the cruelty of the Iranian judicial system,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“These sentences indicate that the Iranian security establishment isn’t content with unlawfully harassing, jailing, and muzzling people, it also wants to endanger their lives,” he added.

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Atena Daemi to Khuzestan: I am by your side

July 31, 2021

Imprisoned civil rights activist Atena Daemi has joined the chorus of groups and individuals in Iran who are expressing solidarity with protesters in Khuzestan Province and beyond.

Here's an excerpt from her letter from prison, google-translated.

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Khuzestan: Fears Grow of Massive Carnage as Authorities Repeat Deadly Repression of 2019 Protests

July 23, 2021
Amnesty Intl photo

With security forces in Iran attacking and killing protesters in Khuzestan Province, the Iranian authorities are once again demonstrating complete disregard for the law, life, and all international standards of policing, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. New Amnesty Report highlights use of live ammunition, killings in drought-ridden province

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HRANA: Head of the Prisons Organization claims Baktash Abtin’s jailers have been arrested

July 22, 2021
Baktash Abtin shackled to hospital bed

According to the HRANA, the news organ of the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, the head of the Prisons Organization, reported dealing with those who had tied Baktash Abtin to a hospital bed.

Earlier, pictures of Baktash Abtin, a member of the Iran Writers' Association, shackled to the bed of the Martyrs of Tajrish Hospital had been posted online.  Mr. Abtin, who has been serving a 6-year sentence in Evin Prison since September of last year, was transferred from Evin Prison to Tajrish Martyrs Hospital on Sunday, July 18, following severe pain in the testicle area and the diagnosis and recommendation of the prison's medical doctor. He was kept shackled to the in bed for duration of the hospital treatment. His doctor diagnosed that Mr. Abtin suffers from a cyst in the testicular area.

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CHRI: Rising COVID Infections, Unhygienic Conditions Raise Fears of More Deaths in Iranian Prisons

July 22, 2021

The start of a fifth COVID-19 wave in Iran, amidst national water and electricity shortages and unhygienic prison conditions, has greatly increased the risks of outbreaks among prisoners, some of whom have died and a growing number of whom are testing positive for the virus.  

In an audio message recorded in Tehran’s Evin Prison and shared on Twitter on July 17, 2021, Aliyeh Motallebzadeh, a women’s rights activist, said the authorities were doing nothing to ensure prisoners’ safety. “The deputy prison director came by and I told him, ‘It looks like you have thrown the prisoners behind closed doors so they could all die together,’” said Motallebzadeh in the message.  

“Very casually he replied,‘It’s the same outside. People are dying outside, too. There’s no difference.You die, too.’ "

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at IranHumanRights.org

Activists Arrested after Tehran Rally in Support of Protesters in Khuzestan

July 20, 2021

On Tuesday, July 20, civil activists Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi, Arash Kaykhosravi, Ruhollah Mardani, Jafar Azimzadeh, Rasoul Bodaghi, Pouran Nazemi, Hamid Asefi, and Behzad Homayouni, were released from custody a couple of hours after their arrest.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the activists were beaten and arrested while marching in support of the people of Khuzestan.

Before their arrest, they had said in a video that a number of them had been beaten in front of the Interior Ministry by military forces.

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Sepideh Gholiyan and Mahboubeh Rezaei severely beaten In Bushehr Prison

July 20, 2021

On Tuesday, July 20, civil activist Sepideh Gholiyan and political prisoner Mahboubeh Rezaei were severely beaten in Bushehr Prison by prisoners accused of violent crimes in front of prison officials. It is said that the incident happened at the instigation of the head of the women’s ward of the prison, Fatemeh Aliverdi.

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Iranian Judiciary Assumes Sweeping New Powers Over Lawyers

July 12, 2021

Due Process and Fair Trial Rights Dealt Further Blow by New Legislation

July 12, 2021—In a sweeping grab of new powers over the Iranian Bar Association (IBA) that grants the Iranian judiciary the right to issue and revoke law licenses, the country’s judicial establishment, now led by human rights violator Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, has effectively destroyed the independence of Iranian lawyers.

The new regulations, which render meaningless the right to due process and a fair trial, should be strongly condemned by lawyers, human rights groups, and the international community, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today.

“The ongoing state policy of undermining Iran’s independent bar association and its lawyers is eliminating the right to due process when Iranians need it the most,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

“Human rights lawyers are a lifeline for citizens relentlessly and unlawfully targeted by the state, and the Iranian government expects the world to look the other way while it cuts this lifeline,” said Ghaemi.

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Narges Mohammadi Attacked and Threatened Twice in Past Week by State Agents

June 17, 2021

Prominent Activist in Iran Fears Her “Life is in Danger” After Violent Confrontations

Excerpt from  June 17 Press Release ~ Center for Human Rights in Iran:

Iran Should Stop Assaulting, Threatening Peaceful Activists

Iranian authorities should stop physically assaulting, harassing and threatening peaceful activists in Iran, including the prominent rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that she fears for her life after being twice violently confronted by unidentified state security agents in less than a week.

“I am extremely worried for my life,” Mohammadi told CHRI on June 17, 2021. “In a matter of a few days, unknown assailants who do not identify themselves have attacked and threatened me.”

“They have told me to stop my activities because it ‘harms the interests of the Islamic Republic,’” she added. “I am a human rights defender and have not broken any laws.” Photographs received by CHRI show large bruises on Mohammadi’s body.

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CHRI calls on the Iranian authorities to cease trying to muzzle free speech and expression and allow peaceful activism without the threat of violence, imprisonment or death. CHRI urges the international community to speak out against this unlawful state violence, and to monitor the human rights situation in Iran with heightened vigilance ahead of a sham election, scheduled for June 18, 2021, that could bring Ebrahim Raisi, a man guilty of crimes against humanity, to power.

Mohammadi and Mothers of Killed Protesters Violently Confronted in Shiraz

Mohammadi and other activists, including the mothers of peaceful protesters who were killed by security forces, were first violently confronted and briefly detained by state agents who refused to identify themselves on June 12, 2021, in the city Shiraz. They had traveled to Shiraz to visit the grieving family of champion wrestler Navid Afkari, who was unjustly executed there in September 2020.

The activists had peacefully gathered outside the prison where the wrestler was hanged—and where his two brothers now also fear for their lives in prolonged solitary confinement—when they were beaten by plainclothes agents who refused to identify themselves.

The second confrontation occurred on June 17 when Mohammadi traveled with fellow activists to the city of Shazand in Markazi Province to visit the family of an imprisoned human rights lawyer, Mohammadi Najafi, and was refused entry into the city.

Agents who again refused to identify themselves forced her into a car, drove her around for hours and “confronted her with violence.”

"They showed us an Intelligence Ministry letter requesting the prosecutor prohibit [my] entry into Shazand,” Mohammadi said in an audio message that was circulated on social media.

In the message, Mohammadi added that she was with three human rights lawyers, Abdolfattah Soltani, Arash Keykhosravi and Mostafa Nili, as well as Shanaz Akmali, who has been seeking justice for her son Mostafa Karim Beigi, who was killed in Tehran during a 2009 protest.

Mohammadi: “It has been nothing short of kidnappings and threatening my life”

“When I ask them to show me any legal documents and identify themselves, they refused,” Mohammadi told CHRI. “It has been nothing short of kidnappings and threatening my life. In Shiraz I was assaulted and bruised. My life is in danger.”

They were ultimately forced to return to Tehran.

Released from prison in October 2020 after serving five years for engaging in peaceful activism including against capital punishment, Mohammadi was again sentenced to 30 months in prison and 80 lashes in May 2021 for joining a peaceful sit-in at Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward to protest the violent state suppression of street protests in November 2019.

In late December 2019, following her participation in a peaceful protest in Evin prison against the killing of protestors by state security forces in November 2019, Mohammadi was forcibly and violently exiled to Zanjan prison, some 300 km from Tehran.

Instead of investigating her complaint against the violent prison transfer, she was later sentenced to more prison time. These rights violations took place during the tenure of Judiciary Chief Raisi.

In 2016, Mohammadi was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for “membership in the [now banned] Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty” group; “taking part in assembly and collusion against national security” and “committing propaganda against the state.”

The former Deputy Director of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), Mohammadi was awarded the Per Anger Prize by the Swedish government for her human rights work in 2011 and the Andrei Sakharov Prize from the American Physical Society in 2018.

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Outside the Courtroom - Interview with Mehran Raoof's friend

June 14, 2021

On Sunday, June 14, the second session of Mehran Raoof's court was held. . . . After several requests,  finally they allowed me to to visit. Many families of the prisoners were present. It was about one o'clock when the defendants came out one by one and met with their families and talked.

Mehran, who came out with the guard, wore his reading glasses and had a thoughtful look on his face. Then, with a loud voice, he protested: "They did not let us talk!" I went forward and Mehran asked me for my house phone number. I repeated it twice, before the soldier pulled his arm and took him away.

Compared to a month ago, his general condition was a little better, but I was upset that they did not let us talk. I asked his lawyer how Mehran's case had gone. He said then sentence would be announced at the next hearing, and that Mehran could face one to ten years in prison.

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He said he had objected to several aspects of the cases. He said that they prevented us from visiting because I am not a first-degree relative. Yesterday, Mehran was finally transferred to a public ward after eight months in solitary confinement.

On the way back. I stopped in front of Shahr-e-Kitab,  ( big bookstore, city of books). Usually, I would have been interested in seeing books. But, this time I did not have the patience to go to those chic-op's halls. I told myself how ironic and ridiculous it would be, to go to such a place while Mehran is in prison for translating several books and publishing them without censorship. Then I consoled myself that at least Mehran would no longer be in solitary confinement, but in a ward with other prisoners.

Indeed, freedom is so great for us, the people of this distant land, that we should be happy about going to a prison ward instead of solitary confinement! Then I remembered some of the writer friends who are also in Evin, and some of the labor and student activists who are there too. Maybe Mehran will join them and make a difference.

The memory of our walking in the streets of Tehran came to my mind, and of the Friday morning we crossed the same street by car and went to the mountains.

Damn this life!

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Aljbar-Rooz.com

Iran Election: Political Prisoners Dying Under Candidate Raisi’s Watch

June 7, 2021

At Least Two Political Prisoners Have Died in Past Four Months

Niknafs Was Jailed Despite Health Conditions That Made Him Unfit for Prison

June 7, 2021 – Another political prisoner has died in state custody two weeks before Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, who is ultimately responsible for the care of prisoners, runs for president.

“The reported death of Sassan Niknafs in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary reveals the mounting human toll of the Iranian judiciary’s policy of imprisoning individuals for criticizing the government,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“These individuals shouldn’t be in prison in the first place yet they’re dying in state custody while Raisi focuses on his latest power grab,” he said.

Niknafs’ death was reported just four months after another political prisoner, Behnam Mahjoubi, died in state custody after Iran’s State Medical Examiner had concluded he could not withstand incarceration.

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IranHumanRights.org

Haidar Ghorbani, labor activist, sentenced to 11 years

June 5, 2021

Labor activist Heydar Ghorbani was sentenced to 11 years in prison by the Second Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Shahriar County on June 4, 2021.

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, reports that the labor activist was sentenced on charges of “membership in a group or population or a branch of a population formed within the country to disrupt the security of the country” and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting The Independent Union of Iranian Workers, Ghorbani is from Kamyaran in Kurdistan Province.

Ghorbani is a construction worker and a member of the Free Trade Union of Iran.

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More detail at HRNA News

Nahid Taghavi Transferred, New Trial Scheduled

May 18, 2021

Press release from Mariam Claren regarding Nahid Taghavi, 66 year old innocent German citizen arbitrarily detained in Iran since 16 October 2020.

After 43 days in solitary confinement, Nahid Taghavi was transferred back to the women’s wing in Evin prison.
New trial date scheduled for June 13, 2021

The German government must intervene and free their citizen, Nahid Taghavi immediately and unconditionally. She has been arbitrarily detained for 7 months, her health has deteriorated severely and she is now facing a sham trial.

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Nahid Taghavi was arbitrarily detained by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Tehran on October 16, 2020.

She was held in solitary confinement for the first 5 months of her detention. Nahid was not given appropriate access to medical care or legal representation. She has high blood pressure and her inhumane treatment took a toll on her health causing her diabetes which was previously under control, to return.

After public pressure due to campaigning by her daughter, Mariam Claren based in Germany, Nahid was transferred to the women’s wing for 20 days before being returned to solitary confinement once again on April 5, 2021 under the pretext of a visit to the doctor. After another 43 days in solitary confinement in Isolation Section 2-Alef, Nahid Taghavi was moved back to the women’s wing in Evin prison recently on May 16, 2021.

Nahid’s initial trial was on April 28, 2021. Her lawyer was only given access to her case file for the first time on April 24, 2021, 4 days before the trial itself and he could not see Nahid. As a result, her trial was postponed. Nahid’s new trial date is scheduled for June 13, 2021 before Revolutionary Court branch 26 in Tehran.

The German government must intervene and free their citizen, Nahid Taghavi immediately and unconditionally. She has been arbitrarily detained for 7 months, her health has deteriorated severely and she is now facing a sham trial.

Key points on Nahid Taghavi:

  • 66 year old German-Iranian dual national
  • Arbitrarily arrested on October 16, 2020 in her apartment in Tehran
  • More than 6 months in solitary confinement
  • No consular support despite her German citizenship

Contact:
Mariam Claren, +49 172 886 23 29
Twitter: @mariam_claren

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“Unbearable”: Reza Khandan, Husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, on the Ground in Iran’s Qarchak Prison

May 10, 2021

Nasrin Sotoudeh and Reza Khandan (Ms Magazine, courtesy of Jeff Kaufman)

"The little girl is three years old. She approaches my wife Nasrin Sotoudeh who is sitting in a corner of the prison yard and asks, “Aunty, can you tell me the Rolling Pumpkin story?” Sonbol is a beautiful girl with golden hair, born here at Qarchak prison. Her mother was pregnant when she was arrested for bank robbery. Now they live in a place the inmates call 'the end of the world.'

"Nasrin has been unjustly and cruelly imprisoned since June 2018 for her legal work representing Iranian human rights and women’s rights activists. She was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Under the law she must serve at least 12 years. In October 2020, Nasrin was taken out of Evin prison and told she was being taken to the hospital to have treatment for her heart condition. They lied and drove her to Qarchak. Soon after she arrived, Nasrin caught COVID-19. She told me that coronavirus had spread in her ward and many inmates became sick."

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MsMagazine.com

Iran’s treatment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe amounts to torture, says Raab

May 2, 2021

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab said it was difficult to argue with the characterisation that dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was being held state hostage by the Iranians.

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TheGuardian.com

Iran sets trial dates for dual nationals before nuclear deal talks in Vienna

April 21, 2021

Trials coincide with Iran announcing desire for ‘all for all’ simultaneous prisoner exchanges with west

Iran has set April 28 as the trial date for two dual nationals in cases that may increase the pressure before the next stage of talks on the future of the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna: British-Iranian Mehran Raoof, who has been detained in Evin prison in Tehran since 16 October 2020, and German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi.

Read full article on TheGuardian.com.

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British-Iranian Labor Activist Detained in Solitary Confinement for Six Months

April 15, 2021

More than 80 days after his arrest, Mehran Raouf, a British-Iranian labor activist, remains in solitary confinement in Evin Prison.

The 64-year-old was detained by security forces in Tehran on October 16, 2020.

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Six months later, Raouf is still being held on Ward 2A of Evin Prison, which is run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The reasons for his arrest and the charges against him remain unknown.

A source close to Raouf, told HRANA news agency that the unionist is now suffering from physical ill-health due to the long interrogations and protracted time in a solitary cell.

The Committee to Support Mehran Raouf, which was set up by a number of international labor movements following his arrest, issued a fresh statement on April 9 expressing concern over his continued detention.

“Despite widespread support for Mehran Raouf from than 90 syndicates and trade unions around the world,” it read, “and the signing of a petition calling for Mehran Raouf's release by hundreds of social activists, the British government has not yet taken action to support him.”

IranWire approached the UK Foreign Office regarding Raouf’s case on February 8, 2021. Nine days later, the FCO responded: “We continue to raise the issue of British dual national detentions with the Iranian authorities”.

It is understood that no consular assistance has yet been provided to the British-Iranian national, whose immediate family all live outside Iran.

On March 16, 2021 calling for the unconditional release of the Iranian-British labor activist, saying: "Mehran Raouf is being held 'arbitrarily' in Evin Prison in Tehran. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally."

Amnesty International has also repeatedly called on the British government to include Mehran Raouf in its efforts to secure the release of Iranian-British nationals in Iran, alongside Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The charity reports that Raouf was held incommunicado for a month after his arrest, after which he was allowed to make one brief telephone call to distant relative inside Iran.

Since then, Amnesty added, he had been “denied calls with his immediate family and the right to access legal counsel, even from the judiciary-approved lawyers that his family have retained on his behalf.

“He has been held in prolonged solitary confinement for months. Amnesty International fears that he is at serious risk of further torture and other human rights violations, especially given the Revolutionary Guards’ pattern of subjecting detainees to torture to extract forced ‘confessions’ which are later used to issue convictions in unfair trials.”

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IranWire 4/15/2021

Dangerous Surge in Transfers to Remote Locations of Iran’s Political Prisoners

March 24, 2021

Since December 2020, there appears to be concerted efforts to disperse prisoners, among them many women, who have been standard bearers of resistance in Iran’s prisons including during their imprisonment.

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Iran: Four Ahwazi Arab Men Secretly Executed

March 17, 2021

Ali Khasraji, Hossein Silawi, Jasem Heidary and Naser Khafajian, from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, were executed in secret in Sepidar prison on 28 February 2021. The Iranian authorities are concealing the full truth about their fate as well as the location of their graves and are refusing to return their bodies to their families, thereby committing the ongoing crime of enforced disappearance.

Ahwazi Arab prisoners of conscience Mohammad Ali Amouri, Jaber Alboshokeh and Mokhtar Alboshokeh continue to be denied adequate health care.

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Amnesty International Alert

From Mariam Claren about Nahid Taghavi

March 17, 2021

On the 151 day of her arbitrary detention my mother Nahid Taghavi was transferred to the women’s wing in Evin prison on Tuesday, 16 March.

She called my uncle and said, that her transfer was only made, because of all the media attention and our campaign to #freenahid.

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The women in the wing gave her a warm welcome and told her about all the efforts that are made on international level to free her.

This is a first victory but the campaign and fight for her unconditional and immediate release have to be continued.

For today, I am happy that my mother is not isolated anymore and has the opportunity to talk with all the strong and brave women who are behind bars with her. We should all continue campaigning to free them all.

Special thanks to all the media for tireless covering the story of Nahid Taghavi.

Mariam Claren

Key points on Nahid Taghavi:
· 66 year old German-Iranian dual national
· Arbitrarily arrested on October 16, 2020 in her apartment in Tehran
· 5 months in solitary confinement
· No access to lawyer
· No consular support despite her German citizenship

Contact:Mariam Claren, +49 172 886 23 29
Twitter: @mariam_claren

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Lawsuit by Civil Rights Activists Reignites Debate over Solitary Confinement in Iran's Prisons

March 11, 2021

A group of civil rights activists, many of them former prisoners who suffered solitary confinement, appeared before the Judiciary Services Office in Tehran to file a suit against those who order or enforce solitary confinement in Iran’s detention centers and prisons.

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https://iranhumanrights.org

In Letter to the UN, Imprisoned Iranian Writer Nasrin Sotoudeh Protests Executions

February 23, 2021
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PEN America Report

Iran Executes Dissident Journalist Accused of Inciting Unrest

December 20, 2020

Amnesty International said: “The authorities rushed to execute Ruhollah Zam in what we believe was a reprehensible bid to avoid an international campaign to save his life."

The execution was also condemned by the press freedom groups Reporters without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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The Guardian