Author Archives: persianbanoo

Imprisoned activist Bahareh Hedayat From Evin Prison: “This is illegal sir!”

Bahareh Hedayat and her husband Amin

Prominent women’s rights and student activist, Bahareh Hedayat has written a letter from prison to her husband Amin Ahmadian.

Bahareh penned this letter after finding out that despite the fact that under the new Penal Code she had completed her sentence, and a release order had been issued for her by the Court of Appeals, the prosecution illegally had kept her in prison and had illegally enforced a two year suspended sentence which dates back to 2007.

Following is the translation of Bahareh Hedayat’s letter to her husband Amin:

It was in the afternoon, I was sleeping, a sleep as if you put your body in a corner and told it, “Stay right here, I’ll be right back”, and then you yourself went wandering in the alleys of your mind’s imagination; imagining a simple life…

“Get up Bahar, you must go to the sentence enforcement office”.

While my body got dressed and went down the stairs, I myself also reached the bottom of the stairs & said, “We’ll go in together….”

In the sentence enforcement office they showed me a hand written letter that said my release order had been issued four days ago, and just today my two years suspended sentence was enforced….

I am sitting down and looking at the letter but my body is standing up speaking with the man behind the desk: “My release order was sent here on Saturday and you did not implement it?! Then under what sentence have you kept me here in the last 4 days? By a collective magic trick?”

“This is illegal sir!” No not illegal, it’s a fraud affecting our lives….Just as usual.

“See Mrs. Hedayat, even if they had released you, with this same sentence, they would have re-arrested you, so what would have been the point?”

“No they couldn’t have, it had legality issues”…

“How long is two years, Amin? How many missing you? How many wandering around? Anyhow, it’s not mister so and so’s fault either. They have given him instructions, he is just following orders.

I get up and go stand by the window…You are somewhere out there, somewhere close, in one of those streets…

“I will file a complaint about this man”.

“You have the right to file complaint about anyone you wish”…and then he laughs. And I think about our lives.

“See my dear, the prosecution had initiated this case in mid June, and a few days would have not made any difference.”

If our lives had a shape, it would have been a sine curve. A tangent graph with two irrelevant axes. An axis that moves step by step; 4, 5/4, 5, do you see the line? You can see the beginning and the end: 6, 7, 8; Step by step, point by point, year by year.

I put my finger on 6 and draw a line to 8: two numbers, two years: one can read books, can write, can translate, you can even play around the entire time.

Even if you don’t do anything, the time will pass. But that one is a scary axis, a progressive continuity. An endless line with no visible end to it, it seems that it goes to the deepest part of the chambers of the heart, to all the invisible yearnings, home, light, routines, countless small dreams.

The teacher says, “leave it be, there is no end to it, it’s infinite, an endless line has no number”.

I hear the Judge’s voice from afar, clean cut, & prayers performed, “Well this is it, goodbye”.

I think about you, and all the light switches that you will have to turn on by yourself….

The teacher says, “The weight of your change is in this axis…it has no numbers…you can only imagine it”.

The office hour is over, the prison compound is quiet, everybody is on the way back to their homes: “Is there anything you want?” They get some fruit, bread, tomatoes…

“I am here”,
“You are back”…

Weightless words, a simple joy, and a voice that asks, and a voice that answers, in a home with lights turned on…

Where are you now Amin? How have you been enduring this, damn it?…

“Let’s go Mrs. Hedayat”. My body and the guard are going back to the ward…I remain behind right here…by the window…in the alleys of my imagination…

Bahareh Hedayat
Evin prison
August 22, 2015

Source: Keleme

Political Prisoner Arzhang Davoudi Has Been Sentenced To Death

Branch 1 of Karaj Revolutionary Court has informed Arzhang Davoudi’s attorney that his client has received the death sentence.

According to the court’s ruling sent to Davoudi’s attorney, Vahid Meshkani Farahani, Arzhang Davoudi has been sentenced to death on charges of, “Membership in Mojahedin Khalgh (MEK) group and effective advocacy in advancing MEK’s goals from prison”.

Political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi has already finished serving out his initial 10 years imprisonment sentence. However, while imprisoned he was charged and tried on additional charges and sentenced to 20 years plus 8 months imprisonment.

Arzheng Davoudi, currently incarcerated in Bandar Abbas prison, can appeal this death sentence issued by the lower court.

Source: HRANA

Iran Sentences 8 People To 127 Years Of Imprisonment For Facebook Activities

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court has sentenced 8 people to a total of 127 years of imprisonment on charges such as “assembly and collusion against national security, propaganda against the state, blasphemy, and insulting the heads of the three branches of the government and officials”.

These individuals were administrators for several Facebook pages. They were arrested on warrants issued by the prosecutor last July.

The defendants in these cases have been charged with various charges, but they all have been charged with the assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the state charges.

The cases of these eight people were first reviewed at Shahid Moghadasi court located in Evin prison. Indictments were issued and sent for trial to Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghayeseh.

The defendants are from various cities in Iran, including Yazd, Shiraz, Abadan, Kerman and Tehran.

The trial of these defendants started on April 14, 2014 with the court issuing it’s verdict on April 29, 2014.

Two of the defendants were sentenced to 18 years plus 91 days, and 19 years plus 91 days, respectively, as well as a fine of 1.3 million tomans and 50 lashes.

The others were sentenced to twenty one, twenty, sixteen, fourteen, eleven and eight years of imprisonment.

The cases of these defendants have been appealed but the Appellate Court which will review their cases have not yet been designated.

Source: IRNA

Political Prisoner, Lawyer Negar Haeeri Incarcerated In Gharchak Prison Under Deplorable Conditions

Negar Haeeri, daughter of imprisoned political prisoner Mashallah Haeeri, is imprisoned in Gharchak Prison under harsh and deplorable conditions.

Negar Haeri

Negar Haeri

According to the Melli-Mazhabi news site, Negar Haeeri was arrested for giving interviews and publicizing the poor health of her imprisoned father.

She was arrested on May 25, 2014, and on the order of Deputy Prosecutor at Evin, she was transferred to Gharchak prison.

Previously, Negar Haeeri was also arrested and imprisoned in 2011 and 2012 and was released on bail. She was tried and sentenced to two years imprisonment plus five years suspended imprisonment sentence. Her law practice license was also suspended for ten years.

Gharchak prison in Varamin has a very unsanitary condition and Negar is incarcerated among the drug traffickers.

This prison holds inmates in excess of it’s maximum capacity and suffers from overcrowding. Due to this overcrowding and lack of space Negar has to sleep in the hallway near the restrooms.

Despite the very hot weather, the air conditioning system in this prison is not working, making conditions very difficult for the prisoners.

Other than Negar Haeeri, Basmeh Aljabouri, an Iraqi citizen, and Roya Saberi Nejad are the two other political prisoners that are incarcerated in Gharchak prison.

Source: Sahamnews

On Hunger Strike Dr. Mehdi Khazali, Suffered A Heart Attack And Admitted To A Hospital

Following is translation of a Facebook post by Dr. Mehdi Khazali’s son, Mohamad Saleh Khazali:

It is now 3:00 am on the first day of Ramadan.

Friday night I heard that father is in dire health. I became very upset and tried very hard to get help for him.

Today (Saturday June 28), they informed us that my father has been taken to the emergency room at Imam Khomeini hospital.

Immediately we went to the hospital. When we arrived, I met with a very frail father who has lost about 18 kilos in 8 days of being on hunger strike, and whose voice could barely be heard because of a dry mouth & throat.

Dr Mehdi Khazali - June 28, 2014

Dr Mehdi Khazali – June 28, 2014

The doctors insisted on connecting him to an IV but he refused.

About an hour ago we received the results of his EKG. They told him, yesterday, when he stopped breathing, he had suffered a heart attack and must immediately be admitted to CCU.

As a result of not drinking water, his blood had thickened and this is the reason for the heart attack.

It was the responsibility of Rejaei Shahr prison’s infirmary to attend to him, but unfortunately their job has become attending to the executed and doing the ritual wash of the dead. They are not familiar with providing care for the ill.

My father asked me about the news coverage of his case. He said that he is doing his duty, and hopes to God that those on the outside perform their duty well.

I complained about the news coverage regarding his case and told him that the domestic sites totally censor any news about him, because they have been ordered not to publish anything about him.

But I don’t understand why the news sites outside of the country are not giving his case much coverage.

I have one thing to say: Those who doubt and question his hunger strike, please go to the emergency room at Imam Khomeini hospital and see for yourselves what being on hunger strike has done to him.

You can then see a person who until last week was mountain climbing, and now in one week’s time barely has the strength to walk.

On the first dawn of Ramadan, I ask all our friends and associated to please pray for the health and release of my father and the release of all the political prisoners and for our society to gain wisdom.

And it is only for us to deliver the Manifest Message. (Quran, Ya-Sin: 17)

Mohamad Saleh Khazali
Son of Dr. Mehdi Khazali
Sunday June 29, 2014
3:40 am

Dr. Mehdi Khazali was arrested by the Intelligence Ministry’s special forces on June 21, while he was on a family trip in Mazandaran (N. Iran). He was transferred to Rejaei Shahr prison and incarcerated in the death row prisoners ward. He started his hunger strike upon arrest.

Source: Azadegan

Prominent Scholar Sadegh Zibakalam Sentenced to 18 Months For Criticizing Iran’s Nuclear Program

Sadegh Zibakalam

Prominent scholar and university professor, Sadegh Zibakalam has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment according to a post on his Facebook.

Following is the translations of Zibakalam’s post on Facebook:

In the name of the Almighty,

Greetings friends,

As you are aware, after the Geneva agreement, and the widespread attacks on me by the “the worried ones”, I wrote two open letters, one to Mr. Hossein Shariyatmadari (managing editor of hardliner Kayhan newspaper), and to Mr. Hamid Rasaei (hardliner Parliament member).

In these letters, while defending the government’s efforts to resolve the nuclear issue, I raised the question as to what benefits for the country’s core economical progress and development have resulted from the nuclear program?

In his response to me, Mr. Shariyatmadari noted that, “if you were so concerned and worried for the people of Iran, you would have not defended the corruptors involved in the 3,000 billion Toman embezzlement case”.

Responding to him, I replied, All I asked from those prosecuting this case was what exactly was the crime of the defendants, including Mr. Mahafarid Khosravi (who unfortunately has already been executed), to warrant the death penalty.

These two open letters to Mr. Sharyatmadari were the cause for the honorable district attorney to charge me with:

A: Propaganda against the Islamic Republic State
B: Publishing false information and disturbing the public’s peace.
C: Insulting judges and the officials of the Judiciary Branch

Based on these charges I was tried, and after presenting my written and verbal defense, I was today informed of the court’s ruling as follows:

12 months imprisonment sentence for asking the question; what benefit has the nuclear program had for the country?

Six months imprisonment for saying that in the trial of the 3,000 billion Toman embezzlement case, rather than seeking the truth and justice, they were more concerned with persuading and satisfying the public’s opinion.

I have appealed this sentence and will have to wait for the Appeals Court’s ruling.

In loving you, advice and admonition is to no avail
I have experienced the poison, sweetness will have no avail

They say, put chains on his feet
Insane is my heart, chaining my feet is to no avail

Sadegh Zibakalam
June 18, 2014

Source: Sadegh Zibakalam Facebook

Kazem Barjesteh Sentenced By Appellate Court In Absentia While Imprisoned In Evin

Kazem Barjeste

The Tehran Appellate Court has upheld the 5 year imprisonment sentence of Green Movement activist, Kazem Barjesteh on charges of assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security.

Simultaneously with the Attorney General’s escalating threats against the Iranian Diaspora who are planning to return to Iran, Branch 54 of the Appellate Court upheld the 5 years imprisonment sentence of Kazem Barjesteh in absentia.

Kazem Barjesteh, an activist in Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 2009 presidential campaign, was arrested on February 16, 2014 at Imam Khomeini International Airport upon his return to Iran, and was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison.

Last month, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghayeseh, refused Barjesteh’s request for a hearing to protest his sentence that was issued in absentia by the lower court.

Based on this unusual judicial process, the 5 year imprisonment sentence of Kazem Barjesteh was upheld by the Appellate Court, while he has been imprisoned for more than four months, and has never been given the opportunity to appear before a court to defend himself.

This political prisoner and his defense attorney were never even given any information as to which branch of the Appellate Court would review his case.

This unusual action by the court occurred while Kazem Barjesteh was not even given a chance to defend himself. Yesterday the Attorney General made a statement saying that it’s to the best of interest of those who have left the country and are under indictment to return to Iran. He further said that he suggests those under a warrant to return to Iran to follow up on their cases.

Kazem Barjesteh, an activist in the campaign headquarters of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 2009 presidential election, was arrested during the bloody events of Ashura (December 2009). He was released on bail after 35 days of imprisonment.

During his initial trial he was not able to appear in court to defend himself due to his living in Germany as a post-graduate Philosophy student.

This illegal sentencing process deprived a defendant’s basic right to defend himself.

The Attorney General, Mohseni Ejei, in Monday’s news conference, announced that 27 people connected with the Sedition Movement have been indicted, and their cases forwarded to court for further action.

He said that the court has issued rulings for 13 people, of whom 4-5 of them were tried and found guilty in absentia. He further said that the court has not ruled yet for 14 people.

Source: Kaleme

Unprecedented 123 Years of Imprisonment For 8 People Active On Facebook In Iran

The Tehran Revolutionary Court, in another illegal action, sentenced 8 men and women, active on Facebook to more than 123 years of imprisonment.

Since the authorities have been unable to have any influence on society in trying to ban Facebook, with this action, they seem to be trying to create panic among social network users, and are using this to create and influence an atmosphere of oppression in cyber-space.

According to the opposition site Kaleme, these people who were arrested last year and were interrogated at the IRGC Ward 2-A in Evin prison, were tried and sentenced collectively to more than 123 years of imprisonment in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghayeseh,.

The sentences issued by lower court are as follows:

1- Roya Saberinejad Nobakht; 20 years of imprisonment

2- Masoud Ghasem Khani; 19 years and 91 days of imprisonment

3- Fariborz Kardarfar; 18 years and 91 days of imprisonment

4- Sayd Masoud Sayed Talebi; 15 years and one day of imprisonment

5- Amin (Farid) Akramipour; 13 years of imprisonment

6- Naghmeh Shahi Savandi Shirazi; 7 years and 91 days of imprisonment

7- Mehdi Rayshahri; 11 years of imprisonment

8- Amir Golestani; 20 years of imprisonment

These 8 people were charged with assembly and collusion against the national security, insulting the Supreme Leader, insulting the authorities, propaganda against the regime, blasphemy, and spreading lies and disturbing the public’s peace.

The Revolutionary Court, based on Article 134 of the new Islamic Republic’s Penal Code has issued these sentences, giving them more than half of the maximum penalty. But, according to this same Article, only the sentence for the charge with the highest maximum penalty is enforceable. In this case, that would be the charge of assembly and collusion against the national security, which carries 7 1/2 years of imprisonment.

While the issue of free access to the Internet has become one of the main challenges between the hardliner Judiciary and the administration of Hassan Rouhani and considering the inability of the hardliners to influence the cyber space activities of the people, they have resorted to giving these heavy sentences to make an example and to create an atmosphere of fear in order to stop the people from online activities.

Kaleme had previously reported regarding the IRGC’s scenario and arresting of cyber activists in the summer and fall of 2013. Those people were arrested in Tehran, Shiraz and Sari. They were all held at IRGC’s Ward 2-A in Evin prison where they were interrogated and tortured. Currently they are being held in Evin prison and Gharchak prison for women in Varamin.

Despite the fact that the IRGC interrogators have charged these 8 people with various false charges, that the Court used to convict them, Kaleme’s reporter investigations showed that activities of these 8 people were limited to criticism of the ruling establishment’s policies, poems and songs of protest, spreading the news of the events of post-2009 presidential election and political-social satires.

These activists, under pressure by the interrogators and with false promises of leniency, gave false confessions on national TV, apologizing for their actions, voicing regret for their Facebook activities, and warned about the ill effects of these social networking sites.

Source: Kaleme

Emad Bahavar’s Eyewitness Account of The Brutal Attack On Ward 350 Political Prisoners

Emad Bahavar

On April 17, 2014 Ward 350 of Evin prison was raided and the political prisoners brutally attacked and beaten resulting in many serious injuries.

Below is translation of a letter written by political prisoner Emad Bahavar giving an eyewitness account of the portion of the raid that he witnessed.

I feel as though pain has encompassed my entire body. I had not experienced the blows from a baton before. I was arrested the day after the 2009 election and was not able to be along side the people during the protests.

When eight people weighing over 100 kilos each (220 lbs) hover over you, kicking, slapping and hitting you with a baton, after few minutes you won’t feel anything anymore.

You don’t even realize if any of your bones have been broken or not, or if you have been bloodied or injured or not. Only hours after being battered and assaulted do you get the realization to check your body part by part to see what has happened to you.

Other than the guards, there were a number of plainclothes that were beating the guys: a 120 kilo one, fat, wearing a white shirt with clerical collar over his pants, and relatively long beard. A 130 kilo one, athletically built and a bit taller, with torn earlobes, wearing a white and pink shirt. A 140 kilo one, about 2 meters tall with dark glasses wearing a suit. And the rest, a number of 100 kilos all body builders, wearing tight jeans and sneakers.

I was upstairs and didn’t know what was going on down there. I could only hear voices of everyone else, which were getting louder by the moment. I went towards the entrance of the ward to see what is going on.

I heard the Haj Agha shouting; beat them. 30-40 baton holding guards and a number of plainclothes rushed down the stairs.

It was there that I saw the 120 kilo one for the first time. Angrily he took off his jacket. He was twirling the baton over his head while screaming and swearing.

For a moment, I visualized the scenes from 2009 videos before my eyes. It was these same guys who savagely beat the people on the streets.

I could not just be an observer and watch the guys being beaten. I removed my wristwatch and threw it on the floor. I moved towards Haj Agha and his associates and shouted: “Why are you hitting them?”

“Why are you hitting them” was interpreted as “Why don’t you hit me”. All of a sudden a number of them hovered over me kicking and hitting me.

Haji stood in front of me and asked who are you? I said: “Emad Bahavar, from Mr. Mousavi’s headquarters”. The 120 kilo one punched me in the face. They began to curse and spout verbal insults against Mousavi. Haji said, “Mousavi and his wife have frightfully gone hiding in a hole!!”

The 130 kilo one shouted: “sit down”, I didn’t move. I fell down under a barrage of punches and kicks and batons.

I got up again and immediately stood up facing Haji, staring into his eyes. The 120 kilo one shouted: “Bow your head! Don’t stare into the eyes!” I didn’t move. The 130 kilo one cupped his hands between my legs, lifted me up and threw me down on the floor. Again, a barrage of kicks and punches and batons rained on me.

I got up again, stood face to face with Haji and said, “We have been standing for five years….”.

They continued to send more guards down the stairs. There were around 200 guards. One of the commanders shouted; “The soldiers that don’t want to participate in the beating don’t go downstairs”. A large number of them stayed upstairs.

They took the guys one at a time upstairs to the end of the Ward. They were all handcuffed. The face of some of them was covered in blood, and could barely walk. Some were taken there by carrying them by their arms and legs in a horizontal position. Some had been beaten so much that had no more strength to walk. I recognized three of them; Khalghati, Ebrahimzadeh and Fouladvand. Altogether, there were about 30 people.

They blindfolded everyone. They brought handcuffs and a blindfold for me too. I resisted and argued a bit to no avail.

They made everyone stand in a row in Ward 350’s corridor, handcuffed and blindfolded, facing the wall. Some were moaning. Again, they started to beat us from behind. The sound of the moans became louder.

The guards created a human tunnel from the ward’s exit door to a parked van outside. They forced everyone to go through the tunnel while they beat and kicked everyone going through the tunnel. There was spilled blood along the way to the van and inside the van.

Inside the van people were calling out their names: Mohamad Davari, Gholamreza Khosravi, Mohamad Sedigh Kaboudvand, Mehrdad Ahankhah, Majid Assadi, Soheil Arabi…

Apparently someone intervened on my behalf, they called my name and told me to leave the van. They took the rest.

Haji standing among his men, and in front of me, gave an eloquent speech against the Sedition Movement and Mir Hossein and spoke of the power and authority of the regime.

The 130 kilo one brought me a glass of ice water. The head of security ordered them to take me to the prison’s clinic. They had taken Esmaeil Barzegari there earlier. His ribs had been broken. Later, they brought Omid Behrouzi in blood soaked clothing; his wrist cut by broken glass. Kamyar Sabeti had encountered a heart problem.

I have heard that they have found few cell phones and iPods. It’s been about five years now that they have disconnected the phone services in the ward. All of this “show of force operation” was just because some people wanted to hear their family’s voices or enjoy a quite moment with the sound of music. There is nothing illicit in 350, other than love and music.

My body aches. I don’t mean the aches and pain from the bruises on my wrist caused by a metal handcuff, nor the pain in my left ear from being slapped hard, neither the pain in my neck from being punched in my head and neck, nor the pain in my tongue that was between my teeth during a barrage of punches and kicks, and neither the pain in my back from being hit with a plastic baton and nor the pain in my bruised lower back and my knees from being kicked.

None of these pains are that significant and will heal soon. The source of the pain is something else. The years in prison had caused us to forget the pain from the wounds of 2009. We had forgotten the pain and suffering that the mourning mothers and fathers had endured.

We had forgotten the pain from losing Neda and Sohrab and Ali and Taraneh and the other martyrs. We had forgotten the pain from the bullets and batons and bats and daggers and brass knuckles that had been used on the people by the plainclothes.

The April 17 attack on Ward 350 reminded us of all those scenes and brought back all of their pain to our souls.

When Rouhani came, we said that if the suffering of the people is reduced and the conditions become better, then, we would also close our eyes to everything we suffered. Some of the mourning mothers also said they were ready to forgive.

The bloody events of April 17 showed that the hatred in their black hearts transcends the love and forgiveness of the Greens.

I wish I had murmured these words into Haj Agha’s ear: “We wanted to forgive, remember, but you didn’t want it yourselves….”

April, 2014
Ward 350, Evin prison

Source: Kaleme

P.S. Emad Bahavar, was Chairman of the Youth Branch of the Freedom Movement of Iran and an activist in Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 2009 presidential campaign. He was arrested on March 13, 2010 and later tried and sentenced by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court to 10 years imprisonment.

Hossein Ronaghi’s Father Describing Evin’s Visiting Room Today: Everyone Was Crying. They Have Beaten Our Children

Following is an interview by the opposition site Kaleme with the father of imprisoned blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki after today’s visit in Evin with his son:

Mr. Ronaghi, today was the weekly visiting day for Ward 350 prisoners, did you visit your son? did you see your son?

Currently we are in front of Evin prison. I did have a visit with Hossein. The families of the political prisoners are by the gate outside of prison. They threw everyone out. There is no information about 20-25 prisoners who were injured and taken outside of the prison. Their families are here outside without any information. They had beaten my son, they beat him in the stomach.

Did your request for follow up from the Parliament members have any results?

Yesterday we met the Parliament members. Mr. Motahari was supposed to come here and see for himself, but unfortunately no one has come yet.

Is it clear who was responsible for the attack on the Ward 350 political prisoners?

The order for the attack came from Colonel (Faezi?). They savagely beat our children. He has threatened to do it again. The lives of our children are in danger.

Did the prisoners say this themselves, because the Prisons Bureau has completely denied this attack? What did the prisoners exactly tell you?

They sent a number of plainclothes forces and told them to beat our children. I saw my son; he said their lives are in danger. I plead and ask for help from all people, all the institutions, and whomever that could help. Our children’s lives are in danger. We must do something before something horrible happens. I ask the Representatives and MP Motahari to take immediate action.

How were you and the families of the political prisoners were treated by the officials today?

They threw us out of and currently we are standing outside of the prison. We are surrounded by guards. The family members are upset, everyone is crying. The families came here today and saw their children having been beaten. The conditions here today was pretty horrible.

Source: Kaleme