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Reformist Political Activist Turned Refugee Briefly Arrested Upon Return to Iran

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CHRI - A reformist political activist who fled Iran in 2011 after years of being harassed by the Intelligence Ministry was summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Evin Prison upon returning to the country.

Imprisoned Teachers’ Rights Advocate Esmail Abdi Denied Sentence Review

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CHRI- Iran's judiciary has denied a request for a review of the heavy prison sentence issued against Esmail Abdi, the former secretary general of the country's largest teachers' rights organization, the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA).

"In recent days we were informed that our request for a judicial review has been denied, but we will continue to follow up on his case through legal channels, including on his eligibility for conditional release," Abdi's attorney, Hossein Taj, told the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on October 4, 2017.

Since November 2016, Abdi, a 44-year-old high school mathematics teacher, has been serving a six-year prison sentence for his peaceful activism in support of labor rights.

He ended his hunger strike after more than 30 days on June 16, 2016, when judicial authorities agreed to consider reviewing his sentence.

In a letter announcing his hunger strike on April 30, 2017, the teachers' rights activist said he would continue to refuse food "until my case is investigated in a normal way outside the security apparatus."

"Is it a crime to protest the plunder of public funds, especially the teachers' pension fund? Do teachers peacefully walking in a park threaten national security? Is it a crime to collect signatures to oblige the government to implement the law? Should the law apply only to the people, or government officials as well?" wrote Abdi.

"Under these circumstances, I announce my solidarity with all teachers and workers protesting the judiciary's lack of independence in issuing security rulings against activists," he added.

Abdi was arrested on June 27, 2015, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' intelligence arm, a week after being barred from leaving Iran to attend an international teachers' conference in Canada.

In February 2016, Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison for the charges of "propaganda against the state" and "collusion against national security." The verdict was upheld upon appeal.

After the Appeals Court's decision, Abdi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that the judge was influenced by several alleged violations added to the indictment by the IRGC's Sarallah Headquarters.

"The Sarallah Headquarters, as the detaining authority, has had the wrong impression of our activities and has claimed that they were political in nature and directed against the state," said Abdi in October 2016.

The Iranian security establishment sees labor activism as a national security offense. Independent labor s are not allowed to function, strikers often risk arrest, and labor leaders are consistently prosecuted under national security charges.

Iran: Man Executed For Drug Offences

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Iran: Man Executed For Drug OffencesIran Human rights - A prisoner was executed at Qazvin central prison on drug related charges.

Admins of Iranian Pirated Movies Website Arrested After Complaints from “Licensed” Rivals

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A screenshot of the TinyMovies website.CHRI - Six administrators of a popular site selling pirated foreign films with Farsi-language subtitles and voiceovers online have been arrested following complaints from their rivals, which were licensed to sell pirated movies by the government.

Pro-Rouhani Activist Arrested on Heels as Iranian President’s Trip to New York for the UNGA

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CHRI - Siavash Hatam, who has served time as a political prisoner for engaging in peaceful student activism, was arrested on September 17, 2017, at his home in Tehran and taken to Evin Prison, a source close to the activist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

The unidentified security forces, which searched his home for five hours and seized some of his personal belongings, did not state the reason for the arrest, but presented a warrant issued by the Culture and Media Court.

"The arrest took place on the same day [President] Hassan Rouhani left for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly session," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Siavash has not committed any crime to be arrested for," added the source. "This is a setup. He is being sacrificed mainly to undermine Rouhani's trip."

As a member of the reformist Islamic Party of Iran, Hatam campaigned for Rouhani during the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections.

He has been accused of "acts against national security and membership in illegal Telegram network channels," one of Hatam's relatives, Hojat Sharifi, told Ensaf News on September 17.

Hatam was first arrested on June 15, 2009 when he was the secretary of the Islamic Student Society at Buali Sina University in Hamadan, western Iran, for peacefully protesting against the widely disputed outcome of that year's presidential election. His second arrest took place in Tehran in December 2009 by agents of the intelligence ministry.

Hatam spent 16 months in prison until August 2013 for two convictions by the Revolutionary Court based on the charge of "propaganda against the state." The first conviction occurred in 2009, for which he was issued a four-month prison sentence, and the second took place in 2010, for which he was issued a one-year prison sentence.

Imprisoned for Producing Music, Yousef Emadi Sentenced to Another Year Behind Bars

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CHRI - An imprisoned Iranian music producer has been sentenced to an additional year in prison on new charges brought by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Yousef Emadi was supposed to be released on parole in 2017 after serving one year for producing underground music without a license. His co-defendants, Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian, were granted parole in June 2017.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Arrests Woman For Asking About Brother and Infant Niece's Disappearance

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PayvandNews - Raheleh Rahemipour has been arrested by the Intelligence Ministry in Iran for refusing to give up her search for answers about her missing brother and infant niece, whom Rahemipour says disappeared after the baby was born in Evin Prison in 1984. Rahemipour was detained at her home in Tehran on September 10, 2017, and transferred to Evin Prison, a source close to the family told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Iranian Labor Activist Peacefully Rejects New Prison Sentence

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CHRI - Labor activist Ali Nejati is refusing to serve a six-month prison sentence for engaging in lawful protests against one of Iran's largest agro-industrial companies near the city of Shush in Khuzestan Province.

Abdulaziz Azimi Held in Detention in Evin Prison

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Abdulaziz AzimiHRANA News Agency – Abdulaziz Azimi, Turkish (Azeri) activists, has been arrested and held in Evin prison, since about four months ago. Within the past few days, a bail of 5 billion IRR has been issued for this prisoner, but due to lack of financial ability of the family, his detention is likely to continue. Mr. Azimi used to manage a channel on Telegram with the name of "Rationality, analysis and action", and already has a history of arrest.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Abdulaziz Azimi Ghadim, clergy and Turkish activist, was arrested in the morning of Saturday January 7 in Tehran, and was transferred to an unknown location.

A source close to Azimi family told HRANA's reporter: "On Friday, Mr. Azimi informed his family on a phone call about the bail amount of 5 billion IRR".

This informed source added: "Azimi family has no good financial condition, and now his wife and child live in the home of her father, and are not able to provide the amount of the bail".

The source close to Azimi Ghadim family, emphasized at the end: "In this period of 4 months, Mr. Azimi has been only once allowed to visit his family".

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