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Imprisoned Teacher’s Rights Activist: I am Legally Entitled to a Public Trial

Iranian labor rights activist Mahmoud Beheshti-Langroudi.CHRI - An imprisoned teachers' rights activist has been refusing food and water, pledging to continue his hunger strike until his 14-year combined prison sentence is reviewed in a public trial.

Iran: Arrest of human rights defender seeking truth about disappeared family members

Iran: Arrest of human rights defender seeking truth about disappeared family membersAmnesty - The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release a human rights defender arrested from her home last night, who has previously been targeted by the authorities for her peaceful activism, said Amnesty International.

Iran’s IRGC Brings “Revenge” Charges Against Man Imprisoned for Facebook Posts and His Wife

CHRI - An Iranian man imprisoned for his social media postings could face several more years behind bars if he is convicted of new charges brought against him by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His wife may also be imprisoned.

Iranian Authorities Ignore Starving Political Prisoners at Rajaee Shahr Prison, Restrict Family Visitations


CHRI - Forty days after more than 15 political prisoners went on a mass hunger strike in Iran's Rajaee Shahr Prison, the authorities are preventing some of the strikers in the poorest physical condition from receiving outside medical treatment and punishing the protesters by restricting family visitations.

Critically Ill Political Prisoner Refused Medical Leave with One Month Left to Serve on Sentence

CHRI - The lawyer for ailing political prisoner Ehsan Mazandarani has requested his client spend the month remaining for the completion of his sentence on medical leave but so far Iranian judicial authorities have refused.

"Ehsan has twice lost consciousness in prison," the reformist journalist's mother Azam Eghtesad told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 31, 2017. "His condition is critical. If anything happens to him the Tehran prosecutor Mr. (Abbas) Jafari Dowlatabadi is responsible."

She added: "His lawyer (Hossein Taj) has asked for his early release on medical grounds. Why don't you release him? He only has a month left on his sentence. The authorities say Ehsan must file a request for temporary release but he refuses because he says he doesn't want to ask for a pardon."

For nearly 10 days the former editor-in-chief of Farhikhtegan has only been able to ingest liquids as his stomach has been rejecting solid food. Despite a severe drop in weight and blood pressure, he has been denied treatment by specialists outside prison.

Mazandarani, 35, was violently returned to Evin Prison on March 11, 2017, less than a month after he was released by mistake, according to judicial officials. He had spent more than 13 months behind bars for peacefully engaging in his profession before being returned to the prison.

Mazandarani's mother told CHRI that her son had been transferred to the Taleghani Hospital in Tehran eight times in recent weeks but each time he had been returned without receiving any treatment.

"Because of the beatings he has received, his knee was badly injured," Eghtesad said. "He was taken for an MRI but the result was never given to us. There is bleeding in his kidney and he is suffering from digestive problems and anemia. His body is rejecting food. We don't know what's wrong with him because we have not been given his test results."

"We are very worried for his health," The imprisoned journalist's mother continued. "If they want to kill my son they should let us know. If not, what's the danger in letting him go?"

To help her husband, Mazandarani's wife, Maliheh Hosseini, has also been making pleas on social media to get the attention of the authorities.

"Ehsan has been seriously ill for about a week. He is not on a hunger strike, but he can't ingest anything but water and he could slip into a coma at any moment," wrote Hosseini on Instagram on August 23. "Maybe this is what the security establishment wants. Whatever happens to him will be a stain on Dowlatabadi and (Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni) Ejei."

Pro-Rouhani and Reformist Social Media Admins Sentenced to Prison in Iran

CHRI - Six administrators of Iranian reformist political channels on the Telegram messaging network have been sentenced to terms ranging from two to five years in prison.

UN Expert Concerned at Condition of Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran

CHRI - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Asma Jahangir, today expressed her deep concern about the situation of a number of prisoners who have been on prolonged hunger strike to protest against their transfer to a high-security section of Rajai-Shahr prison in Karaj, West of Tehran, and about their treatment while in detention.

Families Dismayed Over Lack of Attention to Hunger Strikers in Iranian Prisons

Political prisoners Majid Asadi (right) and Jafar Eghdami.CHRI - The parents of two political prisoners on hunger strike have expressed concern about their condition and treatment inside Rajaee Shahr Prison, where more than a dozen inmates have been on hunger strike, some for nearly a month.

"He's not good after almost 30 days on hunger strike," said Zahra Eghdami, the mother of Jafar (Shahin) Eghdami, in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 27, 2017.

"When I visited my son on Wednesday (August 23)," she added, "he could hardly stand on his feet or walk. They don't have a decent clinic there and because of that many of the families are worried what might happen but no one is doing anything about it wherever we complain."

Jafar Eghdami, who has less than one year left of his 10-year prison sentence for peaceful political activities, is one of 15 to 20 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who have been refusing food after the unannounced transfer of more than 50 inmates from Ward 12 to the security-enhanced Ward 10 on July 30, 2017.

The hunger strikers are demanding the return of their personal belonging left behind during the transfer, including vital medications and clothes. They are also protesting the additional security cameras, listening devices, mobile phone jamming apparatus and poor ventilation in their new quarters.

Zahra Eghdami told CHRI that her son had been sent to solitary confinement for 10 days as punishment for going on a hunger strike but he had refused to end his protest.

"They sent my son to prison for no reason and he has been serving his time but they can't stop harassing him," the 60-year-old mother said. "One day they move them and take away their belongings, then on another day they cut off visitations. Every day they are harassing them. They do nothing but endanger the prisoners' lives. Let them finish the prison term imposed on them and stop bothering them."

Jafar Eghdami was arrested on August 29, 2008 during a gathering at Khavaran Cemetery in south Tehran to commemorate victims of the 1988 mass political executions. He was initially sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, but his sentence was doubled on appeal when the prosecutor demanded a heavier punishment.

Mohammad Asadi, the father of Majid Asadi, another political prisoner on hunger strike at Rajaee Shahr, told CHRI that the authorities were not responding to pleas from the families to check on the hunger strikers' condition or paying attention to their demands.

"We, the families, have gone to every office in the prison system but nobody listened," Mohammad Asadi said. "The Tehran prosecutor's office said they are not in charge and they told us to go to the Prisons Organization but over there they told us that the Rajaee Shahr officials are responsible."

A former student activist, Majid Asadi was arrested in February 2017 without a warrant by Intelligence Ministry agents at his home in Karaj. He has been changed for acting against national security but no trial date has been set, according to his father.

Among the confirmed hunger strikers, CHRI has learned that the following are especially in poor health: Saeed Masouri, Saeed Shirzad, Shahin Zoghitabar, Reza Akbari Mofared, Abolghasem Fouladvand, Hassan Sadeghi, Reza Shahabi, Mohammad Nazari, Payam Shakiba, Mohammad Banazadeh, Amir Khizi, and Mohammad Ali (Pirouz) Mansouri.

Soheil Arabi Resumes Hunger Strike to Protest Harassment of His Family

CHRI - Prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi has restarted his hunger in Tehran's Evin Prison to protest the persecution of his family by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

"I have forgiven all the injustices against myself but I can never stay silent in the face of your constant and unjust harassment against my family," Arabi wrote in a letter from prison on August 24, a copy of which has been obtained by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

"I will go on a hunger strike to demand all charges be dropped against my mother-in-law and my dearest wife Nastaran Naimi," he added without giving details about the charges.

Arabi, 32, has been in prison since his arrest in November 2013 by the IRGC's Sarallah Headquarters. He was initially sentenced to death for "insulting the Prophet" in comments he posted on Facebook that were critical of the Islamic Republic of Iran and some senior officials.

But upon appeal, the sentence was reduced to seven and a half years in prison, two years of religious studies to prove his repentance, and a two-year ban from traveling abroad.

The 32-year-old broke a hunger strike on August 7, 2017 after six days when his wife was released from IRGC detention to answer accusations regarding contacts with foreign media.

In his August 24 letter from Evin Prison, Arabi indicated that he is resuming his hunger strike after discovering that the IRGC was continuing to harass his wife and relatives.

"Our phones are tapped, [online] accounts are hacked, relatives are threatened and [my wife] Nastaran is interrogated and persecuted. Stop torturing and harassing my love. It is all my fault. Yes, I am to blame," he wrote.

The prisoner of conscience was referring to the IRGC's threats that speaking publicly about his case would not be tolerated, according to a source with knowledge about Arabi's case who spoke to CHRI on the condition of anonymity.

"Since her release from detention, Arabi's wife has not dared speak to anyone because she is being accused of contacting the media," said the source. "The authorities are angry about these media contacts because they believe they caused the death sentence against him to be dropped."

The source added: "The IRGC is holding a grudge against [Arabi] because he and his wife filed a complaint against two IRGC websites for publishing slander and lies. Since then, they have been constantly summoning Nastaran for questioning. Sometimes they make pledges to free Soheil and at other time they threaten to put her in prison as well. Their latest threat is that if any information leaks out about this case, she will be held responsible and her crime will be heavier. That's why she has changed her phone number."

Arabi's legal counsel has been trying to combine three separate prison sentences against Arabi for his social media posts to make him eligible for conditional release.

"If these cases are combined, Soheil may be able to request conditional release from prison," a legal expert told CHRI in August 2016.

Article 134 of Iran's New Islamic Penal Code allows for only the longest sentence to be served in cases involving convictions on multiple charges.

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