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University: Iran Denies Appeal of Jailed Princeton Student

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FILE - In this undated photo made available by the family of Xiyue Wang, via Princeton University, Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-American Princeton graduate student, poses for a photo at an unknown location. VOA - Iranian authorities have denied the appeal of a Princeton University student who had been convicted on espionage charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison, the university and his wife said Thursday.

Iranian Women’s Rights Activist to Serve Three Years in Prison For Attending Seminar

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CHRI - Women's rights activist and photojournalist Alieh Matlabzadeh has been sentenced to three years in prison by a preliminary court in Tehran for participating in a women's empowerment seminar.

Eight Prisoners Hanged in One Day in Iran's Rajai Shahr Prison

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Eight Iran Human Rights  -Eight prisoners were hanged in one day in Rajai Shahr Prison while another prisone.  On Wednesday August 16, eight prisoners were reportedly hanged at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison on murder charges. Another prisoner was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.

According to close sources, the names of five of the eight prisoners executed are: Mostafa Bashkouh, Rasoul Gol Mohammadi, Shahram Abadeh, Seyed Mohammad Seyed Abdollah, and Moharram Abdi. These prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on Monday in preparation for their executions. A juvenile offender by the name of Mehdi Bahlouli was also transferred to solitary confinement, but he was reportedly returned to his cell after the complainant on his case file postponed his execution. Another prisoner by the name of Majid Rahimi was also transferred to solitary confinement, but he received a three-month postponement on his execution from the complainant on his case file.

On Tuesday August 15, at least one prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution. According to close sources, the prisoner's name is Sadegh Gholami and he is sentenced to death on the charge of possession of approximately one kilogram of crack.

"Sadegh Gholami was scheduled to be executed last year on drug related charges, but in order to delay his execution, he murdered one of his cellmates. The status of the new case file opened for him for the murder crime is uncertain right now. Sadegh is attempting to receive forgiveness from the complainant on his new case file in order to be spared from execution," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

Some prisoners on death row in Iran have been known to murder a cellmate or inflict self-injury in order to postpone their execution sentences.

Official Iranian sources, including the Judiciary and the state-run media, have not announced these eight executions.

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Iran: At Least 12 Prisoners Executed on the Same Day

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Iran:Iran Human Rights -The Iranian authorities executed at least twelve prisoners on the same day. At least eleven of the prisoners were sentenced to death on drug related charges.

Iranian police have detained dozens of young people at a pool party near the central city of Isfahan that authorities say involved dancing and alcohol, state media report. The TV news website on August 9 said provincial forces of the Islamic

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Iranian police prepare to destroy confiscated bottles of alcohol in Tehran.RFL/RE - Iranian police have detained dozens of young people at a pool party near the central city of Isfahan that authorities say involved dancing and alcohol, state media report.

Prisoner Hanged in Public While Crowd Watched

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Iran Human Rights  -A prisoner was hanged in public while a crowd of people watched.

Iran: Three Young Prisoners Hanged on Murder Charges

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Iran Human Rights -Three young prisoners were hanged in Adel Abad Prison, but the Iranian authorities are silent about it.

Iran: Prisoner Hanged in Public in Front of Large Crowd

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Iran: Prisoner Hanged in Public in Front of Large CrowdIran Human Rights -A prisoner was hanged in public in Iran while a large crowd of people watched.

Police Arrest Peaceful Participants at Annual Commemoration for Popular Dissident Poet Ahmad Shamlu

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CHRI - Iranian police and security forces dispersed a gathering marking the 17th anniversary of popular poet Ahmad Shamlu's death and arrested several participants, including a senior member of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA), a spokesman for the group told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

"This year, as in last year, we were not allowed to mark this day," said Reza Khandan Mahabadi about the event on July 24, 2017. "The cemetery gates were locked and when people insisted on staying, the authorities made some arrests and threatened not to free them until everyone left the scene. Eventually the few dozen people who had come for the ceremony decided to disperse so the detainees could go free."

"IWA board member Baktash Abtin has been detained, as well as two or three younger people who we have lost contact with," he added. "They have not contacted anyone yet to say where they are or when they will be freed."

CHRI has also learned from an eyewitness who spoke on the condition of anonymity that former imprisoned labor activist As'ad (Behnam) Ebrahimzadeh was among those arrested at the July 24 incident.

Ahmad Shamlu, who died in 2000 at the age of 75, is often referred to as Iran's greatest contemporary poet. Taking stands against injustice by the state before and after Iran's 1979 revolution enhanced his popularity.

The commemoration ceremony took place at Imamzadeh Taher Cemetery in Karaj, 33.5 miles west of Tehran, but the police prevented people from gathering around the poet's grave.

According to the IWA official, the police were supported by plainclothes agents working for an unknown security agency.

"The agents had normal civilian clothes and did not show any identification or judicial order," Mahabadi told CHRI. "They shouted and made threats against the crowd and then handcuffed a few people and took them away."

Until 2015, the authorities allowed people to gather every July 24 at the poet's gravesite relatively freely, without any major incidents with the police or security forces. However, in the past two years the cemetery gates have been locked on the anniversary and crowds have been forced to disperse.

Asked why the police and security forces have continued to disrupt the commemoration, the IWA spokesman pointed to Shamlu's reputation as a dissident poet.

"The security forces generally have a problem with any kind of gathering of critics and dissidents, even if it's just a few dozen people," said Mahabadi. "Maybe they are afraid that in the current climate of crises and social dissatisfaction, these small gatherings could turn into widespread protests.

"In the past two years, they have taken harsher measures, he added.
"Before they would summon us and make threats, but we could still gather to sing, read a few poems and make speeches. But in the past two years, people have not even been allowed to gather at Imamzadeh Taher."

In its July 20th public invitation for the Shamlu commemoration, IWA stated, "We will gather in his memory. He who wanted the world to be prosperous and free. He who wanted people to regain their lost glory. He who lost his legs but stood his ground. We will remember him for justice, equality and everything he left for posterity."

According to Article 27 of Iran's Constitution, people can gather in groups freely "provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam."

Article 46 of the Charter on Citizens' Rights, signed by President Hassan Rouhani in Decembers 2016 without a path to implementation, states: "Citizens have the right to assembly and make demonstrations and to participate therein, freely and in compliance with the law, and to enjoy impartiality of the responsible bodies and protection and security for the assembly."

A member of PEN International, a worldwide association of writers, IWA is Iran's largest organization representing writers, editors, translators and publishers. Many of its members have been persecuted for their secular and critical views of state policies.

Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, two prominent IWA members, were killed by Iran's Intelligence Ministry agents in 1998 in a series of assassinations that came to be known as the "chain murders."

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