RFL/RE - A British-Iranian aid worker detained since early April and accused of trying to overthrow Iran's government has appeared in Tehran's Revolutionary Court for the first time, her family said on August 2.
HRANA News Agency – Following the gathering of a group of citizens of Tabriz in protest to the published article in the “Tarhe No” newspaper, a number of protesters were arrested and transferred to an unknown location. Reports indicate the widespread presence of troops and anti-riot vehicles in the city.
HRANA News Agency – Abbas Mohammad Sadegh Pour, Ehsan Arshadi, Abdullah Alirezanejad, Mohammadreza Mobaraki and Mehran Zaki, Mojtaba Pourhassan, six civilians from Gachsaran in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province were sentenced to suspended prison sentences and banned membership in political parties on charge of insulting the Supreme Leader and propaganda against the state.
express.co.uk - UP TO 150 teenage boys and girls have been arrested by police in Iran in the latest raid to crackdown on youngsters attending mixed gender events.
RFL/RE - Iran has confirmed the arrest of an Iranian-American who was visiting family in the country, the latest in a series of arrests of dual nationals by the Islamic republic over the past year.
HRANA News Agency – Younes Alsorkhy, Adnan Bayanat, Harbi Alsary and Mustafa Obaidavi, four Arab civilians from Ahvaz have been arrested on Monday, July 4, 2016 and transferred to an unknown location. Probably their detention was due to calling for cleaning a street in the city for Eid al-Fitr prayers.
RFL/RE - The U.S. State Department said on July 21 that it is looking into reports that another Iranian-American has been detained in Iran.
Computer engineer Soheil Babadi, who was imprisoned in Iran for posting jokes on a satirical Facebook page, has been waiting close to a year for a ruling on his appeal against his prison sentence. The authorities have meanwhile refused to release him on bail or allow him to receive medical treatment outside of Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj (west of Tehran) where he has been held in Ward 12—where political prisoners are kept—since October 1, 2014.
An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Babadi’s appeal was filed more than 10 months ago, and that the Appeals Court last looked into his case in April 2016, but “the case judge has neither issued a verdict nor agreed to release Babadi on bail.”
“Those in charge of this case have deliberately prolonged Babadi’s prosecution,” added the source. “Now he needs to go on medical furlough [temporary leave] to get treatment for his kidney problem, but the officials refuse to allow him until he gets a final verdict.”
Political prisoners in Iran are singled out for harsh treatment, which often includes denial of medical care.
After his arrest on May 22, 2012, Babadi, 39, was held for more than 200 days in Ward 2-A of Tehran’s Evin Prison, which is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). During that time he was tortured and denied basic rights, according to an open letter he wrote from prison on September 7, 2013.
“In May 2011 I posted ten short pieces of satire on a Facebook page called the ‘Campaign to Remind Shiites about Imam Naghi’ without using any insulting words,” said the letter. “A year later I was arrested by the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization without a warrant and held in Ward 2-A, the IRGC’s exclusive detention center, and beaten and interrogated for 24 hours.”
Babadi continued: “Then someone named Ghena’atkar (from Branch 3 of the Security Court) formally read the charges against me, including ‘insulting the Prophet Mohammad,’ ‘insulting the sacred,’ ‘assembly and collusion,’ ‘insulting the supreme leader,’ ‘propaganda against the state,’ ‘membership in a group planning to overthrow the state’ ‘and acting against national security’—all for writing ten jokes on Facebook.”
“I was interrogated while blindfolded in the corner of a room,” he added. “The agent wanted me to confess to the charges against me, and when I refused he severely beat me. I was constantly under psychological pressure as the agents probed into my personal life and tried to accuse me of sexual relations with friends and relatives, even with my sister-in-law, and even of homosexual relations with one of my friends, Mostafa. But they didn’t succeed and kept me in solitary confinement for 225 days.”
The practice of forced “confessions” in Iran, including those elicited under torture or the threat of torture, has been well documented by international human rights organizations.
Babadi indicated in his letter that his basic rights were denied primarily because his jokes were turned into a security case. During his interrogation his back was injured after severe beatings, he was held incommunicado for months in solitary confinement, and he was detained for a year before his first trial.
Babadi was arrested in 2012 after allegedly posting jokes on the “Campaign to Remind Shiites about Imam Naghi” Facebook page, which satirizes political and religious issues while focusing on Ali al-Naghi—the tenth Imam according to Shia Islam. The page, which has nearly 33,000 fans, gained popularity after the song “Naghi” by musical artist Shahin Najafi went viral in early May 2012 and at least two senior theologians issued fatwas calling for Najafi’s death for insulting Naghi.
Babadi was first charged with “insulting the sacred” and “insulting President [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad],” and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison, 74 lashes and two years in exile in the city of Beshagard near the southern port of Bandar Abbas.
In a second trial in September 2015 Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Babadi to an additional seven years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “insulting the supreme leader.” Branch 26 of the Appeals Court has yet to issue a verdict on the appeal against Babadi’s sentence.
All of the charges against Babadi relate to his Facebook posts. If Article 134 of Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code is applied to his case, his combined sentence could be reduced to seven-and-a-half years in prison and he could be released on probation after four years.
PayvandNews - Two generation Z Iranians have been arrested in the northeastern city of Mashhad for organising a youth gathering near a shopping centre. The call for a meeting was organised using Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging service that has become popular in Iran in the past two years.
- Southern Iran: At Least 3 Prisoners Hanged at Bandar Abbas Central Prison on Drug Charges
- Canadian-Iranian Academic Jailed In Iran
- Soheila Kargar Arrested in Qazvin
- A Woman and Man Executed in Northern Iran on Drug Related Charges
- A Poet Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison
- 4 Activists Arrested in Kamyaran
- Hashmatullah Tabarzadi Arrested and Transferred to Evin Prison
- Iran Arrests 8 Over 'Obscene' Music Videos
- Iranian Political Activist Tabarzadi Arrested
- Afshin Sohrabzadeh’s Brother Arrested by the IRGC Agents
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