Turkic minority rights activistA court in Iran has sentenced Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist Hojjat Esmatzadeh to 50 lashes and two years and six months in prison.
According to the verdict, issued in absentia by Branch 101 of the Criminal Court of Naghadeh, Hojjat Esmatzadeh was sentenced to 50 lashes and one year in prison for disturbing public order and 18 months in prison for publishing pictures on social media.
Hojjat Esmatzadeh was arrested on November 24, 2021, after being summoned to the Naghadeh Intelligence Office, and was transferred to Naghadeh Prison.
He was released on bail on November 28, 2021, awaiting trial.
He has previously been arrested and summoned for his activities.
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Arash Ghale GolabPoet and journalist Arash Ghaleh Golab has not been allowed to contact his family since he was arrested on May 26, during a protest over the recent collapse of a building in the Iranian port city of Abadan.
Ghaleh Golab was violently arrested by security forces during a state crackdown on protests and remains in detention while suffering from acute respiratory illness and diabetes.
In a statement on June 1, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expressed concern over his arrest.
CPJ said that a “source familiar with the case” said that officers hit Ghaleh-Golab “with their fists and kicked him” during his arrest, adding that he is being detained without charge at an undisclosed location and not being allowed to contact his family.
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May 2022 Iran Human Rights MonitorMay 2022 saw the Iranian regime ratchet up social clampdown in step with the growing discontent and the spread of popular protests.
Iranian authorities intensified their crackdown on society amid protests against rising prices.
Security forces arrested dozens of teachers in the four days leading up to international workers’ day, between April 28 and May 1, 2022.
Peaceful rallies were held in many Iranian cities on May Day, which coincides with International Workers Day and Teachers’ Day in Iran. The regime imposed tight security measures in several cities to prevent the protests from spreading.
In some cities, rallies turned violent with police and security forces attacking and beating demonstrators. Dozens of teachers and educators were beaten and detained.
May was also marked by widespread protests in various provinces, including Khuzestan, Lorestan, Fars, and Tehran.
A new round of protests in Iran started on May 5, after the government removed subsidies on basic food items which have sent prices skyrocketing including the price of non-traditional bread, flour, dairy products, cooking oil, poultry, and eggs.
Reports say the protests spread to at least 31 cities.
Authorities resorted to violence to quell the protests. At least six protesters were killed by security forces amid a violent state crackdown on the protests, while the authorities blocked internet access in the unrest cities.
The slain protesters are Pish Ali Ghalebi, Omid Soltani, Hamid Ghasempour, Saadat Hadipour, Jamshid Mokhtari Junghani, and Behrooz Eslami.
Security forces resorted to widespread arrests to counter the protests. There have been reports of hundreds of arrests in Izeh (Khuzestan Province) alone and 50 in the city of Shahr-e Kord (Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province).
Numerous labor, civil and political rights activists have been arbitrarily arrested.
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food protests in IranFood protests in Iran triggered last week by a sudden hike in prices of essential goods were violently repressed with security forces using lethal force

A new wave of nationwide protests was triggered last week by a cut in state subsidies for imported wheat that caused price hikes of as much as 300% for a variety of flour-based staples.
The prices of essential goods including bread, milk, dairy products, eggs, poultry, and cooking oil have also risen sharply amid Iran’s 40-percent inflation rate.

The cities of Andimeshk, Dezful, Izeh, Droud, Shahrekord, Junqan, Yasuj, and Neishabour were among areas hit by protests over skyrocketing prices of food staples.

All sectors of Iranian society are being crushed under soaring inflation, rampant unemployment, meager wages, and widespread water shortages, as well as the Iranian regime’s repressive policies.
Speaking on May 9 on state television, Raisi pledged that the price of traditional bread, gasoline, and medicine would remain unchanged.

In order to compensate for the rise in prices, Raisi said direct payments equivalent to approximately $10 or $13 would be disbursed for two months for each family member of low-income households. Later, he said Iranians will be offered electronic coupons that would allow them to access a limited amount of subsidized bread.

Reports suggested that the price of cooking oil had almost quadrupled since Raisi’s announcement, while the price of eggs and chicken nearly doubled.

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Khuzestan protestsInternet outages, arrests, and the presence of state security forces throughout the Khuzestan Province have continued after people came to the streets to protest skyrocketing prices of essential goods.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, May 6 and 7, 2022, the people of Khuzestan Province, came to the streets in the cities of Ahvaz, Izeh, Baghmalek, and Susangerd, protesting against the skyrocketing prices of bread and other essential goods.
Iran’s intelligence and security forces rounded up and detained dozens of people, usually following home raids of Arab activists and former political prisoners during the late evening or early morning hours on Saturday and Sunday.
In the cities of Susangerd, Hamidieh, and Ahvaz, several of those arrested have been taken to an unknown location. They include Saeid Dahimi, Ali Moghinami, Hassan Moghinami, Jassem Bahrani, Hashem Bahrani, Mohammad Tarfi, Adel Hemadi, Mostafa Cheldawi, Abbas Cheldawi, and Emad Savari.
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Mehdi Salehi Ghaleh ShahrokhiPolitical prisoner Mehdi Salehi Ghaleh Shahrokhi who was sentenced to death for taking part in peaceful protests, died in a hospital today.
He suffered a stroke in January after being injected wrong medicine in Dastgerd prison of Isfahan where he was detained since arrested. Authorities delayed his transfer to the hospital, putting him at grave risk of death.
He was arrested in November 2019 and, along with four other prisoners, was sentenced to death in addition to five years in prison with hard labor on charges of “participating in the January 2018 Iran protests,” “Moharebeh (waging war against God),” and “Corruption on Earth.”
Death sentences against Salehi and four other men arrested in Isfahan Province, central Iran, Mohammad Bastami, Abbas Mohammadi, Majid Nazari, and Hadi Kiani, in connection with nationwide protests during December 2017-January 2018, were upheld by the Supreme Court on July 30, 2020, despite reports of false “confessions” extracted under torture and evidence contradicting the men’s guilt.
Salehi, a resident of Yazdanshahr, was shot and wounded in the head while helping a friend who had been wounded during the 2018 protests.
He went to the prison health center on December 11, 2021, due to heart and head problems, but suffered a stroke due to the injection of the wrong medicine.
Prison authorities delayed his transfer to the hospital, putting him at grave risk of death.
He was in a coma at Al-Zahra Hospital in Isfahan until March 2022. However, he was surrounded by intelligence and security agents, and his family and small daughter were not allowed to visit him.
Former political prisoners also warned on their social media accounts that Salehi’s case is no accident and has the hallmark of the intentional killings that the regime carries out in its prisons.
In a video message to the mother of Mehdi Salehi, the mother of Behnam Mahjoubi said, “Like my Behnam, only death released your Mehdi from prison. These sentences are very familiar: medical poisoning, wrong medication, or wrong injection. There was no mistake. These are all premeditated murders. This is a scenario to kill our innocent children in prison. [The authorities] must be held accountable, and we will seek justice for the unjust killing of our children.”
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Rasoul BodaghiRasoul Bodaghi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association (ITTA), has been sentenced to five years in prison and banned from residing in Tehran and neighboring provinces for two years.
Mr. Badaghi’s lawyer, Ramin Safarnia, tweeted on Saturday, April 16, that the activist was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion” and one year in prison on “propaganda activities.” He was also sentenced to a one-year ban on leaving the country and a two-year ban on residing in Tehran and all neighboring provinces.
The senior member of the ITTA would have to serve four years behind bars according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, which allows defendants to serve only the longest sentence in cases involving multiple convictions.
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Houshmand AlipourPolitical prisoner Houshmand Alipour has been deprived of his right to leave and visits because of the media coverages of his hunger strike in Sanandaj Prison.
Under pressure of the Intelligence Department of Kurdistan, Khosravi Zadeh, the judge in charge of Sanandaj Prison, and the head of the prison, informed Houshmand Alipour that since the issue of his hunger strike had been reported in the media, they could not grant him leave and he could not have visitations with his family.
According to Hejar Alipour, Hooshmand’s brother: “Government officials and officials in charge of Sanandaj prison continue to refuse to grant leave to this political prisoner under pressure and threats from the General Directorate of Intelligence of Kurdistan Province.”
Mr. Alipour said: “On November 16, 2021, after a 15-day hunger strike, Houshmand was promised leave by the judge in charge of Sanandaj prison, Khosravi Zadeh, and the head of the prison. He was told that they would allow him to leave in two months. But now they say that since the news of his hunger strike has been covered by the media, they could not send him on leave.”
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Hirad PirThe Revolutionary Court of Tehran has sentenced labor activist Hirad Pirbdaghi to 4 years and 8 months in prison, two years of deprivation of membership in political and social groups, and a two-year ban on leaving the country.
Pirbdaghi has been charged with “propaganda activities against the state and society and collusion against national security.”
Hirad Pirbodaghi is a writer, labor activist, and member of the editorial board of the labor magazine Gam (Step).
This labor activist has been arrested several times for his activities.
Hirad Porbodaghi was first arrested in August 2019 during a gathering in front of the Revolutionary Court, supporting the Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory’s imprisoned workers, and spent three months behind bars.
A few weeks after his release, he was detained again for 10 days, this time because he still hadn’t stopped his activities.
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Maryam AkbariPolitical prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared is serving her 13th year in exile in Semnan prison. She is suffering from fatty liver disease and is deprived of minimal facilities in Semnan prison.
“Maryam Akbari is unable to provide the food needed to maintain her minimum health as the doctor has set,” an informed source said. “Because there are no facilities for cooking food even for the sick inmates in Semnan Central Prison.”
“This political prisoner has been forced to eat bread and cheese for about a year. Because she cannot eat prison food and this food has endangered her health.”
Maryam Akbari was arrested on December 31, 2009, after the tremendous uprising on December 27 that year which shook the pillars of the regime. In June 2010, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran handed down a 15-year prison sentence for Moharebeh on the alleged charge of “membership in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran,” a charge which Mrs. Akbari has never accepted.
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