Iranian authorities have embarked on a wave of arbitrary arrests of more than a dozen citizens in Ahvaz, capital of the south-western Khuzestan Province. Among those arbitrarily arrested is the mother of one of the November 2019 uprising martyrs. The clerical regime arrested some 15 young men and the elderly mother of one of the November 2019 uprising martyrs in Ahvaz and the Port of Mahshahr from Friday, 14May to Sunday, 16 May. The arrests came simultaneous with the Eid-al Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Both cities were hubs of protest during the bloody nationwide uprising in November 2019. Those arrested had honoured the memories of the November 2019 uprising’s martyrs on Eid-al Fitr, by singing patriotic and epical songs, and paying tribute to them. According to local sources, the residents held many large gatherings on Eid-al Fitr to commemorate those who laid down their lives in November 2019 or were unjustly executed by the regime. They gathered outside the families’ houses.
According to the News from Iran upcoming presidential election, Iran’s judiciary chief, Death Commission on 1988 Massacre Judge Ebrahim Raisi declared his candidacy on Saturday for next month’s presidential election. He said on the local media that: “I have come as an independent to the stage to make changes in the executive management of the country and to fight poverty, corruption, humiliation and discrimination." Appointed by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as the head of the Judiciary in March 2019, Raisi has emerged as one of Iran’s most powerful figures and a contender to succeed Khamenei. He lost to Hassan Rouhani in the 2017 presidential election.
The vote takes place amid systematic violations of human rights in Iran in all its forms. During the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, Raisi was a member of the “Death Commission,” a group of so-called judges who sentenced the prisoners to death in minutes-long trials.
620 Executions under Death Commission Judge Ebrahim Raisi
More than 620 executions were carried out in Iran since the Death Commission Judge Ebrahim Raisi took office. Many prisoners were executed after extremely unfair trials, a large number of them from the ethnic minority groups.
Dangerous inmates in the political prisoners’ ward in the Central Prison of Urmia beat up and brutalized political prisoners Ebrahim Khalil Sedighi Hamedi and his son, Salar, on May 5, 2021, reports from this prison say. Prison authorities in the Central Prison of Urmia forcibly transferred this father and son to the political prisoners’ ward where, six months ago, they had been harassed by several dangerous inmates paid by prison authorities to do so. Ebrahim and Salar were therefore transferred out of the political prisoners’ ward and imprisoned in the ordinary prisoners’ ward, called “Moshavereh” (literally meaning consultation). Despite his knowledge about these violent incidents, the “observer judge” ordered the transfer of both prisoners back to the political prisoners’ ward. On Wednesday, May 5, they were forcibly moved to one of the rooms in the previous ward. Immediately after their arrival, dangerous inmates attacked and brutalized both prisoners. So, the “observer judge” had to send them back to the Moshavereh ward.
Parents and sons sentenced to 34 years in jail, 6 years in exile The Revolutionary Court of Kashan has sentenced the Shab Zendedar family to a total of 34 years in jail and six years in exile. If the Revision Court upholds their sentences, Akbar Shab Zendedar, 65, will be sentenced to 9 years and 8 months imprisonment, 7 years of which is suspended. His sons, Hanif, 39, and Saeed, 36, will also have to endure the same sentence. All three have also been sentenced to 2 years in exile, each. The mother of the family, Kobra Mohammadi, 60, will receive a 5-year suspended jail term.
Iranian authorities have threatened political prisoner Vahid Afkari, brother to executed wrestling champion Navid Afkari, that if he does not “confess” he will be killed. According to reports, two high-ranking officials met with Vahid Afkari and told him that he should do whatever they asked of him, including confessing to the murder, in order to be released, otherwise he would be executed. About a month after Navid’s execution, prison officials told political prisoner Vahid Afkari that two high-ranking officials wanted to meet with him. The source said that during the meeting, Vahid Afkari was asked to do whatever they asked him to do, including confessing to a crime or murder, so that he could be released from prison after a year and they would provide living conditions inside or outside the country for him. They had threatened political prisoner Vahid Afkari that if this request was not accepted, he would also be “executed”.
Images recently posted on social media show several new graves being dug over the mass graves in Khavaran Cemetery where the authorities had buried political prisoners executed in 1988 massacre. At least two people have been buried in these graves in recent days in this area. Khavaran Cemetery is located southeast of Tehran, where members of Iran’s religious minorities, such as Christians or Baha’is, are buried separately from Muslims. Within Khavaran, there is a piece of unmarked land, where is the burial site of hundreds, or perhaps thousands of political prisoners who were executed in Tehran during the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in summer of 1988. The prisoners were hanged after a brief informal questioning by three men who became known as the “Death Commission.” This piece from Khavaran Cemetery is one of the documents of the 1988 massacre. Since the mass executions, relatives and friends have visited the graves particularly every year on the last Friday in August or the first Friday in September.
A court in northern Iran has sentenced two student activists to a total of 72 lashes. The Shahroud Criminal Court has sentenced 25-year-old Milad Nazeri and 26-year-old Seyed Shabir Hosseini Nik to a total of 72 lashes for their social media posts. The two activists are students at Shahroud University of Technology Central Campus in northern Iran. According to the verdict which was initially issued on December 29, 2020, the two student activists were sentenced to 36 lashes each for “participation in spreading lies with the intention of disturbing public opinion through the Telegram channel of the University’s Student Association”. Mohammad Ali Kamfiroozi, the lawyer of the two student activists, in a tweet said that the sentence had been finalized in recent days. He said their case has been ongoing for three years. According to Mohammad Ali Kamfirouzi, the lashing sentence was finalized despite the fact that after three years, they were not officially charged, and it is not clear what “lies” were spread by the students.
Iran’s pensioners and retirees held their fourth round of nationwide protests on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in 22 cities around the country. They called for the boycott of the regime’s sham presidential elections.
In Tehran, Iran’s pensioners and retirees including many women marched from the mullahs’ parliament to the Department of Budget, with chants of: “People join us, our pain is your pain.”
Iran’s retirees in Karaj
They also chanted: “We will not vote anymore, we have not seen any justice,” “Only by taking to the street we can obtain our rights,” “Our baskets are empty, enough of oppression,” “Enough of hollow promises, our baskets are empty,” and “We will not vote anymore, we have heard enough lies.”
Iranian authorities have sentenced two protesters arrested during the November 2019 anti-government protests that swept across Iran. Jalal Namdari and Saeed Khaledi, were sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison on the charges of participating in the protests that erupted that erupted in November 2019 over gasoline prices. Based on the court’s verdict, Khaledi is sentenced to three years in prison for “acting against the national security and cooperation with dissident opposition groups” and another year for “spreading propaganda against the establishment.”