No information is available on the health conditions of Arzhang Davoudi, 68, who has been detained in the high security ward of Rajaishahr Prison (Gohardasht) in Karaj, isolated from other inmates since 27 May 2021.
Political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi was transferred to Rajaishahr Prison after long years of exile in remote prisons in Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, and Zabol. Prisons authorities and Intelligence Ministry agents held him incommunicado and subjected him to torture and harassment in a bid to break him.
The Greater Tehran Penitentiary did not accept Mr. Davoudi, fearing that his contact with young prisoners arrested and detained during the November 2019 protests would boost their morale and resistance in prison.
The authorities of Rajaishahr Prison have also refrained from admitting him to the ward of political prisoners. They have held him in solitary confinement in the high security ward.
In the past month, the Iranian authorities have warned social media users and media activists that they would severely deal with those calling for a boycott of the elections. It comes when Iranians are calling for a massive boycott of the elections. On 17 May this year, the Guardian Council, the body that oversees legislations and elections, disqualified major regime officials, who have applied to run in the elections, paving the way for the definite victory of Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi. In the past month, several Iran officials have backed Internet filtering in Iran and threatened Iranians who call for the election boycott. The Chief Justice of Kurdistan said in a meeting on June 1 that anyone who crossed the regimes “red line” in cyberspace regarding the upcoming elections would be severely dealt with. According to the state-run ISNA News Agency, Seyed Hossein Hosseini said the Judiciary would monitor everyone’s activities on the internet and that offenders would be “severely” dealt with without any leniency. “Maximum turnout and choosing the best candidate are the most important priorities of the elections,” the Head of the Judiciary in the western province said in the third session of the Prevention and Examination of Electoral Crimes and Violations Office.
The Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has recently informed the family of political prisoner Mehran Gharebaghi in Behbahan that he had been sentenced to death.
Mehran Gharebaghi, 29, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, was arrested on 18 January 2020, along with a friend, Majid Khademi, 29, and transferred to Behbahan Prison after a month-long interrogation.
The MOIS agents demanded that Mehran’s family pressure him to recant, collaborate with the ministry. This they said must happen before a formal court ruling is issued.
In late 2020, the public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Behbahan arraigned them with charges of “propaganda against the state,” “complicity in destruction and setting fire to public property,” “participation in disturbing public order,” “participation in making civilian incendiary material” and “membership in an opposition group (The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and corruption on Earth.”
A prisoner was reportedly killed under torture in the Urmia Central prison in northwestern Iran. A prisoner identified as 35-year-old Amir Rezai was killed under torture on Mondaym May 17. He was serving a 20 year-sentence on drug related charges since 10 years ago.
An informed source said Amir Rezai was taken to the prison’s quarantine section on May 26 following a fight between a number of prisoners. He escaped from solitary confinement on Monday evening and returned to the prison’s dormitory 1-2. Four prison guards followed him and arrested him. Two of them severely beat him. He was taken to the prison medical center while unconscious and passed away. Although the signs of torture and beatings on the prisoner’s body are evident, the prison warden and the regime’s agents claim that Rezai died of a drug overdose. The beating of prisoners in Iranian prisons is a common practice. In some cases, beatings of prisoners have caused permanent disability or other irreversible damage to their health.
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.