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Seven Prisoners in Imminent Danger of Execution for Drug Offenses

Seven Prisoners in Imminent Danger of Execution for Drug OffensesIran Human Rights - Seven prisoners in Minab Prison (Hormozgan province, southern Iran) are in imminent danger of execution.

Seven prisoners in Minab Prison were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday September 25 in preparation for their executions.

According to close sources, the seven prisoners, who range from ages 25 to 30, are on death row for drug related offenses. Close sources identify the prisoners as: Kodabakhsh Balouch, Ali Balouch, Chaker Balouch, Mohammad Mohammad Zehi, Majid Nariman, Mehdi Moradi, and Mohammad Ghourchizadeh.

Iran Sentences Lebanese IT Expert To 10 Years In Prison

Image result for jail sentenceRFL/RE - A Lebanese information-technology (IT) expert detained in Iran for more than a year has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $4.2 million, his supporters say.

Nizar Zakka, a Washington resident, was detained in September 2015 in Tehran after attending a government-organized conference on entrepreneurship and employment, where he was a panelist.

Iran's state-controlled television and hard-line media outlets have accused Zakka of having links to the U.S. military and intelligence services.

In a September 19 statement e-mailed to RFE/RL, Jason Poblete, a U.S. lawyer representing Zakka, said a revolutionary court had issued a 60-page verdict and sentence.

"This is but another example of the Iranian regime's targeting of Americans to extract concessions from the U.S.," the statement said.

It added that Zakka "is innocent and is being used as political pawn."

Zakka is the general secretary of the Arab Communications and Information Technology organization, which advocates for Internet development in the Middle East.

In the past months, several dual nationals, including Iranian-Americans, have been detained in Iran in what appears to be a crackdown on warming ties with the West following last year's nuclear agreement.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned against alleged "infiltration" attempts by the West.

With reporting by AP

Journalist With Reformist Daily Arrested In Iran

Image result for arrestRFL/RE - A journalist with Iran's reformist Sharq daily has been arrested in Tehran. Sadra Mohaqeq was arrested on September 19 at his home in the Iranian capital, reports said.

The reason for his arrest is not clear.

Mohaqeq was also arrested in 2013 in a crackdown on pro-reform media.

The semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Mohaqeq was arrested by a "security body."

In April, four journalists arrested in November 2015 were sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison for "colluding" with foreign governments and acting against "national security".

Media watchdogs say journalists in Iran have to work in a climate of fear and censorship.

On Hunger Strike, Imprisoned Music Distributors’ Health Deteriorates - Imprisoned music distributors Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian are in poor health after starting a hunger strike on September 8, 2016 in Evin Prison. The brothers are protesting being held in separate wards and the denial of access to medical care.

An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that judicial officials have rejected Mehdi Rajabian's requests for treatment for symptoms of multiple sclerosis detected by doctors after he endured intense interrogation sessions. Both brothers are also suffering from blood infections.


"On September 8, following a discussion with prison officials about the need for medical furlough (temporary leave) to receive treatment, guards entered Ward 7 and separated Mehdi from his brother and moved him to Ward 8. The brothers protested and immediately began a hunger strike," said the source.

Political prisoners in Iran routinely receive discriminatory treatment, including denial of necessary medical treatment.

The Rajabian brothers, along with Yousef Emadi, were managing partners in Barg Music, a popular online music distribution service launched in 2009, when they were arrested on October 5, 2013 by the Revolutionary Guards' Intelligence Organization and accused of "spreading corruption" for distributing music without a permit and working with female singers (who are prohibited from singing solo) and "anti-revolutionary" musicians abroad. The three maintain that they sought but never received permits for their work, which was never political in nature.

In May 2015, during a trial that lasted less than an hour, Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced the three men to six years in prison and imposed a fine of 200 million rials (approximately $6,600 USD) each for "insulting the sacred" and "propaganda against the state." The Appeals Court reduced their prison sentences to three years with an additional suspended three-year prison sentence.

The three were summoned to Evin Prison to begin their sentence on May 26, 2016, but the date was postponed until June 4 because Mehdi Rajabian was undergoing medical treatment.

The year of 2015 saw an alarming number of artists harassed and punished in Iran, with heavy prison sentences issued for creating and publishing work deemed offensive by the authorities.

Since 2013, when President Hassan Rouhani was voted into office while promising a more open society, numerous state-sanctioned musicians, including the popular musical artists Alireza Ghorbani and Sirvan Khosravi, have also seen their concerts canceled at the last moment.


Image result for amnesty internationalAmnesty - The trial of Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national and permanent US resident held in detention in Tehran's Evin Prison since September 2015, has concluded after two brief sessions before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. His health is deteriorating but the authorities are denying him access to medical care.

View report in English

Iran has dismissed as "untrue" a recent statement by the UN human rights chief, in which he has criticized what is said to be Tehran's lack of interactions with his office in recent years.

PayvandNews - In a Friday statement, the Iranian Judiciary's Human Rights Council said the September 13 statement by Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is "surprising" and "regrettable" as he is already aware of Tehran's cooperative measures over the past few years

At the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council on September 13, Ra'ad Hussein claimed Iran has "given no access" to his office (OHCHR) since 2013.

"This is particularly regrettable given the reports we continue to receive of fundamental problems" with the situation of human rights in Iran, the UN official further said.

The Iranian council further outlined the steps taken by Tehran over the past years to promote its cooperation with the OHCHR, saying "it is regrettable that the UN high commissioner and his colleagues, who are well informed of such measures, say they are not in the know."

In one of the measures listed in the statement, Tehran has sent numerous invitations to the former and current high commissioners, and held four rounds of discussions with OHCHR officials on different topics.

The Iranian Judiciary's human rights arm further emphasized that Tehran respects its international commitments, adding that the Islamic Republic's "fundamental policy is based on transparency as well as constructive and logical interactions."

Iran expects international rights officials to take the realities into account while addressing the human rights situation in different countries and avoid making "politically-motivated" statements by "adopting a professional and unbiased" approach, the Iranian rights body said.

It also rejected the allegations that Tehran refuses to cooperate with the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights situation in Iran.

Iran has on numerous occasions slammed the UN and the Western states for exploiting the issue of human rights to put pressure on the Islamic Republic.

In the latest such measures in May, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, accused the Islamic Republic of human rights violations, voicing concern over the alleged increase of execution of drug traffickers.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed the report as "biased" and "politically-motivated."

"Reports of this kind are compiled based on the viewpoints of a few countries and with the aim of targeting other countries through exploiting international human rights mechanisms," the ministry stated.


Image result for amnestyAmnesty - Kamal Foroughi, a 77-year-old British-Iranian man jailed in Tehran's Evin Prison, has developed cataracts in both his eyes. He may be at risk of losing his eyesight unless he is given access to adequate specialized medical treatment, including cataract surgery.

View report in English

No Information about 5 Arrested Christians

Amin Afshar NaderiHRANA News Agency – After one week since the arrest of 5 Christians in Firoozkooh, there is no information about the place that they are being detained at. Their names has not been registered in any of Tehran’s prisons and efforts made by their families and lawyers had no result.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), there is no information about the status of Ramin Bet Tamers, Amin Afshar Naderi, Hadi Asgari, Mohamad Dehnavard and Amir Saman Dashti, 5 Christians who went for picnic to Firoozkooh, and were arrested by the intelligence forces on Friday, August 26.

A close source to their families told HRANA’s reporter, “Their families do not know which detention centre or prison they are being kept at. They were told that they were in Evin. But authorities in Evin are denying it. The families are even told that none of those names were registered in any of Iran’s prisons”.

The source also said, “Yet no lawyer has intervened; in fact it is impossible to intervene. Few lawyers have tried but they did not succeed”.

This source emphasized that, “The main concern of the families is that they do not know the place that they are being kept at, which has made them unable to follow up their cases”.

Raeil Bot Amarz, Amin Afshar Naderi, Hadi Asgari, Mohammad Dehnavi and Amirsaman Dashti went for picnic and fishing, along with their wife on Friday, August 26. Around 1 pm intelligent service forces raid to their station and separated men from women. When Amin Afshar Naderi asked warrant, he was beaten.

Need to be mentioned, Raeil Bot Amarz is son of the former head of the Asuri church of Pentikasti in Sharara, in Tehran, who has previous arrest in his record.

Iran: At Least 8 Prisoners Executed on Drug Related Charges

Iran:Iran Human Rights - Eight new executions reported in Iran by official and unofficial sources. All eight prisoners were reportedly executed on drug related charges.

Seven prisoners were executed at Bandar Abbas Central Prison (Hormozgan province, southern Iran) on drug related charges, reports Iranian state-run media Tabnkak. The hangings were reportedly carried out on Saturday September 10. According to the unofficial news agency, HRANA, the prisoners were sailors who were sentenced to death on drug related charges. HRANA identifies the prisoners as: Ghasem Daryanavard, Amin Bibaki, Khosro Badpa, Sattar Hoot, Mohammad Hanif Boop, Haroun Heykalnejad and Tareq Naraaj.

Last week, at least one prisoner was reportedly executed at Mashhad's Vakilabad Prison on drug related charges. The prisoner has been idenitfied by unofficial sources as Einollah Mohammadzadeh, sentenced to death on drug related charges. A source close to Mr. Mohammadzadeh told HRANA that "justice was not implemented" in his court hearing. The exact date of Mr. Mohammadzadeh's execution is not known at this time. Additionally, Iranian official sources have been silent regarding his execution.

Mohammadzadeh, sentenced to death on drug related charges. A source close to Mr. Mohammadzadeh told HRANA that "justice was not implemented" in his court hearing. The exact date of Mr. Mohammadzadeh's execution is not known at this time. Additionally, Iranian official sources have been silent regarding his execution.

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