Increased crackdown on Iranian Christians

By Jubin Katiraie

At least eight Iranian converts to Christianity have been arrested in just one month in Iran, including six from the northern city of Rasht.

Three men, identified as Mohammad Vafadar, Mohammad Islamdoust and Kamal No’manian, were arrested on Friday, February 15, whilst attending a church service in Rasht, and taken to unknown locations.

Six Iranian eco-activists arrested in one week

Iran Focus

London, 22 Feb - The Iranian security forces has arrested several more environmental activists over the past few days and transferred them to unknown locations in what is being seen as a worsening crackdown on conservationists.

On February 17, four activists were arrested. Zakaria Naghshbandi, Arman Vafaei and Shahou Faraji were arrested in Sanandaj, while Yousef Farhadi Babadi, a member of the “Voice of Water” Campaign in Shahre Kord, was arrested by Iranian security agents as he travelled home with his family members. Notably, the campaign and its activists were featured in a report by the Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated Fars news agency.

Dismal Report by the Iran Human Rights Monitor for January 2019

Iran Focus

London, 6 Feb - While the Iranian regime denies the use of torture, reports confirm its use. Numerous instances of torture and human rights abuses were reported by the Iran Human Rights Monitor for the month of January.

Following a labor activist’s Instagram post alleging that he was tortured while in the custody of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, human rights activists have been publishing reports about detainees being tortured during interrogations under the Farsi hashtag of “I was tortured too”.

Iran Focus

London, 20 Feb - Iranian authorities have extended the travel ban on the widow of an Iranian-Canadian environmentalist who died under suspicious circumstances in prison last year after being arrested on suspicion of spying, according to state-run news agency IRNA on Tuesday.

Payam Derafshan, the lawyer for widow Maryam Mombeini, said that he had gone to a Tehran court on Sunday to seek an end to the year-long travel ban imposed on her following the death of her husband Kavous Seyed-Emami, but the court extended the ban instead.

Environmental Activist Imprisoned in Iran Alleges Torture for Forced Confessions

Iran Focus

London, 6 Feb - Iranian environmental activist, Niloufar Bayani, who has been held for more than a year by IRGC intelligence, alleged in a court session headed by Judge Salavati that she was repeatedly threatened and attacked by authorities, and was forced to make confessions. She said the ‘confessions’ were made under physical torture and intense psychological pressure, and that she had retracted all of them after the first round of investigations.

Iran Holds Third Closed Session of Environmentalist Trial

Iran Focus

London, 13 Feb - The Iranian Regime has said that it held the third session of the closed-door trial of eight environmentalists, held in prison for over a year on bogus espionage charges.

The Mizan news agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian judiciary, reported that on Tuesday the third session of the trial that began last month was held.

The report said that the prosecutor read out more of the 300-page indictment against the defendants – Sam Rajabi, Niloufar Bayani, Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jowkar, Sepideh Kashani, Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh and Morad Tahbaz.

The Iranian Writers Association (IWA)

Iran Focus

London, 24 Jan - The Iranian Writers Association (IWA) objected to the high and unaffordable bails that judicial authorities set for three of its members, accused of vague national security charges, which has caused the members to be stuck in the notorious Evin prison.

In the IWA’s Tuesday statement, they describe the roughly $240,000 bail set for Bektash Abtin, Kayvan Bazhan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi as "unacceptable" and demanded their immediate release.

Iranian-Swedish Doctor Held in Iran Facing Serious Health Problems

Iran Focus

London, 9 Feb - An Iranian-Swedish doctor on death row in Iran, accused of collaborating with a hostile government, is suffering from major health conditions and is on the brink of death, according to his wife.

Vida Mehran Nia, speaking from her home in Sweden, explained that her husband, Ahmad Reza Jalali, recently had surgery to repair a hernia, but the operation was botched and now Jalali is suffering from anaemia and has lost a lot of weight.

Jalali, who is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison, was arrested in April 2016 after flying in to attend a conference at the University of Tehran on disaster medicine, his speciality.

Human Rights Watch 2019 Report on Iran

Iran Focus

London, 21 Jan - According to Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2019, in response to protests across the country over economic conditions, corruption, and repression, arbitrary mass arrests and serious due process violations were practiced by Iranian authorities during 2018. The crackdown on peaceful activism included detaining lawyers, human rights defenders, and women’s rights activists.


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