Struggle for human rights continues in Iran: The stories of Arash Sadeghi, Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee

Saeed Shirzad on hunger with lips sewn shut

The following Editorial is contributed by Kaveh Taheri, an Iranian dissident and refugee in Turkey, who reports on areas of high concern in the Iranian government and the Middle East. 

Kaveh Taheri

Kaveh Taheri – Iranian Dissident and Journalist

Saeed Shirzad (featured in front page image) began an indefinite hunger strike at notorious Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj today by sewing his mouth in objecting wardens’ misbehaviors.

He has gone on hunger strike to protest for basic rights of the prisoners of conscience which their rights has been ignored by prisons authorities. The prisoners are deprived of medical care and serving their prison term with no safety.

The hunger striking activist has come out in support of political prisoners in Iran prisons by writing a letter to wardens that “insulting to the political prisoners families by officials”, “arrest of the prisoners families in the prison visit rooms”, “prevention of hospitalizing the illness prisoners”, “beating the prisoners”, “forced transfer of prisoners to court”, “irresponsibility to hunger striking prisoners”, and “closing the wards’ windows whereupon the prisoners do not have fresh air” causing the launch of hunger strike, confirms HRANA.

Shirzad is a 27-year old political activist and member of the Society for the Defense of Child Laborers, has been kept at prison since June 8, 2014. He was held in the solitary confinement cells of Ward 209 at Evin prison with no rights to visit his family or having lawyer.

The political activist was sentenced to five years in prison at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran on September 12, 2015, chaired by Judge Salavati, for alleged charges of “assembly and collusion against national security”, the verdict was delivered to the lawyer on September 16, 2015.


Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee

Arash Sadeghi, the imprisoned student rights activist, started an indefinite hunger strike following the arbitrary arrest of his wife Golrokh Iraee on October 25, 2016. He plans to continue his hunger strike until Iran’s officials release his wife Golrokh from prison, say local sources.

Arash is on hunger strike in ward 8 of Evin Prison since 44 days ago. The prison clinic specialist has recommended that Mr. Sadeghi be transferred to a hospital, but Mr. Sadeghi has refused hospitalization for medical treatment for as long as the wardens force him to be handcuffed and wear official prisoner clothes.

Arash Sadeghi was arrested by the Execution of the Warrants Department officers on June 7, 2016 and sent to Tehran notorious Evin prison. Arash, 30, went to Shahid Moghadasi court of Evin to get information on his sentencing status when he was arrested and sent to prison to serve a 19-year-term imprisonment, said his relatives. He is being held at Ward 8 of the Evin prison amongst criminals imprisoned for serious offences such as pirates, thieves, embezzlement, fraud and forgery.

Arash Sadeghi was sentenced to 15 year imprisonment at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court chaired by Judge Salavati. His wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, 35, also sentenced to six years in prison. The Judge Salavati removed his former suspended sentence against Arash Sadeghi that the total penalty would be 19 years in prison. They were deprived of the rights having lawyer in the trial.

Arash Sadeghi, who was kicked out of Alameh Tabatabai University, was arrested by IRGC officials at his work on 6th Sep, 2014.

Mr. Sadeghi was accused of “gathering demonstration and collusion against the regime”, “propaganda against the regime”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran” and “spreading false news in cyberspace”.

Arash’s detention had been frequently extended despite his critical health condition. He has had extremely painful experiences in prison—both psychologically and physically when officials raided his father’s house at 4 am on 30 Oct 2010 during his former arrest. His mother suffered a fatal heart attack and died as a result of the shock of the raid.

As a result of torture inflicted in the Ministry of Intelligence detention centers on 2014, he suffered a broken rib and shoulder and to this day he is still suffering from those injuries. He needs effective and urgent medical care, including surgery on his injured shoulder.

Contrary to the imperative medical care, Arash’s detention had been extended, and he had been exposed for about seven months to solitary confinement in the Intelligence Agency’s prison.

On 12 Oct 2013, he was released from Ward 209 of Evin prison, after 18 months in solitary confinement, torture and hunger strike; only after 11 months being free he was arrested again on 6 Sep 2014 and was transferred to Ward 2-A of Sepah (IRGC) detention center.

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was nabbed at her house by IRGC forces early morning on October 24, 2016. The agents kicked down the doors to her home and entered without arrest warrant, according to her relatives.

Iran’s authorities took her into Women Ward at Evin prison following the arrest, BCR Group has learned. Golrokh was sentenced to six years in prison for vague charges of “insulting Islamic sanctities” (blasphemy) for the unpublished fictional story about “stoning”, according to news. She was sentenced to imprisonment in an absentia trial. The story describes the emotional reaction of a young woman who watches the movie “The Stoning of Soraya M” – which based of true story of a young woman stoned to death for alleged adultery, via run-human rights news.

Iran’s authorities issued its charges against the young writer following the unpublished story – which was discovered by IRGC agents when Golrokh was arrested together with her husband Arash Sadeghi. Arash Sadeghi, who is currently serving a 19-year prison term in the Evin prison on the ambiguous charges on charges including “spreading propaganda against the system”, “gathering and colluding against national security” and “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, according to local human rights activists.

They were released on the bail of 600 million Tomans ($21,000) from the prison, until the trial to be met.

Ultimately, Islamist authorities of occupied Iran affirmed highest sentence against Arash Sadeghi (19 years in prison) and his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee (6 years in prison) on February 22, 2016. The sentence was previously held at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court chaired by Judge Salavati.

Mr. Sadeghi is one of the students who was denied education because of his student’s activities. Many of the Iranian citizens were deprived of education and occupation because of their civil-political activities ever since 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Follow Kaveh Taheri on Twitter: @TaheriKaveh

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