- Vida Movahed sentenced to year in prison April 16, 2019
Vida Movahed, an Iranian activist who triggered anti-compulsory hijab protests last year by removing her headscarf and brandishing it on a stick, was recently sentenced to one year in prison.
According to her lawyer Payam Derefshan, Movahed’s was sentenced on charges of “encouraging corruption and prostitution to the public” in early March.
However, Derefshan says that she has since been paroled by the judge in her case and pardoned by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Despite this, she has yet to be released from prison.
Movahed, who is the mother of a 2-year-old child, was first arrested on January 21, 2018, after standing on an electricity box in Tehran’s Revolution Street and removing her headscarf. Although she was released soon after on January 27th, she started a wave of similar actions by other anti-compulsory hijab activists—who became known as the “Girls of Revolution St.”
Movahed was re-arrested on October 29, 2018, after standing on another platform in Tehran’s Revolution Square and holding balloons. Her sentence stems from this second arrest, according to her lawyer.
- Iran’s Freedom Movement Condemns US Sanctions February 25, 2019
The Freedom Movement, one of Iran’s oldest pro-democracy groups, has written a letter condemning US sanctions and “unilateral” US policies against Iran. The letter states US policies are empowering “domestic hardliners [in Iran] & warmongers abroad.
The letter states regarding the destructive impact of US sanctions: “It is the Iranian people who suffer the most harm and economic hardship from sanctions. These sanctions have weakened the middle class and the downtrodden and disrupt Iran’s democracy-seeking trend.”
The letter says that the Freedom Movement is among the most ardent critics of Iran’s ruling system and referenced how its members have been imprisoned and tortured.
Despite this, the letter calls for the US to abide by the nuclear deal—calling it a guarantor of global peace and security.
- Rouhani Opens Possibility for Engaging US February 6, 2019
On February 6th, President Rouhani suggested before an audience of foreign ambassadors and diplomats in Tehran that Iran would deal with a “repentant” United States. Rouhani stated that the U.S. was an “oathbreaker” and that Iran had “proven in these years that it’s precise when it comes signing commitments” and that it “stands with its signature.”
Rouhani dangled the possibility of engaging the United States: “If America reverses course on its wrong path and apologizes for its past interventions and talks with respect with our people, we are ready to accept its repentance.”
- Yashar Soltani Sentenced January 25, 2019
Today, investigative journalist Yashar Soltani was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Two years ago, Soltani had released a report documenting corruption in the Tehran municipality having to do with giving away government property for political purposes.
According to his lawyer, his charges include “collecting and publishing classified information related to the Judiciary’s General Inspection Office and publishing false information with the aim of disturbing public sentiment.”
Soltani has 20 days to appeal his sentence.
- Political Prisoners Sentenced January 23, 2019
On Saturday, Abolqasem Salavati, the head judge of Tehran’s infamous Revolutionary Court Branch 15, handed out 6-year sentences against political prisoners Farhad Meysami & Reza Khandan.
Their lawyer says the ruling is not final & they will appeal it.
On January 5th, Meysami had written a letter criticizing both the Revolutionary Court 15 & the Trump administration’s policies.
- Update in Esmail Bakshi Case January 22, 2019
In the aftermath of the rearrests over the weekend of activist Sepideh Gholian & labor leader Esmail Bakhshi, 21 Iranian judiciary lawyers have signed a letter saying that Bakhshi can’t get a fair trial in Shush.
The lawyers say that to try him in Shush would have no “legal justification” given Bakhshi’s allegation of torture while in the custody of Shush judicial authorities.
- Esmail Bakshi Rearrested January 21, 2019
Labor leader Esmail Bakhshi was rearrested last night in Iran.
He was first held for a month over his role in the Hafte Tapeh worker protests in the city of Shush. Upon release, he alleged he was tortured, leading to public outcry and investigations by various government institutions.
Officials eventually stated that Bakhshi was not tortured and state television aired a film of Bakhshi’s “confession” on Saturday.
Another former detainee alleging torture, activist Sepideh Gholian, was also arrested again over the weekend. She has since called for a public trial.
- Arrest of Sepideh Gholian January 20, 2019
Today, activist Sepideh Gholian was arrested once again in Ahvaz.
She was first arrested in November in connection with the labor protests by workers of the Ahvaz Steel Company. On Saturday, Iranian state TV aired a film of her “confession.” She, along with labor leader Esmail Bakhshi, says she was tortured while in custody.
- Arrest of Amir Amir-Goli January 17, 2019
Today, BBC Persian reported Amir Amir-Goli, a member of the editorial board of the leftist Gam magazine, was reportedly arrested. Previously, on January 9th, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Amir Hossein Mohammadi-Far and Sanaz Allah-Yari, another member of its editorial board, were arrested.
The magazine supported and wrote reports on the recent labour protests by workers of the Hafte Tapeh factory and Ahvaz Steel companies.