60 days of pressure on environmental activists in Iran Prison

According to reports, someone close to these civil rights activists, whose name has not been revealed, has said that during the interrogation, the activists are being insulted and threatened while wearing blindfolds and facing the wall. He added that the activists are under pressure to “make a commitment in exchange for their freedom.”

According to this report, on Saturday July 16, 2016, Shiraz Intelligence agents arrested six environmental activists named Yekta Fahandaj Sa’adi, Nushin Zenhari, Behnam Azizpoor, Saeid Hasani, Ramin Shirvani and Esmaeil Roosta while they were at a house belonging to a friend of theirs, talking about environmental issues. They were then transferred to Shiraz Intelligence Detention Center known as No. 100. One day later on Sunday July 17, two Baha’i citizens named Nabil Tahzib and Naeim Ghaned Sharafi were also arrested in connection with the same case.

The detainees had attempted to clean up the natural areas around Shiraz during the holidays.

Naeim Ghaned Sharafi was released on July 18, one day after being arrested. Nooshin Zenhari and Ramin Shirvani were also released on bails of 200 million Tomans on August 13 and August 21, respectively.

The other detainees are still in an uncertain situation, being kept in solitary confinements while no detailed information being available on their case or charges.

It is possible that some of these activists were arrested due to being Baha’i.

Yekta Fahandaj Sa’adi, a Baha’i citizen who has been arrested for her environmental activities, was also arrested and interrogated twice before in January 2012 and February 2014. She was released on a bail of 200 million Tomans. One week before her third arrest, she was sentenced to five years in prison for acting against national security and propaganda against the system.

Following the arrest of the activists, the intelligence agents referred to their houses and while disrespecting and insulting their families, they inspected and confiscated the activists’ belongings including their hard disks, tablets, cell phones and even their vehicles. 

The detainees were not allowed to make any phone calls or to meet their families or their lawyers for 10 days and despite their families’ efforts to hire a lawyer, they still are not allowed to meet a lawyer or to sign a power of attorney.

Besides, the families of the detainees have been threatened by Shiraz Intelligence Office over their reporting on the status of their children and asked not to reveal any information in this regard.