Political prisoners Mohammad Amirkhizi and Payam Shakiba were transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajaishahr Prison in Karaj on Saturday, December 19, 2020.
The two prisoners had been abruptly moved from the political prisoners’ ward in Rajaishahr Prison to the Intelligence Ministry Ward 209 in Evin Prison in July 2020, along with political prisoner Majid Assadi.
All three prisoners were supposed to be released from Rajaishahr Prison. But on the orders of the Ministry of Intelligence, new cases were filed against them to prevent their freedom on the charge of propaganda against the state.
The court examining the cases of these three prisoners, finally convened at the 29th Branch of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court on October 19, 2020, with the prisoners’ lawyers present.
Based on reports, political prisoners Mohammad Bannazadeh Amirkhizi and Payam Shakiba, have been returned to Rajaishahr Prison from Evin.
Political prisoner Mohammad Bannazadeh Amirkhizi is one of Tehran’s well-known Bazaar merchants. His brother and several other members of family were executed in 1980s. Mr. Amirkhizi was himself a political prisoner in 1980s. His charges included having ties with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran and supporting the families of political prisoners. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times.
Mr. Amirkhizi was re-arrested on February 18, 2017, at home by intelligence agents. In December 2017, the 26th Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced him to 11 years in prison and 2 years of internal exile to the city of Nikshahr in Sistan and Baluchistan Province for “acting against national security through assembly and collusion” and “propaganda against the state.”
Mr. Amirkhizi suffers from high risk illnesses, such has high blood pressure.
Political prisoner Payam Shakiba, born in 1987, is a student of Master’s of political sciences at Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabii University. He was arrested along with five other students on July 9, 2008, by agents of the Department of Intelligence of Zanjan. He was released 22 months later on bail. In 2009, the Revolutionary Court of Zanjan sentenced him to one year in prison. But this verdict was increased to 6 months plus 6 months of suspended sentence by the Appellate Court. In 2010, he went to prison to serve this sentence. He was released from prison after serving his six months.
On February 2017, Payam Shakiba was arrested again by agents of the Intelligence Ministry. He was held for two months in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin. He was subsequently transferred to Rajaishahr Prison. In July 2018, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison and 2 years of internal exile to Borazjan. He suffers from liver complications.