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Jailed Political Activist Taken To 'Unknown' Location

Iran -- Soheil Arabi, Death Sentence for “Insulting the Prophet” on Facebook, Nov2014

Iranian human rights organizations are reporting the sudden transfer of a prisoner of conscience, Soheil Arabi, to an unknown location.

In a report on Friday, the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners revealed that Iranian security forces transferred Arabi immediately after he managed to disclose on audio the dire conditions in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary (GTCP), also known as Fashafouyeh prison.

Under the excuse of taking Arabi to the GTCP's clinic, the security forces and intelligence agents transferred the 35-year-old dissident to an unknown location, the campaign reiterated in its statement.

"On Thursday, Soheil Arabi was summoned to the head of the GTCP, Ali Chaharmahali. They interrogated him along with several others," the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), reported, adding, "He was also threatened with solitary confinement, and filing a new lawsuit against him."

"Mr. Arabi's family is particularly concerned about his condition," HRANA's statement said. "They are apprehensive that, as in the previous occasion, the intelligence agents might batter him again, and file a new legal case against him."

The Headquarters of Tharallah, a fearsome security body affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), arrested the outspoken blogger and photojournalist in November 2013, at his home in Tehran.

Arabi previously spent two months in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) Ward 2-A in Tehran's notorious prison, Evin, before being transferred to Section 350, which is under judiciary control.

On August 30, 2014, a five-judge panel of Branch 76 of the Criminal Court of Tehran sentenced Arabi to death for blasphemy and "insulting the Prophet of Islam" in eight Facebook accounts allegedly belonging to Arabi.

The Tehran Revolutionary Court also sentenced Arabi to three years on charges of "insulting the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and "propaganda against the state" in his postings on Facebook.

Two years later, the sentence was commuted to seven and a half-year imprisonment, a two-year ban from leaving Iran, the hand copying of thirteen Shi'a textbooks and studies of Shi'ism.

Arabi's mother, Farangis Mazlum, who has been seeking her son's release for years, was also arrested last year and sentenced to six years in prison last July on charges of "propaganda against the regime."