Hengaw Issues Warning About Imminent Execution of Two Kurdish Religious Prisoners Facing Death Sentences

04 May 2024 08:19

Hengaw: Saturday, May 4, 2024

Khsraw Besharat and Kamran Shekha, two Kurdish religious prisoners, are facing the imminent risk of having their death sentences carried out. Recent notifications to the families of these two prisoners indicate that their executions are scheduled to take place in the coming days.

According to reports received by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, Khsraw Basharat and Kamran Shekha, Kurdish religious prisoners from Mahabad, are in peril of facing the same fate as five of their co-defendants, who have already been executed on the same charges.

Hengaw has been informed through its sources that Khsraw Basharat, following the execution of his co-defendant Anwar Khezri on Wednesday, May 2, has been transferred to solitary confinement, with his execution slated for Sunday.

Furthermore, the family of Kamran Shekha, the last remaining defendant in this case, has been instructed to visit Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj next week for what is likely their final meeting.

These seven Kurdish prisoners were sentenced to death in a process lacking transparency, fairness, and legality, amid pressure from security agencies on the judiciary. Hengaw strongly warns against the execution of the two remaining defendants in this case and urges international and human rights organizations to intervene to prevent the implementation of death sentences against Kamran Shekhah and Khsraw Basharat.

It is pertinent to note that the death sentence of Anwar Khezri, the fifth defendant in this case, was executed on Wednesday, marking the fifteenth year of his incarceration without furlough in Ghezel Hesar prison, Karaj, amidst complete media silence.

Previously, during the last autumn and winter, the death sentences of four other defendants in the case, namely Davud Abdollahi, Farhad Salimi, Ayoub Karimi, and Qasim Abesteh, were carried out in Ghezel Hesar prison, Karaj.

These seven religious prisoners were arrested on December 7, 2009, by security forces and taken to the Urmia Intelligence Detention Center.

These prisoners were initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, under the presidency of Judge Moqiseh, on charges including "acting against national security," "propaganda against the regime," "membership in Salafi groups," and "corruption on earth."

This verdict was overturned by Branch 41 of the Supreme Court, presided over by Judge Razini, in 2017 and remanded for review to Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. Subsequently, in June 2018, these seven individuals were once again sentenced to death for "corruption on earth" by Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, under the jurisdiction of Judge Abolghasem Salavati.

This sentence, under continued pressure from the Urmia Intelligence Directorate, was upheld by Branch 41 of the Supreme Court and formally communicated to Mahmoud Valizadeh Tabatabaee, the lawyer representing these Kurdish religious prisoners, on March 4, 2020. Following the evacuation of Gohardasht prison, these prisoners were transferred to Ghezel Hesar prison, Karaj, on August 1, 2023.

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