Iranian Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence of Kurdish Cleric Mohammad Khezranjad

07 June 2024 12:15

Hengaw: Friday, June 7, 2024

The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence and a 16-year imprisonment term for Mohammad Khezranjad, a Kurdish cleric from Bukan. Khezranjad was detained during the Women, Life, Freedom movement and has been in detention for one year, six months, and 19 days, deprived of all basic rights.

According to a report received by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, the 41st branch of the Supreme Court, presided over by Judge Ali Razini, confirmed the death sentence and imprisonment in April 2024. 

Mohammad Khezranjad, 45, was previously sentenced to death by the third branch of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court in Urmia, under Judge Reza Najafzadeh, on charges of “corruption on earth.” Additionally, he was given a 15-year prison sentence for “damaging the integrity or independence of the country” and a 1-year sentence for “propaganda against the government.”

The court session for Mohammad Khezrnejad was conducted via video conference, during which he was denied the right to legal representation. Sources close to his family report that the sentence was based solely on a report from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, with the judge disregarding his defense.

On November 19, 2022, during the Women, Life, Freedom movement, Khezranjad and his son Yaser were arrested at their residence by Iranian Intelligence forces. Khezranjad was held for 100 days in the Urmia Intelligence Department’s detention center under severe conditions, where he was tortured and coerced into self-incrimination. His son was released after a few days.

Khezranjad’s arrest followed a commemoration ceremony for Asad Rahimi, a victim of the Women, Life, Freedom movement, during which he delivered a speech at Bukan’s Eftekhari Mosque criticizing the Iranian government’s handling of protests.

Mohammad Khezranjad has been detained for one year, six months, and 19 days without the right to leave. Currently, Mohammad Khezranjad is detained in the second ward of the central prison of Urmia, without adherence to the principle of segregating inmates based on the nature of their crimes.

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