Hunger Strike by Four Kurdish Religious Prisoners in Ghezel Hesar Prison

Farhad Salimi, Anwar Khezri, Khsraw Besharat, and Kamaran Shekha, Kurdish religious prisoner

04 January 2024 21:52


Hengaw: Thursday, January 4, 2024

Farhad Salimi, Anwar Khezri, Khsraw Besharat, and Kamaran Shekha, Kurdish religious prisoners in Ghezel Hesar Karaj prison, have initiated a hunger strike in protest against the execution of their fellow prisoner, Davud Abdullahi, and the looming threat of their own impending execution. 

According to a report received by Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, the hunger strike of Farhad Salimi, Anwar Khezri, Khsraw Besharat, and Kamaran Shekha, now in its fifth day, began on Saturday, December 30, 2023.

Davud Abdullahi, a Kurdish religious prisoner from Mahabad and a fellow inmate of these four religious prisoners, had his death sentence executed at Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj on Saturday, January 2, 2024. He, too, had commenced a hunger strike six days before his execution while in solitary confinement.

Earlier, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, Ayoub Karimi, and on Sunday, November 5, 2023, Qasim Abesteh—two other Kurdish religious prisoners from Mahabad and co-defendants in the same case—were executed in Ghezel Hesar prison.

Considering the execution of three co-accused prisoners (Davud Abdullahi, Ayoub Karimi, and Qasim Abasteh) during the consecutive months of November and January of this year, the lives of these four prisoners are now in serious jeopardy.

Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, under the leadership of Judge Moqiseh, handed down sentences to Davud Abdullahi, Ayoub Karimi, Qasim Abasteh (who have been executed), and four other defendants—Farhad Salimi, Anwar Khezri, Khsraw Besharat, and Kamaran Shekha. The charges against them in the murder case of "Abdul Rahim Tina" included "action against national security," "propaganda against the regime," "membership in Salafi groups," and "corruption on earth."

Davud Abdullahi, Farhad Salimi, Anwar Khezri, Qasim Abeste, Khsraw Besharat, Kamaran Shekha, and Ayoub Karimi were apprehended on December 7, 2009, by security forces and were subsequently transferred to the intelligence agency detention center in Urmia City.

The session for the accusations against these 7 Kurdish religious prisoners took place in March 2015, with the mentioned sentences officially communicated to them on May 25, 2016.

It's noteworthy that the verdict was overturned by the 41st branch of the Iranian Supreme Court, headed by Judge Razini, in 2017. An appeal was made to the 15th branch of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, where, in June 2017, Davud Abdullahi and six other co-accused were again sentenced to death by Judge Abolqasem Salvati.

This verdict was confirmed by the 41st branch of the Iranian Supreme Court with repeated pressure from the Iranian Intelligence Department in Urmia. On Monday, March 4, 2020, it was officially communicated to Mahmoud Walizadeh Tabatabai, the lawyer representing these seven Kurdish religious prisoners.

These seven individuals were initially incarcerated in Gohardasht prison and were later transferred to Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj on August 1, 2023, following the evacuation of Gohardasht prison.

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