After Two Decades, Two Political Prisoners Were Released on Parole
On November 21, 2019, Osman Mostafapour and Mohammad Nazari were released on parole. They are two of the longest-serving political prisoners who were released on parole after spending more than 25 years in Tabriz, Rajai Shahr, and Urmia Prisons without having any furlough.
Osman Mostafapour (born in 1967) was arrested on July 14, 1991 and was tried in the same year. He was first sentenced to death by Judge Javaheri, in the Branch One of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia, on the charge of “assistant in murder”. Then, this verdict was reduced to 10 years of imprisonment at the appeals court in 2000. In the same year, he was summoned to the Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court for his second case and he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment on the charge of “cooperating with one of the Kurdish Opposition groups”. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for both cases. Osman Mostafapour had not had any furlough in the past 28 years of imprisonment since 1991.
Mohammad Nazari, born in 1971, was arrested on the charge of “cooperating with one of the Kurdish opposition groups” in 1994, in Bukan. He was sentenced to death while he refused the charges and claimed that the he had confessed under torture. That sentence was reduced to life imprisonment five years later. Mohammad Nazari had not had any furlough in the past 25 years of his imprisonment since 1994.
They were supposedly released by the Supreme Leader pardon to mark the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. According to Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Iran’s Supreme Leader pardoned 3,552 prisoners, including 32 “security prisoners”, followed the Islamic holiday marking the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.