Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Judge Mashhadi presided over two lengthy court sessions September 24th and 25th in order to resolve deficiencies in the case files of Zahedan prisoners Abubakr Rostami, Sajjad Baloch and Bandeh Chakerzehi (Chakeri), who were issued death sentences in August 2017 from Branch One of Zahedan’s Revolutionary Court.
In the initial trial, all three were charged with “acting against national security by collaborating with anti-regime groups” and “Moharebeh” (enmity against God).
An informed source told HRANA that authorities at the court sessions, which lasted more than five hours each, pored over evidence submitted against the prisoners by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). So far, the evidence submitted is not anticipated to adequately support their convictions. “Barring any more reliable documentation to substantiate the claims of the IRGC representative, including documentation of the location of their arrest, it is looking more likely that they could be acquitted of the Moharebeh charge,” the source said.
When the last court session drew to a close, the three prisoners were transferred back to Zahedan Prison and told that the court’s decision–or request for further information–would be forwarded to them in the prison.
On August 30, 2018, HRANA reported on the transfer of death row prisoner Abubakr Rostami back to the general ward. He had been sent August 28th from Zahedan’s Ward 4 to the Detention Center of the Intelligence Office of the IRGC for unknown reasons.
Earlier, Baluch, Chakerzehi, and Rostami proclaimed their innocence in an open letter, saying that the accusations against them were baseless, and relating physical and psychological tortures they had experienced at the hands of the IRGC. All three were arrested December 13, 2017, in Pakistan.
In the aforementioned letter, Rostami wrote of his trip to Pakistan, which was planned amid arrangements for a study abroad: “Due to border limitations, I was forced to travel through Pakistan to get to [another] foreign country, but I was arrested midway and handed over to the IRGC,” he wrote.
A second-year medical student at Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Rostami has spent the past three years in prison.