Political prisoner sentenced to lashings for late return from furlough
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mohammad Amin Abdollahi will receive 74 lashes for surpassing the end date of his medical furlough from Birjand Prison.
A political prisoner serving an exile sentence in Birjand, Abdollahi was doled the lashing sentence pursuant to a new case brought by Judge Mohabbati of Birjand General Court, branch 104, when he failed to return from his furlough as scheduled.
At the time he was forced to return to Birjand Prison, Abdollahi was in the city of Bukan. He had been hospitalized for chronic kidney failure, suspect appendicitis, back pain, and vision problems, many of which were brought on by hunger strikes he staged in 2015.
The verdict of his furlough-violation case also stipulates that the Ward 101 detainee will be denied the right to further furlough for a period of six months. A source close to Abdollahi told HRANA that he has a pending request for conditional release that, as of last week and for unclear reasons, Iranian authorities have yet to address.
According to Article 547 of the Islamic Penal Code, any prisoner who escapes from a prison or detention center shall be sentenced to 74 lashes or three to six months’ imprisonment. Prisoners who are on furlough in accordance with prison regulations, and fail to return to the prison at the ordered time without a reasonable excuse, shall be regarded as fugitives and are subject to the same punishment.
Abdollahi, a citizen from East Kurdistan, was first arrested in 2005 and spent 15 months in legal suspense before being sentenced in Mahabad Revolutionary Court to 18 years’ imprisonment in exile in Tabas on a charge of “Moharebeh” (enmity against God), for “Collaboration with armed Kurdish opposition parties”, and for another charge of “Propaganda against the regime”.
First serving prison time in Urmia and Mahabad, he was then exiled to Tabas before being transferred to Birjand. After spending more than two months in Birjand’s quarantine ward, he was transferred to the general ward.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) explicitly prohibits cruel and unusual punishments such as lashings.
*Birjand and Tabas are both located in South Khorasan province