Saman Nasim’s Death Sentence Commuted to 5 Years of Imprisonment

Posted on: 10th April, 2018
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Saman Nasim

HRANA News Agency – The death sentence of Saman Nasim, political prisoner who was arrested at the age of 16 and sentenced to death in a judicial process full of ambiguity, has been reduced to 5 years of imprisonment after years of legal follow up. Considering the time of Mr. Nasim’s imprisonment, his lawyer says, this prisoner will be released soon.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Saman Nasim was finally sentenced to five years imprisonment solely on charge of membership in a political opposition party (PJAK), and was acquitted of “Moharebeh” and armed action charges.

According to Aziz Mozhdehi, lawyer of Saman Nasim, the last session of the his court hearing, was held at Branch 12 of the Appeals Court of West Azerbaijan Province in Urmia on January 22. The lawyer emphasized that: “according to Mr. Nasim’s sentence of 5 years imprisonment, while he has been in jail for 6 years and 6 months, it is expected that he will be released from the prison of Urmia,.”

Read HRANA’s complete conversation with Aziz Mozhdehi, Saman Nasim’s lawyer:

– Mr. Mozhdehi, will your client be released soon?
– God willing, most likely, he would be released soon, since his charge of “Moharebeh” was actually diminished, his death sentence was completely dropped and abolished on Thursday.

Thanks God for getting result of our efforts and follow-up. On Monday, the last session of his trial, and ultimately the vote of forensic experts team was actually issued, because the primitive expert or the first doctor who examined him could not give his judgment, that I protested and they could not write anything, and then I talked with the judges of the branch, saying that they came and gave a vague theory, and they did not comment accurately, it had been a long time since the crime and we could not make a comment. When I made an appeal, actually they took Saman’s case to the five-person panel and legal practitioners and forensic psychologists and discussed it. The last comment that they gave was actually saying that the mental maturity of Mr. Saman Nasim was not detected at the time of the crime.

These were in fact the main issues for my defenses. I focused on my defenses, from the first day, and set up my defenses based on this section. Eventually on Monday, which was the last defense session, and he was actually charged with Moharebeh, and as the last defense he was questioned regarding that charge, but on Thursday I was notified and immediately I went to the court of issuing the verdict, and also at the prison’s law-enforcement office.

Thank God, his charges have been completely abolished; they actually turned their charges to membership in opposition groups and changed his sentenced to five years imprisonment. Considering the time of detention that had to be calculated legally, from July 11, 2011, which he in fact was detained, more than six years has passed, and counting on this time, God willing, tomorrow I will take the calculation letter, God willing, he will be released soon.

– Mr. Mojdehi, which branch and which judge reduced the sentence?
– The second Branch of the Appeals Court of the West Azerbaijan province.
When we made an appeal, they had taken Saman to execute the verdict, with unknown verdicts, and then they accepted the appeal just one day before the execution of the ruling, in fact, the Supreme Court actually ordered the moratorium and the sentence was not enforced.

Later we found out that Saman was actually taken to Zanjan prison to execute the sentence, in the winter of 2015, and he had been held there for five months, and one day before the execution of the verdict, in fact, his letter came to stop the sentence, and do not execute the ruling. They sent the case to the same level branch of the previous court, the previous court was Branch 2 of Appeals Court, and the new branch was Branch 12, and Branch 12 of the Appeals Court of the West Azerbaijan Province, was the same level branch.

The trial was held for more than three to four sessions and I objected and eventually concluded to change Saman’s charge from “Moharebeh” which has a heavy punishment to membership and his sentence was changed to a five-year imprisonment.

– Mr. Mojdehi, in which Ward and prison is your client and what is his condition?

– On Thursday, after I left prison, he called me, I do not know which Ward, but he is in the Central Prison of Urmia.

After they did not execute the sentence in Zanjan prison and sent the case to Branch 12 of the Appeals Court of West Azerbaijan Province, they transferred Saman from Zanjan prison to the prison of Urmia again.

His situation is good; he had been told that his death sentence had been canceled, in prison they served sweets and did not believe, he called and asked me: “what has happened?”

I said with a loud voice, Saman thank God, your sentence was canceled and the execution is canceled, it was not at all believable for him, I told him that I was sure and I saw the letter myself, I went to the branch manager, and the same day they sent the letter to prison Law-enforcement Office, to prevent the execution, the death penalty has been completely abolished.

– Mr. Mojdehi, How was the process of proving rational growth of Saman and how was it held?

– I cited Article 91 of the Islamic Penal Code of 2013, in fact, under the new Islamic Penal Code number 737, for those convicted to a punitive sentence or a retribution sentence and under the age of 18 and those whose rational growth was not proved at that time or it is not recognized, in fact, the punishment is reduced to a kind of imprisonment. To prove this, they are sent to forensic medical doctor and forensic psychiatry.

Saman was 16 years and seven months old at the time of the arrest, and I told the judges on the day of trial. I told the judges, in fact Saman had no information at all before and at the time of arrest, and no profession, less than year 4 and 5 of primary school, living in a deprived area in the city of Marivan, one of the remote border villages, far from any facilities, without any profession and political, social, and cultural knowledge, and in fact he was in that group only for six months. Less than six months of his membership, he was arrested in a clash in the Sardasht Mountains, with this explanation, and considering his age, he is obviously entitled to Article 91.

I asked for the criterion to be at the time of the crime, which he did not have the rational growth required for the charge.
The forensic group had written that, after the talk and conducting the tests, rational growth of Saman Nasim was not achieved due to the age of the person at the time of arrest. This helped us a lot in court.

From the first day of my defense, I have emphasized on this, and this new law still was not approved, but thanks to God it helped us a lot. When this vote was approved, it was a miracle for Saman.

At that time, they did not accept this and were not raised in the court. Even my defenses were rejected at that time. I had a lot of protests and, as I mentioned, thank God for the outcome.

– Mr. Mojdehi, does Mr. Nasim have other charges? Or this is just the case?

– This is the only charge.

– So with this account he will gain freedom in the coming days?

– 100%, the charge of “Moharebeh” has been canceled, abolished and destroyed fully.
I went to jail and checked that in the Law-enforcement system, and the head of the Office told me that he had 2 years and some imprisonment record in our prison; I said that he had been arrested on July 11, 2011 and legally it requires to be calculated for him.

They said that, it was not in their hands, I should go to the court. I went back to the court, but the judges were not there. I am supposed to go to talk tomorrow.

I have not yet been notified and I saw this in the Law-enforcement Office myself. Definitely he will be released, God willing.

– Mr. Mojdehi, Which judge reduced this sentence?

– Branch 12 of the Appeals Court of the West Azerbaijan Province and judge dealing with this case was honorable Mr. Arab Baghi. The Judge of Branch 1 was also a gentleman named Azimi.

-Thank you for the time you gave HRANA.

It should be recalled that Saman Nasim, born on December 17, 1993, was sentenced to death on charges of Moharebeh and corruption on earth through armed action and membership in one of the Kurdish opposition parties by the Mahabad Revolutionary Court, while at the time of his arrest he was less than 17 years old. The death sentence was finally confirmed by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

Saman Nasim had no access to his lawyer during the initial investigation. He says that he was tortured during his arrest; that torture involved pulling his hands toe nails and being hanged upside down for several hours.