Seven Death Row Sunni Prisoners Awaiting New Trial

HRANA News Agency – Seven Sunni prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj who had formerly been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, are still in a state of uncertainty on the eve of the ninth year of their imprisonment.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), seven Sunni prisoners, including Davoud Abdollahi, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Anvar Khezri, Khosrow Besharat, Qasim Abesteh, and Ayoub Karimi, are detained since December 7, 2009 and were sentenced to death by judge Moghiseh of Branch no. 28 of the Revolutionary Court, in March of 2015. The sentences were not approved by Judge Razini in the Supreme Court; however, after eight years of imprisonment, they remain in a state of uncertainty.

An informed source told HRANA’s reporter: “Following the death sentences’ rejection in the Supreme Court by Judge Razini, the cases of Farhad Salimi, Ayoub Karimi, Davoud Abdollahi, Qasem Abesteh, and Anwar Khezri were referred to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, chaired by Judge Salavati, and the prosecution of the case with three other defendants was referred to Urmia for reconsideration.”

In September 2017, Anvar Khezri, Kamran Shikheh and Khosro Basharat were transferred to the Urmie Prison for trial, and no court hearings have been held for them yet.

These Sunni prisoners were accused by the security forces of charges such as acting against national security, “propaganda against the regime”, “membership in the Salafist groups”, “Corruption” and “Moharebeh”, although the details of their activities have not been clarified by the authorities and judicial bodies.

According to the information provided to HRANA, the defendants have denied the charge of engaging in violent struggles and argued that they were arrested only because of their beliefs and activities, such as attending religious meetings and broadcasting religious material.

These inmates claim that they were tortured mentally and physically during the interrogation.

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