Update on Abdolbaset Avarsan’s Situation in Vakilabad Prison

Sunni prisoner Abdolbaset Avarsan is currently serving a 15-year prison term in Vakilabad Prison, Mashhad. Recent developments reveal that his request for release on probation has been rejected by judicial authorities, with sources citing influence from the Ministry of Intelligence.

A close family source, speaking to HRANA, confirmed that the judge, under the Ministry of Intelligence’s influence, dismissed Avarsan’s release request. Hailing from Torbat-e-Jam and a father of three, Avarsan’s family faces financial struggles. Despite holding a Master’s degree, his wife’s job application with the Ministry of Education was rejected during the interview due to her husband’s legal case, further complicating the family’s situation.

In 2019, the Mashhad Revolutionary Court sentenced Avarsan to 15 years in prison for his alleged involvement in “armed rebellion (Baghi) through membership in a Salafi-ISIS group.”

Update on Six Death-Row Prisoners in Vakilabad Prison

Malek Ali Fadaie-Nasab, Farhad Shakeri, Isa Eyd-Mohammadi, Abdolhakim Azim Gorgij, Abdolrahman Gorgij, and Taj-Mohammad Khormali, currently incarcerated in Ward 1/6 of Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad, face imminent execution. In late July 2023, the Mashhad Revolutionary Court sentenced these defendants, part of the same legal case, to death in a retrial.

These six individuals, along with six others—Abdolbaset Avarsan, Mohammad-Reza Sheikh Ahmadi, Morteza Fakoori, Hamid Rast Bala, Kabir Saadat Jahani, and Mohammad-Ali Arayesh—were detained by the Ministry of Intelligence in 2015 and imprisoned in Vakilabad Prison after one year. Except for Fadaie-Nasab, all these prisoners are members of the Sunni minority in Iran.

In 2019, the Mashhad Revolutionary Court sentenced Ahmadi, Avarsan, and Fakoori to 15 years in prison for “armed rebellion (Baghi) through membership in a Salafi-ISIS group.” The remaining 9 defendants were sentenced to death for “armed rebellion through membership in the Salafi group known as Al-Furqan and the Iranian Sunni front known as Hambastegi Melli.”

Rast-Bala, Saadat Jahani, and Arayesh were executed in this prison on December 31, 2020. The case of the six other defendants was overturned by the Supreme Court, and it was forwarded to another court branch for a retrial. In July 2023, Branch 4 of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Ahmadian Salami, sentenced these six prisoners to death again. The verdict is currently under review by branch 39 of the Supreme Court.

A source close to one of their families informed HRANA that after the issuance of the death sentence, Shakeri and Abdolrahman Gorgij initiated a hunger strike that lasted for a while.

“The case has many flaws, and there is no substantial evidence to support the charges,” the source clarified. The source also confirmed that the prisoners have been subjected to torture during their detention.