Update on Abdolbaset Orsan’s Condition in Vakilabad Prison

Sunni prisoner Abdolbaset Orsan is currently spending the fifth year of his sentence in Vakilabad Prison, Mashhad City. He has hardly seen his family due to their distance from the prison, the high costs of travel and COVID-related restrictions.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Orsan has been deprived of family visitation. An informed source elaborated that in, “the ward where he is housed, under pretext of COVID-19 regulations, family visitation has long been stopped. The prisoners in other wards, however, can have visitations. Since [Orsan] was the sole breadwinner of his family, his family can hardly afford [to support themselves]”.

On October 8, 2017, Ministry of Intelligence agents arrested and held him for 12 months in solitary confinement in one of their detention centers.

In 2019, Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad sentenced him to 15 years in prison and fined him 55 million tomans (13090 USD) on the charge of “spreading corruption on earth through acting against national security and collaboration with terrorist groups”. He was acquitted from charges of “armed insurrection against the regime (Baghi)”. In 2020, this verdict was upheld on appeal.

In July, Orsan, along with eight other Sunni prisoners in Vakilabad prison, wrote a letter to Javid Rahman, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran. The open letter both requested that their cases be investigated and mentioned that their confessions have been extracted under torture and pressure upon their families.

Orsan is a Sunni citizen and a resident of Torbat-Jam. He is married and the father of three children.

Sunni Vakilabad Prisoners Write Letter to UN Special Rapporteur Requesting an Investigation into their Case

Nine Sunni prisoners in Vakilabad prison have written a letter to Javid Rahman, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, requesting that their case be investigated.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the nine prisoners have been identified as Eisa Eid-Mohammadi, Farhad Shakeri, Eid al-Hakim Azim Gargij, Abdolrahman Gargij, Habib Pir- Mohammadi, Abdolbaset Orsan, Mohammad Reza Sheikh Ahmadi, Morteza Fakuri, and Abdullah Hosseini.

In a part of their letter, the prisoners reported they were being beaten and tortured for forced confessions and their families were also being pressured by authorities.


“…Accusations full of lies and fabrications under severe torture, forced and dictated confessions, threats, and imprisonment of our family members, which has led to harsh death sentences and long prison terms of more than 15 years. Some of our families, parents, and spouses were summoned and detained to harass and torture us. Also, the involvement of the Ministry of Intelligence in our family affairs led to divorce and the disintegration of the family unit, and for our children to lose a parent.

These actions had been taken to force us to cooperate with the Ministry of Intelligence and to accept the false accusations.

It has also become a routine to be beaten and desecrated in Ward 1.6 of Mashhad Prison by prison guards, and the ward’s supervisor, and non-political mercenary prisoners who harass us on the orders of prison officials.

In addition to issuing illegal death sentences, the Ministry of Intelligence and the Judiciary, through some of their lawyers, liaisons, and informants, go to our families and demand billions of Tomans to break our execution sentences.

With this way of issuing unjust and illegal verdicts, they have found a way to fill their own pockets at the price of sacrificing Iranian and Sunni youth.”


These citizens have previously been detained by Ministry of Intelligence agents and sentenced to death or long prison terms. They are imploring Rahman to commit to giving their case a thorough investigation.


“We request that you investigate our cases, which are facing false accusations such as acting against security, membership in dissident groups, membership in the Al-Forqan party group, propaganda against the regime, and so on.

We have been in prison for more than 5 years. We were banned from calling and visiting for more than 2 years.”