Sunni Prisoner Farhad Salimi Executed in Ghezel Hesar, Karaj

On January 23, 2024, Sunni Prisoner Farhad Salimi was executed in Ghezel Hesar, Karaj, following more than 13 years of incarceration.

In this legal case, three other Sunni defendants—Ghasem Abasteh, Ayoub Karimi, and Davoud Abdollahi—were executed on November 5, November 29, 2023, and January 2, 2024, respectively.

A source close to Salimi’s family informed HRANA that they had not received any phone calls from him in the days leading up to the execution, and the family was not formally notified about the carrying out of the sentence.

The unnamed source, citing security concerns, expressed, “A psychological game was played with the Salimi family; no official took responsibility to inform them about his whereabouts, status, or any plans they had for him. The family was not even formally notified about the execution; we only learned about it through his fellow inmates. The family is actively seeking further inquiries and custody of the body.”

The roots of the case trace back to September 2008 when Abdolrahim Tina, the Imam of a mosque in Mahabad, was assassinated by unidentified individuals. In January-February 2010, Salimi and six other Sunni suspects were arrested in connection to the assassination.

During his detention, Salimi faced multiple charges, including enmity against God (Moharebeh), allegedly through sympathizing with Salafism—a charge he consistently refuted. After spending fourteen months in legal limbo, Salimi was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, where he remained until his relocation to Ghezel Hesar Prison in August of the current year.

Initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Mohammad Moghiseh, the verdict was later overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was then assigned to Branch 15 of the court, presided over by Judge Salavati, who reinstated the death sentences for him and six other defendants—Anvar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh, Davoud Abdollahi, Khosro Besharat, Ghasem Abasteh, and Ayoub Karimi. This time, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for him and his co-defendants.

Sunni Prisoner Davoud Abdollahi Executed in Ghezel Hesar

On January 2, 2024, Davoud Abdollahi, a Sunni prisoner, was executed in Ghezel (Qezel) Hesar Prison, Karaj, marking the end of his 13-year incarceration.

A source close to his family informed HRANA that the execution occurred without prior notice to his family. Abdollahi had been transferred to solitary confinement on December 26, following a hunger strike he initiated.

In a related legal case, two other Sunni defendants, Ghasem Abasteh and Ayoub Karimi, were executed on November 5 and November 29, 2023, respectively.

The origins of the case date back to September 2008 when Abdolrahim Tina, the Imam of a mosque in Mahabad, was assassinated by unidentified individuals. In January-February 2010, Abdollahi and six other Sunni suspects were arrested in connection to the assassination.

While in detention, Abdollahi faced multiple charges, including enmity against God (Moharebeh), allegedly through sympathizing with Salafism—a charge he consistently refuted. After spending fourteen months in legal limbo, Abdollahi was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, where he remained until his relocation to Ghezel Hesar Prison in August of the current year.

Initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Mohammad Moghiseh, the verdict was later overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was then assigned to Branch 15 of the court, presided over by Judge Salavati, who reinstated the death sentences for Abdollahi and six others—Anvar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Khosro Besharat, Ghasem Abasteh, and Ayoub Karimi. This time, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for him and his co-defendants.

Sunni Prisoner Ayoub Karimi Executed in Karaj

Ayoub Karimi, a Sunni prisoner, was executed today, November 29, in Qezel (Ghezel) Hesar Prison, Karaj, after enduring more than 13 years of incarceration.

Karimi had been moved to solitary confinement in the prison the previous Sunday, foreshadowing his imminent execution.
Notably, in this legal case, another Sunni prisoner, Ghasem Abasteh, met the same fate in the same prison on November 5 of this year.

The legal case traces back to September 2008 when Abdolrahim Tina, the Imam of a mosque in Mahabad, was assassinated by unidentified individuals. In January-February 2010, Ayoub Karimi and six other Sunni suspects were arrested and accused in connection to the assassination.

Subsequently, Karimi was charged with “enmity against God (Moharebeh) through sympathizing with Salafism,” a charge he consistently refuted. After spending fourteen months in legal limbo, Karimi was transferred to Rajai Shahr prison, Karaj, where he remained until his relocation to Qezel Hesar Prison in August of this year.

Initially sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided over by Mohammad Moghiseh, the verdict was later overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was then assigned to Branch 15 of the court, presided over by Judge Salavati, who reinstated the death sentences for Ayoub Karimi and six others – Anvar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Khosro Besharat, Ghasem Abasteh, and Davoud Abdollahi.

This time, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for Ayoub Karimi and his co-defendants.

Sunni Prisoner Ghasem Abasteh Executed in Qezel Hesar, Karaj

On November 5, 2023, Ghasem Abasteh, a Sunni prisoner who had spent 13 years and 9 months behind bars, was executed in Qezel Hesar, Karaj.

Abasteh’s ordeal through the legal system began in January-February 2010 when he was initially arrested. After enduring 14 months of uncertainty in Evin and Urmia Prisons, he found himself in Rajai Shahr Prison, located in Karaj. This year, in August, he was transferred to Qezel (Ghezel) Hesar Prison.

Throughout his ordeal, Abasteh faced multiple charges, including the serious accusation of “enmity against God” (Moharebeh) due to his alleged sympathies with Salafi Groups, a religious movement within Sunni Islam, which he consistently denied.

In February-March 2016, he and six other Sunni prisoners received a death sentence from Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. However, this verdict was later overturned by the Supreme Court, leading to the case being transferred to Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Judge Salavati, presiding over this court, handed down the death sentence to these six individuals again on June 17 and 18, 2019. This time, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Ghasem Abasteh, along with Anvar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Khosro Besharat, Ayoub Karimi, and Davoud Abdollahi.

According to data compiled by the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), between October 10, 2022, and October 8, 2023, a total of 659 individuals were executed by hanging in Iran, representing a 24% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Seven of these executions were conducted publicly. Concerningly, many of the defendants were denied access to a fair trial and due process. For details and statistics, read HRANA’s report.

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. Continue reading “Seven Death Row Sunni Prisoners Awaiting New Trial”

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