Political prisoners Vahid and Habib Afkari have been held in the “Ebrat” ward in Adel-Abad Prison, Shiraz City, for about 15 months. This notorious ward is used mostly for punishing inmates or to house inmates on death row.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the brothers have been denied a phone call and access to adequate medical treatment.
Vahid and Habib Afkari are brothers of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, who was executed on September 12, 2020 in Adel-Abad Prison despite serious ambiguities in his case and worldwide outcry to halt the execution.
Navid Afkari and Vahid Afkari were arrested in September 2018, and Habib Afkari was arrested in December 2018. The arrests were in connection to nationwide protests in August 2018. The brothers were repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations.
In August 2020, Shiraz’s Revolutionary and Criminal Court sentenced Navid Afkari to execution, six years imprisonment and 74 lashes. The court sentenced Vahid Afkari to 54 years, six months in prison and 74 lashes, and Habib Afkari to 27 years and three months imprisonment and 74 lashes.
Their brother, Saeed Afkari, stated on social media that the legal due process to address the torture of their brothers has gone nowhere. In May of this year, a court session was held to address the Afakri’s complaint that they have been beaten, tortured, held for long-term in a solitary confinement cell, and threatened to death by two high-ranking officials. According to Saeed Afakri, his brother Vahid Afkari was not allowed to have access to documents during the court session.
Branch 38 of the Supreme Court of Iran rejected their request for a retrial. Saeed Dehghan, the Afakri brother’s lawyer at that time, wrote that, “even if the judge cared to take a short look at the documents, he would realize that with 24 contradictions and three false statements, there were substantial reasons for retrial”.