Saeed Afkari Beaten and Arrested on the Anniversary of the Execution of Navid Afkari

On Sunday, September 12, Saeed Afkari, the brother of Navid Afkari, was beaten and arrested by six plainclothes officers and taken to an unknown location in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, he was released after a couple of hours.

Mr. Afkari tweeted the day before that the security forces were pressuring the Afkari family to stop Navid Afkari’s execution anniversary. Following this tweet, Mr. Afkari’s twitter account has become unavailable.

It is also said that during Mr. Afkari’s arrest, security forces beat his sister, Elham Afkari.

Navid, Vahid, and Habib Afkari were arrested in 2018 in connection with the nationwide protests in August 2018. The brothers have been repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations. Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz at dawn on September 12, 2020. Habib and Vahid have been sentenced to long imprisonment.

Vahid Afkari’s Request for Retrial Rejected by Supreme Court

Political prisoner Vahid Afkari’s request for retrial was recently rejected by the Supreme Court.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Afkari  is currently imprisoned in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Saeid Dehghan, the lawyer for the Afkari Brothers, wrote in a note on his social media, “Even if they had just skimmed and scanned the case document, there were enough legal reasons to accept a retrial as the verdict contains 24 contradictions and 3 lies.” Dehghan went on to ask, incredulously,  “25 years imprisonment only based on the Judge’s knowledge and without observing Article 211 of the Penal Code?”

Navid Afkari and Vahid Afkari were arrested in September 2018, and Habib Afkari was arrested in December 2018 in connection with the nationwide protests in August 2018. The brothers  have been repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations.

After being tried by the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz’s Criminal Court, Navid Afkari was sentenced to 2 death sentences, six years and 6 months imprisonment, and 74 lashes, Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 54 years and 6 months imprisonment and 74 lashes, and Habib Afkari was sentenced to 27 years and three months in prison and 74 lashes.

Despite the serious flaws in the basis of the case against the brothers, and despite a wave of worldwide support for him and calls for authorities to halt the execution, one of the three brothers, Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz at dawn on September 12, 2020.

That same month, Vahid and Habib Afkari were transferred to the isolated ward of Ebrat which is a detention center for prisoners deprived of telephone contact.

Hassan Younesi, one of the Afkari brothers’ lawyers, said in late September of last year, “After the execution of Navid Afkari, Vahid and Habib are not being held in the public ward, and their families and lawyers have not had any (free) meetings with the Afkari brothers.”

Previously, Saeid Afkari, Vahid’s brother, had reported on his social media that he had met with Habib and Vahid Afkari and that they were being held “in solitary confinement, without the right of contact and the right to medical treatment”.

“According to the prison guidelines, convicts should only be kept in public wards under the supervision of the Prisoners’ Organization,” Younesi previously said. “Also, according to the same rules, keeping the accused in detention centers will be possible only with a written order from the judicial authorities, and keeping Habib and Vahid Afkari outside the public prison without meeting (freely) is against the law.”

In May of this year, an interrogation session was held in connection with the Afkari brothers’ complaint about being beaten, long-term solitary confinement, and death threats by two officials. According to Saeid Afkari, the hearing was held in the presence of Vahid Afkari without access to the files and documents of the defendants.

Afkari Brothers Denied Medical Care Amidst Ongoing Torture in Adelabad Prison

Political prisoners Vahid and Habib Afkari have been denied medical care during their 9 month detention in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz. During this time, they have been repeatedly beaten and tortured by prison officials attempting to force confessions related to their role in the 2018 nationwide protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the brothers are being held in the Ebrat ward, also known as the “closed ward” of the prison.

The inmates and their family repeatedly requested to be transferred to a political prison, but despite the prosecutor’s promise, authorities have thwarted all efforts to make the move happen. Saeed Afkari has commented on the condition of his imprisoned brothers.

“According to medical jurisprudence, my brother Habib suffered a broken toe, a non-welded wrist fracture, and a torn shoulder during his detention,” Saeed said. “My other brother Vahid suffered neck and arm injuries as a result of a suicide attempt in protest of physical and mental torture. They have been in solitary confinement for 279 days and have not been allowed treatment.”

In mid-September 2020, the two political prisoners were transferred to the Ebrat ward (closed ward), a detention center for prisoners deprived of phone contact. After nearly nine months, they are still being held in this ward of Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

Based on prison regulations and laws, definitive convicts should only be held in public wards under the supervision of the Prisoners’ Organization. According to the same by-laws, keeping the accused in detention should be permitted only with a written order from the judicial authorities. Thus, keeping Habib and Vahid Afkari outside the public ward of the prison without a written order is against the law.

Navid Afkari, Vahid Afkari, and Habib Afkari were arrested in connection with the nationwide protests in 2018.

Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz in September 2020 despite serious ambiguities in the case and a worldwide wave of support for him. Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 54 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes, Habib Afkari to 27 years and 3 months in prison and 74 lashes.