Imprisoned Protestor Javad Rouhi Dies in Nowshahr Prison

Javad Rouhi (Roohi), an imprisoned protester who had been sentenced to death three times, died under suspicious circumstances in Nowshahr Prison, today morning, August 31, 2023.

According to Mizan, the judiciary’s news agency, Rouhi experienced sudden convulsions for unknown reasons leading to his demise at Beheshti Hospital in Nowshahr. The judiciary has taken steps to review all available CCTV footage from the prison ward and has initiated an examination of Rouhi’s personal belongings in prison, including his notes and medications. To ascertain the cause of death, his body has been transferred to the forensic department for thorough toxicological analysis.

Majid Kaveh, Rouhi’s legal representative, has verified the news of his client’s passing. In a somber statement, he conveyed, “Regrettably, I have been informed by Rouhi’s family that he breathed his last few hours ago in Nowshahr Prison.”

Rouhi, aged 35, a resident of Amol, was arrested during the nationwide protests of 2022 in Nowshahr.

In January 2023, Rouhi was handed three death sentences on multiple charges including “spreading corruption on earth,” “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” for burning the Quran, blasphemy, arson, and destruction of property, as well as “insulting people to unrest and assembly and collusion against national security.” In February 2023, his appeal for a retrial was registered by the Supreme Court of Iran. Subsequently, the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and handed down the case to another court branch for review.

It is worth mentioning that in recent years, numerous cases of suspicious deaths or killings of citizens in prisons and police or security detention centers have been reported. In most cases, investigations have not led to the identification of culprits or holding responsible authorities accountable.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hijab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, were arrested.

 

Iranian Supreme Court Overturns Death Sentence of Protestor Javad Roohi

HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency – the Iranian Supreme Court has overturned the three execution sentences and other punishments previously imposed on Javad Roohi, who was arrested during nationwide protests in Nowshahr.

Roohi’s lawyer, Majid Kaveh, confirmed that Branch 9 of the Iranian Supreme Court responded to Roohi’s request for a retrial and annulled the verdict issued by the Sari Revolutionary Court. The case has now been referred to another court branch for further review.

Back in January 2023, Roohi was handed three death sentences on charges including “spreading corruption on earth,” “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” for burning the Quran, blasphemy, arson and destruction of property, as well as “insulting people to unrest and assembly and collusion against national security.”

One of the main accusations against Roohi was setting fire to a traffic police station using a Molotov cocktail in Nowshahr. The judge further alleged that he played a leading role in the “unrest” and considered his participation in street dancing during the protests as a criminal act. Roohi has vehemently denied all these accusations. Despite presenting a strong defense, the court dismissed Roohi’s arguments as “pointless” and sentenced him to death.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hejab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws and structure of the regime. During the nationwide protests, thousands of people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, were arrested.