Political Prisoner Naeb Askari Receives Death Sentence After Retrial

Political prisoner Naeb (Nayeb) Askari has been sentenced to death by the Urmia Revolutionary Court, following a retrial.

Initially, he had received a death sentence in absentia for the charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh).” However, after his appeal, the court changed the charge to “armed rebellion (Baghi)” and issued a second death sentence.

In this verdict, Askari’s affiliation with a Kurdish political party was cited as evidence for this charge.

Askari was apprehended by IRGC intelligence agents on March 27, 2021, in Urmia and subsequently taken to a detention facility. On June 17, 2021, he was transferred to Urmia Prison, where he has remained in detention.

According to a source close to his family, Askari faces another legal case in the Urmia Criminal Court for his alleged involvement in the death of an IRGC member, Mostafa Soltani. This source clarified that Soltani was injured during a confrontation with a member of a Kurdish party in 2014 and later succumbed to COVID-19, which was unrelated to the earlier injuries. Despite the unrelated cause of death, Soltani’s family filed a complaint, asserting that he died as a result of sustained injuries rather than COVID-19.

Additionally, on July 12, 2021, a new case was initiated against Askari, following a complaint from the head of Urmia Prison. In this case, he was sentenced to an additional three months of imprisonment and 50 lashes for the charge of “disrupting prison order.”

Political Prisoner Nayeb Askari Initiates Hunger Strike in Protest of Death Sentence

Nayeb (Naeb) Askari, a political prisoner currently held in Urmia Prison, commenced a hunger strike on September 28 to protest against his death sentence.

A source close to Askari’s family relayed the news of his hunger strike to HRANA on Thursday. Another source disclosed that Askari initiated his hunger strike upon being transferred to the quarantine section.

IRGC intelligence agents apprehended Askari on March 27, 2021, in Urmia, subsequently relocating him to a detention facility. On June 17, 2021, he was transferred to Urmia Prison, where he has remained in detention.

In April 2023, Nayeb Askari was sentenced to death by Branch 2 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court, charged with “enmity against God (Moharebeh).”

Sources closely connected to his family have reported Askari’s deteriorating health during his detention. In February/January 2022, he experienced a convulsion but was denied adequate medical attention. The prison infirmary was allegedly ill-equipped, resorting to the arbitrary prescription of non-specific medication in such cases.

Furthermore, on July 12, 2021, he faced a new case stemming from a complaint by the head of Urmia Prison. As a result, he received an additional three months of imprisonment and 50 lashes for the charge of “disrupting prison order.”

Nayeb Askari is a father of two children, underscoring the urgency of addressing his situation.

Update on Naeb Askari’s Condition in Urmia Prison

Naeb Askari is still in detention awaiting legal proceedings for more than 17 months in Urmia Prison. Despite suffering from neurological disorders, he is denied proper medical care.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Naeb Askari has been in pre-trial detention in Urmia Prison for more than 17 months.

According to an informed source, since Askari’s relocation along with other political prisoners to a new high-security ward in December 2021, he is denied medical care.  

In December 2021, Urmia Prison Officials relocated the political prisoners, including Askari, to a new high-security ward, after which the political prisoners went on a hunger strike.

On March 27, 2021, IRGC agents arrested Askari in Urmia and transferred him to a detention facility. On June 17, 2021, he was transferred to Urmia Prison, where he has been jailed until now. He was also charged with “disrupting prison order.”