Death-Row Political Prisoner Nayeb Askari Moved to Solitary Confinement, Heightening Fear of Imminent Execution

Nayeb Askari, a political prisoner on death row in Urmia Prison, was transferred to solitary confinement at Urmia prison on March 27, 2024, sparking fears among his family that his execution may be imminent.

A source with close ties to Askari’s family has confirmed his relocation. While the exact reason for the transfer remains unclear, it is customary for prison authorities to move death-row inmates to solitary confinement before executing them.

Initially sentenced to death for “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” on April 15, 2023, his plea for a retrial was accepted, leading to a charge change to Baghi. In October 2023, the court reaffirmed the death sentence, with the hearings reportedly conducted without his lawyer’s presence. The charge is supported by his alleged membership in a Kurdish political opposition party.

Arrested by IRGC intelligence agents on March 27, 2021, in Urmia, Askari was later moved to a detention facility and, on June 17, 2021, to Urmia Prison.

HRANA’s source reveals another ongoing case accusing Askari of the murder of IRGC member Mostafa Soltani. In 2013-2014, Soltani was injured during a clash with a political opposition party member, passing away six years later from COVID-19. Soltani’s family claims alleged Askari’s involvement in the altercation caused the sustained injury leading to his eventual death.

A new case, opened on July 12, 2021, based on a complaint from the Urmia Prison head, resulted in a three-month imprisonment extension and 50 lashes for “disrupting prison order.”

According to HRA’s annual report, in 2023, Urmia Prison officials executed 29 inmates, positioning this facility as the sixth highest in terms of executions among the ranked prisons.

Political Prisoner Nayeb Askari Faces Execution in Urmia Prison on Baghi Charges

Nayeb (Naeb) Askari, held in Urmia Prison, is at risk of execution after the Urmia Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death for Baghi (armed rebellion) in a recent retrial.

Initially sentenced to death for “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” on April 15, 2023, his plea for a retrial was accepted, leading to a charge change to Baghi. In October 2023, the court reaffirmed the death sentence, with the hearings reportedly conducted without his lawyer’s presence. The charge is supported by his alleged membership in a Kurdish political opposition party.

Arrested by IRGC intelligence agents on March 27, 2021, in Urmia, Askari was later moved to a detention facility and, on June 17, 2021, to Urmia Prison.

HRANA’s source reveals another ongoing case accusing Askari of the murder of IRGC member Mostafa Soltani. In 2013-2014, Soltani was injured during a clash with a political opposition party member, passing away six years later from COVID-19. Soltani’s family claims alleged Askari’s involvement in the altercation caused the sustained injury leading to his eventual death.

A new case, opened on July 12, 2021, based on a complaint from the Urmia Prison head, resulted in a three-month imprisonment extension and 50 lashes for “disrupting prison order.”

According to HRA’s annual report, in 2023, Urmia Prison officials executed 29 inmates, positioning this facility as the sixth highest in terms of executions among the ranked prisons.

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.

Political Prisoner Nayeb Askari Sentenced to Death for Enmity Against God

The Branch 2 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court sentenced Nayeb Askari to death for “enmity against God (Moharebeh).”

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on April 15, 2023, Urmia judicial officials informed Nayeb Askari’s lawyer that his client had received a death sentence for the charge of “enmity against God (Moharebeh).”

Membership in a Kurdish opposition party was cited as an example of this charge.

On March 27, 2021, IRGC intelligence 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 detained since.

According to sources close to his family, Askari has reportedly been in poor health during his detention. In February or January 2022, he suffered from a convulsion but was denied proper medical care. The prison infirmary was reportedly ill-equipped and in such cases suffices to the arbitrary prescription of a non-specific pill.

On July 12, 2021, a new case was opened against him following the complaint of the head of Urmia Prison. For this case, he was sentenced to three months more imprisonment and 50 lashes for the charge of “disrupting prison order”.

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Political Prisoners of Urmia Prison Shaker Behrouz and Nayeb Askari Go on Hunger Strike

On Thursday, March 31, two political prisoners Shaker Behrouz and Nayeb Askari went on hunger strike in Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, On Thursday, March 31, political prisoner Shaker Behrouz went on hunger strike to protest his relocation to Ward 2 of Urmia Prison where the violent crime offenders were held. Another political prisoner of Urmia prison Nayeb Askari also went on hunger strike after he was sent to the quarantine section.

Earlier, on August 26, 2021, despite the prison doctor’s recommendation for hospitalization, prison officials refused to send Nayeb Askari to a hospital outside the prison. In protest, he went on hunger strike, which ended after a few days.

Askari was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in Urmia in April and transferred to IRGC detention centres. He was eventually transferred from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center to the city prison in June, after completing the interrogation process. Askari has been charged with “collaborating with an opposition party”.

On July 12, 2021, a new case was opened against him following the complaint of the head of Urmia Prison. For this case, he was sentenced to three months more imprisonment and 50 lashes for the charge of “Disrupting prison order”.

On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, political prisoner Shaker Behrouz was sentenced to death despite a strong alibi pointing to his innocence.

The indictment alleges that Behrouz murdered a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

According to an informed source, security agents threatened the victim’s family, who was an IRGC member, to cut their allowance from the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, if they refused to accuse Behrouz.

Another informed source close to the victim’s family also said that the family does not believe he is guilty and ready to testify to his innocence.

Twelve eye-witnesses signed a statement expressing their readiness to testify that Mr. Behrouz was in his shop when the crime was committed. Despite all the above, the court convicted the defendant without the presence of the family as accusers and hearing of eye-witnesses.

 

Political Prisoner Nayeb Askari Denied Medical Treatment in Urmia Prison

Despite his poor health and urgent need for treatment, political prisoner Nayeb Askari has been denied adequate medical treatment in Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, an informed source told HRANA that “Askari collapsed following a seizure. The inmates called the healthcare and the prison officer but none of them has done anything. The health conditions of political prisoners have been exacerbated after their relocation to highly secured new ward on January 10. Inmates in this ward do not have direct access to prison healthcare”.

Askari suffers from kidney disease. On August 26, 2021, despite the prison doctor’s recommendation for hospitalization, prison officials refused to dispatch him to a hospital outside the prison. In protest, he went on hunger strike, which ended after a few days.

Askari was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in Urmia in April and transferred to an IRGC detention centres. He was eventually transferred from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center to the city prison in June, after completing the interrogation process. Askari has been charged with “collaborating with an opposition party”.

On July 12, 2021, a new case was opened against him following the complaint of the head of Urmia Prison. For this case, he was sentenced to three months more imprisonment and 50 lashes for the charge of “Disrupting prison order”.

43 Political Prisoners Refuse Food Rations to Protest the Lack of Medical Care in Urmia Prison

Earlier this Wednesday, September 22, 43 prisoners in the political ward of Urmia Prison refused to receive their food rations in solidarity with a number of the prison’s inmates.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoners carried out the refusal in protest of the lack of medical care for sick prisoners.

Shaker Behrooz, Nayeb Askari, Nayeb Hajizadeh, Ahmad Tamavi, Mohammad Houshangi, Hatam Ozdemir, Dara Rashidi, Anvar Chaleshi, Kamel Ceylan Maskan, Sirvan Amini, Mokhtar Ebrahimi, and Taher Hosseinzadeh, 12 political prisoners imprisoned in this ward suffer from various diseases. According to the diagnosis of the prison doctor, these prisoners should be sent to a well-equipped hospital outside the prison, but so far they have been barred from being sent.

Nayeb Askari, Ahmad Tamavi, Hatam Ozdemir, Sirvan Amini, and Mokhtar Ebrahimi, have kidney problems. Nayeb Hajizadeh and Dara Rashidi must undergo surgery to remove platinum prosthesis from their legs, and Anvar Chaleshi has TB.

Nayeb Askari on a Hunger Strike in Urmia Prison to Protest Authorities’ Refusal to Transfer him to a Hospital

Today, August 26, political prisoner Nayeb Askari went on a hunger strike in Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Askari went on a hunger strike to protest the prison authorities’ refusal to send him to the hospital throughout his battle with kidney disease.

An informed source spoke to HRANA about the reasons for Mr. Askari’s hunger strike.

“Mr. Askari, who suffers from kidney disease, has been denied being sent to the hospital despite the prison doctor’s diagnosis following opposition of the prison’s supervisor judge,” the source said. “Askari has gone on a hunger strike to protest.”

Nayeb Askari was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in Urmia in April and transferred to one of the detention centers of this security institution. He was eventually transferred from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center to the city prison in June, after completing the interrogation process. Mr. Askari has been charged with “collaborating with an opposition party”.

On July 12, Branch 119 of the second Criminal Court in the city of Urmia sentenced Mr. Askari. Nayeb Hajizadeh Yangjeh, and Keyhan Mokarram al-Nabi, to three months each in prison and 50 lashes on a charge of “disturbing the order of the prison” after they protested the beating of Nayeb Hajizadeh by two prisoners accused of violent crimes.

Three Political Prisoners Sentenced to Additional Prison Time and Lashes in Urmia Prison

Political prisoners Nayeb Hajizadeh Yangjeh, Keyhan Mokarram al-Nabi, and Nayeb Askari were sentenced to a new sentence of prison time and flogging in connection with a recently opened case against them.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoners are currently being held in Urmia Prison in West Azerbaijan Province.

According to Branch 119 of the Criminal Court of Urmia, these prisoners were each sentenced to three months in prison and 50 lashes on a charge of “disrupting the prison order”.

According to HRANA’s report in July, per an informed source, the lawsuit was filed at the request of Urmia Prison Director Amir Sohrabi after several political prisoners protested the beating of Nayeb Hajizadeh by two prisoners accused of violent crimes.

It was said that one of the assailants was also summoned to the court as a witness in the case.