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.