Court Compounds Prison Sentence of Afrin Battle Detainees

Posted on: October 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The 11-year prison sentences of Afrin Battle detainees Rahim Mahmoudi Azar and Mostafa Ghader Zeinab were compounded Sunday, September 30th by an additional one-year prison term each, ruled in Branch 103 of the General Court of Urmia, on a charge of “crossing the border illegally.”

Both men were fighting among the ranks of a Kurdish military group in Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan earlier this year when they were wounded and extradited to Iran. A close source told HRANA that starting March 8, 2018, they were interrogated for five weeks straight, first for a week at Evin Detention Center and then for a month in Urmia’s Intelligence Office.

In July, Branch 3 of Urmia Revolutionary Court in northwestern Iran sentenced each of them to 11 years in prison for their opposition-group connections, which in court translated to charges of “membership in anti-regime groups,” “collusion and conspiracy,” and “propaganda against the regime.” The sentence was later upheld in appeals court.

A source close to both men previously told HRANA that Zeinab and Azar sustained their injuries during a Turkish offensive on Afrin. It was at the hospital in Aleppo, he said, that their legal troubles began to unfold: “Upon realizing their nationalities, Syrian authorities handed them over to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”

Both men have been denied the right to appoint lawyers of their choice and attended their court session with a public defender.

Azar is currently detained in Urmia. Zeinab is free on bail.

Afrin Battles Detainees Condemned to 11 Years in Prison

Posted on: September 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- The verdict of Mostafa Ghader Zeinab and Rahim Mahmoudi Azar–two Urmia residents who were sent back to Iran from Syrian Kurdistan after being wounded in the Turkish offensives on Afrin–was upheld by Branch 1 of the Appeals Court of Urmia.

Per their original sentencing by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia on July 6, 2018, Zeinab and Azar face five years in prison on charges of “Membership in anti-regime groups,” five years in prison for “collusion and conspiracy,” and one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime.”

Zeinab has been released on bail, and Azar remains in detention at Urmia.

A source close to both men previously told HRANA that Zeinab and Azar were members of a Kurdish military group fighting in Syria. After sustaining injuries during a Turkish attack on Afrin, they were transferred to a hospital in Aleppo. “Upon realizing their nationalities, Syrian authorities handed them over to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” the source said.

According to the source, they were interrogated at Evin Detention Center for a week in March 2018 before being transferred to Urmia’s Intelligence Office, where they were interrogated for a month.

Both men have been denied the right to appoint lawyers of their choice and attended their court session with a public defender.