On January 30, 2024, Sepehr Shirani, 18 years old, died under suspicious circumstances after three days in the custody of a security institution in Zahedan, as reported by Haal Vsh.
IRGC Intelligence is said to be responsible for his arrest, notifying Shirani’s family of his demise via a phone call. As of now, his body has not been handed over to his family.
The agents cited the publication of critical social media posts as the reason for Shirani’s arrest.
The Baloch Activists Campaign, a human rights monitor in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, has reported that Shirani died under torture while in custody.
Notably, recent years have seen numerous cases of suspicious deaths or murders of citizens within police detention centers, security, and judicial institutions. In most instances, investigations have failed to definitively identify perpetrators or hold authorities accountable.
The agents had reportedly mentioned publishing criticizing posts on social media as the reason for Shirani’s arrest.
According to HRA’s annual report for 2023, a total of 1,386 violations of prisoners’ rights were documented. These include 27 cases of physical assault on prisoners, 1,390 instances of denial or neglect of medical care, 342 illegal transfers to solitary confinement, 114 attempted hunger strikes, 415 cases of forced transfer or exile of prisoners, 4,140 instances of threats and pressure on prisoners, 66 cases of denying prisoner visitation rights, 34 cases of psychological and physical torture, 7 deaths due to illness, 12 suicides, 1 case of self-immolation, 4 murders of prisoners, 208 instances of lack of access to legal counsel, 4,197 reports of prisoners being kept in unsuitable conditions, 80 cases of forced confession, 290 instances of non-segregation of crimes, 78 denials of medical leave, and 101 denials of the right to contact.
In recent days, eight inmates have been executed in Qom, Mashhad, Isfahan, Rasht, and Zahedan for offenses including drug-related crimes and murder.
On January 17, 2024, Islam Amaneddin, a 29-year-old Afghan, was executed in Qom prison for a murder conviction dating back three years, as reported by Etemad Newspaper. Another execution reported by Etemad involved Mohsen (last name unknown), who was convicted of killing a man during a group altercation in Mashhad Prison.
On Saturday, January 20, three inmates were executed in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan, according to Iran Human Rights Organizations. The hanged individuals were identified as Nouri Zamani, 32, Fathollah Jurkesh, 30, and Hossein-Ali Kootahi, with separate drug offense convictions.
The same organization also documented the execution of Eslah Allahbakhsh, 36, an Afghan national, and Hamid Ebadi, both convicted of drug-related crimes in Lakan Prison, Rasht, on the same day.
Lastly, Haal Vsh reported the execution of 23-year-old Hassan Gorgij in Zahedan Prison, who was convicted of murder three years ago.
In 2023, the Department of Statistics and Publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered the execution of 746 individuals. Out of these, 6 were carried out in public. Among the executed individuals whose genders were identified, 597 were male and 20 were female. Additionally, 2 juvenile offenders, defined as individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crimes, were also executed. For a comprehensive examination of the details and statistics surrounding the executions in Iran, refer to HRANA’s annual report.
December 27, Birjand – Haal Vsh reports that Esmaeil Ghader Magham (Brahui), a 32-year-old death-row prisoner convicted of drug offenses, was executed in Birjand Prison, South Khorasan province.
Ghader Magham, originally from Zahedan and a resident of Birjand, was arrested for drug-related crimes four years ago in Nehbandan. He was subsequently sentenced to death by the Birjand Revolutionary Court.
Despite the customary practice of allowing a final family visitation, prison officials executed Ghader Magham without providing him with this opportunity, raising concerns about the adherence to humane practices in the execution process.
At the time of writing, no official sources or domestic media outlets within the country have reported on this execution.
According to data compiled by the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), between October 10, 2022, and October 8, 2023, a total of 659 individuals were executed by hanging in Iran, representing a 24% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Seven of these executions were conducted publicly. Many of the defendants were denied access to a fair trial and due process. For details and statistics, read HRANA’s report.
On Tuesday, December 19, security forces apprehended Mehrollah Shah Bakhsh (23), Saeed Shah Bakhsh (24), and his brother, Mehdi Shah Bakhsh (22), at their residence in Zahedan. The individuals were taken to an undisclosed location, according to Haal Vsh.
No arrest warrants were presented by the agents during the arrests. As of now, the reasons behind their detention, the location where they are being held, and the charges against them remain unknown.
On Monday, November 13, Mesbah Esmaeil Zahi Shah-Baksh and Abdolmatin Esmaeil Zahi Shah-Baksh were taken into custody by security forces in Zahedan and subsequently moved to an undisclosed facility, according to Haal Vsh.
Mesbah, 20 years old, and Abdolmatin, 21 years old, were reportedly apprehended on the street in Zahedan. The grounds for their detention, their current location, and the specific allegations against them remain unknown as of now.
On the evening of November 6, Abubakr Tohidi, a member of the camera crew at the Makki Grand Mosque, was detained by security forces in Zahedan and taken to an undisclosed location, according to a report by Haal Vsh.
Tohidi was reportedly apprehended at a police checkpoint in Zahedan. The grounds for his arrest, his current location, and the charges against him remain undisclosed at this time.
On October 26, 2023, reports emerged that security forces apprehended four Sunni clerical students from the Makki Grand Mosque of Zahedan, taking them to an undisclosed location, according to Haal Vsh.
The arrests occurred shortly after the individuals had left the Mosque, and they were reportedly taken into custody by plainclothes agents.
As of now, the identities of these students, their current locations, and the specific charges against them remain undisclosed. The situation is being closely monitored for further developments.
On October 20, 2023, security forces detained several individuals participating in a protest in Zahedan, subsequently relocating them to undisclosed facilities, according to Haal Vsh.
On this day, dozens of people in Zahedan took to the streets chanting slogans against the regime. Video footage shared on social media shows the intervention of police special forces, escalating what was initially a peaceful demonstration.
As of now, the identities of the detainees and their current whereabouts remain shrouded in uncertainty.