On May 8, 2023, Yousef Mehrad and Seyed Sadrollah Fazeli Zare were executed in Arak Prison after being sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet of Islam. Earlier, HRANA had reported on their relocation to solitary confinement for one day which is deemed as a prelude to carrying out the death penalty.
According to Mizan, the judiciary’s news, Fazeli Zare had been accused of “insulting the Prophet of Islam, blasphemy, apostasy, accusing the Prophet of Islam’s mother of adultery, and burning the Quran”, while Mehrad was charged with “insulting the Prophet of Islam and blasphemy.”
The prisoners were among seven individuals arrested for running a Telegram channel named “Criticism of Superstition and Religion,” and had been held in solitary confinement for two months since their arrest.
In the first two parts of their legal case, the Arak Criminal Court sentenced Mehrad and Fazeli Zare to death for insulting the prophet of Islam. In the third part, the Arak Revolutionary Court sentenced Mehrad, Fazeli Zare, and another co-defendant, Farhad Chehrehsa, to eight years for “running groups to act national security.”
Despite an appeal by their lawyers to the Supreme Court, the verdict was upheld.
Mehrad was a resident of Ardabil and the father of a three-year-old child.