On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, Iranian regime authorities in Ghezel Hesar prison carried out the death sentence of political prisoner Farhad Salimi.
On January 20, this Kurdish prisoner of conscience from Saqqez, who had been on hunger strike for three weeks, was transferred to solitary confinement, an indication of his looming execution.
On December 31, 2023, Anwar Khezri, Kamran Sheikhah, Khosrow Besharat, and Farhad Salimi, four prisoners of conscience sentenced to death went on a hunger strike following the transfer of Davood Abdollahi to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution and the grave danger of their own death sentence.
On January 2, 2024, the regime carried out the death sentence of Davoud Abdollahi after a week of transfer to solitary confinement at the Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj. Ghasem Abesteh and Ayoub Karimi, other Kurdish prisoners of conscience, were also executed on November 5 and 29, 2023 at Ghezel Hesar Prison.
After the execution of Qasem Abesteh and Ayoub Karimi, security agencies told the families of the other prisoners to remain silent so that at least the bodies of the executed were delivered.
Amnesty International had warned about the imminent execution of Salimi and called for its immediate halt on January 22
The cases of these prisoners are very vague and full of legal deficiencies and unfair proceedings. No lawyer has ever seen their case and the prisoners themselves have repeatedly stressed that their sentences were a result of forced confessions under torture and months of detention and interrogation in solitary confinement. The prisoners of conscience have been sentenced to death in a joint case for “corruption on earth.”
The prisoners were referred to the Supreme Court in 2019 after the death sentence was finalized. On September 9, 2020, Branch 38 of the Supreme Court rejected the request for a trial of these prisoners of conscience sentenced to death.
Anwar Khezri, Kamran Sheikhah, Khosro Besharat, Davood Abdollahi, Farhad Salimi, Ghasem Abesteh and Ayoub Karimi were arrested by security forces in Saqqez and Mahabad in late 2009 and early 2010 by security forces and transferred to the detention center of Urmia. The seven prisoners of conscience were subjected to physical and psychological torture in this security detention center for several months for forced confessions.
After the interrogation period ended at the Urmia Information Administration detention center, these seven political prisoners were transferred to Tehran’s Evin Prison and interrogated in solitary confinement in wards 240 and 209. On April 13, 2012, they were transferred to Gohardasht Prison in Karaj.
In early March 2016, the trial of these seven prisoners was held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran under the chairmanship of Judge Mohammad Moghiseh on charges such as “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the regime”, “membership in Salafi groups” and “corruption on earth”. On May 25, 2016, the death sentence was officially announced to them. After the lawyer in the case objected to the ruling, the case was referred to the Supreme Court.
After the case was referred to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Abolghasem Salavati, in June 2018, the seven prisoners were sentenced to death again on charges of “corruption on earth.” Branch 41 of the Supreme Court upheld the sentence in February 2020.
The seven prisoners of conscience were transferred to Ghezel Hesar prison last summer after the closure and evacuation of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.
On the same day that the regime executed Farhad Salimi, authorities in Ghezel Hesar also hanged Mohammad Ghobadlou, a youth who was arrested during the 2022 nationwide uprising and sentenced to death on charges of corruption on Earth.
These two brutal executions come against the backdrop of a killing spree in Iran’s prisons, with more than 360 executions since the beginning of war in Gaza in October, including nearly 100 executions in the past month.
The regime is trying to spread fear in the increasingly restive society with repression and executions. But so far, its repressive measures have had the reverse effect of further strengthening the resolve of Iran’s youth to overthrow the regime.
Mrs. Rajavi expressed her condolences to Farhad’s friends and families and said that the execution will “will only further strengthen the determination of Iranian youths and people to overthrow the malevolent mullahs’ regime.”