CODIR Calls for stay of Execution of Nayeb Askari! 

Political prisoner Nayeb Askari faces execution in Orumiyeh Central Prison on trumped-up charges based on confessions obtained through sustained and inhumane tortures.

HRANA (Human Rights News Agency) reported on 2 February that Nayeb (Naeb) Askari, held in Orumiyeh Central Prison, is at risk of execution after the Orumiyeh Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death for Baghi (armed rebellion) in a recent retrial.

Initially sentenced to death for “enmity against God (Moharebeh)” on April 15, 2023, his plea for a retrial was accepted, leading to a charge change to Baghi. In October 2023, the court reaffirmed the death sentence, with the hearings reportedly conducted without his lawyer’s presence. The charge is supported by his alleged membership in a Kurdish political opposition party.

According to information released by Kurdistan Human Rights Network, Askari was arrested in Orumiyeh on 24 March 2021 by the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  He was sent to Orumiyeh Central Prison after spending three months in the detention facility of the IRGC’s intelligence organisation.

In April 2023, Branch Two of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced Askari to death on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) through “membership” in the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK).

HRANA’s source reveals another ongoing case accusing Askari of the murder of IRGC member Mostafa Soltani. In 2013-2014, Soltani was injured during a clash with a political opposition party member, passing away six years later from COVID-19. Soltani’s family claims alleged Askari’s involvement in the altercation caused the sustained injury leading to his eventual death.

A new case, opened on July 12, 2021, based on a complaint from the Orumiyeh Prison head, resulted in a three-month imprisonment extension and 50 lashes for “disrupting prison order.”

According to Kurdistan Human Rights Network, on 26 July 2021, Askari went on a 32-day hunger strike to protest against the judicial authorities’ failure to issue an order for transferring him to a hospital outside the prison for treatment.

According to HRA’s annual report, in 2023, Orumiyeh Prison officials executed 29 inmates, positioning this facility as the sixth highest in terms of executions among the ranked prisons.

In line with its principled stance on the issue, held since its very founding, CODIR unequivocally opposes the use of the death penalty and views it as one of the main instruments of brutal oppression meted out to the long-suffering people of Iran.

The death sentence is one of the vile hallmarks of the Islamic Republic regime which has long topped the world’s statistics for the rate of execution per population…  A damning indictment of its cruel rule!  CODIR demands at least a moratorium on the execution of death sentences in Iran pursuant to their outright abolition, and that those officials involved in the perpetration of these most egregious of human rights abuses are brought to account for them in the future.

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