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Iran: Families of five protesters sentenced to death are worried about their loved ones

Families of five protesters arrested during the December 2017 / January 2018 uprising in Iran and sentenced to death are seen rallying outside the regime’s judiciary office in the city of Isfahan, central Iran
Families of five protesters arrested during the December 2017 / January 2018 uprising in Iran and sentenced to death are seen rallying outside the regime’s judiciary office in the city of Isfahan, central Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, July 31, 2020—Reports indicate the families of five protesters, sentenced to death for their participation in the December 2017 / January 2018 nationwide uprising in Iran, are extremely concerned about the possible secret executions of their loved ones. These family members and others have been rallying outside the Isfahan judiciary building for days now.

Friends and relatives of these five inmates, held in Isfahan Central Prison, indicate authorities have banned these inmates from phone calls with their family members. Authorities have also dispatched numerous security forces to the town of Nikbakht, the hometown of these five prisoners, and remarks made by a number of regime officials in the judiciary of Isfahan in their talks with the family members have raised increasing concerns about the possibility of the five being executed in secret.

 

 

A report from inside Iran indicates: “Communication between Mehdi Salehi Ghale-Shahrokhi, Mohammad Bastami, Majid Nazar Kandari, Hadi Kiani and Abbas Mohammadi and their family members have been cut off and some officials have made remarks to these family members that have made them believe they may be executed in the coming hours. Furthermore, these family members are becoming increasingly concerned due to the fact that additional security units have been dispatched to the town of Nikbakht.”

On Wednesday, July 29, families and friends of the five death row prisoners held a gathering outside the judiciary building. In response, authorities threatened the protesting friends and relatives, saying any such gathering would cost them. Afterward, security forces were dispatched to ordered to attack the peaceful rally, using batons and other oppressive means against a completely unarmed and peaceful gathering.

 

 

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The names of the five people whose death sentences have been upheld by the Supreme Court in Isfahan are: Mehdi Salehi Ghale Shahrokhi, Mohammad Bastami, Majid Nazari Kondori, Hadi Kiani and Abbas Mohammadi.

The five men, all in their 20s, have said to the court that they were tortured to make confessions.

Some sources say each of the men has received two death sentences for the charges of “waging war against God” and “baghi (taking up arms against the government)”.

The lawyer of one of the protesters said that the second Branch of Isfahan’s Revolutionary Court had previously sentenced the men to death in February 2020.

According to the indictment issued by Isfahan’s Revolutionary Court, the five protesters have been charged with “Baghi through effective efforts and activities to advance rioters’ objectives”, “Moharebeh through the use of firearms and the intention to disrupt community security and shoot at officers,” and “corruption on earth by disrupting public security and leading rioters to disrupt public order and security and disturb public opinion.”

This came nearly one month after the Head of the Justice Department of Isfahan Province on June 26 said eight individuals were sentenced for “corruption on earth,” a charge that death sentence, according to Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.

Iran Supreme Court recently upheld the death sentences against three young men in Tehran for participating in the November 2019 nationwide protests. However, the regime’s judiciary was forced to temporarily halt the executions and said its chief would consider any request from the men to review their sentences.

Lawyers for the three men were reportedly told that they could for the first time examine the court papers and evidence against their clients. This came only after they were executed and in response to widespread international outrage.

The Iranian regime has sentenced many protesters to heavy prison terms, lashes, and even death to prevent further protests.

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), condemned the execution of the Kurdish prisoners, and called on the United Nations Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner on Human Rights, and the UN Human Rights Council, as well as other relevant bodies to take effective action against the religious fascism ruling in Iran for continuing to torture, execute, and arbitrary arrests.

“By these executions, the clerical regime seeks to terrorize the people of Iran in the face of their protests. At the same time, they seek to boost the spirit of their mercenary agents and recruit their families for espionage and suppression of the public,” Madam Rajavi said.