Iran: The Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentences for 7 Sunni Prisoners

Iran: The Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentences for 7 Sunni Prisoners

Published by on September 14, 2020

International Liberty Association: According to the reports, the Branch 38 of the Iranian Supreme Court for a third time upheld the death sentences against seven Sunni prisoners on 10 September 10.

The Sunni inmates, Farhad Salimi, Qassem Absteh, Davood Abdollahi, Ayub Karimi, Anwar Khezri, Khosrow Besharat, and Kamran Sheikha, have been detained in Urmia, Evin, and Rajai Shahr prisons for 11 years. They had previously been sentenced to death in the Branches 41 and 42 of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court accepted the appeal by the prisoners’ families and referred the case to the Branch 38 for retrial.

The seven Sunni prisoners were arrested in 2009 based on bogus charges filed by the Ministry of Intelligence. They were charged with “Acting against national security,” “Propaganda against the state,” “Membership in Salafi groups,” “Corruption on earth,” and “Moharebeh (waging war on God).”

ILA: The death sentences by Iran are aimed at intimidating future protesters. There has also been a rise in death sentences handed down for members of ethnic and religious minorities.

In a statement on July 15 following the execution of two Kurdish men, Diaku Rasoulzadeh and Saber Sheikh Abdollah, Amnesty International said: “There has been an alarming escalation in the use of the death penalty against protesters, dissidents and members of minority groups in Iran.”

“Iran’s increasing use of the death penalty as a political weapon for repression is alarming and warrants the immediate attention of the international community. Without urgent diplomatic and public action, more lives in Iran are at risk of being cut short by the state’s execution machine,” said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s researcher on Iran.

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