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Iran Executes Kurdish Man After 15 Years in Prison

May 15, 2024
2 min read
Khosrow Besharat was hanged in Ghezelhesar prison near Tehran on Wednesday morning, according to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights
Khosrow Besharat was hanged in Ghezelhesar prison near Tehran on Wednesday morning, according to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights

After enduring 15 years of imprisonment marked by allegations of torture, a member of Iran's Sunni religious minority has been executed by prison authorities of the Islamic Republic.

Khosrow Besharat was hanged in Ghezelhesar prison near Tehran on Wednesday morning, according to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights. 

Besharat was arrested in November 2009 and later sentenced to death alongside seven others.

Five of his co-defendants have already been executed.

The 39-year-old Kurdish man from Mahabad was accused of national security offenses, "propaganda against the Islamic Republic," and "membership of an outlawed group."

He was initially sentenced to death in 2015, but the verdict was overturned. However, in a retrial in 2017, he was again sentenced to death on the charge of "corruption on Earth."

Human rights groups believe the sentence was politically motivated and influenced by security forces.

Anwar Khezri, Khosrow Besharat, Kamran Sheikheh, Ayoub Karimi, Farhad Salimi, Davood Abdullahi, and Qasem Abasteh were subjected to solitary confinement during the initial two months of their detention at the Urmia Intelligence Department.

Subsequently, as documented in the Atlas of Iran's Prisons and through grievances presented by Khosrow Besharat and Anwar Khezri to human rights organizations, they endured months of uncertainty and relentless interrogation. Their ordeal was accompanied by physical and psychological torment across various detention centers, including Mahabad Prison and Wards 240, 350, and 209 of Evin Prison.

On the tenth anniversary of Khosrow Besharat's arrest, he had detailed in a letter the excruciating methods of torture inflicted upon him.

"They suspended me from the ceiling for hours with handcuffs, lashed the soles of my feet with high-voltage electric cables, causing unimaginable pain, nearly extracting my brain from my mouth, displacing my eyes from their sockets, and nearly rupturing my heart," he wrote.

Initially, after his arrest in 2009, Besharat said he endured a similar ordeal of relentless interrogation and torture for months.

He recounted in a letter the extensive injuries he sustained: "Injuries were inflicted on my head, chest, knees, feet, left wrist, including multiple broken noses, and severe muscle and tendon damage. After enduring numerous incidents of torture, I attempted suicide on the 56th day."

In his letter, he refuted the accusations leveled against him, including the alleged murder of Tina. 

He emphasized that he voluntarily appeared at the prosecutor's office upon summons, questioning whether a person with criminal intent would willingly submit to legal proceedings.

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