An Iranian organization that covers human rights violations and protests in the south-eastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan reported on June 3 that a teenage protester who had been sentenced to death was severely beaten in prison.
Describing his condition as "critical,” the news website Haalvsh said Shaeeb Mir-Baluchzahi was "beaten by officers in Ward 9 of Zahedan Prison and suffered a fracture in the head.
Prison authorities “are not willing to provide him with medical care and treatment," it added.
Earlier reports said Mir-Baluchzahi, an ethnic Baluch, was tortured by security forces after being sentenced to death.
Agents of the Zahedan Intelligence Bureau arrested Mir-Baluchzahi in the provincial capital in early October after they found videos of protests on his mobile phone.
On December 20, news emerged that the teenager had been sentenced to death by Zahedan’s criminal court on charges of “corruption on Earth.”
According to the human rights organization Baluch Activists Campaign, he was tortured for 14 days in order to obtain forced confessions. He was denied the right to choose his own lawyer and had no access to a defense attorney during detention or trial. The trial was held without the knowledge of the family and the court-appointed lawyer.
According to reports by rights activists, Mir-Baluchzahi lost his father and an uncle in a car accident. Earlier, he had lost another uncle who was shot dead by the military forces of the Islamic Republic.
The name of Shaeeb Mir-Baluchzahi can be seen on placards carried by Baluch protesters during their weekly Friday protests against the Islamic Republic.
In February, Amnesty International condemned the death penalty handed down to Mir-Baluchzahi as “unjust” and called on the Islamic Republic to vacate the sentence.
On February 21, the Iranian organization Defenders of Human Rights Center issued a statement calling for the annulment of the “unjust” death sentences handed down to six people from Zahedan, all under 30. Those sentenced included Shaeeb Mir-Baluchzahi, Nezameddin Hout, Kambiz Khervat, Mansour Dehmordeh, Ebrahim Naroui and Mansour Hout.
After the eruption of nationwide protests in September, security forces arrested dozens of teenagers and child protesters in Sistan and Baluchistan. Local human rights activists say there is no accurate information available about many of these detainees.
Sistan and Baluchistan province is home to Iran's Sunni Baluch minority of up to 2 million people.
Zahedan and other cities in the province have been rocked by protest rallies every Friday since September 30, when security forces killed nearly 100 people in the deadliest incident in the widespread demonstrations.
On June 2, security forces in Zahedan arrested many people participating in the weekly protests, including teenagers, according to Haalvsh. The identity of many of those detained remains unknown.
Haalvsh also reported that a member of the security team of Zahedan’s Grand Makki Mosque was arrested at his home on May 29. According to an informed source, the whereabouts of the man, identified as Abdelbaset Shahu Zahi, remain unknown.