Urmia Prison; Nayeb Askari was sentenced to death again

16:36 - 23 October 2023

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Nayeb Askari, a political prisoner detained in Urmia Prison, was sentenced to death for the charge of "rebellion" after a retrial session in the second branch of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia.

Mr. Askari was sentenced to death in absentia by the second branch of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia on April 15, 2023, for the charge of "waging war" through membership in one of the Kurdish opposition parties to the Iranian government.

After this political prisoner protested against the verdict and requested a retrial, several court sessions were held on his charges in the aforementioned judicial authority without the presence of his defense lawyer. Eventually, the court changed his charge from "waging war" to "rebellion" and sentenced him to death again.

Membership in one of the Kurdish opposition parties to the Iranian government is one of the charges against Mr. Askari in this case.

HRANA, quoting a source close to the family of this political prisoner, announced: "Nayeb has another case besides this rebellion case, which is open in the criminal court of Urmia for the charge of complicity in the murder of a member of the Revolutionary Guards named 'Mostafa Soltani'."

HRANA, quoting this informed source, added: "Mostafa Soltani, who was mentioned as a killed cadre of the Revolutionary Guards in the open case, was wounded in a clash with members of one of the Kurdish opposition parties in 2014 and died a few years later, i.e. in 2020, due to coronavirus infection. Despite this time gap, Soltani's family filed a complaint against Mr. Askari, stating that he had participated in the clash that led to Mostafa Soltani's injury and that his death was not due to coronavirus but due to injuries left over from this clash."

Nayeb Askari, a Kurdish citizen from Urmia, was arrested by the intelligence forces of the Revolutionary Guards Corps of Urmia on March 25, 2021, and transferred to Urmia Central Prison after three months of detention in this security institution.

This political prisoner suffers from kidney stones and has been deprived of access to medical services due to the opposition of prison officials despite doctors' recommendations for his treatment outside prison.

Nayeb Askari went on a hunger strike on December 12, 2021, along with other political prisoners detained in Urmia Prison in protest against the decision of prison officials to transfer these prisoners to a super-security ward.

Also, in August 2021, this political prisoner was sentenced to 50 lashes and three months imprisonment along with two other Kurdish political prisoners named "Keyhan Makram" and "Nayeb Hajizadeh" on charges of "disrupting prison order" following a clash between some political prisoners and public offenders with a complaint from the head of Urmia Central Prison.

Mr. Askari is the father of two children aged 11 and 8.