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Saman Naseem Reportedly Not Executed

13 Jul 15
Saman Naseem Reportedly Not Executed

After five months without any information about Saman Naseem's whereabouts, new reports indicate that Saman Naseem might be alive. Saman's family have told Iran human Rights (IHR) sources that they have spoken to Saman for the first time after he was transferred from his prison in February 2015.

The phone conversation reportedly took place few days ago. Saman has been held in the Zanjan prison after transfer from Urmia where he was originally held, according to these reports. Saman Naseem was sentenced to death in April 2013 by a criminal court in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province, for “enmity against God” (moharebeh) and “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz) because of his membership in the Kurdish armed opposition group PJAK, and for taking part in armed activities against the Revolutionary Guards.

His death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in December 2013. Has was 17 year old at the time of his arrest. Saman Naseem was transferred together with five death row prisoners of conscience from his prison ward to an unknown location on Wednesday 18. February. Several unofficial sources, some quoting Saman's family, reported about the execution of Saman Naseem few days after his transfer.

Several human rights groups condemned Saman's execution. Saman's family was not given any answer about his whereabouts by the authorities. Several sources have informed IHR that Saman Naseem is alive, but there are no official confirmation of these reports yet. Its is not known whether Saman's sentence is being reconsidered or not.

According to reports, after being arrested in 2013 Saman Naseem didn’t have access to his lawyer during early investigations and according to a letter he wrote from the prison he was tortured, which included the removal of his finger and toe nails and being hung upside down for several hours.

In the letter, Saman said: “During the first days, the level of torture was so severe that it left me unable to walk. All my body was black and blue. They hung me from my hands and feet for hours. I was blindfolded during the whole period of interrogations and torture, and could not see the interrogation and torture officers.”