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Sunni Man in Danger of Imminent Execution in Rajai Shahr Prison

Iran Human Rights, October 29 2015: A death sentence for a Sunni Muslim prisoner was reportedly confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court. Shahram Ahmadi, who is being held in Rajai Shahr Prison, may be executed at any moment.

According to close sources, in spring 2009, Ahmadi was shot and injured by Iranian security agents in Sanandaj before he was arrested and taken to a hospital. He was transferred to both the Ministry of Intelligence detention centers in Sanandaj and Zanjan where he was reportedly held in solitary confinement for more than 60 months and subjected to interrogations until he was charged with "Having relations with Salafi groups and assassinating Sanandaj's Sunni Friday Prayer Imam". In an unprecedented move, Iranian authorities reportedly transferred Ahmadi's case file from Sanandaj to branch 28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghiseh. In accordance with the judicial process in Iran, the case file of defendants must be examined or investigated where the alleged crime was committed.

Ahmadi has written and released multiple letters from prison denying the assasination charge against him and claiming that he was arrested only because he is a preacher of Sunni Islam.

In autumn 2012 Judge Moghiseh sentenced Ahmadi to death in a quick and closed trial that was attended by Ahmadi's court-appointed lawyer. The death sentence was then transferred to the Supreme Court where it was called off pending a new trial. According to close sources, Ahmadi's case file was sent back to branch 28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court where Judge Moghiseh sentenced him to death again. The sentence was returned to the Supreme Court, and this time it was confirmed. The sentence has reportedly been sent to Rajai Shahr Prison for implementation.

On December 27, 2012 at Karaj's Ghezel Hesar Prison, Iranian authorities executed Shahram Ahmadi's brother, Bahram, along with nine other Sunni Muslim prisoners. Bahram Ahmadi was reportedly under the age of 18 when he was arrested by Iranian authorities in autumn 2009.

On March 4, 2014 six other Sunni Muslim prisoners were executed by Iranian authorities in Ghezel Hesar Prison: Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani, Kamal Molaei, Sedigh Mohammadi, and Hadi Hosseini.  

At the current time there are more than 40 prisoners in Ward 4 of Rajai Shahr Prison who are sentenced to death and in danger of execution. Most of these prisoners were arrested in provinces in the west of Iran, yet they were sentenced to death by branch 28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court. One of the prisoners is Barzan Nasrollahzadeh, who, according to an official document obtained by Iran Human Rights, was under the age of 18 when he was arrested by Iranian authorities. There is overwhelming evidence that the Sunni Muslim political prisoners, who are accused of association with Salafi groups, have been subjected to physical and psychological torture.

Iran Human Rights condemns the death penalty for any crime and urges the world community to consider that prisoners in Iran are sentenced to death in unfair and nontransparent trials.

"Shahram Ahmadi and the other Sunni Muslim prisoners who are on death row in Rajai Shahr Prison must be granted fair and open trials with access to lawyers. Iran Human Rights calls on the world community to make efforts to help stop the execution sentences for Shahram Ahmadi and all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.