Shahram Ahmadi in Danger of Execution after Request for Retrial Rejected

July 6, 2016, 4:05 p.m.

Shahram Ahmadi is in imminent danger of execution after his lawyer's request for a retrial was rejected by Iranian authorities.

Iran Human Rights (July 6 2016): Iran's Supreme Court has reportedly rejected a request for retrial regarding the case of Shahram Ahmadi, a political prisoner on death row in Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison (northern Iran). Mr. Ahmadi, who is a Sunni Muslim preacher, is in imminent danger of execution for Moharebeh (enmity against God).

Mr. Ahmadi was arrested in Sanandaj (in the province of Kurdistan, northwestern Iran) by Iranian authorities on April 26, 2009, after he was shot and injured by security agents. He was reportedly taken to the hospital and later transferred to a detention centre in Sanandaj operated by the Ministry of Intelligence.

He endured more than 40 months in solitary confinement cells in Ministry of Intelligence detention centres in Sanandaj and Zanjan. He was severely tortured and accused of relations with Salafi groups and the assassination of a Sunni Friday prayer Imam in Sanandaj. In an unprecedented move, Iranian authorities reportedly transferred Mr. Ahmadi's case file from Sanandaj to branch 28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, presided by a corrupt judge by the name of 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. Mr. Ahmadi was reportedly sentenced to death by Judge Moghiseh based on forced confessions.

According to Mr. Ahmadi's lawyer, his client has never possessed or used a weapon and has never harmed anyone. The lawyer, who had filed the request for the retrial, wrote in his appeals about the psychological and physical tortures his client endured in order for the Iranian authorities to extract confessions from him. Mr. Ahmadi has written 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.

Mr. Ahmadi's brother, Bahram, was executed at Karaj's Ghezelhesar Prison by Iranian authorities on December 27, 2012 along with nine other Sunni Muslim political prisoners. Bahram was reportedly arrrested by Iranian authorities on September 19, 2009 when he was under the age of 18. On March 4, 2014 six other Sunni Muslim political prisoners were executed by Iranian authorities in Ghezel Hesar Prison: Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani, Kamal Molaei, Sedigh Mohammadi, and Hadi Hosseini.  

There are currently at least 35 Sunni Muslim political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison who are in imminent danger of execution.