Iran: 10 death row prisoners write letter to human rights organizations
Ten death row prisoners in Zahedan Prison who were all sentenced to death in a joint case for drug related crimes, wrote a letter to human rights organizations and Asmah Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, stressing that their case was fabricated by the Ministry of Intelligence.
This letter reads in part:
“Concerning problems in Sistan and Baluchistan prisons, one of the most serious, is the execution crisis. We were all arrested in 2013 on drug related charges:
Mohammad Omarzehi, Yousef Bampoorzehi, Gholam Rasoul Mazarzehi, Alireza Naroui, Anoushirvan Omarzehi, Naser Omarzehi, Abdollah Salah Zehi, Hossein Dadvar, Muradbakhsh Baluchi and Nabi Mazarzehi.
Under the name of the discovery of 200 tons of narcotics by the Ministry of Intelligence, we were subjected to the worst kind of tortures and conditions and eventually had to accept the drug related charges. Strangely enough, Mr. Mirshah, who was the investigator of the 6th Branch of the Revolutionary Court, came to the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center, and tortured us while we had blindfolds on. He wrote our confessions on the interrogation sheet and threatened us… In the criminal court and the interrogation sessions, no one listed to us. This is while, in all the legal procedures, we denied the charges and our statements have been documented in the case.
Earlier, the judge of the 2nd Branch of the Penal Code, Mr. Sargol Zehi, after hearing our remarks, did not accept the allegations and said that we were all innocent. Despite this, the case was transferred to the 101st Branch of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Khosravi who sentenced us all to execution. The death sentences were sent to Tehran, where they were all confirmed.
After confirmation of the death sentence, former prosecutor, Mr. Marzieh and Mr. Hamidi, the Director General of the Judiciary, promised us and our families several times that they would break the sentence but did not do so…
The judges have repeatedly told us that they regret giving us the death sentence and that none of us deserved it. Judge Khosravi, Judge Sargolzehi and the Special Investigator have admitted that they were pressure by the Ministry of Intelligence to do this. Despite this, nearly six years after the death sentences were issued, judicial officials have not taken any measures.
Our request from you, in particular from the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, is to address this case.
It is unheard of to give ten people in a joint case, the death sentence. Ten people who met each other in prison and after some time realized that they were all being accused of a crime they committed together.