Hasan Khalkhal Zard, a citizen of Galikesh city in Golestan province, is a 32-year-old protester who has been accused of insulting the Prophet for participating in the nationwide protests of 2022. This charge could pose a serious risk of issuing a death sentence.
According to the report by Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM), Hasan Khalkhal Zard was arbitrarily detained by security forces in October 2023. He has been held in Gonbad-e Kavus Prison in Golestan province for over seventy days. He has faced an unfair judicial process and has been charged with offenses such as “Sab al-Nabi”, “insulting the Prophet” and “insulting Khamenei”.
After his arrest, Mr. Khalkhal Zard was transferred to the Galikesh Intelligence Department for interrogation. There, he was subjected to beatings and torture by government agents. Having undergone vicious psychological and physical torture, this young protester attempted suicide by cutting his wrist, subsequent to the completion of his interrogations and transfer to Gonbad-e Kavus Prison.
Currently, Hassan Khalkhal Zard’s case is under investigation in Branch One of the Public and Revolutionary Court in Galikesh city. His life is at risk due to the charge of insulting the Prophet.
Based on the reports received by Iran Human Rights Monitor (IranHRM), Hassan Khalkhal Zard went to the prosecutor’s office on October 2 this year to follow up on his complaint regarding the theft of his motorcycle earlier in April. However, he was detained upon his visit to the prosecutor’s office.
The basis of the charges against Hassan Khalkhal Zard is his alleged participation in the nationwide protests of 2022. He has been in a state of uncertainty, spending over seventy days in Gonbad-e Kavus Prison.