State run media announced the execution of a person they described as “a middle aged man who was charged with establishing a mysticism institution in Tehran” on February 12.
The man was actually Karim Zargar, the head of the Path to Wisdom (Eckankar) Institute, the former head of the Seda and Sima College, law graduate from Tehran University and holder of a maritime law Ph.D. from Strasburg University in France. He was hanged on January 30 in Rajaie Shahr (Gohardasht) Prison in Karaj.
The 64 year old also had a history in cinematic activities. He was the Chief Executive Officer of TV Abroad, the Director of Broadcasting for Channel One, the head of the Seda and Sima (Iranian national TV) College, and the Editor in Chief of Film Report Monthly Journal.
Karimi was arrested on October 2015 after the closure of and arrest of the directors of the Path of Wisdom Institution along with Marjan Davari. He was transferred to Section 209 in Evin Prison. Before this, Erfanian, Marjan Davari’s lawyer had said that Mr. Karim Zargar was the head of the institution who was sentenced to death and that his death sentence had been confirmed.
Finally, amidst media silence, Karim Zargar’s death sentence was carried out on January 30.
Eckankar (meaning Co-worker with God), called “the Path of Spiritual Freedom”, is a new religious movement founded by Paul Twitchell in 1965. It is a non-profit religious group with members in over one hundred countries.