Death row protester Navid Afkari has been taken to a high-security ward in Adelabad Prison.
His two brothers, Vahid and Habib were beaten and then transferred to “Guidance Ward”, where prisoners are kept as punishment and have limited contact with the outside world.
The section where Navid Afkari is currently imprisoned is run by security forces and political prisoners are usually transferred there as punishment. Prisoners are not allowed to contact or visit with their families and cannot leave the section. Prisoners do not have easy access to fresh air and might be allowed to leave indoors once every few weeks.
Navid Afkari’s lawyer told the Emtedad Telegram Channel Saturday that the three Afkari brothers were moved from their cells in Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison in southwestern Iran.
“The Afkari family announced that Navid was taken to the public section of the prison as of Thursday and that they have lost contact with him,” Hassan Younesi told the Telegram channel that operates out of Iran.
Younesi said that the family later confirmed that his two other brothers, detained protesters Habib and Vahid, were also taken to an unknown location.
“Prisoners’ families have a right to know about their situation and health,” he stressed.
Death row protester Navid Afkari, a 27-year old wrestling champion, was arrested along with his brothers, vahid and Habib, following the nationwide protests in August 2018 and was charged by the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz with “taking up arms against the regime.”
He has been sentenced to a double death sentence for allegedly killing a security agent of the regime. Vahid Afkari is facing 54 years behind bars and 74 lashes. Habib Afkari is sentenced to 27 years in prison and 74 lashes. Navid Afkari’s death sentence has been upheld by the regime’s Supreme Court and an appeals measure has been denied.
The death row protester Navid Afkari was tortured to make confessions
The Afkari brothers say they were psychologically and physically tortured to confess to crimes that they had not committed.
In a letter from Adelabad Prison Navid Afkari described the horrific physical and psychological tortures inflicted on him by the regime’s authorities.
“For around 50 days I had to endure the most horrendous physical and psychological tortures. They would beat me with sticks and batons, hitting my arms, legs, abdomen and back. They would place a plastic bag on my head and torture me until I suffocated to the very brink of death. They also poured alcohol into my nose,” the letter reads.
In an audio recording leaked from the prison, Afkari has repeated that he did not kill anyone and that the CCTV footage that the court has based its verdict on proves his innocence. In the audio message he says he had to confess to the killing under torture.
International condemnation of the death sentence
There is a wave of protests and criticism from inside Iran and across the globe over the criminal execution ruling issued for Navid Afkari and his two brothers, Vahid and Habib, by the so-called judiciary in the city of Shiraz, south-central Iran.
US President Donald Trump has called on Iran to overturn the death sentence against Navid Afkari. “To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him,” Mr Trump tweeted on Thursday.
The U.S. State Department posted two tweets condemning the death sentence issued for this young Iranian athlete by the so-called judiciary of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
“Navid Afkari is a young man that is struggling for the pride that Khamenei’s regime has long deprived the Iranian people of. Khamenei’s thugs have tortured Navid to such an extent in order to obtain coerced confessions from him. Not satisfied with their effort in destroying Navid’s dignity, now they have sentenced him to death,” the tweet reads in Persian.
A hashtag created to urge Iranian authorities to drop the death sentence topped all Persian language hashtags on Twitter on September 2 and ranked among the ten top English language hashtags.