At dawn on Sunday, January 3, Iranian authorities executed two other political prisoners and one ordinary inmate at Zahedan Central Prison in Sistan and Baluchestan province, southeastern Iran. The executed political prisoners were Hassan Dehvari and Elias Qalandarzehi, and the ordinary inmate was Omid Mahmoudzehi.
The government implemented these sentences while the lawyer of Dehvari and Qalandarzehi, Mostafa Faqihi, had announced that the trial was distorted. He had registered for a retrial at the Supreme Court Secretariat for his clients.
“When we precisely studied the case of the two convicted prisoners in the Zahedan Revolutionary Court, our findings showed that their trial had legal problems. In this respect, their sentences are wrong. Therefore, as the most normal legal action in this process, we requested a retrial,” Faqihi explained.
“On Saturday [January 2], this retrial was registered at the Supreme Court Secretariat. So, this case was in the process of being designated to an appeal court,” the lawyer added.
The State Security Forces (SSF) detained Dehvari and Qalandarzehi on April 5, 2014, on security charges. The Revolutionary Court sentenced them to death on December 19, 2016.
Omid Mahmoudzehi had previously been sentenced to death for several allegations, including Muharebeh, the Iranian authorities’ formal excuse for killing citizens.
Two Political Prisoners Kept as Hostages
At night on Friday, January 1, the prison guards transferred Dehvari and Qalandarzehi to solitary confinement, preparing them for the execution. In this context, their family members complained to the authorities.
Iranian Baluchi human rights defenders had already announced that the government kept these prisoners due to their relatives’ membership in dissident groups. Authorities claimed that Dehvari’s brother and Qalandarzahi’s relatives are members of anti-government groups.
In response to their families’ complaints, Iranian authorities acknowledged that as long as their relatives do not turn themselves in, their death penalties will remain active. Notably, the government still chases Dehvari’s brother and Qalandarzaehi’s relatives despite these inhuman executions.
On December 26, the Iranian government hanged three inmates at Zahedan Central Prison, including political prisoner Abdolhamid Mir-Baluchzehi. Iranian authorities hanged this political prisoner while the judiciary had registered an appeal for a revision of the case. However, the regime suddenly executed this political prisoner.
“The website of the Judicial Services has registered an appeal for the revision of the case of Abdolhamid Mir-Baluchzehi, and we are waiting for the case to be referred to a branch (for revision). But his family today informed me that he had been relocated from the general ward of the Prison of Zahedan, and they feared that he was going to be executed,” tweeted Mostafa Nili, Mir Baluchzehi’s lawyer, on December 24.
Furthermore, on January 1, human rights defenders reported that Iranian authorities have silently executed at least seven prisoners at Mashhad’s Vakil-Abad Prison, in northeastern Iran, and Ahvaz’s Sepidar Prison, in the southwest of the country during the past week.
The Iranian government is the world’s record-holder of executions per capita. In 2020, they had executed more than 250 prisoners, including juvenile offenders, women, political activists, and prisoners of conscience. Out of six juvenile offenders who were executed in 2020 across the globe, four were in Iran.