Halt the execution of death row man convicted of “enmity against God”
Iranian authorities must urgently halt the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, who was sentenced to death in an unfair trial on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh), said Amnesty International amid fears that he may be executed as soon as Sunday 1 June.
The family members of Gholamreza Khosravi were informed by prison officials on Saturday 31 May that they must go to Raja’i Shahr Prison, near Tehran, in order to meet him outside the regular visitation hours, sparking fears that his execution may be imminent. He is currently held in solitary confinement. Death row prisoners are generally transferred to solitary isolation units before their executions take place.
“Yet again Iranian authorities are about to execute a man who did not even receive a fair trial in total disregard of both international law and the Iranian law,” said Hassiba Hadj Saharoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The definition of the charge of “enmity against God” under the new Islamic Penal Code is more restrictive and imposes the death penalty only for those who have actively taken up arms. The execution of Gholamreza Khosravi will be a breach of Iran’s domestic law as well as International law, which stipulates that an offender should benefit from a subsequent law that imposes lighter penalties.
Gholamreza Khosravi was reportedly held for over 40 months in solitary confinement in various detention centres since his arrest in 2008. During his detention, he said to have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated, reportedly after refusing to make a “confession”. He was sentenced to death in 2010 on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) for his alleged support of a banned Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
He was among the prisoners reportedly injured during the 17 April raid on Section 350 of Evin prison. Following the incident, he was reportedly warned by a Ministry of Intelligence official that his death sentence would be carried out.
He was transferred from Section 350 of Tehran’s Evin Prison to the ‘Quarantine’ Section of Raja’i Shahr on 28 May. Amnesty International understands that neither the family members nor his lawyer have been informed of his transfer from Evin Prison to Raja’i Shahr Prison or the reasons for it. Under Iranian laws, lawyers must receive a 48 hours notification of a client’s execution.
Iran remains the second biggest executioner in the world, after China. As of 25 May 2014, 151 executions have been acknowledged by the authorities or state-sanctioned media. However, reliable sources have reported at least 180 additional executions.
Notes to editors
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