Just a day after Christmas, the Iranian regime raised its 2020’s death penalty’s record to 254 cases with four new executions, including three Iranian Baluchi prisoners.
On December 26, Iranian authorities executed at least four prisoners, according to the human rights association No to Prison – No to Execution. The sentences were carried out in Zahedan Central Prison, southeastern Iran, and Qom Central Prison, southwest of Tehran.
Meanwhile, in Zahedan, prison guards took 43-year-old Yasin Abdollahi to the gallows. However, they refused to execute him at the last moment. Notably, Iranian authorities frequently use mock executions to break prisoners’ spirits. Since the beginning of 2020, the Iranian regime has executed at least 254 inmates, including 16 women and eight juvenile offenders, according to human rights groups.
Baluchi Political Prisoner Abdolhamid Mir-Baluchzehi
Mostafa Neili, lawyer for political prisoner Abdolhamid Mir-Baluchzehi, announced that the authorities hanged this political prisoner on Saturday morning, December 26. He was 30 years old and from the city of Iranshahr, in the west of Sistan and Baluchestan province.
Two days earlier, prison officials contacted Mir-Baluchzehi’s family for the last visit. Following their last visitation, his family announced that their loved one’s death sentence is going to be implemented on Saturday morning. This is while the judiciary had registered an appeal for a revision of the case. However, the regime suddenly hanged 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 has been relocated from the general ward of the Prison of Zahedan, and they feared that he was going to be executed. I urge the Judicial authorities to stop the implementation of this verdict if the news is true,” Neili tweeted on December 24.
In May 2017, Zahedan Revolutionary Court Branch 1, presided by Seyed Reza Javad Moussavi and Mehraban Bameri, sentenced Abdolhamid Mir-Baluchzehi to 15 years in prison based on torture-tainted confessions. However, due to the IRGC Intelligence Department’s pressure, the court convicted Mir-Baluchzehi to death.
The court also issued the death penalty for Javid Dehghan and 15-year prison sentences for Mahmoud Kalkali, Omid Imani, and Alireza Bampouri as Mir-Bluchzehi’s accomplices.
Mir-Baluchzehi and other prisoners time and again rejected the accusations and revealed the interrogators’ inhuman torture and ill-treatment, including forced nudity, flogging, humiliating and insulting behaviors.
Two More Executions in Zahedan Central Prison on December 26
Furthermore, human rights activists reported that the Iranian regime hanged two other inmates in tandem with the execution of political prisoner Abdolhamid Mir-Baluchzehi at Zahedan Central Prison. They were Mehraban Barahouei, 60, and Khodadad Nohatani, 73.
Mehraban Barahouei Hanged Innocently
Mehraban Barahouei, son of Ahmad Khan, had been held in Ward 4 for nearly three years. Authorities had levelled drug-related charges against him. Finally, prison guards transferred him to solitary confinement to implement the death penalty on December 23.
“Barahouei was transferring passengers with his private car. Once, a passenger left drugs in his car and the SSF immediately captured him on December 27, 2017,” a source familiar with the case said.
“Mehraban Barahouei complained that the drug cargo does not belong to him. Since he had no criminal record, the Supreme Court discounted his sentence. However, the judge of Zahedan Revolutionary Court Branch 1 Mehraban Bameri sentenced him to death. Afterward, Bameri’s successor Seyed Reza Javad Moussavi approved the death penalty,” the source added.
On December 24, Mohsen Afzali, Barahouei’s lawyer, advised the Barahoueis to submit their complaint to the Execution of Sentences Department, the Supreme Court, judiciary, and the justice ministry to suspend the death penalty according to Article 477 of the Penal Code. However, two days later, they were taken aback by their loved one’s execution.
Khodadad Nohatani Executed at the Age of 73
On the same day, Khodadad Nohatani, 73, was hanged in Zahedan Central Prison’s yard. Authorities had detained him two-and-half years ago for drug allegations.
Notably, the Iranian regime has a notorious background in purging dissidents on the excuse of drug-related charges. On the other hand, based on Iran’s anti-drug law, judiciary officials cannot issue death sentences for drug-related charges unless the culprit had repeated the crime for the third time.
However, to spread fear and suffocation in society, Iranian authorities constantly use the death penalty to nip any opposition in the bud and dissuade outraged people from protests. In other words, the mullahs resort to executions as a political and oppressive instrument to silence grievances.
One Execution in Qom Central Prison
According to human rights activists, Iranian authorities also executed a long-time prisoner Seyed Paki at Qom Central Prison. Iran’s judiciary system had accused him of murder. There is no further information about this inmate, who had spent a long time in Qom Central Prison.
It is said that there are many death-row prisoners in this prison, and the regime may implement inhuman sentences in the upcoming days. Earlier, human rights defenders disclosed that recently authorities informed 15 prisoners about their death sentences.
On December 17, the regime executed the first prisoner Shahab Javid, and the other 14 inmates are currently numbering their days. Shahab Javid had attempted to commit suicide a night before his execution. However, the guards took him to the gallows while he was bleeding.