According to the Iranian Resistance, the Iranian regime has sentenced political activist Hamed Ghare-Oghlani to death in addition to 13 years and three months in prison. The 2nd Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Urmia, northwestern Iran, accused Ghare-Oghlani of ‘Moharebeh’ [waging war against God], assault on oppressive centers, spreading ‘rumors’ against the state, insulting the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and blasphemy.
The Human Rights News Agency (HRNA) reported Urmia intelligence agents detained Ghare-Oghlani on June 27. After a few weeks of interrogation, the regime transferred him to the Urmia Central Prison on July 16. Judiciary officials accused this political activist of being a member of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The Iranian regime considers the PMOI/MEK as an illegal organization whose members must be executed.
Ghare-Oghlani was a student of computer architecture at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University. In 2016, financial dilemmas forced him to drop out of education and seek a job to make ends meet. The young man was working as an operator for CCTV installation before his arrest.
This year, he once again took the college entrance exam to resume his education. Ghare-Oghlani suffers from epilepsy. As a part of systematic ill-treatment, prison guards have deprived him of regular access to medication. According to rights activists, he was among political prisoners who contracted the coronavirus disease in September.
In its December 4 statement, the Iranian coalition opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) declared its concerns about Ghare-Oghlani’s health and life. The NCRI urged the international community to pressure the regime to revoke the death penalty against this political prisoner.
“The Iranian Resistance urges the United Nations and all human rights organizations to take urgent action to overturn the death sentence of Hamed Qarah Oghlaei and secure the release of all political prisoners, especially in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak,” the NCRI stated.
“It also reiterates the need to establish an international commission of inquiry to visit Iran’s prisons and meet with the prisoners, especially political prisoners,” the statement added.
Vile Condition in Urmia Central Prison
Urmia Central Prison is one of Iran’s notorious prisons, where authorities commit inhuman crimes under the excuse of ‘punishment.’ On the other hand, despite the Covid-19 contagion among inmates, prison guards have deprived patients of medical care. Oppressive measures applied by the prison’s warden Amir Sohrabi led to more prisoners’ infection with the virus.
On April 9, Iran’s Human Rights Monitor reported around 50 political prisoners had contracted the Covid-19. Later, on April 15, in its program, Simay Azadi TV, affiliated to the Iranian Resistance, announced over 100 prisoners have infected with the coronavirus in Urmia Central Prison alone.
The regime also practices many death sentences in this prison. Furthermore, inhuman pressures on prisoners pushed them to commit suicide. In mid-October, at least six inmates committed suicide in protest of the prison’s dire conditions. Unfortunately, one of them lost his life. Also, in November, a prisoner self-immolated under overwhelming pressures exercised by the guards.
On December 3, Amnesty International expressed its concerns over the Iranian authorities’ decision to amputate the fingers of six men in this prison. “The Iranian authorities must immediately halt imminent plans to amputate the fingers of six men convicted of robbery following unfair trials and torture-tainted ‘confessions,’” said Amnesty International in a detailed analysis released on the same day.