Sherko Moarefi, a native of the Kurdish border town of Baneh, was 33 at the time of his arrest by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in a village near his hometown in October 2008.
He was tried by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Saqez, which sentenced him to death on charges of:
– Membership in an outlawed Kurdish party, the Komalah party.
– Actions against national security
– Enmity against God
The Appeal Court of the Supreme Court of Iran had later confirmed the sentence.
On 3 November 2013, the governor of Saqez prison, M. Norouzi, ordered the transfer of Sherko Moarefi and another political prisoner named Ahmadian to the central branch of the Saqez prison.
Both prisoners were handcuffed and transferred to solitary confinement after they had arrived at the central branch.
At dawn of the day after, on 4 November 2013, at 5:30 in the morning, M. Norouzi got Sherko Moarefi out of his jail cell.
Moarefi was worried about his fate, Norouzi told him: “You are about to be transferred to Sanandaj central prison and you will come back here later.”
It was only when he was transferred to a closed-room and afterward saw the hanging rope of the gallows that he realized what was really about to happen to him, according to prison sources.
His death penalty was implemented without his prior knowledge and without the knowledge of his family and lawyer.
He was executed in the strictest secrecy and only in the presence of some officials of the prison as well as Saqez court and local intelligence agency officials.
His body was returned to his family and for safety reasons buried in the strictest discretion.
A few months before his execution, Moarefi contacted a member of Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) and provided important details about his arrest, trial and detention at Saqez prison.
He mentioned that he was detained for a while in a “security detention center” in Sanandaj shortly after his arrest, and that he was subjected to harsh psychological and physical torture and sometimes was forced by security forces to swallow some unknown pills.
After arriving in the central branch told KHRN that political prisoners at Saqez prison were detained in the worst conditions imaginable.
He said that he spent two days in solitary confinement only for having asked to read a poetry book by Kurdish poet Sherko Bekas.
He was deprived of medical care for his painful stomach ulcer after he had protested against the prison’s security forces.
KHRN publishes an audio file of a conversation with Moarefi, which took place prior to his execution by hanging.