Branch Two of the Kermanshah Criminal Court One has sentenced Yarsani Kurdish civilian Reza (Gholamreza) Rasaei to death, payment of blood money, one year of imprisonment and 74 lashes.

Rasaei was convicted of “participating in premeditated murder” of Nader Beyrami, the head of the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Sahneh, Kermanshah Province, as well as “participating in the intentional infliction of non-fatal injuries”, “demonstrating strength with a knife” and “disrupting public order by creating chaos and commotion”.

The death sentence was handed down under the Islamic law of qisas, or retribution-in-kind, which gives the victim’s family the right to retaliate.

The sentencing comes after a series of events, beginning with the 21st-anniversary ceremony commemorating Seyyed Khalil Alinezhad, a prominent artist and leader within the Yarsan community, on 18 November 2022.

The ceremony, held in Sahneh, was influenced by nationwide protests following the government’s killing of Jina Mahsa Amini and turned into an anti-government demonstration.

Military and security forces responded to protesters’ slogans by firing tear gas and live ammunition and arresting many participants.

Sahneh remained under heightened security for days after the event.

A day later, state news agencies reported that Nader Beyrami, a senior security official in Sahneh, had been killed during the unrest.

On 24 November 2022, the Criminal Investigation Department arrested Rasaei, who had attended the anniversary ceremony for Seyyed Khalil Alinezhad, in Shahriar, Tehran Province, and took him to Sahneh.

Rasaei was held for a week in the agency’s detention centre in Sahneh and subjected to severe torture to accept the charge of “involvement in the murder” of Nader Beyrami.

At the end of his interrogation, Rasaei was transferred to Dizel Abad Prison in Kermanshah. Kermanshah Province.

After a few weeks, he and several other civilians arrested during the anniversary ceremony for Seyyed Khalil Alinezhad were transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department detention centre in Sahneh, where they were held for 21 days.

Rasaei’s court hearings have been held in three sessions at Branch Two of Kermanshah Criminal Court One over the past few months.

After the last session on 21 September, his lawyers were informed in writing of the death sentence on 7 October.

During the trial, Rasaei repeatedly stated that he had been forced to confess through “torture and threats of rape” while in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department, and denied all the charges against him.

According to a copy of the court document obtained by the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), the court imposed the death penalty without considering his defence.