Qassem Abasteh, a 44-year-old Kurdish political prisoner, was executed in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj on 5 November after 14 years in prison.
Abasteh and six other Kurdish civilians had previously received death sentences in a joint case on charges of “spreading corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel arz) after an unfair trial.
The political prisoner was moved to solitary confinement for execution on 29 October.
After learning of the execution through a phone call from the prison authorities, the prisoner’s family travelled from Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province, to Karaj to receive his body on 5 November.
Abasteh, a father of two from Mahabad, was arrested by security forces on 7 December 2009 along with his co-defendants Davoud Abdollahi, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Khosrow Besharat, Anvar Khezri and Ayoub Karimi.
They were interrogated for approximately eight months at the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility in Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province.
Following their interrogation, the seven prisoners of conscience were transferred to Tehran’s Evin Prison, where they were placed in solitary confinement cells in wards 240 and 209 and interrogated for six months.
On 13 April 2012, they were transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.
In March 2016, a court session was held in Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran, where the seven prisoners faced charges such as “actions against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, “membership of Salafi groups”, and “spreading corruption on earth”.
The defendants were informed of their death sentences in prison on 25 May 2016.
Following an appeal, Branch 41 of the Supreme Court overturned the sentences and referred the case back to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court for a retrial in early 2017.
However, the court again sentenced the seven prisoners to death on the same charges.
This sentence was upheld by Branch 41 of the Supreme Court, under pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence’s Orumiyeh office, and officially communicated to the case’s lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai, on 3 February 2020.
In July 2023, these seven political prisoners were transferred to Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj after the closure and evacuation of Rajai Shahr prison.