Kurdish political prisoner Keyhan Mokarram, who is currently serving the fifth year of his five-year sentence in an open prison in Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province, has been denied the right to an end-of-sentence furlough due to opposition from officials in the Ministry of Intelligence.

The intelligence authorities had previously rejected his request for conditional release, making any pre-release freedom conditional on his cooperation with security interrogators and exerting pressure on him and his family.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned that Mokarram was transferred from Orumiyeh Central Prison to the city’s open prison in recent months. Despite prison officials agreeing to his pre-release leave, he remains imprisoned due to opposition from the intelligence agencies.

In recent months, the Ministry of Intelligence has summoned Mokarram and his family, linking the political prisoner’s release to cooperation with security forces.

In 2021, Mokarram went on two hunger strikes in protest at the non-implementation of the plan to reduce his sentence by two years in Orumiyeh Central Prison. While two of his fellow prisoners were released under this plan, no action was taken in his case.

Mokarram was arrested by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces in the village of Anbeh in Orumiyeh on 8 July 2019, along with Saber Kamani and Kamran Kamani, and was temporarily released on bail pending the conclusion of the trial process after being detained for two months.

In September 2019, Branch Two of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Orumiyeh, presided over by Judge Ali Sheikhlou, sentenced Mokarram and two of his co-defendants to five years in prison on charges of “collaborating with the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK)”.

The sentence was upheld following his appeal to the West Azerbaijan Provincial Court of Appeal, leading to his imprisonment in January 2020.

In August 2021, a court sentenced Mokarram and two other Kurdish political prisoners, Nayeb Askari and Nayeb Hajizadeh, to 50 lashes and three months’ imprisonment.

The verdict came after the head of Orumiyeh Central Prison filed a complaint accusing the prisoners of “disturbing the prison order” for their involvement in a fight between several political prisoners and prisoners with common crimes.

The case was filed after general crime prisoners beat a Kurdish political prisoner.