Hadi Rostami, a prisoner sentenced to amputation, began a dry hunger strike after being severely beaten by prison officials and transferred to solitary confinement in Orumiyeh Central Prison on 5 February.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned that a delegation led by the Chief Justice of West Azerbaijan Province and several judges from Orumiyeh visited the prison to address the prisoners’ concerns, and Akbar Maheri, the supervisor of dormitories 1 and 2, prevented Rostami from attending the meeting, leading to the confrontation.

After Rostami objected to Maheri, prison guards identified as Babaei and Danyali reportedly beat him severely, causing head injuries. Despite the seriousness of his condition, Rostami was transferred to solitary confinement, where he began a dry hunger strike.

Hadi Rostami, who has faced similar incidents in various Iranian prisons in recent years, was transferred from Orumiyeh Central Prison to Fashafoyeh Prison, also known as Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary, on 17 December 2023, and returned after several weeks.

Fashafouyeh prison officials had stated that the reason for Rostami’s transfer was the complaint filed against him by Rouhollah Goudarzi, the head of the prison’s wards, accusing him of “disturbing prison order” and “intentional assault causing injury” when he was previously imprisoned in Fashafouyeh in June 2023.

On 18 December 2023, in a message from the quarantine ward of Fashafouyeh Prison, Rostami, referring to the complaint filed by the head of the prison’s wards and the opening of a new case against him in Branch 101 of Tehran Criminal Court, stated that in June 2023, while being transferred from Orumiyeh Central Prison to Fashafouyeh Prison to carry out his amputation sentence, he was severely tortured by the prison ward staff on the orders of Goudarzi and the effects of the assault, including a broken nose, elbow, head and platinum dislocation, are still visible.

In the message he also said that the threat of execution of the sentence of amputation of the four fingers of his right hand was serious.

In August 2023, Rostami, in an audio message from Orumiyeh Central Prison addressed to human rights organisations said: “I have written several letters for my case, to the head of the judiciary, to the parliament, and to the supreme leader. I did not receive any response to any of these letters. I had to turn to international organisations when I was in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary in 2022. I spoke to them several times to make my voice heard. In my own country, even the attorney general, the supreme leader, the speaker of the parliament, to whom I wrote several letters, did not hear my voice.”

Rostami was previously sentenced to eight months of imprisonment and 60 lashes for “disturbing prison order” in 2020, and his flogging sentence was carried out in May 2021.

He received another eight-month sentence and 45 lashes by the Criminal Court of Orumiyeh, following a complaint by Farhad Hajebi Miyandoabi, the chief inspector of the prison, in March 2023 on the same charge.

Rostami was arrested in Orumiyeh on 25 August 2017, along with two other civilians named Mehdi Shahivand and Mehdi Sharafian.

He had previously written a letter addressed to the Amnesty Commission of Iran and the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran:

“I, Hadi Rostami, have been sentenced to amputation of four fingers of my right hand and payment of several billion [Iranian tomans] in restitution of property under case number 100403 in Branch 1 of the Criminal Court of West Azerbaijan Province. I have been in prison for five years. I was severely tortured in the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence in several cities, including Orumiyeh, Ardabil and Bandar-e Anzali.”

In his letter, the prisoner also stated that he knew nothing about 20 of the 28 thefts mentioned in his case.

He also said that the court had ordered the brutal amputation of four fingers of his right hand, disregarding his defence in court.

Branch 13 of the Supreme Court of Iran upheld the sentence and referred it to the Enforcement of Judgments Office of Branch 8 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh for execution.

It is important to note that this year the amputation sentences of Rostami’s two co-defendants were overturned by the Judiciary’s Amnesty Commission.

Rostami is the father of a disabled child and comes from Ilam, in western Iran.