Kurdish prisoner of conscience Anvar Khezri was executed this morning in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj, Alborz Province, after 14 years in prison, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.

Khezri was one of seven Kurdish prisoners of conscience who had been sentenced to death in a joint case on charges of “spreading corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel arz).

Four of Khezri’s co-defendants, Ghassem Abasteh, Ayoub Karimi, Davoud Abdollahi, and Farhad Salimi, have been executed in recent months.

On 30 April, Khezri was transferred to solitary confinement and denied a final meeting with his family, KHRN has learned.

Khezri was arrested on 21 January 2010 after he was summoned to the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province, and then taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention centre in Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province.

In February 2019, Khezri stated in a letter that he had attempted suicide during interrogation at the Ministry of Intelligence detention centre in Orumiyeh in protest at the physical and psychological torture he had been subjected to.

He wrote: “During my detention, I was subjected to the most severe forms of physical and psychological torture, to the extent that even after more than nine years, not only have I not regained my health, but I have suffered numerous physical and psychological problems. The injuries I have suffered include damage to my head and brain, chest, knees, soles of my feet, left wrist, repeated fractures of my nose, and ruptured muscles and tendons in my shoulder. On the 56th day of my detention, unable to bear the extensive torture, I attempted suicide by cutting my left wrist with the lamp installed in the ceiling”.

After eight months, the prisoner of conscience was transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was interrogated for six months in wards 209 and 240.

In March 2016, Khezri and his six co-defendants were tried in Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided over by Judge Moghiseh, on charges such as “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, “membership in Salafi groups”, and “spreading corruption on earth”.

On 25 May 2016, they were officially informed of the death sentence. After the lawyer objected to the issued verdict, the case was referred to Branch 41 of the Supreme Court, presided over by judge Razini, which overturned the verdict in early 2017 and referred the case to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

After the referral of the case to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided over by Judge Salavati, in June 2018, the seven prisoners were again sentenced to death on charges of “spreading corruption on earth.”

Following the lawyer’s objection to the issued verdict, the case was referred to Branch 41 of the Supreme Court, and in February 2020, the verdict was upheld with the pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence.

On 3 February 2020, the prisoners’ lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, was officially informed of the final verdict.

On 17 September 2017, Khezri and two of his co-defendants, Khosrow Besharat and Kamran Sheikheh, were transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj to Orumiyeh Central Prison for a court hearing on the charge of “killing a soldier in Mahabad.”

Their trial took place on 30 June 2018 in Branch 12 of the Orumiyeh Appeals Court, which sentenced Khezri to 10 years in prison for “involvement in murder”.

In August 2023, the seven prisoners were transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison after the closure and evacuation of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Before Khezri, four of his co-defendants, Ghassem Abasteh, Ayoub Karimi, Davoud Abdollahi, and Farhad Salimi, were executed in Ghezel Hesar Prison on 5 November 2023, 29 November 2023, 2 January, and 23 January, respectively, despite the efforts of their families and the opposition of human rights organisations.