Kurdish political prisoner Hatem Ozdemir, who holds Turkish citizenship, has again been sentenced to death by the Islamic Revolutionary Court on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh).

This decision follows a previous death sentence by Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province, on charges of “armed insurrection” (baghi), which was overturned by the Supreme Court in March 2023.

Ozdemir’s trial took place on 23 April in Branch Three of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province, presided over by Judge Najafzadeh, and he was officially informed of the death sentence on 19 May in Orumiyeh Central Prison.


On 2 July 2019, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces from the Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shohada base in Orumiyeh ambushed a group of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members, including Ozdemir, in the border areas of Chaldoran, West Azerbaijan Province.

Ozdemir was knocked unconscious by a mortar shell during the shooting and shelling of the area.

Following his arrest, he was taken to the IRGC Intelligence Organisation’s detention facility in Orumiyeh, where he endured approximately 50 days of interrogation and torture before being transferred to the city’s central prison on 19 August 2019.

In March 2022, after 33 months of detention without legal representation, Ozdemir was sentenced to death and five years in prison by Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Khoy on charges of “armed insurrection” (baghi) and “membership of a terrorist group”.

The case was referred to the Supreme Court following his appeal against the verdict.

In March 2023, Branch Nine of the Supreme Court overturned Ozdemir’s death sentence and referred the case to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh for retrial.

Despite suffering from kidney stones for several years, Ozdemir has been denied medical treatment and surgery, contrary to doctors’ recommendations and an ultrasound diagnosis indicating the need for surgical intervention.