Kurdish political prisoner Shahram Kazemian was transferred to Razi Psychiatric Hospital in Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province, on the night of 26 May after being beaten by prison officers in Orumiyeh Central Prison on the orders of the prison head.

A source who spoke to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) on the matter said: “The Kurdish political prisoner was temporarily released from prison in 2021 due to incurable illnesses and after the judicial authorities accepted his request to suspend his sentence. However, he was re-arrested a month ago to continue serving his sentence and was transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison. Over the past 10 days, prison officials have refused to give him his prescribed psychiatric medication, instead giving him another drug. In protest, on the night of Sunday 26 May, he attempted suicide in the toilet of the political and religious prisoners’ ward, but his cellmates intervened and saved him and returned him to the ward.”

Following the suicide attempt, prison officers took Kazemian to a corridor, stripped him, handcuffed and shackled him, and severely beat him with a baton, the source said.

He was then transferred to Razi Psychiatric Hospital on the orders of prison chief Peyman Khanzadeh, and his family has not been able to visit him since.

The source added that the telephone line to the political and religious prisoners’ ward has been cut off since Sunday night until now on Khanzadeh’s orders.

Kazemian, a civil rights activist from Orumiyeh, was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in the city on 6 January 2020 and taken to Orumiyeh Central Prison after 27 days of interrogation.

In March 2020, Branch Two of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced him to six years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “membership of opposition groups”.

In April 2020, he was temporarily released on bail of 7 billion rials – nearly 14,000 USD.

His six-year sentence was initially upheld by the Court of Appeals in Orumiyeh, but later reduced to three years by the Supreme Court, and he was sent to prison to serve his sentence in January 2021.
In September 2021, Kazemian contracted COVID-19 and several other diseases. After the Public Prosecutor of Orumiyeh agreed to suspend his sentence, he was temporarily released from Orumiyeh Central Prison.