On September 20, Kurdish civil activist ‘Afshin Sheikholeslami Vatani‘ was released on a 200 million Toman bail after being in custody for nearly three months.

He was arrested by security forces affiliated with the Ministry of Intelligence at his family home in Sanandaj on Saturday, Jun 27, and he spent 86 days in solitary confinement under harsh conditions and duress for forced confessions. 

Sheikholeslami was also deprived of the right to call his family during his detention.The lawyer of this Kurdish activist was not allowed any contact with him, so it is not known what he has been charged with. However, this activist has been interrogated about cooperation with one of the Kurdish opposition parties, holding meetings and organizing street protests in October 2019 in Sanandaj in protest to the Turkish army’s attack on Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). He has denied all these charges.Part of the interrogations of him was related to allegations that he was acquitted of two years ago after one-month in custody by the intelligence unit of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the subsequent trial. The afore-mentioned court, whose verdict was announced on March 18, 2020, sentenced him to three months and one day of imprisonment only for “propaganda against the State”.

Afshin Sheikholeslami has been summoned, interrogated, and detained at least eight times by security forces for his political and activities. He had been living in the United States during recent years but he was arrested and banned from leaving the country when he returned to Iran two years ago in order to visit his parents.