Iran’s supreme court overturned the death sentence for Kurdish political prisoner Shaker Behrouz last week and once again referred the case to the Islamic Revolution Court in Oroumiyeh for re-investigation. 

The prisoner was sentenced to death in June 2022 for Baghi (armed rebellion against the state) by the First Branch of the Islamic Revolution Court. 

According to information obtained by Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) , the supreme court had overturned the death penalty sentence after it had investigated the prisoner’s appeal case. 

Behrouz is from Oroumiyeh. He was based in Iraqi Kurdistan Region prior to his return to Iran’s Oroumiyeh in autumn 2018. He had returned after he received a letter of “trust” from the Iranian intelligence agency. He was arrested after arrival in Oroumiyeh and released 14 days after he was held for interrogation at a detention facility of the intelligence agency. 

On 17 February 2019, security forces of the intelligence agency of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) arrested him. He spent over a year in a jail at the IRGC’s al-Mahdi garrison. He was under heavy physical and phycological torture to give forced confessions there. 

After five months in jail, the Second Branch of the Islamic Revolution Court in Oroumiyeh sentenced him to five years in prison at a trial that lasted few minutes for “destabilising national security” as a result of membership in the armed opposition group Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI). 

The IRGC then devised two new cases against him, one of them over the charges of Baghi (armed rebellion against the state) for his  alleged membership in another armed opposition group, Komala. The other case was “deliberate murder” of an IRGC member. That court and a juvenile court tried him over both cases and the Second Branch of the Islamic Revolution Court sentenced him to death in September 2020.  

The 31st Branch of the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence in June 2021 and this time referred the case to the First Branch of the Islamic Revolution Court, which sentenced him to death in June 2022. 

He was taken to solitary confinement on 28 June 2022 in preparation for his execution. The following day, the family of the killed IRGC member, with the help of locals, went to the authorities and officially registered a declaration of forgiveness of the political prisoner to halt his execution over the murder case of an IRGC member.