The Branch Nine of Iran’s Supreme Court has overturned Kurdish political prisoner Hatem Ozdemir‘s death sentence in the past few days, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.
The court referred the case to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan province, for re-investigation.
Ozdemir, who holds Turkish citizenship, was previously sentenced to death by Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Khoy, West Azerbaijan province, on the charge of “armed insurrection” (baghi).
On 2 July 2019, forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of the Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shohada base in Orumiyeh ambushed a group of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members in the border areas of Chaldoran in West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran.
Ozdemir lost consciousness due to a mortar shell during the shootings and shelling. He was arrested and taken to the detention centre of the Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC in Orumiyeh.
On 19 August 2019, the political prisoner was transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison after initial interrogations.
In March 2022, the Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Khoy sentenced Ozdemir to death and five years in prison after he was held in detention for 33 months.
The court charged him with “armed insurrection” and “membership in a terrorist group”.
He was tried without the right to an appointed lawyer.
Following his appeal against the verdict, the case was referred to the Supreme Court.
Ozdemir suffers from kidney stones since his arrest but authorities at Orumiyeh Central Prison have been denying him access to medical care, despite doctors and ultrasound results suggesting that he needs surgery.