Kurdish political prisoner, “Youssef Kakemami”, was released from Tabriz Central Prison after serving 12 years in prison.

Youssef Kakemami, a Kurdish political activist, has spent his imprisonment in Mahabad, Orumiyeh and Tabriz prisons without leave. Moreover, he was repeatedly transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centres and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) where he was tortured for new charges.

According to the information obtained by Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), Youssef Kakemami was arrested on 24 October 2007 near the city of Bokan but he was released two months later on a bail of 300 million Tomans. He was sentenced to two years of suspended imprisonment and one year of imprisonment by the branch 2 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Mahabad on Jan 2007. He was arrested a second time on November 5th along with a Kurdish activist from Salmas, Ahmad Tamui, by security forces near the city of Bokan. He was interrogated and tortured for two months at the Orumiyeh IRGC office and Mahabad Intelligence Bureau.

After being interrogated, he was transferred to Mahabad Prison and sentenced to five years of imprisonment in February by branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary court of Orumiyeh on charges of “acting against national security” by cooperation with the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK). In summer 2009, he was exiled to Orumiyeh Central Prison.

Following a 33-day hunger strike by political prisoners at Orumiyeh Central Prison in November, Youssef Kakemami was transferred to IRGC detention centre on February 23 and taken back to prison after 8 days in order to pressure the prisoners to strike again and file new cases against them. The interrogation was accompanied by psychological pressure and severe beating. He was subsequently transferred to Branch 6 of the Orumiyeh Islamic Revolutionary Court on Apr 13, 2015 and a new case was filed against him on charges of “propaganda against the state”. After holding a third interrogation session, the charges filed against this Kurdish activist was changed from “propaganda against the state” to “acting against national security”. In Jan 2016, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for “acting against national security” due to having contacted UN Special Rapporteur. He contested this verdict and the Court of Appeal reduced his imprisonment sentence to three years.

Orumiyeh Central Prison officials transferred Kakemami to the Tabriz Central Prison on Apr 2017 even though he was not sentenced to “exile”.