Photo: Safar Nouri

Prisoners of conscience Safar Nouri and Ahmad Elahi have been released from Orumiyeh Central Prison after the Iranian judiciary announced a new amnesty for the release of prisoners that less than six months of their sentences have remained.

On 26 May, Safar Nouri, a political prisoner from the village of Anbi in Orumiyeh, was released from Orumiyeh Central Prison after serving more than six months of his one-year sentence. Also at noon today, 27 May, Ahmad Elahi, a religious prisoner from Mahabad, was released from prison after serving seven months of his nine-month sentence, sources told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

Safar Nouri was arrested on 15 August 2019, along with three other civilians named Farhad Nouri, Ali Azizi, and Parviz Nouri from the village of Anbi, by the forces of the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Orumiyeh.

The four Kurdish civilians were transferred to the Orumiyeh Central Prison after 28 days of interrogation in the IRGC’s detention centre and were released on bails of 500 million Iranian Tomans – approximately 20,000 USD – in the fall that followed.

The trial of these four civilians was held in September 2020 in Branch 2 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh, during which Parviz Nouri was acquitted, while Safar Nouri, Farhad Nouri, and Ali Azizi were charged with “acting against national security” through “membership in a Kurdish opposition party”. They were sentenced to five years in prison, each.

After they appealed against the verdict, the case was referred to Branch 13 of the Court of Appeals of Orumiyeh, as a result of which the sentences of Safar Nouri and Farhad Nouri were reduced to one year in prison, and Ali Azizi was acquitted.

Ahmad Elahi was arrested in November 2018 during a large wave of arrests of civilians and religious activists in Mahabad, and was released on bail after two months of interrogation in the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh.

Branch 2 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh later sentenced Elahi to one year in prison on charges of “collaborating with religious groups”. The sentence was then commuted to nine months in prison. He was sent to Orumiyeh Central Prison about five months ago to serve this sentence.