Prison guards in Orumiyeh prison, northwest Iran, have beaten hunger-striking Kurdish political prisoners Shaker Behrouz and Nayeb Askari with batons on 31 March.

The prison officers have raided the cells where Behrouz and Askari are held in solitary confinement, taken them to the main quarantine hall, and beaten them in front of the other prisoners with batons.

Reportedly, the incident took place after the prisoners set fire to blankets inside their cells a day after being transferred to solitary confinement.

The Kurdish political prisoners set the blankets on fire to protest against being kept in solitary confinement.

They were severely injured due to the beatings and have been returned to solitary confinement.

The two prisoners are currently denied receiving family visits.

On 29 March, Behrouz and Askari were transferred from the ward for prisoners of conscience to the quarantine ward and ward 2. They went on a hunger strike on the same day and were transferred to solitary confinement.


Behrouz, a resident of Orumiyeh, presented himself to the office of the intelligence ministry in Orumiyeh in late 2018 after receiving a letter of safe conduct and returning from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The Kurdish political prisoner was released after 14 days of interrogation.

On 17 February 2019, three months after his release, the Intelligence Protection Organisation of the IRGC arrested Behrouz on charges of “killing a member of the IRGC”.

They severely tortured him, both physically and mentally, under interrogation for a year and 18 days in the IRGC’s al-Mahdi base in Orumiyeh to obtain forced confessions.

In a session that lasted no more than several minutes, Branch 2 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced the Kurdish political prisoner to five years in prison on charges of “acting against national security” through “membership in the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI)”.

The Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC accused Shaker Behrouz of “armed insurrection” (baghi) through “membership in the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan” and the “murder” of an IRGC member.

The political prisoner was sentenced to death on each of these charges in two separate cases.

However, in July, the Supreme Court overruled the verdict and referred the case to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh for reconsideration.

In January, Shaker was sentenced to death in another case by Branch 1 of the Criminal Court of Orumiyeh on charges of “murdering a member of the IRGC”. This ruling was approved by Branch 31 of the Supreme Court based in Qom in October.

On 24 March, the IRGC arrested Nayeb Askari in Orumiyeh. He was taken to Orumiyeh Central Prison after three months in detention.

Reportedly, he lived in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for the past several years.

In 2018, during his stay in the Kurdistan region, the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced him to the death penalty in absentia. It charged him with “enmity against God” (Moharebeh) through “membership in the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK)”.

However, the status of this case is still unclear. During Askari’s detention in the Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC, security interrogators informed him that he would face a retrial.

Separately, in early August, a court sentenced Askari and two other Kurdish political prisoners, Keyhan Mokarram and Nayeb Hajizadeh, to 50 lashes and three months in prison.

The sentence came after the head of Orumiyeh Central Prison filed a complaint, accusing the prisoners of “disrupting the prison order” due to their involvement in a fight between several political prisoners and general crime prisoners.

The case was filed following the beating of a Kurdish political prisoner by general crime prisoners.