Detained 27-year-old Kurdish civilian Towhid (Loghman) Darvish will be tried on 24 December over “enmity against God” (moharebeh), a charge that carries the death penalty in Iran, a credible source close to the case told Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN). 

The judicial authorities had informed his family that the trial would be held on 24 December at the Islamic Revolution Court in Tabriz in the presence of a court-appointed lawyer, the source told KHRN. 

In his last brief phone call conversation with his family, Darvish had said that he had been tortured to make forced confessions. 

Darvish, a taxi driver, was arrested in Tabriz on 29 September after he had transported passengers in his car from the city of Khoy to the city of Tabriz, which was gripped by anti-government protests at the time. 

The security forces had claimed at the time that they arrested him for “participation in setting fire to a bank” during the protests in Tabriz.

Darvish comes from the village of Garnavik in Khoy, West Azerbaijan province. Following an earthquake in March 2020, his family settled in the city of Khoy after their village home was destroyed in the quake. 

He is currently held in Tabriz Prison where he has been denied the right to have an independent lawyer of his choice and family visits. His government-appointed lawyer will accompany him at the 24 December trial, KHRN has learned. 

He was allowed to make a few brief phone calls to his family members since his arrest and had to speak in Farsi (Persian), the KHRN source said. 

When his family relentlessly tried to receive information on his case, the security and judicial agencies had said that Darvish had been accused of  “enmity against God” (moharebeh)  and that he was denied the right to an independent lawyer because the case was dealt with as a “security case”. They had refused to elaborate or relay more information on the case to his family.