Kurdish rapper Saman Yasin, who was sentenced to death over taking part in the recent anti-government protests in Iran’s Tehran before his sentence was overturned for retrial, suffers from a breathing disorder caused by the torture he was subjected to during his interrogation in Evin Prison but has so far been denied access to proper medical care outside the jail, Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.
Yasin, who comes from Kermanshah, western Iran, was arrested after he was beaten by security forces during the anti-government protests on 30 September 2022. He is currently held in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, northern Iran.
“During the interrogation in Ward 241 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, Saman was tortured to make forced confessions. During an interrogation session, one of the interrogators inserted a pen into his nose, causing a tear in Saman’s left nasal cavity”, a source said in an interview with KHRN.
Since about a month ago, the political prisoner has been suffering from nosebleeds and a breathing disorder that worsens at night, but the prison authorities have refused sending him to a hospital outside the prison for a check-up and to receive treatment, the source added.
In late December 2022, the Iranian supreme court overturned his death sentence due to “a flaw in the investigation” and referred it to the court for reinvestigation and retrial.
The document sent to Yasin in prison states that the charges brought against him were “assembly and collusion with the intention of committing a crime against the security of the country”, and “disrupting the public order and peace”, KHRN has learned.
On 29 October 2022, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s state news agencies reported that a court hearing was held for several arrested protesters, including Saman Yasin, at the 15th Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided over by Judge Salavati.
On the same day, a video of the singer’s forced confessions was released by state media.
The state-run outlets said that the Kurdish artist had been charged with “enmity against God” (moharebeh), a charge which carries the death penalty in Iran.
Yasin’s death sentence verdict was issued by the 15th Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided over by Judge Amouzad, KHRN has learned.
The political prisoner was denied the right to have an independent lawyer of his choice in detention and at the courts. A lawyer hired by his family has not yet been allowed to take over the case under the pretext that it is a “security case”.
After Yasin’s death sentence was issued, he and two other prisoners on death row, Mohsen Shekari and Mohammad Boroughani, were transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on 29 November.
After his arrest, Yasin was first taken to Police Station 127 in the Narmak neighbourhood of Tehran and then to the Public Prosecutor’s Security Office in Evin Prison for an arraignment hearing.
The next day, he was transferred to the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary, and 10 days later to Ward 241 of the Evin Prison.
Since his arrest, Yasin has been subjected to severe physical and mental torture, including solitary confinement, being kept in a room known as “the morgue”, physical abuse and being thrown down from stairs, and making forced confessions under duress.
On 20 December 2022, Yasin attempted suicide by swallowing pills due to the harsh detention conditions in Hall 31 of Ward 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison. He received the initial treatment at the prison hospital and was then moved to the political prisoners’ ward in Hall 10 of Ward 4 of the prison.