Kurdish rapper Saman Yasin, who was arrested during the recent anti-government protests in Tehran, went on a hunger strike in the city’s Evin Prison on 16 February.
The political prisoner has started the hunger strike to protest against the state of uncertainty regarding his case, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.
The Kurdish singer has met his family only once since his transfer from Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, northern Iran, to Ward 209 of Evin Prison for re-interrogation on 28 January.
Yasin, who comes from Kermanshah, western Iran, was arrested after he was beaten by security forces during the anti-government protests in Tehran on 30 September 2022.
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.
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), which carries the death penalty in Iran, and “assembly and collusion with the intention of acting against the security of the country”.
Yasin’s death sentence verdict was issued by the 15th Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided over by Judge Amouzad.
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 2022.
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.
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 stated 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 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.
During his interrogation in Ward 241 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, he suffered a breathing disorder due to a broken nose and was denied access to proper medical care.