Prisoner Hemin Mostafaei, who is sentenced to death over murder-related charges, faces imminent risk of execution in Sanandaj, north-western Iran.

The cases of several death row prisoners, including Mostafaei, have been sent to the Enforcement of Judgements Office on the orders of the Public Prosecutor of Sanandaj, Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.

Mostafaei, who was transferred to the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in the city on 1 October 2022 following protests in the prison, was returned yesterday.

He was subjected to severe physical and mental torture at the intelligence ministry and denied the right to family visits.

The prisoner was on a hunger strike for the past 10 days, protesting against his continued detention in solitary confinement at the ministry’s detention facility.

Mostafaei was arrested on 1 March 2013 on the accusation of “murdering” Ebrahim Mohammadi, a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in Marivan, Kurdistan province, and was taken to the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj.

According to sources close to the prisoner’s family, he “took responsibility” for the murder during interrogation and under severe physical and psychological torture.

He also agreed to accept the scenario prepared by interrogators under threats and promises from security interrogators.

In addition, three other civilians, Bayan Kakaei, Hiwa Dad-Afarin and Khalil Shirzadi, were arrested on charges of involvement in the murder.

On 30 December 2013, Iranian state-owned Press TV published the forced confessions of the four prisoners.

Mostafaei was a member of a Kurdish party for a while before his arrest, but resigned after a short period and returned to Marivan in coordination with the Ministry of Intelligence.

The Criminal Court of Sanandaj initially sentenced him to death on charges of “premeditated murder” and four years in prison on charges of “possession of weapons”.

Although the intelligence ministry and the IRGC demanded that the case accusing Mostafaei of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) be upheld, the Supreme Court dismissed the case due to insufficient evidence.

On 21 June 2017, the prisoner was transferred to solitary confinement for execution, but dozens of civil society activists and civilians held a protest gathering and obtained the consent of the victim’s family to temporarily halt the execution.