Kurdish civilian from Maku

Detention date: 1 January 2007

Charged with: Enmity against God through membership in the PJAK

Sentence: 20 years in prison and internal exile to Yazd Central Prison

Current status: Released on parole on 9 March 2022

Rostam Arkia, a Kurdish civilian and father of two from Maku, was detained by Iranian security forces in Tehran on 1 January 2007 and transferred to the detention centre of the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Orumiyeh.

He was subjected to constant pressure and severe torture for nearly three months to make forced confessions.

After the interrogation, Arkia was transferred to Maku Prison.

On 26 November 2007, Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Khoy, presided over by Judge Nowrouzi, sentenced Arkia to death on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) through “membership in the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK)”.

Arkia appealed against the verdict and the Supreme Court overturned the sentence, referring the case to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh.

On 27 January 2010, Branch 1 of this court sentenced Arkia to 10 years in prison and internal exile in Yazd Prison on charges of “enmity against God”.

The representative of the public prosecutor of Orumiyeh appealed against this ruling and demanded that the sentence be increased. Subsequently, on 19 March 2010, Branch 10 of the Court of Appeals of West Azerbaijan province increased the sentence to 20 years in jail and internal exile to Yazd Prison.

In June 2010, Arkia was exiled to Yazd Prison. On 22 November 2011, he went on a hunger strike together with a number of political prisoners due to the non-compliance of prison authorities with the principle of segregation of crimes. The strike ended six days after authorities agreed to separate political prisoners from ordinary prisoners.

Arkia was sent on leave for the first time after 12 years of imprisonment.

He was released on parole on 9 March 2022 after 15 years in prison.