Kurdish Sunni civilian
Detention date: 7 December 2009
Charged with: Spreading corruption on earth
Sentence: Death penalty
Current status: Imprisoned in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj
Farhad Salimi, a Kurdish Sunni prisoner, was detained on 7 December 2009 and taken to the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh in north-western Iran. He was interrogated there for eight months on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh).
Salimi was then transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was interrogated in wards 240 and 209 for six months. The prisoner was eventually transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on 13 April 2012.
Salimi and several of his co-defendants were charged with “spreading corruption on earth” (fasad fil-arz), based on claims by the office of intelligence ministry in Orumiyeh that accused them of killing a Sunni cleric called Abdul Rahim Tina.
In August 2019, Farhad Salimi published an open letter addressing the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Ra’isi, in order to protest the way their case was handled.
He pointed out the pressures from security institutions on the families of the prisoners, emphasizing the arbitrary behaviour of judicial authorities.
“Isn’t changing several detention centres and prisons for ten years, and unusual, illegal, and irrational prolongation of the trial, pressure to dismiss the lawyer under false pretences, pressure to take statements and confessions to an uncommitted crime, verdicts subject to the acceptance of false and baseless accusations by the defendants, 10 years of waiting by my family, the grief of losing my father and close relatives during my imprisonment, the growing up of my children in my absence and forming their future in my mind with dreams and anticipation, the ten years of tears and cries of my mother, wife and children, the proof for mental torture and coercion to confess under pressure?”
The hearing of the case was held on charges of “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, “membership in Salafi groups”, and “spreading corruption on earth” in March 2016 in Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Moghiseh.
The court sentenced Salimi and his six co-defendants to the death penalty, which was officially notified to them on 25 May.
The defendants appealed against the verdict and the case was referred to Branch 41 of the Supreme Court, presided over by Judge Razini.
The Supreme Court overruled the verdict in 2017 and referred the case to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court for retrial.
Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati, sentenced Salimi and his six co-defendants to the death penalty again in June 2018 on charges of “spreading corruption on earth”.
This time, the verdict was upheld by Branch 41 of the Supreme Court due to pressures from the intelligence ministry in Orumiyeh and it was officially notified to the defendants’ lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai, on 3 February 2020.