Kurdish Sunni civilian
Detention date: February 2010
Charged with: Spreading corruption on earth and complicity in killing a soldier in Mahabad
Sentence: 10 years in prison and death penalty
Current Status: Imprisoned in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj
Khosrow Besharat, a Kurdish Sunni prisoner, was detained in February 2010 and taken to the detention centre of the office of intelligence ministry in Orumiyeh, where he was interrogated for eight months on the accusation of “enmity against God” (moharebeh).
Besharat was then transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was interrogated in wards 240 and 209 for six months.
He was eventually transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on 13 April 2012.
The prisoner and his co-defendants were charged first with “killing a soldier” and then “killing Abdul Rahim Tina”, a Sunni cleric.
The hearing of the case was held in March 2016 at Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Moghiseh.
The court charged them with “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, “membership in Salafi groups”, and “spreading corruption on earth” (fasad fil-arz).
The court sentenced Besharat 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 Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati, sentenced Khosrow Besharat and his six co-defendants to the death penalty in June 2018 on charges of “spreading corruption on earth”.
This time, the ruling was upheld by Branch 41 of the Supreme Court due to the pressures from the office of the intelligence ministry in Orumiyeh and it was officially notified to their lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai on 3 February 2020.
Khosrow Besharat wrote a letter to the public and international human rights organisations on 7 February 2020, stating the pressure of the Ministry of Intelligence to have this ruling approved in the Supreme Court of Iran.
He also spoke of the tortures he was subjected to over the years: “Many times they hung me to the ceiling with handcuffs for hours, and many times they tied me to a bed and hit the soles of my feet with high-voltage thick electric cables.”
In September 2017, Besharat and his co-defendants, Anwar Khezri and Kamran Sheikheh, were transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj to Orumiyeh Central Prison for a court hearing.
Their court hearing was held on 30 July 2018 at Branch 12 of the Court of Appeal of Orumiyeh, which sentenced Besharat to 10 years in prison for “complicity in killing”.
After being transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison in September 2017, Besharat and his co-defendants went on a hunger strike for six days to protest their imprisonment in a prison ward for ordinary crimes and eventually ended their strike with the promise of the prison officials to transfer them to the ward for political prisoners.
On 22 April 2019, while Besharat and his two co-defendants had previously been informed that they would be transferred to Mahabad Prison for trial, they were taken to the detention centre of the office of the intelligence ministry in Shapour in Tehran and returned to Rajai Shahr Prison three days later.