Kurdish civilian from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Detention date: 17 November 2005

Charged with: Membership in PJAK, murdering two local members of the IRGC, illegal entry to the country, propaganda against the state in prison

Sentence: Five years in prison, death penalty and nine and a half years in prison, six months in prison, one year in prison

Current status: Released from Orumiyeh Central Prison on 22 February 2021

Iranian security forces arrested Ali Ahmad Suleiman, a Kurdish civilian from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in the Targavar border area of Orumiyeh, in the northwestern province of West Azerbaijan, on 17 November 2005.

The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced him to five years in prison and internal exile to Tabriz Prison, in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan on charges of “membership in the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK)” and to six months of imprisonment for “illegal entry to the country”.

Meanwhile, another case was opened against Suleiman for allegedly “murdering” two local members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

He was severely tortured in the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh and the criminal investigation department. He was injured in his lumbar vertebrae due to the torture. However, the case was suspended as there were no witnesses.

After six years and by the end of Suleiman’s prison term, the murder case was reopened under the pressure from the Intelligence Protection Organisation of the IRGC.

Branch 12 of the Criminal Court of Orumiyeh sentenced the prisoner to “retribution in kind” (qisas) and “payment of blood money” on murder charges. This sentence was upheld in August 2013 and he was officially notified in prison.

However, the families of both victims had previously consented to pardon Suleiman in the presence of his lawyer.

The Kurdish civilian was later sentenced to nine and a half years of imprisonment for the state-related aspect of the crime.

Suleiman was transferred several times to solitary confinement in the office of the intelligence ministry of Orumiyeh in the past years due to communicating with the media and human rights organisations.

In February 2013, he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “communication with the office of Dr Ahmad Shaheed [the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran]”.

On 4 February 2015, Suleiman was transferred to Tabriz Central Prison after a 33-day hunger strike by political prisoners in Orumiyeh Central Prison.

He was in urgent need of medical treatment outside the prison due to suffering from an eye disease, lumbar disc, and skin disease. However, he was deprived of medical treatment due to the refusal of prison officials.

On 19 January 2020, the political prisoner was transferred from Tabriz Central Prison to Orumiyeh Central Prison.

On 22 February 2021, Suleiman was released from Orumiyeh Central Prison after serving 15 years in prison.