A human rights activist familiar with the case of political prisoner Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that recent developments in Khosravi’s case indicate that he may be executed in the coming days. The source added that the political prisoner’s death sentence was issued amidst two serious judicial violations in his case, each of which could independently lead to the Supreme Court’s overruling the sentence.
Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani was arrested in 2007 on charges of “cooperating with Sima-ye Azadi Television (the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization TV station),” for which the Rafsanjan Revolutionary Court sentenced him to three years in prison and three more years’ suspended prison term. Following objection by the prosecutor, his sentence was changed to six years in prison. While serving his six-year prison sentence in Rafsanjan Prison, his case file was transferred to Tehran through the illegal intervention of Judge Heydarifar, where he was eventually sentenced to death.
“As Gholamreza Khosravi’s charges had been reviewed by the Rafsanjan Revolutionary Court and the court had made a ruling in his case, sentenced him, and informed him of his sentence, transferring the case to Tehran was fundamentally illegal. Transferring a case can only happen under special circumstances and during the early stages of investigations, not after a ruling has been issued,” the activist added, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told the Campaign.
“Judge Haydarifar, an Assistant Prosecutor at Tehran Revolutionary Court who requested the case file’s transfer to Tehran Revolutionary Court, lied in his report, claiming that the case was in its initial investigation phase. This was when the lower court had already made its ruling and served it, and the appeals court had also made its ruling, and the suspect was serving his prison sentence. Judge Heydarifar also committed multiple other violations in other phases of this case and threatened the political prisoner on numerous occasions that he would eventually execute him,” the source told the Campaign.
A second judicial violation hinged on a semantic change. “Considering that the six-year prison sentence was issued and enforced, Judge Pirabbasi first sustained the lawyers’ objection about the validity of the existing sentence and ordered an end to the [Tehran Revolutionary Court’s] continuance with the case. Even so and quite surprisingly, following the Tehran Prosecutor Representative’s objection, and with a change in the title of the crime from ‘espionage’ to ‘moharebeh (enmity with God)’ on the same charges as before, he issued a death sentence,” said the human rights source.
“While the material act of the crime was the same and only the title of the criminal act had changed, and Judge Pirabbasi himself had earlier ordered an end to the case’s continuance on the principle that the case had been closed, regrettably this time he issued a death sentence. Branch 31 of the Supreme Court also at one stage sustained an objection to the form of the ruling and reversed the [death sentence] ruling, but, unfortunately, with the objection from the Prosecutor’s Office, this illegal ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. At this time, there is concern that prior to a request for a retrial, while one of his lawyers, Mr. Soltani, is in prison and his other lawyer, Ms. Shima Ghousheh, was only recently released from Tabriz Prison, that his death sentence may be carried out,” said the source.
“This execution is completely political and against the Islamic Penal Code. Throughout different stages of this case, a political will has insisted on a death sentence. Transferring the case to Tehran was illegal. Judge Heydarifar wrote a false report to transfer the case to Tehran, and an enforced prison sentence was changed to a death sentence. Judge Pirabbasi himself ordered the case to be dismissed, and yet this political will has in the end issued an illegal death sentence. Mr. Khosravi has been in prison for 40 months since 2008. He has been subjected to immense psychological and physical pressure by his interrogators and by Judge Heydarifar to confess to things that are not true, and has always been threatened during different stages that he will be executed. I ask the judicial authorities to overrule this illegal sentence and to prevent the execution of this political prisoner,” the source concluded.