A family member of Gholamreza Khosravi, who spoke to Jaras recently, said: “The death sentence has been sent to the Execution of Sentences Circuit Office in Evin prison. The interrogators had previously said that the death sentence would be carried out in June, but now, without any official announcement, said they will carry out the execution in September. They basically want to exert pressure and stress [on him and his family].”
Gholamreza Khosravi was arrested in 2007 by Ministry of Intelligence agents in the city of Rafsanjan (located in the Kerman province in southeastern Iran) on the charge of espionage. He was tried in November 2008 and sentenced to three years in prison and three years of suspended imprisonment. The ruling was appealed by the Rafsanjan Prosecutor, and the three years of suspended imprisonment was turned into three years in prison (for a total of 6 years in prison). Khosravi was under duress for forty months in solitary confinement to make televised, self-incriminating confessions. However, he never succumbed to a televised interview and forced confession.
The family member adds: “Gholamreza was arrested in Rafsanjan and sentenced to prison on the charge of supporting the MEK/PMOI…Unfortunately, Gholamreza’s case is very objectionable. It all comes down to one issue: Gholamreza did not succumb to their orders to give televised confessions. When Saeed Mortazavi was the Tehran Prosecutor, Gholamreza was under pressure and duress to give an interview, but he did not agree. When faced with Gholamreza’s resistance, they transferred him to Tehran where Mr. Heydarifar became in charge as the magistrate on the case. [Gholamreza] is charged with Moharebeh (Enmity and waging war against God). However, branch 26 [of the Revolutionary Court], presided by Judge Pirabassi, has argued that the case was already tried and the prison sentence was issued therefore he could not retry the case. As a result, he refused to hear the case. However, after pressure from Heydarifar, Judge Pirabbassi convicted Gholamreza Khosravi of Moharebeh and sentenced him to death. They had added his previous charges from the 1980′s, for which Gholamreza had already served his sentence and spent five years in prison. Even branch 31 of the Supreme Court had overturned the death sentence and stated that the sentence is objectionable in its form. They returned the case to branch 26 [of the Revolutionary Court] where Judge PirAbbassi again confirmed the charge of Moharebeh and issued the death sentence. Even in the 1980′s, when they used to execute [dissidents] with ease and in mass numbers, the charge against Gholamreza was so light that they only sentenced him to 10 years in prison and released him after serving five years.”
Khosravi’s family member discusses the efforts by Khosravi’s lawyer: “When they sent the case to Tehran, Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani took on the case. He stated that the sentence had already been issued and there was no basis to retry the case. Moreover, Gholamreza had already served a prison term for the charges they had added to the case. Currently, Mr. Soltani is imprisoned in war 350 of Evin Prison! There is also Mrs. Ghousheh, Gholamreza’s other lawyer, but she cannot do anything.”
Gholamreza Khosravi was held in solitary confinement in Rafsanjan and Evin Prison for 40 months. He was under duress to make false confessions through strict limitations, including family visitation bans, deprivation of phone contact, and deprivation of fresh air breaks.
Khosravi’s family member points out: “Gholamreza was held in solitary confinement for 40 months. He was under severe pressure for 20 months in solitary cells in Kerman Prison, 10 months in the Ministry of Defence’s detention centre, and 10 months in ward 240 of Evin prison. During that time, he was under duress and interrogation to give an interview. We were unable to visit him. We would only see him when they brought him to Heydarifar’s office in the court. He was in a distraught state and was all skin and bones. Heydarifar kept telling him, ‘You will be executed soon, and your sentence is death.’ He was under extreme psychological and emotional pressure and stress. We did not receive a response from any of the authorities that we had asked assistance from. We went to Qom also and went to the offices of Ayatollahs and religious scholars to seek justice. We described the way [Gholamreza] is being subjected to persecution. Unfortunately, they told us that political cases are not their business. We were very disappointed because our only refuge were the Grand Ayatollahs, but even those who have power and whose voice could reach somewhere will not intervene in such matters.”
Gholamreza Khosravi’s family member points out the difficult conditions the family faces: “Given the death sentence, the circumstances of the family is clear, and there is no need to mention what we are going through. Our concern is mostly for Gholamreza’s mother. She is 70 years old and lives alone. She cannot tolerate this situation. Anybody who hears about the death sentence is surprised. Gholamreza was so kind and lighthearted that it is impossible to imagine he faces such a punishment.
At the end, the family member addresses the Iranian Head of the Judiciary: “We ask the Head of Judiciary to personally review the case and see if the death sentence issued fits the charges [Gholamreza Khosravi] is facing. We ask him to investigate the case to see how a 6-year prison sentence was increased to the death penalty. Gholamreza was not given the right and the opportunity to defend himself and point out that he has already served the sentence for the charges affiliated with the 1980′s. He has served this country and the people for nineteen years through technical and specialized jobs and welding. He has been active in industrial projects in various locations in the country such as Asaluyeh, Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, etc. Is the charge of Moharebeh and the death penalty sentence how they reward him? We implore the Head of Judiciary to examine the [case] and save an innocent human being from the gallows.”
Interview conducted by: Mojgan Modares Olum, Jaras
Translated to English by: Siavosh Jalili, Persian2English