The cellmate of a young political prisoner who was killed last week in Tehran’s Fashafuyeh Prison wrote in a letter from prison that the internet activist was murdered on orders of prison officials. Twenty-one-year-old Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was stabbed to death by two prisoners on June 10.
The political prisoner was sentenced to eight years of prison on charges of “blasphemy”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, “insulting the leader” and “spreading propaganda” against the regime.
Shir Mohammad Ali was arrested on July 15, 2018 in connection to his internet activities. According to his lawyer, he was scheduled to appear in court to appeal his sentence on July 9. According to his mother, the judge had set an 80 million toman bail for her son’s release. An amount that she could not afford.
Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali had gone on a hunger strike along with another political prisoner, Barzan Mohammadi, who was detained during the August 2017 protests in Tehran. They were protesting their “lack of safety” at Fashafuyeh Prison.
In a letter in March, Alireza wrote in regard to his hunger strike that “living in the filth of the Greater Tehran Prison is beneath us”.
Reports indicate that Alireza’s mother, Mahnaz Sarabi, went to the prosecutor’s office today to inquire about her son’s murder case.
Mrs. Sarabi told the judge that her complaint was not limited to the two individuals charged with murder but was also against prison authorities. She also asked for an investigation into why her son was killed.
She believes that prison officials were behind her son’s murder.
A week after the murder, Shir Mohammad Ali’s cellmate, Barzan Mohammadi, wrote a letter from prison uncovering the truth about the death of the jailed internet activist.
“Mohammad Reza Khalilzadeh, the murderer and his partner in murder Hamidreza Shojaei Zavareh, have been on death row for several years on various charges including two murders, one in Rajaie Shahr Prison and one outside prison, and kidnappings,” Mohammadi wrote.
In his letter, the political prisoner detailed how the two criminals were allowed into their cell and how they constantly threatened them with murder.
“They said that we have to murder one of you so that we could be transferred back to Rajaie Shahr Prison,” he wrote.
Mohammadi said that prison officials were completely aware of their threats but did nothing to prevent the murder.
“I am very surprised that these two chose Alireza to murder. This was unexpected as Alireza helped them in the past”, he concluded.
The Iranian regime has in the past also used criminals to murder political and non-political prisoners.