An ethnic Baluch political prisoner was executed today at dawn in Zahedan Prison, southeastern Iran, state-run media reported. The Human Rights News Agency identified the young man as 30-year-old Abdolhamid Mirbaluch Zehi. His sentence was carried out even though his lawyer said he was waiting for an appeal of the death sentence.
Mirbaluch Zehi was transferred from prison to an unknown location on December 24. His lawyer, Mostafa Nili, warned that his death sentence might be carried out on the same day.
“Abdolhamid Mirbaluch Zehi’s family has informed me that he was removed from the public section in prison and they are worried his sentence will be carried out. I ask judiciary officials to stop the sentence if this is true.”
State-run news agencies claim Mirbaluch Zehi was involved in a 2015 shooting that killed an IRGC agent in the Birak Mountains in southeastern Iran.
He was arrested on November 28, 2015 by the Intelligence Ministry and transferred to Zahedan Prison after interrogations. The young Baluch man was sentenced to 15 years of prison by the 1st Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Zahedan on May 30, 2017. Four others were also incriminated in the case including Javid Dehghan, sentenced to death, Mahmoud Kolakly, Omid Imani, and Alireza Bampouri who were sentenced to 15 years of prison.
They were charged with “acting against national security” and “moharebeh” or waging war against God. Abdolhamid Mirbaluch Zehi’s sentence was changed to death after he was charged with “moharebeh”.
The prisoners said they were forced to confess to killing the IRGC agent under torture in the Zahedan Intelligence Agency. The men said they were “forcible stripped, lashed and subjected to severe insults and humiliation.”
Before this, two other Baluch prisoners were hanged on December 19. Behnam Rigi and Shoaib Rigi were executed in the Central Prison of Zahedan. They were accused of participating in clashes with agents of the anti-narcotics force which led to the death of several of the forces were.
The Iranian regime beats and tortures political and non-political prisoners as a matter of policy but denies the use of torture. Most recently, the regime used the forced confessions of political prisoner and protester Navid Afkari, extracted with torture, to incriminate him in court. Navid was hanged on September 12.
In a September 2 report, Amnesty International shed light on the widespread use of torture including beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, forced administration of chemical substances, and deprivation of medical care against protesters detained during the last round of protests in November 2019.