Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Gholamreza Khosravi

Rights group slams ‘unjust’ ruling

Iran’s Supreme Court has approved a death sentence for Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, a human rights group reported on Monday.

Accordng to opposition site Melli Mazhabi, the death sentence of Khosravi, an alleged supporter of the terror group the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), has been upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court. The Revolutionary Court was reportedly informed about the verdict on 21 April.

Khosravi, 46, was arrested in Kerman Province on 24 February 2008 and was later sentenced to six years in prison, half of which was suspended.

He has spent more than forty months in solitary confinement at various detention centres in the country.

In late 2011, Khosravi was sentenced to death after being charged with “Moharebeh” (enmity against God) in connection with his alleged financial support for the terrorist organisation. The ruling was later approved by the infamous Judge Pirabbasi who presided over the appeals court hearing.

Khosravi also spent five years in prison in the 80s in connection with his political activism in the early years of the revolution.

He has a wife and a fifteen-year-old son.

Many political and rights activists have in the past been executed after being falsely accused of having ties to the PMOI, also known as MEK or MKO.

The Centre for Defence of Families of those Slain and Imprisoned following the 2009 unrest condemned the Supreme Court’s verdict and called on international organisations to pressure Iranian authorities into revoking the ruling.

In March, Amnesty International’s annual report on capital punishment listed Iran as a leading executioner in 2011. The organisation said it had received “credible reports of a large number of unconfirmed or even secret executions which would almost double the levels officially acknowledged” by Iranian authorities.

The document suggests there was a “steep” increase in recorded executions in the Middle East, up almost 50 per cent compared to last year. “The rise in Iran and Saudi Arabia alone accounted for the net increase in recorded executions across the world of 149, compared to 2010.”

Prior to the Amnesty study, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur, Ahmad Shaheed, released his second report on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Iran. The former Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs called on Iranian authorities to “seriously consider a moratorium on the death penalty for all crimes until such time as effective enforcement of due process rights may be meaningfully demonstrated.”

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