On 9th August 2016, the second anniversary of the execution of the Kurdish political prisoner called Sirwan Nazhawi in Tabriz Central Prison, Kurdistan Human Rights Network publishes a report detailing the arrest, execution and burial of this Sunni prisoner at one of Sardast villages.
Date of Birth: 09 August 1986/ Sardasht
Execution: 09 August 2015 / Tabriz Central Prison
“Sirwan Nazhawi”, a Kurdish citizen from Sardasht born in 1986 and resident of Karaj”, was arrested by the Intelligence Ministry agents of the Orumiyeh City in the city of Karaj on 5th July 2011 while he had got engaged to marry only several months before his arrest. He was then transferred to the solitary confinement at the Orumiyeh Intelligence Detention Centre for interrogations. After two days, one of his friends called “Ebrahim Isapour” was also arrested in Sardasht. Both the afore-mentioned detainees were interrogated for one and a half months at the Intelligence Detention centre of Orumiyeh on charges of “Moharebeh (waging war against God) through cooperation with PJAK”. They were psychologically and physically tortured severely to make them agree with “fabricated confessions”. During this time, security guards made a fake clip about their protests and released it on the Press TV after several months.
The two arrested citizens were transferred to Mahabad Prison after completing the interrogations. They were sentenced to death on charges of “Moharebeh through membership in PJAK”. This verdict was issued by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Mahabad headed by Judge Javadikia on 11th April 2012. Both prisoners were then transferred to Orumiyeh Prison from Mahabad prison on 11th May 2012. Their appeal against the verdict was rejected and the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence.
These two prisoners were continuously put under pressure by the Special Bureau of Intelligence Ministry. In February 2015, A number of political prisoners of the “Ward 12” were “threatened with execution” after a “33-day strike”. On 18th February 2015, Sirwan Nazhawi, his friend ‘Ebrahim Isapour’ and four other prisoners including Younes Aghayan, Saman Nasim, Ali Afshari and Habib Afshari, were transferred from Ward 12 to an unknown location.
Each of the above-mentioned 6 prisoners were transferred to the Orumiyeh Central Prison from where they were taken by two custody vehicles (Ali and Habib Afshari together in one of the vehicles and the other four prisons in the second vehicle) to a secret building in Orumiyeh. The six prisoners were then divided into groups of two by the Ministry of Intelligence agents who transferred them to different prisons:” Ali and Habib Afshari to the Qazvin Prison”, “Saman Nasim and Younes Aghayan to Zanjan Prison”, “Sirwan Nazhawi and Ebrahim Isapour to Tabriz Central Prison “.
The prisoners were transferred in leg-cuff and handcuffs to the “Special ward in the Prison known as the Punishment Ward” at the Tabriz Central Prison by order of the Ministry of Intelligence. They were deprived of the right to visit and contact their family. The prisoners went on an 11-day hunger strike in protest to the deprivation of their rights. On Wednesday, 9 April 2014, Sirwan Nazhawi and Ebrahim Isapour were transferred to Wards 9 and Methadone respectively after being held in a Solitary confinement for “70 days” in “difficult conditions without the right to even bath and eat proper food” that caused them to lose weight. Not only both the above-mentioned wards were among the dirtiest wards of the prison but also these prisoners were under pressure due to not having the right to contact with other prisoners and their families.
In late June, Ebrahim Isapour was returned to the Central Prison of Orumiyeh from Tabriz Central Prison but Sirwan Nazhawi was still held in the ward 9 of the Tabriz Central Prison. During this time, Sirwan Nazhawi was under pressure for being deprived of communicating with other prisoners and talking about his condition. Eventually, on Saturday, August 17, he was transferred to the prison quarantine in Tabriz prison where he was hanged at the age of 29 on his birthday while his family and attorney were not informed of his execution and he was even deprived of the last visit with his family.
“On Sunday, 8th August, several Intelligence Ministry agents from Tehran Office, officials of Orumiyeh Intelligence Ministry and a large number of disciplinary forces took control of the prison from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and kept the prison officers and prisoners away until the execution of Sirwan Nazhawi was enforced”, an informed force told KHRN about the execution of Sirwan Nazhawi.
“Sirwan Nazhawi was not executed at the usual place were all the executions take place but it was enforced at a special place called “Hesar Kargah”. When taken to the gallows, Sirwan Nazhawi did not allow the governmental officers to put the noose around his neck. Instead, he put the noose around his neck bravely while shouting mottos.” The informed source continued.
The prison authorities called the family of Sirwan Nazhawi on Sunday afternoon (the day he was hanged) and asked them to collect his dead body from Tabriz prison. His family immediately referred to Tabriz Central Prison from Sardasht and Mahabad. But prison authorities told them that the body had been transferred to the cemetery of the city. Once the body was discharged by the cemetery authorities, the family set off to Sardasht to bury Sirwan Nazhawi in his hometown. But at about 21 o’clock near the checkpoint of the Rabat city (of Sardasht), the Intelligence Ministry agents stopped the family’s vehicle and forced them to hand over the dead body which was then transferred to the refrigerator of the hospital in Sardasht city. Intelligent officials told the family of this political prisoner that Tabriz prison authorities had mistakenly released the body and the body should have been buried in Tabriz. However, eventually, upon the family and relatives of Sirwan gathering in front of the hospital, the Intelligence Ministry agents agreed to hand the corps back to the family if they promised to only arrange a very brief ceremony at his father’s house instead of the ceremony in the mosque. At first, Sirwan’s body was supposed to be buried in the “Nalas near his hometown”, but it was buried in “Aghlan village” of Sardasht due to the pressure of the security forces.