Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Kamal Molaii

About

Age: 30
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: March 4, 2015
Location: Gohardasht Prison, Karaj, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder; Acting against state's security

About this Case

Mr. Mola'i was a mechanic. He had lost his father when he was child.

News of Mr. Kamal Molaii’s execution along with five other individuals, was published by various sources including Kalemeh TV (March 4, 2015), HRANA (March 4, 2015), and Deutsche Welle Radio (March 4, 2015). The Judiciary Branch news agency (Mizan Online, March 4, 2015) also announced the news of the execution of six individuals in Rajai Shahr Prison, without stating their names. Additional information was obtained through an interview conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation with Mr. Hamed Ahmadi, the spokesman for Rajai Shahr Prison Sunni prisoners (ABF Interview) in the weeks leading to the execution, prisoners’ video messages and audio interviews with television networks and other media from inside prison, including video messages recorded by Mr. Molaii, and other sources*.

Mr. Molaii was single, and was a Suni Kurd residingin [the city of] Sanandaj. He had a middle school education and was a mechanic. He had lost his father when he was child.

Mr. Molaii was a religious man and believed and practiced the Shafe’i** [branch of Islam]. Among his religious activities were participating in his neighborhood mosque in Sanandaj, and distributing religious CD’s and printed materials. According to his prison mate, he was a forgiving and pleasant man who was engaged in [spiritual] purification and religious studies in prison, and in media activities dealing with prisoners’ news. In addition to physical exercise, cooking, and helping newly arrived prisoners, he made handicraft, including dolls for prisoners’ children. (ABF Interview)

Mr. Molaii did not belong to any group or organization. He and the other Sunni prisoners sentenced to death were proselytizing the Shafe’i religion, and according to themselves, were trying to prevent people from being taken advantage of in the name of religion. (Center for Supporters of Human Rights, May 4, 2014)

Background

Based on existing information, in the years 2007 to 2009-10, numerous insults were made by promoters of the Shi’a religion against Sunni beliefs and individuals who commanded their respect, causing the reaction of Sunni religious personalities and activists. Following offensive remarks made by Ebrahim Hatamikia (famous Shi’a film director) against Aisha (the Prophet Mohammad’s wife) in an interview with Khanevadeh Sabz Magazine (Volume 195, 2007), and statements made by well-known preachers including Hojjatoleslam Daneshmand, Hojjatoleslam Juybari, and Hojjatoleslam Ansari – whose lectures were at times covered by state-run radio and television – a number of religious Sunni youth from Kurdistan considered these insults to have been organized [by the state]. They started religious classes, distributing CD’s and books in local mosques, universities, and their neighborhoods, and protested these actions, shedding light on [the motives], promoting and defending the principles of the Shafe’i religion. These CD’s included documented cases offensive to Sunni beliefs, quoting religious authoritative and reputable sources such as Bihar al-Anwar. These young people’s religious activities aroused the security apparatus’ suspicions.

Subsequent to Ayatollah Khamenei’s trip to Sanandaj in May 2009, a number of young Sunni Kurd religious activists were arrested in the name of the fight against Salafi and heretic movements. Three months after these arrests, [a number of] assassinations were carried out in Sanandaj, including those of Mamusta Shiekholeslam, member of the Assembly of Experts, and Molla Borjhan Aali, a Sunni cleric. The security forces accused individuals that had already been arrested prior theses assassinations. Although the charge of assassination was not brought up in court and the arrestees were tried for Moharebeh, the charge was, nevertheless, constantly mentioned on news media and by judicial and security officials. The defendants denied any and all relations with armed, radical, and extremist groups, objected to the charges brought against them and demanded an open re-trial, to which they got no response. Ultimately, six of the detainees were executed in January 2013 and another six on March 4, 2015.

The issuance and implementation of the death sentence against this group of Sunni defendants caused much reaction by individuals and domestic and international institutions. In June 2014, 19 human rights organizations objected to the sentences and demanded that they be revoked. Additionally, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Human Rights Defenders, and the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation issuing bulletins and a number of calls to action, demanded the revocation of the defendants’ death sentence and a fair, transparent, an open trial. Sunni religious personalities, including Molavi Abdolhamid, [city of] Zahedan Friday Prayer Imam, Hassan Amini, Sanandaj’s Imam Bokhara Seminary’s mufti and director, and Molana Gergij [city of] Azadshahr Friday Prayer Imam, wrote open letters to the Leader [of the Islamic Republic] and to the Heads of the Judiciary, Legislative, and Executive Branches, asking for the revocation of the Sunni prisoners’ death sentence (Al-Arabiyah, September 19, 2013). Civil and human rights groups and organizations condemned the implementation of the death sentences.

On December 24, 2103, in protest of the sentence issued for their son, Mr. Molaii’s family and the families of three other defendants in this case, conducted a sit-in in front of the Supreme Leader’s residence. (HRANA, December 24, 2013)

Arrest and Detention

On July 14, 2009, Mr. Molaii was arrested in Sanandaj by Information Ministry agents who did not have an arrest warrant and taken to the city’s Information Administration Detention Center. He spent over 20 months in solitary confinement cells at Sanandaj, [the city of] Hamedan, and Tehran Information Administration Detention Centers.

“They tortured me and said ‘we’re going to kill you, we’re going to persecute your family; you must accept everything we tell you and say it in front of the camera, say that you did it; you must sign every letter we bring you.’ Fearing for my family and to stop them from increasing the torture, I agreed.”

On April 19, 2010, Mr. Molaii and nine other defendants in the case were transferred to Hamedan Information Administration Detention Center, and six months later, on October 15, 2010, to Tehran’s Evin Prison’s Ward 209. During his incarceration, he was denied the right to visit and contact with his family, as well as the right to an attorney.

Four of the defendants in this case inclouding Mr. Molaii testified in a letter that they had been continually subjected to physical and psychological torture during their detention at Information Administration detention centers. As reported by the defendants themselves, torture included flogging, electric shock, beating the sole of the foot (bastinado), hanging [from the hands or the feet], [being kept in a] dark solitary confinement cell without a toilet, threat of sexual assault, threat of the arrest of family members, months of no contact with the family, [being kept] hungry, insults to Sunni religious beliefs, left handcuffed and shackled for long periods in the prison yard during winter. (Four prisoners’ letter, September 2013, Center for Supporters of Human Rights, Sunni prisoners’ representative, May 4, 2014, ABF Interview)

In video messages from inside prison, Mr. Molaii explained that the interrogators’ objective in physically and psychologically torturing him, was to force him to make false confessions: “They tortured me and said ‘we’re going to kill you, we’re going to persecute your family; you must accept everything we tell you and say it in front of the camera, say that you did it; you must sign every letter we bring you.’ Fearing for my family and to stop them from increasing the torture, I agreed.” (YouTube, September 25, 2013).

A person close to the defendants describes their conditions in the Sanandaj Detention Center: “They underwent the toughest physical and psychological torture at the Sanandaj Information Administration. There was a bed called ‘the miracle bed’. They would lie these guys down on the bed handcuffed and shackled and they would beat them on the soles of their feet until they confessed and cooperated. They would give them electric shock. They would beat them with electric rods. They hanged from the ceiling with their hands tied behind their backs on numerous occasions; and no one knew for how long. They wouldn’t even feed them, for two, even three days. Then they would give them, for example, a watermelon for food, after which they desperately needed to go to the bathroom, but they wouldn’t let them until signed the papers they had brought for them to sign. (Sunni prisoners’ representative’s interview, Center for Supporters of Human Rights, May 4, 2014)

In protest of the adjudication process and of the treatment of Sunni defendants, Mr. Molaii and other defendants in the case, collectively went on a hunger strike three times, the last of which in December 2014-January 2015, lasted 73 days. (Video message from inside prison, Social Media, June 2014)

On February 15, 2011, Mr. Molaii was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison, to a ward reserved for drug addict and methadone-dependant criminals. In February 2012, he was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison’s Ward 4, Hall 10, along with the other Sunni prisoners, and on November 13, 2012, to [the city of] Karaj Qezel Hesar Prison. In the spring of 2014, after the 73-day hunger strike, he and three other defendants of the case were transferred back to Rajai Shahr Prison. (Video message from inside prison, June 2014)

According to the Sunni prisoners’ representative, because of their beliefs, they did not enjoy the same rights as other prisoners even in the general ward; prison officials, as well as prisoners themselves instigated by the officials, insulted their beliefs. For instance, they were not allowed to perform group prayer, or officials would not allow their religious books, which they deemed superstitious, to be brought into the prison. (Sunni prisoners’ letter from inside prison)

In interviews and letters, four of the defendants in the case described the conditions in Rajai Shahr and Qezel Hessar Prisons as extremely harsh: “We’ve been in Qezel Hesar Prison for about seven months, in the most difficult conditions; among prisoners who are all drug addicts; among people who do not believe in God, do not believe in the Koran. Nor is there any food; there’s been lice, mice, and shoes in the food they bring us. These are the conditions we live in.” (Mr. Dehqani’s Interview with Vesal global network, Youtube, September 16, 2013)

Trial

On February 12, 2011, Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court Branch 28, tried Mr. Molaii and nine other defendants in case number d/t/89/18078, in a closed door session. Four of the defendants wrote that the court did not allow them to retain an attorney of their own choosing, and that the defendants met their court-appointed lawyer a few minutes before trial and signed the retainer agreement. The defendants appeared blindfolded, handcuffed, and shackled before the judge, and their trial lasted only 10 minutes (Four prisoners’ letter to international bodies, Sunni prisoners’ website). According to one of the defendants in an interview with HRANA, security agents used electric shockers several times when the defendants were speaking during trial (HRANA, September 15, 2014, interview with prisoners’ representative). Based on one of the defendant’s writing, the judge psychologically tortured them during trial and insulted their beliefs and their families. When Mr. Jamshid Dehqaniasked the court why he was being sentenced to death, the judge responded: “Be quiet you evil Sunni, I will hang you; weren’t you frequenting the mosque?” (Sunni News, September 26, 2013)

Contrary to normal judicial procedure, the trial was conducted outside the jurisdiction of the defendants’ place of residence and arrest.

Charges

According to the content of their letter, the charges brought against Mr. Molaii and the other defendants was collectively “Moharebeh” through “Contact with an enemy Salafi group,” “propaganda against the regime through participation in ideological and political classes, possession, purchase, and sale of Sunni belief books and lecture CD’s” (Four Sunni prisoners’ letter to the United Nations Secretary General, September 2013). In a news piece published on the day of implementation of the sentence, the Judiciary Branch’s news agency announced the charges against the six defendants as being “Acting against public security and armed attack against a law enforcement special unit, and also intentional homicide.”*** (Mizan Online, March 4, 2015)

The judge psychologically tortured them during trial and insulted their beliefs and their families.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of Guilt

There is no precise information regarding the evidence presented at trial. According to the defendants’ statements, however, their confessions constituted the basis for the sentence. According to Mr. Ahmadi, the spokesman for Sunni prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison, these confessions consisted of a few pages that had been signed by the defendants in Sanandaj Information Administration Detention Center, while they were blindfolded. According to the defendants, the interrogators considered proselytizing religious beliefs to be efforts to overthrow the regime, and not accepting [the principle of] the Primacy of the Religious Leader (“Velayat-e Faqih”) to be “Moharebeh.”

International human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its systematic use of severe torture and solitary confinement to obtain confessions from detainees and have questioned the authenticity of confessions obtained under duress.

Defense

Based on available information, the defendants in the case, including Mr. Molaii, were not given an opportunity for an effective defense. According to Mr. Ahmadi, the spokesman for Sunni prisoners, judicial authorities did not allow the defendants to retain an attorney of their choice for six years after their initial arrest, and when they finally did, they did not allow the attorney to read the case file on the pretext that it was confidential; ultimately, they forced the attorney to resign by threatening him. (ABF Interview)

According to the defendants’ testimony, legal procedures were not observed at trial and the defendants were not given permission to speak and the opportunity to defend themselves. On the day of the trial, the court-appointed attorney encouraged them to accept the charges by making the false promise that they would return home to their families in Sanandaj and would be freed if they did so. The defendants noted that after months of solitary confinement and torture, they were in an extremely distressed mental state and that was why the promises that were made to them, especially the hope of returning to Sanandaj, caused them to accept the charges. According to the defendants, the judge had not asked them any specific questions and his treatment of them was extremely offensive. (ABF Interview)

The second time I went before the judge I said: “You produce one witness who will testify that they’ve seen me holding a weapon, that they have a video of me, or a group that would admit that I was a member of their group. There isn’t anyone, there are no such witnesses.” And what the judge tells me is ‘you are all Sunni, you have no rights in Iran, and we will do whatever we please, we hold the [power of] government’.”

Once they were transferred to a general prison and the pressure of the interrogations was off, the defendants found the opportunity to deny the charges brought against them time and time again, through writing numerous letters and conducting audio and written interviews from inside the prison. They denied the charge of armed combat and contact with armed groups, and emphasized that they had been arrested and sentenced to death solely for activities such as participating in religious meetings, distributing religious materials, and defending what adherents of the Sunni religion hold sacred (Sunni prisoners’ representative’s interview with Kalemeh Global Network, published on September 22, 2013, Youtube). These defendants considered themselves adherents of the Shafe’i religion and denied any contact with Salafi and extremist groups: “We have declared time and time again that we do not belong to any particular group or organization, that we are not heretics and radicals, and that we did not even know each other outside of prison; that we were in society and among regular people, and that we were all arrested either at home or at work. Our only crime is contact with our mosque, holding our beliefs, and peacefully protesting the insults hurled at the adherents of the Sunni faith in 2008 by the cleric Bijan Daneshmand, by Ebrahim Hatamikia in the Sabz Magazine Volume 13, and by the cleric Juybari; it is the right of every minority [group] to protest so long as their beliefs are being insulted.” (Letter from prison, July 21, 2013)

Mr. Molaii explained the way his interrogators deceived the defendants in this case and how they made them confess: “In Sanandaj Information [Detention Center] they tortured me and said ‘you’ve been working with a Salafi group and you’ve attacked [such and such place] (I don’t know what place they said)’. No matter how much I swore up and down that I had not been with any group, they wouldn’t believe me… Fearing that they would persecute my family, and in order to stop them from increasing the torture, I said fine, and I agreed… After that, we protested a little, telling them, you told us to accept this stuff and you would release us in a year or two. [They said] ‘We know you haven’t done anything, but say this stuff before the judge, tell him that you did these things. The judge is one of us. Say these things in front of the cameras, before the judge. Because, you know, we haven’t been able to arrest anybody [in connection with the crimes] and we have to answer to the Leadership, to Iran’s security apparatus. That’s why you have to say it was you and then we’ll close the case.’ So we agreed to say these things before the judge, because they had promised they would release us in a year or two, and said they would kill us if we didn’t…When we got the death sentence, we protested and said what is this, why execution? We told you we hadn’t done anything. They said ‘this is just a fear sentence, nobody’s going to execute anybody. This is for human rights and for other countries; that’s why you get a death sentence.’ And we believed them and told our families what the story was, that it was a fear sentence, and not to worry.” (Video message from prison, Social Media, September 2013).

In multiple audio and video messages from inside prison, Mr. Molaii demanded an open trial in the presence of the media. He protested the violation of the defendants’ legal rights in this case: “If they’re going to put someone on trial, they should have an open trial so that people can know about it, if someone has done something [wrong] everybody should know about it. Why hide it? Why do they try us in underground trials? Why won’t they at least let us get an attorney? If they charge us with being Mohareb, we should at least know why we’re being executed. They took ten of us to Qezel Hessar Prison, executed six of us on the charge of rape and selling drugs, whereas if you look at the print out [of official charges], it says ideological-political [crime(s)].” (Video message from prison, Social Media, June 2014)

“Because we really didn’t do anything, we committed no crime. Here they accused us and said ‘you are Mohareb, you have attacked Iranian forces,’ when I didn’t [even] have a weapon, didn’t attack anyone, didn’t kill anyone, and wasn’t in contact with any group. The second time I went before the judge I said: “Why did you give me a death sentence? The truth is I didn’t have a weapon, didn’t fire a shot, didn’t kill anyone, and I don’t even know anyone.” I said: “You produce one witness who will testify that they’ve seen me holding a weapon, that they have a video of me, or a group that would admit that I was a member of their group. There isn’t anyone, there are no such witnesses.” And what the judge tells me is ‘you are all Sunni, you have no rights in Iran, and we will do whatever we please, we hold the [power of] government’.” (Video message from prison, Social Media, September 2013)

In addition to official charges, state-run radio and television and other state-run media brought other charges against the defendants through broadcasting multiple reports and programs, including “assassination of high-ranking Sunni clergymen, possession of arms and explosives, and drug trafficking.” Mr. Dehqani and the other defendants considered these charges baseless and emphasized that “not even the judge or the interrogation team ever leveled such charges against us.” Denying the charge of assassination, Mr. Ahmadi, the spokesman for Sunni prisoners said in his and the other defendants’ defense: “The assassinations we are accused of occurred on September 19, 2009, whereas the date of our arrest is very clear. Jamshid and Jahangir Dehqani who are brothers were arrested on June 17, 2009; Kamal Molaii was arrested on July 14, 2009, and Hamed Ahmadi was arrested on July 30, 2009. When the assassinations occurred we were in the Information Administration Detention Center; how could we have carried out those assassinations when we were detained at the Information Administration?” (HRANA, Septemer 15, 2013, Interview with prisoners’ representative)

Where is this warehouse full of arms that has been confiscated from the prisoners? Why haven’t they video recorded and broadcast it? After all, it is the Information Ministry’s modus operandi to create a documentary at the smallest thing they confiscate from somebody and show it to the entire world.

The Sunni prisoners’ representative accused the regime of taking advantage of the assassinations to oppress young Sunni Kurds and asked in a letter:

“… 3. Through broadcasting film on social networks and media, which can be seen on Youtube even now, as well as in letters to all international organizations asking for help, these prisoners have repeatedly denied the charges brought against them and have asked why their trial was not open [to the public] so that the truth can be clear for the entire world to see, if they had done something.

4. These four individuals have expressly stated that they did not know each other outside prison, and that they didn’t even live in the same neighborhood in Sanandaj, that they have been put at the center of a scheme and a sham, trumped-up case and were forced to sign and seal a few pieces of paper through physical and psychological torture, that [the regime] had kept this case quiet [and under the radar] for a few years by falsely promising them and their families to free them and also by threatening their families. But now that the defendants’ voices have reached human rights and international organizations, [the regime] has panicked and doesn’t know how to cover up its crimes.

5. Where is this warehouse full of arms that has been confiscated from the prisoners? Why haven’t they video recorded and broadcast it? After all, it is the Information Ministry’s modus operandi to create a documentary at the smallest thing they confiscate from somebody and show it to the entire world.

I will now leave it to the world’s intellectuals and humanitarians to decide why such a case was not adjudicated openly, why the regime did not do this to show [and prove its case] to the world.” (HRANA, the prisoners’ representative’s letter, 2013)

According to these prisoners’ representative, their death sentences were issued pursuant to Islamic Penal Code, Article 186; considering the Islamic Penal Code was changed, [then] pursuant to Article 10 of the new Code, the previous sentence must be revoked and a new sentence consisting of between 3 and 15 years imprisonment must be issued (ABF Interview). As written by four of the defendants in this case, Supreme Court Branch 32 had considered implementation of the sentences without legal merit: “Because of the changes made to the Islamic Penal Code in 2013, they cannot find us Mohareb and sentence us to death even based on the false charges against us and the confessions obtained under torture, because, pursuant to Article 10 of the new Code, in the event that, after commission of the crime, a new law is passed that is in some ways more lenient to the criminal, the new law must be the basis [of a ruling]. Therefore, as Supreme Court Branch 32 has stated, invoking this same Article, implementation of these sentences is without any legal merit.” (HRANA, November 22, 2014)

According to the Sunni prisoners spokesman, he and his prison mates decided to start a campaign from inside prison to shed light on the charges brought against them after six of their co-defendants were executed on December 28, 2013: “After the executions, we decided to start a sort of fight to live and let our oppressed voices be heard by the entire world. Our first act was the 26-day hunger strike, and we reached our goals to a certain extent. We made a pact to give our possessions and our lives for this fight until we reach our objective, or at least have our voices be heard by the world.” (Tableau Internet Magazine, May 2014)

A Summary of the Legal Defects in the Adjudication of Mr. Kamal Molai’s Case

Based on available information, interviews given by the individuals executed, as well as their families’ statements, the defendant in this case underwent the most severe forms of torture while in detention. He was forced to make self-incriminatory admissions under torture, whereas, under Iranian law, torture and duress of the defendant is illegal and considered a crime, and confessions obtained in this manner are without credibility and legal value. Principle 38 of the Iranian Constitution, as well as certain domestic laws and international instruments to which Iran is a signatory, specifically so state, and go as far as to consider obtaining a confession through torture a crime and the perpetrators, criminals. It was therefore incumbent upon the court to conduct the necessary investigations regarding the accuracy and authenticity of the defendant’s confession. Although a confession is the single most important piece of evidence in proving the commission of a crime in criminal law, it has value and credibility only when it is true. Therefore, the court relying on a confession that was obtained under duress and torture was in utter violation of the law.

In accordance with religious law as well as the Islamic Penal Code, in the event that an individual confesses to a crime for which the Hadd punishment of death has been prescribed, the death penalty shall not apply if he/she later denies the confession for any reason. Pursuant to Article 173 of the Islamic Penal Code: “The denial after confession shall not result in removal of the punishment except for confession to an offense which is punishable by stoning or by the Hadd punishment of death, in which case, at any stage, even during the execution, the aforementioned sentence shall be removed and, instead, one hundred lashes in the cases of Zena (adultery) and Lavat (sodomy), and a fifth degree ta’zir prison sentence shall be issued for other offenses.” The defendant in this case was tried on the charge of Moharebeh (which carries the death penalty) and the court cited his confession as evidence for the issuance of the death sentence. It could not have legally issued such a sentence, however, given the defendant’s repeated denial of the confession; the denial of the charge and of the confession was enough to prevent the court from sentencing him to death on the charge of Moharebeh.

In accordance with religious law as well as a provision of the new Islamic Penal which was in force at the time of the implementation of the defendant’s sentence and could have applied to him, in crimes that carry Hadd punishment, if a defendant declares that his/her confession was obtained under threats, duress, or torture, such declaration shall be accepted without any need to provide supporting evidence, and the confession shall become null and void. Islamic Penal Code Article 218 provides: “In the cases of offenses punishable by Hadd, if the accused claims that… his/her confession was obtained under threat or intimidation or torture, the claim shall be accepted without requiring supporting evidence and oaths.” It was therefore necessary for the implementation of the sentence to be halted considering that, subsequent to the issuance of the sentence, he had stated in various ways that his confession was obtained under torture and had repeatedly denied what he had confessed.

Based on available reports, the defendant in this case was solely engaged in religious activities and had never participated in any armed action. Pursuant to Iranian law, an individual is considered to be Mohareb when he/she takes up arms with the intention of fighting the regime and/or instilling fear and terror in the public. In other words, armed action is the principal element of the crime of Moharebeh, whereas the defendant’s activities were peaceful. In other words, attributing the crime of Moharebeh to the late defendant was in utter violation of the law and devoid of any legal considerations. Additionally, the statements of some of the officials regarding this case were ambiguous and contradictory. For instance, certain officials accused the defendant and his co-defendants of being involved in the assassination of the city of Sanandaj’s Friday Prayer Imam and Assembly of Experts Representative, whereas these individuals were in detention at the time of the assassination. Furthermore, no information has been provided regarding this case and concerning the nature of the actions taken by the convicted individuals.

Based on available reports, the defendants in this case were not able to have access to an attorney. The judicial officials authorized the presence of an attorney only in the short trial session conducted at the revolutionary court. The attorneys were not permitted to read the case file under the pretext of the content being security-related and confidential. The defendants’ right to a defense was therefore severely hampered.

Judgement

On February 12, 2011 (the day of the trial), Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court Branch 28 found Mr. Kamal Molaii and 9 other defendants guilty of Moharebeh and sentenced them to death. This sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. He and three other defendants were taken four times to solitary confinement cells awaiting execution, which was postponed for reasons including dissemination of the news, and pressure from various media and human rights organizations. (Mr. Dehqani’s interview from inside the prison, Published on Social Media, June 2014)

Ultimately, on March 4, 2015, Mr. Kamal Molaii was hanged along with five other Sunni defendants in Rajai Shahr Prison. According their families’ letter, one day before execution, prison officials asked the families to go from Sanandaj to Karaj for a last visit. They were able to visit with Mr. Molaii for a few minutes from a distance of a few yards. He was in a “large cage, handcuffed and shackled,” but the officials did not even allow them to get close to him. According the families, their children were wounded and Mr. Molaii had more injuries than the others. Mr. Molaii was in great spirits in that visit and encouraged his brother to be patient and to resist. His mother was not able to travel and visit with his son for the last time, due to illness. (Letter of the families of the five executed prisoners, Zamaneh Tribune, March 6, 2014)

Judicial and security officials did not turn Mr Molaii’s body over to his family and denied their wish to be present for his burial to [perform] religious rituals and [exercise] their legal rights. They only allowed one family member to be present at burial and to view the body. Security officials buried him at Karaj’s Behesht Sakineh cemetery and prohibited the family from holding a funeral wake. (Families’ letter, March 6, 2015)

____________________________________

*Sources:
HRANA (September 15, November 15, December 11, 2013, March 16, July 21, November 22, 2014, March 3, March 6, 2015); Kalemeh Global Network (September 9, 2013); Iran Human Rights Organization (June 14, 2014); Rooz Online (December 31, 2012, March 4, 2015); Jaras (September 8, 2013) Al-Arabiya Persian (September 21, 2013); Sunni Prisoners’ Representative’s Interview with Kalemeh Global Network (Youtube, September 22, 2013); Center for Supporters of Human Rights (May 4, 2014); Baluch Activists Campaign (March 4, 2015); Zamaneh Tribune (March 6, 2015); Saham News (March 6, 2015); Kordpa (March 9, 2015); Amnesty (March 5, 2015); Campaign to defend civil and political prisoners in Iran ( February 23, 2015); Parseh Dar Shahr Weblog (March 4, 2015); Sunni News (September 26, 2013); Amnesty (March 5, 2015); Campaign to defend civil and political prisoners in Iran ( February 23, 2015); Parseh Dar Shahr Weblog (March 4, 2015); Sunni News (September 26, 2013); Mr. Dehqani’s Interview (YouTube, September 2013); Interview with Vesal Haq Global Network September 26, 2013); Video Message from Inside Prison (June 2014).
**The Shafe’i sect is one of Islam’s Sunni sects that follows the teachings of Abu Abdollah Mohammad Edris Shafe’i, one of the four Imams of Sunnah and Jama’ah. From a historical perspective, the Shafe’i sect is the third oldest religion of adherents of Sunni Islam that are followers of AbuBakr, Omar, Osman, and Ali.
***On March 14, 2014 and November 15, 2014, Islamic Republic of Iran’s state-run radio and television broadcast reports and special programs in which the defendants were charged with “assassinating Mamusta Sheikhol-Eslam, member of the Assembly of Experts,” “possession and warehousing of arms,” and “contact with PEJAK.”

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