A report on the situation of Behzad Abbasi, an ideological prisoner detained in Urmia Prison
Human Rights in Iran – Wednesday, August 26, 2020 / Behzad Abbasi Gharagovaz, a Sunni prisoner of conscience imprisoned in ward 12 of the Urmia Central Prison, is serving a 7-year prison sentence.
According to the report of Human Rights in Iran, Behzad Abbasi Gharagovaz, son of Fereydoun, from Urmia, a Sunni prisoner of conscience, incarcerated in ward 12 of the Central Prison of this County, is serving a 7-year prison sentence in this prison, despite the fact that he is solely charged with membership in a religious group with Sunnite activities.
This Sunni citizen, along with 7 other Sunni citizens, were arrested by security forces on October 18, 2016, on charges of membership in the Ansar Al-Islam (a Sunni Muslim insurgent) group, and were interrogated, tortured, coerced into confession, and charged.
After the interrogation and being charged, the case of Behzad Abbasi Gharagovaz and 7 others was referred to the Revolutionary Court of Urmia and this citizen was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of acting against national security through membership in Salafi groups.
Following an appeal and referral of the case to the Court of Appeals, the sentence was commuted to 7 years in prison, and the Sunni citizen is currently serving his sentence in Urmia Central Prison, deprived of the right to temporary leave and other citizenship rights of a prisoner.
The imposition of constraints on Sunni citizens to perform and attend their religious ceremonies is an instance of abuse of international instrument, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on December 16th 1966.
Also the individuals have the right to access a fair trial by an impartial tribunal, as enshrined in international human rights instruments, as well as Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 14 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Extracting forced confessions through beatings and threats against individuals are obvious instances of violations of international instruments and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights explicitly emphasize on the prohibition of torturing the individuals.