Two Death Sentences Overturned: Reza Khademi, 12 Years, and Ayoub Porkar 20 Years

Apr 12, 20100 comments

11 April 2010

Lawyer to two prisoners, Ayoub Porkar and Reza Khademi, told International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the initial court’s death sentences for her clients have been overturned, and that the two prisoners were sentenced to long prison terms instead. Ayoub Porkar and Reza Khademi had been sentenced to death by Branches 15 and 26 of Iran’s Revolutionary Courts, but Branch 36 of Appeals Court overturned the initial court’s sentences and instead sentenced Reza Khademi to 12 years and Ayoub Porkar to 20 years in prison. Nasrin Sotoudeh told the Campaign that even though a long time has passed since the court ruling was issued, and despite her repeated requests to be served with the ruling, she has not been formally informed about the court’s decision and this is against the law. Nevertheless, when families of the two prisoners went to Branch 36 of Appeals Court, they were informed that the earlier sentences had been overturned and replaced with prison terms. Ayoub Porkar, who served as a pilot for four years during the Iran-Iraq war, separating later from the Army, was accused of relations with Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO). Earlier, Sotoudeh had told news media that the basis for these charges was her client’s tapped phone conversations and personal emails. She said that in the five-page court ruling document issued for her client, more than anything else there were references to his opinions as opposed to defining any crimes he committed. According to Sotoudeh, her client not only did not have any relations with MKO, he did not do anything to deserve the heretics (moharebeh) ruling. Sotoudeh expressed hope that with a fair legal and judicial review of cases such as these, death sentences would be overturned. Another lawyer told International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the death sentence of Nasser Abdolhosseini has also been overturned and he has been sentenced to 12 years in prison instead. This lawyer told the Campaign that he hopes that several other death sentences are overturned over the coming weeks. Among other individuals who have received death sentences and whose cases are currently under review in the appeals courts is Mohammad Valian. He said that even if the death sentences are upheld at appeals stage, he hopes that the Judiciary would take the country’s current state under consideration and to investigate death sentence cases more carefully and to avoid executions. Source: