Iranian officials’ refusal to provide the family of Saman Naseem, a death row juvenile offender who was due to be executed yesterday morning, with information about his fate and whereabouts has sparked fears that he is at risk of being tortured or secretly executed, said Amnesty International.
Saman Naseem was transferred from Oroumieh Central Prison to an unknown location on 18 February 2015. Prison officials told the family to collect his belongings on Saturday.
“The lack of news about Saman Naseem’s fate or whereabouts with prison officers denying his family any information is cruel and inhuman,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Authorities in Iran must stop playing games with Saman Naseem’s relatives. They must immediately disclose his whereabouts, halt his execution and initiate a thorough judicial review of his case.”
Saman Naseem was sentenced to death following a grossly unfair trial in April 2013 by a criminal court in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province. He was convicted on charges of “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” because of his alleged membership of the Kurdish armed opposition group, Party For Free Life of Kurdistan, and for taking part in armed activities against the Revolutionary Guard. He was 17-years-old at the time.
In a letter published by Amnesty International, Saman Naseem, now 22 years old, gave a harrowing account of torture during early investigations including how he was kept in a 2 x 0.5 metre cell and was forced, while blindfolded, to put his fingerprints on “confession” papers.