103-Year-Old Political Prisoner Held at Maku Prison
Haj Ali Chilan, 103, is currently serving an eight-year prison term at Maku Prison on charges of “cooperating with PJAK [Party of Free Life of Kurdistan],” a local source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Chilan, from Zolka Village near Maku, is in dire physical condition as a result of old age and loss of vision, according to the source.
According to the human rights activist, in 2005, Maku Intelligence Office forces arrested Haj Ali Chilan along with his son, Hassan Chilan, two brothers by the names of Mohammad and Abdollah Omarpour, and Saeed Ahooz. The detainees spent 45 days inside the Maku Intelligence Office Detention Center, where their interrogators subjected them to psychological and physical torture to extract confessions from them. The group was sent to Maku Prison after the interrogations ended and their cases were completed.
The human rights activist told the Campaign that security forces stated their charges as “cooperating with PJAK group members in the murder of a local security force member.” The only evidence provided in the case was the complaint filed by the victim’s family; no other evidence, testimony, or confessions existed in the file. “After six court sessions at the Maku General and Revolutionary Courts and the Khoy Revolutionary Court, Haj Ali Chilan was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of cooperating with PJAK; Hassan Chilan and Mohammad Omarpour were sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Maku General Court, as well as to 11 years in prison by the Khoy Revolutionary court, totalling 29 years; Abdollah Omarpour was sentenced to 23 years in prison; and Saeed Ahooz was sentenced to four years. Through the insistence of Maku Basij and Intelligence Office forces, all sentences were upheld fully at appeals and Supreme Court levels,” the source said.
After two years, the source added, Haj Ali Chilan was released due to old age and his inability to endure his prison term following medical confirmation. But on January 28, security forces arrested him again and transferred him to Maku Prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. “This very old man is in very bad shape inside Maku Prison right now. He can’t get up and, due to his impaired vision, he needs nursing. Considering the harsh prison conditions, he is unable to endure his sentence and despite recommendations from prison physicians [to end his imprisonment] due to his inability to endure his sentence and his family’s request to the Maku Courts for his release, the political prisoner remains in prison due to the Intelligence Office’s refusal to allow the centenarian’s release,” the source stated.