Execution of Juvenile Offender is Imminent
The family of a juvenile offender on death row has been informed that he will be executed on February 19, 2015. Saman Naseem, 20, was 17 years old when he was arrested and later put on trial on charges of moharebeh (enmity with God) for membership in the PJAK (Party for Free Life of Kurdistan), an armed Kurdish opposition group.
A member of Naseem’s family told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Naseem’s lawyer told the family they should visit him for the last time before his execution. In the face of his imminent execution, the family is reaching out to international human rights organizations to appeal for his life.
Following a July 17, 2011 armed confrontation with PJAK forces on the Sardasht border region in Kurdistan, IRGC forces arrested the 17-year-old Marivan resident Saman Naseem (born September 1994). Naseem was kept inside the IRGC Intelligence Unit’s solitary cells in Orumiyeh for two months, where he was interrogated and tortured. He was later transferred to Mahabad Prison in West Azerbaijan Province.
After the Mahabad Revolutionary Court sentenced Naseem to death on charges of moharebeh, his sentence was upheld by the West Azerbaijan Province Appeals Court, and confirmed by Branch 32 of the Supreme Court in December 2013.
Saman Naseem’s family member told the Campaign that Naseem was severely tortured during his interrogations. “When his family went to visit him in prison for the first time, they observed that his finger and toe nails had been pulled [out]. IRGC agents told Saman and his family that if they agreed to provide confessions in front of a television camera, he would be released. However, after Saman his mother and his brother provided the television interviews and the program was aired and his court was convened, he was not released,” said the source. Naseem’s family member emphasized that he was 17 at the time of arrest, and that he should not have been sentenced to execution as a juvenile.