Following the news published by some media outlets that Yunes Aghayan, a member of Iran’s Azerbaijani minority and an Ahl-e Haq follower, was executed, Iran Human Rights spoke to a close source to his family for confirmation. The source denied the news that the execution was carried out and insisted on Yunes Aghayan’s innocence. On Thursday, Yunes Aghayan, with his hands and feet shackled, was transferred from Orumiyeh prison to Mahabad prison. According to the source, a trial is set for tomorrow to review the case.
Yunes Aghayan and four others were arrested in 2004. In January 2005, Yunes Aghayan and Mehdi Qasemzadeh were sentenced to death by branch 2 of the Mahabad Revolutionary Court. They were charged with “Moharebeh” (waging war against God). The Supreme Court upheld their death sentences in April 2005. Mehdi Qasemzadeh was executed in February 2009.
According to an urgent action appeal published by Amnesty International in April 2009, Yunes Aghayan was arrested following “at least two clashes in September 2004 between members of a group of Ahl-e Haq members and police. The group had refused to take down religious slogans at the entrance to their cattle farm in Uch Tepe, West Azerbaijan Province. During the clashes, five Ahl-e Haq members and at least three members of the security forces were killed.”
The three other prisoners— Sahand Ali Mohammadi, Bakhshali Mohammadi, and Ebadollah Qasemzadeh— were also sentenced to death but their sentences were overturned by the Supreme Court in September 2007. The three men are currently serving 13-year prison sentences in exile in the Yazd province (central Iran).
Source: Iran Human Rights