A member of Iran’s Yarsan religious minority has been sentenced to death for trumped up charges of murder.
Reza Rasaei was handed the death penalty by the second branch of the Kermanshah Province Criminal Court on Friday. He was accused of the murder of Nader Beirami, head of the Intelligence of the Revolutionary Guards in Sanandaj, during a violent protest last November.
According to Dadban, a group of pro-bono lawyers in Iran dedicated to defending political prisoners and rights activists, Beirami was killed following a clash between security and law enforcement forces and protesters.
Approximately one week after the incident, Rasaei and ten other citizens were arrested on charges of participating in the assault and injury of Beirami solely for their presence at the protest.
Security authorities attributed Beirami’s murder to Rasaei without any evidence, witnesses, or documents, as reported by various human rights organizations including Dadban and Hengaw.
The spokesperson for the judiciary of the Islamic Republic had previously announced that 52 individuals had been arrested in connection with Beirami’s murder.
The Yarsan faith, also known as Ahl-e Haqq, is one of the oldest Middle Eastern religious traditions with about three million followers in Iran, primarily in western Kurdish areas, and 120,000 to 150,000 in Iraq known as Kaka’i.
Yarsan adherents have encountered challenges, including the inability to register their children as Yarsan at birth, restrictions on building places of worship, and the fear of persecution for printing their holy book.
Source » iranintl