Exiled Opposition Says Iran Execution a Reprisal for Prison Unrest

Iran on Sunday executed a political prisoner because authorities thought he was behind recent unrest in a Tehran prison, an exiled opposition group said.

Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani was convicted of "waging war against God" (moharebeh) by helping the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) and then hanged, state media reported.

The PMOI said Khosravi Savadjani had been executed on suspicion of being the alleged mastermind of an April 17 prisoners' revolt at an infamous Tehran prison.

"Khosravi Savadjani's execution is a reprisal targeting prisoners of Section 350 of Evin jail where he was placed and aimed at those who continue to resist the fascist religious regime from inside the prison walls," it said in a statement in French.

It said Iranian authorities "consider Khosravi Savadjani to be the main instigator of the protests and the revolt of political prisoners of Section 350 on April 17," it said.

According to opposition websites, several inmates at the notorious Section 350 of Evin, located in northern Tehran, were beaten after scuffles broke out at a cell block, with some of them seriously hurt and taken to hospital.

Iranian officials dismiss the accounts as inaccurate, claiming it was the prisoners who resisted an inspection and started a fight with the guards.

Prior to his death, Amnesty said the execution would be a breach of domestic and international law, as Khosravi Savadjani -- held since 2008 -- should have benefited from a subsequent law that imposed lighter penalties for the crimes for which he was convicted.

The PMOI was founded in the 1960s to oppose the pro-Western shah.  

After the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the shah, the PMOI took up arms against Iran's clerical rulers and Tehran holds it responsible for murdering thousands of Iranian civilians and officials.

Khosravi Savadjani was arrested in 1981 and jailed for several years. He was detained again in 2008 for having contact with the PMOI and has been in custody since.

Source: Agence France Presse

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