Madyar Samienejad – The request for a new hearing for death row Hamid Ghassemi-Shall was denied and his death sentence has been sent to the enforcement unit at Evin prison. This prisoner is now in grave danger of imminent execution.
After the decision to implement the death sentence, Evin prison officials unexpectedly contacted Ghassemi’s family and instructed them to come to the prison to see him.
I spoke with Hamid Ghassemi-Shall’s sister about this unexpected demand for visitation. “Today we were granted an unplanned visitation. We were planning on going for visitation on Monday as usual but they insisted that we go see Hamid today (Saturday) in prison. My mother and I went to Evin prison today. They took us to the Office for Implantation of Sentences and brought Hamid there also. We were told that Hamid’s execution order had been sent to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences. Mr. Khodabakhshi, the official in charge of the implementation of sentences stated that the decision has been finalized and will be implemented.”
The sister of the prisoner who is mourning their other sister who passed away a few days ago continued. “I don’t know what to do anymore. I beg you to help us in any way you can. We are all in shock and so is Hamid. When we went to the prison we had to tell Hamid the news of his sister’s death. After I shared this terrible news with Hamid, he was taken to a corner and told by officials that his execution order would be implemented.”
Hamid Ghassemi is an Iranian-Canadian citizen who was charged by the Revolutionary Court with “spying and having relations with the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization (MKO)” and sentenced to death. Last year Hamid’s death sentence was commuted on the eve of the date of his execution. Now since a year has gone by judicial authorities have made another request for execution and Hamid’s life is in danger again. His court dossier has been sent to the Enforcement Unit of Evin prison and the death penalty can be carried out at any moment.”
Hamid Gassemmi traveled to Iran in 2008 to visit his family. While he was visiting the country, his brother Alborz Ghassemi was arrested on espionage charges. Hamid was also arrested two weeks later in May 2008 as he was attempting to follow up on his brother’s case at the judiciary offices of the military forces. When he was incarcerated he spent the first 18 months in solitary confinement.
The brothers were not allowed any phone calls or visitation with family during the first 8 months of their incarceration; they were deprived of their right to an attorney and subjected to severe torture.
Hamid’s brother, Alborz Ghassemi a naval officer died in prison on May 2010. Officials claimed cancer was the cause of death while his family said Alborz had never had any previous health issues.
In her conversation with me Hamid Ghassemi’s sister added, “No matter what we did to find a solution to this situation nothing happened. Mr. Jaafari, head of Branch 31 of the country’s Supreme Court told us that he read the evidence presented in the court dossier and even though he agrees Hamid Ghassemi is innocent, did no commit any crime and does not deserve to receive such a punishment, Mr. Jaafari said there was nothing he could do or say about it. I told him that answering a human being is much easier than having to answer to god. Despite this I don’t understand why he is staying silent.”
Hamid Gassemi’s sister continued. ”The reason he gave me for not accepting another hearing is that a request had been made in the past and rejected. For this reason they will not do anything despite knowing that no crime has been committed and they refuse to give any answers.”