Unofficial sources report that Saman Nasim, an Iranian-Kurdish political prisoner, was hanged in Urmia prison on Thursday February 19, although the news has not been confirmed by Iranian authorities.

Saman Nasim

Saman Nasim

The Iranian judiciary and official news sources have not reported on this matter, even though Islamic Republic authorities as a rule usually highlight the hanging of prisoners being executed for armed activities. They have avoided the media regarding Nasim because he was underage at the time of his arrest and the death penalty for a minor has triggered international appeals to stop his execution.

Nasim’s brother, Omid Nasim, has reported through social media that on Friday February 20 at 1:45 PM, he was contacted and told that the family could pick up his brother’s remains on the following day at a specific location. Omid Nasim does not mention the identity of the caller.

The Campaign for the Defence of Political Prisoners reports that the family of Saman Nasim was contacted by the Ministry of Intelligence, saying they should come to Urmia Prison to receive their son’s belongings.

A Kurdish reporter, Saman Rasoulpour, has also reported on his Facebook page that according to one of the prisoner’s relatives, “Saman has been executed and [they] are in the process of organizing his funeral.” The report adds that the family has been warned against talking to the media.

The report indicates that Saman Nasim was transferred to solitary confinement at Urmia Prison along with another five prisoners on Wednesday February 18. The fate of the other five prisoners has not been verified either.

Saman Nasim was arrested at the age of 17 in 2011 during a conflict between Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and a group of anti-regime forces in the border regions of Sardasht. He was found guilty of links to PJAK, a Kurdish dissident group which the Iranian government regards as a terrorist group.

He was sentenced to death in Mahabad Revolutionary Court. The sentence was at first overturned in the Supreme Court but confirmed upon review.