Ali Reza Shir Mohammadali, a 21-year-old imprisoned on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader,” was killed by two other prisoners on the night of Monday, June 10, in south Tehran’s Fashafouyeh Prison. Shir Mohammadali had been sentenced to eight years imprisonment on charges of insulting the Supreme Leader, insulting the founder of the regime, propaganda against the state, and blasphemy. Arrested on July, 14th, 2018, for his online activities, Shir Mohammadali was the manager of the “Atheists” Telegram channel. His case was scheduled for an appeal hearing on July 9th.
Shir Mohammadali had protested against his being held along with non-political prisoners, and he went on hunger strike in March of this year. He had also written open letters criticizing what he called the “unsafe” and “inhumane” conditions of Fashafouyeh Prison. Shir Mohammadi’s lawyer, Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb, in an interview with regime-controlled media, said: “His crime was political. As the law mandates the separation of political and non-political prisoners, I don’t know why he was transferred to Fashafouyeh Prison. That’s why, just before the New Year (March 21), he along with one of his fellow political prisoners, Barzan Mohammadi, went on hunger strike. After a representative from the prosecutor’s office offered to help (with their being transferred), they ended their strike.”
Fashafouyeh, 22 kilometres south of Tehran, was first built to house drug criminals, but recently has housed many political prisoners, notably a number of darvishes. According to a Persian language media report, Mahmoud Sadeghi, an MP in the Islamic Parliament (Majles), said: “Fashahfouyeh Prison officials have not yet granted permission for MPs to visit the prison, or meet with prisoners. I have asked them several times, verbally and in writing, but so far they haven’t answered me.”
Erfanian Kaseb added: “He (Shir Mohammadali) was stabbed more than 30 times, but, only his family was told the exact number of wounds. He was stabbed once in the heart, and once in the aorta. Usually, during a fight, someone is stabbed once or twice, so to be stabbed 30 or 40 times is astonishing.” He also mentioned that prison officials had not yet provided him a report on what occurred, and Shir Mohammadali’s family hadn’t received a report from the medical examiner, either.
The Tehran prosecutor’s office announced that two prisoners were charged with involvement in Shir Mohammadali’s death.
Shir Mohammadali’s funeral was held on Wednesday, June 12. According to HRANA (Human Rights Activists News Agency), Shir Mohammadali’s body was “transferred to the medical examiner’s office on Wednesday, and after a short time, on account of the authorities wanting to hide his burial, transferred to Behesht’eh Zahra (Tehran’s largest and most well-known cemetery) without any prior announcement.”
HRANA added: “Shir Mohammadali’s mother was there, wearing white and black, and walking with the help of a cane. She repeatedly bowed to the body of her 21-year-old son, crying ‘my son’s wedding is today, my son’s wedding is today!”