A Letter by Salman Akbari, Youth Sentenced to Death


SCE Campaign
by SCE Campaign


Iran Human Rights

I am Salman Akbari, the son of Esfandiar, born in 1363 (1984) in a small village in Ardebil. Before being sent to prison, investigation and court, I had not seen a city, let alone the inside of a prison. Now, for a crime that I have not committed, I have been in Ardebil prison for the past seven years, since I was 17 years old, and I can not prove or scream out my innocence.

I started from the children’s section, then was moved to the youth section and now I am in the adult section of the jail. As I was a naïve child from a remote village, I was not familiar with the cruelty of city life. I was not able to withstand the physical and psychological pressures and torments of the investigators in Ardebil, where I was kept for some time.

My body had been bruised from head to toe as a result of lashing applied by wires and heavy cables. It was intolerable. Under pressure by guards, I was accused of being a murderer and I had to submit to it – even when I was left alone, the guards mistreated other prisoners in front of me until I gave up and admitted that I was guilty.

Since 27/5/1380 (August 18, 2001), after a series of investigations and torture in the inspector’s office in Ardebil, I was transferred to Ardebil’s central prison by a ruling from the general court in Razi, which has only one branch. Numerous times in the court I protested that my testimony had been obtained under torture, and I denied the charges and screamed my innocence, however I did not succeed. After one year, the court that was being managed and controlled by the local politics convicted me and sentenced me to Ghesas (exact punishment).

Through this ordeal, seven years of my life have been destroyed and my family has been scattered, and every moment they are waiting for my execution for a crime that I have not committed.

Now, after seven years, in deep loneliness I am trying to reach my voice to all people with a conscience, who are concerned with human rights. I need your help to prove my innocence and return to my family before it is too late, before I am sent for execution. I hope the advocates of human rights assist me in my battle to regain justice and freedom.


more from SCE Campaign