Friday, 13 May 2016
Reza Hosseini, 34, was among four prisoners hanged to death on May 3
Judge sentenced him to death for drug related offenses at Ghezel Hesar jail
Judge told him to plead guilty but Hosseini replied saying 'I am innocent'
To that, Judge responded: 'If you are innocent, then you will go to heaven'
A judge told a man 'if you're innocent you'll go to heaven' after he was sentenced to death for a crime he denied committing. Reza Hosseini, 34, was among four prisoners hanged to death on Tuesday May 3 at Ghezel Hesar Prison of Karaj in northern Iran. The judge sentenced him to be hanged for drug related offenses despite him protesting his innocence.
Hosseini, from Kuhdasht in west Iran, was first detained in Fashafaviye, Tehran's central prison. His wife said he had been arrested because he got into a 'physical altercation' with the authorities in the parking lot of their house.
She insisted the drugs were found by authorities in their neighbour's home who they did not know. In the first 70 days of his imprisonment, Hosseini was subjected to beatings and interrogations before being transferred to Ghezel. Hosseini was sentenced to death by hanging at Ghezel Hesar Prison (prison), the largest state jail in Iran.
His wife, Azadeh Geravand, told human rights news site HRANA: 'We were not allowed to visit him until he was transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison. But, even then, we weren't granted our first visit with him until after 11 months of imprisonment. 'When we realized his death sentence was to be carried out, Reza's mother and I somehow managed to drive 840 kilometres to Ghezel Hesar Prison to see him for the last time. 'But, once we arrived, the authorities did not allow us to visit him. Instead, they hurled insults at us.'
According to Geravand, the prosecutor in her husband's case file had assured the family he would be exonerated. But, in the trial lasting only two minutes, Judge Tayerani sentenced him to death. The judge had encouraged him to plead guilty but Hosseini replied saying: 'Why should I plead guilty if I am innocent?'
To that the judge responded: 'If you are innocent, then you will go to heaven after you are hanged.'