Execution of former assistant defense minister in Iran for “espionage”

Today, Saturday, the Iranian Judiciary News Agency announced the execution of Ali Reza Akbari, an Iranian-British citizen and former assistant defense minister in Iran, on charges of “espionage.”

According to the media center of the judiciary in Iran, on Saturday, January 14 (January), the death penalty against Akbari was carried out “on charges of corruption on earth, and a large-scale movement against the country’s internal and external security through espionage for the intelligence services of the British government.”

Mehdi Akbari, Ali Reza Akbari’s brother, told BBC Persian that his brother returned to Iran in July 2019 at the invitation of Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, and from the beginning “was placed under the security umbrella of the Ministry of Intelligence, and interrogations began in Security houses of the Ministry of Intelligence and various hotels.

Akbari’s family and Iranian officials have not provided any information about his arrest and accusations in the past three years.

Akbari’s wife told BBC Persian on January 10 that her husband, who was arrested in 2019 and sentenced to death, had recently been transferred to solitary confinement.

In the history of Akbari’s official work, his closeness to Ali Shamkhani is the most prominent. Shamkhani, who held the position of defense minister in the government of Mohammad Khatami, has held the position of secretary of the Supreme National Security Council since 2013 and the representative of the Iranian guide in this council.

According to reports, Akbari was sentenced to death by Judge Abu al-Qasim Salawati in the fifteenth branch of the Revolutionary Court on charges of “espionage for the British Intelligence Agency”.

Ali Reza Akbari, Iran’s former deputy defense minister, said in a leaked audio recording from inside the prison, published by “Iran International” on Friday, that his forced confessions were the result of 3,500 hours of torture.

Akbari added in the recording: “After more than 3,500 hours of torture, narcotic drugs, and other physiological and psychological methods, they took away my will from me. They drove me to the brink of madness.. They instilled in me what they wanted and forced me to make false and corrupt confessions by force of arms and threats of death.”

Akbari confirmed that the security forces promised him freedom in exchange for forced confessions, and said that if he resisted, they would send him to the fortified cells of Evin Prison, where they would “use whips in those cells.”

Meanwhile, a source close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards provided files and documents to “Iran International” showing that the death sentence issued against Akbari on charges of “espionage” came as a result of disagreements within the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian security apparatus to remove Shamkhani from the circle of power.

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