Seyed Jalal Haji Zavvaar, a former employee of the Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Force, was executed at Rajai Shahr prison in Tehran’s suburb, Karaj. He was arrested in 2017 with his wife, Leila Tajik, and was kept in safehouses. He was sentenced to death in October 2018 on charges of espionage.
In November 2018, following 14 months of silence on the part of the domestic media, Haji Zavvaar’s identity was established. According to his closest relatives, he was affiliated with the IRGC, though the Islamic regime’s state media claimed him to have been an employee of the Ministry of Defense.
Zavvaar and his wife Leila Tajik were arrested on September 4, 2017, on charges of espionage in a joint case filed by the IRGC. Tajik, was transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison after 7 months, in March 2018.
In September 2018, 47-year-old Zavvaar, 47, was sentenced to death on charges of espionage for a hostile country. Leila Tajik was sentenced by the Branch Four of the Tehran Military Tribunal to 15 years in RejaiShahr prison in Karaj, though she is currently being held at Kachooie prison in Karaj. She is said to be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and has so far been deprived of proper treatment.
A media blackout had been placed on Seyyed Jalal Haji Zavvaar’s arrest and imprisonment. According to the Human Rights activists in Iran, Zavvaar was kept in what are called death cells (in prisons in Iran) until his execution. He endured long and brutal interrogations which was always accompanied by some form of torture. He was frequently given electric shock and severe beatings. They would chain and lock him in cold toilets for days on end, and stuck large pins under his fingernails, so much so that when his children visited him, the scars of the needles that had been pushed under his nails were quite visible. During one torture session, one of his hands was broken and left untreated, it became deformed after it ‘healed’. He was never allowed to have any independent legal representation. He was assigned a lawyer (who worked for the regime’s own judiciary) who never answered the phone. Siavash was in solitary confinement until he was executed and his visits with his children took place in court only. Their children, named Sahba, 16, and Sahand, 19, are without a guardian, and enduring serious abuse and pressure at the hands of the IRGC.
According to international human rights organizations, Iran, in proportion to population per capita, ranked first in the world execution index.