Iran: Mother of Kurdish journalist on
death row speaks
August 14, 2007
Tehran, -- The mother of a Kurdish journalist
on death row in Iran has begged her son to halt a
strike he and his colleague, also sentenced to
death, have been staging for over a month.
Haj Khanoum the mother of Adnan Hassanpour, said
after visiting him in prison in Sanandaj (SINA),
capital of Iran's Kurdistan region.
"During our meeting which lasted just over 30
minutes, my son was very pale and he was shaking. He
has lost much weight since he and (his cousin and
fellow Kurdish journalist) Abdolwahed Hiwa Boutimar
started refusing food 32 days ago", Khanoum said.
Butimar was arrested in late December 2006 while his
cousin Hassanpour was detained by police a month
Adnan Hassanpur (L) and Hiwa Botimar sentenced to death
by the Iranian Islamic regime
According to Amnesty International, they were
reportedly held by the Ministry of Intelligence
before being transferred to Mariwan prison and
sentenced to death on charges of espionage on July
The death sentences against the two journalists
prompted protest around the world and has triggered
a diplomatic row between Italy and Iran.
Two weeks ago the Foreign Ministry in Rome summoned
an Iranian diplomat to protest against a series of
recent executions in Iran as well as the death
sentences against the Kurdish journalists.
Iran replied by saying Italy must not interfere in
the Islamic Republic's internal affairs.
"Adnan and Hiwa were casually informed they had been
sentenced to death 15 days after the end of their
trial which neither they nor their lawyers were
allowed to attend", Khanoum said.
She said her plea to Adnan to end his hunger strike
had been in vain.
"He told me that as long as the authorities refuse
to hear his and Hiwa's complaints, they will refuse
Hassanpour, who writes for the Kurdish weekly ASO,
and Boutimar, a publicist and environmental
activist, want their sentences to be suspended and a
new trial to be held, this time in the presence of
They also asked to be transferred from the
high-security prison of Sanandaj to another prison
in Mariwan where they would be closer to their
An international campaign is underway to save the
journalists' lives led by Amnesty International and
Reporters without Borders.
In Italy, where the government is leading attempts
in the United Nations Security Council for a
worldwide moratorium on capital punishment, numerous
parliamentarians and activists have also spoken out
on behalf to the two journalists.
Amnesty International has appealed to human rights
supporters around the world to urge the Iranian
government to suspend the death sentences and hold a
new trial for the men.
"Proceedings before Revolutionary Courts in Iran do
not meet international standards for fair trial,"
Amnesty said in a statement.
"The penal code contains a number of vaguely-worded
provisions relating to association and 'national
security' which prohibit a range of activities ,
including those connected with journalism or public
Iran has executed over 150 people so far this year,
compared to the 177 put to death over the whole of
Iranian Kurdistan (Kurdish: Kurdistana Îranę or
Kurdistana Rojhilat (Eastern Kurdistan) or Rojhilatę
Kurdistan (East of Kurdistan)) is an unofficial name
for the parts of Iran inhabited by Kurds and has
borders with Iraq and Turkey. It includes the
greater parts of West Azerbaijan province, Kurdistan
Province, Kermanshah Province, and Ilam Province.
Kurds form the majority of the population of this
region with an estimated population of 4 million.
The region is the eastern part of the greater
cultural-geographical area called Kurdistan.
More about Iranian Kurdistan
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