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 Twenty eight Kurdish prisoners sentenced to death in Iran

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Twenty eight Kurdish prisoners sentenced to death in Iran  13.8.2012   

August 13, 2012

ORUMIYEH/SANANDAJ, Iranian Kurdistan,—  According to research, conducted by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, there are currently at least 28 Kurdish prisoners sentenced to death on political and security-related charges inside Sanandaj, Orumiyeh, Semnan, Rajaee Shahr, and Saghez prisons in Iranian Kurdistan (eastern Kurdistan). Seventeen of these individuals have received finalized death sentences and 11 have been sentenced to death at their trials in lower courts, and are now awaiting appeals rulings by the Supreme Court.

While some of the individuals in this list have received prior media coverage, information about many of these prisoners has been limited due to limitations security forces impose on the prisoners’ families and the unprecedented restrictions on human rights activists to disseminate information within an increasingly repressed social and political atmosphere. However, the Campaign has obtained information about 17 Kurdish prisoners through their lawyers and families.

The list also includes 10 individuals the Iranian Judiciary claims are affiliated with Salafist religious groups, and who have been sentenced to death by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court for “participating in armed confrontations.” The names and backgrounds of these individuals are listed at the end of this report.

Additionally, family members of three other prisoners, Fakhreddin Faraji, Changiz Ghadamkheir, and Shouresh Rezaei, who were arrested during armed confrontations have been informed of charges of “moharebeh” and according to local activists, their families are concerned that they may be facing death sentences.

The Campaign’s research indicates that in many of the referenced cases, due process has not been observed, the suspects have not had access to lawyers, and their statements during the process have not been noted. In some of the cases, the suspects have claimed that they were physically abused and tortured during the interrogations. According to families of some of the suspects who have made such claims, some through writing letters from prison, the Judiciary has not launched independent investigations to review the claims.

The Campaign asks the Iranian Judiciary to launch an independent investigation into the claims of suspects who have stated that their actions regarding their charges were carried out under pressure and physical and psychological torture, and to release the results of their investigations to the public opinion. The Campaign also urges the Judiciary to review the sentences in order to ensure the legality of the judicial and sentencing process.

Names of individuals sentenced to death are: 1) Habibollah Latifi, 2) Rashid Akhkandi, 3) Mostafa Salimi, 4), Shirkoo Moarefi, 5) Habibollah Golparipour, 6) Zanyar Moradi, and 7) Loghman Moradi. Additionally, ten others tried in one case on charges of “membership in a Salafist religious group” have been sentenced to death and their sentences have been upheld.

Names of the 11 individuals who have been sentenced to death and are awaiting the appeals court decision are: 1) Samkoo Khorshidi, 2) Sirvan Nazhavi, 3) Ebrahim Isapur, 4) Razgar (Habib) Afshari, 5) Ali Afshari, 6) Houshang Rezaei, 7) Reza Esmaeeli, 8) Behrouz Alkhani, 9) Seyed Sami Hosseini, 10) Seyed Jamal Mohammadi, and 11) Bakhtiar Memari.

The Campaign believes that the number of individuals who have received death sentences may be more than the individuals reflected on this list, as it is possible that due to limitations in research and information gathering, the list may not be complete. Therefore, local activists and individuals who are aware of other cases of death sentences for Kurdish citizens on political and security charges are urged to send their information to the Campaign to complete the existing information.

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