At Least 17 More Kurdish Prisoners at Risk of Imminent Execution
“These hangings of four Kurdish prisoners are the latest example of the government’s unfair use of the death penalty against ethnic minority dissidents. The judiciary routinely accuses Kurdish dissidents, including civil society activists, of belonging to armed separatist groups and sentences them to death in an effort to crush dissent.”
Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director
(New York) – Iranian authorities executed five prisoners, four of them ethnic Kurds, without warning their families, and have so far refused to release their bodies, Human Rights Watch said today. These executions follow convictions that appear to have relied on the use of torture.
The Kurdish prisoners – Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili, and Shirin Alam Holi – were executed by hanging on the morning of May 9, 2010, in Tehran’s Evin prison, said a statement released by the Tehran Public Prosecutor’s office. The government also executed a fifth prisoner, Mehdi Eslamian, an alleged member of a banned pro-monarchist group. Authorities maintain that all five were engaged in “terrorist operations, including involvement in the bombing of government and public centers in various Iranian cities.”
“These hangings of four Kurdish prisoners are the latest example of the government’s unfair use of the death penalty against ethnic minority dissidents,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The judiciary routinely accuses Kurdish dissidents, including civil society activists, of belonging to armed separatist groups and sentences them to death in an effort to crush dissent.”
The Tehran prosecutor’s statement alleged that Kamangar, Heidarian, Vakili, and Alam Holi had confessed to being members of the outlawed Free Life Party of Kurdistan, or PJAK, and were involved in a series of bomb plots in northwestern Iran as well as Tehran. PJAK is widely regarded by analysts to be an Iranian affiliate of the banned Turkish Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK.
The government accused the fifth prisoner, Eslamian, of involvement in the bombing of a religious site in the southern city of Shiraz in 2008. Authorities alleged that Eslamian was a supporter of the pro-monarchist Anjoman-e Padeshahi, or the Kingdom Assembly. The government executed two other alleged members of this group, Arash Ramanipour and Mohammad-Reza Ali Zamani, earlier this year.
To read the full report, please click the link below:
Iran: Executed Dissidents 'Tortured to Confess'