Thursday, 11 August 2016

Rights Groups Urge Iranian Authorities to Stop Executing Kurdish Prisoners

Iranian authorities must immediately put a halt to the execution of Kurdish political and faith prisoners, X human rights organizations stated. These organizations also urged an immediate moratorium on the death penalty and a right to due process and a fair and public retrial for all prisoners sentenced to death.

In the month of August alone, Iranian authorities summarily executed at least twenty-one Kurdish political prisoners.

At dawn, on Tuesday August 9, 2016, five Kurdish prisoners were hanged in Urmia Central Prison. One was charged with moharebeh “enmity against God” for alleged membership in a Kurdish opposition group. The other four were charged with drug-related offenses.

This followed the August 2, 2016 execution of twenty Kurdish political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj and the Iranian authorities have confirmed their execution. The men were convicted of for moharebeh based on confessions extracted under torture. They were held for months, some of them for more than 2 years, in solitary confinement, denied due process, including the right to a proper defense, and convicted in hasty and unfair trials. 

Another six Kurdish prisoners were also hanged last week for alleged drug-related crimes and in retaliatory sentences (qisas)at the Saghez, Khoy and Salmas prisons.

According to Iran Prison Atlas, currently out of 915 political prisoners documented, 390 are Kurds. 75% of the prisoners sentenced to moharebeh are Kurds. Meanwhile, more than 97% of the executions in the ethnic regions of Iran were either carried out secretly or were not announced by official Iranian media.

Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, 14,000 prisoners have been executed for drug-related offences, the absolute majority of whom were Kurds, Balochis, and Afghan refugees. A significant number of these victims are political prisoners and ethnic rights activists who were reportedly executed under the cover of drug offenses.

In 2015, Iran was the highest per capita executioner in the world.

We urge the following actions:
We urge the United Nations to send a fact-finding mission to Iran to investigate the judicial process and the mass execution of Kurdish prisoners.

We urge the European Union to call on a moratorium on the death penalty, at a minimum as a sign of good will by Iran during its human rights dialogue with the EU. We also urge the European Union to insist on the right to due process and respect for freedom of religion, beliefs, and expression, for ethnic and religious minorities.

Roya Boroumand, Executive Director
Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation

Kamran Ashtary, Executive Director
Arseh Sevom

Ava Homa, North America Director
Association of Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva (KMMK-G)

 Karen Parker, President
Association of Humanitarian Lawyers

 Mansoor Bibak, Co-Director
Balochistan Human Rights Group

Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Founder and President
Center for Supporters of Human Rights

 Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, Executive Director
Ensemble Contre La Peine de Mort

 Ibrahim Al Arabi, Executive Director
European Ahwazi Human Rights Organisation

 Kamal Sido, representative
Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker Deutchland,

 Keyvan Rafiee, Director
Human Rights Activists in Iran

 Mani Mostofi, Director
Impact Iran

Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Lydia Brazon, Executive Director
International Educational Development, Inc

Jessica Stern, Executive Director
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

 Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, Executive Director
Iran Human Rights

 Rod Sanjabi, Executive Director
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

 Mahmood Enayat, Director
Small Media

 Christoph Wiedmer, Director
Society for Threatened People Switzerland

Firuzeh Mahmoudi, Executive Director
United for Iran

Mehrangiz Kar (Chairperson)
Siamak Pourzand Foundation

Mohammad Mostafaei, Director
Universal Tolerance

 Dr. Kamal Sido, Middle-East department
Society for Threatened Peoples

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