IRAN: KURD’S DEATH SENTENCE TO BE CARRIED OUT: HOSSEIN KHEZRI: FURTHER INFORMATION

URGENT ACTION

Kurd’s death sentence to be carried out

Hossein Khezri, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, is at imminent risk of execution. His death sentence was sent “for implementation” on around 17 November, after the publication of a letter that he wrote from prison describing how he has been tortured.

Hossein Khezri is a 28 or 29-year-old Kurd sentenced to death for “enmity against God”, for membership of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan, although he says his activities were only political. He wrote a letter from prison to international organizations at the end of October 2010 and it was published on the website of an opposition political party on 6 November. In his letter, he said that he was tortured in detention centres belonging to the Revolutionary Guards in Kermanshah and Oromieh, north-west Iran and also at a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility.He said in his letter, written from Section 12 of Oromieh Prison, “The time of my execution has not been told to me, I do not know if it will be tomorrow, or the day after, or tonight, and I am not allowed visitors and cannot even let any one know that I am still alive.”

Hossein Khezri was arrested in Kermanshah in 2008 and was sentenced to death after his trial in May 2009. His sentence was upheld on 8 August 2009. He said he was tortured and asked for an investigation, but his request was denied in March 2010. On 11 April 2010, he was moved from Oromieh Central Prison to an unknown location, which raised fears at the time that his execution might be imminent.

There are around 17 other Kurds sentenced to death for political reasons in Iran, including a 28-year-old woman, Zeynab Jalalian. Her lawyer met with the Tehran Prosecutor in July 2010 and has said that he hopes her death sentence may be overturned. However, as of early November 2010, he had not received any written confirmation of this and Zeynab Jalalian told him in a phone call on 2 October 2010 that she still faced a death sentence.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

  • Urging the Iranian authorities not to execute Hossein Khezri and Zeynab Jalalian;
  • Calling on them to commute their death sentences and to retry them in fair proceedings in line with international law and to disregard any evidence obtained under torture or other ill-treatment:
  • Stating that Amnesty International recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice, in conformity with international standards for fair trial, those suspected of criminal offences, but opposes the death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 DECEMBER 2010 TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info_leader@leader.ir

via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

Office of the Head of the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspx

First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri, Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986

Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 88/10. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/038/2010/en

URGENT ACTION

KURD’S DEATH SENTENCE TO BE CARRIED OUT

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Both Hossein Khezri and Zeynab Jalalian were convicted of “moharebeh” (enmity against God) for membership of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (known by its Kurdish acronym PJAK) and sentenced to death.

In his letter, Hossein Khezri said that he had been tortured by methods including beatings for several hours a day; threats against himself and his family, kicks to the genitals which caused bleeding and severe swelling for 14 day;, kicks to the legs resulting in an eight cm wound which was still open in late 2010; and harsh baton blows to the entire body for 49 days, causing bruising and inflammation. He said that he was moved for three days to an Intelligence Ministry facility in February 2010 for interrogation about his complaint, which led to his father’ death from a heart attack on hearing his son had been moved from prison, fearing he had been executed. He said he was told if he “confessed” on TV, his death sentence would be commuted to imprisonment.

Zeynab Jalalian was sentenced to death around January 2009 by Kermanshah Revolutionary Court. Before that, she had spent eight months in a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility, where she says she was tortured, during which time her family had no information concerning her fate. She was not granted access to a lawyer during her trial, which she said lasted only a few minutes. Zeynab Jalalian’s death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court on 26 November 2009.

In early March 2010, Zeynab Jalalian was moved from Kermanshah Prison to an unknown location, possibly a detention facility of the Ministry of Intelligence. After several weeks, in late March 2010, she was transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran, hundreds of miles away from her home. At the end of June 2010, unconfirmed reports were widely circulated that Zeynab Jalalian’s execution was imminent, but she was not executed.

Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many minority groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. They experience religious, economic and cultural discrimination (for further information see Iran: Human Rights Abuses against the Kurdish minority, July 2008, Index MDE 13/008/2008). For many years, Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Marxist group, Komala, conducted armed struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran. PJAK, formed in 2004, aims to establish in Iran a “democratic system in which all citizens: Iranians, Kurds, Azarbaijanis, Baluch, Turkmans, Arabs and all other ethnic groups within the framework of the democratic system can govern themselves”. It carried out armed attacks against Iranian security forces, but declared a unilateral ceasefire in 2009, although it still engages in armed clashes with security forces it terms “self-defence”. On 19 October 2010 it called for a peaceful solution to the “Kurdish issue” in Iran. This followed an attack on a military parade in Mahabad on 22 September 2010 which left at least 12 people dead and scores injured, mostly women, which the Iranian authorities blamed on Israel and the United States, and a gun attack on a police station on 7 October in Sanandaj which left four policemen and a civilian dead. No group has claimed responsibility for either attack, Amnesty International condemns attacks on civilians, as well as indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks which violate fundamental principles of humanitarian law.

At least 16 other Kurdish men and one other Kurdish woman are believed to be on death row in connection with their alleged membership of and activities for banned Kurdish organizations. They include Habibollah Latifi, Sherko Moarefi, Anvar Rostami, Rostam Arkiya, Mostafa Salimi, Hassan Talai, Iraj Mohammadi, Rashid Akhkandi, Mohammad Amin Agoushi, Ahmad Pouladkani, Sayed Sami Hosseini, Sayed Jamal Mohammadi, Mohammad Amin Abdolahi, Ghader Mohamadzadeh, Aziz Mohammadzadeh and.Habibollah Golparipour. On 4 November, political prisoners in Iran, including Hossein Khezri, launched a campaign from prison against stoning and executions by holding a one day hunger strike.

FU on UA: 88/10 Index: MDE 13/104/2010 Issue Date: 19 November 2010

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