With the continued threat of war, the sanctions siege and the dual political and economic crisis within Iran the repression of opposition forces is continuing and intensifying.
On Tuesday May 17 two brothers, Mohammad (27) and Abdollah (29) Fathi, were executed by the Islamic Republic. After being torture they were sentenced for being involved with anti-revolutionary groups, armed robbery and Mohareb (waging war against god). Their father, Bijan Fathi, said that their confessions were “obtained under severe torture” and they were “deprived of all their basic lawful rights”.
Below is the video of their funeral:
Left-wing student and activist Mohammad Pourabdollah who has been in prison since February 12 2009 has been moved to the infamous Ghezal Hesar prison in Karaj a city to the west of Tehran. It is a prison known for its barbaric treatment of prisoners and the housing of violent thugs and rapists. He has been charged with propoghanda against the state and being a threat to national security. Pourabdollah was initially sentenced to six years but was reduced to three years on appeal. He has spent months in solitary confinement enduring methodical physical and mental torture.
He was moved along with ten other political prisoners to a prison where in March up to 150 prisoners were injured and a minimum of 14 killed when prison guards attacked prisoners. This is a common move by the theocratic regime that puts political prisoners and those on false charges in the wings and prisons of often violent prisoners.
On the same day of Pourabdollah’s arrest comrade Alireza Davoudi was taken from his home into secret detention. He would never be released alive. The Ayatollah’s thugs murdered comrade Davoudi on July 29 2009 by torturing him to death.
These moves come at a time when the regime is stepping up the murder and brutalisation of political prisoners. Habib Latifi, another left-wing student, is at risk of execution after his death sentence was upheld by Iran’s supreme court. The comrade was arrested in October 2007 during a massive crack down against left-wing students. He is accused of conspiracy against national security and insurgence. A massive campaign was launched to stop the execution which was originally scheduled for December 26 2010. This campaign has been reignited with hundreds of people in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj have signed a letter asking Ali Khamenei to pardon Latifi.
Hands Off the People of Iran is for the release of all political prisoners and an end to executions. Mass action in Iran backed up by grass roots international solidarity is desperately needed to push back the repression and end executions. There can be no liberation from the imperialist forces whose sanctions are causing unemployment and poverty on a massive scale. We are opposed to all sanctions and any military action directed against Iran.
We the undersigned call for the release of, and dropping of all charges against, Iranian student Habibollah Latifi. This is urgent: Latifi’s execution was scheduled for 26 December 2010; it was postponed after international protests and after 300 supporters protesting outside the prison gates, but could be rescheduled at any time.
Latifi, who was a law student at Azad University in the south western province of Ilam, in Western Iran, was arrested in October 2007 and sentenced to death in July 2008 after being convicted of moharebeh (‘enmity against God’), a vaguely defined ‘crime’ for which the penalty is death. This was in connection with alleged activities on behalf of a Kurdish liberation group (Latifi is from Iran’s oppressed Kurdish minority; according to Amnesty International, sixteen Kurdish men and two women are on death row in Iran in connection with alleged ‘separatist’ activities).
On 26 December, members of his family including his father and sister were also arrested.
We call on the Iranian authorities to drop all charges against Habibollah Latifi and release him and his family. We will continue to make solidarity with Iranian student activists, who alongside workers have been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Iran.
Initial signatories: Patrick Murphy, National Union of Teachers National Executive member and Leeds NUT Secretary Olivia Bailey, National Union of Students Women’s Officer Barnaby Raine, School and FE Students Against the Cuts Sean Rillo Raczka, National Union of Students National Executive Committee and Birkbeck Students’ Union Chair Alan Bailey, NUS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Officer (Open Place) Vicki Baars, NUS LGBT Officer (Women’s Place) Claire Locke, London Metropolitan University SU Communications and Campaigns Officer Louis Hartnoll, University of the Arts London SU President Robyn Minogue, University of the Arts SU Education Officer Wanda Canton, Queen Mary SU Women’s Officer Katherine McMahon, Edinburgh University anti-cuts activist Michael Chessum, NCAFC co-founder and UCL Union Education and Campaigns Officer Daniel Lemberger Cooper, Royal Holloway Anti-Cuts Alliance and Save our services in Surrey Bob Sutton, Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts Tali Janner-Klausner, London NCAFC activist Rowan Rheingans, Newcastle University anti-cuts activist Jade Baker, University of Westminster SU Vice-President Education Chris Marks, Hull University occupier
Help us to stop the Iranian state murdering Habibollah Latifi! Please add your name by email@example.com
We call on NUS and other student networks like the Education Activist Network to support the campaign and promote this statement.
Shahla Jahed is due to be executed in Iran on December 1st, while the eyes of the world are on her fellow Iranian, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Jahed had a temporary marriage with Nasser Mohammad-Khani, an Iranian footballer, and has been charged with murdering his full-time wife. She has withdrawn a confession made under torture, stating in court “everyone knows the conditions under which I confessed.” She has now been imprisoned for nine years.
Send protest emails to:
Head of the Judiciary in Tehran
Mr Ali Reza Avaei
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Please copy all emails to the Iranian Embassy in London: firstname.lastname@example.org
An 18-year-old Iranian man is facing execution over a false sodomy charge, campaigners say. Ebrahim Hamidi was sentenced to death two years ago at the age of 16 for an unspecified assault on another man. Although the allegation was withdrawn and the Iranian Supreme Court has rejected the guilty verdict and execution order, a lower provincial court is insisting on Mr Hamidi’s execution. Now, his fate lies in the hands of the Supreme Court, which must decided whether to uphold the execution order.
Previously, he was represented by the human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei but Mr Mostafaei has gone into hiding after a warrant for his arrest was issued. The lawyer is also representing Sakineh Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning on charges of adultery. Supporters of Mr Hamidi say that while Ms Ashtiani is unlikely to face death because she has international support, he could be executed at any time.
They are asking for people to contact their MPs to raise awareness of Mr Hamidi’s plight.
He was arrested in 2008 with three other men after a fight between two families outside the city of Tabriz. The four men were told by police that one of the men they had been fighting had claimed they attempted to strip and sexually assault him. The men say they were tortured in prison and Mr Hamidi signed a confession which he said was not true. All four were tried in two consecutive provincial criminal courts and were sentenced to execution.
During their third trial, three of the men were cleared of all charges but Mr Hamidi was again sentenced to execution. He was sentenced to die on June 21st this year. On July 7th, the man who made the original accusation against Mr Hamidi withdrew it, telling police in a written statement that he had made up the claim under parental pressure. The Supreme Court of Iran has twice rejected the lower court’s rulings on the case because of shortcomings in the judicial investigation.
However, Mr Hamidi’s supporters say that the lower court is intent on his execution. Dan Littauer, the editor of Gay Middle East, who has been reporting on the case, says that Mr Hamidi currently has no legal representation. In a statement today, he urged people to support the accused man’s case by contacting their MPs. “There is no evidence that Hamidi is gay or that he committed any crime. This execution must be stopped. We need your help,” Mr Littauer said. UK-based gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell added: “Ebrahim’s case shows the flaws and failings of the Iranian legal system. It is further evidence that innocent people are sentenced on false charges of homosexuality.” “An international campaign can help stop Ebrahim’s execution, just as a similar global campaign has, so far, halted the stoning to death of Sakineh Ashtiani.”
On the morning of Wednesday, January 6th at 4:00am, Fasih Yasamani, a political prisoner, was hanged in Khoy Prison.
According to a report from the Committee of Human Rights Activists in Kurdistan, the execution officials unexpectedly and without following the legal procedure executed this Kurdish citizen who was a native of the village Khoy (located in north-western Iran). He was in prison since 2007. The officials refuse to hand over the body to his family.
Mr. Yasamani was accused of belonging to an opposition party (Pajvak). However, there was no evidence to support the accusations, except for Mr. Yasamani’s own confessions which, according to him, was said under torture.
Fasih was 28 at the time of his execution. After Ehsan Fatahian [who was executed on Nov 11th], Fasih is the second political prisoner to be executed in the Kurdish region in recent months.
At the moment, there are 17 other political prisoners on death row in Kurdistan.
Here are their names:
Ms. Zeynab Jalalian, Habibollah Latifi, Shirkoo Moarefi, Farhad Vakili, Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Hossein Khezri, Rashid Akhondaki, Mohammad Amin Agooshi, Ahmad Pouladkhani, Seeyed Sami Hosseini, Seyyed Jamal Mohammadi, Rostam Arkia, Mostafa Salimi, Anvar Rostami, Hasan Talei, and Iraj Mohammadi.
The Iranian authorities have reportedly executed a Kurdish militant whom they charged with being an “enemy of God”. Ehsan Fattahian, 27, was hanged yesterday in the western city of Sanandaj, according to Ali Akbar Gharoussi, head of the judiciary in Kurdistan province.
Ehsan Fattahian’s executioners ignored pleas from international human rights organisations, and petitions signed by many thousands of people, appealing against the death sentence.
Ehsan had admitted membership of the banned Kurdish movement Komeleh, which has a long history of fighting for Kurdish rights and self-determination. He denied involvement in killings, and said he was tortured for three months. His initial 10-year jail sentence was changed to death by a higher court.
Ezzatollah Fattahian, the defendant’s father, told Human Rights Watch that prison officials had prevented the family from visiting his son in prison for the past three months.
Amnesty International, which appealed on Tuesday for Ehsan Fattahian’s life to be spared, has warned that two other Iranian Kurdish men are at risk of execution, and at leastleast 10 other men and one woman are believed to be on death row in connection with membership of and activities in support of proscribed Kurdish organizations.
Oppositionists say the Iranian regime is using incidents like last month’s explosion in Baluchistan, in which 41 people including senior Revolutionary Guard officers were killed, to come down hard on minorities. A Baluchi group called Jundullah claimed responsibility for the attack. The regime accused US, British and Israeli intelligence agencies of supporting separatists.
“The Iranian regime is trying to intimidate ethnic minorities from joining the Green Wave,” Komeleh leader Abdullah Mohtadi told al-Arabiyya TV, referring to the movement led by Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims to have beaten Ahmadinejad in the elections. “One of the methods to deter people is stricter sentencing in ethnic provinces such as Kurdistan, Baluchestan and Ahwaz.”
The Komaleh, and Kurdish aspirations, go back much further than the present Iranian regime and its troubles at home or abroad. Like neighbouring Iraq and Turkey, Iran has a chunk of Kurdish lands, with around four million Kurdish people. Sanandaj, the capital of Iran- Kurdistan province, is in an area where Kurdish guerrillas have clashed with Iranian security forces. In September there were a number of attacks, often targetting religious leaders and judges. No group claimed responsibility. The authorities variously blamed a Kurdish Independent Life Party and “hard-line Sunni fundamentalists” linked with outside powers. But Komaleh is a secular organisation, which some even see as Marxist.
Amnesty International condemned the September killings, but opposed the use of the death penalty against political prisoners. Amnesty lists Iran as the world’s second most prolific executioner in 2008 after China, and says it put to death at least 346 people last year.
Ehsan Fattahian was detained on 20 July 2008 and said in a letter smuggled from prison that he was regularly beaten in detention. Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj sentenced him to ten years imprisonment, to be served in exile, after a trial in which he was denied access to a lawyer. Both Ehsan and the prosecutor appealed this verdict, and in January this year the Appeal Court overturned the first sentence. Instead he was sentenced to death for “emnity to God”. He said the new sentence was passed because he refused to confess, or to renounce his beliefs.
Here are the concluding paragraphs of Ehsan Fattahian’s letter from the condemned cell:
“… shortly before my sentence was changed to the death sentence, I was taken from Sanandaj prison to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center, where I was asked to make a false confession on camera, show remorse for the actions I had not committed and reject my beliefs. I did not give in to their illegitimate demands, so I was told that my prison sentence would be changed to the death sentence. They were fast to keep their promise and prove to me how courts always concede to the demands of intelligence and non-judicial authorities. How can one criticize the courts then?
All judges take an oath to remain impartial at all times and in all cases, to rule according to the law and nothing but the law. How many of the judges of this country can say that they have not broken their oath and have remained fair and impartial? In my opinion the number is countable with the fingers on my hand. When the entire justice system in Iran orders arrests, trials, imprisonments and death sentences with the simple hand gesture of an uneducated interrogator, what is to be expected from a few minor judges in a province that has always been discriminated against? Yes, in my view, it is the foundation of the house which is in ruins.
Last time I met in prison with the prosecutor who had issued the initial indictment, he admitted that the ruling was illegal. Yet, for the second time, it has been ruled that my execution should be carried out. It goes without saying that the insistence to carry out the execution at any cost is a result of pressures exercised by political and intelligence groups outside the Judiciary. People who are part of these groups look at the question of life and death of a prisoner only based on their own political and financial interests. They cannot see anything but their own illegitimate objectives, even when it is the question of a person’s right to life – the most basic of all human rights. How pointless is it to expect them to respect international treaties when they don’t even respect their own laws?
Last word: if the rulers and oppressors think that, with my death, the Kurdish question will go away, they are wrong. My death and the deaths of thousands of others like me will not cure the pain; they will only add to the flames of this fire. There is no doubt that every death is the beginning of a new life.