Iran: Farzad Kamangar, teacher trade unionist at risk of execution (part 1) ACT NOW.

This is the first of three postings about Kamangar’s case. He is a Kurdish teacher trade unionist, now 33 years old. In this posting you will find Amnesty’s appeal and a link to our online action. In the second posting you will find Farzad’s account of his treatment in his own words, while in the third posting I describe the solidarity in his case. Please act today.

On 24 November, prison guards entered Farzad Kamangar's cell in Section 209 of Tehran's Evin prison. It is reported that the prison guards beat Farzad Kamangar, threatened him with execution, and took him out of the cell, along with some of his personal belongings. Later that day, another prisoner reported seeing him in the prison clinic, apparently unconscious. He is now believed to have been returned to his cell. In Iran, the removal of a detainee from their cell often signals that the person may be executed imminently. Amnesty International is therefore concerned that despite a review of his case being underway, Farzad Kamangar remains at risk of execution.

Farzad Kamangar is a teacher trade unionist. He is 33 years old. He was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other members of the Kurdish minority, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006. The three men were sentenced to death on 25 February 2008 after being convicted of "moharebeh" (enmity towards God), a charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, in connection with their alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He had been a committee members of his local teachers’ union in Kurdistan before coming to Tehran.

Prior to his trial, Farzad Kamangar was held incommunicado, tortured and otherwise ill-treated, including by being beaten, flogged, and electrocuted. He is now said to suffer from spasms in his arms and legs. He was tried in unfair proceedings, during which his access to his lawyer was restricted. Farzad Kamangar has been prohibited, on several occasions and for prolonged periods of time, from seeing his lawyer and family members.

Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other members of the Kurdish minority, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006. The three men were sentenced to death on 25 February 2008 after being convicted of "moharebeh" (enmity towards God), a charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, in connection with their alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili also received additional sentences of 10 years' imprisonment for forging documents. Under Iranian law, they must serve their prison sentences before being executed. The death sentences of all three men were upheld by the Supreme Court.

However, Farzad Kamangar's lawyer has submitted his case to a judicial review panel in an effort to have his death sentence overturned. Under Iranian law, death sentences cannot be carried out while under review.

Prior to his trial, Farzad Kamangar was held incommunicado, tortured and otherwise ill-treated, including by being beaten, flogged, and electrocuted. He is now said to suffer from spasms in his arms and legs. He was tried in unfair proceedings, during which his access to his lawyer was restricted. Farzad Kamangar has been prohibited, on several occasions and for prolonged periods of time, from seeing his lawyer and family members.

Please act now. Please add your name to our online email protest.  Please spread the word – email the link or add it to your website.

Please also support the Education International parallel action.

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