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Iran: clemency call for Kurdish law student facing execution on Boxing Day

Urgent life-saving appeal launched

Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to halt the execution of a Kurdish law student scheduled for 26 December, and for the authorities to commute his death sentence.

The lawyer of Habibollah Latifi, a law student at Azad University in the south-western province of Ilam, has been informed by the Iranian authorities that Latifi’s execution will take place on 26 December at Sanandaj Prison, Kordestan, in western Iran.

Habibollah Latifi was arrested on 23 October 2007 in Sanandaj, the Kordestan provincial capital, north-western Iran. His trial was held behind closed doors and his lawyer was not allowed to be present to defend him. Nor was his family allowed to attend the trial. On 3 July 2008 Latifi was sentenced to death and his death sentence was upheld by the Appeal Court in Sanandaj on 18 February 2009.

It is not known whether the Iranian authorities have notified Habibollah Latifi’s family of his planned execution. Amnesty has launched an urgent appeal to save Habibollah Latifi’s life. Please take action now

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Malcom Smart said:

“We are urgently appealing to the Iranian authorities to show clemency, halt the imminent execution of Habibollah Latifi, and commute his death sentence.

“While we recognise that governments have a responsibility to bring to justice those who commit crimes, this must be done according to international standards for fair trial.

“It is clear that Habibollah Latifi did not receive a fair trial by international standards, which makes the news of his impending execution all the more abhorrent.

“Amnesty International is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty - the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment - in all cases.”

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