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Iran: Two more Kurdish men at imminent risk of execution after 20 executions at weekend

Two men from Iran’s Kurdish minority are at imminent risk of being executed after the Iranian authorities carried out 20 executions over the weekend, Amnesty International warned today.

Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi - both from Iran’s Kurdish minority - claim they were tortured into “confessing” to the 2009 murder of the son of a senior cleric in Marivan, Kurdistan province. They were sentenced to death in December 2010 after being convicted of “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” for the murder. They were also convicted of participating in armed activities with Komala, a Kurdish opposition group, which has conducted an armed struggle against the Iranian authorities.

On 26 October, Ebrahim Hamidi, Justice Chief of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province, announced that 16 individuals had been executed that morning in “retaliation” for a border attack a day earlier. The Sunni armed group, Jaish-ul-Adl (Army of Justice), had reportedly killed 14 border guards in the city of Saravan in the same province, near the border with Pakistan. According to the Public Prosecutor, Mohammad Marzieh, the executed men had been sentenced to death several years earlier. The provincial Justice Chief said that eight of those executed had been convicted of “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” for their alleged membership in an armed militant group in Sistan-Baluchestan. The other eight individuals had been convicted of drugs offences.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of executions in Iran during 2013. The Iranian authorities have officially acknowledged 304 executions so far this year, but reliable sources have reported at least 234 additional unacknowledged executions during the year.

'These and all other executions must be halted immediately.

'Executing prisoners for an attack they clearly were not involved in and boasting that it is in ‘retaliation’ for that attack puts into question the very principles of criminal law, the foremost of which being that nobody should be punished for a crime one has not committed.

'Even the most basic requirements of Iranian law seem to have been flouted and it seems that the prisoners and their families were not notified and families only learned of their executions when they went to visit their loved ones.'
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director

Iranian prisoners are routinely sentenced to death after unfair trials, and despite allegations of torture being used to extract “confessions” in pre-trial detention.

Among those executed over the weekend was Habibollah Golparipour, another Kurdish minority political prisoner for whom Amnesty has campaigned. On the morning of 25 October, he was transferred from solitary confinement in Oroumieh Prison, West Azerbaijan Province, north-west of Iran, to an unknown location and executed the same evening. His family was not notified beforehand. After his execution, the Iranian authorities reportedly refused to hand over his body to his family adding to their distress.

Golparipour was sentenced to death in a five-minute trial in March 2010. He had been arrested in September 2009 and convicted of “enmity against God” through his alleged cooperation with a banned armed group, the Party For Free Life of Kurdistan. According to court documents, he had denied any armed activity. He subsequently wrote a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, alleging he was tortured during interrogation, but these allegations were never investigated.

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