Saturday, November 21, 2009

13 Iranian Kurds are on death row


Iranian authorities have ignored calls from human rights groups to stop practicing death penalty

By Sabir Qadri

Rudaw- Recenlty the Iranian authorities executed Ihsan Fattahian, a Iranian Kurdish prisoner who has been sentenced to death, despite objections from local and international human rights groups.

Said Azim Husaini, the general consul of Iran in Hawler, recently told Rudaw that no one had been executed in Iran for his political belief. But just days after what he said, Fattahian was hanged on November 11, at the central prison of Sanandij city in the Iranian Kurdistan.

“Right now there are 13 political Kurdish prisoners awaiting execution,” Ejlal Qawami, spokesperson of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, said.

Ihsan Fattahian, a Kurdish activist, was arrested last year in Kamiaran city. He was charged with participating in armed operations against the Islamic republic. He was found guilty of the charge and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. But the later his sentence was changed to death penalty.

Muhammad Salih Nikbakht, a well-known Iranian Kurdish lawyer, said he was shocked about the ruling against Fattahian, “In no country this has happened where the court of cassation increases the primary decision except in Iran.”

Before the announcement of Fattahian’s execution, many human rights organizations called on Iranian authorities not to implement the decision, but the calls went unheard.

“We (recently) published a report about human rights conditions in Iran before. At the same time we called on Iran not to execute Ihsan Fattahian,” Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, told Rudaw

Also the civil and political activists in Eastern Kurdistan (Iranian Kurdistan) had called on their Kurdish parliamentarians in Iranian parliament to intervene to protect Ihsan.

Ezetullah Fattahian, Ihsan’s father, said these few words only “what should I say now? I lost my son, I have nothing to say.”

© Rudaw