On Saturday morning, Sept 8, 2018, three Kurdish political prisoners called Ramin Hossein Panahi, Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were executed in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. The transfer of Ramin Hossein Panahi from Sanandaj prison to Rajai Shahr prison and transfer of Zanyar and Loghman Moradi to solitary confinement had increased fears about their imminent execution. However, it was expected that the widely reflected protests in social media, press as well as the reaction of human rights organisations (particularly the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran and the UN Special Rapporteur on illegal Executions) persuade the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop enforcing these sentences.
However, these sentences were enforced while, according to the defence lawyers of Ramin Hoseein Panahi, Zanyar Moradi, and Loghman Moradi, the entire legal procedures (from detention to interrogation, trials, issuance, approval and enforcement of sentences) suffered from serious fundamental shortcomings. According to the previous statements of these individuals and the acknowledgement of their lawyers, the confessions made by these defendants were taken by severe physical and mental torture. In many cases, the doctor examining these prisoners had advised that they should have been immediately treated outside the prison but they were never hospitalised.
These prisoners were charged with Moharebeh through membership in the Komala Party. Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were also charged with killing three people, including the son of the Friday Imam of Marivan. Saleh Nikbakht, the lawyer of these three prisoners contested the death sentence on many grounds (including the claims about the way the victim was allegedly murdered) during the first trial. Therefore, the case was referred to the Criminal Prosecutor’s Office for further investigations. However, according to their lawyer, no court hearing was held to investigate and prove the alleged murder. Ramin Hossein Panahi was also charged with armed rebellion against the government but his lawyer, Hussein Ahmadi Niyaz, has stated that not only Ramin had not been armed but also he was shot at by the Revolutionary Guards.
In recent years, KHRN has been continuously monitoring the situation of these three people in prison and covered the news about the violation of their rights as “political prisoners. Clearly, KHRN was in direct telephone contact with these prisoners inside the prison in addition to communicating with their lawyers and family members in order to protect their rights and bring their petitions to the attention of the media and human rights organisations. Therefore, we are certain about the unfairness of the judicial proceedings in these cases and assert that the death sentences were motivated by political reasons which led to the enforcement of death sentences as a vivid example of revenge.
KHRN, member of the International Coalition Against Execution condemns any death sentence, particularly the death sentences against Ramin Hossein Panahi, Zanyan and Loghman Moradi which not only violate human rights but also it is against the regulations within Iran’s jurisdiction. Being kept in solitary confinement for a long time under intense torture to make confessions, denied access to medical facilities and not having the right to access their selected lawyers from the early stages of the court to the issuance of death sentences in addition to numerous other cases of violations of the rights of the accused and the prisoner all prove the illegality of the procedures leading to the issuance and enforcement of the death sentence.
Meanwhile, along with the execution of these three Kurdish political prisoners, IRGC’s aggressive missile attack on the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party(KDP), as well as the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan(PDKI) has led to the death of 15 people and injuries of nearly 50 armed/unarmed members of these two parties. The assassination of Eghbal Moradi, the father of Zanyar Moradi in July this year and the similar assassinations of Kurdish activists in the Kurdish region of Iraq during recent months all represent the coordination of the political and judicial institutions of the government with a view to leading the policy of suppression and elimination of political activists and revenge against the activities of parties in Kurdistan.
KHRN strongly condemns the execution of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi while expressing sympathy with the families of these political prisoners and urging the international community to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to abolish the death penalty. We also condemn the aggressive invasion of the Revolutionary Guards in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the missile attack on the region where Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran are based. Expressing our sympathy with the families of the victims of the attack, we affirm that the Kurdish Government of the Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi Government should protect the life of refugees and Kurdish activists in Iraqi Kurdistan.