The “Week in brief” by Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) is a weekly review of the most important human rights news and developments from and about Iran’s Kurdish areas.
Campaign urges Iran abolish death penalty for Kurdish political prisoners
A group of well-known civil activists and political figures have begun a campaign urging the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sadeq Amoli Larijani, to abolition a death sentence issued for two Kurdish political prisoners.
The statement, signed by activists and officials, including representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, lawyers, university professors and Kurdish political activists, said: “We are pleading the court to show leniency and call for the abolition of the death sentences for two Kurdish Sunni political prisoners in order to preserve the expediency of the system and strengthen the national unity and security.”
It added: “It is noteworthy that these two political prisoners are from underprivileged families who have already suffered loss of their loved ones and financial resources due to the regional situations.”
Iran Kurdish political prisoner remains jailed after sentence commuted
The death sentence for Iranian Kurdish political prisoner Saman Naseem was reduced to five years in prison by the Orumiyeh Court of Appeal but he has remained in prison despite the fact that the prisoner has already spent some seven years behind bars.
“In the past few days, Saman Naseem was referred to the Enforcement of Office of Orumiyeh and asked to be released but the prison authorities have refused to release him without giving any specific reasons,” a source told KHRN.
The prisoner’s lawyer told KHRN that Naseem was “acquitted of Moharebeh (Enmity against God) charges on 22 January and he was sentenced to five years in prison instead.”
His lawyer added that Naseem has already spent nearly seven years behind bars.
Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike to reject death penalty
Two Kurdish political, Ramin Hossein Panahi and his brother Afshin Hossein Panahi, have gone on hunger strike at Sanandaj Central Prison to protest against the unfair trial of Ramin, which sentenced him to death.
The prisoners went on hunger strike after they wrote an official letter to the Iranian authorities to reject the death penalty.
The Branch One of the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj sentenced Ramin Hossein Panahi to death on charges of membership in an outlawed Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group, Komala Party.
A reliable source told KHRN that the prison authorities had threatened the political prisoners to stop the hunger strike.
The KRHN source said that the political prisoners had informed their family members over a phone call that the prison authorities and representative of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry had met them and told them to stop their hunger strike.
But the prisoners had made it clear at the meeting that they would continue their hunger strike despite torture and threats.