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.
Lawyer says Kurdish death row political prisoner faced torture, unfair trial
Ahmadi Niaz, lawyer of Kurdish death row political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi, has said in a statement that the Iranian authorities had mistreated Panahi in prison after his arrest while injured following a controversial armed clashes last year in Sanandaj.
His lawyer says Panahi was subjected to torture before and after an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj sentenced him to death.
International pressure along with an expansive campaign by Iranian social media users seem to have been behind the recent delay of his execution, which was scheduled to take place before dawn on 3 May at the Sanandaj prison.
Social media campaigners have used the following hash tag to demand Iran halting his execution.
Click the following link to read the full statement by Panahi’s lawyer.
Iran Kurds on strike in Baneh face Internet blackout, troops deployment
Iranian Kurdish shopkeepers, businessmen and cross-border Kolabar porter workers have continued to strike against Iranian government’s closure of border crossings with neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan for some three weeks.
Iran has eight border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan but only three of them are official crossings.
The local economy of Iran’s Kurdish areas is dependent on imports of items from neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan and the border closure has resulted in rising prices for businesses and customers.
Iranian security forces have deployed in the Kurdish border town of Baneh to stop gatherings by the strikers, which was the case last week, locals said in interviews with the KHRN.
Shopkeepers and businessmen in Baneh also said that they would continue with their strike until the Iranian government responds to their demands.
They say the Iranian authorities have not taken their demands seriously and that they need the Tehran government to act to open all the border crossings before the on-going strikes lead to widespread protests.
The strikers in Baneh have also told KHRN that there is an Internet blackout in Baneh, from where they were unable to use any messaging apps or social media networks.
Residents of other Kurdish cities and towns told KHRN that they were able to use the Internet as normal, so the blackout seems to have been imposed only in Baneh, where most of the locals are taking part in the strike that has been on going for three weeks.
The strike had affected several Kurdish cities and towns but it is mostly in Baneh where locals fully support the strike and gather to protest and strongly condemn the Iranian border closure with neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan.