Habibollah Latifi

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Location: Sanandaj Prison
Charge: Moharabeh due to membership in Kurdish Independent Life Party (PJAK)
Date condemned: July 2008
Notes:

May 17, 2011 Habibollah Latifi's execution sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court and forwarded to the implementation stage. He is in imminent danger of execution as the sentence may be carried out at any time. Activists have recently submitted a petition for pardon with over 1000 signatures to the Supreme Leader's office.

December 27 UPDATE 7:45 am: Authorities are arresting others in the community who have been helping the Latifi family in recent days. In the meantime, his lawyer has returned to Tehran.

6:25 am Tehran time: Reports from sources, including Radio Farda, now include Habibollah Latifi's sister-in-law among those arrested last night. His youngest sister, who was not arrested, said that agents used pepper spray to subdue her and render her unconscious for several hours. She told RAHANA that eight family members have been arrested and she does not know their location or the reasons for their arrests.

December 26 BREAKING: Reports have emerged that Habibollah Latifi's family members have been arrested at their home. There are also unconfirmed reports that local activists have been arrested. There is conflicting information as to the number of family members arrested, but early reports suggest that his brother, two sisters, father, and another person at the house are among those detained. Up to 30 security officials conducted the raid and confiscated the family's computer and other materials. Persian2English notes, "the execution order for Habibollah Latifi was not cancelled but rather it [was announced] as a stay of execution. This and the news of the arrests of the eight family members are reason for much concern."

United4Iran has updated their eLetter to push for Mr. Latifi's release.

Other ways to help include: contacting media and signing the two existing petitions. Activists also encourage everyone to share the news widely on their existing networks.

December 25 Thanks in part to the actions of protesters and activists in and outside of Iran, Habibollah Latifi's execution has been stayed. His sister said, "Habib asked that we sincerely thank all the citizens who worked so hard on his behalf. He asked that I kiss your hands and your eyes." The official word from government mouthpieces is that the execution was delayed to examine "irregularities" in the case.

December 23 Urgent: Reports state that Habibollah Latifi is due to be executed this Sunday, December 26, in Sanandaj prison. Mr. Latifi's lawyer has confirmed the report.

Kurdish student Habibollah Latifi was arrested in 2007 in connection with the Kurdish Independent Life Party, or PJAK. He was sentenced to death in 2008 and has since been in Sanandaj Prison, where he participated in a hunger strike against Esfahan Fatahian's execution. Mr. Latifi's lawyer was not permitted to attend his trial, which is a direct violation of United Nations international law, to which Iran is a signatory. The Islamic Republic has agreed to uphold Mr. Latifi's right to legal counsel under Article 10 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Among other protections, Article 10 of the UDHR entitles defendants to "a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him," which Mr. Latifi was clearly denied. Article 6(2) of the ICCPR states that, in countries that still practice capital punishment, it should only be imposed for the most serious crimes.

Habibollah Latifi's life is at stake for alleged membership in an armed resistance group, which normally carries the politcally-driven Moharabeh charge. Moharabeh is typically used as a justification for death sentences where the accused is alleged to have ties with armed separatist groups, such as PJAK. The Islamic Republic's unlawful detention and condemnation of Habibollah Latifi violates the ICCPR protections and all common moral decency.

Updates