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Stop the illegal political executions by the coup regime in Iran

 

Updates

 

August 16 In an interview with Rooz Online, Abdolreza Ghanbari's wife, Sakineh Jabeiee, denies the news of her husband's imminent execution and says she and her children are hopeful that his appeal will be successful. Ms. Jabeiee was able to meet with her husband on Monday, August 15 and says his case is still before the Appeals and Clemency Commission. She further goes on to ask concerned activists not to spread false rumors of his connection with the MEK and suggests the group may be exploiting Mr. Ghanbari's case for their own agenda. English translation of the interview and the original Persian-language version are available.

Note: While it is our policy not to politicize the cases of condemned political prisoners, Stop the Executions has refrained from updating these last few months due to the uncertain situation surrounding impending executions. The politicization of these cases by outside groups is not helpful to those prisoners who may otherwise benefit from international publicity and support. The Islamic Republic of Iran has begun to increase its practice of executing prisoners without having to resort to a noose, which would bring international attention to their crimes. Instead, they continue to deny medical treatment to political and other prisoners, who often develop serious medical conditions as a result of torture, neglect, and overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. There are a number of reliable sources for these stories, which is why we do not include them in our updates. As a result of this and the ongoing politicization of death penalty cases, Stop the Executions will unfortunately continue to update infrequently.

August 13 Abdolreza Ghanbari's appeal for clemency has been rejected and the case has been forwarded to the implementation division of the Revolutionary Court. He is considered in imminent danger of execution and the sentence may be carried out at any time.

May 17 The Supreme Court has confirmed Habibollah Latifi's death sentence and it has been forwarded to the implementation stage. Habibollah Latifi is in imminent danger of execution and the sentence may be carried out at any time.

May 2 Ahmad Saeed Sheikhi, Sherkoh Moarefi's lawyer, has confirmed that his client is indeed in imminent danger of execution.

April 11 Sherkoh Moarefi's mother, family and lawyers have denied the rumors about his impending execution. They said, "This news that has hit the media is rumor. Why they do it? Do they know that when we see the news every moment and every day for us is death? You know how our lives are drawn to destruction? Why do you play with our lives?"

March 24 Although the sentence had been suspended there are reports that Kurdish activist  Sherkoh Moarefi is now due to be executed again. His date of execution has been set for May 1, 2011.

March 10 The Human Chain Project held its first global event on March 5th in 10 cities across the globe. Human Rights advocates and freedom-loving people from different nationalities joined hands and formed Human Chains, demanding the abolition of Death Penalty, unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and a moratorium on current wave of executions in Iran.

March 2 Farah Vazehan's death sentence has been overturned and reduced to a 17-year sentence in exile in Rajaei Shahr prison. While her life is not in immediate danger due to execution, we still believe that the charges against her have no merit and her prosecution is politically-motivated.

February 4 An interview with Sakineh Habibi, wife of Abdolreza Ghanbari has been published. She has asked for help from the international community: "I request from everyone to not allow a cultural activist and an unknown teacher be executed for the crime of being alone and not having anyone [of influence around]." There is a petition for his life and Persian2English will be organizing future action.

January 29 Dutch-Iranian citizen Zahra Bahrami was executed without warning this morning. The Dutch government has summoned its Iranian Ambassador and frozen ties with Iran. Furthermore, it advises its Dutch-Iranians not to travel to Iran.

January 24 Iranian state TV, quoting the Tehran prosecutor's office, has confirmed that Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei were executed this morning in an undisclosed location.

January 15 Multiple sources are reporting that Hossein Khezri was executed this morning. It is important to note that, while a Kurdish political prisoner was executed at Oromiyeh Prison, it has not been confirmed to be Khezri. 

January 13 Hossein Khezri's family is still unable to find information about his whereabouts or condition. Authorities have told them simply that he was moved to Tehran for the completion of his sentence. They fear he may have been secretly executed.

January 10 Editor's note: As is typical with human rights reporting in Iran, there is some confusion about whether or not Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei and others are scheduled to be executed tomorrow. However, we stress that all of the condemned prisoners are not only in danger of being executed at some point, but they are in prison for political reasons and subject to intimidation and torture. Their rights are violated daily, whether they are in imminent danger of execution or not.

January 9 Reports state that both Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei are due to be executed on Tuesday, January 11.

January 6 Hossein Khezri's brother and other family members were able to visit him in Oromiyeh Prison yesterday. According to an interview, it was staged as a final visit and prison authorities told them that he will be moved and "this is the last time you will ever see him." The family is, of course, concerned that Mr. Khezri is in immediate danger of execution.

Jafar Kazemi's sentence was sent to the enforcement division. The sentence can be carried out at any time and is considered in imminent danger of execution.

January 5 As expected, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court has sentenced Zahra Bahrami to death for the transport and sale of drugs. According to reports, she is also charged with Moharebeh, which can carry the death penalty as well. She has denied all charges against her and said that she only confessed under torture in Evin Ward 209.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said in a statement, "I am extremely concerned about the situation...[and] insist on information, the possibility to provide her with consular assistance, and a fair course of justice." Iranian authorities are still refusing to allow Bahrami Dutch consular access, as they do not recognize her dual citizenship.

January 3 There is still no information about the whereabouts of condemned prisoner Hossein Khezri.

January 2, 2011 Condemned Kurdish prisoner Hossein Khezri has been removed from Oromiyeh Prison agents from the Intelligence Ministry. He is considered in extreme danger of imminent execution.  Although the exact reason for his cell extraction is not known, this is typical before a scheduled execution.


Video courtesy of @shariatmadari.

December 29 Ali Saremi's body has been moved from Evin to Kahrizak Detention Center in southern Tehran. Eight members of Ali Saremi's family and friends have been released, apparently after pledging that they would not return to demonstrate outside of Evin Prison. His nephew, Mohammad, was reportedly arrested today after hanging a photograph of his murdered uncle outside his home, which is a traditional sign of mourning.

A letter from Zeynab Saremi to her executed father: My dearest father, I wish to know whether you felt our presence behind the walls of Evin!

Another site reports that some members of Habibollah Latifi's family have been released, but this has not yet been independently confirmed.

December 28 11:30 am: Authorities have arrested Saremi's family members and others who were staging a demonstration outside of Evin Prison this morning. Among those arrested are Poya Saremi, Mahin Saremi, Ali Saremi's daughter and her husband. Family members of other political prisoners are also reported to be arrested.

9:30 am: HRANA confirms the execution of 62-year old Ali Saremi this morning at Evin Prison.

3:30 am: Ali Saremi and Reza Boukani's families have gathered outside of Evin Prison. Reports state that Saremi's cellmates fear he was taken to Evin to be executed.

December 27 9:25 pm: Condemned prisoner Ali Saremi has been transferred from Gohardasht (Rajaee Shahr) prison to an unknown location. Another condemned man, Reza Sharifi Boukani, has also been moved to an unknown location.

9:00 pm: Concerns are growing over Habibollah Latifi and his family's condition. The names of twenty people arrested at the family home last night have been released. They include Iraj Latifi Abbas, Enghbal, Shahin, Elahe and Bahar Latifi. There is still no confirmation of the family's whereabouts or condition.

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.

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 26 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.  Drewery Dyke, Amnesty International's Iran Researcher, has also confirmed the arrests.

December 25 Thanks in part to the actions of protesters and activists in and outside of Iran, Habibollah Latifi's execution has been stayed.

December 23 Urgent: Kurdish prisoner  Habibollah Latifi is in imminent danger of execution. His lawyer confirmed reports that he is due to be executed this Sunday, December 26, in Sanandaj prison.

December 9 Zahra Bahrami is expected to go on trial this Sunday, December 12 in front of Judge Salavati in branch 15 of the Revolutionary Tribunal. Judge Abolghasem Salavati is known as the "Hanging Judge" or the "Judge of Death." Salavati was responsible for the execution sentences of Abdolreza Ghanbari, Mehdi Eslamian (executed May 9, 2010), and at least 12 others. He also sentenced the Alaei brothers to years in prison for AIDS research and called Majid Tavakoli, "Miss Tavakoli" at his trial.

December 7 Dutch citizen Zahra Bahrami was transferred from the general women's ward to the methadone ward Evin Prison where she is housed with general criminals and addicts.

December 5 Concerning development: condemned Kurdish prisoner Habibollah Golparipour was transferred to Oroumiyeh prison. His death sentence was upheld by the supreme court on September 5, and the prison transfer is a sign that authorities may be preparing to implement the execution order.

December 1 Updated information on Zainab Jalalian's medical situation: reports state that she requires treatment for her eyes, but prison authorities are denying her this, saying it is not necessary because she is on death row. Her eye problems are likely a result of long-term torture sustained in prison.

November 21 Mohammad Reza Haddadi is being denied necessary kidney surgery until his father pays the exorbitant fees required by prison authorities.

Zainab Jalalian is reportedly ill and being denied medical treatment.

November 19 Amnesty International has issued an urgent action statement (PDF) for Kurdish prisoner Hossein Khezri. Amnesty urges people to write to the Iranian authorities and appeal for Khezri's life.

November 17 Urgent: The Supreme Court has issued a memo to Oromiyeh Prison officials ordering Hossein Khezri's execution. The enforcement unit of the prison has asked for permission to carry out the order. He is in imminent danger. Furthermore, his attorney resigned under suspicious circumstances this morning.

November 7 Amnesty International has called for the immediate commutation of all death sentences in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They also urge "authorities to review and repeal death penalty laws [and] to disclose full details of all death sentences and executions."

November 6 There is an English translation of Hossein Khezri's letter. In it, he documents brutal interrogation and torture and appeals to human rights organizations and lawyers "to accept my request and be my voice to humanity." Khezri says, "I will attempt to report to the world some of the situation to which I am still subject, in hopes that there be someone to hear my voice."

November 5 Condemned Kurdish prisoner Hossein Khezri is asking that human rights organizations and the United Nations to appeal for his life. We have created a sample letter to send to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations.

News Archive



Farzad Kamangar

Age: 32;
Location: Section 209 of Evin Prison;
Date condemned: 25 February 2008

 

May 9, 2010: Farzad Kamanger was executed this morning outside of Evin Prison.

Teacher and social worker Farzad Kamanger was sentenced to death in a trial that took 7 minutes and in which he was forbidden to talk to his lawyer. His charges included "cooperating with Farzad Kamanger" (himself). He was told by the judge that the Ministry of Intelligence had requested his death sentence. Despite being pressured, under torture, to confess to membership in Kurdish resistance groups, Kamanger denies these charges. After being exonerated of membership in one group (Pezhak), he was charged with membership in another (PKK). He was told by Intel agents that his death sentence was meant to send a message to the people and political activists, though even his interrogators have admitted in front of his lawyer that they know he is innocent.

Kamangar's death sentence has been upheld by the Appeals Court and he is in imminent danger of execution at any time; his case file is missing from the Justice Department and is nowhere to be found. Kamangar has written a letter to Attorney General Larijani asking for a review of his case.

The Islamic Republic is in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 8 of the UDHR requires, "the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law." Protection against "arbitrary arrest [or] detention" is granted by Article 9. The Islamic Republic is in violation of Article 10, "everyone is entitled in full equality 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" by denying Kamangar legal representation and sentencing him to death to appease the Ministry of Intelligence.

A second letter by Farzad Kamangar, "The Angels Who Laugh on Monday" was released on 11 March 2010. Kamagar wrote of his cellmate's daughters Parya and Zahra. "They were as though in a vacuum, in the heavens, in a place outside this world, not surrounded by anyone. They only had their compassion for each other. Without paying attention to the guards, the walls, and other prisoners, they shared their smiles...The fate of children like Zahra and Parya is the story of our time."

 

Updates

 

 

Nasser Abdolhosseini and Reza Kazemi

Age: ; Location: Saghez prison; Status: Risk of immediate execution; Date condemned: Before September 2009

Nasser Abdolhosseini and Reza Kazemi were sentenced to death in the "show trials" in connection with the post-election unrest; Nasser Abdolhosseini was also charged with membership in MKO. They had no access to a lawyer in the initial stages of their detention and may have been coerced into giving a confession. The Iranian regime has announced it plans to execute these two men, together with seven others charged in connection with the post-election events, "soon" and Amnesty fears this may occur before the anniversary of the Revolution on 11 February. As Abdolhosseini and Kazemi were not permitted legal representation, the Islamic Republic violated their rights under Article 10 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

 

Updates

 

Zainab Jalalian

Age: 27
Location: Reportedly moved to Evin Ward 209 on 27 June, in imminent danger of execution; Moved to Ministry of Intelligence detention center on March 5, previously held in Kermanshah Prison.
Date condemned: 26 November 2009
Charge: Moharebeh
 

We have assembled Contact information and sample letters to Iranian officials and to the UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding Zainab Jalalian's case. Please also sign the Petition to the United Nations regarding her case.


Zainab Jalalian was charged as Moharebeh due to her alleged membership in the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a separatist organization that is illegal in Iran. Zainab's plea to say goodbye to her family was met with, "shut up" by the sentencing judge, and she was condemned to death by hanging. As Zainab was not permitted legal representation, the Islamic Republic violated her rights under Article 10 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also guarantees the right to legal counsel in Article 14(3)(b) and (d).

Zainab's death sentence is based on her supposed involvement in PKK. "Moharebeh" is a politically-motivated charge meaning, "armed war against God." The Islamic Republic uses this charge to condemn people for acting against the state, usually when there is no other remotely justifiable reason for their imprisonment. The Islamic Republic continually intimidates its oppressed Kurdish population by imprisoning, torturing, and executing them on false charges of threatening national security.

Nothing about Zainab's imprisonment, trial, and death sentence abide by international law. Both the UDHR and the ICCPR guarantee a fair trial, which Zainab was denied. She was not given a fair or impartial hearing, and denied the opportunity to examine witnesses against her or to have witnesses on her behalf. Zaiab's basic human dignity has been violated through these proceedings, and her execution is an abomination. Even if she was a member of PKK, the death sentence is a violation of Article 6(2) of the ICCPR: "In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes."

Human Rights Activists News Agency and Green Voice of Freedom reported on March 5 that Zainab had been transferred from her prison in Kermanshah to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center. In the past, this has often indicated that a prisoner is about to be executed.

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action Alert for Zainab Jalalian and Hossein Khezri, who are believed to be at risk of imminent execution. We have assembled a sample letter you can send to Iranian authorities regarding these two cases.

December 1 Updated information on Zainab's medical situation: reports state that she requires treatment for her eyes, but prison authorities are denying her this, saying it is not necessary because she is on death row.

November 21 Reports state that Zainab is being denied medical treatment in detention.

July 11 Zainab's lawyer, Dr. Mohammad Sharifi, announced that he is "optimistic" about an appeal, after meeting with the Tehran prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi. According to Dr. Sharifi's statement, Dolatabadi has agreed to move Zainab to Kermanshah prison, which will make it easier for her family to visit. Though this is good news, we know the regime has a history of lying or making small concessions to divert public attention.

July 9 United for Iran has designed a postcard to be sent to key officials in Iran, and Iranian consulates and embassies throughout the world on Zainab's behalf.

July 5 The World Organisation Against Torture called for an immediate halt to Zainab's execution and urged "the European Union, based on the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture as well as on death penalty, to remind to the Islamic Republic of Iran of its international obligations in these fields."

June 30 Human Rights Watch has called for an immediate halt to the Islamic Republic's plan to execute Zainab and condemns her lack of access to a lawyer. From the source, "Khalil Bahramian, a lawyer who represented Farzad Kamangar, one of four Kurdish dissidents executed without warning in May, told the Persian-language website Roozonline that his efforts to represent Jalalian have been rebuffed by the government and that he is not certain where she is being held."

June 29 You can now send a letter on behalf of Zainab Jalalian to Iranian Embassies, the UN, and Iranian officials with one click on United For Iran's website.

June 28 Mission Free Iran has provided sample letters to send to both United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Florian Westphal and Dorothea Krimitsas of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Activist @shariatmadari has created a video for Zeinab Jalalian. Bloggers can embed this video using code from his site.

United For Iran has created a Facebook profile badge for users to raise awareness about Zeinab.

We are asking everyone to write to the United Nations, the Iranian Judiciary and other influential figures. Zeinab's lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, has stated that United Nations intervention is the only chance to save his client's life.

June 26 Zainab Jalalian's sentence has been upheld and advanced to the enforcement section. She is in imminent danger of execution.

From the source:

"Following the confirmation of the death sentence of Zeinab Jalalian by appeals court and Supreme Court, the case was referred for the preparation of the execution...Zeinab Jalalian’s sentence was confirmed in the Appeals Court and was also confirmed by the Supreme Court, and has been referred for the preparation of the execution, within the past 48 hours, authorities are waiting for a special letter for carrying out the execution."

With thanks to MrZand for translation.

Updates

 

Sherkoh Moarefi

Age: 31
Location: Saghez prison
Charge: Moharabeh
Date condemned: After October 2008

May 2Sherkoh's lawyer, Saeed Sheikhi, has said that his client is indeed in imminent danger of execution although they have not been served the required paperwork. Mr. Sheikhi also said that he is still hopeful the sentence will be overturned. Sherkoh is currently on a hunger strike in Saghez prison.

April 11 Sherkoh's mother, family and lawyers have denied the rumors about his impending execution. They said: "This news that has hit the media is rumor. Why they do it? Do they know that when we see the news every moment and every day for us is death? You know how our lives are drawn to destruction? Why do you play with our lives?"

March 24, 2011 Although Sherkoh's death sentence had been suspended, reports now say that he is again in imminent danger and is due to be executed on May 1, 2011.

Sherkoh Moarefi, a Kurdish activist, was sentenced to death as Mohareb ("war against God") after his October 2008 arrest. He was tried by the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj and sentenced to death as Moharabeh for acting against national security. The sentence was confirmed by both the appeals court and the Supreme Court.

On 13 November 2009, Amnesty International published an Urgent Action item on Moarefi.

 

Mohammad Reza Haddadi

Age: 21;
Location: Adelabad prison in Shiraz;
Date condemned: 2004

November 21 Mohammad Reza Haddadi is being denied necessary treatment for his kidneys. His father is unable to pay the exorbitant surgery fees required by the prison, and they will not operate on Haddadi until the cost is paid.

UPDATE 5 July: "It is important to note that the July 7th date of execution was announced to Mohammad Reza's family, but prison officials and the court never actually confirmed this date. According to the most recent statement from defense lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, no date has been announced for the execution. According to the regulations of retribution (Qesas), lawyers are to be given 48 hours notice prior to the execution. Mostafaei claims that he has not received 48 hours prior notice. The only date confirmed is Mohammad Reza Haddadi's final meeting date called for Tuesday July 6, 2010."(from Persian2English)

UPDATE 4 July: Mohammad Reza Haddadi's execution date has been set for 7 July. We have created a sample letter addressed to the UN on Mohammad's behalf and activist Lissnup has created a letter to send to Iranian authorities.

United4Iran has created a profile badge to support and raise awareness for Mohammad on social networking sites.

In an interview, Mohammad's father told Voice of America that he received a letter saying his son will be executed and he may come for a last visit on Tuesday (July 6). An English transcript of the interview is available. According to his father, Mohammad was three months shy of his fifteenth birthday, and his court-appointed lawyer took no action in Mohammad's defense.

UPDATE July 9: Mohammad Bagher Rahmat is the man who Mohammad Reza Haddadi is accused of murdering in 2003. The victim's son, Mehdi Rahmat, has spoken to renowned activist and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi about the possibility of forgiving Mohammmad Reza Haddadi. Rahmat is quoted as saying, "I can’t say no. I can’t turn down Ms. Ebadi. I can’t do it on humanitarian grounds."

Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to death in 2004 for a murder he allegedly committed at age 15, a violation of the protections granted by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 37(a) states: No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age. Furthermore, Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees that persons who commit a crime when under 18 years of age will not be subject to the death penalty.

The Committee of Human Rights Reporters says of Haddadi:

Haddadi confessed to the murder after a man over the age of 18 who allegedly was involved in the murder convinced Haddadi to confess and accept the murder charge in exchange for a sum of money. Haddadi was told that his confession would be taken lightly by the court since we was under the age of 18 years at the time of the murder.

Although Mohammad has recanted his confession and was possibly deceived by the other defendants, his claims have not been considered and the case has not been reopened. The Islamic Republic has forsaken justice in the interest of expediency and is violating international law. Upon signing the ICCPR, Iran agreed to abide by Article 6(4): Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.

On 8 December 2009, Amnesty International published an Urgent Action item on Haddadi's pending execution. The scheduled execution did not take place, but no revised date was announced and Haddadi still awaits execution in prison. Amnesty International posted a follow-up on 9 December.

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