|KHRP Gravely Concerned about Imminent Execution of Kurdish Political Prisoner in Iran|
|Saturday, 17 April 2010 22:18|
KHRP is gravely concerned to hear reports of todays expected execution of Mr Hossein Khezri, a 28-year old Kurdish political activist, who was condemned to death after having been accused of being a ‘mohareb’ (‘enemy of God’) and having been charged with ‘endangering state security.’
Following his arrest in the city of Kermanshah in July 2008, Mr Khezri— it is believed on the basis of a suspect trial — was sentenced to death the following July, for membership of the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK). According to reports, Khezri has partially lost his eyesight after being extensively tortured by Iranian authorities during his detention and now faces imminent execution by hanging.
On the morning of Sunday 11 April 2010, all of Khezri’s personal belongings were confiscated as he was reportedly transferred from Urmiye Prison to an unknown location by Iranian security forces. Such incommunicado transfers of prisoners sentenced to death in Iran, are a common indication that an individual’s execution is imminent.
Mr Khezri is one of 20 Kurdish political prisoners currently awaiting execution in Iran, with at least three of these other individuals (Zeyneb Jalalyian, Sherko Moarefi and Habibollah Latifi) also at risk of imminent execution. KHRP is opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and believes that such politically-motivated executions represent grave cause for concern. Whilst the UN General Assembly voted in favour of a moratorium on the death penalty in 2007 and again in 2008, its resolutions are not legally binding, and Iran has yet to sign or ratify such international mechanisms as the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
‘As well as facing arbitrary arrest and the worst forms of torture and ill-treatment in detention, human rights activists – particularly those of Kurdish origin – are at risk of being sentenced to death on dubious grounds and in questionable trials’, said KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. ‘KHRP calls on the international community to join us in urging the Iranian authorities to immediately commute the death sentences of Khezri and the 19 others at risk of imminent execution, to safeguard all prisoners from harm and to ensure that perpetrators of human rights abuses are brought to account. We urgently appeal to Iran to abide by international human rights standards, in particular those embodied in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)’.