Five political activists executed: Effective action urgently needed

10/05/2010
Press release
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On 9 May 2010, in the morning, five political prisoners were executed in the Evin prison in Tehran. Four of them belonged to the Kurdish minority of Iran, and were convicted for their alleged involvement with PJAK, the Free Life Party of Kurdistan, the Iranian branch of PKK.

Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian and Farhad Vakili were arrested in July 2006, and consistently denied belonging to PJAK. They were convicted after an expeditious trial that was held in camera. Shirin Alam-Hulee (f) had been arrested in June 2008, allegedly tortured during her interrogation, and subsequently sentenced to death. She recently underwent pressure to confess her ties with PJAK on television – a common practice of the Iranian regime.

The fifth person who was executed was Mehdi Eslamian. He was charged with being involved in bombings in Shiraz, and always claimed to be innocent. His brother Mohsen Eslamian together with two other persons, had already been executed for sabotage in May 2009.

Neither the relatives of the political activists who were executed nor their lawyers have been informed that they would be executed.

“Members of the Baluch, Kurdish and south-Iranian Arab ethnic groups are frequently victims of summary trials and regularly sentenced to death and executed. These practices illustrate the Iranian authorities’ total disregard for its own population, and for international human rights standards that they should uphold”, commented Mr. Karim Lahidji, Vice-president of FIDH and President of LDDHI.

On 15 March, the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office reported that six post-election protesters had been sentenced to death on the charge of “fighting God”. Two more post-election detainees were sentenced to death on charges of collaboration with the Mujahedin this month. « Those politically-based condemnations and executions further isolate the Iranian regime on the international scene. The Iranian authorities recently withdrew Iran’s candidacy as a member of the UN Human Rights Council out of fear of not being elected, and the Universal Periodic Review that took place last February also witnessed the weakening of the support of Tehran’s traditional allies, said Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH.

FIDH calls upon the international community to take concrete measures in order to address this extremely serious situation, in particular:
- Constitute a commission of enquiry composed of relevant UN human rights mechanisms, in order to enquire into the human rights violations connected to the June 12 elections;
- Discuss the possibility of adopting UN mandated individual sanctions against the perpetrators of grave human rights violations in Iran;
- Take effective steps to remedy and prevent corporate behaviour that may constitute complicity for human rights violations perpetrated in Iran and, in particular, ban the export of eavesdropping and other equipment used to control people’s access to the internet and other media as well as items used for brutal repression of protesters.

For more information on the death penalty in Iran, see:

- Special update for the World Congress against the death penalty, February 2010, available at http://www.fidh.org/Iran-death-penalty-A-state-terror-policy-Special

- “Iran: Death Penalty, A State Terror Policy”, April 2009, available at http://www.fidh.org/A-State-Terror-Policy

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