Nov 24, 2009

Iranian Kurdistan: Iraqi President in Iran Seeking Kurd Execution Halt

Active ImageIraqi President Jalal Talabani flew to Tehran on Sunday to appeal for the lives of Iranian Kurds sentenced to death, a newspaper website reported.
Below is an article published by AFP:

"President Talabani on Sunday pays a secret visit to Tehran to ask President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intervene with the chief of the judiciary to avoid the execution of Iranian Kurds," said the Sulaimaniyah-based Awina journal.

Officials in Baghdad could not immediately confirm the visit.

Kurdish lawmakers in Iran last week asked the judiciary in the Islamic republic to reconsider issuing death sentences on people from the Kurdish minority, fearing it was alienating the ethnic group from the regime.

Iran's ILNA news agency reported that an unspecified number of Kurdish MPs had addressed their concern in a letter to judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani.

Their concern comes after an Iranian Kurd, Ehsan Fatahian, was executed despite the intervention of the lawmakers who said he had earlier been given a 10-year jail sentence by a lower court, ILNA said.

The letter stated that "a number of Kurdish youths have been given death penalties recently which is worrying the Kurdistan province," ILNA said, quoting the letter.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran must show its divine image in the country and outside... and the government should not act in a way that creates distance between Kurdish people and the regime," it added.