Oct 15, 2018

Iranian Kurdistan: Man Sentenced to Death After Unfair Legal Procedure and Torture

The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for an incarcerated Kurdish man. Hedayat Abdollahpour was arrested after clashes with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps forces. He has maintained his innocence and his lawyer has explained how Abdollahpour was not even present at the time and place of the clashes and insists the verdict is unjust and based on an unfair legal procedure. He additionally explains how Abdollahpour has been exposed to physical and psychological torture while in custody. Iran ranks second after China for executing convicts. 

The article below was published by RadioFarda:


The Islamic Republic's judiciary has upheld the death sentence for an ethnic minority Kurdish citizen of Iran, his lawyer says.

Hossein Ahmadiniaz insists the verdict against his client, Hedayat Abdollahpour is an unjust decision resulting from an "unfair legal procedure".

The verdict has raised the number of Kurdish inmates on the death row in Iran to one hundred, Ahmadiniaz says.

Based on the last census conducted in 2006, the four Kurdish-inhabited provinces in Iran – West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah Province, Kurdistan Province and Ilam Province – have a total population of 6,730,000. Kurds form a significant portion of this number.

Hedayat Abdollahpour, who maintains his innocence, has lost the final stage of his appeal against the sentence. The verdict has been announced to his lawyer and family.

Ahmadiniaz, the political prisoner’s lawyer told New York based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), the twenty five-year old auto mechanic, Abdollahpour, was arrested on June 15, 2016, in city of Oshnouyeh (or Oshnavieh or Shonu in Kurdish) and later sentenced to death by a court in Urmia, northwestern Iran.

The arrest took place after a clash between the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps forces and members of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI).
However, according to the witnesses, Abdollahpour was not involved in the clash and he was called up to repair a vehicle, which he did and left the area long before the shootout.

“Even though he played no role in the clash and wasn’t even there, the death verdict was issued against him” said Ahmadiniaz, adding, “One of the Supreme Court judges explicitly told me and his father that Hedayat was innocent because he had nothing to do with the clash and its aftermath, but the death sentence was confirmed because of pressure from Iranian military and security authorities in Kurdistan."

Earlier, the Supreme Court initially withheld the primary court's decision, sending Abdollahpour's case for retrial to another court in city of Urmia.
But on January 18, 2018, Abdollahpour was again condemned to death by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in the city of Urmia for “cooperating with a Kurdish opposition group.”

Later, Branch 47 of the Supreme Court upheld the sentence on October 7, 2018.

Citing the young auto mechanic's father, CHRI reports, "Abdollahpour was physically and psychologically tortured while in custody."

He’s been under torture the whole time, the father reiterates, "But he is innocent. Our son never collaborated with the democrat party."

There are 100 Kurdish citizens inmates on the death row in Iran, says Ahmadiniaz, without naming the convicts.

Kurdish citizens condemned to death, Ebrahim Eisapour, Habibollah Latifi, Houshang Rezaei, Anvar Rostami and Mostafa Salimi are among the 100.

Furthermore, three young Kurdish citizens recently were hanged in Iran.
On September 8, hours after UN Rapporteurs urged Iran to halt the execution of three young Kurds, Fars, a news agency affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), confirmed that they were hanged

The three, all in their 20s, Ramin Hossein Panahi, Loghman Moradi and his cousin, Zanyar were sentenced to death for armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic’s establishment.

In its latest annual report, London based Amnesty International said that at least 507 were executed in 2017 in Iran.

Iran has been ranked second, after China, for executing convicts.


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons