Iranian Kurdistan: Journalists Sentenced to Death
Two Kurdish journalists have been sentenced to death by an Iranian revolutionary Tribunal. They worked for a magazine which dealt with the Kurdish issue.
Below are extracts from an article published by International Freedom of Expression Exchange:
Reporters Without Borders has voiced deep concern on learning that journalists Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar were sentenced to death by a revolutionary tribunal in Marivan, in
"These death sentences are outrageous and shameful," the press freedom organisation said. "They show how little
Reporters Without Borders added: "We appeal to the international community to ask
Hassanpour worked for the magazine "Asou", which has been banned since August 2005 as a result of a decision by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. He wrote about the very sensitive Kurdish issue.
At his trial, which was held behind closed doors, he was found guilty of "activities subverting national security" and "spying." His interviews for foreign news media including Voice of America were cited by the prosecution. According to his family and one of his lawyers, Sirvan Hosmandi, he was transferred to Sanandaj prison on 18 July.
The charges on which Botimar, a contributor to "Asou" and an active member of the environmental NGO Sabzchia, was sentenced to death were not immediately known.
In addition, Reporters without Borders denounces the 21 July arrest of Ako Kurdnasab, a journalist with the weekly magazine "Karfto", by agents of the Information Ministry in Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan. The journalist was taken to the ministry's prison after being interrogated by the fourth chamber of the city court. The charges against him are not known.
With a total of eight journalists currently detained,