Sep 09, 2008

Iranian Kurdistan: ‘Defend the Rights Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran’

Active ImageThe Iranian Political Prisoners Association has issued a petition on behalf of Kurdish political prisoners which condemns their mistreatment.

Below is the petition issued by the Iranian Political Prisoners Association : 

On August 25th 2008 a large number of Kurdish political prisoners went on a hunger strike, to protest against the brutal treatment of Kurdish political prisoners, as well as the imposition of heavy sentences including lengthy prison terms and the death sentence.

The Islamic Regime in Iran is well known for its inhumane treatment of political prisoners in general, and ethnic minorities in particular. Most of the Kurdish prisoners have been subjected to severe physical and psychological torture; many of them have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, and some to death.

Many of these prisoners are human rights, civil rights or women’s rights activists and they include teachers, journalists, womens’ rights activists and students. The trials of these individuals have taken place behind closed doors, without a defence lawyer and on numerous occasions without the presence of the accused himself/herself.

Currently there are at least 8 Kurdish political prisoners on death row, the names of these individuals include Adnan Hassanpour, Hiwa Bwtimar, Farzad Kamangar, Anwer Hussein Panahy, Farhad Vakily, Ali Haidarian, Arsalan Awliaiy and Habibullah Latify.

Some of the prisoners sentenced to lengthy prison terms include Ms. Hanna Abdi (5 years imprisonment), Ms. Zaynab Baiazidy (4 years imprisonment), and Ms. Fatima Eftary (18 months imprisonment).

There are also many prisoners who are being held without a charge being laid against them or without a verdict. Some of these prisoners are Kawa Jwanmard, Ysir Guly, Hidayet Gazali, Sabah Nasri, Masoud Kurdpur, Rwnak Safarzade, Kamran Alaiy, Arash Alaiy.

We the undersigned urge The United Nations Secretary General, The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, The European Union as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to condemn the brutal treatment of political prisoners in Iran, in particular the treatment of ethnic minorities, and to pressure the Islamic Regime to:

1. Release all political prisoners who are being held without a charge, or in the alternative to charge them with internationally recognized crimes.

2. To rescind the death sentences for all political prisoners.

3. To have new trials for political prisoners whose trials took place behind closed doors. These new trials must meet international standards, be held in open court before a jury, with the presence of the accused and his/her defence lawyer.

4. To allow for visitations from independent human rights organizations to monitor the condition and treatment of political prisoners in Iranian prisons.