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Urgent: Kurdish Political Prisoners in Imminent Danger of Execution

7 Sep 18
Urgent: Kurdish Political Prisoners in Imminent Danger of Execution

IRAN HUMAN RIGHT (September 7, 2018): Reports from Iran indicate that the Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are in imminent danger of execution. They have been transferred to the solitary confinements and their families have been asked to visit them today. Ramin Hossein Panahi, another Kurdish political prisoner who was earlier transferred to the same prison remains in imminent danger of execution. Iran Human Rights (IHR) calls for immediate international reactions to stop the possible executions. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said:  "Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi were all subjected to torture and sentenced to death following unfair trials. Their death sentences are illegal even according to the international and even the Iranian laws." Amiry-Moghaddam added: "Zanyar and Loghman's sudden transfer to solitary confinement, shutting down the phone lines of the prison, and the authorities' granting a prison visit to their family on a Friday, all indicate that the Iranian authorities are preparing Zanyar, Loghman, and Ramin's imminent executions. Immediate international reactions by the UN, EU, and countries with diplomatic relations with Iran can be the only hope to stop their executions which may take place already this weekend". 

Loghman and Zanyar Moradi were sentenced to death on 22 December 2010 by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of murdering the son of Marivan’s Friday prayer Imam. They have denied the charges and said that the initial confessions were extracted under torture.

According to a statement by Ahmad Shaheed, the previous UN Special Rapporteur for the human rights in Iran issued in March 2012, “Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were compelled to confess to allegations of murder after being severely beaten and threatened with rape.” The statement also said: "… no evidence or witnesses were brought against these men, and that they did not have reasonable access to their legal counsel.”

Zanyar and Loghman Moradi (cousins) have been at imminent danger of execution before, but thanks to international reactions their executions have been postponed. 

Zanyar's father, Eghbal Moradi, who played an important role in creating awareness about the situation of these prisoners was assassinated in the Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2018. It is believed that the agents affiliated to the Iranian authorities were behind this assassination.

According to close sources, Loghman and Zanyar were transferred to solitary confinement in the Ward 8 of the Rajaishahr Prison on Wednesday, September 5. This ward belongs to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and is used for political and security-related prisoners. Reliable sources have also informed that Loghman's mother and Zanyar's brother have been asked by the prison authorities to visit Loghman and Zanyar at the Rajaishahr on Friday, September 7. This is rather unusual since the prison is closed for regular visits on Fridays which are public holidays in Iran. On the other hand, all the phone lines belonging to the wards neighboring the Ward 8 have been shut down.  These unusual events strengthen the possibility of Zanyar and Loghman's imminent executions. 

Ramin Hossein Panahi, another death row political prisoner, who was recently transferred to the Rajaishahr Prison, has been told that he will be executed in the coming days. His lawyers recently issued a statement warning about his execution.

It is possible that the Iranian authorities have planned the executions of the three Kurdish prisoners on the same day. This is a rather common practice by the Iranian authorities to carry out the execution of several political prisoners on the same day.