IHRNGO Warns of Imminent Execution of 4 Kurdish Political Prisoners

Jan. 9, 2024, 11:01 a.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); January 9, 2023: Kurdish political prisoners Mohsen Mazloum, Pejman Fatehi, Vafa Azarbar and Hajir Faramarzi are at imminent risk of execution after their death sentences were hastily upheld. They have been incommunicado since their arrest in June 2022.

Condemning the death sentences issued for the four political prisoners, Iran Human Rights calls on the international community for an appropriate response to the arbitrary executions in Iran.

Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “Not only is the death penalty inhumane, but these four political prisoners, like many others on death row, were denied basic fair trial rights, and their sentences are unlawful even according to the Islamic Republic’s own laws.” He added, “Given the authorities' increasing need to instill societal fear to prevent protests, there is a very high risk that these prisoners and many others facing security charges on death row will be executed.”

The director of IHRNGO believes that "popular campaigns against the death penalty and international community pressure" are "the only way to stop the Islamic Republic's execution machine".

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, Kurdish political prisoners Mohsen Mazloum, Pejman Fatehi, Vafa Azarbar and Hajir Faramarzi were arrested in Urmia on 22 June 2022 and held incommunicado since. Months later, their torture-tainted forced confessions were aired by state media.

The four Kurdish political prisoners were sentenced to death for charges of moharebeh (enmity against god) and efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) through espionage for Israel by Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. According to their relatives, their death penalty was upheld by Branch 9 of the Supreme Court within 24 hours.

Mohsen Mazloum’s wife, Joanna Taimasi told Iran Human Rights: “They were arrested a year and a half ago and we’ve heard nothing since. We have no information about their location and health. Last week, a lawyer told us that my husband and his friends’ sentence had been issued by Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court and upheld by Branch 9 of the Supreme Court. These sentences were issued in an unfair trial with only a court-appointed lawyer present. Each of them had a court-appointed lawyer but they wouldn’t even let their own lawyers read the case. Ultimately, their sentences were upheld within 24 hours.”

“In June 2022, they travelled to Urmia unarmed and on behalf of the Komala party for political activities where they were arrested. The Islamic Republic aired their forced confessions after 80 days in which they were tortured to say they were Mosad agents and Israeli spies and had planned to blow up an industrial centre in Isfahan,” she added.