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Iran: Reveal whereabouts of four Kurdish men

amnesty-internationalReveal whereabouts of four Kurdish men 

UA: 171/17 Index: MDE 13/6734/2017 Iran        Date: 13 July 2017 

Four men from Iran’s Kurdish minority have been subjected to enforced disappearance since their arrests on 23 and 24 June. The authorities have refused to provide any information to their families about their fate or whereabouts. The men, who are all related, are at risk of extrajudicial execution, torture, and other human rights violations.

Ramin Hosseinpanahi

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June after taking part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the city of Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, northwest Iran. Amnesty International understands that Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured during the clashes. His family has not been informed of his fate or whereabouts but they learned through a local non-official source that, following his arrest, he was initially taken to a hospital for about an hour and then moved to an undisclosed location.

His family is concerned that he will be denied critical medical care for his injuries.

The Iranian authorities often deny prisoners access to adequate medical care, sometimes as an intentional act of cruelty intended to intimidate and punish them, or to extract forced “confessions”.  

Hours after Ramin Hossein Panahi’s arrest, the Revolutionary Guards stormed his parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj, and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi

They raided the house again on 24 June and arrested three other members of his family: Ahmad Hossein Panahi (brother-in-law); Zobeyr Hossein Panahi(distant relative); and Anvar Hossein Panahi (cousin), who has since been released. Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of these men had any involvement in the armed clashes.

Since their arrest, the authorities have refused to provide any information to their families about the fate or whereabouts of the three men still detained.

On 10 July, the mother of Ramin Hossein Panahi visited the Ministry of Intelligence office in Sanandaj, where officials said that the Revolutionary Guards were responsible for his case and therefore his arrest and that the Ministry of Intelligence had nothing to do with him. However, the Revolutionary Guards had previously told the family that they had transferred him to the detention of the Ministry of Intelligence so he was no longer their responsibility. The four men still in detention are victims of enforced disappearance, which is a crime under international law, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Please write immediately in English, Persian or your own language calling on the Iranian authorities to: 


– Immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi;
– Release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi;
–  Ensure that all four men are provided with any medical care they may require and are protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
– Ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is provided with immediate access to medical care and to an independent lawyer of his choosing and promptly brought before a judge.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 AUGUST 2017 TO: 

Justice Department of Kurdistan Province 
Imam Shafe’i Square
Shahid Shebli Boulevard
Sanandaj
PO Box: 6614786964
Kurdistan Province
Iran

Head of the Judiciary 
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street
Tehran, Iran

And copies to


Advisor to the President for Ethnic and Religious Minorities’ Affairs 

Ali Younesi
Office of the Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Iran

Also, send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: 


Name                        

Address 1

Address 2

Address 3

Fax: Fax number

Email: Email address

Salutation: Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

Additional Information

The men’s families have reported making strenuous efforts to locate them by visiting various government offices in Sanandaj and Qorveh, and the village of Dehgolan, all in Kurdistan province, but said that officials refused to disclose their fate or whereabouts. Instead, officials have directed threats and insults at them, describing their loved ones as “terrorists”.

Amnesty International understands that the arrests of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi were carried out in a violent manner. According to accounts from Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family, armed Revolutionary Guards wearing black masks broke down the front door of their family house on 24 June and beat the men, as well as Ramin Hossein Panahi’s sister and elderly father. They also warned them against holding gatherings or giving media interviews.

In addition to Ramin Hossein Panahi, three other men affiliated with the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala were involved in the exchange of gunfire on 23 June 2017. They included Sabah Hossein Panahi, Hamed Seyf Panahi and Behzad Nouri. Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured and subsequently arrested while the latter three were shot dead. The exchange of gunfire apparently started at a Revolutionary Guards checkpoint after the men were identified while traveling in a car and did not heed a call to stop. The authorities have refused to return the dead bodies of the three men to their families for burials and warned the families against holding memorial gatherings. Komala has claimed that six members of the Revolutionary Guards were also killed during the clashes but the Revolutionary Guards did not acknowledge any casualties in the official statement they issued on 23 June. Komala is an armed Kurdish opposition group which has been engaged in armed activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1980s.

Kurds are one of Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic minorities and face entrenched discrimination that curtails their access to employment, adequate housing and the exercise of their cultural, economic, civil and political rights. Continued economic neglect of provinces populated by Kurds, which include Kurdistan, Kermanshah and parts of West Azerbaijan, have further entrenched poverty and marginalization. Politically, Iran’s Kurdish minority have criticized the centralization of political life in Iran and the absence of any measures to introduce any form of minority self-government.

International law absolutely prohibits enforced disappearances and specifies that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as justification. Enforced disappearances are particularly cruel human rights violations. Individuals are cut off from the outside world, left knowing that their loved ones have no idea where they are or whether they are dead or alive. They are placed outside of the protection of the law and denied their right to legal representation or a fair trial. Treaty bodies, human rights courts and other human rights bodies have repeatedly found that enforced disappearances also violate the right to liberty and security of the person, the right not to be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, the right to remedy, and the right to life. An enforced disappearance is also a “continuing crime”, which takes place so long as the disappeared person remains missing and information about his or her fate or whereabouts has not been provided by the state. Enforced disappearances also have a profound effect on the family members and friends of the disappeared individuals who are sometimes forced to anxiously wait years before they find out if their loved one is alive or dead.

Name: Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, Zobeyr Hossein Panahi
Gender m/f: All male

UA: 171/17 Index: MDE 13/6734/2017 Issue Date: 13 July 2017

The Urgent Action is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE13/6734/2017/en/

Dr. Azad Moradian : Establishing a Kurdish State Will Shake the Balance in the Region

Featured Image -- 2317The Kurdistan Voice: As you know, one of the most disputed political topics in the Middle East is the independence referendum of Kurdistan, which will be held within the next three months. Until now, Iran has opposed the referendum more than Baghdad or even Ankara. Is Iran afraid of an independent Kurdistan because it is likely to become a catalyst for the Kurds of Iran?

Dr. Moradian: An independent Kurdish state, regardless of size, is a direct threat to Iranian political hegemony and the regional power of the Middle East.

Essentially, the long-term strategic goal of Iran is to create a Shiite block, or as they call it, a Shiite Crescent and claim the territorial and ideological leadership of the Shiite world.

The removal of Saddam Hussein created the space for the Iranian regime to further spread their influence in the region.

In Lebanon and in part of Yemen, Iran has already been able to establish their dominance and have widespread Shiite support. All of Iranian’s efforts in Syria are towards this same end.

While Iran has been involved in Syria since the beginning of the conflict, they became physically engaged in 2014 to preserve the power of an Alawite Shiite regime. The territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria and the preservation of the ruling powers in these countries is of paramount importance to Iran. Therefore, anything that threatens this plan is something Iran will vehemently oppose. Kurds are situated, physically and politically, in direct opposition to this plan. Kurds are also positioned to oppose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ambitions to reestablish an Ottoman Sunni Crescent (please see Question 3 for more on this topic).

Establishing a Kurdish state will shake the balance in the region, as it does not reinforce the larger geopolitical visions of Iran and/or Turkey.
Furthermore, while the situations of Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are different, there is cross-border influence and exchange. The formation of a Kurdish state in any one of these regions can catalyze Kurds in other regions.

Iranian Kurds established the first Kurdish state (The Republic of Mahabad 1946), so the history is there for people to be moved into action by what happens in Iraqi Kurdistan. There is a great deal of movement between Kurds in Iraq and Iran; therefore, we cannot minimize the power of the independence referendum in revitalizing resistance in other regions of Kurdistan.

Anytime we discuss Middle East politics, we must touch on the economic impact of regional changes. Iran, in part because of their position in OPEC, has a key economic role. An independent Kurdistan with their rich oil reserves will become a dominant voice regarding what happens to oil exports. Iran does not want to share this power. While Iran is afraid of a future state of Kurdistan threatening internal affair, the issue is more complex than that. Iran opposes the referendum because a Kurdish state threats Iranian political, economic, and ideological dominance in all aspects.

On the ideological front, Iran does not want to have a secular democratic state at its borders. Despite all of the internal party issues in Iraqi Kurdistan, the system can still be an antidote to Iranian theocracy. This would create tension within Iran, not just in the Kurdish region of Iran, as it can inspire the Iranian democracy seeking movement.

For example, the stance that Iraqi Kurdistan has towards women, religious tolerance, political pluralism and open media can all have an impact on Iran’s civic engagement.

The Kurdish region, in the past 20 years, has shown a much more progressive stance towards human rights issues. Travel and intellectual exchange between the two countries could threaten the Iranian regime’s ability to maintain a dictatorship and subdue resistance and activism. Religious tolerance and women’s issues are especially key.

The Kurdistan Voice: The former U.S. president, George Bush had an unsuccessful Great Middle-East plan for the democratization of the region. Is it possible that the Trumps’ administration pursues a similar plan to strengthen the U.S. power and reduce Russia’s influence in the region?

Dr. Moradian: Let me begin by distinguishing between Bush’s foreign policy towards the Middle East and that of Trump.

The two are actually different, at least in terms of messaging. Both Sr. Bush and Jr. Bush had the slogan of destroying dictatorship and establishing democracy in the region as their stated reasons for getting involved in the Middle East.

This was the case in the early 90’s with Bush Sr. and was also the case with Bush Jr. Trump says: “America First” and states that he is there for reestablishing America’s dominance, politically, economically and ideologically. Establishing democracy does not appear to be part of the plan.

On the surface, we might think that Bush’s vision of destroying dictatorship and establishing western style democracy is a worthy cause. The reality is not exactly as noble. First of all, establishing democracy was never clearly defined or classified. There was also no clear plan of how this was going to happen. For example, Bush failed to help foster a clear alternative that would fill the void left behind after the toppling of dictatorship. Furthermore, power was not properly divvied up between all the stakeholders on the ground.

The project was left completely unfinished. In part, as a result of this, the region has been plagued by the horrors of ISIS. The human, economic, and cultural costs have been enormous.

Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. succeeded in toppling dictators but then the region was abandoned to deal with the cascading consequences of war and instability. Whether Trump’s foreign policy is going to work better remains to be seen. Time will tell. So far there is no clear vision in mind.

The Bush administration, as well as Obama’s, were committed to the one Iraq, one Syria policy and were not interested in supporting the Kurdish quest for self-determination. They saw the continuation of Iraq as well as Syria (as an intact country) as a priority. At the same time, they did not have a plan of how to support the type of political system that would lead to democracy. Territorial integrity was chosen over the well-being of people. The cost has been great suffering and further instability. This policy has had a devastating impact on Kurds and has been one of the biggest blows to Kurdish interests.

While America has relied on Kurds to neutralize extremism and give tactical and military support to American troops, it has in turn, refused to support Kurds in their political ambitions.

We don’t yet know if the Trump administration is going to continue this policy or move in a different direction. The Trump administration has supported Kurds in Syria militarily but there is so far no indication that things will be different politically.

When it comes to Russia, the issue is even more complex. While Russia appears to want to reestablish its former Soviet supremacy in the world, it is entangled in more pressing concerns closer its own borders, such as in Ukraine and Georgia.

Russia is a strong player militarily but economically it is on the same level as a country like Italy. It, therefore, does not have the leverage to continue taking a strong stance in the Middle East. The most it can hope for is to recreate the balance of power between east and west that the old Soviet once had.

Trump’s policy towards Russia has been to sit down with Russia and negotiate while making sure Russia does not have a leadership role in the world. In this regard, Trump’s policy is a conservative American stance and not a new one but it is a deviation from Obama.

Trump administration is interested in U.S. global dominance and not in power sharing. By helping Russia economically, it is likely that Russia will want to trade its influence in Syria and Iran for more dominance in the Eastern block and for more financial opportunities.

 

The Kurdistan Voice: It seems Turkey faces a dilemma between the United States and Russia concern to its regional policy and has been the failure to gain its strategic goals, especially in Syria as the United States has sent military equipment to the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protect Union without getting attention to the Ankara’s threats.

How is the Turkey’s policy in the region explainable?

Dr. Moradian: Before the year 2003 when AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power, Turkey’s main goals in the region were twofold:

One, it wanted to self-preserve through a strong nationalism. Its policies were geared towards fostering a secular nationalistic state. It did not expend energy and resources on expansionist policies.

Two, it wanted to become a strong economic force. It did so by being a key NATO member. It was able to do just that as it had the largest border with the East. Turkey was seen as the bridge between the East and West. It was able to gain tremendously on the economic front. For 44 years, Turkey benefited financially from the Truman Doctrine, of aid to countries that were moving away from Communism towards Democracy.

In an effort to control Communism, Turkey profited financially and politically.

The Turkish military was the guardian of this secular nationalistic state. Kurds, or anyone else, that threatened this vision were brutally repressed and slaughtered. The war against Kurds helped strengthen the Turkish state by giving the army a constant enemy. Turkey was the beneficiary of the Cold War but needed a new direction after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Understanding the recent history of Turkish foreign policy requires understanding Ahmet Davutoğlu doctrine and philosophy. He is the theoretical founder of the direction Turkey took after the fall of the Soviet Union. From 2002-2009 he had an advisory role and from 2009-2014 he was the foreign minister of Turkey and then became Prime Minister from 2014-2016.

Ahmet Davutoğlu’s philosophy was to move Turkey towards a regional power by emphasizing pan-Islamism and neo-Ottomanism. The direction of its foreign policy moved towards an expansionist one. An Islamist Pan-Turkish vision replaced secular nationalism.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan introduced laws that challenged secularism. He also started to bring forward Islamist ideology in its internal and foreign policy. It began meddling in regional affairs. For example, it became embroidered in a conflict with Israel in support of Hamas. It took positions on Afghanistan and then even more so in Syria. It supported Chechens against Russia.

Initially, Ahmet Davutoğlu attempted to minimize conflict with its neighbors by becoming closer to Iran, Greece, Armenia, Iraq, and Syria. He believed that he could have more influence in the region by neutralizing tensions. This was positive for Turkey. During the time Iran was internationally sanctioned, Turkey was able to go around these sanctions and benefit economically.

Ahmet Davutoğlu was also interested in a peace process with the PKK in order to;

1) Bring Turkey closer to joining the European Union,

2) Minimize tensions internally

3) Reduce the role of the army, which was traditionally the guardian of secular nationalism and not pan-Islamist.

Ultimately, Ahmet Davutoğlu’s vision was a failed one. The peace process with the PKK did not move forward in part because the army and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan itself had no interest in following through.

Furthermore, by the early 2012’s it was clear that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saw himself as an Islamic leader. It drew further and further away from Europe. Joining the European Union was no longer at the forefront of Turkish national interests. The first confrontations with the west came when the U.S first invaded Iraq. Turkey initially resisted the war by not allowing the U.S military to use its bases. Furthermore, in the conflict between Gaza and Israel, it took the side of Gaza. Ahmet Davutoğl’s philosophy was clashing with the West.

Ahmet Davutoğl then supported Muslim Brotherhood and in this way wanted to penetrate in the Arab region’s internal affairs. Turkey took up a leading role in the Arab Spring. It had a proactive foreign policy at the time. It would actively pursue opportunities to expand its power.

Turkey wanted to position itself as a model for the Middle East: an Islamic country that was (at least on the surface) democratic. However, Arab Spring was too large of a conflict for Turkey to be able to control.

With the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey’s role also diminished. It was not able to hold on to any power in Libya or Egypt. It became further entangled in the conflict in Syria.

The Syrian uprising and civil war were another places that Turkey attempted to have great influence. In fact, Turkey’s role in the creation and expansion of ISIS is documented but needs further scrutiny. Turkey appears to have used ISIS, as well as the refugee crisis, as a way to further hurt the Kurds and expand its powers in the region. However, with the defeat of ISIS, Turkey’s role has been further questioned. Despite the evidence, the West has yet to directly hold Turkey responsible for aiding ISIS; however, the West no longer sees Turkey as a model for the region.

By 2016, as a result of Ahmet Davutoğl’s failures to establish the type of regional dominance it set out to do, he was forced out of the political arena.

Turkey today is forced into a reactive strategy, rather than proactive position. It is at odds with its neighbors and internally unstable and more polarized than ever.

 

 

————-+++++————

Dr. Azad Moradian, a Kurdish- American Politician was born in Iranian Kurdistan (Eastern Kurdistan). Dr. Moradian specializes in Kurdish and Iranian politics. His articles are regularly published in several media outlets and magazines. He gives regular political comments on radio and TV broadcasts. He also analyzed Kurdish politics and internal fratricide between political factions, and its dire consequences.

Dr. Moradian is Chair of Kurdish American Committee for Democracy and Human right in Iran, and co-founder of Voice of Kurdish-American Radio for Democracy, Peace, and Freedom.

Dr. Moradian is a former member of the board of directors of Kurdish National Congress of North America.

 

Source: https://kurdistanvoice.net/2017/07/04/dr-azad-moradian-establishing-a-kurdish-state-will-shake-the-balance-in-the-region/

Iran: Enforced disappearances of Kurdish men arrested after armed clashes and reprisals against families must end immediately 

Saba-Hosein-Panahi-and-Ramin-Hossin-Panahi

Dear friends,

Please find below and attached a Public Statement that Amnesty International issued today on five men from Iran’s Kurdish minority who have been subject to enforced disappearances since 23 and 24 June 2017.

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June 2017 after he took part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the neighborhood of Shalman, in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran. His fate and whereabouts have been unknown since then.

Later that day, the Revolutionary Guards stormed Ramin Hossein Panahi’s parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi. The following day, Revolutionary Guards raided the house again and arrested three other members of his family – Anvar Hossein-Panahi (cousin), Ahmad Hossein-Panahi (brother-in-law) and Zobeyr Hossein-Panahi (distant relative). Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of the men arrested had any involvement with the armed clashes and were instead arrested by Revolutionary Guards in an apparent effort to exact retribution and create a climate of fear.

The organization is urging the Iranian authorities to release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi. The authorities must ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is promptly brought before a judge, as well as provided with immediate access to healthcare, protected from torture and other ill-treatment, given access to an independent lawyer of his choosing, and granted a fair trial without resort to the death penalty.

The Public Statement is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/6649/2017/en/

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7ca19-amnesty-internationalAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PUBLIC STATEMENT

30 June 2017

Index: MDE 13/6649/2017

Iran: Enforced disappearances of Kurdish men arrested after armed clashes and reprisals against families must end immediately

The Iranian authorities must immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of five men from Iran’s Kurdish minority who have been subject to enforced disappearances since 23 and 24 June 2017, Amnesty International said today.

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June 2017 after he took part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the neighbourhood of Shalman, in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran. His fate and whereabouts have been unknown since then.

Later that day, the Revolutionary Guards stormed Ramin Hossein Panahi’s parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi. The following day, Revolutionary Guards raided the house again and arrested three other members of his family – Anvar Hossein Panahi (cousin), Ahmad Hossein Panahi (brother-in-law) and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi(distant relative). Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of the men arrested had any involvement with the armed clashes and were instead arrested by Revolutionary Guards in an apparent effort to exact retribution and create a climate of fear.

Amnesty International understands that on both days, the arrests were carried out in a violent manner. According to accounts from Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family, armed Revolutionary Guards wearing black masks broke the front door of their family house and beat the men as well as Ramin Hossein Panahi’s sister and elderly father. They also warned them against holding gatherings or giving media interviews. Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family have said that their house is now surrounded by heavily armed guards who are monitoring their movements and preventing neighbours and relatives from paying visits.

Since the men were arrested last week, the authorities have refused to provide any information about their fate and whereabouts. Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family learned through a local source that he was hospitalized in Sanandaj following his arrest for approximately an hour and then moved to an undisclosed location. His family are concerned that he is at risk of extrajudicial execution and torture, including through being denied life-saving medical care for his injuries. No information is available on the other men. Their families reported making strenuous efforts to locate them by visiting various government offices in Sanandaj, Qorveh and Dehgolan, all in Kurdistan Province, but said that officials refused to acknowledge their detention or disclose their location. Instead, they directed threats and insults at them describing their loved ones as “terrorists”.

Amnesty International considers all five men to be victims of enforced disappearance and is calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately reveal their fate and whereabouts. Enforced disappearance is a crime under international law and places individuals at serious risk of extrajudicial execution, torture and other gross human rights violations.

The organization is urging the Iranian authorities to release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi. The authorities must ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is promptly brought before a judge, as well as provided with immediate access to healthcare, protected from torture and other ill-treatment, given access to an independent lawyer of his choosing, and granted a fair trial without resort to the death penalty.

Background

In addition to Ramin Hossein Panahi, three other men affiliated with the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala were involved in the exchange of gunfire on 23 June 2017. They included Sabah Hossein Panahi, Hamed Seyf Panahi and Behzad Nouri. Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured and subsequently arrested while the latter three were shot dead. The exchange of gunfire apparently started at a Revolutionary Guards checkpoint after the men were identified while travelling in a car and did not heed a call to stop. The authorities have refused to return the dead bodies of the three men to their families for burials and warned the families against holding memorial gatherings. Komala has claimed that six members of the Revolutionary Guards were also killed during the clashes but the Revolutionary Guards have not acknowledged any casualties in the official statement they issued on 23 June.

Komala is an armed Kurdish opposition group which has been engaged in armed activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1980s.

Kurds are one of Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic minorities who face entrenched discrimination that curtails their access to employment, adequate housing and the exercise of their cultural, economic, civil and political rights. Continued economic neglect of provinces populated by Kurds, which include Kurdistan, Kermanshah and parts of West Azerbaijan, have further entrenched poverty and marginalization. Politically, Iran’s Kurdish minority have criticized the centralization of political life and the absence of any measures to ensure minority self-government.

 

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IRAN: FURTHER INFORMATION: YOUTH ARRESTED IN HIS TEENS AT RISK OF EXECUTION: HIMAN URAMINEJAD

7ca19-amnesty-internationalURGENT ACTION: YOUTH ARRESTED IN HIS TEENS AT RISK OF EXECUTION

Himan Uraminejad has been warned by prison officials that he is at risk of execution as Iran’s Head of Judiciary has approved the implementation of his death sentence. He has been on death row since 2012 for a crime committed when he was 17 years old.

Himan Uraminejad has been warned by prison officials that he is at risk of execution as Iran’s Head of Judiciary has approved the implementation of his death sentence. He has been on death row since 2012 for a crime committed when he was 17 years old.

Amnesty International has learnt on 21 November that Himan Uraminejad, aged 22, was informed by prison officials on 6 October that the Head of Judiciary had approved the implementation of his death sentence and his family should intensify their efforts to seek a pardon from the family of the deceased because his execution could be carried out at any moment. He was sentenced to death in August 2012 after a criminal court in Kurdistan Province convicted him of murder over the fatal stabbing of a boy during a group fight. He was 17 years old at the time of the crime. In September 2014, the Supreme Court quashed his death sentence and granted him a retrial, based on new juvenile sentencing provisions in Iran’s 2013 Islamic Penal Code. In June 2015, however, he was sentenced to death again. The criminal court presiding over his retrial referred to an official medical opinion that found “no evidence of a disorder at the time of the crime that would remove criminal liability”. The court also referred to Himan Uraminejad’s statements that he had no “mental illness or history of hospitalization” and understood killing someone was “religiously forbidden” (haram). The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in November 2015 and rejected a subsequent request for retrial.

himen-oraminejad-300x191

Himan Uraminejad was sentenced after a grossly unfair trial that relied on evidence obtained through torture. He was arrested on 22 April 2012 when he was 17 years old. He was subsequently transferred to an undisclosed detention centre where he was held for 20 days, without access to his family and lawyer. He has said that during this period, he was tortured, including by repeated beatings that left scars and bruises all over his face and body, and suspension from the ceiling by a rope tied to his feet. He has said that police also raped him with an object shaped like an egg, threatened to cut off his testicles and walked over his body with boots. Himan Uraminejad’s trial was held before an adult court, without special juvenile justice protections. The court ordered no investigation into his allegations of torture.

Please write immediately in English, Persian, Arabic, French and Spanish or your own language:

  • Urging the Iranian authorities to halt any plans to execute Himan Uraminejad, and commute his death sentence without delay;
  • Urging them to ensure that his conviction is quashed and that he is granted a fair retrial in accordance with the principles of juvenile justice, in particular ensuring that no statements obtained through torture and other ill- treatment are admitted as evidence;
  • Urging them to ensure his allegations of torture are investigated and those responsible are brought to justice;
  • Immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death

Please send your appeals to the care of Iranian embassies in your country, listed below. If there is no Iranian embassy in your country, please mail the letter to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, 622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017, United States. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 72/16. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3722/2016/en/

URGENT ACTION: YOUTH ARRESTED IN HIS TEENS AT RISK OF EXECUTION

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Iran is set at nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys. From this age, a child who is convicted of murder or crimes that fall in the category of hodud (offences that carry inalterable punishments prescribed by Shari’a law) is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult. However, since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, judges have been given discretion not to sentence juvenile offenders to death if they determine that juvenile offenders did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences, or their “mental maturity” is in doubt.

The criteria for assessing “mental growth and maturity” are unclear and arbitrary. As illustrated by the case of Himan Uraminejad, judges often conflate the issue of lesser culpability of juveniles because of their lack of maturity with the diminished responsibility of people with mental illness, concluding that the juvenile offender was not “afflicted with insanity” or was “in a healthy mental state”, and therefore deserved the death penalty. Sometimes, judges focus exclusively on whether the juvenile could tell that it is wrong to kill a human being, and disregard interdisciplinary social science studies on the relationship between adolescence and crime, including neuroscientific findings on brain maturity, which have informed juvenile justice principles considering juveniles less culpable than adults due to their developmental immaturity and cognitive limitations (see Growing up on death row: The death penalty and juvenile offenders in Iran, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3112/2016/en/).

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran is legally obliged to treat everyone under the age of 18 as a child. This is different from the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is the age below which children are deemed not to have the capacity to break the law. This age varies between countries, but it must be no lower than 12 years, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. People who have broken the law who are above the minimum age of criminal responsibility, but under 18, may be considered criminally responsible, prosecuted, tried and punished. However, they should never be subjected to the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of release.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed Iran’s implementation of the CRC in January 2016. The Committee’s Concluding Observations expressed “serious concern” that the exemption of juvenile offenders from the death penalty is “under full discretion of judges who are allowed, but not mandated to seek forensic expert opinion and that several persons have been resentenced to death following such retrials”. Beside Himan Uraminejad, Amnesty International is aware of several other cases, including Salar Shadizadi, Hamid Ahmadi and Sajad Sanjari, who have been retried, found to have sufficient “mental maturity” at the time of the crime and sentenced to death again. Amnesty International is also aware of at least 15 juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to death for the first time since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code.

Amnesty International has recorded at least 75 executions of juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2016, including two in 2016. One of them was Hassan Afshar, who was hanged in July. Iran’s lack of transparency on its use of the death penalty means that the total number of executions of juvenile offenders could be much higher. According to a UN report issued in 2014, at least 160 juvenile offenders are now on death row. Amnesty International has been able to identify the names of 78 of these juvenile offenders. Some of them have been on death row for over a decade and are either unaware of their right to seek a retrial based on the new provisions of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code or do not have the means to retain a lawyer to seek it for them.

The Head of the Judiciary must provide a type of approval known as estizan in all cases where the death penalty has been imposed under the Islamic principle of “retribution-in-kind” (qesas) before the sentence can be implemented.

Name: Himan Uraminejad Gender m/f: m

Further information on

Why Kurdish prisoners are double oppressed in Iran?

Why Kurdish prisoners are double oppressed in Iran?

Mohammad-Sadiq-Kaboudvand

Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand

Kurds rally with Armenians to commemorate genocide

Kurds rally with Armenians to commemorate genocide

kurdistan24.net
Monday, 25 April 2016
Kurds rally with Armenians to commemorate genocide

Kurds were present among the protestors, including Ezidis from Phoenix, and non-Kurd members of the Rojava Solidarity Committee Los Angeles, holding signs to declare solidarity with Armenians.

LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) – On Sunday, an estimated 60,000 protestors rallied before the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles to commemorate the 100+1 anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Kurds were present among the protestors, including Ezidis from Phoenix, holding signs to declare solidarity with Armenians.

The Ezidi Relief Fund, Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Kurdish American Education Society, Kurdish Community of Southern California, Kurdish Human Rights Advocacy Group, Rojava Solidarity Committee of Los Angeles and Kurdish National Congress of North America joined the Armenian Genocide Committee to support the 2016 Rally for Justice.

Armenians perceive the killing of a million and a half by Ottomans as an act of genocide. Turkey says half a million Armenians died when they rebelled against their rulers after World War I.

Kurdish political groups and NGOs have apologized for the fact that throughout the Kurdish-populated regions, some Kurds participated in the genocide of the Armenians. However, other Kurds opposed the genocide, and in some cases even helped hide or adopted Armenian refugees.

Southern California has the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia. According to US census data, over 200,000 people of Armenian descent live in Los Angeles.

Vazgen Barsegian, an Armenian activist, told Kurdistan24, “It was very emotional for me seeing my fellow Kurdish brothers and sisters sincerely joining our struggle and demanding justice. I grew up in Van with Kurdish people, so seeing my fellow Kurdish brothers and sisters marching by my side meant a lot to me.”

A Kurdish activist, Cklara Moradian, told Kurdistan24, “Building connections between our communities [Armenian & Kurdish] is crucial, not just because we share such intertwined histories of survival, but so that moving forward we can raise our voices in unison against the atrocities being committed by Turkey today.”

Moradian added that Kurds’ presence “was about showing up, visibly, to give our support. In the future, we hope to collaborate on more movement building, social and political. I deeply believe that we can more effectively fight for the recognition of each of our unique individual struggles when we rise in solidarity with each other.”

One of the organizers of the rally, Mikael Matossian, said, “The truth is clear: the Armenian Genocide is not a solely Armenian issue, but a human one. The oppression felt by our ancestors in 1915 mirrors the experiences of other ethnic minorities who also have weathered imperialism, colonialism, and genocide.”

“The repressive tactics of the Ottoman Empire have carried on into the modern Republic of Turkey, targeted toward Kurds and Armenians there. Motivated by this shared struggle against a common enemy, Kurdish and Armenian activists united today to call on the Turkish government to end its currently racist and xenophobic-motivated policies, and deliver justice to the Armenian people in the form of recognition and reparations,” he added.

Soraya Fallah, Kurdish Human rights activist, says atrocities that happened 100 years ago are continuing today. “During the Ottoman Empire, Armenians were killed, years later Kurds were killed and today in the 21st century still Kurds are killed and massacred in Erdogan’s self-declared empire,” she stated.

“If there is no recognition, establishment, and mechanism of prevention, genocide will repeat and continue; the way we still see it today,” Fallah continued.

She added that the rally was very powerful. “It is amazing to see a nation transforming their mourning to the power of a movement for justice and unity and endowing their identity to their children and new generation!” Fallah declared.

Solin Rojhilat, one of the organizers of the contingent told Kurdistan24, “I had the pleasure to simply witness a person with Greek and Armenian flags dancing to the Armenian ‘Hay Qajer;’ the Kurdish ‘Lo Berde’ of the same melody. A few Armenians took pictures with some of our friends in the Kurdish contingent.”

“We want to find each other. Whether we’re planets that orbit the same sun or we’re simply earnest people with a desire to know one another, we catch sight of one another and know that we’re here together,” Rojhilat said.

In a statement to mark Armenian Remembrance Day on April 24, President of the United States Barack Obama called the massacre the first mass atrocity of the 20th century and tragedy that must not be repeated. But he refused to use the word “genocide,” a term he used before becoming president in 2009.

 

Reporting by Ava Homa

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

Amnesty International: Urgent Action; Kurdish Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee has been sentenced to death for the second time, after a retrial

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalURGENT ACTION
 JUVENILE OFFENDER SENTENCED TO DEATH AGAIN
Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee has been sentenced to death for the second time, after a retrial. The court dismissed as “non-binding” an official forensic report which had concluded that he had not attained “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime, in April 2007, when he was 15 years old.

Iran_Kurdistan_Child Executions

Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee was resentenced to death for the murder of his cousin by Branch Three of Criminal Court No. 1 in the western province of Kermanshah in December 2015. The court ruled that “there is no doubt about his mental maturity at the time of the crime”. The verdict is less than a page long, and refers briefly to two statements by Amanj Veisee, which it states were later proven to be false, and point to his “intelligence and maturity”. In these statements Amanj Veisee had claimed that he stabbed his cousin only once in the leg, using a knife that a stranger passed on to him during the fight. The verdict also notes an expert opinion from a state forensic institution, the Legal Medicine Organization, on Amanj Veisee’s “lack of maturity at the time of the crime” but states, “the tests done now cannot reveal the truth about the past” and that expert opinions are intended only as guidance and are not binding on the court if they contradict other materials and existing evidence.

Amanj Veisee had been first sentenced to death in May 2008 after the Provincial Criminal Court of Kordestan Province convicted him of murder for fatally stabbing his cousin during a fight. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence three months later. In December 2013, when Amanj Veisee had reached the age of 22, the Head of the Judiciary gave permission for the sentence to be carried out, though by then a new Islamic Penal Code had entered into force which allowed courts to replace the death penalty with an alternative sentence if they determined that a juvenile offender had not understood the nature of the crime or its consequences, or there were doubts about his or her “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime. He was granted a retrial based on the 2013 Code in March 2015, after he had retained a new lawyer and sought a retrial from the Supreme Court.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
n        Urging the Iranian authorities to immediately commute Amanj Veisee’s death sentence and not carry out the execution of any person who was below the age of 18 at the time of the crime;
n        Urging them to take legislative measures to completely abolish, without any discretion for the courts or other exceptions, the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18, in line with Iran’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
 
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 APRIL 2016 TO:
Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei        
Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street        
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran        
Email: via website        
http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?
p=letter
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary        
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani        
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi

Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street        
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Prosecutor General of Tehran        
Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi        
Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office
Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation        
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Additional Information        

Amanj Veisee’s execution was twice scheduled and then postponed between 2013 and 2015. Branch 33 of the Supreme Court quashed his death sentence in March 2015 and ordered that a newly constituted court retry his case based on the juvenile sentencing guidelines of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code. As Kordestan’s Provincial Criminal Court is only composed of one branch and could not therefore provide a differently constituted panel, it referred the case for retrial to Branch Three of Kermanshah Province’s Criminal Court No. 1. Amanj Veisee said before and during the trial that he had not intended to kill his cousin whom he had grown up with and loved deeply, and that he had stabbed him in a frightened reaction to a situation where his 23-year-old cousin, whom he described as “muscular”, was strangling him. The court rejected the self-defence argument, and convicted him of “intentional murder” on the grounds that he had committed an act that was by its nature “deadly”.

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran is legally obliged to treat everyone under the age of 18 as a child. This is different from the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is the age below which children are deemed not to have the capacity to break the law. This age varies between countries, but it must be no lower than 12 years, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. People who have broken the law who are above the minimum age of criminal responsibility, but under 18, may be considered criminally responsible, prosecuted, tried and punished. However, they should never be subjected to the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of release.

The age of adult criminal responsibility in Iran has been set at nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys in cases of hodud(offences against God carrying inalterable punishments prescribed by Shari’a law) and qesas (retribution-in-kind connected with a criminal act), From this age a child convicted of these offences is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult. However, since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, judges have been given discretion not to sentence juvenile offenders to death if they determine that juvenile offenders did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences, or their “mental growth and maturity” are in doubt.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed Iran’s implementation of the CRC in January 2016. The Committee’s Concluding Observations express “serious concern” that the exemption of juvenile offenders from the death penalty is “under full discretion of judges who are allowed, but not mandated to seek forensic expert opinion and that several persons have been resentenced to death following such retrials”. Besides Amanj Veisee, Amnesty International is aware of at least seven other juvenile offenders – Salar Shadizadi, Hamid Ahmadi, Sajad Sanjari, Siavash Mahmoudi, Himan Uraminejad and Amir Amrollahi, and Fatemeh Salbehi – who have been retried, found to have sufficient “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime and sentenced to death again. The execution of Fatemeh Salbehi, who was 17 years old at the time of the commission of the crime, was carried out in October 2015. Amnesty International has recorded at least 73 executions of juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2015. According to the UN at least 160 juvenile offenders are now on death row (See Growing up on death row: The death penalty and juvenile offenders in Iran, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3112/2016/en/).

Name: Amanj Veisee
Gender m/f: m

UA: 39/16 Index: MDE 13/3473/2016 Issue Date: 19 February 2016

Amnesty International’s Report on; Iran’s New Code of Criminal Procedure

Amnesty International’s Report on; Iran’s New Code of Criminal Procedure

By Amnesty International,
11 February 2016

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalNearly four decades after Iran’s 1979 Revolution shook its criminal justice system to the core, the country’s legal framework remains largely inadequate, inefficient and inconsistent with international fair trial standards, leaving individuals who come into contact with it with little or no protection. Amnesty International’s new report, Flawed reforms: Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, which came into force in June 2015.

The report welcomes the introduction of several long overdue reforms but expresses concern that the Code constitutes a lost opportunity as it fails, by and large, to do more than scratch the surface of the flaws that run deep in Iran’s criminal justice system.

AI_IRAN'S NEW CODE OF CRIMINAL_2016

“The issue is that there are individuals among lawyers who could be troublemakers.” Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, June 2015

These words were spoken by Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, in June 2015 in the wake of criticism directed at the authorities for imposing restrictions on the right to access a lawyer. While shocking, they are hardly surprising as they exemplify the long-standing lack of regard for due process in Iran’s criminal justice system. Iran’s 1979 revolution triggered a swift and fundamental transformation of the country’s justice system. Its aftermath witnessed vast numbers of people being arbitrarily detained, tortured and summarily executed with almost no regard for due process guarantees such as the right to have access to a lawyer from the time of arrest. Since then, relative order has gradually been restored to the justice system. Many laws hastily adopted after the revolution have been amended and improved. Iran has added the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the list of international treaties to which it is state party, a list which also includes those ratified before 1979, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

However, flaws in Iranian legislation and the failure to incorporate key human rights guarantees into national law persist, making the country’s legal framework largely inconsistent with international human rights law and standards. In fact, the unfair, summary and predominantly secret processes, and the special and revolutionary courts and tribunals established in the aftermath of the revolution, continue to characterize Iran’s criminal justice system, undermining the right of all to a fair trial In June 2015, a much anticipated new Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) entered into force in Iran.

The new CCP, which had been in the making for almost a decade, was passed by Parliament and signed into law by the President in April 2014. This new Code replaced a deeply flawed Code of Criminal Procedure, adopted in 1999, whose validity was supposed to last only for a trial period of three years but was repeatedly extended. The new Code introduces several long overdue reforms to Iran’s criminal justice system, including the restriction of the use of provisional pre-trial detention to situations where there is a risk of flight or a threat to public safety, stricter regulations governing the questioning of accused persons, and enhancement of the right to access a lawyer during the pre-trial period. However, it has failed to tackle many of the major shortcomings in Iran’s criminal justice system.

Please find the report attached and online at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2708/2016/en/

IRAN: JAILED SYRIAN KURD IN IRAN NEEDS SURGERY: RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalIRAN: JAILED SYRIAN KURD IN IRAN NEEDS SURGERY: RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal

RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

By Amnesty International,

January 29,2016

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal, a Syrian Kurd serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran, needs urgent medical care, including surgical treatment. On his way to hospital on 30 December with a postoperative infection, he was beaten by prison officials. He was returned to prison after two weeks without receiving adequate medical care.

RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal, a 33-year-old Syrian Kurd, is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj near Tehran, for “membership of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)”. He is in need of surgical treatment for an infection in his shoulder,which has resulted in partial paralysis of his arm. The infection appears to be the outcome of poor post-operative care following earlier surgical treatment inside prison. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has said that he lost consciousness and fell into a coma after prison officials beat him while transferring him to hospital on 30 December. The first hospital he was taken to refused to admit him, despite his critical condition and previous arrangements made for his admission. He was then transferred to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini hospital, where he was apparently kept in the emergency department for around 48 hours before being admitted to a ward. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was taken back to prison two weeks later, on 14 January, without receiving the treatment he needed. The transfer back to prison took place even though prison doctors and the Legal Medical Organization had apparently advised hospital treatment and Tehran’s Prosecutor had issued permission for his transfer to a hospital. He was cuffed to his bed during his entire stay in the hospital.

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was arrested on 7 July 2008 by Iran’s border control guards after he, along with three other member of PKK, crossed the border from Iraq, allegedly by mistake. He was shot several times during arrest and sustained multiple gunshot wounds in his shoulder, abdomen, and thigh. He was initially sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Khoy, Western Azerbaijan province but this was later commuted to 10 years in prison.

Please write immediately in Persian, English, Spanish, French, Arabic or your own language:

  • Urging the Iranian authorities to ensure that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal is immediately granted access to specialized medical care outside the prison;
  • Calling on them to investigate allegations that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was subjected to beatings and other ill-treatment by prison officials and bring those responsible to justice;
  • Reminding them that Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to which Iran is a state party, protects the right of everyone, including prisoners, to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and that denial of adequate medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 8 MARCH 2016 TO:
    The Office of the Supreme Leader
    Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: via website
    http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?
    p=letter
    Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)
    Salutation: Your Excellency
    Head of the Judiciary
    Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani
    c/o Public Relations Office
    Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
    Above Pasteur Intersection
    Vali Asr Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email:
    info@humanrights-iran.ir
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to
    :
    Prosecutor General of Tehran
    Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi
    Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office
    Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
    Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
    Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Additional Information

Two other men belonging to the PPK, who were with Ramazan Ahmad Kamal at the time of arrest in 2008, were apparently shot dead by Iran’s border control guards. A third man managed to cross the border back into Iraq. Since his arrest, Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has been held in various prisons across the country including in Qazvin, Oroumieh, and Tehran.  He was not permitted access to a lawyer during the entire investigative phase and during his trial.

Following his return to prison from hospital in January 2016, Ramazan Ahmad Kamal wrote an open letter addressed to Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. In his letter, he alleged that while he was being transferred to hospital, prison officials assaulted him including by kicking him on the head and beating him with a baton – resulting in him falling into a coma. He said that he endured severe bleeding from his nose and ears and sustained bruises. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has lodged a complaint to Tehran’s Office of the Prosecutor with regards to the incident.

Amnesty International understands that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has so far undergone two surgeries inside Raja’i Shahr Prison, which were apparently substandard and followed by inadequate post-surgical care. He has since developed an infection which appears to have resulted in partial paralysis of his arm.

The Iranian authorities frequently transfer prisoners in need of medical care to hospital, but Amnesty International understands that prisoners are not always provided with adequate medical care there and instead are simply returned to prison. Whether done intentionally or by neglect, failing to provide adequate medical care to prisoners is a breach of Iran’s international human rights obligations. The denial of medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, under Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party. Article 12 of the ICESCR specifically recognizes the right of every person to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) also state that prisons must provide adequate medical care to prisoners without discrimination (Rules 24-35). Rule 27(1) of the Mandela Rules provides that “Prisoners who require specialized treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals.” See this public statementhttps://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2508/2015/en/ for more information.

Iran’s own prison regulations are also routinely flouted by prison and judicial officials. The regulations governing the administration of Iranian prisons stipulate that a prisoner suffering from a serious medical condition that cannot be treated inside prison, or whose condition will worsen if they stay in prison, should be granted medical leave so they can receive treatment.

International law requires States to conduct prompt, impartial, independent and thorough investigations into all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bring those responsible to justice, and ensure that victims have access to an effective remedy and receive reparation, including rehabilitation.

Name: Ramazan Ahmad Kamal
Gender m/f: m

UA: 21/16 Index: MDE 13/3311/2016 Issue Date: 26 January 2016

Erdoganism and repression of Academics for Peace

Erdoganism and repression of Academics for Peace

Amir SharifiBy: Dr. Amir Sharifi

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Alarmingly it has now become clear that Academics for Peace initiative has occupied more than a symbolic place in the Turkish political landscape. The petition signed by 2000 professors from over 89 universities within and outside Turkey deplores the loss of lives, expresses concern and sympathy for those civilians inflicted with enormous suffering, and chronicles the tragic outcome of the curfews that plague areas such as Sur, Sivan, Nusaybin, Cizre, and Silopi.

The statement condemns the brutalities and blatant mistreatment of residents of the affected areas and warns against more horrific consequences unless the siege comes to an end.

The petition proposes sending a national and international group of observers to investigate and report their findings regarding the situation; in offering hope of reconciliation, the declaration reasserts the importance of the resumption of the peace process. In short, it is a call for peace.

However, once the message was publicized in Turkey, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) embarked on a defamation campaign against the signatories of the statement.

The hysterical reaction reveals the extent to which violence has become a conventionalized and ritualized political weapon for Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) propaganda against real or imaginary enemies.

As Huxley observes “Rulers of countries and leaders of parties find morality embarrassing. That is why they take such pain to depersonalize their opponents. All propaganda directed against an opposing group has one aim: to substitute diabolical abstractions for concrete persons….” The peace plea has fatalistically been turned into an ideological witch-hunt as new specter of Erdoganism pervades.

Erdogan in his customary Machiavellian manner denounced the signatories as “so-called academics”, “fifth column”, meddlers that know nothing about the geography of the “Southeast”, “so-called intellectuals …dark people” agents of foreign powers who intend to bring back “protectorate “ or colonial powers that “Turkey“ experienced, [their] betrayal …100 years ago.” He specifically branded Noam Chomsky–the prominent linguist and intellectual whose scope of knowledge about world affairs cannot be questioned–“ignorant” about the situation in the “Southeast.”

Although this is not the first time that AKP is silencing dissents and calling their critics names, the politics of Erdoganism took on a more aggressive language against any freedom of expression and any pleas for peace anywhere in the world.

Soon after Erdogan’s cursing ritual, Higher Education Council set out to investigate those who had signed the declaration in Turkey. Prosecutors immediately began bringing lawsuits against “subversive” academicians who presumably had undermined “the nation” and “Turkishness” and “spread terrorist propaganda.”

In a letter of protest in defense of academic freedoms in Turkey, addressed to the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, Middle East Studies Association (MESA) cites multiple examples of punitive measures that are being currently taken against the academics in Turkey on the ground that they have signed the peace petition.

Yet according to another letter of support written by the British-based Academic Community, 22 academicians have been arrested, facing imprisonments of 1-5 years.

The belligerent tirade instigated by AKP is inflaming Islamist bigots, fascists, and even criminals to take matters into their own hands. A convicted criminal like Sedat Peker who happens to be a supporter of AKP Party, issued a monstrously murderous threat to intellectuals “…. I would like to say it again: We will spill your blood, and we will take a shower with your blood!”

Yeni Akit daily–notorious for its IS type ideology–has published the complete list of the signatories, accusing them of treason. Yonter, the Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)’s Istanbul Deputy, has gone so far to call universities as ‘home to terrorists,” advising the government to take a similar fight like the one carried out in Sur, Cizre, Dargecit, and Silopi “against the terrorists in universities.”

The Academics for Peace Petition was merely a symbolic gesture in defense of peace and freedom of expression. More and more academicians, journalists, and human rights activists are becoming victims of AKP’s venomous propaganda and its witch-hunt every day.

As a result of the Academics for Peace initiative, the world now knows more about the magnitude of the oppression and repression in Turkey. Erdogan continues to justify the persecution of academicians by denouncing them as “cruel” and “despicable.”

Beyond the need for more academic communities to join the solidarity movement with academicians in Turkey, the international community should stop the Turkish government’s assault on academic freedom.

The U.S and the European Community can also do more than simply expressing their disapproval of such actions by exerting pressure on the Turkish government to both halt the persecution of the academicians and resume the peace process before more academicians are victimized and more people are killed in the name of AKP’s Turkish Nation.

Dr. Amir Sharifi is a professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Original Link: http://www.kurdistan24.net/