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Iran: Kurdish man executed while awaiting appeal of his death sentence

Image result for Behrouz AlkhaniAmnesty - Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran's Kurdish minority, was executed early this morning local time, said Amnesty International, despite the fact that he was awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal.

The organization has also learned that the authorities have so far refused to return Behrouz Alkhani's body to his family.

"Today's execution of Behrouz Alkhani, who was still waiting for the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal against his sentence, is a vicious act of cruelty by the Iranian authorities and a denigration of both Iranian and international law. It is appalling that they have imposed further pain and suffering on Behrouz Alkhani's family by refusing to return his body for burial," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"The fact that the authorities have carried out the execution despite the pending appeal against a sentence imposed in a grossly unfair trial and international pleas to halt the execution, shows their utter disregard for justice. His execution is just further proof of the authorities' determined resolve to continue with a relentless wave of executions which has seen more than 700 put to death in Iran so far this year."

For more information about the case see:

Iran: Halt execution of Kurdish man due to be carried out tomorrow morning

Image result for Behrouz AlkhaniAmnesty - Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran's Kurdish minority has been transferred out of Oroumieh prison's general ward and placed in solitary confinement in preparation for his execution tomorrow, despite the fact that he's still awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal, said Amnesty International.

"The Iranian authorities must urgently halt Behrouz Alkhani's execution. Carrying out a death sentence while a prisoner is awaiting the outcome of his appeal is a serious violation of both Iranian and international law, and is an affront to justice," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

"Behrouz Alkhani faced a grossly unfair trial where basic safeguards such as the right to access a lawyer were ignored. He also says he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated in custody. The authorities must immediately stop this execution and grant him a fair retrial, in proceedings that are in line with international standards, without delay.

"The authorities have already carried out nearly 700 executions in Iran so far this year. Allowing Behrouz Alkhani's death sentence to be implemented will only leave them with more blood on their hands."

Amnesty International understands that Behrouz Alkhani informed his family early this morning local time that he was going to be transferred out of the general ward. His family was granted a last visit earlier today. They were told by prison officials that the execution will be carried out tomorrow.
Behrouz Alkhani was arrested in January 2010 in Salmas, West Azerbaijan, a province in northwest Iran, and held in solitary confinement apparently for more than a year without access to a lawyer or his family.

In 2011, he was convicted by a Revolutionary Court on charges of "effective collaboration with PJAK" (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) and "enmity against God" (moharebeh) for his alleged role in the assassination of the Prosecutor of Khoy, West Azerbaijan province. He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison in relation to the possession and procurement of arms. His sentence was later overturned by the Supreme Court and sent back to Branch 10 of the Appeal Court of Oroumieh province for a retrial. The Appeal court however sentenced Behrouz Alkhani to death once again. He has appealed the sentence but has not yet been informed of the outcome.

Iran is the second most prolific executioner in the world after China, according to Amnesty International's latest global death penalty report.

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Image result for SALAR SHADIZADIAmnesty - Juvenile offender Salar Shadizadi remains at imminent risk of execution after a
conviction for murder. He is currently held in solitary confinement in Lakan Prison,
Rasht, northern Iran.

Salar Shadizadi's scheduled execution on 10 August did not take place. His first execution date was 1 August,
which was postponed to 10 August. He remains at risk of imminent execution, though no new date has been
confirmed. Salar Shadizadi's lawyers have filed an application for a new judicial review with the Supreme Court.

Salar Shadizadi was arrested in February 2007 and charged with the murder of a friend when he was 15 years old.
He was not granted access to a lawyer at the investigative stage and was only allowed to retain a lawyer when his
case was sent to court for trial. He says that he was also tortured and otherwise ill-treated during the investigative
stage. He was first sentenced to death in December 2007 under the Islamic principle of qesas (retribution-in-kind)
by Branch 11 of the Criminal Court of Appeal in Gilan province, which was the court of first-instance. Branch 37 of
the Supreme Court upheld the sentence three months later in 2008.

In 2013, Salar Shadizadi submitted a request for judicial review based on a new article in Iran's revised Penal
Code, passed into law in May 2013. Branch 13 of Iran's Supreme Court accepted the request for judicial review
and sent the case back to the court of first instance to examine Salar Shadizadi's maturity at the time of the crime.
The court then referred Salar Shadizadi to Iran's Legal Medicine Organization (LMO) for psychological
examination. The LMO found that "there is no evidence to conclude that Salar Shadizadi was insane at the time of
the crime but examining his mental growth seven years after the event is impossible". Based on this finding,

Branch 13 of the Supreme Court upheld the original death sentence.
Please write immediately in Persian, English, Spanish, French or your own language:

 Urging the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the execution of Salar Shadizadi and ensure that his death
sentence is quashed and he is granted a retrial that complies with international fair trial standards, without recourse
to the death penalty;

 Reminding them that Iran has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which strictly prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes
committed by persons below the age of 18;


Salar Shadizadi was arrested in February 2007 after his friend's dead body was found in a garden belonging to Salar
Shadizadi's family. Salar Shadizadi was accused of fatally stabbing the deceased in the neck. The circumstances of the crime
are not clear to Amnesty International.

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran is under the obligation to ensure that all legislation
defines a child as a person under the age of 18 years, and to conform to the CRC in both law and practice. The CRC has
determined the age of 18 as the standard age of entering into majority and full criminal responsibility, without any discrimination
between boys and girls. This is a different matter from the minimum age of criminal responsibility, the age below which children
shall not be arrested and charged with a crime at all. The minimum age of criminal responsibility varies around the world but the
CRC has said in its General Comment 10, paragraph 32: "A minimum age of criminal responsibility below the age of 12 years is
considered by the Committee not to be internationally acceptable. States parties are encouraged to increase their lower
minimum age of criminal responsibility to the age of 12 years as the absolute minimum age and to continue to increase it to a
higher age level."

The age of adult criminal responsibility remains nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys in Iran. Above this age, 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), a child is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult. However, since the
adoption of a revised Penal Code in 2013, judges have been given discretion not to sentence juvenile offenders to death if they
determine that the juvenile offenders did not comprehend the nature of the crime or its consequences or their "mental growth
and maturity" are in doubt.

Between May 2013 and January 2015, some branches of Iran's Supreme Court accepted the request of juvenile offenders for
judicial review of their cases based on the revised Penal Code, and sent them back to the court of first instance for retrial. Other
Supreme Court branches, however, refused to accept that the revised Penal Code provided valid grounds for judicial review or
retrial. This inconsistency in jurisprudence led some lawyers in 2014 to apply to the General Board of the Supreme Court for a
"pilot judgement". The General Board ruled on 2 December 2014 that all those on death row for crimes committed when they
were under 18 are entitled to request judicial review of their cases and have their cases sent back for retrial in the light of their
"mental growth" at the time of the crime of which they were convicted.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors the implementation of the CRC, has asked Iran to inform the
Committee, by October 2015, of the outcome and progress of the judicial review of cases of persons on death row for crimes
committed when they were below the age of 18 years based on the 2014 "pilot judgment" of the Supreme Court.
At least 72 juvenile offenders are believed to have been executed in Iran between 2005 and 2014 and at least 160 juvenile
offenders are believed to be on death row.
Name: Salar Shadizadi
Gender m/f: m
Further information on UA: 165/15 Index: MDE 13/2324/2015 Issue Date: 25 August 2015

One Prisoner Executed in Mazandaran, Two Prisoners Executed in Kerman - One prisoner was hanged to death in Sari Prison on Sunday August 23 and two prisoners were hanged to death in Rafsanjan Prison eleven days ago, according to official and unofficial reports.

Iran Human Rights, Monday August 24 2015: According to official and unofficial reports from Iran, one prisoner was hanged to death in Sari Prison (in the province of Mazandaran) on Sunday August 23 and two prisoners were hanged to death on August 13 in Rafsanjan Prison (in the province of Kerrman).

The Press Department for the Judiciary in the province of Mazandaran reported on the execution of one prisoner in Sari Prison and identified him as R.F., charged with murder. The prisoner was reportedly killed after the plaintiffs on his case did not forgive him.

The Baluch Activists Campaign group has reported on two prisoners in Rafsanjan Prison who were executed on drug related charges elevn days ago. The prisoners' names are reportedly Abuzar Dehvari and Anvar Dehvari. Neither Iran's state media or Judiciary has reported on the recent executions in Rafsanjan Prison.

Former Tehran Prosecutor Acquitted of Charges in Kahrizak Murders despite Overwhelming Evidence

Saeed Mortazavi, The former Tehran - Mortazavi Verdict Shows Officials Still Enjoy Impunity even in Cases of Torture and Death of Prisoners.

The former Tehran Prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, was acquitted on August 19, 2015, on charges connected to the torture and deaths of three young men at the Kahrizak detention center in 2009, but the relatives of the victims insist the fight is not yet over.

After the peaceful protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran, dozens of protesters were rounded up by security forces and taken to the Kahrizak detention center in the south of Tehran. According to eyewitnesses, many were tortured. Three died as a result of their torture. Mortazavi was deeply implicated in the transfer of the protestors to Kahrizak, and then falsified the cause of their death in order to cover up evidence of torture and murder at the facility.

Mohammad KamraniMohammad Kamrani

Ali Kamrani, whose son Mohammad was one of the three young men who died at Kahrizak in 2009, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his lawyer will appeal if necessary when he receives the official judgement in favor of Mortazavi.

Mohammad Reza Mohammadi Kashkouli, the judge presiding over Mortazavi's trial, was quoted by the Tasnim News Agency on August 19, 2015, to say that the former Tehran Prosecutor had been exonerated of two charges of accessory to murder and one charge of falsifying a report on the incidents at Kahrizak.

Mortazavi told reporters he had heard the judge had acquitted him of two charges in connection with Kahrizak, but he had not yet seen the actual ruling.

"I never thought that with all the evidence against him, Saeed Mortazavi would be acquitted," Massoud Alizadeh, one of the tortured Kahrizak detainees told the Campaign. Alizadeh, who left Iran and settled in Germany after receiving threats to his life, continued, "Mortazavi was the one who sent us to the detention center and then wrote a false report that the detainees had died of meningitis....This is a great tragedy. One should feel sorry for a judicial system that lets a murderous criminal go."

"Do you think justice has been done? My child is no more," Ali Kamrani said to the Campaign about Mortazavi's reported acquittal. "We have not been informed of the decision regarding Saeed Mortazavi's case...We will object if necessary."

Mir Majid Taheri, the lawyer for the family of Mohsen Rouholamini, another murder victim at Kahrizak, also told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA), "This decision is not yet final. We will definitely deliver our objection to this decision in writing within the legal time limit."

Massoud Alizadeh
Massoud Alizadeh

Massoud Alizadeh told the Campaign that the psychological wounds left by events at Kahrizak had still not healed after six years. "I really expected Mr. Mortazavi's trial would be fair... Saeed Mortazavi is responsible for all those who were killed and injured there."

Alizadeh, who was arrested on July 9, 2009, and transferred to Kahrizak, said he was taken there on Mortazavi's orders. "Kahrizak was not under the [Judiciary's] prison system; it was an illegal detention center," he told the Campaign.

"It feels really bad seeing someone walking free when you know he's a criminal," Alizadeh added.

Alizadeh's defense attorney was the prominent human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani, but Soltani himself has been imprisoned on sham national security charges since 2011. "I sued Mortazavi, but I can't reach him because my lawyer is in prison."

Alizadeh noted that in addition to the three murdered victims at Kahrizak (Amir Javadifar, Mohammad Kamrani, and Mohsen Rouholamini) he and other victims of physical and psychological torture at the detention center should also be acknowledged and remembered.

"We were all tortured close to death. Some died and we lived but no one saw us. The judicial authorities did not investigate our case. I wish those who had a voice could also mention what happened to us as well," he said.

The plight of the detainees was first brought up by Mehdi Karroubi, one of the 2009 presidential candidates who has now entered his fifth year under house arrest. But the scandal, despite the media outcry, was kept under wraps and journalists who tried to investigate and report on the deaths were arrested and sentenced to long prison sentences.

Only due to the persistence of the families of the three murdered detainees was the case finally taken to court after three years in March 2011, but the verdicts issued have been shockingly lenient. In July 2013, Saeed Mortazavi, the prime suspect in the case, was acquitted of the charge of "participation in murder," dismissed from government employment for five years, and sentenced to approximately $60 in fines for "false reporting."

Tags: Ali Kamrani, election protests, election violation, iran election protests, kahrizak, kahrizak detention center, Mohammad Reza Mohammadi, Mohsen Rouholamini, presidential election, saeed mortazavi, Tehran Prosecutor,

At Least Three Prisoners Executed in Northern Iran

At Least Three Prisoners Executed in Northern - Two prisoners charged with murder were hanged to death in Rasht's Lakan Prison, one prisoner was hanged in Ardebil Central Prison on a drug related charge.

Iran Human Rights, August 23 2015: Two prisoners charged with murder (identified as M.M., 37 years old, and A.M., 33 years old) were hanged to death in Rasht's Lakan Prison on the morning of Saturday August 23, reports the Justice Department in the province of Gilan. An informed source, who has requested to be annonymous, says there were a total of three prisoners who were hanged to death in Lakan Prison on Saturday. "One of the prisoners' names is Asghar Mohammadi," says the source.

In Ardabil Central Prison one prisoner (identified as Hamed Madeh Moghadar) was hanged to death on Saturday for possessing more than 580 grams of crystal meth, according to the Press Department of Ardebil's Judiciary. The prisoner was reportedly issued the death penalty by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in the province of Ardabil.


Image result for professor Hossein RafieeAmnesty - Iranian retired university professor Hossein Rafiee has begun serving a prison sentence
handed down in 2004 for his peaceful political activism. Hossein Rafiee is 70 and has
several health problems, including high blood pressure and a heart condition. He is a
prisoner of conscience.

Retired professor Hossein Rafiee (Mohammad Hossein Rafiee Fanood) was arrested without a warrant by
Ministry of Intelligence officials on 16 June. Later the same day, these officials pressured the prosecutor on duty to
issue an arrest warrant, eventually getting it on the order of the Prosecutor General of Tehran. Hossein Rafiee was
then transferred to Section 8 of Evin Prison, which is severely overcrowded, poorly ventilated, with filthy cells,
infested with insects, and lacks adequate sleeping and sanitation facilities.

Hossein Rafiee only found out the reason for his arrest after about a month later, when he was told he had to start
serving a four-year prison sentence handed down by a Revolutionary Court in 2004 for "membership of an illegal
group", as he was a member of the banned political party Melli Mazhabi (National Religious Alliance).

On 25 May 2015, Hossein Rafiee received an additional six years by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in
Tehran, over his writings on social and political issues on his website. The court sentenced him to five years in
prison for "membership of an illegal and anti-national security group [Melli Mazhabi]", one year for "spreading
propaganda against the system" by giving interviews to media "who are against the state" and for "issuing
statements against the state's security", and fined him for use of a (banned) satellite dish. He was also banned
from political and journalistic activities for two years. His has lodged an appeal but no date has been set for the

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

 Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Hossein Rafiee (Mohammad Hossein Rafiee Fanood)
immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to
freedom of expression and association;

 Urging them to quash his convictions and sentences, and ensure he receives any medical attention he

 Reminding them that the UN Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners require that all prison
accommodation, including sleeping accommodation, meet all requirements of health.

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.

Hossein Rafiee, a retired Tehran University chemistry professor and prolific writer (see, had been a
vocal supporter of the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5 +1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United
States plus Germany). He is also a member of National Peace Council, founded in 2008 by Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi.
After his arrest, he went on hunger strike, also refusing to take his medicine, in protest at being arrested and detained. He
ended his hunger strike on 20 June, after his wife and friends asked him to stop as it was jeopardizing his health due to his
already high blood pressure, a thyroid condition and allergies. He has to take daily medication for each of these conditions.

Since he has been detained in Section 8 of Evin Prison, Hossein Rafiee has detailed the severe overcrowding of the section: he
shares his 20 square metre cell with 27 others, and sleeps on the floor, along with nine other men, as there are only six threebunk
beds in the cell. Hossein Rafiee has told his daughter, "I wonder if we are in a prison or a torture chamber." He has also
said that Section 8 has only five toilets and showers for at least 200 prisoners, and there are constant queues for the bathroom
or showers. While the section has a doctor on staff, the doctor has no medical equipment, so Hossein Rafiee's blood pressure is
not being monitored regularly.

Hossein Rafiee had been arrested in February 2001, along with several other members of the banned political party Melli
Mazhabi (National Religious Alliance), which is associated with the banned political party Iran Freedom Movement that
advocates for social and political reform. He spent six months in pre-trial detention, much of it in solitary confinement, before
being released on bail. He was sentenced to four years' imprisonment in 2004, but apparently this sentence was only
implemented in June 2015.

Iran's Islamic Penal Code, adopted in May 2013, maintains vaguely worded "crimes" such as "spreading propaganda against
the system", "creating unease in the public mind", "insulting Islamic sanctities" and "membership of an illegal group". These illdefined
"crimes" are frequently used to curb the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and
peaceful assembly. Such laws and practices violate Iran's obligations under Articles 18, 19, 21 and 22 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party, guaranteeing freedom of thought, expression,
peaceful assembly and association.

Article 10 of the UN Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners states that "all accommodation provided for use of prisoners
and in particular all sleeping accommodation shall meet all requirements of health, due regard being paid to climatic conditions
and particularly cubic content of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation." Serious overcrowding, unsanitary
environment and absence of sleeping facilities, when combined with the length of the period during which a prisoner is held in
such conditions, can amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, contrary to Article 7 of the ICCPR which prohibits
torture and other ill-treatment.
Name: Hossein Rafiee (Mohammad Hossein Rafiee Fanood)
Gender m/f: m
UA: 184/15 Index: MDE 13/2314/2015 Issue Date: 21 August 2015

Four Prisoners Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison

Four Prisoners Executed in Rajai Shahr - Four prisoners charged with murder have been hanged to death in Rajai Shahr Prison.

On the morning of Wednesday, August 19th four prisoners charged with murder were hanged to death in Rajai Shahr Prison, according to an informed source. The prisoners, whose names are not known at this time, were transferred to solitary confinement prior to their executions.

"Two days ago nine prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison were transferred to solitary confinement, but for unknown reasons the execution of five of them has been delayed for now," says the source.

The four executions on Wednesday morning have not been announced by the Judiciary's Press Department or Iranian state media.


AP Photobreitbart - More state-sanctioned per capita executions are taking place in Iran than anywhere else in the world.

The execution rate has continued to rise unabated after Iran and six world powers, including the United States, reached a nuclear deal in mid-July.

In fact, Amnesty International predicts that Iran is on pace to hit a 12-year record in executions this year, with more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths expected by the end of 2015.

"Just weeks after signing the 'historic' deal and more than eight months after signing an interim agreement, Iran is in the midst of what Amnesty International has referred to as an 'unprecedented spike' in executions," explains Reuters. "Currently, Iran's new 'moderate' administration is on pace to hit a new 12-year high in executions."

"Iran's staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale," pointed out Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa program."If Iran's authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year's end."

More than 1,800 executions have taken place since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013, making Iran "first in the world in executions per capita and it executes the greatest number of juveniles," recently said seven members of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council's advisory committee, in a joint statement expressing concern about human rights violations in Iran.

"The overall rate has worsened," reported UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ahmad Shaeed earlier this year, referring to human rights in Iran.

"Since the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, all talk of the opposition movement and human rights has been swept under the rug while human rights reports from inside the country confirm the true nature of this regime," notes Reuters.

Amnesty International recently contradicted Iranian regime claims that only 246 executions had taken place in the first six months of 2015, noting that the number was actually closer to 700.

The majority of those who are executed are charged with crimes against the regime or drug-related offenses.

"Currently, based on monitoring work done by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, several thousand people are believed to be on death row in Iran," reported Amnesty International. "The Iranian authorities have said that 80% of those awaiting execution are convicted of drug-related offenses. They have not, however, provided an exact number."

"It is especially harrowing that there is no end in sight for this theatre of cruelty with Iran's gallows awaiting thousands more death row prisoners," added Boumedouha.

The nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S., and five other world players has received significant praise.

It has "been hailed as a victory for peace and a turning point for Iran," notes Reuters. "Some have even claimed that the agreement will usher in a new era of moderation and the development of Iranian civil society."

"The facts on the ground paint a very different picture, especially as they relate to human rights," it adds.

The majority of those executed in Iran are individuals who are marginalized in the country's Shiite-majority society.

"This includes undocumented migrants and refugees from neighboring Afghanistan, as well as ethnic and religious minorities who face disenfranchisement in Iran," reports Reuters.

"Execution of ethnic and religious minorities has regrettably increased," adds the UN. "A number of Christian pastors have been imprisoned for defending their beliefs. Violation of the rights of minorities, women's rights, civil rights and anti-democratic foundations have been inscribed into the constitution and laws of the country."

Among those executed are also Kurdish political prisoners and Sunni Muslims convicted of "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth."

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