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ISRAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN:
KURDISH MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH AFTER UNFAIR TRIAL

Update info:
18 Feb 2018
Country:
ISRAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Subject:
Ramin Hossein Panahi
Gender m/f: m
Period:
19 Mar 2018
Distribution date:
18 Feb 2018
UA No:
171/2017

Iranian Kurdish prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi has been on hunger strike since 27 January in protest of being sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that followed four months of enforced disappearance. He has been transferred to solitary confinement in reprisal. His conviction and sentence violate international law and must be quashed.

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority, started a hunger strike on 27 January after he learned that he had been sentenced to death in connection with his membership of the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala. On 31 January, a Ministry of Intelligence official visited him in prison and said that his death sentence would be commuted to imprisonment if he agreed to make televised confessions denouncing Kurdish opposition groups as terrorists. When he refused, the intelligence official apparently became enraged and said that he would pay with his life for his tubbornness Ramin Hossein Panahi was then transferred to solitary confinement where he now remains. There are fears about his health as he suffers from persistent headaches and a kidney infection, possibly resulting from torture. Following his arrest on 23 June 2017, he was forcibly disappeared for four months. According to him, during this period and a further two months of solitary confinement, Ministry of Intelligence and Revolutionary Guards officials repeatedly tortured him including through beating him with cables, kicking and punching him in the stomach and hitting his head against the wall. They also deliberately denied him adequate medical care for the injuries he sustained from being shot at the time of his arrest.

Ramin Hossein Panahi’s trial, which took place on 16 January, was grossly unfair and lasted less than an hour. His family told Amnesty International that he appeared before the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj with obvious torture marks on his body but the court failed to order an investigation. According to his lawyer, the court convicted him and sentenced him to death for taking up arms against the state (baqi) based on his membership of Komala, but  without providing any specific evidence linking him to acts involving intentional killing, which is the required threshold under international law for imposing the death penalty. Between his arrest and trial, he was only allowed one brief meeting with his lawyer, which took place in the presence of intelligence officials. This violates the right to consult with one痴 lawyer in confidence. The judicial authorities also refused to disclose to either him or his lawyer the details of the evidence brought against him before the hearing. His lawyer is planning to appeal his sentence.

Take action

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

  • Ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi’s death sentence and conviction are quashed and release him unless there is sufficient evidence not obtained through torture or other ill-treatment to charge him with a recognizable criminal offence and grant him a fair trial, without recourse to the death penalty;
  • Stop using the denial of medical care as a form of punishment and ensure that he is immediately granted access to adequate medical care outside prison;
  • Order a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into his prolonged solitary confinement and allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bringing to justice anyone found responsible, including those with superior responsibility, in fair trials and without recourse to the death penalty.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 MARCH 2018 TO:
High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Esfaniar Boulevard, Niayesh Intersection
Vali Asr Avenue, Tehran, Iran

Head of Sanandaj’s Central Prison
Aziz Heidary
Ershad Street
Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, Iran

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 171/17. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/6734/2017/en/