Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender Sherko Jihani, was allowed to briefly telephone his mother and his wife on 13 December. He apparently sounded very weak, and was not able to tell them anything about his whereabouts. He is at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

His family had reportedly received a phone call on 12 December from a man who claimed to be a member of the Mahabad branch intelligence services, and told them that Sherko Jihani had died of a heart attack after falling into a coma.

He may have been detained for his peaceful activities in defence of the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.

Sherko Jihani was detained on 27 November in the town of Mahabad, in the north-western province of Kurdistan. He began a hunger strike in protest on 30 November, and on 4 December he began refusing to speak.


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