According to the latest news from Amnesty International the death sentence for Farzad Kamangar has been approved by the Supreme Court. This is quite upsetting as Farzad Kamangar has always maintained his innocence and has denied that he has ever had any ties with PKK. I really don't know what can be done at this point, but certainly we cannot remain silent...
The Supreme Court has confirmed the sentences of death against three Iranian Kurds.
AI Index: MDE 13/094/2008
11 July 2008
Further Information on UA 147/08 (MDE 13/075/2008, 30 May 2008) Death Penalty / Torture / Ill-treatment
Iranian citizens of Kurdish ethnic origin:
Farzad Kamangar (alias Siamand) (m), aged 32, teacher
Ali Heydariyan (m)
Farhad Vakili (m)
According to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Activists in Iran, the Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentences of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili.
All three were sentenced to death in February 2008 after conviction of “moharebeh”, (enmity against God), a charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, apparently in connection with their alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which carries out attacks in Turkey. Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili were also sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, apparently for forging documents. Under Iranian law, they must serve their prison sentences before being executed.
Human Rights Activists in Iran also reported that when prison authorities at Raja'I Shahr prison in Tehran province told Farzad Kamangar of the Supreme Court's decision, they asked him to write a letter seeking clemency. He refused to do this, as it would have been an acknowledgement of guilt, and he has always denied committing any crime. As a result, his death sentence will be sent for approval to the Head of the Judiciary, after which it could be carried out at any time.
Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other ethnic Kurds, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006.
Farzad Kamangar has been held incommunicado at a series of locations, including in the cities of Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Tehran, and has been tortured, including by being beaten, flogged and electrocuted. As a result of this torture, his arms and legs have started to tremble involuntarily.
Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many ethnic groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. For many years, Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala have taken up arms against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Another armed group, the Kurdistan Independent Life Party (PJAK), continues to carry out armed attacks against Iranian security and government. Iran has accused foreign governments of fomenting unrest among the country's ethnic minorities.
The scope of capital crimes in Iran remains extremely broad. Judges have discretionary powers to impose the death penalty for certain offences, including those relating to national security. According to Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer, no other person convicted of membership of the PKK has been sentenced to death.