According to the information received from DI Defenders in Iran, Mr. Gulperi has been transferred, without prior notice, from Oroumieh Prison to Semnan Prison in Northern Iran, where he may be at imminent risk of execution. Mr. Gulperi was arrested on Sepemenber 27th, 2009, while travelling from Mahabad to Oroumieh, carrying his books. DI has received reports highlighting that Mr. Gulperi has been subjected to physical and psychological torture during interrogation in an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps detention facility in Mahabad and in an Intelligence detention facility in Sanandaj, the capital of Kordestan province. He appeared before Branch One of Mahabad Revolutionary Court on March 15th, 2010, and was sentenced to death, convicted of being a mohareb "enemy of God." According to the court documents, Mr. Gulperi has denied any armed activity. On August 1st, 2010, Branch 31 of the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence, and again on June 9th, 2011, after judicial review.

As of yet, his allegations of torture and ill-treatment, including conditions of prolonged solitary confinment, threats of execution on several occuations, and the allegations that both his arm and leg were broken under torture, have not been investigated. Prior to his transfer, in March 2012, Mr. Gulperi wrote a letter, a copy of which has been sent to Defend International. In his letter, he states that "despite the long-term detentions and physical and psychological torture which pushed me to the point of death, about which I have reported to different governmental agencies in this country; however, our voices go unheard…"

It bears noting that in March 2010, Mr. Hossein Khezri, aged 28, another Kurdish political prisoner, was transferred from Orumiyeh Central Prison to Qazvin Prison without prior notice, where he stayed for nearly one hand a half months, after which time he was again returned to Orumiyeh Central Prison, where his sentence was carried out on 15 January 2011, and neither his family nor his lawyer were given prior warning.

It also bears nothing that the Kurds are routinely arrested, interrogated, and tortured by the Iranian authorities. They are denied their political, economic, cultural, and religious rights. At least 22 Kurdish political activists are believed to be on death row, some of whom were originally sentenced to imprisonment; however, these sentences were changed to death penalty at the appeal stage.

DI Views & Demands:
Defend International (DI) is deeply concerned about the safety of all prisoners on death row in Iran. DI urges the Iranian authorities to stop the execution of the political prisoner Mr. Habibollah Gulpari, and encourages Iran to review death penalty in light of International Human Rights Law.

DI urges the Iranian authorities to respect the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party. We call on Iran to abolish death penalty; to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Iran, and to refrain from any unfair or inhumane practice that might violate international human rights standards. We also call for the establishment of a committee of jurists to study the implementation of death penalty and transmit a legislative proposal to abolish the capital punishment in Iran. Moreover, we call upon Iran to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. In addition, the international community, namely the EU, should urge the Iranian authorities to "adhere and comply with the relevant international norms and standards" [1].

DI is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty, under all circumstances and in all countries, since it is a violation of the right to life and an extreme form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment. DI is also categorically opposed to torture and other cruel punishments under any condition.

Defend International will continue monitoring the situation in Iran closely.
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