KI, Brussels, 19/2/15, Reports from BBC, Kurdish Question and Amnesty International

BREAKING: Saman Naseem’s execution did not go ahead as originally scheduled this morning (19/2/15). Saman remains at risk so please keep the pressure on the Iranian government to halt the execution and grant him a judicial review by tweeting the Supreme Leader of Iran @khamenei_ir urging him to stop the execution, which is unlawful under international law, given Saman’s age when he was arrested.

Suggested tweet:

#Iran must halt #SamanNaseem’s execution & end #DeathPenalty #SaveSaman #StopTorture @khamenei_ir


Saman Naseem

Saman Naseem


FIve other political prisonners also risk execution any time now … (Kurdish Question, 18/2/15)

It has been reported that six political prisoners who were sentenced to death by hanging in Iran have been transferred from Urmia prison to an unknown location.

In Iran prisoners are sent to single person cells one day before the death sentence is carried raising fears that the prisoners are in imminent danger. The International Federation for Human Rights President Abdulkerim Lahici and a number of other non-governmental organisations have called on international public opinion to act urgently.

One of the prisoners, Saman Naseem, was sentenced to death at the age of 17. His case was recently publicised by Amnesty International and a campaign was started to prevent his death. The other prisoners have been named as Sirwan Nejavi, Ibrahim Isapur, Ali Afsari and Habib Afsari who are all Kurdish and Azeri prisoner Yunus Agayan.

Source: Kurdish Question


Saman Naseem’s story (as reported by BBC, 18/2/15)

UN experts have joined human rights activists in calling on Tehran to halt the planned execution an Iranian-Kurdish man who was 17 when arrested.

Saman Naseem, 22, is set to be executed on Thursday in West Azerbaijan province for his alleged involvement in armed activities by a banned Kurdish party.

He was sentenced to death in 2013 after allegedly confessing under torture.

The UN experts said the execution of juvenile offenders was clearly prohibited by international law.

They also recalled repeated assertions by the Iranian authorities that confessions obtained under torture were inadmissible under Iranian law.

‘Hung by feet’

Mr Naseem was arrested in July 2011 following a gun battle in the city of Sardasht between members of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) and the Revolutionary Guards.

He alleges that he was held in a ministry of intelligence detention centre without access to his family or a lawyer, and tortured for 97 days before being forced, while blindfolded, to put his fingerprints on a false confession.

“During the first days, the level of torture was so severe that it left me unable to walk. All my body was black and blue. They hung me from my hands and feet for hours,” he wrote in a letter to Amnesty International.

He added: “When I wanted to sleep during nights, they would not let me rest by making noises using different devices, including by constantly banging on the door. I was in a state between madness and consciousness.”

Although he retracted the confession at trial and told the judge he was tortured, he was sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in January 2012 for “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” for his membership of the PJAK and alleged involvement in its armed activities.

In August 2012, the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and sent Mr Naseem’s case for retrial on the grounds that he had been under 18 at the time of his arrest. However, he was again sentenced to death in April 2013 by a criminal court and the Supreme Court this time upheld his death sentence in December 2013

‘State of injustice’

“Time is running out for Saman Naseem. The fact that Iran is willing to execute a man who was tortured to confess to a crime he is accused of having committed as when he was a child, shows the state of injustice in the country”, Amnesty International’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said.

It was not too late to stop his execution and launch “a thorough judicial review of his case”, she added.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) also demanded a halt to the execution and called for the death sentence against him to be overturned.

The UN experts expressed serious concerns over the increasing number of executions in Iran, including of women and political prisoners, and renewed their call on the government to immediately stop them.

More than 700 people, including 14 women and at least 13 juveniles, were believed to have been executed in 2014, they said. At least 60 people, including four women, have reportedly been executed in January alone, and a large number are currently at risk of execution.

Published by BBC