Please take note of this message from the PEN International:
The news that the death sentence against Iranian Kurdish journalist Adnan Hassanpour was confirmed in Tehran has come as a deep shock to International PEN. As International President and International Secretary of International PEN, and as International Chair of its Writers in Prison Committee, it is our opinion that it is a case of utmost gravity when a colleague is sentenced to death for the peaceful exercise of the right to advocate his or her opinions and to disseminate information.
Yours sincerely, Jiri Grusa, International President Eugene Schoulgin, International Secretary Karin Clark, International Chair, Writers in Prison Committee
As a member of the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN am sending you my concern about the death sentence handed down to Iranian Kurdish journalist, writer and human rights activist Adnan Hassanpour on 16 July 2007, which was reportedly confirmed by an appeals court on 31 July 2007. Hassanpour, who was arrested on 25 January 2007, is believed to have been convicted of being a mohareb (Œenemy of God¹), possibly for expressing his views on the Kurdish issue. International PEN is urgently seeking details of the charges against him, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.
According to PEN¹s information, Adnan Hassanpour, journalist and advocate of cultural rights for Iranian Kurds, was detained on 25 January 2007 in Marivan, a small city in the northwestern province of Kurdistan. He was reportedly held incommunicado without charge in a Ministry of Intelligence facility in Marivan, and transferred to Marivan prison on 26 March 2007. He appeared before the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj on 12 June 2007, in the presence of his lawyer.
Adnan Hassanpour was reportedly taken from Marivan prison to an unconfirmed place of detention, possibly the detention facility run by the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province, early in the morning of 15 July 2007. On 16 July 2007 he was told that he had been sentenced to death on charges of espionage and Moharebeh (being at enmity with God). The sentence was confirmed on appeal on 31 July 2007, and must now to be further confirmed by the Supreme Court.
I am dismayed that a fellow writer is sentenced to death for his opinions and plead with you to follow international law and practice. I oppose the death sentence in all cases and sincerely hope that you will take this into consideration,
Hilde Keteleer On behalf of the Writers in prison Committee Flanders