Amnesty International worried about death sentence of Kurdish man in Iran

Houshmand Alipour has said he was tortured into making the “confessions” during interrogations when he had no access to a lawyer.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Houshmand Alipour is at risk of execution after he was sentenced to death on Dec. 29, 2019, following an unfair trial, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

Alipour was tried before Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj (Sine), Kurdistan Province, and was convicted of “armed rebellion against the state.”

He was also convicted of several other charges including “spreading propaganda against the system” and “membership of a group with the purpose of disrupting national security,” for which he received 16 years in prison.

Meanwhile, another Iranian Kurd, Mohammad Ostadghader, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in the same trial for multiple charges including “spreading propaganda against the system.”

Under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, he will be required to serve five years in prison.

Both men were denied access to lawyers of their choosing and say they were forced to give “confessions” under torture and other ill-treatment.

The Iranian state media broadcasted their confessions.

On Aug. 3, 2018, security forces arrested both near Saqqez.

According to Amnesty International, they were arrested on suspicion of taking part in an armed attack against a security base in that city, which they both deny.

Kurdish media reports suggest they were Peshmerga fighters for the Iranian Kurdish opposition group, the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK).

Alipour has since said both men were tortured into making the “confessions” during interrogations when they had no access to a lawyer.

He told his family that the only reason he made the “confession” was to stop the torture.

Their lawyer has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against their convictions and sentences.

In a letter to Iran’s Head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, Amnesty International called on Iran to give Alipour and Ostadghader a fair retrial and to ensure they are protected from torture.

Amnesty also called on Iran to stop the broadcasting of forced confessions and to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions to abolish the death penalty.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany