ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Yousef Kakehmami, an Iranian Kurd already serving a nine-year sentence in Oroumieh Central Prison, was sentenced to five more years for writing a letter to the United Nations (UN).
Kakehmami was denied a state-appointed lawyer although most prisoners receive one. Amnesty International (AI) reported on Tuesday that after two unfair trails in 2006 and 2008, the Kurdish prisoner received three and six-year sentences respectively.
“Yousef Kakehmami, 38, was taken to Branch Six of the Office of the Prosecutor in Oroumieh several times in 2015, and questioned, without a lawyer present,” AI wrote.
“He was told he had been charged with ‘spreading propaganda against the system’ and ‘communicating with foreign media and organizations,’ and questioned about a letter he had written in March 2015 to Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, detailing his recent transfer to a detention facility run by the Revolutionary Guards, where he said he had been tortured and otherwise ill-treated,” the AI statement added.
A farmer from the village of Ghareh Balagh near the Kurdish city of Mahabad in the West Azerbaijan Province, Kakehmami was first arrested by Ministry of Intelligence Officials in August 2006.
In his August 2015 report, the UN Secretary General stated that a number of UN Special Rapporteurs are concerned with reprisals against various people in Iran who were in contact with UN human rights.
Taimoor Aliassi, representative to UN of the Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva (KMMK-G), told Kurdistan24 that Iran currently has 1152 political prisoners, 467 of them belong to the Kurdish minority and out of 93 prisoners sentenced for Moharebeh (enmity against God), 63 of them are Kurds.
“Moreover, 95 percent of secret executions in Iran are taking place in ethnic territories. The case of Mr. Youssef Kakehmami is not an exception. Kurds, Baluchi and Bahaïs are facing multiple discriminations and unfair trials which violate the ICCPR treaty that Iran is party to,” Aliassi said.
Articles 19 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran has officially agreed to in the past, is meant to protect the rights to freedom of expression and association, which includes the right to communicate with UN human rights mechanisms.
Amnesty International calls upon people to contact Iranian authorities to quash Kakehmami’s recent conviction which appears to be for his communication with the UN Special Rapporteur, and ensure he is released no later than the expiry of his 2008 sentence.
Reporting by Ava Homa
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany