67 Kurds executed in Iran in 2015
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – UN Representative of the Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva (KMMK-G) Taimoor Aliassi told K24 on Saturday, “Out of 830 prisoners executed in Iran in 2015, [at least] 67 were Kurds though only 47 have been identified.”
In its annual report on Iran for 2015, US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated, “Convicted drug offenders sentenced after flawed trials in revolutionary courts formed the majority of prisoners executed.”
“Executions, especially for drug-related offenses, increased sharply from previous years,” the report added.
Aliassi highlighted specific tactics used in Iran to contain the population, “Drug policies in Iran are a matter of politically controlling the population, especially minority ethnic groups. 85 percent of prisoners in Sina (Sanandaj) are drug-related convicts.”
The HRW report also stated, “Revolutionary courts have also handed out death sentences on charges of Moharebeh (enmity against God). Dozens of others [have been] sentenced on [trumped-up] terrorism-related charges, including many Kurds and Baluch.”
The KMMK-G representative added that 63 of the 93 prisoners on death row, facing capital punishment for Moharebeh, are Kurds. The term “Moharebeh” is used for people who have alleged ties with armed oppositions.
According to a HRW report published on March 2015, six Kurdish prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj were executed for Moharebeh. Behrouz Alkhani was another Iranian Kurd charged with this crime and was executed on Aug. 2015. Alkhani was allegedly involved in assassinating a prosecutor on behalf of the Kurdish Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
Saman Naseem, a Kurdish prisoner on death row, is also accused of Moharebeh. He was 17-years-old when arrested for his alleged membership in PJAK. Efforts last year by the UN and international NGO's resulted in a delayed death sentence.
According to Aliassi, in early 2016 out of 1,252 Iranian political prisoners, 467 were Kurds.
Human rights activists are concerned that the recent partial lifting of economic sanctions against Iran may pave the way for its security forces to increase suppression of fundamental freedoms of people.
”Experience indicates that whenever Iran improves its relations with western powers, repression inside the country rises,” Aliassi said.
Reporting by Payam Amiri
Editing by Ava Homa, Benjamin Kewskin and Karzan Sulaivany