Kurdish teacher facing execution
Farzad Kamangar, a teacher, journalist and civil society activist in Kamyaran (in Iranian Kurdistan), has been sentenced to death for alleged Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) membership.
According to his lawyer, the Revolutionary Court of the Iranian regime passed this sentence against the 33-year-old Kurdish teacher on 25 February 2008 - with the prosecution producing “absolutely zero evidence” to support its case! The closed-door court hearing lasted less than five minutes "with the judge issuing his sentence without any explanation and then promptly leaving the room.”
The Iranian regime's security forces detained Kamangar in July 2006, shortly after he arrived in Tehran from Kamyaran. Since his arrest, the authorities have held him in various prisons in Kermanshah, Sanandaj, and Tehran. In a letter written in Sanandaj prison in October 2007, Kamangar gave details about his torture and his family and lawyer have seen clear signs of this when visiting him.
Kamangar’s lawyer has said that the prosecution and death sentence are an indication of “discrimination against Kurds” within the judicial system. It is indeed common practice for this regime to condemn journalists from the ethnic minorities - as well as labour and other activists - on no evidence, then to treat them harshly during their prison terms (or while awaiting their execution) and in jails far away from their home town (or even province).
Farzad Kamangar should be freed immediately and unconditionally and those responsible for his incarceration and torture held to account.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network