#2 to RAN 11/07
Death sentence against Iranian
Kurdish journalist Adnan Hassanpour confirmed
Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN reiterates its 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
(Ďenemy of Godí), 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.
to PENís 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 be further confirmed by the Supreme Court.
In April 2007, the Mehr News Agency, which is said to have close links
with Iranís judiciary, apparently alleged that Adnan Hassanpour had
been in contact with Kurdish opposition groups and had helped two people
from Khuzestan province, who were wanted by the authorities, to flee
from Iran. However, in an interview carried by the online publication Rooz,
Hassanpour's lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, said that the charges related to a
phone conversation he had with a staff member of Radio Voice of America
Hassanpour is a former member of the editorial board of the
Kurdish-Persian weekly journal, Aso
(Horizon), which was closed by
the Iranian authorities in August 2005 following widespread unrest in
Kurdish areas. He had previously been tried in connection with articles
published in the journal. He is a member of the Kurdish Writerís
Association. Hassanpourís cousin, environmentalist Abdolwahed (known
as Hiwa) Butimar was also tried with Hassanpour on the same charges, and
handed down the death penalty.
23 July 2007, four Kurdish intellectuals were arrested for their
activities in support of Hassanpour and Butimar, including journalist Ako
Kurdnasab, a Board member of the weekly Karaftu, Behzad Kordestani, a well-known poet and writer from
Marivan, and Bakhtiyar Rahimi, a journalist from Marivan. Behzad
Kordestani was released without charge on 24 July 2007, but Ako
Kurdnasab and Bakhtiyar Rahimi will reportedly remain in jail for at
least two months, and are feared to be held incommunicado.
PEN is deeply concerned about an apparant pattern of repression against
journalists and human rights activists in Iranian Kurdistan, which has
been ongoing since unrest
broke out in the Kurdish areas of Iran in July 2005, and was violently
suppressed by the authorities. Several other
Iranian-Kurdish journalists are currently detained, including Kaveh
Javanmard, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand and
Ejlal Qavami (see previous alerts).
dismay at the death sentence handed down to journalist Adnan Hassanpour,
and fears that he is being held in violation of Article 19 of the ICCPR.
concerns at reports that he has been ill treated in detention, and
seeking reassurances from the Iranian authorities that Adnan
Hassanpourís wellbeing is guaranteed.
concern about an apparent crackdown on Iranian-Kurdish journalists and
writers, and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all
journalists and writers detained in Iranian Kurdistan solely for the
peaceful expression of their views.
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ĎAli Khamenei,
Office of the Supreme Leader
Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
of the Judiciary
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Islamic Republic of Iran
via Judiciary website: Iranjudiciary.org/feedback_en.html
Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Republic of Iran.
Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Islamic Republic of Iran
Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
"Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")
possible please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic
representative for Iran in your country.
- For further information please
contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee,
Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20
7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: