Index: MDE 13/133/2007
13 November 2007
Further Information on UA 39/07 (MDE 13/017/2007, 16 February
2007) and follow-up (MDE 13/039/2007, 30 March 2007 and MDE 13/090/2007, 24
July 2007) - Fear of torture/ Arbitrary arrest/Death penalty
Hassanpour (m) aged 27, Kurdish journalist and cultural rights activist
Tayfouri (m), Kurdish journalist and translator
Butimar known as Hiwa (m) aged 29, Kurdish activist and environmentalist
death sentence against Iranian Kurdish journalist and cultural rights
activist Adnan Hassanpour has been upheld by Branch 32 of the Supreme Court.
The sentence needs to be approved by the Head of the Judiciary before it can
be carried out.
The Court also overturned the death sentence against Abdolwahed
(Hiwa) Butimar because of irregularities in legal procedure. His case was
sent back for review to the Revolutionary Court in the city of Marivan,
Kordestan province, which had initially sentenced him.
rulings on both cases were issued on 23 October, but were not immediately
made public. Saleh Nikhbakht, one of the lawyers representing Adnan
Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar, was informed of the Supreme Courtís verdict
on 5 November but on 11 November told the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA)
that the verdict has not formally been issued by the Supreme Court, and
therefore not subject to implementation.
Adnan Hassanpour was detained on 25 January 2007and Hiwa Butimar on
or around 23 December 2006, both in Marivan. On 17 July Adnan Hassanpour
was told that he had been sentenced to death on charges including
espionage and in connection with allegedly revealing the location of
military sites and establishing contacts with the US foreign affairs
ministry and assisting in the flight from Iran of a person wanted for
questioning by the judiciary. Taken together these were considered as
amounting to to the capital offence of moharebeh
(being at enmity with God). The Supreme Court upheld this conclusion and
therefore upheld the death sentence.
two men began a hunger strike on 14 July and remained on it for up to 50
days, demanding improved conditions of detention, an end to their solitary
confinement and their transfer from a detention centre under the control of
the Ministry of Intelligence to an official prison in Marivan, to which
their families would have access. They also demanded the right to have
access to their lawyers whenever they wanted. Following their hunger strike,
Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar were reportedly given better access to
their families and lawyers.
In April, 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.
Adnan Hassanpour is a former member of the editorial board of the
Kurdish-Persian weekly journal Aso
(Horizon), which the authorities closed down in August 2005 following
widespread unrest in Iran's Kurdish areas. Adnan Hassanpour had reportedly
been tried for offences supposedly arising from articles published in the
journal. Hiwa Butimar heads an environmental organization called The Green
Mountain Society, and has also reportedly written articles for Aso.
The Iranian judiciary reportedly said that the two men were not prosecuted
for their work, but for taking up arms against Iran.
Amnesty International has no information about Mansour Tayfouri.
The scope of capital crimes in Iran remains extraordinarily large
and includes vaguely worded charges, such as "enmity against God" (moharebeh
ba Khoda) and "being corrupt on earth" (mofsed
fil arz), which refer, inter alia, to those accused of using
firearms against the state or carrying out acts of robbery and to those who
are considered to be carrying out espionage against the government. These
crimes are regarded as crimes against God and as such are not subject to
pardon. Offences for which judges have discretionary powers to impose the
death penalty include those relating to national security offences.
Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, to which Iran is a state party states: "In countries which have
not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for
the most serious crimes..." The UN Human Rights Committee, the
independent body that reviews states' implementation of this treaty has
stated: "The Committee is of the opinion that the expression 'most
serious crimes' must be read restrictively to mean that the death penalty
should be a quite exceptional measure."
ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian,
Kurdish, English and French or your own language:
- urging the authorities to commute Adnan Hassanpourís death
- welcoming the review of Abdolwahed (Hiwa) Butimarís case;
- acknowledging that governments have a responsibility to bring to
justice those suspected of criminal offences, but stating your unconditional
opposition to the death penalty, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and
degrading punishment and violation of the right to life;
- asking for full details of the charges and evidence against Adnan
Hassanpour and expressing concern that his trial may not have met
international standards for fair trial, which are especially important in
- asking the authorities for information on the detention of Kurdish
journalist Mansour Tayfouri, including any charges and evidence brought
against him and of any trial proceedings, and calling for him to be released
unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a
prompt and fair trial;
- calling on the authorities to ensure that none of the three men is
tortured or ill-treated.
Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi - Ministry of
Justice, Panzdah Khordad (Ark) Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency Email: email@example.com
(In the subject line: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi) Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
(please keep trying, if the called is answered, say "fax please")
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - The Presidency, Palestine
Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98
21 6 649 5880 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - via
Governor of Kordestan - Governor Esmail Najjar - Email: in
Persian and Kurdish, send via feedback form on the website: http://www.ostan-kd.ir/Default.aspx?tabId=150&cv=4@0_1
In English, French or your own language, use the feedback form on the
and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International
Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 December