Iran executes Kurdish Political Prisoner Ehsan Fattahian Nov 11


ehsanAccording to several reports, Kurdish activist, Ehsan Fattahian, was executed today, November 11th 2009, in Iran.  Ehsan was transferred to a solitary ward in Sanandaj prison late yesterday before being executed. Family members, friends and activists gathered outside the prison in protest of his execution. Despite numerous calls from human rights organizations and activists across the world, Ehsan’s sentence was carried out and he was executed.

Ehsan Fattahian was arrested in July 2008 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for his membership in a banned opposition group in Iran. During the appeals process, his sentence was changed by the provincial appeals court to execution for being an “enemy of God” for his activities. None of the activities that Ehsan was engaged in were proven to be violent or connected to any violence and despite reports of Ehsan’s undergoing brutal torture while in the custody of Iranian authorities, he refused to confess to the allegations against him that he helped carry arms or that he participated in an armed struggle. Furthermore, Ehsan’s new sentence was never subject to appeal as required by international law.

Since Sunday, Ehsan Fattahian and a reported 40 other political prisoners began a hunger strike in protest against the death sentence. Despite these actions and the calls for a halt to the execution by activists and human rights organizations all over the world, Iranian authorities carried out the execution on 11 Nov 2009.

Ehsan Fattahian is one of at least 12 other Kurdish political prisoners in Iran who have been sentenced to death after suffering torture treatments and being put through quick show trials. The names of 12 other Kurdish political prisoners that are currently facing death sentences are listed below. The exact dates of the executions are not known but they could happen at any time.

The Alliance for Kurdish Rights calls on Iranian authorities for an immediate moratorium on all executions in Iran. The Alliance for Kurdish Rights also urges Iranian authorities to release all political prisoners in Iran.

1. Ms. Zeynab Jalaliyan
2. Habib Latifi
3. Shirkuh Moarefi
4. Ramezan Ahmad
5. Farha Chalesh
6. Rostam Arkiya
7. Fazih Yasamini
8. Rashid Akhkandi
9. Ali Heydariyan
10. Farhad Vakili
11. Hossein Khazari
12. Farzad Kamangar

In a final letter released just before his execution, Ehsan Fattahian wrote:

I don’t want to talk about death; I want to question the reasons behind it. Today, when punishment is the answer for those who seek freedom and justice, how can one fear his fate? Those of “us” who have been sentenced to death by “them” are only guilty of seeking an opening to a better and fair world. Are “they” also aware of their deeds?

If the rulers and oppressors think that, with my death, the Kurdish question will go away, they are wrong. My death and the deaths of thousands of others like me will not cure the pain; they will only add to the flames of this fire. There is no doubt that every death is the beginning of a new life.

The Kurdish people in Iran live mostly in the northwestern region in the province of Kordestan and other neighboring provinces along the borders of Turkey and Iraq. Kurds in Iran experience political, religious, economic and cultural discrimination.