Iran: Two Kurds at imminent risk of execution: Hossein Khezri and Zeynab Jalalian




Hossein Khezri, a 28-year-old man, and Zeynab Jalalian, a 27-year-old woman, both members of Iran’s Kurdish minority, are feared to be at imminent risk of execution. Both were convicted of “enmity against God”, in separate cases, for membership of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan.

Hossein Khezri was arrested in Kermanshah in 2008, held in detention facilities under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence and Revolutionary Guards, and was later sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in Oromieh, north-west Iran, for “enmity against God” (“moharebeh”). His sentence was upheld in or around August 2009. He said he was tortured and asked for an investigation, but his request was denied in March 2010. On 11 April 2010, he was moved from Oromieh Central Prison to an unknown location, raising fears that his execution may be imminent.

Zeynab Jalalian, from Maku, a town in the north-west of Iran, was sentenced to death for “enmity against God” around January 2009 by Kermanshah Revolutionary Court. Before that, she had spent eight months in a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility, during which time her family had no information concerning her fate. She is reported not to have been granted access to a lawyer during her trial, which she said lasted only a few minutes. Zeynab Jalalian’s death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court on 26 November 2009.

In early March 2010, Zeynab Jalalian was moved from Kermanshah Prison to an unknown location, possibly a detention facility of the Ministry of Intelligence. After several weeks, in late March 2010, she was transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. The precise reasons for her transfer are unknown, but the website Reporters and Human Rights Activists in Iran has reported that she said she is awaiting execution.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

* Urging the Iranian authorities not to execute Hossein Khezri and Zeynab Jalalian;;
* Calling on them to commute their death sentences and to retry them in fair proceedings in line with international law and to disregard any evidence obtained under torture or other ill-treatment:
* Stating that Amnesty International recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice, in conformity with international standards for fair trial, those suspected of criminal offences, but opposes the death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.


Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

via website: (English)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani

Office of the Head of the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website:

First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986

Email: [email protected] (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Zaynab Jalalian wrote a letter the day after her sentence was confirmed, which was published on the internet. In the letter, she claimed to have been tortured, and she said: “I asked the Judge if I could say good-bye to my mother. He told me “shut up.” The Judge rejected my appeal and refused to let me to see my mother.”

Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many minority groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. They experience religious, economic and cultural discrimination (for further information see Iran: Human Rights Abuses against the Kurdish minority, July 2008, Index MDE 13/008/2008). For many years, Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Marxist group, Komala, conducted armed struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (known by its Kurdish acronym PJAK), formed in 2004, aims to establish in Iran a “democratic system in which all citizens: Iranians, Kurds, Azarbaijanis, Baluch, Turkmans, Arabs and all other ethnic groups within the framework of the democratic system can govern themselves”. It has carried out armed attacks against Iranian security forces, but declared a unilateral ceasefire in 2009.

The scope of capital crimes in Iran is broad, and includes “enmity against God”, often imposed for armed opposition to the state, but can include other national security offences such as espionage. Two Kurdish men – Ehsan Fattahian and Fasih Yasmani – have been executed for such alleged offences since November 2009 (see UA: 271/09 and follow ups and Iran: Halt executions of Kurdish and other political prisoners, 12 January 2010, Index: MDE 13/007/2010)

At least 18 other Kurdish men and one other Kurdish woman are believed to be on death row in connection with their alleged membership of and activities for banned Kurdish organizations. They include Farzad Kamangar, Farhad Vakili, Habibollah Latifi, Sherko Moarefi, Ali Haydarian, Anvar Rostami, Rostam Arkiya, Mostafa Salimi, Hassan Talai, Iraj Mohammadi, Rashid Akhkandi, Mohammad Amin Agoushi, Ahmad Pouladkani, Sayed Sami Hosseini, Sayed Jamal Mohammadi, Mohammad Amin Abdolahi, Ghader Mohamadzadeh, Aziz Mohammadzadeh and Shirin Alam-Hoei. Some have had their prison sentences increased to death sentences on appeal. For further information on some of the Kurds on death row for political offences, see Iran: Worsening repression of dissent as election approaches, February 2009, MDE 13/012/2009:

UA: 88/10 Index: MDE 13/038/2010 Issue Date: 21 April 2010