Kurdish political prisoner in Iran on hunger strike, others at high risk


According to a number of individual sources, Kurdish political prisoner – Mohammad Amin Agoushi – has gone on hunger strike since August 15th.

Mr. Agoushi is being held at the central prison in Orumieh and has been sentenced to death on charges of moharebeh or “waging war on God”. He went on a hunger strike to protest the conditions of the prison.

Mr. Agoushi is one of at least 14 other known political prisoners on death row in Iran of Kurdish descent. The other political prisoners are Zeynab Jalalian, Habibollah Latifi, Shirkou Maarefi, Jamal Mohammadi, Sami Hosseini, Rostam Arkia, Rashid Akhkandi, Hossein Khazri, Mostafa Salimi, Anvar Rostami, Iraj Mohammadi, Ahmad Pouladkhani, Hasan Talei and Habibollah Golpalipour.

Many of these individuals are facing imminent risk of execution. Recently, Zeynab Jalalian, a 27-year-old Kurdish woman, was transferred to an unknown location; a common procedure before an execution is carried out in Iran. Activists in Iran and internationally have called for her release and the others as well. In nearly all cases, lawyers and families have complained that the death sentences were handed out after short show trials in which the defendants had little or no access to their lawyers. In some cases, activists who only speak Kurdish faced Persian-speaking courts in which there was no way to defend themselves.