Two Kurdish Prisoners Die of Torture in Iran and Syria


Last week, human rights organizations in Iran reported about the death of a Kurdish youth after he was arrested and tortured by the Kamyaran police. The same week, a Syrian human rights organization reported about the death of a Kurdish citizen during interrogation by Syrian Political Security Intelligence.

The Kurdish youth in Iran, Gholamreza Bayyat, was arrested for possession of alcohol in his hometown Kamyaran. According to HRANA, Gholamreza was subjected to torture that resulted in internal bleeding; eventually he slipped into a coma. Gholamreza died in the hospital, with the coroner determining that the cause of death is severe beating that caused internal bleeding.

The Kurdish Syrian citizen, Riyadh Ahmed Khalil (born 1968) from Afrin Province died in the interrogation center of Political Security Intelligence in Aleppo two months after his arrest. Riyadh was arrested alongside his sons, Ahmed and Dihmat and taken to an unknown location. On August 28, the Khalil family received Riyadh’s body, with the cause of death being internal bleeding in his stomach. Only his wife and parents were allowed to look at the body before it was buried in the village of Saafiya. Riyadh’s sons were not given a release from prison to attend their father’s funeral. Riyadh is the third victim of torture at the hands of Syrian authorities to die in recent times, according to SHRC.

Torture is a common practice in Iranian and Syrian prisons. This week, a report from PDKI showed that four Kurdish prisoners, Kamel Shablooye, Bashir Chartagh, Behruz Alkhani from the city of Salmas and Akbar Akbarlou from the city of Khoy are kept in solitary confinement in Orumiyeh Prison while they recover from torture they suffered at the hand of Ministry of Intelligence interrogators. They’ve been barred from any visitations and contact with the outside world since their arrest eight months ago.