Iran reportedly executes another Kurdish political prisoner; authorities refuse to confirm


Just a couple of weeks after activists worldwide began protesting the imminent risk of execution of Kurdish political prisoner, Mr. Habibollah Latifi, Iranian authorities reportedly executed another political prisoner, Mr. Hossein Khezri. A number of unverified reports state that Mr. Khezri was executed in Urmiye prison on 15 January 2011. The family and lawyer of Mr. Khezri were not notified of the execution and Iranian authorities have refused to confirm or deny whether or not the execution was carried out or not.

Iran has unleashed an execution campaign in 2011 against prisoners being held under various accusations and charges. Mr. Khezri was charged under “moharebeh” (or war against God) for his alleged links to outlawed Kurdish organizations in Iran. Mr. Khezri, like other Kurdish political prisoners currently held, was denied the right to a fair trial and was sentenced to death in a matter of minutes by the court’s judge.

Mr. Hossein Khezri would be the 7th Kurdish political prisoner executed in Iran in the matter of less than 16 months. Last year, Iranian authorities executed political prisoners Mr. Farzad Kamangar, Ms. Shirin Alam Hooli, Mr. Ali Heydarian, and Mr. Farhad Vakili, despite an international campaign protesting the sentences. Earlier that year, Iranian authorities executed another Kurdish political prisoner Mr. Fasih Yasamani, just months after they executed another Kurdish political prisoner, Mr. Ehsan Fattahian.

Mr. Hossein Khezri’s lawyer called the implementaton of this verdict the “most unprecedented in [the] recent history of executions”, referring to the negligence of Iranian authorities to properly contact Mr. Khezri’s family and lawyer about the location of the execution and their refusal to publicly confirm or deny whether the execution was carried out.