Wednesday, August 01, 2007

1 August 2007
Four Kurdish journalists and writers arrested for expressing support for
two colleagues sentenced to death
SOURCE: Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC), International PEN, London
**Updates IFEX alerts of 23 July, 15 March and 30 January 2007**
(WiPC/IFEX) - WiPC is alarmed by the death sentence handed down to Iranian
Kurdish journalist, writer and human rights activist Adnan Hassanpour on 16
July 2007. Hassanpour, who was arrested on 25 January 2007, is believed to
have been convicted of being a mohareb ("enemy of God") and "acting against
national security", apparently for expressing his views on the Kurdish
issue. International PEN fears that he is being detained solely for the
peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, and, if so, calls for
his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of
the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.
According to PEN's information, Hassanpour, journalist and advocate of
cultural rights for Iranian Kurds, was detained on 25 January in Marivan, a
small city in the northwestern province of Kurdistan. He was reportedly
held incommunicado without charge in a Ministry of Intelligence facility in
Marivan, and transferred to Marivan prison on 26 March. He appeared before
the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj on 12 June, in the presence of
his lawyer.
Hassanpour was reportedly taken from Marivan prison to an unconfirmed place
of detention, possibly the detention facility run by the Ministry of
Intelligence in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province, early in the
morning of 15 July. On 16 July he was told that he had been sentenced to
death on charges of espionage and Moharebeh (being at enmity with God). If
confirmed on appeal, the sentences would then have to be further confirmed
by the Supreme Court.
In April 2007, the Mehr News Agency, which is said to have close links with
Iran's judiciary, apparently alleged that Hassanpour had been in contact
with Kurdish opposition groups and had helped two people from Khuzestan
province, who were wanted by the authorities, to flee from Iran. However,
in an interview carried by the online publication Rooz, Hassanpour's
lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, said that the charges related to a phone
conversation he had with a staff member of Radio Voice of America (see: ).
Hassanpour is a former member of the editorial board of the Kurdish-Persian
weekly journal, "Aso" (Horizon), which was closed by the Iranian
authorities in August 2005 following widespread unrest in Kurdish areas. He
had previously been tried in connection with articles published in the
journal. He is a member of the Kurdish Writer's Association. Hassanpour's
cousin, environmentalist Abdolwahed (known as Hiwa) Butimar was also tried
with Hassanpour on the same charges, and handed down the death penalty.
On 23 July, four Kurdish intellectuals were arrested for their activities
in support of Hassanpour and Butimar, including journalist Ako Kurdnasab, a
board member of the weekly "Karaftu", Behzad Kordestani, a well-known poet
and writer from Marivan, and Bakhtiyar Rehimi, a journalist from Marivan.
Behzad Kordestani was released without charge on 24 July, but Ako Kurdnasab
and Bakhtiyar Rehimi will reportedly remain in jail for at least two
months, and are feared to be held incommunicado.
International PEN is deeply concerned about an apparent pattern of
repression against journalists and human rights activists in Iranian
Kurdistan, which has been ongoing since unrest broke out in the Kurdish
areas of Iran in July 2005, and was violently suppressed by the
authorities. Several other Iranian-Kurdish journalists are currently
detained, including Kaveh Javanmard, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand and Ejlal
Please send appeals to the Iranian authorities:
- expressing dismay at the death sentence handed down to journalist Adnan
Hassanpour, and fears that he is being held in violation of Article 19 of
- expressing concerns at reports that he has been ill treated in detention,
and seeking reassurances from the Iranian authorities that Adnan
Hassanpour's wellbeing is guaranteed
- expressing concern about an apparent crackdown on Iranian-Kurdish
journalists and writers, and calling for the immediate and unconditional
release of all journalists and writers detained in Iranian Kurdistan solely
for the peaceful expression of their views
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: or
Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via Judiciary website:
Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
If possible please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic
representative for Iran in your country.
For further information, contact Cathy McCann at the WiPC, International
PEN, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6ER, U.K., tel: +44
207 405 0338, fax: +44 207 405 0339, e-mail:,,
The information contained in this update is the sole responsibility of
WiPC. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit
555 Richmond St. West, # 1101, PO Box 407
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3B1
tel: +1 416 515 9622 fax: +1 416 515 7879
alerts e-mail: general e-mail
Internet site:

Send Me A Message | | | | Balatarin


  • Thanks guys for promoting this tragic news. Please promote our campaign website:

    By Blogger Stov, At 3:49 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home