Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kurdish Prisoner Ghader Mohammadzadeh Transferred to Solitary Confinement

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A Kurdish prisoner in Iran who is currently serving a 20-year sentence was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement without a clear reason.

Ghader Mohammadzadeh was accused of muharibih, or “enmity against God,” for allegedly belonging to a Kurdish political party (Komalah). Activists say Mohammadzadeh’s attorney was not given access to the client’s file and was not present when the prisoner received his verdict.
When he appealed to his sentence of 32 year imprisonment, he was sentenced to execution, in response.
“It is not clear if the defendant has any further right of appeal over such a conviction and sentence, despite the requirement… that ‘everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.’ It would appear that a defendant in such a circumstance could request an extraordinary review of his or her case, but the Head of the Judiciary can refuse such a request and there is nothing to prevent an execution going ahead in such circumstances once the death warrant has been signed by the Head of the Judiciary,” Amnesty reported.
Ehsan Fatahian, Kurdish-Iranian activist, was treated the same way. When he appealed to his original sentence of 10 years in prison, he was sentenced to death and was executed in 2009 at the age of 28.
When international media covered this current case, Mohammadzadeh was placed under ongoing psychological pressure, threats and interrogation. In the end, the Intelligence Office of Orumiyeh accused the prisoners of allegedly being in connection with the Western media, reported Iran Human Rights Documentation (IHRD) in March 2010.
Mohammadzadeh’s death penalty was later reduced to twenty years imprisonment. He was arrested in 2005 in his home village of Mirvaband, near the city of Bukan in the west of Khuzestan province.
Mohammad Amin Abdollahi was also arrested at the same time with Mohammadzadeh and on the same charges. Both cases received international attention which saved them from execution but added to their time in prison. The two spent over a year in legal limbo until in winter 2006, when they were charged with “enmity against God.” 

This is an ongoing trend of Kurdish-Iranian men thrown into Iranian prisons for their Kurdish affiliation. Other Kurdish political prisoners are living under dire conditions in Iranian prisons including Muhammad Sediq Kaboudvand, a Kurdish journalist who was convicted in 2007 of breaking numerous laws including “acting against national security” and “widespread propagation against the system.” He is serving an 11-year sentence. Those that have perished include Farzad Kamangar, 32, Ehsan Fattahian, 28, and Fasih Yasmani, 28, who were among those hanged for “enmity against God.”

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