PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/094/2008
11 July 2008
Further Information on UA 147/08 (MDE 13/075/2008, 30 May 2008) Death Penalty/torture/ill-treatment
IRAN Farzad Kamangar (alias Siamand) (m), aged 32, teacher ]
Ali Heydariyan (m) ] Iranian citizens of Kurdish
Farhad Vakili (m) ] ethnic origin
According to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Activists in Iran, the Supreme Court has
confirmed the death sentences of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili.
All three were sentenced to death in February 2008 after conviction of “moharebeh”, (enmity against God), a
charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, apparently in connection with their
alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which carries out attacks in
Turkey. Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili were also sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, apparently for
forging documents. Under Iranian law, they must serve their prison sentences before being executed.
Human Rights Activists in Iran also reported that when prison authorities at Raja'I Shahr prison in Tehran
province told Farzad Kamangar of the Supreme Court's decision, they asked him to write a letter seeking
clemency. He refused to do this, as it would have been an acknowledgement of guilt, and he has always
denied committing any crime. As a result, his death sentence will be sent for approval to the Head of the
Judiciary, after which it could be carried out at any time.
Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other ethnic Kurds, Ali
Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006.
Farzad Kamangar has been held incommunicado at a series of locations, including in the cities of
Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Tehran, and has been tortured, including by being beaten, flogged and
electrocuted. As a result of this torture, his arms and legs have started to tremble involuntarily.
Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many ethnic groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the
province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. For many years,
Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala have taken up arms
against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Another armed group, the Kurdistan Independent Life Party (PJAK),
continues to carry out armed attacks against Iranian security and government. Iran has accused foreign
governments of fomenting unrest among the country's ethnic minorities.
The scope of capital crimes in Iran remains extremely broad. Judges have discretionary powers to impose the
death penalty for certain offences, including those relating to national security. According to Farzad
Kamangar’s lawyer, no other person convicted of membership of the PKK has been sentenced to death.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English,
French or your own language:
- urging the authorities to commute the death sentence of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad