Public Protest Against Iran’s Decision to Execute 27 Kurdish Prisoners

16/11/2012 RUDAW – TORONTO, Canada—Activists in Iranian Kurdistan have called on people to stage a public strike to protest the death sentence on 27 Kurdish prisoners in Iranian jails.

A group of human rights activists encourage Iranian people to not report to work starting Saturday, November 17, to boycott classes and close the markets. In open letters published on the Internet, the activists have urged people to visit the families of the prisoners on this day in solidarity with their plight. Part of a letter published on Kurdpa, a Kurdish website, says that Kurds everywhere and in every position should object to this anti-human right action. According to the International Campaign for Human Right in Iran 28 Kurds are on death row in Iran in five different prisons of Sanandaj, Uromieh, Semnan, Rajai shahr and Saghez.

The prisoners have been charged with “Moharebeh” or “Animosity with the State” because of their “cooperation with the opposition Kurdish parties.”

The International Campaign for Human Right has released some of the names as Habibollah Latifi, Rashid Akhkandi, Mostafa Salimi, Sherko Maarefi, Sirwan Nejawi, Simco khorshidi, Ebrahim Isapour, Rezgar (Habib) Afshari, Ali Afshari, Habibollah Golpari Pour, Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, Hooshang Rezai, Reza Esmaeili, Behrooz Alkhani, Seid Sami Hosseini, Seyd jamal Mohammadi, and Bakhtiar Memari.


Most of the prisoners are in the Kurdish city of Saghez and their execution by Iranian judiciary authorities could be upheld at any moment.


According to Kurdpa, Saturday’s public strike would also be “In support of Kurdish prisoners in Turkey” who have been on hunger strike for more than two months, demanding the right to education in Kurdish language, the improvement of Abdullah Ocalan (the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party-PKK) and the use of Kurdish language in Turkish courts.The strike in Iran will also stand by “The Kurds in Syria who have been fighting for their basic rights,” reads the letter. Meanwhile, a group of students at Kermanshah and Tehran University have expressed support for the planned public strikes. Students in Tehran defend Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand, a Kurdish journalist and activist currently serving an 11-year sentence charged with “Acting against national security.”

He is the founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan and was awarded the Hellman/Hamett Grant by the Human Right Watch in 2009.

Before herself being to 11 years of imprisonment in Tehran’s Evin prison, Kaboudvand’s lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, said that Kaboudvand’s situation was “one of the most difficult conditions imposed on a prisoner.”