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Iran Executes Two Kurdish Political Prisoners In Western City, Rights Groups Say

Diako Rasoolzadeh and Saber Sheikh Abdollah were executed in Iran on July 14, 2020.
Diako Rasoolzadeh and Saber Sheikh Abdollah were executed in Iran on July 14, 2020.

Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported that Iran has executed two Kurdish prisoners in the central prison of Urumiyeh in the early morning hours of Tuesday despite pleas from various rights organizations to drop the death penalty.

The two prisoners, Diako Rasoulzadeh and Saber Sheikh-Abdollah who were sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in Mahabad for "enmity against God" and being members of Komala, were transferred to solitary cells on Monday in preparation for their execution. Komala is a banned Kurdish political party.

Amnesty International had called on Iranian authorities to immediately stop the execution of the two prisoners in a tweet on its Persian-language account only hours before the execution and urged them to allow a fair trial not based on forced confessions as evidence.

In another tweet Amnesty International said the Iranian Judiciary had ignored the protests of the two prisoners about not having had access to legal representation and being tortured to confess during their imprisonment. "The execution of these two young men is an utter denial of justice and a catastrophic and irreparable violation of the right to live," Amnesty said.

Diako Rasoulzadeh, Saber Sheikh-Abdollah and Hossein Osmani were arrested on May 17, 2014 by the Intelligence Ministry for a bombing in Mahabad in September 2010. The bombing which was carried out during a military parade on the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) killed 12 and injured 82 others.

The three young men were heavily tortured in the first three months of their imprisonment and the two who were executed on Tuesday were deceived with promises of leniency as well as torture not to challenge the official account and to appear on TV to confess to having carried out the bombing.

One of the accused, Hossein Osmani, did not accept the charges and told the court that he had been tortured to accept responsibility for the bombing and showed his torture scars.

The Intelligence Ministry claimed that the accused had confessed to being trained, equipped and funded by "the mercenaries of the international arrogance in the region", a reference to the United States. Dissident Kurdish groups including Komala had condemned the terrorist attack.