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Iran Might Have Executed A Kurdish Prisoner In Secret - Amnesty

Hedayat Abdollahpour, a Kurdish prisoner
Hedayat Abdollahpour, a Kurdish prisoner

Amnesty International (AI) has urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to "urgently clarify the fate and whereabouts" of a Kurdish prisoner who may recently have been secretly executed in the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) custody.

Local authorities told Hedayat Abdollahpour's family that he was executed secretly.

In its statement on Thursday, June 11, AI said that Abdollahpour was sentenced to death three years ago in "an unfair trial."

He was transferred to an unknown location from the Orumieh Central Prison in West Azerbaijan province and his family and lawyers have been desperately trying to obtain further information since then, AI said.

Abdollahpour was accused of being a Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran member, which he consistently denied. The group is considered a terrorist organization by the Islamic Republic.

"Approximately three weeks ago, a prosecutor told Abdollahpour’s lawyers he was in an IRGC detention facility in Orumieh, though there was no indication he was scheduled for execution," AI noted.

Meanwhile, Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, asserted, "If Hedayat Abdollahpour has been executed in secret, his body must be returned to his family immediately and an independent investigation must be conducted into the circumstances surrounding his unlawful execution."

According to Diana Eltahawy, "The fact that the Iranian authorities are playing these cruel games with Hedayat Abdollahpour’s family further demonstrates their contempt for human life. By refusing to reveal the truth, they are deliberately causing untold mental anguish and distress to his loved ones."

The Islamic Republic law requires the authorities to inform lawyers of the scheduled execution 48 hours in advance and grant relatives the last visit. To date, Abdollahpour’s lawyers have not been notified of his execution.

AI believes the Iranian authorities are committing the "crime of enforced disappearance - a crime under international law -" if they refuse to disclose the fate or whereabouts of a victim of such abuse.

"The Iranian authorities have a long record of secretly executing members of ethnic minority groups and burying them in unmarked graves, sometimes refusing to reveal details of deaths for years afterwards," AI said.

Late last month, Abdollahpour’s application for a pardon was rejected for a second time by Iran's Amnesty and Clemency Commission.

Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases. The organization recorded at least 251 executions in Iran last year in its annual death penalty report.