Executed Prisoner Habibollah Golparipour Asked Judicial and Human Rights Officials to Stop His Execution (Audio)
Iranian authorities executed Kurdish political prisoner Habibollah Golparipour on October 26 without conducting any independent investigation into claims of torture, his family learned later that day. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has obtained an audio recording of a letter Golparipour wrote a few weeks before his execution pleading for an investigation and stating his innocence. “I ask all judicial and legal officials in Iran and abroad, as well as officials of human rights organizations inside and abroad, to pursue this subject [my case] in the region in order to prevent the murder of an innocent man. I hope for a day when we would not witness executions in Kurdistan and Iran,” he said.
In another audio file, which can be accessed at the bottom of this article, he refers to months of physical and psychological torture and the unfair judicial review of his case. A source close to Habibollah Golparipour told the Campaign that over the past few weeks, he thought that due to the various problems with his judicial case and his repeated statements about torture, he was not in danger of imminent execution. However, he was executed without any independent investigation into the torture claims, nor an independent review of his judicial process, despite his insistence on his innocence and the lack of evidence proving a crime in his case.
Habibollah Golparipour was arrested in the western city of Mahabad on October 27, 2007, and according to his statements he was detained inside security detention centers in Mahabad, Orumiyeh, and Sanandaj for several months, where he was subjected to psychological and physical torture. The death row political prisoner was transferred to the Orumiyeh Prison’s Quarantine Ward on October 25, 2013, and the next day when his family went to the prison, officials informed them of their son’s execution.
A human rights activist close to the Golparipour family confirmed the news and told the Campaign, “The execution of political prisoner Habibollah Golparipour was carried out inside the prison in the early morning hours of Saturday with security and prison officials in attendance, and his body was transferred to Orumiyeh’s Imam Khomeini Hospital morgue. After the political prisoner’s family traveled from Sanandaj to Orumiyeh Central Prison, they were informed that the execution had been carried out and that they could receive the body in the morgue with the approval of the Intelligence Ministry.”
In this audio file, he speaks about his torture at the detention center. “During the 18 days I was inside the Mahabad IRGC detention center, I was subjected to the harshest physical and psychological torture during interrogations. As a result of the torture, my right arm was cracked and started to bleed, and under the same very severe torture conditions, my right leg and arm were broken. Because I was beaten with a whip many times, my entire body was covered in black and purple bruises and all over my skin I had blisters. Side by side of all these beatings and floggings, using a Taser, they kept giving me electric shocks, and they were so shameless in doing this they even used the Taser on my genitalia. Eventually my hands were burned and signs of the burns [and other injuries] are still visible on my skin,” Golparipour said in the audio file.
Habibollah Golparipour was transferred to Mahabad Prison and sentenced to death by Branch One of Mahabad Revolutionary Court on March 14, 2010, in a minutes-long trial on charges of “membership in PJAK,” the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, and “organizing the Kurdistan Mothers of Peace” group in Mahabad. Golparipour embarked on a 15-day hunger strike on May 12, 2010, to protest his death sentence. However, Branch 31 of the Supreme Court upheld the sentence. In a short letter to the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran and to Human Rights Watch, Golparipour wrote about the harsh conditions he had faced during recent years and asked the Special Rapporteur and Human Rights Watch to try to stop the executions in Iran.
The transcribed text of the letter which the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran obtained in the form of an audio file is as follows:
I was tried on charges of “moharebeh” [enmity with God], and “corruption on earth” in September 2008, and was unfairly sentenced to death. I faced this injustice only because I was publishing and distributing books, [a charge] to which the paragraph-long indictment also refers. This is not the only injustice I have been dealt; since my arrest I have faced mistreatment and torture and this was just a small part of it.
During this time, I have been transferred over and over again between IRGC intelligence organizations and the Intelligence Ministry, and I have been constantly moved between prisons in Kurdistan, Orumiyeh, and Mahabad. During recent times, I was exiled to Semnan, where I stayed for 14 months before I was returned to Mahabad again, and then again to Orumiyeh Prison. Each time during the transfers my family and I became concerned suspecting an imminent execution.”
The last incident was on May 9 , when three police officers transferred me to Mahabad inside a police van in which a cage had been placed. After one day in solitary confinement inside Mahabad Prison, that same afternoon the province intelligence forces transferred me to Orumiyeh Prison, where I was kept handcuffed and footcuffed inside the vehicle until 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. for bureaucratic reasons, and was finally delivered to Orumiyeh Prison at 7:30 a.m. The objective for these repeated transfers from one location to another during these four years was to further portray my case as a political case and to bring legitimacy to my unfair execution sentence. As Kurds, we have consistently been persecuted in this region with this mentality. They portray their intelligence work as important and convince their superiors of it, creating a human ladder from us through which they earn management positions.
I ask all judicial and legal officials in Iran and and abroad, as well as officials of human rights organizations inside and abroad, to pursue this subject [my case] in the region in order to prevent the murder of an innocent man. I hope for a day when we would not witness executions in Kurdistan and Iran.
In another audio file, Habibollah Golparipour provides a detailed account of his arrest and torture inside the intelligence detention centers in Mahabad, Orumiyeh, and Sanandaj, as well as his trial and death sentence. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran publishes the audio files here (in Persian).