Families of Kurdish Prisoners Held Incommunicado Fear Imminent Execution
Two Kurdish men, Houshmand Alipour and Mohammad Ostad-Ghader, have been held incommunicado inside Iran’s Intelligence Ministry detention center in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, since they were arrested on August 3, 2018, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
“Protests in Kurdistan [Province] have been on the rise and the broadcast of forced confessions has gotten us worried that they could be executed like Ramin Hossein Panahi was,” Houshmand’s brother, Hejar Alipour told CHRI from exile in Canada on September 22.
“Houshmand has only made one three-minute phone call to his family but nothing precise is known about what has happened to his friend Mohammad, who apparently only has an old father and we haven’t been able to locate any of his relatives,” Alipour said.
On August 8, the Islamic Republic Broadcasting Organization (IRIB) aired what it claimed to be clips of the two young men confessing to participating in armed attacks against Iranian soldiers.
Forced “confessions” in politically motivated cases are often extracted under the threat of or actual torture and then broadcast by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) to justify politically motivated prosecutions.
Since the clips were aired, the prisoners’ families have feared the men could be executed without due process given the recent executions of four Kurdish detainees on September 8 and 10 in West Azerbaijan Province.
The two are members of a militant Kurdish group known as the Parti Azadi Kurdistan (Kurdistan Freedom Party) but were unarmed when they entered northwestern Iran through Iraqi Kurdistan to campaign for their organization, according to Alipour.
Houshmand Alipour’s parents, Mostafa Alipour and Ameneh Moloudian, issued a statement on August 15 denying their son’s involvement in any military operation.
“Our son was only active in informing the public about the situation of Iranian political prisoners and human rights advocates, especially Kurds, and did not commit any crime,” the statement said.
It continued: “Our repeated inquiries to the relevant domestic authorities and our pleas to treat him fairly and avoid torture and allow him access to a lawyer have so far had no results. So far no one has given us answers about his condition or what he has done wrong.”