Halt Execution of Ehsan Fatahian, Review Case

Nov 10, 20090 comments

(10 November 2009)  The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today appealed to the chief of Iran’s Judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani, to halt the execution of Ehsan Fatahian, whose execution is scheduled for 11 November at Sanandaj prison. “We consider Mr. Fatahian to be a prisoner of conscience, who has been unjustly charged, sentenced in violation of Iranian law, and been convicted without due process and in the absence of evidence to prove the case against him,” stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign. “The Judiciary should halt the execution and review the case to institute safeguards so similar miscarriages of justice will not occur again,” he said. Ehsan Fatahian, 28, is a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority. He was initially arrested and tried in the first branch of the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj on the charge of conspiring against national security by being a member of an armed opposition group, and he was sentenced to serve a term of 10 years in prison, in exile. Subsequently, and at variance with Iranian law, the charge of Mohareb, or enmity against God, was added to his indictment, and his sentence was changed to execution. The Campaign has been in direct contact with Fatahian’s family in the past day. They explained that while he was a member of a Kurdish organization, he took no actions against the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and he was never armed. They stated that during his detention, authorities attempted to force him to confess to the prosecutor’s charges, but he resisted. When a lower court sentenced him to a ten-year prison term, the prosecutor appealed the case, at which time new charges were added and the death sentence imposed. The Campaign has filed an urgent appeal with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions about the case.