Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Iran: Further information: Supporters of Kurd sentenced to death held

Amnesty International
March 4, 2011
Appeal/Urgent Action

Further information on UA: 271/09

Index: MDE 13/026/2011

Two Iranian Kurdish men, who were arrested while celebrating the postponement of a fellow activist's execution in December, remain in detention. They are both prisoners of conscience. Habibollah Latifi is still at risk of execution, but no new date for his execution has been scheduled.

The execution of Habibollah Latifi, an industrial engineering student at Ilam University, was not carried out on 26 December 2010, as scheduled. While he remains at risk of execution, no date is known to have been set for his execution. Amnesty International will carefully monitor developments in his case.

Following the postponement of the execution, family members and activists gathered at the Latifi household. The house was raided and around 24 people were arrested, including Habibollah Latifi's relatives .Most have now been released but civil society activist, journalist and poet, Sa’id Sa’edi and Yahya Qavami continue to be held. On 5 February 2011, their detention was reportedly extended by one month.

Sa’id Sa’edi is reported to be held in a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Sanandaj, Kordestan. As of 13 February he had been denied all contact with his family save for a one minute telephone conversation. Iranian intelligence officials have reportedly tortured him and as a result he is reported to have injuries to a hand and a foot.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Kurdish, English, or your own language:

Urging the Iranian authorities to clarify where Sa’id Sa’edi, along with Yahya Qavami are held, reminding them of their obligation to ensure they are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated; Calling for the immediate release of Sa’id Sa’edi, along with Yahya Qavami, both of whom were arrested for having taken part in a peaceful meeting in solidarity with the Latifi family Urging the authorities to commute Habibollah Latifi’s death sentence, imposed for political offences after an unfair trial, in line with international standards.


Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English);

http://www.leader.ir/langs/fa/index.php?p=letter (Persian)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

Office of the Head of the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website: http://www.bia-judiciary.ir/tabid/62/Default.aspx;

2nd box (starred)=first name,3rd box(starred)=family name,5th box (starred)=email address, last box=substance of message

To send press grey box on left bottom side

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Governor of Kordestan Province

Esmail Najjar

Email: In Persian and Kurdish, send via feedback form on the website: http://www.ostan-kd.ir/Default.aspx?tabId=150&[email protected]_1 In English, French or other languages, use the feedback form on the website: http://en.ostan-kd.ir/Default.aspx?TabID=59

Salutation: Dear Governor

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the fifth update of UA 271/09. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/003/2011/en


Habibollah Latifi, an industrial engineering student at Ilam University, was arrested on 23 October 2007 in Sanandaj and sentenced to death on 3 July 2008 following an unfair trial before the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court. He was convicted of moharebeh (enmity against God), a vague charge which can be punished by the death penalty. According to his lawyer, Habibollah Latifi denied accusations that he was involved in attacks in the city of Sanandaj, including on the car of a judicial official in Sanandaj on behalf of the Party For Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).

His trial was held behind closed doors and his lawyer was not allowed to be present to defend him. His family was also not allowed to attend the trial. His death sentence was upheld by the Appeal Court in Sanandaj on 18 February 2009. The scheduled execution was, however, halted hours before it was due to be carried out on 26 December 2010.

Following the postponement of the execution, family members and activists gathered at the Latifi household, when up to 50 members of the security forces raided the house and arrested seven members of the Latifi family, along with around 17 others. By 30 December 2010, the members of his family had been released on bail of around 220 million Iranian rials or around 21,000 US dollars each. On 6 January 2011, an NGO activist and a journalist were also released along with a further eight, though the dates and details of their release are not known to Amnesty International. At least on of those who was detained has now fled Iran, fearing for his safety.

Sa’id Sa’edi helped to establish the East Kurdistan Cultural Research Institute (EKCRI or the Xorkhelat Institute), an NGO whose request for a license legally recognising their existence was turned down by the police. On 2 August 2005 he was arrested for helping to organize a protest demonstration over the killing of a Kurdish rights activist in July 2005. Held for eight days, he was beaten, transferred to another prison where he was held incommunicado for two weeks and eventually released on bail in October 2005.. In June 2007 a court in Sanandaj sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment for attending rallies in mid-2005 and to six months’ imprisonment for “propaganda against the system”. He said that he went to the rallies to report on them as a journalist. This sentence was reduced on appeal to a fine. He was later tried in February 2008 before a branch of the General Court on charges of criminal damage, also in connection with an earlier demonstration.

Yahya Qavami is a member of several cultural and environmental NGOs in Sanandaj. His cousin, Ajlal Qavami, a civil society activist, had previously been arrested with Sa’ed Sa’edi.

Kurds are one of Iran’s many minority groups and live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. They experience religious, economic and cultural discrimination. For more information on human rights violations against the Kurdish minority in Iran, see: Iran: Human rights abuses against the Kurdish minority, (Index: MDE 13/088/2008), 30 July 2008 at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/088/2008/en