Kamal Hassan Ramezan, a 31-Year-Old Syrian Kurd, At Imminent Risk Of Execution
On 13 August, Kamal Hassan Ramezan, a Syrian Kurd on death row in Iran, was removed from his cell in Urumieh Central Prison in the city of Urumieh, West Azerbaijan province, by officials from the Office for the Implementation of Sentences. He has not been heard from since. He is at imminent risk of execution.
Kamal Hassan Ramezan, a 31-year-old Syrian Kurd, who has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 28 August 2014 and who has been sentenced to death, is at imminent risk of execution. On 13 August, he was taken from Urumieh Central Prison by men who presented themselves as officials from the Intelligence Unit of the Revolutionary Guards, and who claimed that they were taking him for questioning to a Revolutionary Guards detention centre in the city of Urumieh. It has since transpired that they were officials from Branch 9 of the Office for the Implementation of Sentences in Urumieh Central Prison, sparking fears that his execution is imminent.
Kamal Hassan Ramezan was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in August 2014 and held for four months in solitary confinement in a detention centre in Urumieh, where he has said he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated and told to make a “confession” in front of a video camera. He was denied access to his family and a lawyer. In August 2015, he was tried before a Revolutionary Court during a one-hour hearing without a lawyer present and sentenced to 10 years and one day in prison, later reduced to seven years, on national security-related charges in relation to his alleged membership of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In May 2017, while in prison, he was summoned to the prison’s Office for the Implementation of Sentences and told that, in November 2011, the authorities had convicted and sentenced an individual named “Kamal Soor” in his absence for “enmity against God” (moharebeh) and that they now believed he was this individual under another name. He was convicted of being involved in a clash that had taken place in or around July 2011 in Urumieh between an armed Kurdish group and the Revolutionary Guards, in which a member of the Revolutionary Guards was killed. Kamal Hassan Ramezan has told the authorities that he is not Kamal Soor and that he was not in Iran at the time of the clash. Despite this, he has been told that his death sentence is final, meaning that he cannot appeal the decision. His lawyer’s requests to the Supreme Court for a judicial review of his case have all been rejected.
Kamal Hassan Ramezan has a goitre (a swelling in the neck resulting from an enlarged thyroid gland) and needs specialized medical care outside prison, which he has so far been refused by the authorities.
Please write immediately in English, Persian, or your own language, calling on the Iranian authorities to:
- Halt any plans to execute Kamal Hassan Ramezan, quash both his convictions and death sentence, and grant him retrials in line with international fair trial standards without recourse to the death penalty;
- Order a prompt, independent, effective, and impartial investigation into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bringing to justice anyone found responsible in fair trials and without recourse to the death penalty, and ensure that he has access to adequate specialized medical care outside prison;
- Establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 SEPTEMBER 2018 TO:
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Esfaniar Boulevard, Niayesh Intersection
Vali Asr Avenue, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Spokesperson of the Legal and Judicial Parliamentary Commission
Haj Hassan Norouzi
Islamic Consultative Assembly
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Kamal Hassan Ramezan was arrested on 28 August 2014 by officials from the Intelligence Unit of the Revolutionary Guards, as he was travelling with two Iranian Kurds near Urumieh. He was held for four months in solitary confinement in a detention centre run by both the Intelligence Unit of the Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Intelligence in Urumieh before being transferred to Urumieh Central Prison. During interrogations, which were held without the presence of a lawyer, he was accused of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish opposition group in Turkey. Following an unfair trial before Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Urumieh, which took place on 14 August 2015 and lasted only an hour, he was convicted of national security-related charges in connection with his alleged membership of the PKK.
In 2016 and 2017, while serving his prison sentence in Urumieh Central Prison, Kamal Hassan Ramezan was transferred out of the prison on three separate occasions and taken to detention centres run by the Intelligence Unit of the Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Intelligence, where he was held for long periods without a lawyer present. During interrogations, he was accused of being involved in a clash that had taken place in or around July 2011 between the Revolutionary Guards and armed members of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) in Urumieh, which had resulted in the death of a member of the Revolutionary Guards. He was also told to make a “confession” in front of a video camera, which he refused to do. PJAK is a Kurdish political opposition group in Iran which has an armed wing.
On 20 May 2017, Kamal Hassan Ramezan was summoned to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences in Urumieh Central Prison and told that Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court in Urumieh had sentenced an individual named “Kamal Soor” to death for “enmity against God” (moharebeh) in November 2011 for involvement in the clash and that the authorities now believed that he was in fact this individual under another name. He has told the authorities that he is not Kamal Soor and has denied the charge on the basis that he was not in Iran at the time of the clash. He was allowed to read the court verdict but was not permitted to keep a copy.
Kamal Hassan Ramezan has denied being a member of PJAK but has apparently admitted having links with the PKK. He has said that he has been involved in some of their political activities for the group, but not in any of their armed activities.
Amnesty International understands that, in recent months, the authorities have opened a new case against him in which they have accused him of the murder of government officials. Amnesty International has no further information about this case.