Iran’s regime executed a Kurdish political prisoner

Kurdish militant Arash Ahmadi

Iran’s regime executed on Wednesday a kurdish militant that he had been convicted of killing a police officer, a case condemned by human rights groups who called him a political prisoner.

Arash Ahmadialso known as Sarkot, a member of the Komala terror group, was executed this morning,” Iranian state television said.

He said Ahmadi, 29, had killed police major Hassan Maleki in Ravansar, a city in the western province of kermanshahin August 2018.

The channel showed videos of Ahmadi “confessing” that he had been behind the attack.

Such videos are common in Iran and are often condemned by rights groups, arguing that confessions are often forced and the result of torture.

Foreign-based human rights groups said Ahmadi was arrested in early 2021 as he tried to flee overland to Europe after being convicted of the murder. He had always denied the charges.

Ahmadi was hanged on Wednesday morning at a prison in the western city of Kermanshah, the group said in separate statements. Iran Human Rights (IHR) based in Norway, the group hengaw focused on the Kurds and the Kurdistan Human Rights Network based in Paris.

The execution was carried out in secret without his family being notified in advance, they added.

An Iranian policeman was preparing a public execution in 2007 in Tehran.  EFE/Abedin Taherkenareh/File
An Iranian policeman was preparing a public execution in 2007 in Tehran. EFE/Abedin Taherkenareh/File (ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/)

The political activist had been a member of the Kurdish political party Komala, which pushes for greater autonomy for Iran’s Kurdish minority but is banned by Tehran as a terrorist group.

The militant spent some time in neighboring Iraq, where Komala’s leadership is based, before returning to Iran, rights groups said.

“The execution of this Kurdish political prisoner was carried out without notifying the family and without holding a last meeting,” IHR said.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network said, citing relatives, that Ahmadi had been “subjected to severe torture to accept the accusations against him and make forced confessions.”

Iran executes more convicts each year than any nation other than China, according to human rights groups including Amnesty International.

Activists have also accused Tehran of use the death penalty as a weapon to suppress protests that erupted after the death of the Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for allegedly violating the strict dress code for women.

The Iranian regime has already executed four men on protest-related charges, while IHR says 87 people have been executed so far in 2023 alone.

Amnesty said Wednesday that Iranian authorities had “forcibly disappeared” four Kurdish dissidents linked to Komala that they were now at “serious risk” of unfair trials on charges carrying the death penalty.

The four men, Pejman Fatehi, Vafa Azarbar, Mohammad Faramarzi and Mohsen Mazloum, were arrested in July 2022 and are believed to face espionage and terrorism charges.

Amnesty accused Iran of “concealing their fate and whereabouts from their families and lawyers since their arrests.”

With information from AFP

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