Iran court upholds death sentence for captured HPG fighter Hatem Özdemir

The death sentence for the captured HPG fighter Hatem Özdemir has been confirmed by the Iranian judiciary.

The People's Defense Forces (HPG) fighter, Hatem Özdemir, who was captured by Iran in 2019, is to be executed. The sentence handed out to the fighter, detained in a prison in the eastern Kurdish city of Urmiye, was upheld.

Özdemir is charged with "rebellion against the state" and membership of the PKK. Özdemir was captured on 2 July 2019, according to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network. An HPG unit was ambushed by the "Revolutionary Guard" (Pasdaran). Özdemir was seriously injured by a mortar shell. He was captured unconscious.

Özdemir was one of two Kurds sentenced to death in March this year. The other is Firaz Mousallou, who turned himself in to Iranian authorities in 2019 after assurances of amnesty. He is to be executed for "rebellion against God and state" and membership of the PKK or KDPI and is also in Urmiye prison.