Supreme Court in Iran confirms further death sentences against Kurds

The Supreme Court in Iran has confirmed further death sentences against Kurds. Komala activists Pejman Fatehi, Wafa Azarbar, Mohammad Faramarzi and Mohsen Mazloum are in imminent danger of execution.

The Supreme Court in Iran has confirmed the death sentences against four Kurds. The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) said that the four are accused of “waging war against God,” “espionage” for Israel and planning “terrorist” actions.

According to KHRN, the convicts are Pejman Fatehi (28), Wafa Azarbar (26), Mohammad Faramarzi (28) and Mohsen Mazloum (27). The French-based human rights organization had already reported on the case last year and accused the Iranian judiciary of having brought the four activists to trial under false allegations. They were also denied access to legal representation of their choice and were subjected to severe torture in custody. Their arrest took place in the course of a forced disappearance.

Unlawful kidnapping, torture in custody, show trials

Pejman Fatehi, Wafa Azarbar, Mohammad Faramarzi and Mohsen Mazloum belong to the Kurdish party Komala (Komełey Şorrişgêrrî Zehmetkêşanî Kurdistanî Êran). According to their lawyer, they were in Rojhilat in July 2022 when they were arrested by members of the Ministry of Intelligence. Amnesty International, which took on the case, wrote: “On 23 July 2022, Iranian state media announced the arrest of four unnamed people who were accused of ‘spying’ for Israel and planning ‘terrorist attacks’. Their families believe these accusations were against the four men as supported by the timing and nature of the allegations, which were obviously related to their membership of the banned Kurdish opposition group Komala. On 12 October and 5 December 2022, Iranian state television broadcast a propaganda video in which the four men ‘confessed’ to planning a bomb attack on an industrial area near the city of Isfahan on the instructions of Israeli intelligence.”

Since the disappearance of the Komala activists, their families and lawyers have tried in vain to find out where the four men are through investigations in detention centers and courts in Ûrmiye, Mehabad (Mahabad), Sine (Sanandaj), Isfahan and Tehran. However, the authorities refused to release any information. In addition, they were repeatedly warned by Intelligence Ministry officials not to carry out further investigations into their missing relatives, as it would be “pointless” and the men would be executed. The first time the men's families learned anything about them since their arrest in July 2022 was on 12 October 2022, when their forced "confessions" were broadcast in a propaganda video on state television.

Over 800 executions in 2023

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network is concerned for the lives of the four Kurds and warns that they are in imminent danger of execution given the alarming rise in executions across the country. In 2023, the organization recorded more than 800 executions of prisoners - an increase of 32 percent compared to the previous year - which disproportionately affected Kurdish and Baloch people in particular.