Amnesty condemns Iran hanging of militants

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 22:46

London: Amnesty International on Tuesday
condemned Iran`s execution of five militants, saying they had
not received fair trials and that some of them had been
tortured.

"We condemn these executions which were carried out
without any prior warning. Despite the serious accusations
against them, the five were denied fair trials. Three of the
defendants were tortured and two forced to confess` under
duress," Malcolm Smart, director for the Middle East and North
Africa, said in a statement.
"They were then executed in violation of Iranian law,
which requires the authorities to notify prisoners` lawyers in
advance before carrying out executions," Smart added.

On Sunday, Iran executed the five after convicting them
of bombing government offices and a gas pipeline to Turkey.

The five included a Kurdish woman, Shirin Alamhouli, and
four others identified as Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian,
Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamian.

Kamangar, Heidarian and Vakili and Alamhouli were members
of the Kurdish rebel group PJAK (The Party of Free Life of
Kurdistan), Tehran`s prosecutor was quoted as saying.

However, Amnesty said the three men belonged to the
Kurdistan Workers` Party, an affiliated separatist group in
Turkey.

Eslamian reportedly belonged to the anti-regime
monarchist group, Kingdom Assembly of Iran, which aims to
restore the constitutional monarchy that was abolished by the
1979 Islamic revolution.

Iran`s ISNA news agency said the five were convicted of
being "moharebs" or "enemies of God" -- a crime punishable by
death under Iran`s Islamic laws.
Smart said "these latest executions appear to be a
blatant attempt to intimidate members of the Kurdish minority
and other critics and opponents of the government in the
runup" to the June 12 anniversary of last year`s disputed
presidential election," Smart said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a contest
widely claimed by the opposition as fraudulent.

One of the election`s losers, Mir Hossein Moussavi,
yesterday described the hangings as "unfair."

"The announcement of the hanging of five people without a
clear explanation of the charges and the unfair trial process
resembles that (which) resulted in convictions of the amazing
men and women of our country," he was quoted on his website as
saying.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 22:46

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