Iranian Kurdish political prisoner faces execution

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TEHRAN — The highest judicial authority here has rejected appeal for a retrial of Haydar Ghorbani, an Iranian Kurdish political prisoner condemned to death.

Ghorbani was arrested along with his brother-in-law in 2016 on charges of “cooperating and assisting” in the killing of several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as well as membership in the opposition group the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).

Iran’s Kurdish-populated western provinces have witnessed recurring clashes between the Iranian military and Iranian Kurdish militant groups over the years.

The Supreme Court, which last month approved Ghorbani’s death sentence, denied a request by Ghorbani’s lawyer for a retrial for his client earlier this month, the lawyer told Voice of America Persian.

This has fuelled fear amongst Iranian activists because Ghorbani could be the second political prisoner to be executed within the same month, following the recent execution of champion wrestler Navid Afkari.

As with Afkari’s case, Iranians have taken to social media to protest Ghorbani’s death sentence, using the hashtag #SaveHaydarGhorbani.

Iran’s state-run television Press TV had previously aired Ghorbani’s alleged confessions.

Ghorbani’s family member reject his charges and say that he has been forced into making false confessions under torture. — Agencies


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