Farzad KamangarUPDATE: (September 5, 2008) Farzad Kamangar’s death sentence was officially confirmed on 11 July 2008. Despite international pressure, Mr. Kamangar was transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison on 27 July 2008. Section 209 is outside the jurisdiction of the National Prison System and is under the management of Intelligence Ministry agents.

Farzad Kamangar (32), a Kurdish teacher and social worker in the city of Kamyaran, is sentenced to death based on “absolutely zero evidence,” according to his lawyer.The Revolutionary Court prosecuted Kamangar on charges of membership in the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). The court issued a death sentence for Kamangar on February 25, 2008. Khalil Bahramian, Kamangar’s lawyer, said: “Nothing in Kamangar’s judicial files and records demonstrates any links to the charges brought against him.”

Bahramian, who was present during the closed-door court hearing, described it as “lasting no more than five minutes, with the Judge issuing his sentence without any explanation and then promptly leaving the room.” He added, “I have seen absolutely zero evidence presented against Kamangar. In my forty years of legal profession, I have never witnessed such a prosecution.”

Bahramian is appealing the death sentence. He believes, given the complete lack of evidence, that the Judiciary should cancel the sentence.

Security forces detained Kamangar in July 2006, shortly after he arrived in Tehran from Kamyaran. The authorities originally investigated him in relation to two people he rode with during his trip to Tehran.

Kamangar was cleared of all charges during the investigation process. It is not clear why the prosecution decided to put him on trial on charges of membership in P.K.K., given that it has presented no evidence. Bahramian said the prosecution and death sentence are an indication of “discrimination against Kurds” within the judicial system.

Since his arrest, the authorities held Kamangar in various prisons in Kermanshah, Sanandaj, and Tehran. In a letter written in Sanandaj prison in October 2007, Kamangar detailed his torture and ill-treatment. During visits by his family and lawyer, he also exhibited signs of torture.