Death Row Prisoner’s Father: He is Innocent; His Sentence is Revenge Against Me
Zanyar Moradi is a Kurdish prisoner sentenced to public hanging on charges of moharebeh (enmity against God) and “corruption on earth” whose father, Eqbal Moradi, spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran from his home in Kurdistan, Iraq. “Unfortunately, Zanyar’s mother and I live in Kurdistan in Iraq, and except for my old parents, I have no other relatives in Mariwan. I heard from Zanyar’s friends that he has been moved from Karaj’s Rajaee Shahr Prison to another location and this has us very worried. I have no news from my son, except through the media. I can’t call my parents too often due to security reasons, and all I know is that they visited with my son twice while he was still at the Sanandaj Prison,” Moradi said.
Eqbal Moradi is a member of the Kurdish opposition group Komalah. “How can a 20 year old kid be a murderer? My son was arrested 20 months ago and after 17 months he was accused of murder and terror. But the people of Mariwan and even the family of the victim know that Zanyar and a few other kids did not do this. All of Mariwan’s people and even the victim’s family know that the murderer in this recent case of murders is none other than the regime, and this has nothing to do with the kids,” said Moradi regarding his son’s charge of assassinating the town of Mariwan’s Friday Imam.
“My son had no involvement with politics and only went to school and worked. Zanyar lived with us in Kurdistan, Iraq, until I sent him to my parents due to their physical conditions and loneliness. He was arrested a month after the Mariwan Friday Imam was assassinated. At first I thought the reason for his arrest is my political activities, but several months later we heard through television [news] that he has been named a terrorist along with a few others,” Moradi told the Campaign when asked whether his son, too, was a member of the Komalah Organization.
“I am a member of the Komalah Party of Kurdistan. The Islamic Republic regime has a longstanding animosity with me. They have attempted assassinating me several times, unsuccessfully. I think that through arresting my son and waging such charges against him, they wanted to seek revenge on me. The other reason for this is the government’s weakness. When the regime faces political and social crises, they turn to violence and murder,” said Moradi.
Moradi, whose son is now on death row, was himself a prisoner inside Sanandaj Prison for five years in the 1980’s. “Zanyar did not have any political activities, but we grew up in a political family which is known for its animosity with the regime. I, myself, have been fighting as a political activist in Kurdistan in Iran and Iraq for 30 years. Our family is well-known in Mariwan for its history of political activities. But my son was really only working and studying. I didn’t think the regime would be so eroded to victimize a child. I was arrested in the early 1980’s and spent five years in prison. I have been in Iraq for the past nine years,” he said.
Asked what his request of human rights organizations is, Moradi said, “I should first thank them for helping my son’s voice, and that of other innocent children, be heard in the world. I would like to ask for help to release, not only my son, but all prisoners who have been victims of this regime.”
On 22 December, Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court with Judge Salavati presiding sentenced Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi to death for “membership in the Komalah Party,” and “involvement in the murder of the Mariwan Friday Imam’s son” on the night of 5 July 2009. The two prisoners have stated that they were forced to accept the murder charge under torture and threats of rape.