Two Death and Two Prison Sentences for Four Kurdish Activist Brothers
Two of the four Kurdish brothers security forces arrested 14 months ago in Boukan and Mahabad have received death sentences on charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God), a local human rights source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The other two brothers were sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “acting against national security.” The family’s mother died late last month of a heart attack she suffered following the announcement of the sentences.
“On 9 December 2010, Mahabad security forces blockaded the home of a Kurdish citizen by the name of Jafar (Soltan) Afshari and stormed the premises in search of his brother Razgar (Habib) Afshari, a former member of a Kurdish party,” the source said. “Security forces fired shots at the two men and eventually arrested them with the cooperation of IRGC and Intelligence Office forces, and then transferred them to a Mahabad security detention center.
“Two days later, on 11 December, Boukan security forces stormed the home of an acquaintance of the family’s and arrested a third Afshari brother, Ali, who had also been a member of a Kurdish party,” the source continued. “Security forces directly shot at Ali Afshari, severely injuring him. Subsequently, the fourth brother, Vali Afshari, was summoned to Mahabad Intelligence Office, where he was arrested and transferred to Mahabad Security Detention Center.”
The source, a Kurdistan human rights activist, also claimed that the four Kurdish brothers underwent four months of interrogations and torture inside Mahabad and Orumiyeh security detention centers, and their family members were not allowed any visits or given any information about them.
“After this time, Habib, Jafar, and Vali Afshari were transferred to Mahabad Central Prison, and Ali Afshari was transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison. Six months later, three of the imprisoned brothers were transferred to the Orumiyeh Central Prison, but after several months they were all transferred to Mahabad Prison again. Following completion of their interrogation and investigation stages, the prosecutor forwarded their cases to the Revolutionary Court on charges of ‘moharebeh’ (enmity with God), and ‘cooperation with Kurdish parties.’ The four brothers were not allowed to select their lawyers and their four court-appointed lawyers announced that they were unable to defend their clients,” the source said.
According to the source, the trial of the four individuals began at the Mahabad Revolutionary Court on 5 December 2011. On 16 January, Ali and Razgar Habib Afshari were informed that they had been sentenced to death. Jafar Soltan and Vali Afshari were acquitted of “moharebeh” charges, and were sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “acting against national security.” Under Iran’s penal code, moharebeh is meant to criminalize acts of armed action against the government.
“All four political prisoners objected to their sentences, and their files have been forwarded to Western Azerbaijan Appeals Court. Ali Afshari is in poor physical shape as a result of bullet wounds he sustained during his arrest. He was transferred to an Orumiyeh Hospital last week due to severe intestinal bleeding. He was returned to Orumiyeh Prison immediately after his surgery,” the source said.