Judiciary Upholds Death Sentence for Young Kurds
An Iranian court has upheld the death sentence for Zanyar Moradi, who was previously convicted of murdering the son of the Marivan Friday Imam. His father, Eghbal Moradi, called the sentence illegal in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“My son and Loghman Moradi [no relation] have been convicted of murdering the son of the Marivan Friday Imam, but the victim’s family knows that Zanyar and Loghman are not the murderers,” Eghbal Moradi said.
Eghbal Moradi, a member of the Kurdistan Komala Party, fled to Iraqi Kurdistan years ago. “My son is a victim of a political game. I myself oppose the regime, I went to prison, I was injured, and I don’t live in Iran right now. They want to seek revenge on me through my son,” Moradi claimed.
Security forces arrested Zanyar Moradi, 23, and Loghman Moradi, 25, on 22 December 2009, for the murder of the son of Marivan’s Friday Imam on 5 July 2009. Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court tried them for charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God), “corruption on earth,” “acting against national security,” and “murder of Marivan Friday Imam’s son,” and sentenced them to death. The Appeals Court has now confirmed the death sentences for the two men.
“When the Intelligence Ministry asked the Marivan Friday Imam, Mr. Shirzad, to appear at the Enforcement Unit of the Judiciary to carry out the sentence, he refused, saying that he doubts these young men have committed the murder, and he has fortunately refused to appear,” Eghbal Moradi said. “But the Intelligence Ministry wants to execute these two no matter what, even if the main plaintiff in the case, the father of the victim, doubts that Zanyar and Loghman are the murderers.”
“Unfortunately, my son’s lawyer only participated in that first court session. Regardless of how many times Loghman’s family and my relatives have asked him to go to court to follow up on the case he has not done anything,” said Zanyar Moradi’s father.
The two prisoners wrote a letter from prison, stating that they had accepted the charge under severe torture and threats of rape. The two prisoners have also written a letter to UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran Ahmad Shaheed.
“As Zanyar and Loghman said in their letter describing their torture, they were tried in a court trial that lasted only a few minutes, and Judge Salavati immediately convicted them of ‘corruption on earth’ and sentenced them to death. The two suspects were never given a chance to defend themselves or say anything. The judge had already decided how to sentence them,” Eghbal Moradi told the Campaign.
“We Kurds know that the chain of assassinations that happened in Kurdistan were carried out by government elements inside Kurdistan,” Moradi claimed. “Government agents and stick-wielding forces murdered the son of the Marivan Friday Imam’s son, but they now want to hold these two young men responsible for the murder,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, I have no news about my son. Since he was imprisoned he has only met with my parents twice for a few minutes. Since he was transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj about 25 months ago, he has not been allowed to have any visitors. This is why we are very concerned about him, especially when he wrote of torture in his letters,” Moradi told the Campaign. “My other relatives have repeatedly requested visits with him, but they were told that only the immediate family of the prisoner [are allowed to visit with him]. Unfortunately, I live with his mother in Iraqi Kurdistan and we are not allowed to come to Iran. We only hear about Zanyar through released prisoners of Rajaee Shahr Prison or through the media.”