17 April 2018 -- A 24-year-old Kurdish citizen who is currently in prison has had the death sentence he was handed upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court. The political prisoner, Ramin Hossein Panahi from Iran’s Kurdish minority, has been on hunger strike since the end of January when he first learned of his charge.
Panahi was imprisoned and subsequently given a death sentence for being a member of a Kurdish opposition group. He has been given a hugely unfair trial that did not even last an hour. He was tortured in prison, as evident through marks of violence on his body, and the court failed to investigate.
He was arrested in June last year after being injured in an ambush carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) against the Iranian Kurdistan Komala Party.
Panahi who was allegedly unarmed was the only survivor of the attack. Three others - Behzad Nouri, Hamed Seif Panahi, and Sabbah Hossein Panahi – died after sustaining insurmountable injuries in the ambush.
Hossein Ahmadi Niaz said that there was no evidence to indicate that his client was involved in any acts that involved intentional killing – the threshold for imposing the death sentence according to international law.
With regards to the torture that his client has been subjected to during detainment, Ahmadi Niaz said that the court should have investigated such claims, especially before upholding Panahi’s death sentence.
The lawyer is adamant that his client was victim to a trap set up by the notorious IRGC. When the vehicle Panahi was traveling in entered Iran from Iraq, it was put under surveillance and then ambushed with gunfire when it entered Sanandaj.