Today, Sunday, MAy 9, 2010, Iran executed 5 Kurdish prisoners, Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian Farhad Vakilie, Shirin Alamhouli and Mehdi Eslamian.
According to Hrana news reporters, three of defendants were executed while their cases were being reviewed (based on article 18 of the punishment law). Also, none of the lawyers nor the families of the defendants were aware of executions.
Farzad Kamangar was a Kurdish teacher, arrested in 2006. During his months of incarceration, he was exposed to extreme mental and physical torture which he described in a letter.
He was sentenced to death in 2007 in a 10 minute trial in which his lawyer didn’t have a chance to defend him. In a letter written to the head of the judiciary, Farzad Kamangar had requested a retrial.
More information about Farzad Kamangar and others can be found here.
It takes just a handful of executions to create an atmosphere that makes potential dissidents fearful of any however minor act that challenges the system. And like previous instances of prosecutions, ethnic minorities are the easiest group to target.
There might be another wave of executions on the eve of the anniversary of the 2009 contested presidential election. According to International Campaign for human rights in Iran twenty seven others are in danger of executions.