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Iran executes Kurdish activist

Tehran, IRAN: TO GO WITH AFP STORY IRAN-JUSTICE-PRISON-SOCIT BY PIERRE CELERIER An Iranian inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by at the female section of the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran, 13 June 2006. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)
An Iranian inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by at the female section of the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran, 13 June 2006. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iranian authorities yesterday executed Kurdish activist Haydar Kurbani after convicted him of several charges including murder, and affiliation to an armed group, in reference to the is the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK).

The execution was carried out despite international opposition. Many human rights organisations considered Kurbani a political prisoner and launched campaigns for his release.

"Haider's family was not allowed to make a final visit to him, it was threatened if it will carry out a condolence ceremony," Arsalan Yarahamdi, a member of the board of directors of Hengaw Human Rights Organisation told the BBC.

Kurbani was charged with murdering three Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 2016 near his hometown of Kamyaran, as well as kidnapping, blackmail and threatening his neighbours, according to the Tasnim News Agency.

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Following his arrest along with his brother-in-law in September 2016, the Iranian government's English-speaking channel Press TV broadcast what it described as Kurbani's "confessions".

Human rights groups accuse authorities of torturing Kurbani to force him to confess, adding that he had not received a fair trial. Kurbani had previously denied any connection to the murders of the guards and ties to political parties.

Iran has repeatedly denied that prisoners are tortured, saying: "Iran's Constitution prohibits not only torture but confessions resulting from torture, a judge cannot issue a ruling following torture, there are severe penalties for perpetrators."

Amnesty International said that four States in the Middle East: Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia are among the five countries which carried out the largest number of executions in the world in 2020.

These four countries carried out 88 per cent of executions – 483 – according to Amnesty's report.

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