International Community Urges Iran to Halt ‘Imminent’ Executions of Three Kurdish Men

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The United Nations is calling on Iran to halt the violent executions of three Kurdish men on September 8.

The Islamic Republic vows to execute cousins Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi on Saturday.

“We urge the Government of Iran to immediately halt their executions and to annul the death sentences against them in compliance with its international obligations,” said Agnes Callamard and Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteurs from the UN.

According to the the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are accused of the 2009 murder of the son of an Islamic cleric in Marivan, Kurdistan province. Iranian authorities later arrested Panahi last June for his alleged membership in a Kurdish nationalist group.

All three of the men reportedly faced severe torture in prison.

Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were also severely beaten, tied up in stress positions and threatened with rape, if they did not confess to the murder. The pair were brought before the revolutionary court in December 2010 the capital Tehran where they were sentenced to death by public hanging. The trial “apparently lasted only 20 minutes.”

“During the trial, they both denied the charges in court and explained that they had confessed to the crimes only due to torture following their initial arrest,” said OHCHR. “We are alarmed by information received that Zanyar and Loghman Moradi suffered human rights violations before and during their trial, including torture and other ill-treatment and denial of access to a lawyer,”

Panahi was also repeatedly beaten in detention, denied medical care, access to a lawyer, and was held in solitary confinement until January.

The men’s families are heartbroken and pray for their urgent release.

The three Kurds have been denied access to their families and two of them were put in solitary confinement on September 5. Experts believe their death is near.

Iran is one of the worst human rights abusers in the world and the United Nations, activists, and faith-based organizations have repeatedly condemned its actions.

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