Saturday, April 5, 2008

Boutimar Sentenced to Death for Second Time

\A New Sentence from the Revolutionary Court
The Revolutionary Court of the city of Marivan, in western Iran, sentenced Kurdish activist Hiva ‎‎(Abdolvahed) Boutimar to death for the second time. Although the written judgment has not yet ‎been served on Boutimar due to the Iranian New Year holidays that began on March 20th and ‎usually continue for about 2 weeks, a judge verbally notified Boutimar's attorney of the ‎judgment. ‎

Hiva (Abdolvahed) Boutimar used to publish a journal belonging to the "Sabz Chia" (literally ‎translated as Green Mountain) association, which is an active environmentalist organization in ‎Marivan. He was one of the association's founders and served on its board of directors.

Last summer, following his arrest by the Intelligence Ministry, the Revolutionary Court of the ‎city of Marivan sentenced Hiva Boutimar and a colleague, Adnan Hassanpour, to death on ‎charges of acting against national security and espionage. Hassanpour was a manging editor at ‎the Kurdish-Farsi journal "Asou." ‎

The death sentences of these two Kurdish activists sparked international protests. Following an ‎appeal filed by the attorneys of the two defendants, the appellate court rejected Adnan ‎Hassanpour's request and upheld the original sentence, but returned Hiva Boutimar's case to the ‎Revolutionary Court for a review. Hiva Boutimar appeared at the Revolutionary Court on 27 of ‎Bahman (March 17, 2008), and the court has once again issued the death sentence for Boutimar. ‎
While in prison, Hiva Boutimar and Adnan Hassanpour staged a hunger strike to protest their ‎inhumane treatment and for being kept in solitary confinement for more than 50 days. Currently, ‎Hiva Boutimar is kept at a detention facility in Marivan while Adnan Hassanpour is held at ‎Sanadaj's general prison ‎

Some sources had previously reported that the court sentenced these two activists to death based ‎on confessions extracted from them through torture and while under duress. These reports ‎indicate that prison and intelligence officers had subjected the two Kurdish activists to severe ‎mental and physical tortures to force them to make false confessions about their alleged charges ‎on tape and participate in a television program. Adnan Hassanpour's mother was also put under ‎pressure to convince her son to appear in front of the camera and confess to what was asked of ‎him. ‎

Officers from the Ministry of Intelligence have removed Hiva Boutimar several times from a ‎prison to an Intelligence Ministry facility in Sanandaj to force him to appear in front of cameras ‎and confess to charges against that incriminate him. These agents had promised Hassanpour that ‎they would arrange for his release if he agreed to confess to charges of espionage in a televised ‎program.

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