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Kurdish activist sentenced to death

Gooya News: Shirkoo Moarefi, a Kurdish citizen from Baneh, who is presently on death row inside Saghez Central Prison, has been on a hunger strike since Wednesday, 4 April to protest his ambiguous situation. Prison authorities transferred Moarefi to solitary confinement after he announced his hunger strike. His lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, told Kordpa News Agency on 28 March that his client’s execution may be imminent.

Shirkoo Moarefi, 31, was sentenced to death by the Saghez Revolutionary Court on charges of “acting against national security” and “moharebeh (enmity with God)” for alleged cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group. In 2011, Shirkoo Moarefi’s death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court, and was sent to the Implementation Unit of the Judiciary, though neither he nor his lawyer had been served with the papers. The prisoner remains inside the Saghez Prison without a resolution to validity of his upheld death sentence.

ICHRI: Moarefi’s “moharebeh” charge was upheld even after it had been overturned by the Head of the Judiciary. In 2011, his lawyer, Saeed Sheikhi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: “From a legal point of view, The Supreme Court was not qualified to review this case and their intervention in the case is illegal. The review should have been carried out by an appeals court at the same level as the lower court. The review is not complete yet. I believe that when the charge of moharebeh which the Saghez Prosecutor had mistakenly stated in the original indictment was corrected, changing ‘moharebeh’ to ‘propagating against the regime,’ and the Head of the Judiciary and his Judicial Deputy had agreed with it, there was no need for the case to be continued through the Supreme Court, but, unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not take notice of this.”

“The Supreme Court should not have entered this case. This is where the mistake is, because the Supreme Court can only review cases at two stages, either when a sentence has been issued by an appeals court and the Supreme Court’s assistance is sought, or when the review of a case is forwarded to them as an extraordinary measure. Shirkoo’s case met neither of these two criteria,” said Saeed Sheikhi about the lack of qualification for the Supreme Court to interfere in this case.

Kurdish political prisoner Shirkoo Moarefi was arrested on 1 October 2008 at the Iran-Iraq border, as he attempted returning from Iraq’s Kurdistan to Iran. In March 2011 there was a rumor about his impending execution on 1 May 2011. Moarefi’s family and lawyer rejected the rumors. Later, he wrote a letter from prison, stating that “on 22 March, the Implementation Unit officers of Saghez Prison…verbally advised me that the sentence will be carried out on 1 May.”
from Ghormeh Sabzi

reposted from Iranian.com