Iranian Kurdistan’s Court of Appeal has upheld an eight-year prison sentence for Afshin Hossein Panahi on charges of “spreading propaganda against the establishment” and “cooperating with an opposition Kurdish party through attending in a traditional ceremony.”
The political prisoner was arrested on June 26, 2017 in his brother’s home. He was later sentenced to eight years behind by the Branch I of the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj, headed by judge Saeedi.
Afshin Hossein Panahi who has a reputation as an environmental activist, had previously arrested in 2011 for pursuing his brother’s suspicious death, and had endured one year behind bars on the charge of “spreading propaganda against the establishment.”
Afshin Hossein Panahi’s brother, Ramin a 24-year-old member of the Komala opposition group, was arrested on 23 June 2017 after he took part in clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the neighborhood of Shalman, in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran.
He was shot and sustained three bullet wounds. He was then transferred to the Sanandaj Intelligence Agency Detention Center. He has been sentenced to death on the charge of “enmity against God,” the accusation he denied.
After Ramin Hossein Panahi’s arrest, the Revolutionary Guards stormed his parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj, and arrested other members of his family.
Ahmad Hossein Panahi (brother-in-law) and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi (distant relative) were sentenced to 5 and 6 years behind bars, respectively.
In a June 2017 statement Amnesty International urged the Iranian authorities to release Hossein Panahi’s family members if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi.
“The authorities must ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is promptly brought before a judge, as well as provided with immediate access to healthcare, protected from torture and other ill treatment, given access to an independent lawyer of his choosing, and granted a fair trial without resort to the death penalty,” the statement reads in part.