Iran: Death-row political prisoner’s family challenge IRGC
Mother of death-row political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi, Dayeh Sharifeh, called for an open trial for her son saying he is absolutely innocent and has never been armed at any time.
Kurdistan Justice department issued an announcement on May 3, 2018, claiming that “Ramin Hossein Panahi was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a colt and a grenade at the time of his arrest” and “he confessed involving clashes with the state forces.” His mother and family members denied all the accusations and challenged the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ charges against him.
In a message published on social media on May 3, 2018, Mrs. Dayeh Sharifeh said:
Since the first day when Ramin was arrested, we demanded that his trial be open. Ramin is absolutely innocent. He has never been armed at any time. He had come to Sanandaj just to visit me. Now if the Justice Ministry is telling the truth, they should also disseminate what Ramin and I have said. They must prove that Ramin was armed. These false charges have been leveled by the IRGC to cover up their own crimes by sending Ramin to the gallows.
The announcement issued by Kurdistan Justice department reads:
“These days the enemies of the Islamic establishment use any opportunity and capacity, especially the virtual space and social networks to advance their ominous goals and they try….Recently there has been false news regarding a member of a grouplet, Ramin Hossein Panahi, that he has been a civil activist…According to existing documents, many years before his arrest, he has been attracted to Komala under the influence of his brother who is a member of this grouplet. He has worked for them inside the country.
On (April-May) 2015, he illegally went abroad and joined the group…At the time of arrest he possessed a Kalashnikov, a pistol and grenades. During the investigation he confessed to armed engagement with the agents and was eventually charged with “taking up arms against the state” (baqi) he was tried having a lawyer and was sentenced to execution. The decree was endorsed after being revised at the country’s Supreme Court.”
Ramin Hossein Panahi is a Kurdish political prisoner sentenced to death. He was schedueled to be executed on Thursday, May 3, 2018, but was returned from solitary cell to the general ward of the Central Prison of Sanandaj and implementation of his death sentence was postponed following international outcry by the UN and human rights groups over his scheduled execution. His niece, Nishtiman Hossein Panahi, committed suicide on May 1, 2018, under pressure from the Intelligence Department of Sanandaj and in protest to the death decree for her uncle.
Amnesty International believes that 22-year-old Ramin Hossein Panahi has been sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial and amid serious torture allegations. Philip Luther, Al’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:
“Ramin Hossein Panahi’s case has been a breathtaking miscarriage of justice from start to finish. After appearing at his trial reportedly bearing torture marks on his body he was convicted in less than an hour.”