Kurdish political prisoner transferred miles away, fears grow he could soon be executed

Kurdisn political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi

Death row political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi has been transferred from a prison in the northwestern city of Sanandaj to hundreds of miles to Rajaei Shahr Prison of Karaj, for unknown reasons, according to his brother.
The Kurdish political prisoner was transferred out of Sanandaj Central Prison at 11 pm Monday, local time. Authorities said he has been taken for medical treatment while he could have received treatment in Sanandaj.
Osman Mozayyan, one of Ramin Hossein Panahi’s lawyers has said, “The sentence against him was issued by a court in Sanandaj and legally that is where he should be incarcerated. I and two other lawyers are pursuing the matter.”
Three lawyers who represent the Kurdish dissident have criticized authorities for transferring him to a prison miles far from his home.
In a statement from the three, Hossein Ahmadiniaz, Osman Mozayan and Maziyar Tataei have said that Panahi’s transfer to Karaj, a more than 500 kilometer drive from his hometown, happened without his consent and prior notice to his family. They said judicial authorities who carried out the transfer violated regulations that say prisoners should be detained near to home and family unless they request a transfer to another location.
The 24-year-old Ramin Hossein Panahi was sentenced to death in January for “taking up arms against the state.” Panahi, however, has insisted he did not participate in any armed action nor did he reach for a weapon.
His execution was previously scheduled for May 3, 2018 and he was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for it. The authorities postponed the execution and moved him out of solitary confinement following international outcry by the UN and human rights groups over his scheduled execution.
Ramin Hossein Panahi’s case has drawn global attention and appeals from international rights activists to Tehran to annul his death sentence.