Iran: Adnan Hassanpour death sentence upheld

English PEN is deeply alarmed by reports that the death sentence handed down to Iranian Kurdish journalist, writer and human rights activist Adnan Hassanpour has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Hassanpour was convicted of being a mohareb (‘enemy of God’) and ‘acting against national security’ for expressing his views on Kurdish issues and he was sentenced to death on 16 July 2007. According to information received by PEN, his sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 22 October 2007 although his lawyers were not notified until 5 November 2007.

Saleh Nikbakht, one of his lawyers, told Reporters Without Borders that Hassanpour had been found guilty of ‘espionage’ because he had allegedly ‘revealed the location of military sites and established contacts with the US foreign affairs ministry’. Nikbakht added that: ‘This sentence is not only contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international conventions ratified by Iran, but it also contrary to Islamic law and the laws of the Islamic Republic.’ According to Reporters Without Borders, Iran has executed more than 300 people since the start of the year. Hassanpour now plans to appeal the sentence, a process which is expected to take considerable time.

English PEN considers Hassanpour to be detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.

Hassanpour’s cousin, environmentalist Abdolwahed (known as Hiwa) Butimar who worked with Hassanpour for the Kurdish-Persian weekly journal Aso (Horizon), had also been sentenced to death on the same charges. The court quashed his conviction on the grounds of procedural irregularity and his case was sent back to a revolutionary court for re-examination.

English PEN is deeply concerned about an apparent pattern of repression against journalists and human rights activists in Iranian Kurdistan, which has been ongoing since unrest broke out in the Kurdish areas of Iran in July 2005. Several other Iranian-Kurdish journalists are currently detained, including Kaveh Javanmard, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand and Ejlal Qavami. In the same week that Hassanpour’s sentence was upheld, freelancer Yaghoub Salaki Nia was detained without charge at Evin prison in Tehran.

For further information on Adnan Hassanpour’s case please click here

To sign the Reporters Without Borders online petition for Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolwahed Butimar please click here

Please send appeals:

• Protesting the death sentence handed down to journalist Adnan Hassanpour, and calling for his release.

• Expressing concerns at reports that he has been ill treated in detention, and seeking reassurances from the Iranian authorities that Adnan Hassanpour’s wellbeing is guaranteed.

• Expressing concern about an apparent crackdown on Iranian-Kurdish journalists and writers, and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all Iranian-Kurdish journalists and writers detained solely for the peaceful expression of their views.

Appeals to:

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: or
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:   via Judiciary website:
Salutation: Your Excellency

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street,
Pasdaran Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Salutation: Dear Minister

You may also send copies to:

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: 98 21 6 674 790
(mark: “Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad”)
via website:

It may be most effective to forward all the above appeals care of the Iranian representative in London:

His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince’s Gate
London SW7 1PT
Fax: 0207 589 4440

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2 Comments on “Iran: Adnan Hassanpour death sentence upheld”

  1. Hello, I am a writer in Germany (Petry and short stories), a female one. Last year, I went with my husband to Iran as a Tourist in a Group an we met very friendly people in Hafiz-Country! Hope, you could get freedom! Greetings from Stefanie

  2. І every time used to read piece of writing in news papers ƅut now as I
    am a user of internet thus from ոow I am uxing net for articles,
    thanks to web.

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