AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
November 14, 2007
(Washington, DC)--Amnesty International USA's Iran country specialist Elise Auerbach released the following statement in response to a recent confirmation of Iranian Kurdish journalist Adnan Hassanpour's death sentence in the midst of a widespread and harsh crackdown on Iranians engaging in dissent or criticism of the government:
"It appears that Iranian authorities are using the courts to silence Hassanpour for his legitimate journalistic activities and advocacy on behalf of Iranian Kurdish cultural rights," said Auerbach. "The charge on which Hassanpour was convicted and sentenced to death--moharebeh ba Khoda or 'enmity against God'--is vague, and was prosecuted through judicial proceedings not on par with international standards for fair trials."
"Amnesty International urges Iranian authorities to commute Hassanpour's death sentence and make public all details of the charges and evidence against him."
Hassanpour was reportedly accused of espionage for allegedly revealing the location of military sites and establishing contacts with the United States government through statements made to Voice of America and Radio Farda and articles he published in the weekly journal Aso which the Iranian authorities closed down in August 2005. The Mehr News Agency, which is closely linked to the Iranian government, also alleged that Hassanpour had been in contact with Kurdish opposition groups.
Contact: Laura Spann at (202)-544-0200x232