Farzad Kamangar could face execution in the near future, according to the web site Human Rights Activists in Iran. On 11 July, the Iranian Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty against Kamangar, a 33-year-old Kurdish teacher and trade unionist

Farzad Kamangar, the 33-year-old Iranian teacher and trade unionist who has been tortured and sentenced to death by the Iranian Supreme Court
Kamangar’s lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, said that although he has not yet received written details of the judgment, the Revolutionary Court verbally confirmed that the death sentence stands. However, Bahramian is determined to continue the fight to free Kamangar. He said, “I will use all legal means to protest this new judgment. If I do not receive a convincing response regarding my client’s acquittal, I will complain to the [International Court of Justice at the] Hague.”
General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen deplored the ruling and expressed Education International’s concern for Kamangar’s fate. “Teachers and trade unionists around the world care deeply about what is happening to our colleagues in Iran. We are carefully monitoring events and feeling a great deal of outrage that fair process and respect for trade union rights is so severely lacking in this case,” van Leeuwen said.
EI has written to the Iranian authorities urging them to commute the sentence immediately and to re-examine Kamangar’s case fairly, as the death penalty is irreparable and no judicial system should run the risk of condemning an innocent person. EI has also been appealing to Iranian government representatives to meet and discuss Kamangar’s case, but to date these efforts have been unsuccessful.
Kamangar himself released a short message from prison saying, “This verdict has been communicated to me, and prison and judgment enforcement officials have asked me to write a letter requesting forgiveness. The problem is that I have not committed any crime to ask for forgiveness.”
Kamangar added, “They want to break my morale but I have to say I am doing well and my spirits are high. My only point is that I have never been a member of any political party or group…. They want to use me as a scapegoat.”
Kamangar was arrested in Tehran in July 2006 and since then has been held in various detention centres in Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Tehran. He was charged with Moharebeh, which literally means “enmity against God,” and with membership in the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). He was sentenced to death by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on 25 February on the basis of “absolutely zero evidence,” according to his lawyer, who said that the trial lasted only a few minutes, took place in secret and failed to meet even the minimum standards of fairness.
The judgment was met with widespread protest and Kamangar’s case has been taken up by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights defenders. Kamangar has published several letters from prison maintaining his innocence and detailing ill-treatment, including such severe torture inflicted in Evin Prison that he had to be transferred to the prison clinic.

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