Iran executes unionist for ‘enmity against God’

Iranian teacher, trade unionist and human rights activist Farzad Kamangar was among five political prisoners executed by hanging May 9 at Tehran's Evin Prison. The five, including one woman, were accused of collaboration with the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an armed separatist organization. "They confessed carrying out deadly terrorist operations in the country in the past years," the official news agency IRNA said. However, the charges against the five were considerably more vague, and included "moharebe," or enmity against God. The five were convicted in 2008, and Iran's Supreme Court later upheld their death sentences. None of the lawyers or the families of the defendants were made aware of executions beforehand.

The International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) said in a statement that it "condemns this inhuman act in strongest possible term. We are calling on international labor movement and progressive and human rights organizations around the world to express their denunciation and outrage in any possible way you can." (Reuters, IASWI, May 9)

See our last posts on Iran, the Kurds and the labor struggle.

  1. Iran: general strike in Kordestan
    From Kurd Net, May 14:

    Public outrage has spread throughout towns in Iran’s Kurdistan Province following the hanging of five Kurdish prisoners of conscience over the weekend, an Iran Focus correspondent in the area reports.

    Many shops remain closed in the provincial Kurdish capital Sanandaj and elsewhere in Bokan, Saqqez, Kamyaran, Mariwan, Piranshahr, Bijar, Maku, Shenou and Divandareh and Mahabad [Eastern Kurdistan]. The strike was called on Monday after news of the executions spread.