Iranian trade unionist to be hanged today?
Farzad Kamangar, a teacher, trade unionist and rights activist from Iran's Kordistan province, sentenced to death on what his attorney calls "absolutely zero evidence," could be hanged today, his supporters say. Sources report that he has been taken from his cell at Tehran's Evin prison in preparation for execution. Security officers at the prison are reported to have informed him that he is to be executed imminently, taunted him and called him a martyr.
Kamangar, who worked as a teacher in rural areas and promoted human rights, is accused of alleged affiliation to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). On Feb. 25, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Kamangar to death on charges of "endangering national security" and "enmity against God" (moharebe). The death penalty was confirmed by the Supreme Court on July 11. According to his lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, there is no evidence to justify the verdict, and the trial was characterized by numerous legal irregularities.
A support committee composed of members of the Teacher Trade Association, former colleagues of Kamangar and human rights attorneys, including Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, was established in July to defend Farzad Kamangar and pressure to have his death sentence commuted. (International Transport Workers Federation, Nov. 26; Education International, Aug. 14)
Messages in support of Farzad Kamangar can be sent to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at: firstname.lastname@example.org