Sunday, 12 July 2009

Not good news


kurd net : Iranian Kurdistan, — Adnan Hassanpour, Kurdish journalist whose death sentence was quashed in August 2008, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison by the court in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj that retried his case, Reporters Without Borders has learned from his family.

“This sentence is absurd and baseless,” Reporters Without Borders said. “One day, this journalist is sentenced to death. Two years later he gets a ten-year sentence. We reiterate our call for his immediate release.”

Kurdish journalists Adnan Hassanpur
The death sentence was passed on Hassanpour on 16 July 2007 by a revolutionary tribunal in Mariwan, in Iran’s Kurdistan northwestern region (Eastern Kurdistan), which found him guilty of subversive activities against national security, espionage and separatist propaganda.

After first confirming the sentence on 22 October 2007, the supreme court in Tehran quashed it in August 2008 on procedural grounds. It said Hassanpour could not be regarded as “mohareb” (and enemy of God).

The case was returned to an ordinary court in Sanandaj for retrial. After hearing the case on 6 September 2008 and 30 January 2009, the court issued its sentence Wednesday. Hassanpour, who has staged two hunger strikes in protest against the conditions in which he is being held, is currently in the main Sanandaj prison.

Aged 27, he was arrested outside his home on 25 January 2007, and was initially imprisoned in Mahabad, which is also in Iranian Kurdistan. He wrote about the very sensitive Kurdish issue for the magazine Asou, which has been banned by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance since August 2005. He also worked for foreign media such as Voice of America and Radio Farda, which broadcasts in Farsi to Iran.

• November 9th 2007- Supreme court decision upholding death sentence for Kurdish journalist should be “taken seriously”

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the supreme court’s decision to uphold the death sentence for Kurdish-Iranian journalist Adnan Hassanpour for “spying.” The ruling was issued on 22 October but was not revealed until this week.

The court quashed the conviction of another journalist convicted in the same case, Abdolvahed “Hiva” Botimar, on the grounds of procedural irregularity. Botimar had also been under sentence of death.

“We have been waiting for than six months for the supreme court to decide whether to reopen the case against Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi’s alleged murderers, but it took the court only a few weeks to uphold Hassanpour’s death sentence, so the judicial system clearly continues to have a pro-government bias,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“We appeal to the international community to take every possible action to get this journalist released,” the press freedom organisation added. “This sentence should be taken very seriously as Iran has already executed more than 300 people since the start of the year.”

Saleh Nikbakht, one of the lawyers representing the two journalists, was notified on 5 November of the court’s decision although he was not given the details of the ruling. He said 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.”

He added that the court overturned Botimar’s conviction on the grounds of a “procedural irregularity,” and sent his case back to the same revolutionary court in Marivan (in the Kurdish northwest of Iran) that convicted him and Hassanpour on 16 July on charges of spying, “subversive activity against national security” and “separatist propaganda.”

Nikbakht told Reporters Without Borders: “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.”

Monday, 6 April 2009

Good News

This is a day of Good News!

Two hours ago I received the news that Hiwa Butimar has had his death sentence overturned by an Iranian court.
Hadi Butimar, Hiwa's brother, phoned me after talking with his sister-in-law, Hiwa's wife.

Hadi is in the process of putting together a thank you to all the countless people who have helped in so many ways.

Hiwa goes before another court soon to decide if he is to be released or serve a further prison sentence for the false charges.
We will keep you informed.

Meanwhile, join in the great joy we all feel for Hiwa and his family.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sheffield Demo

October 25th, outside Sheffield Town Hall, many Kurds and others joined together to demonstrate against the treatment of Kurdish prisoners of conscience and the torture of Ocalan in Imrali jail, Turkey.
Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Adnan's death penalty commuted

We rejoice with Kurds everywhere (and especially Adnan and his family) that Adnan's sentence has been commuted. Pray on and campaign on for dear Hiwa. There is hope.

Details here

Hunger Strike

Many prisoners in jails across Iran are hunger striking demanding the abolition of the death penalty for so-called intellectual and political crimes, and trials in open court, attended by defendants and their lawyers. Many of them are ethnic Kurds.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

We appeal again for you to protest

Could you write a letter to one of the following and express your concern about the Kurdish journalist Hiwa Butimar. Call on the Iranian government to stop his execution and to release him immediately.

Please send your appeal to:

Secretary-General United Nations
Hon. Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue
at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017

Supreme leader of Iran
Sayyed Ali Khamenei
E-mail via web site

Iranian president

Mahmud Ahmadinejad
E-mail via web site

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms Louise Arbour
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Chairwoman of European parliament Human Rights committee
Bureau d'Hélène Flautre au Parlement européen8G130, rue WierzB-1049, Bruxelles, Belgique

Sentenced again

Hiwa Butimar has been sentenced to death by branch number one of the Revolutionary Court in Mariwan city, for a second time.

The Iranian government accused him of selling arms to Kurdish guerrilla fighters connected to P.K.K, which all of the Kurdish political parties strongly repudiate.

It seems, from sources inside Kurdistan, that Hiwa Butimar has been in solitary confinement for more than a year and has undergone torture.

His brother, Hadi Butimar says that his appeal against the sentence was referred to the same judge in Mariwan city, who confirmed it for a second time.

This is totally unacceptable, and shows the summary and arbitrary nature of executions in Iran. How can an appeal case be referred to the same judge?

Full story here

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Hadi & Layli receive Journalist Awards for Adnan & Hiwa

We are in Italy.
We collected Hiwa and Adnan's Freedom of the Press awards from ISF * on 30.11.2007 in Siena City, Toscani county. On the same day we went to Toscani local parliament in Florence and gave a speech there.

Tomorrow Layli Hasanpur and I are going to Italy's parliament in Rome at 11am.

* Information Safety and Freedom has the objective of defending press freedom throughout the world, protecting journalists and media users. This means the defence of freedom to inform and being informed.

Martin Hadi

Message from the families

Dear Friends

We would like to thank the Italian human rights group Information, Safety & Freedom for conferring this year’s Freedom of the Press Award to Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar.

The presentation of this award comes at a critical time, as both Adnan and Hiwa’s lives are threatened by the Iranian authorities. One week ago the Iranian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Adnan, and prolonged the imprisonment for Hiwa.

As families and friends of Adnan and Hiwa, we are grateful for all the support of the human right protectors of Kurdistan, Iran and the rest of the world, in particular the government and non governmental organisations whether they are in Italy, Europe or America.

We would like to take this oppportunity to intensify our efforts, as fellow humans, to demolish the death penalty all-over the world. We hope the case of Hiwa and Adnan could become the milestone for this important step of mankind.

Capital punishment does not serve the cause of peace on our planet; on the contrary, it deepens the feuds, civil unrests and creates hatred, keeping us apart while we need to pursue integration- mankind as one family. Capital punishment and torture alienates the authorities from the very people that they should represent, protect and work for their wellbeing. If this alienation is deepened, the authorities can also become the victim of these conflicts and civil unrests, as we have seen in the case of Iraq. Death and torture must not be a punishment for any crime.

We urge you to support the case of Hiwa and Adnan to be re-tried in a court that complies with international legal standards. No confession should be taken from them as evidence when it is recorded by the means of torture. While Hiwa and Adnan waiting for their final court verdict, they should be able to receive printed materials, including books and newspapers, and their families and friends should be allowed to visit them.

While we urge the Iranian authorities to review their verdict in the case of Hiwa and Adnan, we only wish peaceful coexistence for the peoples living in Iran, which assists the stability of the region and that of the international community.

Thank you,

Butimar and Hassanpour families

Comment from KHRP

Dear Participants

The Kurdish Human Rights Project would like to commend the Italian human rights group Information, Safety & Freedom for conferring this year’s Freedom of the Press award to Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar.

The Kurdish Human Rights Project is an independent, non-political human rights organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the human rights of all persons living in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

The presentation of this award comes at a critical time, as both Adnan and Hiwa’s life are threatened by the Iranian authorities. One week ago the Iranian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Adnan, and prolonged the imprisonment for Hiwa.

Despite ongoing international pressure, the Iranian government continues to restrict freedom of expression, exercises the death penalty on a mass scale, as well as torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and detention without trial. In addition, religious and ethnic minorities continue to face systematic discrimination by the state.

The right to freedom of expression in particular remains a key issue in the relationship between Iran and the international community.

KHRP has repeatedly stressed the importance of freedom of expression, calling for Iran to remove restrictions on the freedom of the media, and allow journalists, writers, human rights defenders, students, and women groups to speak freely.

Iran has constantly been under pressure by international human rights organisations with regard to its violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a party.

It is important to note that since the Iranian revolution, and particularly since Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, further restrictions have been imposed on freedom of expression.

Despite internal and external pressure on the Iranian government, the Iranian constitution contains several articles which directly impact the exercising of free opinion and expression in the country. Article 12 of Iranian constitution, requires the press Supervisory Board to ban publications that violate Islamic code. The same article bans publications of articles ‘which might damage the foundation of Islamic Republic’, national security, insulting Islam or defending leader and religious authorities.

Under these legal provisions the Islamic Republic of Iran has imprisoned, tortured, harassed and even sentenced to death intellectuals, journalists, students, lawyers, political opponents and human rights defenders. The death sentence against Hiwa and Adnan is a recent example of this abuse of human rights in Iran.

The other issue which needs direct attention is the treatment of ethnic minorities in Iran. KHRP has continually highlighted the occurrence of Kurdish oppression in Iran to the international community. Kurds in Iran have been discriminated against throughout Iran’s history. Since the formation of Iranian state in 1924, Iranian government has placed restrictions and boundaries on Kurdish culture and language.

The arrest and subsequent death sentences against Hiwa and Adnan reaffirms this problem. Hiwa and Adnan have been subjected to such harsh treatment by the Iranian authorities due to their journalistic work, and their participation in the human rights movement in Iranian Kurdistan

The death penalty is another issue which needs to be addressed by the international community. Iran has for a long time exercised the death penalty on a mass scale. Within the Kurdish community in particular, death sentences have been widely carried out, to a large scale.

The KHRP urges participants here today to exert influence over Iran to address these and many other issues, and in particular to call for the removal of these unjust sentences for Adnan and Hiwa, as well the numerous other victims of such oppression.

The KHRP urges international human rights organisations to exert influence over Iran to guarantee the right to free speech and the independence of the media, to eliminate discrimination against the Kurds, and to eradicate the death penalty.

The KHRP has monitored and observed several cases related to freedom of expression, including those of Hiwa and Adnan. The evidence from these observations suggests that there remain major difficulties related to free expression in Iran. Therefore we urge international organisations to closely examine the application of the principles of freedom of expression in Iran, and strongly condemn Iran’s actions towards those who do speak out, including their unjustifiable use of torture and the death penalty.

Thank you

Friday, 19 October 2007

Tragic News - Hiwa's father has died

Mr. Ali Butimar, Hiwa Butimar’s father, passed away on Friday morning 12/10/07 due to the pause in a verse in the age of 85. Hiwa Butimar, a journalist and environmental activist has already been sentenced to death by the Iranian revolutionary supreme court and he is anticipating his verdict execution in Sanandaj prison (Capital of Kurdistan Province).

Hiwa’s father, Mr. Ali Butimar, has left this world with great regret after seeing his imprisoned son for the last time. The Iranian Intelligence Service has forbidden any visiting of the family members for their imprisoned son since his capture last winter. Ultimately, due to the pressure of human rights organisations and international demonstrations, the Iranian Intelligence Service agreed with visiting of family members for their son.

Mr. Ali Butimar, was visited his son for a short time, in Sanandaj prison a month ago, but the prison commissioners did not let them to speak directly and face to face. They managed father and Son to speak through a phone line on opposite sides of a thick glass wall, where officers on both sides watched on and tracked their conversation.

This situation had fatal effects on Mr. Ali Butimar, since he was an old man and emotionally destroyed from his son's death sentence, and also the way the jail’s commissioners have treated his imprisoned son. These were coinciding with Hiwa’s hunger strike as a protest against his unfair death sentence and his condition in Jail.

In addition to all these horrendous circumstances for Mr. Ali Butimar, his older son Mr. Hadi Butimar, had to leave Iran as a result of his political activities against the Iranian government, to save his life nearly 6 years ago. He was not able to see his father and be with him in his final moments.

All these difficulties and unpleasant and unbearable events on Mr. Ali Butimar’s family from of Iranian Government, led him to having a stroke and then finally closing his eyes for ever from all these unevenness and injustice which have dominated the Kurdistan area. He was hopeful to see freedom one day and to live in liberty and autonomy.

We are all, as sons of Mr. Ali Butimar, hopeful to live in liberty and autonomy one day, and we are doing our best to achieve this. One day...

Monday, 1 October 2007

Medical attention urgent

According to the Binar News, since Adnan and Hiwa had been transferred to the Sannandaj Central prison 9 days ago, they are still in a bad situation.

It is stated by their families last Wednesday although adnan and hiwa had been transferred to the central prison, they still have no access to medical treatment and they have been locked in a cell which is full of criminals. They also stated that, despite the existence of a health clinic inside the prison Adnan and Hiwa, unlike other prisoners, are deprived from medical help. Thus, as families of Adnan and Hiwa, we ask the human rights organizations and Red Cross to do their best in order to provide our sons proper medical treatment.

With our regards.

Adnan and Hiwa`s families.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Some good news from the brother of Hiwa. A transfer to another jail was something we have been requesting urgently.

"On Sunday 23rd September Adnan and Hiwa were transferred from the intelligence service jail in Sanandaj to a normal jail in same city. They had been on hunger strike for 48 days."