Saturday, 21 July 2007
Friday, 20 July 2007
Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar are to be hanged for crimes described by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court as "Propaganda against the Islamic Republic government, and acts against national security".
Adnan was arrested on January 25th. He was first told that he was convicted of spying. He was a member of the editorial board of the weekly "Assu," which covered the situation in Iran's Kurdistan Province. The paper was shut down by authorities in August 2005.
Hiwa Butimar is a member of an environmental organization that co-ordinates teams of volunteers in order to clean up the environment through conservation activities such as litter picking. This group was founded by Hiwa’s brother, Hadi Butimar, a journalist who was forced to flee the Iranian regime and is now living as a refugee in Sheffield, UK. A Kurdish flag found in Hiwa's possession and videos promoting care for the local environment have jeapordised his situation.
Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar have spent the last six months in a prison in Marivan with no access to a lawyer and were not allowed to be visited by their families. On the 17th of July 2007 they were both sentenced to death by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Supreme Court in Mariwan.
There are strong reasons to doubt the fairness of the trial. For example, the case was heard and a verdict reached without the two men having any legal representation present in the court. Their lawyers have said that they will appeal the death sentences.
The execution is due to take place on the 14th August.
We need your support to help these men and their families. Please post your comments and write your letters. Coming soon will be some ideas for ways of getting involved.