Iran executes Kurdish separatists

Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were executed on Saturday. (Amnesty International)
Updated 08 September 2018
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Iran executes Kurdish separatists

  • Ramin Hossein Panahi, Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were all executed on Saturday.
  • Panahi had reportedly started a hunger strike at the beginning of this year in the Rajaei-Shahr prison in Karaj, near Tehran.

TEHRAN: Iran executed three alleged Kurdish separatists on Saturday, local media reported, despite criticism by the United Nations that at least one had been tortured in prison.
Ramin Hossein Panahi, Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were all executed on Saturday, according to the conservative Fars news agency.
It said Panahi had planned to bomb a rally in Iran’s Kurdish province last June.
Zaniar and Loghman Moradi were accused of membership in an unnamed “terrorist separatist group” and of killing four people, including the son of the Friday prayers leader in the Kurdish city of Mariwan.
Panahi was accused of membership in Komala, which has been waging a long-running separatist insurgency in Iranian Kurdistan from bases across the border in Iraq.
He was sentenced to death in April, drawing criticism from UN human rights experts, who said his execution “would be unconscionable.”
“We are deeply disturbed by reports that Mr. Panahi has suffered human rights violations before and during his trial, including incommunicado detention, torture and ill-treatment, and denial of access to a lawyer and adequate medical care,” they said in a report at the time.
They pointed to reports that Panahi had been denied medical care for injuries suffered during his imprisonment, including from reported beating with cables.
He had also reportedly started a hunger strike at the beginning of this year in the Rajaei-Shahr prison in Karaj, near Tehran.


Media blitz as Palestinians oppose ‘Deal of the Century’

Updated 26 June 2019
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Media blitz as Palestinians oppose ‘Deal of the Century’

  • A number of Palestinian officials talked to a number of media outlets in an attempt to counter the US narrative

AMMAN: Palestinian officials, activists and the public at large stood unusually united on Tuesday in their opposition to the US-led, economic-based Israeli-Palestinian peace effort. They launched a wide-ranging public and media blitz in protest against the start of the two-day Peace to Prosperity economic workshop in Bahrain.

Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem told Arab News that watching Jared Kushner make his opening speech at the workshop about the so-called “Deal of the Century” reminded him of the financial machinations of Wall Street.

“I saw a salesman trying to push a particular product, talking about numbers and opportunities without the slightest interest in the fact that he was talking about our lives and our situation,” he said.

Milhem and other Palestinian officials talked to a number of media outlets in an attempt to counter the US narrative. President Mahmoud Abbas, who presides over a divided authority that is in perpetual financial crisis and depends on donor nations, invited members of the Foreign Press Association to his Ramallah headquarters. “We need the money and, really, we need assistance,” he told them. “But before everything, there is a political solution.”

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh appeared on the Christiane Amanpour program on CNN International and wrote a column for the Washington Post headlined “Palestinians want freedom not Trump administration bribes.”

After Kushner’s speech, political analyst Lamis Andoni said that Palestinians are being asked to accept that if the prison conditions under which they live are to improve, the occupation
will continue. The US proposal is designed to silence Palestinians by giving them enough to survive, while giving a minority the chance to get rich, he said. “It didn’t work before and will not work now,” he added.

Husam Zulmot, head of the Palestine mission in the UK and former head of the Washington DC mission, said: “Palestine is not for sale.” He described Kushner’s plan as “deceptive” and “disingenuous,” arguing that it does not address the core issue: the occupation.

In Nablus, the deputy head of Fatah, Mahmoud Aloul, issued a stern warning to Arab participants in the Bahrain workshop: “We tell our brothers that they have stabbed us in the back and your intervention in our cause has gone overboard and we will not allow that.” He qualified this by adding: “The US and Israel will continue to be our enemy but we will not consider you enemies; we will leave you to your own people and hope that your hibernation will not last long.”

The Palestinian Al Quds daily newspaper ran the front page headline “Opposition to the Deal of the Century hold protests throughout the homeland and the diaspora,” with a photo of the demonstrations in Ramallah covering the rest of the front page. It also published a two-page supplement quoting politicians from a number of movements, including Fatah and Hamas, along with analysts and pundits, all criticizing the Manama workshop.

Hani Elmasri, the head of the Masarat think tank in Ramallah. wrote an article in which he said that the “Trump deal will not succeed without a Palestinian cover, and will fail sooner or later, but while the plan has not succeed in liquidating Palestinian nationalism it has succeeded in stressing the facts of the occupation and made the possibility of a Palestinian struggle much more difficult. This means that it is not enough for Palestinians to reject this plan but they need to respond with a holistic strategy that must be political, economic and has to be a struggle by the people on all levels.”