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.


Palestinian journalist wins appeal over Gaza graft report

Updated 39 min 57 sec ago
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Palestinian journalist wins appeal over Gaza graft report

  • The appeals court in Gaza “acquitted journalist Hajar Harb of all charges and closed her file”

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian journalist was acquitted on appeal over an investigative report about corruption in the Gaza Strip Monday, according to Amnesty International and a campaign group.

In a 2016 report for Al-Araby TV, Hajar Harb alleged that doctors were writing false medical reports to let people leave Gaza for treatment, one of the few reasons Israel allows Palestinians out of the blockaded strip run by Hamas.

In October that year, two doctors launched legal proceedings accusing her of defamation and “publishing false information,” according to Amnesty International.

The 34-year-old had been sentenced to six months in prison and fined, but the appeals court overruled the decision, said Fathi Sabah, head of a group supporting Harb.

The appeals court in Gaza “acquitted journalist Hajjar Harb of all charges and closed her file,” he said.

“This represents not just a victory for Hajjar but for freedom of the press,” he added.

Amnesty said Harb had been questioned by police at least four times following her report, but welcomed the decision of the court.

“It is really good news that Hajjar Harb was acquitted today, she was standing a trial that should not have taken place to begin with,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“We hope that the Gaza authorities take this opportunity to signal that they are serious about freedom of expression and the press.”

In 2018, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms recorded 77 violations of press freedom in the Palestinian Authority-run West Bank and 37 such cases in Gaza.

Hamas have controlled Gaza for more than a decade and have recently cracked down violently on street protests.