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.


Iran’s Hassan Rouhani may skip UN meet over US visa delay

Updated 51 min 21 sec ago

Iran’s Hassan Rouhani may skip UN meet over US visa delay

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his delegation could be forced into skipping next week’s UN General Assembly because the United States has yet to issue them visas, state media said Wednesday.
Rouhani and his delegation had been scheduled to travel to New York for the annual UN gathering on Monday, but that was now looking unlikely given the lack of visas, state news agency IRNA said.
“If the visas aren’t issued in a few hours, this trip will probably be canceled,” IRNA reported.
The delegation includes Iran’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif, who the United States imposed sanctions against on July 31.
The foreign minister had been due to travel to New York on Friday morning, according to IRNA.
The absence of Rouhani would ruin France’s bid to arrange a meeting between him and US President Donald Trump as part of European efforts to de-escalate tensions between the arch-foes.
“Iran’s absence will show that in contrast with its commitments to the United Nations and international organizations within the framework of agreements, diplomacy has no value for the United States,” IRNA said.
“Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has not left the scene and it continues its active diplomacy, the US government must answer for its behavior,” it added.
The UN General Assembly debate is due to begin on Tuesday.
As the host government, the United States generally is obliged to issue visas to diplomats who serve at UN headquarters.
But Iran and the United States have been at loggerheads since May last year when Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions in its campaign of “maximum pressure.”
Iran responded by scaling back its commitments under the landmark accord, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for limiting the scope of its nuclear program.