Iranian Kurdish political prisoner Heydar Ghorbani who was executed in secret in Sanandaj Central Prison at dawn on December 19. (VOA)

December 24, 2021

UN human rights experts have condemned in the strongest terms the arbitrary execution of Iranian Kurdish prisoner Heidar Ghorbani as a serious violation of Iran’s obligations under international human rights law.

Ghorbani was executed in secret in Sanandaj Central Prison at dawn on December 19. His execution took place without prior notice to his family and lawyer, and his body was secretly buried by prison authorities, the UN said on Wednesday.

Ghorbani was arrested in October 2016, in connection with the killing of three men affiliated to the Basij paramilitary forces reportedly by individuals associated with an armed opposition group.

Ghorbani denied membership of the group and any involvement in the killing. A Revolution Court concluded that he was unarmed, yet still sentenced him to death for “baghy” (armed rebellion) following an unfair trial and allegations that he was tortured.

“Iran executed Mr. Ghorbani in secret, on the basis of overbroad provisions, following a deeply flawed process, and while his case was still under consideration by the Supreme Court. In the context of continuing protests and widespread dissatisfaction with the authorities, we are concerned that such an arbitrary execution has been carried out to spread fear,” the experts stated.

“We deeply regret that, despite our multiple interventions on Mr. Ghorbani’s case, the authorities chose to proceed with his execution. This act is yet another sign of clear disregard for their obligations under international human rights law — and for international human rights mechanisms. We call on the Government to halt the imposition and execution of the death penalty,” the experts added.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.