Amnesty condemns Iran hanging of militants

11th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Amnesty International on Tuesday condemned Iran's execution of five militants, saying they had not received fair trials and that some of them had been tortured.

"We condemn these executions which were carried out without any prior warning. Despite the serious accusations against them, the five were denied fair trials. Three of the defendants were tortured and two forced to confess' under duress," Malcolm Smart, director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

"They were then executed in violation of Iranian law, which requires the authorities to notify prisoners' lawyers in advance before carrying out executions," Smart added.

On Sunday, Iran executed the five after convicting them of bombing government offices and a gas pipeline to Turkey.

The five included a Kurdish woman, Shirin Alamhouli, and four others identified as Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamian.

Kamangar, Heidarian and Vakili and Alamhouli were members of the Kurdish rebel group PJAK (The Party of Free Life of Kurdistan), Tehran's prosecutor was quoted as saying.

However, Amnesty said the three men belonged to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, an affiliated separatist group in Turkey.

Eslamian reportedly belonged to the anti-regime monarchist group, Kingdom Assembly of Iran, which aims to restore the constitutional monarchy that was abolished by the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iran's ISNA news agency said the five were convicted of being "moharebs" or "enemies of God" -- a crime punishable by death under Iran's Islamic laws.

Smart said "these latest executions appear to be a blatant attempt to intimidate members of the Kurdish minority and other critics and opponents of the government in the runup" to the June 12 anniversary of last year's disputed presidential election," Smart said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a contest widely claimed by the opposition as fraudulent.

One of the election's losers, Mir Hossein Moussavi, on Monday described the hangings as "unfair."

"The announcement of the hanging of five people without a clear explanation of the charges and the unfair trial process resembles that (which) resulted in convictions of the amazing men and women of our country," he was quoted on his website as saying.

© 2010 AFP

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