Several human rights activists and bloggers warned that Farzad Kamangar, a teacher and trade unionist may be executed in the near future in Iran. Farzad Kamangar, who is from Kurdistan province in Iran, is accused of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
On February 25, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Kamangar to death on charges of “endangering national security” and “enmity against God”. Human rights watchdog Amnesty International reported that in 2007 Iran made more use of the death penalty than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people during the year.
A campaign on Facebook has been launched to inform people about this teacher's dangerous situation and invite them to send a message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop Kamangar's execution. According to his lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, there is no evidence to justify the judgment that Kamangar has “endangered national security”. His lawyer, who was not permitted to defend him, says Farzad’s trial was not in accordance with article 168 of the Iranian Constitution: “Political and press offences will be tried openly and in the presence of a jury, in courts of justice.” In this case, only one judge reviewed the case within five minutes and the defendant was not allowed to speak. This campaign also condemns the use of torture against Kamangar.
The Facebook campaign page also provides more information about whole story:
A support committee composed of members of the Teacher Trade Association, former colleagues of Kamangar and human rights attorneys, including Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, was established on July 21, 2008 to defend the civil rights of Farzad Kamangar and to undertake legal actions to have his death sentence commuted… In addition, Iranian trade union colleagues and human rights activists who show solidarity with Farzad are being subjected to pervasive intimidation by the Iranian authorities.
So far 485 people have joined this campaign.
View from Iran who is based in Europe says:
I don't normally call for political action on this blog, but we just heard that there is a strong possibility that a Kurdish teacher and activist may be executed tonight
She shares the instructions on how to act from the site of the International Campaign for Human Rights.
A letter from prison
Farzad Kamangar describes his prison days in a letter where he explains that he was tortured. The letter was published on a website called Freedom for Kamangar and was translated to English on Canadian Coalition for Democracies Public Message Forum.
The letter says:
In July of 2006 I came to Tehran to follow up on my brother's medical treatments. My brother is a Kurdish political activist. Upon my arrival in Tehran I was arrested and taken to an unknown place, it was a very small, dark basement. The cells in this place were empty, there were no blankets or rugs or sheets.
They took me to a room and as they were interviewing me they asked me about my ethnicity. When I told them that I was of the Kurdish Ethnicity they lashed my entire body. They also lashed me because of the Kurdish music which I had saved on my mobile phone. They would tie my hands, make me sit on a chair and put pressure on the sensitive areas of my body. They would also strip me naked and threaten me with rape by various objects such as wood.
My left leg was injured badly during this time. Also due to the beatings I received on my head as well as electric shock I would lose consciousness. I have lost control of my body and shake uncontrollably for no reason. They would chain my feet together and give me electric shocks on sensitive parts of my body which was extremely painful. Later on I was transferred to Section 209 of the Evin Prison. From the moment I entered the Evin Prison they blindfolded me and took me to a small room where they beat me by punching and kicking me.
Iran has a sad record of torture and was condemned several times by international human rights organizations.